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Piutes survival ride

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My plans for a 3 day ride in Kennedy Meadows got blow up by work travel, so instead I hit the Piutes for a long ride on Friday.

We had a great time, but it was easily the most exhausting ride I've ever done. We were on gone for 11 hours and covered 140 miles. Left home at 5am and got home about 10pm. We started at Jawbone station, took a bunch of trails thru Jawbone and DS, then entered the Piutes thru Bright Star trail. The big hill about 2-3 miles in gave my buddy a hard time and that is where fatigue began. He fought that hill for 40 minutes, but eventually made it over the top. We rode Bright star to the end at Woolstaff meadow. Then we explored many of the trails up top for a few hours. TR11 or something like that was a nice challenge. 75 miles into the ride, we decided to take 34e31 down into Weldon. I've wanted to try this trail for a long time, but always run out of time. Not yesterday.

34e31 is a super fun trail. But it is also pretty nasty with a lot of rocky step ups and a bugger of a 5-6 mile downhill section into Weldon. Lots of bulldogging around steep rocky turns. We had to stop several times to keep from overheating ourselves because all of the downhill is fully exposed. If we were fresh it would have been tough, but with fatigue is was a major PITA.

34e31 ends about 1.5 miles south of hwy 178, which we took into Onyx for gas and much needed hydration. Then we cruised back on Kelso Valley road and Jawbone Cyn to the trucks. We were so tired we could barely get the bikes loaded for the drive home.

I'm already looking forward to the next ride up there. This sport is the best.

R

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Sounds like you had a good ride. The Piutes has some challanging trails. I dont even want to talk about fatigue brutal. We have always wanted to make it to Weldon but some how we can never find the way. I guess a GPS or a compass might be useful out there. Where you from in calif? Maybe we could hook up and do the ride.

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Rob, sounds a lot like our first ride out there. The big hill wasn't too bad for us, but we got lost and didn't get back to the trucks til 11:00pm after 120 miles. (I know the big hill is a lot harder now that it's drier) Got lost, ran out of gas, rode in the dark for 3 hours, etc. Still, it was a super fun ride although stressful.

By the way, how was the weather up there. I've been checking the weather at Weldon and it looks like it's been brutally hot. Those trails with temps in the mid to upper 90's would just be killer. (Literally) :applause:

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Hey Bill,

I've been checking weather up there myself, looks to be way too hot this week but I'll keep checking every few days. Looking for some thunderstorm weather then I'll head up there! Lets hit it when the weather cooperates!!

Glenn

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By the way, how was the weather up there. I've been checking the weather at Weldon and it looks like it's been brutally hot. Those trails with temps in the mid to upper 90's would just be killer. (Literally)

Bill,

Weather and temps were actually pretty good. Heat was not a big problem, and we both had plenty of water (I carried both extra gas and water). Fatigue was the issue that slowed us down, since I was a bit paranoid about crashing and getting hurt out there :applause:. We just took our time. I've done the big hill 3x in the past few months. It was much looser last week and therefore more challenging. By Aug, it should be very tough. I'm up for another ride out there soon.

R

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You should try going in on St Johns ridge ( where the Kelso valley road pavement ends at the saddle)and coming back out Bright Star.It`s a lot less fatiguing

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Cutacross2 - is that the oxcart trail you're talking about, or some singletrack up?

Glenn - I see you're back. Yeah, let's do it. After our last trip up to the Piutes when we say you, Corey and I both cooked our valves. His are pretty gone, but I've got a few more rides left in mine. Doesn't look like we'll have any thunderstorms this week. Keep me updated and send me an email. Did you find anything with 2 wheels to ride on the other side of the pond? :applause:

Rob, that sounds encouraging. I know the "on-line" weather reports sometimes leave something to be desired.

Bill

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You should try going in on St Johns ridge

I know exactly where the pavements ends on KVR, but am not familiar with this trail. More details please (GPS info?). I have a few friends that I'd like to take up there on the easy stuff, but I'm doubtful they could make it up the Bright Star hill as it stands today.

BTW, getting up that hill last Friday was a great lesson on the importance of how a bike handles. You must have enough comfort and confidence in the handling of your bike to hit the bottom with a lot of momentum pinned in 2nd or 3rd gear. On my KTM, that is no problem because I'm comfortable on the bike and know what to expect. On my buddy's XR400 it was downright scary. The bike wandered a lot and had trouble holding a line :applause: . As a result, I was not willing to hold it open at the bottom for fear of getting thrown off midway up the hill or getting launched off an object on the hill. Sort of odd, and probably related to something specific in how his bike is setup. On my xr250, I'm very comfortable and have never had the same feeling of instability. His bike did not have a damper, which I suspect made a difference too.

R

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Another option is going up Piute Mountain Road and working your way north on either singletrack or jeep roads and going down bright star.

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Looking forward to riding the Piutes with yall. Arrowhead was burnt to a crisp! Still good riding though. Not too hot. LT

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Let's see...Drive 4 hours, ride 8 up in the Piutes, drive 4 hours back home. I may have to do that again someday. If you don't mind I may slip out for that ride again.

Pinnacles was great thanks for the great ride LT.

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At the saddle where the pavement ends you will see on the west side a Pacific Crest trail sign and right next to it a 2 track. the 2 track turns to single track further up. Thats St Johns and it has one rock step you have to go over. Now between St Johns ridge and down where you turn to drive up to Claraville off the Kelso valley road you will see a jeep road taking off west. It too goes up to the top into Burning Moscow meadow ( the first big meadow you come to on your left as your driving up.) I have`t taken it in years but it turns to single track and climbs parallel to St Johns ridge. Once up on the top along St Johns ridge you come to the Sorrel pk. road.Turn right to get to the main road and Landers meadows. There are cabins at this junction .Left takes you a mile or 2 to a hard to see trail that drops you down to the old smokestack on the Gerringer grade road.

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7Thumpers, I'd be real careful about riding the Piutes with LT. Two times ago we had a....how can I say this.....eventful ride. 🙂 Even LT said he was done with singletrack. LOL I just kept telling him "Dude, don't ride down anything we can't ride back up." His normal reponse was to turn around and say "Huh? - and dump the clutch...." After being hopelessly lost, out of water and out of gas, it took us til 11:00 to get back to the trucks. (One more thankful gratitude to the local with the gascans and artesian well!!!) Do you have lights on your 300? 😛 Seriously though, it was an unforgettable ride. Not that I'd ever want to do it again, but unforgetable just the same. Our poor buddy on the DRZ-S was just hammered beyond belief. He had hit the wall and we had to peel him off. :applause::eek: I'm surprised LT let you off Pinnacles without putting in at least 100 miles!

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I think you ment Arrowhead , and we probably would have done 100+ if the flipp'n bridge to Crab flats was open! :applause::eek:

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Bill P,

Funny LT gave me the impression that the Piutes ride was a little too short for him. He went on and on about how bored he was up there.

Seriously, I can imagine it is nearly impossible to tell in the dead of night what trail to take and what trail to pass on. Glad you all made it back out the tell the tale.

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