Scoot Commute

DualSpork Camp-n-Ride — April 26-28, 2013

I’m behind with my posts, but thought I’d throw up some pics from this year’s first ADV Pachaug CNR hosted by none other than the lovable, affable Rob.

I took a half-day off work on the Friday, and met the boyfriend at his work. We rode down with our camping gear to Voluntown, CT and the Mount Misery campground. A shitload ton of people showed up, many who I’d never met before so that was fun. Just enough of the regulars to make it so I wasn’t all shy.

Friday night dinner showed up courtesy of Rob’s wonderful wife. Meatballs, rolls, cheese, homemade cookies…mmm.

Tending the fire

Tending the fire

Saturday morning was a large, big bike friendly group ride. Now this is Rob’s version of big bike friendly and I had no idea what he was planning. As we’re lined up getting ready to leave the campground, my plan was to wait and ride with one of my regular guys, but he was planning on getting video of everyone leaving and waiting ’til the end.

As I watched the bikes begin to leave the campground, I looked around and thought, “I don’t know most of these guys, and they’re all on big, big bikes [KTM 990s, Triumph Tigers, KLRs], and what if they completely suck at riding?” I didn’t want to get stuck behind a slow, plodding rider.

I hit the throttle and found myself in about 6th or 7th riding position. There were about 25-30 riders total!

Rob set a nice pace and very quickly the group chunked into three hives. I was hanging with the fast group as we came to the first true off-road section. I knew it and also knew how dry it was so wasn’t too concerned. We’re a mile or so in and it’s getting kinda bouncy when I feel something hit my right thigh and go flying. Huh? I look down and there’s my tankbag flopping all over the place. That’s right, I forgot to zip it. I pull up and over to get out of the way, and a quick look confirms that it was, indeed, my wallet that bounced out.

Getting ready for Shetucket Turnpike

Getting ready for Shetucket Turnpike

As I’m frantically zipping up the bag and getting ready to turn around, two of the guys come roaring past me. One glances over and gives a tentative thumb’s up. I shoot one back. This is gonna be a good ride. Not one of them thought to pull over and help…treating me just like they treat the guys!

With a big grin, I threw the DR around and quickly located my bright yellow wallet. I grabbed it, shoved it into the bag, and threw the DR around again. In all this time, not one other bike passed. I’m thinking, “What the hell? This is an easy section. Where IS everybody?”

I got on the gas and went as fast as I’ve gone through this section, trying desperately to catch up as I didn’t have the route loaded in my GPS and I didn’t want to get stuck with the middle pack. As I came upon an uphill rocky section, I noticed a bunch of people and a bike standing in the woods. As I knew I needed momentum to get up rocky stretch, I hit the throttle, stood up and threw my weight way forward, and kept going. I figured, if no one is lying on the ground screaming and writhing in agony, there’s not much I can do. What can I add to lifting a big-ass KLR when there’s four guys already there. I make it to the end of the stretch where folks are waiting, and they’re all asking me what’s going on.

Trading bikes, me on the KTM and Chris on my DR350

Trading bikes, me on the KTM and Chris on my DR350

Throughout the ride I got to ride Chris’ KTM 500 which turned out to be a relative of Hell Boy. I took it on a very short, easy portion of the Pachaug Loop. I almost wound up plowing into the guy in front of me when I hit a rock and blipped the throttle. Holy Shit! I was screaming in my head the entire ride. “I’m going to die, I’m going to die!” I managed to stall on a hard right, uphill turn, making everyone behind me have to stop in an awkward spot. I got it going, and just took it as easy as I could to get out of there. I hadn’t even come to a complete stop at the end of the section and was jumping off, more than happy to hand it back over to its rightful owner.

me riding Andy's '08 Husky TE610 and he on my DR350...note the stuffed hedgehog!

me riding Andy’s ’08 Husky TE610 and he on my DR350…note the stuffed hedgehog!

Another one of our group graciously lent me his 2008 Husqvarna TE610. I’ve ridden his bike before on a short section of the loop, but this time I kept it for about an hour to an hour and a half. What a treat, that bike is. While it may weigh the same or even a bit more than my DR350, it’s how the weight is distributed and that lovely mid-range that just gives you incredibly confidence. I was flying down a trail in the 40s! I never do that.

Stopped in the woods

Stopped in the woods

Saturday night said Husky owner brought out two huge, and I mean huge, pots of chili. One venison and one vegetarian, with all the fixins. This was the first CNR that I did no cooking. What a treat!

On Sunday, a couple of new riders showed up, and a bunch of us took them on a tour through the Pachaug campground roads and into the Arcadia Management Area in Rhode Island. What we didn’t know is that it was the annual Blessing of the Horses in Arcadia. I’ve never seen so many horses and it really cramped our riding as we pulled over and cut the engine for each group plodding along the motor vehicle gravelled roads. What annoys me is when the horse folks get upset with us, even though we pull over and wait for them to pass, on a public road. Are cars and trucks doing that? No way. As someone who used to ride horses, I understand the power of the animal, but why are you clomping around on a public road? We motorcyclists are as respectful as we can be, concerned for your well-being and not wanting to spook the horse, but you let the animal poop all over the roads, and sneer and complain. I just don’t get it. Buy some land, create some trails, and get off the feckin’ roads.

Shortly thereafter the boyfriend and I broke off and headed on a leisurely ride back to Providence. All in all, a very nice weekend.

Still life with Transalp & DR350SE in the Connecticut woods

Still life with Transalp & DR350SE in the Connecticut woods

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