Monday, May 26, 2014

OHV Mud and a BMW


Late last week, Polar Bear invited me to go play in the mud up at Huckleberry Flats OHV area on Saturday with him and his cub. I wrote about our previous trip, to the lookout and how much I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I couldn't turn down an opportunity to go again.

Saturday morning I woke to a text message stating he was on his way to pick me up, so I jumped out of bed and downed a couple of cups of coffee and a slice of toast. I rushed to get my gear together, wheeled the little XT out of the garage and was brushing my teeth when he pulled up.

We loaded up the XT onto his trailer and with another cup of coffee in hand we were off for a day of riding. The sky was overcast and the temperature a bit cool at 59ºF, but we were headed to higher elevations and hoped to leave the worst of the weather in the valley. We arrived about 10 am, the sun was shining and the temperature was just above 60ºF... perfect! We unloaded the bikes, geared up and Andy fine tuned the cub's little CR60.


I made a couple laps around the warm up loop just to get back into dirt bike mode... loosen up my shoulders, relax my grip on the bars, weight the pegs, lean the bike. That's better! Let's go!

I led the two bears onto the first trail out of the staging area, keeping it on the green, easy trails as not to hurt ourselves early in the day. Little bear cub trotted along as cubs do, slipping and falling on occasion but picked himself up and would poke along some more. I enjoy having cub with us, he keeps us "adults" from making stupid decisions. Riding behind cub can be slow going and difficult to pass as he tends to wander aimlessly back and forth along the trail, but I learned quickly that he avoids puddles so when an opportunity presented itself in the form of a long, shallow puddle I took it. Poor kid, I wish I had a camera, I looked over my shoulder to see the wall of water cascading down, he took it broadside. I laughed out loud in my helmet and admit I felt a bit of remorse, but that soon subsided when we came upon the next puddle and dad did the same thing... to his own son! I knew if Andy was capable of soaking his own kid, I was fair game and I distanced myself from him and any other puddles the rest of the day. We stopped up ahead for a bit and cub laughed while reciting his story of his recent initiation shower, so all was good.

We rode on until we came to a fork in the road, not ready for lunch yet, Polar Bear led the way down the road less travelled. Maps? We don't need no stinking maps! Needless to say, it wasn't long before we went from novice green trails to a bit more difficult blue trails. This should be interesting.










The trails descended down to a creek and bridge, but before getting to the bottom we had to pull cub out of the weeds first. This ended up being a good thing because it gave us a chance to scope out the next portion of the trail on foot and survey the best line to ride down.















I'm not so sure cub would've had made it down safely on his own, so Dad walked his bike down for him then hiked back up to ride his trials bike down. What a beautiful day for a hike in the woods!

This is much steeper than it looks on camera.










Polar Bear made it down unscathed as did I, now all we had to do was climb back up the other side. I went first and made it up without too much trouble. I stopped at the top and started walking back down toward the sound of kick starting two strokes, catching a glimpse of a small front wheel and a small bike looping out. What a beautiful day for a hike in the woods!






Finally, with all three of us at the top, we discussed taking the well groomed gravel road back to the truck for lunch. For some reason cub hadn't had enough punishment yet and tootled off, leading us down a rabbit hole. Alrighty then, the trail again descended down to a creek, this time sans bridge. I squeezed past another one of the bears' impromptu stops, made the small creek crossing and into an immediate "oooh shit", rutted climb up the other side. I caught the rear tire in a rut and up against a tree root, which caused me to stall the bike and lean into the bank. I thumbed the magic starter button, backed out of the rut and proceeded up the hill. I knew that this was going to be much too much for cub but... what a beautiful day for a hike in the woods!












Together again at the top, we took a break and in disbelief watched a half dozen quads come up the trail we just did! These weren't wimpy sport quads however, these were big workhorse rigs with winches on the front that you normally see on farms. I wonder if there is room in the garage....
We were getting hungry, cub was done for the day, so geared up and followed the road back to the staging area for lunch.











Andy and I spent the rest of the afternoon plugging about the rocks near the staging area on his trials bike, and making laps around the warm up loop.









- - -
Cue the BMW!
- - -

The warm up loop was muddy, much more than it had been that morning. After a couple of laps we sat at the exit on our bikes, about ready to call it a day ourselves when this young man showed up on a pristine BMW F650GS, looking like he just stepped out of a BMW brochure and Rev'It gear photo shoot. I swear his uniform still had the tags attached, it was that clean.





He dismounted his Heindenmeow shod steed, made eye contact with us, then sauntered over to strike up a conversation.

One must remember that although Polar Bears look all cute, cuddly, and approachable; they are wild animals and as such can be unpredictable.

Our new friend told us that he was camping just South of Oakridge and that he just finished riding the Aufderheide highway. He followed the signs to the Huckleberry Flats OHV, then sealed his fate by mentioning to us that he had an ATV permit on his bike.

I swear polar bears can smell naivete, because without missing a beat and in a straight out, bold face lie, Andy told our new friend that the warm up loop was an easy trail and he should try it.

I looked at Andy in disbelief, waiting for him to let this poor kid off the hook.

We sat there, on our bikes, covered with mud and in complete, utter amazement that Cisco Kid couldn't put two and two together. I finally mentioned that "there might be some mud in the corners", but that didn't deter him as he walked toward his bike.

I took one last look at Andy as he was scrambling to put his helmet on to follow this poor sap down his own rabbit hole.

He did quite well, standing on the pegs, navigating his 500 pound machine around the small puddles toward the shade of the trees. I came up behind him on a particular tight left hand turn as he slowly and very gently set his brand new SW-Motech crashbars into the muddy bank side. Motioning me to go around him, I declined, assuring him that I was fine and we were there to help if need be. He hefted his bike back up and proceeded over much higher whoops and through deeper water filled ruts before exiting out back to the staging area.

"That was a bit more than I had bargained for"

"Yes, but now your bike looks like a real adventure bike"

Not wanting to stick around and chat, he quickly shook my hand, mounted his bike and rode off toward camp.... or the nearest laundromat.

"Just think of the story we just created for him" Andy said.

I laughed, "You're an asshole!"

- - -


19 comments:

  1. Troubadour:

    If Andy told me that the road was easy, I would have believed him. But you on the other hand . . . I know better besides the GS is not a true dual sport.

    What a "beautiful day for a hike in the woods! "

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. What?!? You don't trust me Bob? Come on, what have I ever done to make you believe that little innocent me, would lead you astray? I'm as honest as the day is long, you can trust me.... :)

      Your little Wee Strom should make it through there with no problem.

      Delete
  2. You guys obviously had fun and yes, your riding happens in places that require far more hiking in the woods than I do.

    Looks like great fun. Were you mostly alone out there, not too crowded?

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    Replies
    1. It was great fun! The trails weren't crowded at all, even the staging area wasn't too bad considering the number of trucks and trailers parked there.
      You could tootle off into the woods with the TW, trust me... what's the worst could happen?

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  3. You guys were too cruel but at least you tagged along with the BMW rider to take pictures (or at least I'm assuming that's the reason).

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    Replies
    1. Cruel? We did nothing but answer his questions and offer him the opportunity to use his ATV Permit... we even complimented him on his bike. We followed him... for moral support, yeah that's it!

      Say.... don't you run Heidenmeows on your rig?

      Delete
    2. Okay, not cruel. Maybe Evil would have been a better description...

      Yep, K60 on the front and K28 sidecar tire on the rear. The K60 is not a very good mud tire but may be a good choice for gravel roads.

      Delete
  4. Nice, real nice....your leading that poor bmw guy astray......should be interesting to see if you ever see him back there again.

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    Replies
    1. We did no such thing, we gave him ample opportunity to say no, short of begging. Not so sure we'll see him out there again, he left muttering something about the gravel roads.
      I may watch for him on ADVRider forum to see if he pipes up about two assholes leading him astray.

      Delete
  5. Looks like a lot of fun - I shoulda been there. If a Beemer can handle it then the mighty Vee would have smashed it! Well, maybe...

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    1. It was fun, I'm sure an experienced adventure rider like yourself could easily pilot the mighty Vee around the the loop. We both discussed taking the Tigers through it... maybe

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  6. That does look like fun - wonder if the Tiger XC would like it?

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    1. You're tall enough to run the Tiger through the woods, it's not so easy for us inseam challenged.

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  7. Ha thats F*#king hilarious, I would have loved to see the expression on his face after his bike got dirty and his pristine new clothes. You guys are too funny.

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    1. It was great, I still can't believe he did it. Kudos to him for trying and being a good sport.

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  8. Having owned an F650 myself I would have never taken it into the woods, it is way too heavy. Instead I am known for taking my Vespa to play in the mud - ok mostly unintentionally ;-)

    (And... you are evil... I like it!)

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    1. Don't think we haven't considered taking Andy's Yamaha Zuma scooter out into the woods. I don't dare come across a Honda Ruckus for sale cheap, no telling what I'd do.


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  9. There's nothing like a bit of off-road to refresh your intuitive riding reactions again! I had to ride a GSX750F down a steep muddy slope in southern Spain after severe floods had taken the road out and it was almost fun but my mind was constantly thinking 'what happens if' !

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