Saturday afternoon at the Rally

The rest of the day Saturday was spent riding more unpaved roads. I must have been having too much fun, too busy riding, to take more photos. So, this is the photo of the afternoon:

It is my boot. It chose the rally to “come unglued,” i.e., the sole separated from the boot at the heel. I have been using these BMW boots for street riding all these years (10, at least), and then it became my dirt riding boot. I didn’t have another pair of boots with me, although I thought fleetingly before I left about bringing my motocross boots, then I thought, nah, I won’t need them. Besides, if I pack any more … stuff … in this car, it’s not going to make it up the hills! So, I fixed the boot with duct tape and made myself feel like a true adventure rider! I will take these to the shoe/boot repair shop and they will be good for another 10 years, I am sure.


(story continued from yesterday):

When Hal and I got back to the lodge after the organized dual sport ride, it was relatively quiet there. At the mid-afternoon lull, almost everyone was out doing a ride on the pavement. There are so many choices near HML, and riders were taking full advantage of them.

Hal and I went to the restaurant and, as it was almost 2 o’clock, they were ready to shut down until dinner. Fortunately, we were able to get a thick, delicious club sandwich, which we split, and French fries. I was afraid that I would feel like taking a nap after that much food, but I didn’t. The food just energized me, and so we planned the next ride.

It was easy to plan, though, because we both already had the same idea: go to FS37, take 37 around to FS276, then FS249, and ride that back to where Hwy. 191 intersects with it north of Alpine.  We have done this ride a few times, but not on this trip. Another “different” thing about this time would be that we would trade bikes! I had wanted to really ride the DR650 since I rode it five miles last weekend, and I felt fairly sure that I would be confident riding it on those roads. So, after checking the fuel situation, off we went on the second riding adventure of the day.

From the very first moment of riding the DR, it felt great. It did not feel awkward or too big for me at all. I was riding on the road for about the first 10 miles of our ride, and it was nice to not have to worry about whether the bike was going to need help (in the form of downshifting) to make it up some of those hills. At 9,000+ feet, the elevation really influences how my KLX250S climbs. It is carbureted, and at elevation, it can’t “breathe” as well, much like humans! I suppose I am going to have to learn to re-jet the carburetor as necessary, but for short trips like this, it is easy to plan ahead while riding, and downshift when I have to. The DR is also carbureted, but with the bigger engine, the breathing issue is less critical when at elevation.

Anyway, we soon turned off the paved highway onto FR37. At last! I love this road and would ride it every day if I could. It is so much fun. I was about 10 feet into it when I realized that I felt very comfortable on the DR! Wow, I thought, a 650 that I can feel comfortable riding in any kind of dirt! I don’t know if I would want to take it down that gnarly descent where I crashed last January, but it would probably be “do-able.” But, you see what I mean when I feel like having this bike would open up a lot of possibilities that before I could only dream of. Like riding to Alaska, in Alaska, and home from Alaska. That has been one of my dreams since I found out there were motorcycles that exist that are capable of that trip! I guess there always were, as long as there were riders willing to do it, but now more than ever there are many bikes from which to choose.

Hal and I did the loop, then returned to HML via the pavement of Hwy. 191. It was a good way to feel how the DR650 went in many different situations, both on and off pavement. I thought it was great! When we cruised back into the driveway of the lodge, there were many more rally participants sitting on the porch, done for the day, relaxing with beverages and talking. They had returned before we did. It was almost 5:45 by the time we parked the bikes, de-geared, and put our things away. We had ridden another 60 miles for a total of 148 miles for the day.

Unfortunately, by this time, Hal was not feeling well. He had been fighting a flu-like illness for a few days, and now he had chills. He was struggling to stagger up the steps to the lodge. We did sit on the porch and talk with a few people, but I could see he was not feeling well at all. He went upstairs and took a hot shower, which helped.

We ate during the “second shift” of dinner, at 7 p.m., and then he was feeling really bad. He went directly to bed after that, and I did not see him until the next morning. He said he felt better, but not great.

So much for one more ride in the dirt on the motorbikes. I did get to go riding, though, and tomorrow you will find out how!


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