Rampart Range on KLR... long but funny
Okay folks. I am a very inexperienced off road rider and yesterday I managed to prove how inexperienced I am.
Woke up and decided to take a ride out to Rampart Range to see what all the hoopla is about. On the way there I followed 5 BMWs (2 800's and 3 1200s), so I figured I must be heading in the right direction, and I also figured that I could follow these DS guys as they have the same type of bike (kinda) and they would know where to ride. However, when we get to Rampart Range Road, they keep going.
I turned off on the road which became a dirt road after about half a mile. The place is packed with trailered dirt bikes and ATVs, but strangely I'm the only DS machine along the access road... (first warning).
Follow the road along for a couple miles looking for a Green (Easiest) Trail and finally pull over to one that looks promising. I think it was Trail 686, not sure. First thing I notice is 4 pickups with motocross guys all over the place. I ride past them and go through the gates to the trail. As soon as I turn the corner inside the trail I come to a dead stop. It appears from my perch that the trail goes STRAIGHT downhill!! Of course it doesn't but sure seems that way to me. No problem, back out and go somewhere else. Can't. Trail already too steep and no place to turn around. Let brake off and figure I'm stuck going down the trail and go for it. I let the bike roll 5 feet, PANIC, hit the front brake, front end starts to wash out, try to hit the back brake but can't find it with my foot. PANIC! Roll about 5 more feet and find the rear brake and stop. BACKUP! CAN'T! CRAP!
Sit there and think for a second. "What are you going to do?" DON'T HAVE A CLUE! Go for it. I manage to SLIDE the rear wheel all the way down the hill into what looks like sand and pea gravel that's very loose and slippery. Look for a place to turn around and get out of here. No way. Trail is only about handlebar wide so I'm forced to continue. I ride a couple miles through very loose crap, front end keep washing out and tire is sinking into the stuff. No place to bail if I get into trouble. I'm screaming along at 3 miles an hour.
There's a BIG FRIGGIN ROCK in the middle of the trail! Too bad, keep going. Ride up onto the rock to find that it's about a 1 foot drop back to the trail on the other side of the rock. CRAP!. Front wheel off the rock, sinks into the sand, back wheel powers the bike forward, back end catches air, front end stops, back wheel falls back onto rock under power, bike jumps off of rock and stops dead in the loose stuff, engine stalls. CRAP!
Go another mile and find that the trail splits into 2 new trails. COOL! Trails are Blue, "More Difficult". CRAP! Turn around. What about the ROCK?! Don't know.
Slowly power back up the trail. Loose stuff, I stall the engine twice. There's that rock. Stop. Think. "Who came along and put the little lane around the rock??!! CRAP! Go around the rock.
Back up the trail a tree branch snags my goggle strap and tries to decapitate me. Stop. Fix goggles and helmet. Curse out loud at tree.
Get to bottom of the original hill. Stop. Wishing I could crap a Cub Scout to tell me how to get out of this mess. On the power and go for it. Half way up the hill the rear tire breaks loose. Bike stops, rear wheel spinning, back off the throttle, bike stalls. CRAP! Restart bike, let out clutch, back end "swimming" but manages to find a way to power me forward. Back wheel catches and launches the front tire off the ground. Let off throttle, stop, stall engine, bike starts backward down the hill. SHIT! PANIC! Hit starter, bike starts, nail throttle and let clutch out, rear wheel spins, front end stays on the ground and slingshot's me up the hill.
I made it. Might have a heart attack. Motocross guys are laughing. Tell me my bike is too heavy for that trail. I say "No shit."
Get back on access road, ride home to Parker, get VTX out of garage and ride on PAVEMENT the rest of the day.
De inimico non loquaris sed cogites