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About Mikey777

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    Crashing Specialist
  • Birthday 02/17/70

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    San Diego

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  1. Yeaahhh........I don't disagree...
  2. Big Mike...can you bring them to Arnie's celebration of life? I think a lot of us will be there.
  3. My pics from the last day... Epic views from Mulley Point. One of the fun things about an extended ride like this is how well you get to know your riding buddies. You have time to learn about their families, how they met their wives, their ups and downs in their lives, their patience levels, how loud they snore (I think I won the bunny on that one), and how bad their feet smell after a week in the same pair of socks. Great times and getting to know these fine gents even more was just as good as the riding and epic views. We all learned from each other on this trip....Hence the trip motto "Live and Learn".
  4. Just a quick note about trail braking. On the street/track, trail braking is primarily done with the front brake. (Most newer sport bikes in the last three years or so have linked braking so your front brake activates the rear in relative amounts). As you initiate your turn in towards the apex, you continue to keep some braking pressure on the front brake and smoothly release it (trailing it off) as you apex and then smoothly bring on throttle as you exit. Trail braking helps compress the front suspension and loads the front tire giving a greater contact patch on the ground. You get a similar effect by leaning downward forward quickly in the turn which decreases the rake and monetarily increases manueverability, but without the slowing.
  5. I picked up Leatt body armor for the Utah BDR primarily because I needed something cooler than what I used last year on the AZ BDR and wanted better movement. Once I had this on, I pretty much forgot it was there. The material is lightweight football jersey type material and breathes really well. The front zipper makes getting it on and off pretty easy. Arnie was a big proponent of Leatt equipment. Now I know why. https://www.leatt.com/shop/body-tee-3df-airfit-lite-3797.html I used the Troy Lee armor last year. It is less expensive, but does not breathe or move nearly as well. http://www.troyleedesigns.com/7855-protective-ls-shirt
  6. I am going to beat LB to the write up on Day 3 on the BDR, but will keep it brief. As we started off the day, we knew we might have some weather issues as we rode north out of Moab. The more and more we motored, things got progressively worse as we rode around dark clouds, lightning strikes, and downpours visible on the horizon. We stopped for gas and lunch in Green River and we spent a good chunk of our afternoon looking for the elusive Nine Mile petroglyphs that were on CID's bucket list, which unfortunately we never found. We had a fun time cruising around looking for them though. By the time we gave up looking for them, we were experiencing a full deluge of rain. We continued onward up Arglye Creek Road which has a cool little valley that runs along the bottom of it. There were lots of homesteads, horses, cattle and deer in this area. We continued up Arglye until we came to a USFS campground where we stopped for the evening. CID and LB did not have waterproof pants on and got drenched. I stayed pretty dry, but my hands were freezing. We were all pretty cold at this point and happy to get off the bikes. Fortunately, the rain also let up for most of the evening. LB got a fire going and we gathered around it to dry out our wet riding gear. CID ended up melting his credit card which was in his leg pocket and burned a hole in his gloves. After we sacked out, it poured most of the night. We found out in the morning that LB left his armored riding shorts out in the rain all night. CID and I about busted a gut watching LB pull on cold, wet riding shorts! I think his boys shrivled up never to be seen again. My pics... LB checking oil at Crescent Junction, Utah Cool rock with petroglyphs. "E.D. Brinkerhoff 1925" was also etched into the rock. I am related to the Utah Brinkerhoff's on my Mom's side, so that was kind of cool to see. The newer graffitti sucked. (Note no kickstand anymore). Same rock on the back. CID and LB drying out their pants. CID made up Backpackers Pantry Creme Brulee for desert that night...Tasty!
  7. Leading through a turn with your head/eyes does translate onto dirt as it prevents target fixation. I possibly could have made it through the turn if I continued focusing on the corner and not on the stump/cluster of trees ahead of me. But sometimes you have to make snap decisions and the best decision was bleeding off speed by dumping it to avoid injury. On the way home, we spent a lot of time talking about right turns in dirt. We all agreed that we are less comfortable making right turns then left turns and talked about the reasons why. For me, I cannot put my right foot down (motocross style) and trail brake with my right foot at the same time while in the corner. It is one or the other, but not so in a left hand turn. You could use front brake while in a right hand turn, but that is usually a recipe for disaster in the dirt. We also discussed whether or not being right handed could impact our perception/sense of balance going into a right hand corner versus left hand corner, which is a possibility. Notice how flat tracks are lefts? The best answer is make sure you are at a safe speed before you enter a corner (especially a decreasing radius corner) and that was my biggest mistake.
  8. A word about the first wipe out. That corner looks huge in the photo, but it wasn't. We were hauling ass through that section playing flat tracker and the tight right hand turn snuck up on me. There was a stump and collection of trees on the outside corner and rather than risk hitting them I put the bike down in the dirt. I was laughing as I did it knowing that I just earned the bunny, which I kept for the rest of the trip. Day 2 on the trail was absolutely the most fun but also the most challening and frustrating at times. Lockhart Basin is one of the designated expert sections of the Utah BDR. It isn't extremely technical on small bikes but it is rocky. The trail beats on you and your bike after a while. My small bike gear packing skills could have been much better in this section as LB called me back to pick up my rear dry bag and beer canister that flopped off...twice. (Tells you how rough the terrain was when we were trying to move quickly through the section to get to Moab). When the dry bag came off, it bent my right rear turn signal into the exhaust and melted it off. (Fail). The dry bag also melted through and got torn up (Fail, Fail), which I taped up that night with Gorilla tape. When I was relashing gear in the hot sun the second time, my kickstand broke off the bike. (Fail, Fail, Fail). As long as the bike was running, we were still moving on but not having a kickstand for the rest of the trip made for some interesting parking scenarious. (Considering my Delorme and camera broke the day before, I was beginning to think somebody put a curse on me). It had rained on the basin and there were some decent size mud pits and puddles here and there. The red Utah mud is extremely slick, which I soon discovered. I wiped out after hitting a 20 foot puddle and was down before I even realized it. Second dump of the trip. No injuries and nothing broken. I also tipped over when descending the Lockhart Basin waterfall which is the most technical part of the ride. I took a crappy line and hit a boulder with my front tire. No injuries and nothing broken, but we were all getting tired, thirsty, and were ready to get out of Lockhart Basin. My pics from Day 2 Packing up camp...needed way more straps on my bag. (Kickstand's life was short lived after this photo). Checking phones and tracks... LB's command pose. At a summit and soon to get rained on. We could hear thunder in the distance. (Right rear turn signal still there but its life was soon to end). There were all kinds of wild turkeys and deer in this area. LB looking for the meaning of life in there somewhere.
  9. I try to get to track school at least once a year. Riding with a coach who can watch what you are doing right and wrong and make fine adjustments goes a long way. This year, I spent a lot of time working on consistent timing points for braking and downshifting before going into a corner, which becomes critical as you start moving faster and faster around the track. In additon to working on braking points, I spent a lot of time trying to relax that inside arm which will bring my upper body position lower and bring the center of gravity down. California Superbike School gets a new fleet on BMW S1000 RR's every year. They are phenominal machines. Going intoTurn 2 @ Streets of Willow.
  10. Cool pics...that looks like a fun place to putz around and look at stuff.
  11. They are riding with their sawyer chaps on. Classic pic.
  12. This trip was in the works from last year as soon as we finished the AZ BDR. We went back and forth about big bikes versus small bikes, eventually setting on small bikes since we wanted to do the expert sections without bashing up the bikes too badly. CiD has lots of experience with small bike adventures, but this was a first for LB and me. The after action motto for this trip was "live and learn". We definitely figured out what works and what does not as far as equipment/gear goes. We also learned a lot about our clothing choices too, especially when encountering really cold rain. Each one of us would have preferred improvements in our riding clothing. I wore Klim Overland pants (waterproof, but with zippered vents fore and aft) and a Klim Stowaway gortex shell (waterproof). I stayed dry during rain, but my hands were freezing since my gloves were not waterproof. Better gloves is on my need to buy list. Some of my pics from Day 2 (Day 1 on BDR). Bikes loaded up in Havasu City, AZ and getting our Starbucks for the long drive to Mexican Hat, Utah. Crossing the border from AZ to Utah! When we unloaded the bikes in Mexican Hat, I reached into my left front Wolfman bag to get my DeLorme InReach out and found the screen got crushed during the drive out as the bikes shifted in the truck. (I will post up how the repair process goes). Wasn't a great start of my day and then had trouble getting the KTM EXC 350-F to start in the blazing Mexican Hat heat. This cold start plagued us throughout the trip. I can usually kick start it to turn it over, but I tore up the ligaments in my right ankle a few years ago and my ankle has never fully recovered, so kickstarting can be excruciating and a potential ride ender. We tried a bunch of different methods to get the bike to start regularly during the trip, but nothing really worked. (Bowers method of slight twist of throttle, LB method of three blips of throttle before ignition, using the cold start switch, etc.). Once the bike is warm, it fires right up but the cold starts in the morning were a pain in the... As LB noted, Cid found a great campsite for Day 1. I went to grab my Canon Sureshot to snap a few pics and the lense jamed. Second piece of gear failure. All in all ...day one was some fantastic riding going through the Valley of the Gods and some high desert scrub. CID's camp spot for nite one. Chillin' with the boys and toasting Arnie. We spent the evening telling tales and watching satellites.
  13. RIP Arnie. It was an honor riding with (and getting completely schooled by) you.
  14. I thought this started as an online dating website. No?