It’s been an interesting Spring here in Utah. After a record snowfall that dropped over 700 inches on our friends over at Snowbird, the big problem right now is high elevation and mid elevation snowpack that is 200-300% above normal. It hasn’t really warmed consistently yet, and all that energy is coiled up like a spring in the mountains, ready to unleash its fury in the form of flooding. I have yet to do any sort of weekend trips on the BMW F800 GS yet this year. Most of my riding has been limited to some commutes and short half-day trips. One of these recent Sunday morning sorties led Darth and myself up Chalk Creek Canyon out of Coalville, Utah. The Chalk Creek is one of the trouble spots here in Utah that is likely to cause some flooding issues, as snowpack from the Uinta Mountains melts off and releases its energy. We did a quick ride up the canyon to where the pavement ends and turns to dirt, and made our way to the Wyoming border, or thereabouts. All through the canyon, the creek was definitely raging. You could see evidence that the rising water levels had already reclaimed some pasture land, but no washed out roads, or floating trailers as of yet. We rode our bikes by a Mormon church in the canyon that had a big stockpile of sandbags in the parking lot, just in case. After snapping a few Hipstamatic iPhone photos, we returned the way we came. When the roads are clear of snow, the normal route for this ride would continue on into Wyoming just outside of Evanston, and return up and over the back side of the Mirror Lake Highway, into Kamas, Utah. With how much snow is up there right now, I’m thinking that road won’t be clear until mid June at the earliest.
I’ve seen a few custom racks out there that motorcycle riders have fashioned so they can take their bicycles along for the adventure. I spotted this one parked outside the Park City Home Depot. The idea of packing up the mountain bike and heading down to Moab has always sounded good to me. This one is cool because it uses a standard and reliable Yakima full length tray, holding the bike off to one side (on the other side, this rider had a fork mount for the front wheel). Obviously a very custom job, by someone who was fairly handy with welding torches, as the support for the back of the wheel tray was integrated with the rear luggage rack. I’ve seen this guy a few times in the Park City area, but this was the first time I got a good look at the work. Ride on!
Here is the challenge in packing for the upcoming Morocco moto trip: each of us needs to bring our own riding gear (helmet, boots, pants, etc), plus whatever casual clothing to get us through 8 days of riding and seeing the sites. We will be riding rented Husqvarna enduro bikes, with a support truck carrying gear for us, but only limited to what can fit in a 40 liter Ortlieb dry bag (so says the tour company). My solution is this Base Camp Duffle bag from The North Face (full disclosure: that’s an affiliate link, in case you decide you might want to buy one). This is the XL size. Fully stuffed, this bag will hold over 120 liters capacity, but when empty, it folds nice and flat. It has backpack straps to help me get all my shiz through the airport. Since my riding gear will be the bulkiest items I take with me, once I get there and have my riding gear on, this duffle and all my remaining items should fit no problem inside of a 40 liter bag. That’s my plan. I’m thinking I could have gone for the Large size which holds 90 liters, but erred on the side of gigantic. What would you do for a trip like this?
Words I’ve Heard
"I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man." --Jay-Z
"The only thing keeping us from going is leaving." --Ewan Mcgregor
"Adventures suck, when you're having them." -- Anonymous Rally Car Driver
"It is, absolutely, without question, unequivocally, about the bike. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously a twatwaffle."--RULE #4, Velominati.com
"Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake."--W.C. Fields
Deal O’ The Day