Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: covington, la, usa
KGT off road!!
I planned a trip using Garmin's Mapsource for me and the pillon yesterday. I was using autoroute but insisting that the twistiest roads were used for our little scamper through Mississippi and Alabama. I didn't plan on venturing down any fire roads, through game preserves or forcing the '04 KGT down dirt roads. The first 100 miles of the trip had Garmin driving us down dirt, into dead ends (twice) and down roads that might have been there one day but were no longer passable. The third time we came to dirt, I figured, what the heck and we began our journey with a different perspective.
I might add that we had just finished watching the "Long Way Round" and were smitten by the notion of driving a motorbike around the world. What's a little dirt? It's not like were going to Magadan or anything. So we toured down a decent dirt road that turned to pavement after a few gentle miles and we thought we were the Shizzle!
About 50 miles later we again saw the GPS turn us from tarmac to dirt. We entered the Red Creek Wildlife Management area and the dirt seemed to be in decent shape so we continued. We passed several hunters and some trucks parked indicating hunters in the woods. I was longing for my Orange vest when the first water obstacle appeared. Perhaps had we gotten stuck we would have cut or journey short and turned around. We made it through and gained confidence that would deepen our journey into the woods.
The gps was mute now, indicating our path ahead being twisted and long. We travelled through 2 track, once pulling over so a hunter and truck could pass. A few patches got squirlly and the bike went over!! Yes, the KGT went into the mud and we bounced off. ATGATT and 5 mph make for a laugh in the mud. I wasn't pleased at all though and we quickly remounted and navigated the slippery mess to a point where the GPS said turn. The road was there, well it was there 10 years ago.
Less than a quarter mile brought us to an upassable locked gate. I struggled to turn the bike around in the thickets on either side of the two tracked trail and we were forced to go along the road we entered on, without the GPS knowing where we were going. We toppled once more in a boggish area. I got my foot down in time but it was so slippery I couldn't keep the bike up. My pillon was totally optimistic and covered in mud so we sallied forth!
We stopped at a T, grateful to find more of a road used for logging and thought our 1 hour adventure into the dirt was near complete. We got into some rather slick mud again and toppled for the 3rd time, again, slow speed, soft landing and mud and smiles abounding. I was smiling less as the ABS alarmed and the rear brake pedal was bent out a good bit. I was more concerned about an exit as my strength began to wane and the sun was lowering in the sky. We had but 1/2 mile to go to find tarmac!!
We were celebrating what looked like a road ahead and then we saw traffic! But another locked gate barred our exit. The pillon had her fill by then and indicated that the MacGyver in us would find a way around the gated area. We explored the notion of picking one of the masterlocks on the gate, lifting the gate, or sliding the bike beneath it (ha!) and settled for driving around it in the mud.
We warrily entered the tarmac, aware that the bike was caked with mud and we too, were muddy. A few miles to a closed convenience store, it was New Year's Day after all, and we hosed off the bike. I paid special attention to the calipers and brake assemblies, hoping to gain the ABS and servo back. 20 minutes later we were remounted and riding towards home with quite an adventure between us.
The brake lever bent back into position without difficulty and the abs was reset after the 2nd ignition cycle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time in the woods but might consider the appropriate tool for the trip next time, a GS with some off road tires!
here's a pick before the 3rd tumble. I'll try to get the pillon pick uploaded around lunch.