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MacDuncan

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About MacDuncan

  • Rank
    You Da Man
  • Birthday 11/26/1957

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    El Cajon
  • Interests
    Adventure and Enduro motorcycling, tour and rock garden kayaking, hiking, mtn. and road bicycling, backpacking...

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  1. MacDuncan

    2007 KTM 525 EXC

    Looks great and well done CMBThumper! 525's rock -
  2. Well, after taking a year off away from the Rocky Mountains, I opted to head out for a couple weeks with 2 bikes. My agenda was to use the following 3 maps to wander around: (To ride some rough High Country, pieces of the COBDR, and to go over a handful of tarmac passes) My thoughts were to wander around Taylor Reservoir on the 525, then jump on a T7 (loaded to sleep in the forest anywhere, anytime) and do pieces of the COBDR, and hit as many Passes as possible while tarmac touring. Taylor Park is nice, and camping is free, and although there are lots of nice folks enjoying the serenity of the area, there are random numb nuts whooping in up as if they are the only ones there for the purpose of loud partying. It is a very big area so it is a bit of the "luck of the draw" whether you get a quiet "neighborhood", or a loud one. I met some other riding buddies there, but they were targeting a different type of riding than I was prepared to do (not only beyond my skill set, but my 525 seemed like a monster bike compared to their 2 stroke, 350's with Rekluse and left hand rear brakes to navigate steep and rocky single tracks). Regardless, I had some great rides, but kept it to the intermediate routes while riding solo. It is super cool that the Mtn. Bike single track is also for motorcycles!! I really enjoyed riding to American Flag mountain as I always wanted to do that! From same location looking south: One of the single track entry points: And down one of the single tracks.... super cool colors too: Traversing around in the high country was super cool (weather and brain While in that area, I also rode 2-up over to Mirror Lake, Then to Tincup, and over Cumberland pass: Then to Pitkin for a burger. I tried to do the expert BDR route 2 up over to the Tunnel, but the VERY sharp rocks stuck up out of the ground everywhere and made it a challenge to avoid a pinch flat or being deflected towards the edge of the road with 100 foot drops just inches away. After a few miles, I turned around and opted to head south to Hiway 50 and circle over to Buena vista so I could take the Newly paved Cottonwood pass back to the Taylor area...... Buena Vista is nice as you can sit by the river and have a nice brew from the Eddyline brewery and watch kayakers surf. I packaged the Moto gear in a big bag and enjoyed the day> Then.... Oh my, No cars in front of me and sunset in the distance made for a Heaven of a ride over Cottonwood Pass - Very Big Smiles!! Once back to Camp, I was glad that it was early in the trip and I had seen so much already (including already going over YellowJacket Pass, WolfCreek Pass, North Pass on the Fantastic Hiway 114, Cumberland Pass and the New Cottonwood Pass.) Next, a couple nights in Ouray and Durango (Beautiful area to ride the Alpine loop and Imogen Pass, but my San Diego buddies who were to meet me there had some challenges and were unable to make it, so I switched to the Solo wander on the T7). I left the Montrose area embarrassed by my over-packed bike. I had only recently got the T7, and ordered extra parts from England, Poland and other countries as I farkled for the ride only a week before departure. I had not packed the bike at home, so I tossed a bunch of garage stuff into a bag to pack it for the first time while on the road (silly plan!) I also overpacked because I tried to merge my 525 riding gear with my T7 gear... without taking time to sort it! Oh well, after riding 2 up through the dirt already, I didn't think 50 lbs would be too much - (now home, I will do it differently next time ) I left Montrose around 6 pm and didn't want to ride at night. I prefer to find a place to pop tent up before dark. But as most of you know, with no agenda, you just have to take what you get! It was dark and I found myself in Peonia, I slowly cruised into town and began to look for a safe spot to pirate camp..... I wasn't digging it as I was tired and hungry. Then...... WOW, "Can you believe it!!!!????, I turned a corner and saw 200 motorcycles parked along the edges of a park and a football field! I slowly rode up and parked alongside of them and casually walked up to a couple super nice fellas and carefully asked how they were enjoying the event... (and what event it was? - haha). They laughed when I told them that I was just wandering around and found the event by accident. They told me to toss my tent out in the football field with hundreds of others and then walk over to the beer booth and the burger booth. Of course, all I could do was say "OK. thanks" I was glad I found the Peonia BMW festival by accident (Come on Zubb, you should have told me! ). Pics in the morning: In the morning, I rode towards Aspen to see a friend, and I rode a FANTASTIC Hiway 133 from Peonia to Carbondale, over the McClure Pass. At the bottom of the Pass, there is a turnout to Marble and Crystal (The valley in the background): I rode the Marble road to the Quarry to watch them cut some beautiful Marble blocks from the mountain. I had hoped to see the original quarry as I really enjoyed seeing the quarry in the 80's, but it had changed. I also tried to get to the Crystal mill and made it almost to the mill, but it was a lot of work up a loose and rocky rutted road with an overloaded T7 with original tires instead of knobbies. I opted to skip that goal, even though that road leads to Schofield Pass, which I have yet to do from the west (the significantly harder and more dangerous direction (yet to do, but on my 525!)). I rode into Aspen and then Snowmass, but was discouraged by how crowded it was, but all resort High country places seemed to be too busy this year in Colorado. The Aspen Water spouts are a common pic to take: I checked in with a friend and headed back out the next morning to do the COBDR from Basalt to Wyoming. This starting point was the alternate route because of the Sylvan Fire, but frankly, it was a great route over the different, but same named, Cottonwood pass over to Gypsum..... worth taking when out that way! From Gypsum, the terrain changed a bit, but still Fantastic being on the BDR: Open terrain to the river: And then through the trees The route meandered until the crossing of the Hiway 134, just after the most photographed mini-water crossing, where the BDR was closed. It was at this moment, that I smiled with glee as I turned the T7 west on the 134, to go to the Hiway 131, knowing that the speeds I would travel would be FAR beyond the speeds that I would consider if I was on my 525. The weather was cool, and the rate fast, and it was Heaven! I rolled into Steamboat for a quick Burrito ("salt and lime" restaurant ? - Rancho Burrito, was fabulous!) A quick bite and back on the BDR. It rained sporadically with Big drops, but that simply kept it cooler and nice. I went by the Big Ranches, and then enjoyed the transitions to smaller roads as I headed North. I eventually passed the 3 forks ranch - Oh My, would like to check that place out! - and took the last leg of the BDR to Wyoming: At the end, I met a couple fellas on Suzuki 650's who had a left a fella back in Gypsum with his triumph and a burned out clutch, so they were going to turn around and head back on the BDR, They were both sporting very bashed in skid plates and complained about ground clearance, but they looked like they were up to the adventure still! Regardless, that wasn't my goal given that I was on a bike that seemed to enjoy tarmac at 80+ mph. Side note about T7 after dirt riding and high speed riding on tarmac: I liked every after-market product I installed!! My biggest change would be to be better prepared in my packing so I didn't look like the "grapes of wrath" truck going down the hiway , but even with that funkyness, the bike rode super. In the left Enduristan pannier was only a sleeping bag and mini pillow. In the right pannier was a stove, pots, food, water purifier, bowl, cup. In the bag immediately behind me, strategically set at a height that allowed me to rest my backpack/hydration pack on it to reduce any weight on my shoulders, was tools, tubes, air compressor, and some mini emergency accessories. In the tail bag strapped on top of the left pannier, used like a tank bag (but I don't like tank bags), was toiletries, chargers, snacks, etc... In the yellow bag on top of right pannier was rain gear for easy quick access, and an insulating jacket if it got below 50 degrees (only did once). In fact, purposefully, I did not wear my Klim Gortex jacket as I thought it would be too warm/hot, so I used a mesh jacket the entire time except for a few thundershowers when I wore the gortex shell over the mesh jacket for an hour or 2. It was the right choice! In the big red Monster bag was my tent, sleeping pad, camp chair and misc clothes when camping. Strapped on top of the big red bag was 2 gas tanks, and a Bike cover (I find that I feel like less folks see the bags and bike when covered in town and keeps Bozos from wanting to sit on the bike when along the sidewalk unattended). Also on top is an easy quick access cable lock that I use to thread through my helmet, one pant leg, and one arm sleeve of jacket when bike is unattended). My newly installed windshield was truly incredible! The stock screen had the wind force full-on hit me on my upper lip. Frankly, it was horrible as I couldn't even partially open a face shield as the wind force would close it, and the Buffeting was so violent that no pair of glasses would even stay still on the bridge of my nose! But this new Puig (?) was about 6" taller. If you would have seen the massive bug splatters at the top of that screen, you would realized how much protection it gave, and over 95% of the thousand miles I rode was with the face shield up with only glasses on, and almost no bug hits. I did use the drop down sun shield often to cut glare and have a bit more protection, but that was also to have good wind flow and cool down as that Shoei GT was a road helmet and a bit warm for adventure riding. I am gonna shop for a new helmet soon. (By the way, this wind story and fairing info: I have the stock seat, am 6-1 and buy 34 inseam jeans - I liked the set-up I have for 3 mph or 95 mph). Back to the ride...... I am a bit shocked that given how many COBDR stories I have read, nobody really talks about the return after a BDR. Sure, there are the long painful drones of riding the knobs back to the start point, but for the COBDR, if on a big adventure bike, I found a great option! At the end of the BDR, in the late evening, I turned North-East on the Hiway 70 in Wyoming. For almost 45 minutes, I did not catch a car, nor pass a car, as I rode at a vey high rate of speed up and over another spectacular pass through absolutely fantastic winding curves towards Medicine Bow. It was a spectacular ride as I cruised into the Encampment/Riverside town. It was just about dark, so I considered a dive into the trees to pirate camp. But I saw a cozy clean RV park and thought about a campsite (Often the RV parks are not into tent campers, but at Lazy Acres, a super kind fella walked up to me and asked me if I needed help. I asked if he could be so kind as to allow me to use a small patch of grass and he smiled and said, "Of course" So for $12, I ws offered a nice soft grass patch and a picnic table. Showers too! Jack pot again what a lucky dude! After I sent up the tent, I looked across the street to see a pub, Could it get any better.... think not - smiles. so a couple beers, and a rum on the rocks, and a mini pizza kept me from cooking my freeze-dried chicken pasta dinner! In the morning I opted to go North on the Hiway 230 to the 130 so I could go through Medicine Bow proper. The roads were fantastic and the Snowy Range Pass was beautiful. On the east side of the pass began the wide open prairies, and a wide open roll into Laramie, then a busy road down to Ft. Collins - Yucky. At Fort Collins, I was expecting a more quaint town, but is was super crowded and 98 degrees. So I quickly gassed up and took the 14 west along a beautiful river back up into the high country over the Cameron Pass. It was so nice, and I even took a 30 mile dirt short cut once up in the high country to cut out some tarmac riding (The Gould to Rand cut-over). It was nice to see some Moose in the high country: Across the expanse ( and as you know, pics don't capture the wide open Free - feeling of open country where you can see what seems like hundreds of miles in every direction) it was nice to roll along with a open throttle through roads where I only saw a car every 20-30 minutes! As I headed south on the Hiway 125 towards Granby, (Maybe over Willow Creek Pass), and then south on the Hiway 40 (Maybe over Berthoud Pass) the speeds were pretty high, especially as the 40 was a 2 lane each way pass, which makes passing everyone easy :). Hmmm, but the 40 goes a long way east, when I was hoping to go west to Leadville. Oh well, wind down to the Hiway 70 and turn west. Just as we all known that some roads are nice to avoid, as I turned west on the 70, the traffic headed east to Denver was 15 mph stop and go..... It was a Sunday eve, time to go home back in the city....so makes sense..... thank goodness I was going west! Hmmm, well, it was time I opened up the T7 and I was lucky to blend in with a group of safe a cordial vehicles traveling in the same direction I was going at a rate a bit less than 3 digits mph as we zipped up to Eisenhower tunnel, and through to the Leadville turnoff. All good, smooth and safe. On the road to Leadville, it was getting quite dark and I slowed the pace significantly as my brain began to think about being in a more remote area and the significant increase in possible roaming wildlife. And, it was beginning to rain and the temp was dropping quickly..... so as I pulled into Leadville, I opted for a cheap hotel. Good choice. In the morning, I headed back towards Aspen. I thought about jumping on the BDR again as I enjoy Hagerman Pass as a way to get back to Basalt, but I also wanted to ride Independence Pass (Which I do consider to be about the best pass to ride (from the east to west especially) . As you enter Twin lakes, it is beautiful: And the Yellow VW bus for a coffee shop is peaceful: Part way up the pass, it is breathtaking when looking to the north-east, and the south-east, from a small turnout below the pass: From here, up to the pass for a tourist pic, then a casual ride down to Aspen, and then I opted to re-ride the Carbondale to Peonia road that I so enjoyed a few days earlier. And then the HOT ride to Delta, and then Montrose, to find my truck and head back to San Diego. In short, a great ride on 2 bikes while wandering Colorado (AND a small snippet of Wyoming :). Safe travels to you all! Cheers, Mac.
  3. That's a good call, Both sunset, and sunrise, looks like a great spot. Well done!
  4. That sounds fantastic, wish I was there too. Well done!
  5. MacDuncan

    2021 Wander West

    Holy Toledo, that is some get up and go. Well done DSM8. It doesn't look like you have a bunch of camping gear, nor saw much dirt, so you must have planned a bit instead of a full wander to wherever, at sunset specifically. Lots of twin pics, but that was on your new bike, right? pics of your bike and set-up?
  6. Golly, so you had a great ride and left me to pull weeds in the yard Sunday -?? Dang- haha. Looks super, hope to ride next time. I may even do an early ride Saturday since Zubb said Rodriguez is open and I haven't gone there. Well done Bub and San Rider.
  7. MacDuncan

    Life is Good

    Good call Mr. Zubb, you are doing it right! Sorry to hear of your buddy, and sounds like he was a bud to many, but you did it right in his honor. Life is Good. Cheers.
  8. MacDuncan

    Moab - 2021

    Wow, those are great pics! Were those loops 20 milers or 80 milers to do in a day? Looks like you didn't get thirsty at night!
  9. MacDuncan

    sat morn casual loop

    Hey Bub, I actually went to those 3 locations to ride more challenging terrain, but I didn't know that it must have been graded or cleaned up a while back as it was much more tame than I expected. It used to be more rutted and rocky. That, or having so many outlanders or jeep clubs traveling out there have made it smoother. The roads in your video are about the same so you should feel comfortable on those loops (a bit better/tougher maybe if the lookout road part of the loop is unlocked). The Glider port was the rockiest and it was even a casual cruise, although..... if I liked jumping a bike, those ~ 15 launch bumps sure would be fun. It was still super nice to get off the tarmac. Cheers
  10. MacDuncan

    sat morn casual loop

    Zubb, the bike is far more advanced than the rider especially with fresh oil after break-in service. Bub-H, I thought you might have been out and about on a loop.This loop is a nice adv. bike loop for locals who want a quick outing. I was out for less than 4 hours on this entire route (though half of Carrol Canyon was closed with a locked gate), back home before lunch.
  11. Casual outing, ride along if you need a morning moto fix. I'll swing by the upper parking lot of Singing Hills Golf course to adjust my gear... around 7:30 am. Then head to pine valley culdesac without using hiway 8. Then do a loop of Bear valley and LongValley without going down the single track to Corral. Then... back out the culdesac, and over to Buckman east to visit the glider port Out n back, or up n down... then cross hiway 8 and then head over to do the perimeter coral loop from 4 corners. Not fast or crazy, just want to be on 2 wheels. No need to reply, but I will check PM in morning to see if I can help add clarity to newbies to the area... or just see you at the golf course (or any where on the loop :). Safe riding this weekend, Mac.
  12. Nice Outing! My thoughts align with the 3 others. Was the Big Bear stop at a hotel for the night? camping? or trailered bikes? mostly tarmac? what bikes? In regard to your question.... You could do similar but as you go over the top of the Salton Sea, do some Bradshaw (and tributaries from it, and even try to get to Patton's cabin north of 10- where JAJA and others only got partially there through some deep sand to camp, as that would create a nice loop if you eventually dropped back down to the east end of Bradshaw near BDR ) A nice way to get to that area is Red Canyon Jeep road if you want dirt, or Box Canyon...... and so you could make it back to start without doing overnight.
  13. Sorry SirLanceLot, that route is done often so I didn't save the tracks (mostly because my GPS list gets too big too quick if I save them all, and I then end up scrolling through lists on the side of the trail like a numb nut while trying to find the correct route - grrr. ). If you are a track builder, it should be quite easy given the narrative above as I may have come pretty close to stating each turn with names... which was on purpose to help newer folks. I didn't think about tracks. When I do it again, I can PM them to you, or I may be able to piecemeal them as I do not always do that entire route. Some folks may PM them to you if they have them. Or print the descriptions and explore That would be an adventure - haha.
  14. Zubb, I figured as much, that it would be, from our chat last week. Your Saturday ride with your gang was quite close to my solo loop on Sunday. As mentioned before, I did see some fresh tire tracks of a big bike that went a little wide on some of those dirt turns..... but I did too 😬 (not you of course!). I thought it would be about 6 hrs, but I was a little slow on some of the deeper sand and rocky steps.... not quite as easy compared to a 525 on the rough stuff. But on the hard pack, and the tarmac...... oh my . It really is a nice local loop when you wake up early and need an adventure ride moto outing out of San Diego. Cheers.
  15. Decided to go out on a loop today, solo, with the goal of not over-lapping pieces of the route. 7 hrs, 232 miles in true Dual sport fashion. The veterans here likely know it all from memory, so just for fun, I will present it as a quiz. Check your scores with the route pic at the end. Can you vision the route as I describe it? Ready? Cool gray gloomy 7am start at Gillespie Field. My new to me Bike sounds nice, and smooth... Staircase randomly across El Cajon to get to Washington so I can drop down Dehesa to Singing Hills golf course, enjoy the smooth windy roads that eventually take me by Sycuan Casino... Enjoy the beautiful twisties that lead up to the back of Alpine, turn right and roll by Loveland Reservoir... In the chill, and the fog, find that best set-up while traveling at speed that allows me to see the road and keep the inside of helmet from fogging up... And be a bit grumpy that I cant leave the shield a quarter inch open because the wind on new bike hits me right on the nose and keeps closing the shield when I pick up speed... Wonder about the wet roads and how slippery they may be if I want to open it up a bit, especially as it has actually started raining as I passed Lyons Valley turn off... but keep on Japutal Valley towards Descanso Slow down as visibility is down to about 50 yards as I roll through cloud/fog.... Youza, right as I pass under Hiway 8, the sky opens up to bright sunshine... spectacular... but dropped a few more degrees.. Followed some slow movers on 79, but no problem as they all may turn towards Cuyamaca... they did, so I enjoyed the climb up to Guatay... Dropped down the hill towards Pine Valley, and took the first turn on Pine Creek road.... Dang... 36 degrees here... I left my Hippo Hands at home bumped along in the dirt, and slowed down as I tight turned the paved section up to the big Oak tree... Dang, the gate going north on Deer Park is locked... so cruised up through the trees on Pine creek... hmm, lots of campers, more than I usually have seen... Hit Sunrise hiway and opened it up on my way to Cuyamaca Lake..I could feel the warmth from the desert to the east, so now a nice 46 degrees..A brief look to my right while on the ridge allowed me to see where I hoped to be in an hour... Blair Valley. A bit surprised that the clouds were still covering Julian.... as it was crystal clear on Sunrise Hiway.. zipped into the clouds,, and then quickly out of them as I turned to the desert to go down Banner Grade. Very appreciative of the folks who worked hard to pull over and let me by, but I didn't know how to tell them "all good" as I was turning at Banner to ride dirt and rock over Mason Truck and then Oriflamme. Zipped onto the dirt and opened the closed gate, and closed it after letting a jeep cruise by. I quickly caught the jeep and they pulled over cordially. Pretty smooth until the descent.. I worked a little harder on this dual sport given smoother tires, other than knobs in the rocky terrain that included some stair like drops on occasion.. and slower travel mostly because my skid plate was only a bit thicker than aluminum foil... so kept a look out and was cautious. Hmm, kinda nice that it was easier at the bottom than in year's past as someone has made a nice road that parallels the wash, so oriflamme exit was much easier... Nice zip zam zoom once on tarmac, then up to Blair Valley, in and around the lower valley, and a cut across to upper, and then around upper valley to exit the valley from the upper corner to get back to S2 on a different road... Then S2 to scissors... turn right. Then a buzz east down 78, passed the left turn to Grapevine as I had other plans... Pulled over to let a sport tourer moto traveling at 3 digits pass me like I was standing still, and continued into the narrows canyon looking to the left for the turn onto Old Borrego Valley Road. Dropped into the sand and rock mix and followed for a short while until the turn to follow utility poles, instead of following Marrows road. Nice bumpy mix-match of rock and sand (and 86 degrees) to get to Borrego Springs road proper. Buzzed down to Yaqui pass road, turned left, and flew up and over the pass to Tamarisk Grove Campground. Note that like a few other times on this route, I may have come close to overlapping, but did not cross prior routes on the journey... Turned right on Yaqui Wells road and headed to Grapevine... a Nice standing route while in the beauty of the desert.. It had been graded, easier for me today, but I missed the road of old because I knew some of the strategies to get through some tricky stuff when it was almost single track (including that one rock that was always hidden by that one bush... ouch for many). Zipped over to Culp, hopped on to the Montezuma grade S22, and then up and over to the yeti... and quite sad that the market burned down this week... I looked for signs that might mention how to support those folks... but didn't see any mention of the community gathering to help yet. A smooth cruise, although quite windy, over to S2, San Filipe Rd. and a turn right to 79. Gas light started blinking, so a zip over to Warner Springs for some fuel. A U-turn, and then, all of a sudden, on the way to Santa Ysabel, around noon, there were about 45 - 55 motorcycles..solos, small groups, and big groups... heck, you had to ride one handed just to wave to them all . maybe one of them was you and it was slow go too... heck, after a full morning of having the roads to myself to travel at any speed I wished, I found myself in a Geico commercial.... haha. Maybe they all are magnetized to the Hideout..... Patience, and nice that all motos and cars were going west, or actually into Dudleys or the Pie company in Santa Isabel, but I went east back towards Julian, A right turn on Pine hills road before Julian and a meander my way to Eagle Peak. I was getting a bit knackered and was really hoping the gate was open, so I cruised down 13S06 to the dead end.... so nice, The gate was open and I really enjoyed the ride on Cedar Creek, and such a nice reward to buzz along that route to get back to Boulder Creek. The 3 sisters trail Head was very busy, but I cruised by the folks and rolled along Boulder Creek. It is so dang nice to hit the tarmac, recently paved, ands lean into the corners... just as I caught some cars, they went left and I went right, twice, and rolled down Goudie rd. Never knew that name as I always call it Viejas Grade. Was a bit tired so hopped on the hiway 8 to cruise back to Gillespie Field. 7 hrs, 232 miles... some of it a 3 mph How did you do on the quiz? 100%- Knew every turn?? Old news for many, I know, but maybe a good route for those new to san diego on adventure bikes. Here is the pic, Cheers
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