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Zubb, Is level 1, 2, etc a national norm or a Moto38 scale?  Is the implication that down is easier on a big GSA, or even mid-size bikes (as you wrote in the Pokey post....hence the reason you put "down only" on Mason ... as that implies going up is a harder level? 

 

Cheers.  

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Isn't Mason blocked off at Sunrise Hwy at the top?  Making it a up and back from Oriflame/Calif. Hiking and Biking Trail

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1 hour ago, crfxer said:

Isn't Mason blocked off at Sunrise Hwy at the top?  Making it a up and back from Oriflame/Calif. Hiking and Biking Trail

Correct.

Mason is blocked about a mile from Sunrise Highway. One CAN come up Orriflame and  out the "California Hiking and Biking Trail" at Banner Grade . The section of Mason between the gate short of the highway and the California Hiking and Biking Trail is a nice scenic piece of road, worth an up/back even on a phenomenally heavy bike like a GSA.

 

4 hours ago, MacDuncan said:

Another thought  (maybe contrary to my prior statement) is that the new trend of Outlander activity (where many suv's with smooth tires are on the remote trails) seems to have made some of the softer routes more compacted and actually easier on a big bike.  I recently noticed that on Grapevine and many other trails (at times I kind of like that when on my bigger bike. :)) . 

These (like Jasper/Culp) have been graded, just like the road to the Calcite Mine, where we were speculating if I could now drive up there in my Mini Cooper. (possibly, but it would not be pleasant.)

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CRFxer, as PB shared, closed at the top, but even an up and over, and even back up and over again, without going to the top gate is a nice add-on to a desert roam around (as it takes you out of the sand for a while and offers some rocky terrain, at least on the south side).  I apologize that I may not have the clarity needed for using the names of the mason-rodriguez loop, vs the oriflame ride loop vs the California riding hiking trail loop.

 

In case folks don't know that route, I am only talking about a couple of 10-30 yard sections that make me jump into alert mode. 

PB, yep, much has been graded, and sometimes it bums me out as it invites more traffic, but the smooth compacted tire lines seem to be more prevalent these days. Don't take your cooper there, use crfer's jeep. :) 

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Just settling into a quiet morning with time to look online here.  Hi MacD!

It's a West38 scale we use to communicate 'simply' with both clients and staff.  It's not complicated and very general.  "others" have built sophisticated rating systems (I'm looking at you Bret Tkacs) and it's brilliant.  But frankly, discussing the minutia of differences between 5 levels gives me a headache behind my eyeball.

**if you ride a naked skinny bike, you can disregard this scale.  While we train quite a few 500'ish riders, the curve is different.  The typical student shows up on everything between Royal Infield's to 1290's.  Adventure bikes primarily. 

Level 1Rider:  someone who has learned the fundamentals of ADV bike riding in low traction environments. dirt, gravel, light-ish sand.  They can tip the bike under them at low speeds and feather the clutch where needed, and lock the rear where useful, and comfortable using the front brake to near maximum traction limit.  A W38 Level 1 class graduate.  Culp Valley would be a good example of Level 1 trail.

Level 2: See above but has practiced level 1 drills to the point of them becoming natural, has gained some trail reading and riding experience but wants to become an intermediate-plus level rider.  Someone who no longer asks "how much sand is there" anymore (that's a joke, but it's funny because it's true).  Lower grapevine would be a good example of Level 2 difficulty.

Level 3 Rider: we hold one class a year, typically near Ouray Colorado.  It's best described as "how did I get here, and how the F*%# am I going to get out of here".  **I do not teach this stuff.  I sit and soak it in like a sponge. Half this class is usually W38 coaches since there aren't a lot of people who want to risk rolling their $25k bike's down mountainsides.  I guess I thought that's what insurance is for, but that's just me.

Mason: I access it from Banner, not the top.  Down vs. Up.  I believe it's considerably easier to roll down baby heads that come up them.  That's why I suggested riding it down.  I'm usually with other riders on ADV bikes and some have struggled with the few tougher sections, thus I haven't ridden up it yet but am look for the time and other's who would like to.

Talking about levels is tricky.  I've had a lot of folk join me on level 2 rides that were definitely level 1 or less riders.  They always make it, but eventually the group gets tired up picking up the big bikes, and waiting.  That's kind of why I like only 3 levels as the gap is bigger between them.

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Thanks Zubb, nice to know as I always like to learn!   

Cheers.

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20 hours ago, Zubb said:

alking about levels is tricky.  I've had a lot of folk join me on level 2 rides that were definitely level 1 or less riders.  They always make it, but eventually the group gets tired up picking up the big bikes, and waiting.  That's kind of why I like only 3 levels as the gap is bigger between them.

This is very true, and it's also extremely hard to rate anything activity based as everyone is at a different point in their own skillets, and some excel at some things, and wait for the others, and then in turn are being waited on, themselves, depending on the riding of the day. 

If I meet a new rider out and about or online and we decide to hit up a trail, unless we know mutual friends I'll usually make the first ride something very easy and confidence building, that is not too long because they also may not have the endurance for big loops yet, even if easier, things start to go wrong when folks get fatigued. Then go from there based on their comfort levels. I don't mind helping out, or waiting on other riders, we have all been there as well and appreciated patience, knowledge, and understanding in the folks with us. 

Now that I've been getting tires dirty a few years I pretty much try to practice the 'let them ride their own ride, but check in' method, and usually if i roll through anything tricky I will wait around the next corner as a default just to make sure I hear folks get through and get a thumbs up. Like yesterday... Rip it out for 5-10 minutes, then stop and make sure you still see headlights making their way, carry on.

I have asked multiple event owners about their difficulty rating system, it seems to be really hard in the ADV bike range because you have a combo of people who grew up and were placed on a two stroke before umbilical was even cut, and now have an adv, and you have folks that found riding later in life, let alone dirt riding at all and have a lot to learn but the same love for the sport.  

Nick 

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On 2/7/2022 at 8:13 AM, shutterrev said:

This is very true, and it's also extremely hard to rate anything activity based as everyone is at a different point in their own skillets, and some excel at some things, and wait for the others, and then in turn are being waited on, themselves, depending on the riding of the day. 

If I meet a new rider out and about or online and we decide to hit up a trail, unless we know mutual friends I'll usually make the first ride something very easy and confidence building, that is not too long because they also may not have the endurance for big loops yet, even if easier, things start to go wrong when folks get fatigued. Then go from there based on their comfort levels. I don't mind helping out, or waiting on other riders, we have all been there as well and appreciated patience, knowledge, and understanding in the folks with us. 

Now that I've been getting tires dirty a few years I pretty much try to practice the 'let them ride their own ride, but check in' method, and usually if i roll through anything tricky I will wait around the next corner as a default just to make sure I hear folks get through and get a thumbs up. Like yesterday... Rip it out for 5-10 minutes, then stop and make sure you still see headlights making their way, carry on.

I have asked multiple event owners about their difficulty rating system, it seems to be really hard in the ADV bike range because you have a combo of people who grew up and were placed on a two stroke before umbilical was even cut, and now have an adv, and you have folks that found riding later in life, let alone dirt riding at all and have a lot to learn but the same love for the sport.  

Nick 

Solid truth right there. 
 

for me, there are small and large group rides which I always enjoy. Then there’s the all about me rides where I include 1 or 2 others of the same mindset. Oddly and fortunately, my son and I are completely on the same page. Skill, interest, pace, etc. there is no funnier times then when we get a few days together on the 1250’s. 
I love it all though. I enjoy helping others pick up their bikes and laughing with them. Love seeing their joy of the places and moments. It’s good stuff. 

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Great info,  I still cannot judge my skillset on a ADV bike.  I guess average, 

For my 300 riding single track, well I have lots to learn about getting over boulders/ large rocks.  I am excited to learn the technique.  I know rides like the Soboba Trail ride is super fun and moderately challenging, (not including the hard sections of course, I went through one of those and yeah, its hard. lol) 

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11 hours ago, Pokey151 said:

Great info,  I still cannot judge my skillset on a ADV bike.  I guess average, 

I think the only scale I go by is if every ride, or event I can do something better than I had before, or something I wouldn't have before, I'm on track 🤜🤛

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 I like Udo’s much more simple riding scale:

Did you die?  
No = Good adventure!  

Yes = Bad adventure! 

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1 minute ago, tntmo said:

 I like Udo’s much more simple riding scale:

Did you die?  
No = Good adventure!  

Yes = Bad adventure! 

Haha perfect 

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40 minutes ago, shutterrev said:

Haha perfect 

No not HAHA, its Mr, JAJA and that meant something else in German. I will tell you when we meet.

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4 hours ago, Mr.JAJA said:

No not HAHA, its Mr, JAJA and that meant something else in German. I will tell you when we meet.

I  bought the Rally2 pants from you at the bbq up in north county a while back, and they are great 🤘

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D-R-D,     Drive - Ride - Drop

Drive the graded roads.  Ride the surfaces where you need to pay attention,  If you think you are about to Drop the bike, You are on the wrong trail.

Anecdote -  Having learned to ride the Anza Borrego on my 990 ( picking it up 2 or 3 times a day in the sand), I was riding the next great thing a 690 set up for the dez only dropping it once in awhile. Riding with my pal Todd and his Husky 310, he says take the Husky for a ride. this is in San Felipe wash. After 10 minutes, I ask myself " this is soo easy, why have I been punishing myself? Sold the 690 and have been happily cruising since. ( 350/450 )

Yes I need a receiver Joe Hauler to arrive at the trail, but I am perfectly happy to drive home in air conditioned comfort. I guess the Honda difficulty would be zero.

    🚶‍♂️

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1 minute ago, Bagstr said:

D-R-D,     Drive - Ride - Drop

Drive the graded roads.  Ride the surfaces where you need to pay attention,  If you think you are about to drop the bike, You are on the wrong trail.

Anecdote -  Having learned to ride the Anza Borrego on my 990 ( picking it up 2 or 3 times a day in the sand), I was riding the next great thing a 690 set up for the dez only dropping it once in awhile. Riding with my pal Todd and his Husky 310, he says take the Husky for a ride. this is in San Felipe wash. After 10 minutes, I ask myself " this is soo easy, why have I been punishing myself? Sold the 690 and have been happily cruising since. ( 350/450 )

Yes I need a receiver Joe Hauler to arrive at the trail, but I am perfectly happy to drive home in air conditioned comfort. I guess the Honda difficulty would be zero.

    🚶‍♂️

Awesome, different strokes for different folks. I enjoy the shred on the paved bit as much as the rest 690 is my jam 🤙🏻 
 

variety is the spice of life. 

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I just road a Honda 250 for 6 days in Costa Rica, In dirt its Ok and enough, going back to the hotel via street is just a pain in the B and dangers. To grade a Track is like rolling Die's. for one the number one is easy -peasy, for the  other this is already a challenge. Bike, Personnel condition and training/ practice is the real factor.

 

I can do some stuff with the 1150 but more stuff with the 600.

 

20220131_113733.jpg

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The Chain and the Exhaust are located on the wrong side of that Costa Rican Honda 250!!! 🤣

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11 hours ago, SoCalMule said:

The Chain and the Exhaust are located on the wrong side of that Costa Rican Honda 250!!! 🤣

But it was a good ride anyway.

 

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