24 short hours later (needed a couple hours nap along the way) and we had made it. Sweet fancy Moab! It also seemed as though there was a car show going on. Lots of people, lots of cars, and lots of vehicles on the road that in Illinois would result in a whole lot of “Don’t Taze me BRO!” I managed to not get any pictures of said cars, though there is this:
John & I were staying at the KOA on the South side of town. Previously we had stayed at a campground on the North end of town, but this year we opted to go KOA since we didn’t have a trailer to sleep in, and John didn’t seem to hot on sleeping on the side of the road in tents (dunno why?)
2 Were comfy in these, 3 would have been a bit of a crowd, but doable.
With that, we drove into town, got groceries and let everything settle down. We had no fridge in the little cabin, so we made do with keeping a foam cooler full of ice. PB&J, Ham n Cheese, and some Ramen was all that was needed to fuel us. OK, probably more would have been better. Don’t worry, we ate out a few times. Some better than others.
Food didn’t really matter at this point, our goal was to figure out the next days riding. John & I were planning to meetup with a guy Brian who we’d ridden with in Moab last year. We were thinking of riding a trail called Fins n Things, since it was close by and figured it’d give us a chance to make sure the bikes were in good working order before venturing further off.
Saturday morning the plans veered slightly with John and myself meeting with Brian, Doc, Lacy, and Kenbob who were thinking they’d go off to ride Lockhart Basin. We’d ridden that twice last year, but it is a good rather mellow trail. It’s an out n back kind of thing which has you doing around 120 miles by the days end. Maybe more if you stop at the gas\restaurant out in Needles park.
Lockhart Basin starts with you going through town, and follow a nice twisty paved section of road to get to the start of gravel\off-road. Not even 5 miles into the ride, Kenbob is stopped on the side of the road with his Husky (italian) with the bike not starting. We were stopped right along the Colorado river, in the shade, with beautiful canyon walls all around us. Great for sight seeing…not so great for what turned out to be Kenbobs in tank fuel line burst.
Lacy decided he’d stay with Kenbob, pickup their truck and rescue him. Doc on his KTM 300, Brian on his 500, John and I on our 350’s decided we’d continue with the days ride. The ride as said above, a great way to get in the groove of Moab things. You go from road, to gravel, to 2 track, to rocks, and then mix that all up along the way with a dash of sand here and there. There’s also a few good views tossed in along the way as well.
Brian checks for cell reception (oddly available most of the time)
Yah, you gotta stop and take a few pics along the way. While riding, you have to balance between focusing on riding, and enjoying the incredible views.
John & Brian wolf down some snacks (its easy to under-eat on these rides)
I do my best to get some proper selfies in:
From here, we worked our way along the trail. About 10 miles from the Needles Outpost, there was a creek crossing, which was followed by about 10 miles of open gravel road. We took a poll and decided we were all cool with turning back there, and making out way towards home. I asked Doc how he was on fuel. He was rocking a KTM 2T, and while he had a larger than OEM tank, I know those 2T’s like fuel. He informed us he was running a Lectron carb now, and while he hadn’t actually tested range, he claimed better than stock MPG. You can guess where this is going, but we told him your call, and began making our way back.
As noted, the views here are “above average” to say the least, and leave you scratching your head at how in the hell does this happen.
Yah, I had to get a nice panoramic of the 350 on a more open section towards the end.
You could really get to enjoy some of these fast and open flowy sections. The 350 has somewhat short legs, but it’s nice to stretch out into 6th gear for a few, and feel a good breeze against you. Even with the temps being relatively cooler, it’s easy to warm up quickly, especially with all the gear you pile on.
All good things must come to an end, and 90 miles into the ride Doc was clear out of fuel. We had at least 20-30 miles to get back to town. I noted the excess fuel in my tank. Brian happened to have a couple empty water bottles in his pack as well as a small section of fuel hose. I offer up my fuel, and somehow find myself siphoning fuel for Doc. A mouth full of fuel later, and I managed to get around 1L of fuel for Doc. Again, he claimed this was enough, I was happy to be done ingesting gasoline, and buttoned everything back up to continue on back.
I know when you’re low on fuel, you can sometimes ride amazingly conservatively, resulting in phenomenal fuel mileage. That didn’t happen. Sure enough, 3 miles or so from town Doc runs out again. I decide this is BS and since I spent the last 20 minutes spitting out the taste of gasoline from my mouth, tell him we’ll use my tow strap for the remaining bit. I drop him off at the closest and fill up my tank.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but everyone afterwords asked me……”why did you siphon his gas?” As I said, I hadn’t thought about it, just mentally thought I didn’t want to leave someone on the trail. Looking back on how the whole situation went down, I developed a new rule. If you’re on a ride and take literally 0 precautions for fuel you may or may not need, sorry, but you’re SOL. I’d like to think I’m a helping person by nature, but yeah….sometimes we must learn lessons the hard way. Not sure if Doc learned any lessons, but I did. :lol3
We got back to camp, and I opened up a refreshing beverage and began taking some notes from the day. I knew if I didn’t take notes then…it’d never happen and I’d forget everything that went down.
John & I would meet a group of guys in town, at a crappy Mexican restaurant. It was so forgettable that I didn’t take any pictures and have blocked the guacamole out of my memory. I slept well that night. Good dry air and a tired body will do that for you.
Todays ride was a good warmup….tomorrow’s would be a body beater.