Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Day On A Borrowed Ride

I got out Tuesday morning for a 120 mile solo ride on a borrowed XR650. Man, did it feel good to get out of the house. Hopefully I will have my KTM back next week. I really didn't think that I would enjoy riding the big heavy XR, but it beat sitting around the house on another day off. I picked the beast up Monday afternoon and Darel didn't help my confidence any by saying, "you'll hate it at at first. It doesn't turn, stop or have the crisp acceleration of our KTM's." 

This was perhaps an understatement as I started on my journey Tuesday morning. It was heavy, awkward, didn't slide through the corners and didn't stop well. Other than that ... I guess it was ok. By the time I got to the bottom of Poteau Mountain I was just about ready to turn around and load it up and go back to the house. I pushed on though and somewhere along the ride I started adapting to its style and before long was pushing the big beast down fire roads and trail alike. There is a learning curve, but I was liking it now. In fact, the additional 80 pounds reduced vibration and smoothed the rough jolts that are relayed to my body on the KTM. I rode the XR 120 miles and my body felt equivalent to a 40 mile ride on my KTM. Maybe this is what I need to be riding, now that I nearly have my KTM set up for dual sport rides. My RA hasn't been grouchy after returning home some 16 hours ago. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos of part of my ride.

The XR, an old school air cooled, single cylinder 650cc dinosaur.  It doesn't turn, stop or accelerate like my KTM, but by mid-day I was liking it.  
I rode out to Cedar Lake, a beautiful small lake with tons of camping and hiking facilities.  We used to camp here a lot, just seems like we can't find the time to go the last 2 years.
 Somewhere between here and there, I ran across this old house.  I wanted to take a look inside, but will wait until snakes are safely in their holes this winter. Loved the rock work.
 RR tracks built up ... don't even ask.  Third gear, big air on the dinosaur.  
This guy followed me all day. He sped up and slowed down when I did, stopped to eat where I did ... he had to pee a lot. I got tired of waiting on him.
This is on a 3 mile stretch of 65 mph single lane fire road. Awesome, just as long as a deer doesn't decide to commit suicide in front of me.
These last 2 photos are just some of the great trails that I rode on today. I really hope our government doesn't continue to shut down public forest land and shut us out all together.


Anonymous said...

Cool Beans Terry.
Great pictures. Maybe you will have to upgrade to KTM's 690 next.
After you pay for that new top end, I imagine those parts are definitly premium in price. I called my rheumy today and they are going to see me in the morning.
Maybe I will be able to get some relief before I can go back on the Orencia in Dec. Looks like you have some great play area, you will not find much off road stuff here in Syracuse.
Glad to see you got out.

tharr said...

Hey Phil, I hope you get some relief quick buddy. I've been there hurting and its not fun.

I have looked at and rode a KTM 690 already. I like the bike, but the fuel tank is only 2 gallons. After market tank for the 690 is $749, that lets me out. The XR650 may be my next bike, surprising as it sounds. It doesn't excel at anything, but does everything pretty good. Still can't get over how I haven't hurt any after the ride yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! When I read that you "started adapting to its style" I couldn't help but think about how we have all had to adapt to a different style living as a result of illnesses as well. Glad you enjoyed your chance to get out. The woods are beautiful!

tharr said...

You know, you're absolutely right, I hadn't thought about that way. It took some changing in the way I made turns and used the brakes, but once I made my adjustments, I enjoyed it. In fact, I am already looking at XR 650's. lol

It was such a great day to be out, I couldn't imagine not being able to come ride in them.

mary said...

Glad you finally got out and about. Can't wait to see the pictures of the inside of that house. What a find!!

Lana said...

Yeah!!! I am so happy for you. It is like a drug, isn’t it. ;-) Sorry, I am horrible, but you already knew that. But you need your baby back not this ride that belongs to someone else. Glad to hear the RA didn’t attack. You know those Mucinex commercials – they make me think of my RA when it feels like attacking. Sorry about the stalker but it looks like you got some great pictures and enjoyed yourself.

mary said...

By the way, a similar person is following me on my bike. What's up with that.

tharr said...

Hey Mary, thanks, it was a really beautiful day and I got to spend 7 hours out by myself riding, exploring, walking and taking pictures. I am looking forward to seeing inside the house as well, with all of the rock work and being located in Copperhead Central, I wasn't going to take any chances while it is warm. We have also seen 7 western diamondback's this year.

About your second comment ... I think we need to find a better class of stalkers! lol

tharr said...

Lana, it is addictive, just like a drug. But with one good ride you get a high that will last for a week. Can't find a drug that will do that. You're not horrible, just honest. I like the Mucinex commercials, I'll probably think of this the next time I see one of their commercials. I took a lot more photos, just posted a few. Guess I'll just have to live with that stupid stalker!

Anonymous said...

Great pics Terry. I'm jealous.

Wren said...

Wow, you saw some beautiful countryside while you were out on that ride, Terry. And it looks like it was gorgeous weather, as well. It's just great that the loaned bike turned out to be better than expected--and an added gift that it was easier on your joints than your own.

Also glad to hear that you'll be getting your bike back soon. I hope there will be plenty of decent weather for more rides before winter sets in.

Take care and enjoy the weekend! My sombrero is off to you! ;o)

tharr said...

Andrew, thanks. It's amazing how much better I feel after spending a day away from everything, just me and my bike ... well, in this case just me and one of Darel's bikes.

Wren, so good to hear from you. Loved the sombrero pic. I plan on borrowing Darel's XR again when I my RA is not treating me as well as it is right now and see if it makes a difference in that situation as well. If it does, I'm looking for a XR 650 next.

We have 2 cool rides planned, just need my bike!