from the NV-600 ride
Found some fun stuff for my Invitational GPS NV600 Dual Sport
3 days, two nights May 29th- 31st
Thanks to Jeff, Kip, Terry and John for a good ride, Thanks to Malcolm
for helping set up this ride
We had some technical single track, and some fun 70+mph runs.
600 miles across Nevada, Some cool old Ghost towns, some great
mountain passes. 4700 ft to 9500 ft
No Chase truck so you must pack all your gear for the
ride on your bike, it's an adventure.
Pass above Gardnerville before breakfast
Breakfast an hour and a half into the ride, Great Chorrizo
and eggs at Rosies Place in Wellington
Climb above Rockland, home of the ICE MINE
Even The Mighty 800 GS made it!
and made it back down.
The ICE MINE
Only I had a flat, BMW riders come prepared, Electric
Pump, Oh Yeah!
A view from the start of the Single track above Middlegate Station
While we where finishing off day one with some fun Single track John
was at the Middle gate bar. Need a smaller bike John.
How often do you have to move Tumbleweeds to use the head? Gotta love the Old West
Having a few cold ones before Dinner, I tell them what is in store for them tomorrow
Middlegate Station, since 1859. Former Hangout of the "Blue Nunn" ask Kyle & Kevin
Waiting for Dinner
Home of the one pounder.
After dinner John Kick'd me arse at the shoes
then he thought this might make a better mount than the 800, Amazing
what a guy will do after a little alcohol .
Then the boys took the buggy back to the Motel
Day two lot's of single track
"Ouch that rock was taller than I thought, There goes that Touratech
Why is it new bikes don't look new after one of my rides????
adding a little gas
Lot's of water crossings
Jeff having fun, It is amazing what a guy will do with no Alcohol!
Lots of old mines to see.
Ready for BAJA
A few wild horses.
Across the dry lake to lunch in Austin.
and then it got ugly for the 800
He made it look easy.
a Stop at the Ichthyosaur Fossil
"Damm we gotta go down there, Gimme a minute"
A friendly lil' fella
an ugly climb just out of Yerington, sorry John, What am I saying you
and then with the end in sight,thanks to a thunderstorm the road gotta a little slick, oops
That's all, Bye
Write up in Dirt Bike,
By Jeff Petron
Grand Prix fast guy John Ferro called to tell me he had my kid's boots and mentioned that I should go with
him on a three-day, 875-mile ride through Nevada on the coming weekend. I thought about it—it sounded
nuts, but I agreed to see if I could rustle up a bike with a plate. I've never ridden more than 200 miles in a
day on the dirt, so going almost 300 miles for three days straight was pretty intimidating.
I swindled the Dirt Bike 2009 KTM450 EXC test bike shortly after Mark Tilley and Adam Booth had raced it in
the VCMC Qualifier. It was bone stock except for the Motoz tires and Moose handguards. Oh, and Adam
had lightened the bike by removing the rear turn signals with a rock, tomahawk, hatchet—or he might have
just looked at them and they flew off.
John and I held the gas pedal to the floor for the 400 miles to Gardnerville, Nevada, on the Thursday night
before the ride, and then met up with the other three riders Friday morning. Robert Walker hosted the ride
and was on a BMW X Challenge 650. He found the roads and trails on Google Earth and went out with his
son, Malcolm, to record the tracks on his GPS. He manhandles his 350-pound BMW in a manner
reminiscent of Scott Summers on an XR600. Robert even does a version of the Bubba Scrub off of water
breaks. It has to be seen to be believed.
Terry Nichols is an A-enduro rider in AMA District 37, the father of modern-day dual-sporting. He was riding
a plated KTM525 EXC, and while he is 66 years old, he still rides very fast and very well. Kip Wood rounded
out our quintet.
Originally, the ride was planned for big adventure bikes. Since most of us were on the "little" Katooms,
Robert shortened the route to 600 miles and made it more technical. This made me feel far more
comfortable. John was on a 450-pound BMW F800 GS, and while John is a freakishly talented rider, the
massive Beamer would be too much on the more technical trails. Robert had alternate routes set up for
John and his beast.
We left Robert's house at 7:30 Friday morning. We rode 35 miles over very tight two-track through the Pine
Nut Mountains to get to our breakfast location in Wellington. We tanked up and took a very indirect 90-mile
route to Hawthorne. We stopped at an old mine site along the way. Standing at the mine's entrance felt like
standing in the doorway to a walk-in freezer. The outside air was in the mid-’80s with no wind. But a
continuous flow of cold air exited the mineshaft. The floor of the mine was covered with a glacier a foot
thick. None of us really had a plausible explanation.
After lunch and a tank of fuel at Hawthorne, we rode 85 miles over the Gillis Mountain Range to
Middleton. Middleton is located on Highway 50, billed as "America's loneliest highway." It consists of an old
saloon, seven bungalows, an outhouse and a very small trailer park. It was built in 1859 as a Pony Express
stop. Rumor has it that the bungalows served as a brothel back in the day. It was interesting explaining to
my wife where I stayed. It isn't much, but it had food, a bed and, of course, 87 octane gas.
Saturday had the best riding. Very soon after leaving Middleton, we hit single-track, miles of glorious
overgrown single-track that disappeared and reappeared with regularity, and we relied on the GPS to stay
on the proper route. It was 120 miles of dirt bike heaven! After crossing the Destoya, Paradise and
Shoshone mountain ranges, we arrived in Austin for a late lunch and another tank of fuel. Austin lies in the
center of Nevada and constitutes the apex of our ride.
The afternoon ride was fast and interesting. Basically, we would cross over a mountain or mountain
range and then cross a valley to get to the next mountain. The mountain trails were slower and more
challenging with many water crossings and some snow. The altitudes were sometimes well over 9000 feet.
The valley roads were dirt, but often straight and fast. This is typical of central Nevada. We eventually came
to a paleontologic site where they have uncovered an Ichthyosaur. Don't worry—I didn't know what an
Ichthyosaur was, either. It’s an ancient, 50-foot-long fish. After that, we rode to Berlin, where they have a
preserved mine with all of the processing equipment, including a large mill and machine shop. We had rain
off and on throughout the afternoon, with the treat of some cool lightning flashes. It was close to 6 p.m.
when we made it back to Middleton for the night.
Sunday we rode back to Gardnerville. It was a fast ride as we covered the 180 miles in five hours. The
highlight was the 25 miles of forest trails near Robert's house at the end. My 450EXC was an excellent
choice for a ride like this. The suspension was a little hard in the rocks for my 180 pounds, but a few clicks
off the compression at both ends remedied that. The stock tank was too small for all of the 100-plus mile
legs between fuel stops, so I carried a five-liter jug on my belt. The gearing was tall for the tight stuff, but
nice for the ultra-high-speed roads. The engine used no oil and only hiccupped when the petcock needed
turning to reserve. It got over 40 mpg and ran fine on the available 87 octane fuel. The bike handles
excellent and is stable at speed even without a stabilizer. I am usually a big fan of KTM's hard seats, even
over the course of a long enduro. But for this many hours, I would prefer something a little softer. I would
also balance the wheels to smooth out the high-speed vibration.
This was a great ride, and Robert deserves credit for all of the thought and planning he put into our
route. It was over 600 miles and almost 20 hours of riding. He kept the pavement to a bare minimum. We
had a discussion as to what the difference between a dual-sport and adventure ride was. The conclusion
was that if it was a multi-day ride requiring you to carry all your own clothes, tools and parts, it was an
adventure ride. John said that this was too complex. He feels that it goes beyond simple dual-sporting if you
need to carry Chapstick. The experience really whetted my appetite for this type of adventure. I would like
to buy a 450EXC. But first, I'll have to convince my wife that doing so won't cause me to spend more nights