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Mendocino ride (aka lose 6 lbs of water weight)

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The DRZ party continues, I love this bike! I was invited to ride with two experienced dirt guys Ben and Kim who both have DRZs, in California's Mendocino Forest. I think we did about 100 miles in the dirt, wow.

It was 8 hours of exploring the backwoods, in the toughest terrain I've ever had the pleasure of tackling (I'm kinda new at trail riding). Some of the trails were marked with the dreaded Black Diamond (difficult) rating.

The hardest part was the dust that haunt Calif. trails this time of year, because it hasn't rained in 4 or 5 months. So the trails are like powdered toast in many spots. It was hard to see the ground in front if you were following another bike, my nose still smells like dust. I burned so many calories that I lost SIX pounds of water weight during the 8-hr ride, even though I slurped down 2 liters of water from the Camelback. Towards the end of the ride I was cramping bigtime!

The trails were like a dream come true because that was *exactly* the type of riding I had in mind when I got this DRZ400S a couple weeks ago. Steep rutted trails, pure rock trails, soft forest single-track terrain, gravel fire roads, yee-ha!

On the downside, in one uphill section (the type where you just can't afford to lose momentum or you fall down go boom) I ran over a rattlesnake lying in the trail, hope that little guy was okay. I pulled in the clutch at the last second when I realized it was a snake, so at least I didn't roost on him. Also saw another snake that was very long but very thin, he tried to get away by slithering up the side of the hill as I was approaching, but he lost traction and fell back down on the ground beside me, yah! Ben saw a couple deer and two bobcats too.

Too much fun!

My dusty face:

dusty-face.jpg

Ben (wheelie master):

ben.jpg

Here's one of the dusty trails, I came to an easy spot so I could stop for a photo. That's the trouble with trail riding, most spots you can't stop for pix:

dusty-trail.jpg

Kim studies the map to plan more fun riding while I sit on a little rock:

rickrock-kim.jpg

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Rattlesnake.... :ride: .....Roost em'! I ran over one earlier this year..had to stop to make sure he wasn't wrapped up in my swingarm....

Nice pics... :thumbsup:

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Hey Rick,

You're right! It was a great ride in some beautiful country. I'm glad you were able to come along. You rode really well! We'll definitely do it again. :thumbsup:

Later, Ben

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Hi Ben I didn't know your Thumpertalk username til now. Great riding! I can't wait to get back out there again.

BTW the gearing on my bike is 14/47, and I found a 12-tooth front sprocket amongst the spares that came with my bike. Is 12/47 radical enough? Heh.

Nice pics Aaron, you got dusted too.

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Hi Rick, where in CA do you live? That Mendocino Forest area looks sweet! I live in San Jose and I guess I'm going to have to do some driving if I want to ride beautiful places like that.

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Rick,

My gearing is 13/47. I'm sure 12/47 will work, but there is greater potential for the chain wearing through the swing arm buffer pad close to the sprocket. You will also notice a substantial decrease in your on-road cruising speed. But hey, since you already have the 12 just put it on and see how you like it. It will definitely make tight, steep, uphill, single-trak a lot easier.

A lot less clutch work.

Ben

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