Putting it, and myself, to the test.

Well, that was a ball. And educational. What more could you ask for, really?

About 11AM on Labor Day I got an idea to maybe get a ride in even though I was going to give the new paint job a day to cure. Fuck that. If (when, actually) it gets goobered I can always buy another $4 can of Krylon.

Pulled out the trusty Gazetteer with the words of the guy I bought the bike from ringing in my ears, “There are bunch of sweet dirt roads between here and Stanley we ride all the time.”  After about 5 minutes of lookin’ at squiggles the plan was set: 2-3 day power ride through the backwoods of central Ideeho. Within an hour all the kit was packed, the tank topped off and my ass was the fuck out of town. My only other plan for the holiday weekend was playing Russian Roulette so there wasn’t much to lose. Goddamn slow assed fire season.

Anywhoo, I blew the fuck out, headed west towards my beloved Oregon, but alas not to it, hit Fairfield and got going north.

SIDE NOTE: I’m using my spectacular GIS skills to develop a map of all my treks on here. Not sure how that will look in the end, but a number of possible platforms are being tested. Google earth sucks for sharing. Just sayin’.

Got headed up into the boonies when the shitstorm of bubba weekend warriors ending their last breedling infested summer hoorah came flooding past. Sorry no photos, I was trying not to get run over by a fleet of Ford F-350 Diesel warrior wagons towing any number of a wide variety of trailers. In the matter of 3 miles 70-80 rigs passed by. Then, nothing.

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Smooth riding, with the occasional passer by, in to my lovely, and quite deserted, camping spot.

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Full on minimalist goodness. A few goodies will be added, but the kit list as it is is pretty solid.

Got up, made some coffee, did some stretching then headed out to Featherville, a tiny little berg hidden in the woods. Pat, hubby of Cindie of Cindie’s Featherville Cafe:

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whipped up some mean grub and kept the coffee going. Met a couple from Taos, NM who were doing a new this year 500 mile dirt road bicycle loop out of Ketchum. Turns out the dude had gotten an ‘05 KLR the around the same time I did, but only put 100 miles on it so far.

After all the gabbing and eating it was off to Atlanta. No, not that one, there is a tiny little former mining town full of gruff hillbillies and cranky old people in a cool basin in the Idaho boonies.

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The ‘road’ there had seen better days. I’m a mtn bike guy so I’m used to being able to throw some body English at my bike to get it to go where I wish in the funkiness, not so with a 425# KLR. You can do a bit, but that fucker wanted to run down the steep heavily rutted and rocky stuff. Got in some valuable learnin’ AND a good workout. After about 2 minutes in Atlanta it was time for a swim in the cold assed Middle fork of the Boise river.

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SOOOOOOOCOLD!!!!!!!! Balls instantly went up into my guts in rebellion to such harsh treatment, but it was nice to get the dust off and splash around a bit.

Made a wrong turn somewhere as a major road was fuckered to the point of closure and came out of the woods 25 miles north of Idaho city instead of 2. Got to ride down the pass through fresh chip sealing. After having spent the AM washing around on freshly graded roads. Ugh.

Kicked it in IC fro a bit, had a dude ask if I had stolen the bike as he had seen someone else on a similar one. I ignored the question then he proceeded to tell me about his KLR. I think the pope probably had one of these things.

Hitting the pavement felt really sweet once I got through chip seal part 2 and ripped down the pass to Lowman. Was thinking about camping out another night on the Boise side of things, but also wanted to see if  I could do a big power push all the way back. Got to the edge of the Stanley basin and decided there was no turning back.

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I’ve been on a number of fires near Stanley and even in the summer that place is fucking wicked cold. Wasn’t in the mood to try and not freeze my ass off even with my rather high zoot gear collection. Pushed all the way through, over Galena Summit and down into Ketchum to Lefty’s for some much needed hot wings than finished up the trip back to Bellevue.

Lessons learned? I’m pretty well dialed on gear, need more shitty terrain time to hone the skills, Kenda K270 tires rail on the dirt and pavement-ignore the naysayers, passing on this pig is an art, KLR headlights suck ass-problem solved:

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Got me a couple LED lights, and an LED taillight, from superbrightleds.com.

Most importantly: I love to ride this thing. Really a whole lot. Many adventures are yet to come.

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