Moab trip MVP

I nominate Dougie and Dave from Steamboat as MVP's in our spring Moab trip.

We had a great weekend. We all had our successes and failures. But, one thing stood out above all the rest.

Sunday we all rode in Grand Junction. We did an awesome ride by Rabbit Valley. Towards the end of the ride, we were all TOAST from three days of HARD riding. Dave was in the middle of the group and Doug right behind him. Dave came across one of the nastiest obsticles of the weekend. He says it was about a 5 foot drop into a hole and a 5 foot climb out the other side. The way I remember it, it was higher than that.

This drop was near verticle and the landing was in deep deep sand. Here is the tricky part: The sand area was only 10 or 15 feet wide from what I remember and on the other side was another 5 foot near verticle wall. When I saw this obsticle, being the caution type that tries to stay upright at all times, I immediately looked for an easier way around and found one. Their was NO WAY I would have considered riding into this pit!

So, Dave, without hesitation, DIVES down this FREAK'N cliff, lands in the sand, stays on the pipe, and SHOOTS out the other side. Doug was right on Dave's wheel so he follows Dave right into the hole and out the top.

Kahonas! (sp?)

The big mystery to me was

1) How did they drop off the ledge into the sand without doing an endo? Must have wheelied under EXTREME pressure

2) How did they hit the other side with enough speed to climb the near verticle wall with such a short run?

3) How could they POSSIBLY not have looped their bikes?

4) How could Dougie have trusted Dave not to loop the bike right back on top of them both?

I suspect they didn't have time to think all this out otherwise they probably would have taken the weenie route like the rest of us. Or maybe not!

ScaryMyth, Mr. Gonzo nutso was even impressed by this feat and didn't attempt it!

From what I remember, if they would have stalled out in the hole, they probably wouldn't have got started again because their was NO run-out. We would have been air lifting motorcycles because we were definately too tired to carry them up the other side.

MVP Doug (1999 WR400) and

MVP Dave (1998 XR400)

Thanks Bryan. It was definately the highlight of my weekend. And you are right, we came up so fast on that thing that we didn't have time to think. When I saw Dave jump off that ridge I almost crapped my pants. But all I had time for was to wheelie off the ridge and hope the front end didn't wash out. Luckily I landed rear first.

Then I looked up and dave had his bike straight up and down on the wall like he was frickin Spiderman. And you are also right, it was more like 10 feet tall. I thought for sure he was coming back down on my head. But he climbed out of it and again I didn't have time to stop and think about it. I just puched it and stood up on the pegs, put my head over the front wheel and hoped for the best.

We were hootin' and hollerin' for the next 2 miles. Definately one of the coolest things I ever saw on a bike was Dave just jumping right into the mouth of that beast.

I'm glad I followed him in. It made up for the drops I had earlier in the weekend which I am calling Moab's Revenge.


Dougie, '99 WR400

Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics

Well done gentlemen. I am extremely impressed.

Next year, I will certainly make it out for the Moab trip. Stories like these usually come from marvel comic strips.... YEHAAA


Going for MVP eh?

We usually do a fall trip too in October which is just as fun. Come on over. I assume that's the opposite of down under?

This time Tim and Chris from Utah Moto adventures joined us for one day when we did Poisen Spider/Gold Bar Rim. It was great meeting them and riding with them.


I was seriously thinking about coming down to Moab when a friend convinced me in trying a new place to ride. I have an office in Moab so I have spent a fair amount of time over the years exploring. If you dont't mind driving a little over an hour more (for guys coming from Colorado) you need to check out "The Bad Hills of Hanksville". This is with out a doubt the best high desert riding I have ever seen. Soft forgiving turf for those of us who crash a lot. The most extreme climbs you could ever imagine and so many bluffs, soft clay dunes,and huge buttes that you could ride for a month and never visit them all. We crossed rivers, jumped dunes and screamed wide open over open desert and on dry lake beds. If you like Moab you will love Hanksville. In two days we saw maybe 8 other riders.

The specific area is around Factory Butte and Cathedral Valley just Norht West of Hanksville Utah. Hanksville is a sleepy little town on the way to lake Powell. We stay in a motel in Hanksville to get a few winks and get a hot shower. Hanksville is 40 minutes off of I-70 west of the Moab Turn off. From Salt Lake City this is around a 4 hour trip but worth every minute of the drive.

If God were to make the perfect place for a guy to ride his WR400 this would be it. This is truely a place were Thumpers rule. We are planning a return trip on May 4th. I can not wait to get back there.

Wow! That's great to know!

We made comments all week about how tired we were of all the people in Moab. That's why we went to GJ our last day.

Is Hanksville near the San Rafel swell?


P.S. Go to the DRZ forum and check out ScaryMyth doing his Seth freeride in-flight routine.

After digging into the motives behind cleaning this obsticle from both parties, I've determined it to be a peer pressure thing.

Doug followed Dave into the hole because he assumed Dave knew what he was doing and he thought there was no other way around the obsticle.

Dave kept on the gas and popped out the other side because he knew Doug was right behind him and, I quote from Dave, "the thought of seeing a picture of me on ThumperTalk with Yamaha tire tracks on my back provided a little motivation".

So you see, sometimes peer pressure is a good thing.


I'm sitting at my desk busting up about the 'motivating factor' & people are looking at me a little funny.....

Bryan - when you determine the Oct dates for Moab let us know. I'm interested in a nice weeklong riding adventure.


Adventure is an understatement. We certainly had a blast.

One of the coolest things we did this year was ride the famous slick rock trail which actually was built as a motorcycle trail although it is mostly mountain bikes now. I've ridden it probably 30 times on my mountain bike. But on a motorcycle it is even MORE fun! The difficult hills on a mountain bike are pretty easy on the motorcycle (I've cleaned most of them on my mountain bike at one time or another). But still fun because you can wheelie up them. The mountain bikers were pretty nice to us too.

One of the most memorable times for me over the weekend was on the slick rock trail, poor Dougie took a digger and broke his clutch lever. Knowing that it would be a while for him to get a new one on, I took off away from the trail and did a little exploring. I came across a hill about 100 feet high that had tire tracks from a jeep going up so I decided to see how steep I dare climb on my YZ timed WR. I could see that the steepest part of the climb was at the top but I figured, what the heck, GO FOR IT!

The bottom came right out of a sand pit and was pretty steep. I stuck my crotch on the gas tank and put my shoulders and head as low as possible even touching the handelbars. This is what you have to do to keep the bike from looping because it is so steep. On a bicycle you stand to keep your balance but I've yet to figure out how to do that on my motorcycle on a hill this steep. I can't seem to modulate the throttle when doing this. Traction isn't an issue since it is sand stone. Throttle modulation is CRITICAL though and if you barely touch the throttle, you'll be looping, bailing and sliding down down down with your bike right behind you.

As I got near the top I realized their was no way to pop over the top at my current speed. It was too steep and I knew I'd loop. But, I was commited because on the left was a cliff and on the right a bigger cliff. No way to turn around. The only option was to SLOWLY get some speed so I could decelerate over the steep part to prevent looping. But gaining speed is dicey since the power at that angle is dangerous.

I ended up popping over the top and was pretty psyched. As it turned out though, going back down was the scary part.

This is the one time I desperately missed the engine braking that I used to have with the WR timing. I kept it in first gear on the way down but it was so steep it didn't do much. I couldn't go fast because at the bottom, which got steeper, I had to wheelie off the ledge into a sand pit, immediately stop and make a 90 degree turn to the right. Straight ahead was a rock wall. If I lost control: Cliff or bigger cliff. Plus one point was a little off camber just to make things even more interesting. Needless to say I skidded all the way down but made the turn.

What a blast!

Did I mention my brake pads are TOAST after Moab?

I'll give a date on our fall ride early this time so others can join us. That seems so far away though. We have the whole summer of riding ahead of us.


[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 04-19-2000).]

Hey, you could at least get the story right :) It was my brake lever that broke. It doesn't take that long to change a clutch lever. But I am still cursing Yamaha for such a STUPID brake lever design. Could it be any harder to change one out?

Oh and for the record I also broke my throttle tube, rear brake caliper guard and dented my header pipe. None of which kept me from riding though.

So yeah, I had tough weekend. But was it worth it.... :D:D:D


Dougie, '99 WR400

Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics

Bryan, now I know why your face was white after you came back off that hill! I just thought that sweaty brow and thin smile meant you were bored while we helped Doug change out his brake lever! Tim and I were pretty impressed with you guys. You actually ride as hard as you chat! I must say that was one of the most intense rides (or should I say days) that we've done. What a rush! Sorry we took off Friday night but we are trying to find new rides everytime we go south and the San Raphael Swell was calling. We did 65 miles and most of it was following the old Spanish Trail (1800-1850) It was a little slower pace than Friday but fun as well. Can't wait to hook up with you boys again--lets make it soon! Chris

Originally posted by Utahmotoman:

...we are trying to find new rides everytime we go south and the San Raphael Swell was calling. We did 65 miles and most of it was following the old Spanish Trail


Could you give us a full report? I read about the swell in an eco-article about closing it down. How much fun was it and is it worth the trip before the eco-terrorists get it?


I put a picture of Doug in Moab on the home page and a few other cool pictures from our trip on the pictures page.

I had to include the DRZ400 because ScaryMyth is the best rider and caught the biggest air.



By the way Tim, we REALLY enjoyed having you and Chris along. You guys are great riders and seemed to fit in to our nuttyness just perfectly.

Chris was funny. At the beginning of the day he seemed a little intimidated by some of the narly terrain we were riding. He even made a comment about it. By the end of the day, on the Gold Bar Rim trail and on Slick Rock, he was charging ahead of all of us all full gonzo and I thought we were slowing him down. I think it's safe to say he had a great day riding too?


[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 04-20-2000).]

Did we have a fun time? You better believe it! It was incredible to ride with a good size group of well seasoned riders. As Chris stated, we haven't ridden that hard in a while! We were very impressed with the fast pace you all maintained across those narly trails. What a great weekend! We will have to organize some kind of massive ride to include everyone. Can you imagine? 20-50 riders dominating the slickrock! Poor mountain bikers, sorry Bryan.

Saturday was gorgeous. We headed west on I-70 and entered the Swell from the southeast corner. It is so beautiful there, with a variety of terrain. From nasty single track over redrock, to fast sandy roads. I am sure upset with the idea it may be closed down soon. There have been a number of eco-terrorist issues going on as the other team bites and claws their way into having the Swell closed down permanently. I thought this sign was interesting:


For this fall ride that is being talked about, we will have to plan a day or two in the Swell and in Caineville (Hanksville) to show everyone the ride of their life! I am already counting the days!!!


[This message has been edited by offroadhaus (edited 04-20-2000).]

I would very much like to join you guys in your moto adventures. My neighbor Danny would also like to go. He rides a brutal KTM 360MXC. We'd probably ship our bikes by rail. Driving would take me 4 days. I don't have 8 days to travel. I'd like to go for at least one week. When in Oct would you be going? The Hanksville ride also sounds wicked bad.

Are there any noise/license plate regs to deal w/ on these rides?

I want to go roostin' with you guys! It would a time to remember!!


99 WR, 84 Kaw 900 Ninja, '82 Honda CB750F clothes hanger, '84 Honda Z50 "Berm Destroyer". Always thinkin' "Hell, this worked on my 2 stroke!!"

Noise has never been an issue in Utah. For goodness sakes there are pickup trucks running up and down the main drag with straight through pipes!

I always have had a plate. But many in our party don't. Tim didn't when he rode with us and didn't have a problem. Dave has never had a plate. One of our guys without a plate got stopped last fall and warned.

I'm not sure when in October. We want to time it so we aren't there at the time of the Bicycle fat tire festival. If lots of people are interested, I'll make a special effort this summer to pin down a date well in advance.

The scenery and terrain will BLOW YOUR MIND!


I'll get to go this time, right? Kevin it would be great if you could come out. Think of it 20+ guys. That would be awesome! For any of the guys from the east it would be like riding on the moon. The desert is SO much different. Get ready to use 4th & 5th!

We could do a few days in Grand Junction for some mountain single track, hill climbing and good food. Then there is the Swale, 10 Mile Canyon, Moab and the La Sall mountains.


One of our guys without a plate got stopped last fall and warned.

Ron did have a plate. He was hassled because CO plates don't count in UT. They have stricter rules. We need to use the trails West of town as best we can to avoid confrontations.

Actually, Ron did have a plate but it was back at the condo. Not on his bike.

We joked about that over last weekend.

It doen't do good at the condo does it?


Looks like you guys had an excellent time! I sure wish I could have been there. I especially liked the shots of you guys crossing the Golden Crack on the Golden Spike Trail. Ive got lots of pics of me crossing it in my Jeep but never on a dirt bike. Too cool! I'm does your rear tire hold up after riding on that slick rock any length of time? I know I get barking the tires real good on my Jeep when traversing it. Also, have you guys ever climbed the Lions Back on dirt bikes yet? How do you guys patch trails together when your there, do you have semi-legal plates or do you pre position trucks at the trail heads? Do you just chance it and ride the edge of the highways? I would really, really like to hook up with you Colorado guys and do the San Juans and Moab together sometime in the future. Either trip is about 8 hours away for me when Im home in New Mexico. Ive been all over those places in my Jeep but never on my scoot. Always wanted to but never had anyone to go with, now maybe I do (if you dont mind me inviting myself).

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