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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2019 :  08:22:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 1 cont.
This was the shortest riding day of the trip and roughly 30 percent dirt. An easy day and we all arrived at camp early except for David riding a Yamaha DT 250. Shortly after leaving Chattanooga his transmission locked, breaking the case and spilling him out on the pavement. He was unhurt but the bike was done. It was returned to Chattanooga so it wouldn't have to be hauled the entire trip on the trailer. the rest of the day was uneventful and we arrived at Turnipseed Campground in Lineville, AL. The group was in high spirits and wrongly thinking this would be an easy trip. Evenings were spent swapping stories, drinking beer, and eating a nice dinner prepared by our chef. Maintenance done we pitched tents and off to bed around 11:00.

Day 2
Days start for me around 6:00 am when my alarm goes off. It takes about an hour to pack your tent and gear back on the bike. If your roll chart for the day you have about a half an hour to gat it done before the call for breakfast at 7:30. By 8:30 the first riders ar lining up to leave. For the remainder of the trip you could choose to ride in any of the three groups. I made a point of riding with all the riders and this put me in a different group each day. This day would be more like 225 miles and 70 percent dirt. I leave with group 2 and head out. The dirt is now red and the trails getting rougher. Day 1 found some puddles on the dirt parts but today is all dry. As soon as the rough trail begins breakdowns follow. Broken luggage racks and luggage sifting caused all the groups to stop often. Also mechanical troubles slow the pace. Flat tires, poorly running engines, clogged fuel lines were common. The dust is getting worse and since my odometer died I ride near the back. I ride to the side and in a taller gear to keep dirt out of my air box. Gas stops are figured for around 100 miles and most bikes can do this. My Penton can go 125 before running out. The roll charts are "mostly correct" but we all manage to make wrong turns each day. Finding your way is part of the game. This rid is not supposed to be a race but competition develops between the groups to arrive at camp first. It was surprising to find my group leap frogging other groups several times each day. You could go from third to first and back to third in a short period of time. This day put us at Hardridge Creek Campground, Abbevile, AL around 8:00 pm, with just enough time to pitch camp, eat, swap stories and get to bed around 11:00. A pattern that would continue for the rest of the 1000.

More later

Rick
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2019 :  9:05:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, my fingers were not working too well on that last part and the proofreader failed in getting the job done.

Day 3
This day would find us in Florida and the red dirt changing to sand roads. Some of the sand was VERY deep and hard to ride in. It would have been easier if I could have gone faster, but the other riders on road bikes were having a tough time. The Honda CB750 was riding in front of me and swapped out a couple times. Not a good choice of mounts but he rode well and soldiered on. Again the dust was thick and I noticed that one SL350 Honda rider had not applied oil to his foam filters. Each morning this bike became harder to start and by the end of day three I could see the end was near. Entering Florida was like entering a war zone. Hurricane Michael had passed thru this area with winds in the 160 mph range. Mile after mile the trees were snapped off. Every other house had blue tarps nailed onto the roofs and you could tell some people just left for good. Barns an other out buildings had no evidence of being repaired. There were piles of household items and debris at the roadside that you could tell had been there for a long time, not being picked up. The only business making good are the loggers gathering up all the downed timber. There was a never ending line of semis packed with pine logs. This traffic is digging up the sand roads making large ruts and deep holes. This day was 275 miles and 85 degrees. One of our 100 mile gas stops didn't work out. Randy and I arrived first to find the station destroyed. The steel structure holding up the canopy over the pumps was bent over and the canopy tore off and landed on the building. The building was a mess. This is one of the only times we cheated and used a cell phone to find another fuel supply. Back tracking we found three of the other riders out of gas. We shared what we had and moved on, finding fuel further down the road. The last 40 miles into Appalachacola ended up being a LOOOONNNGG straight road and I held the throttle to keep up a 60 mph pace. If the motor can do that nothing will stop it. A four mile causeway and bridge brought us to the days destination, St. George Island State Park just before dark. We had enough time to take photos on the beach before pitching camp and getting dinner. Everyone was elated to be there, half way done.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2019 :  08:14:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 4
A light rain shower at 3:30 in the morning forced me to zip up my tent. No problem sleeping. On this ride since I am getting lots of exercise. My tent packed up wet today before breakfast. Each morning we have a riders meeting that lets the group know what to expect. A micro brewery had donated five cases of beer for the trip in exchange for photos of the cans being enjoyed be the participants. Adam informed us that it was already gone. Each rider pitched in a $20 to solve the problem. I decided to ride with Adam of Speed Deluxe today because he had tried to talk me out of brining a 125 two stroke. This meant I would be riding clean up and getting out of camp last. Austin made a valiant attempt to start his ailing SL 350. We pushed him up and down the parking lot but soon his one hour repair time was used up. Adam told the third group to leave and he would catch up. Now, every mile ridden would bring me closer to home. It is a bit of a strange feeling to be 1400 miles from home and only have a 125. After crossing over the causeway, we turned east along the coastal highway. The early part of the day put us on mostly paved roads, but. the view was great. Turning north found us back on the dreaded sand roads. Florida was not the riders favorite state to ride in. Thomas, on the BMW R100 wanted to make up a color chart. Red dirt, gray gravel and brown he could ride in, not buff colored sand. Another hot one today. Each morning I try to hydrate and fill my one quart water bottle. Everyone drinks at each stop. Most water, but some a gas station beer. Adam soon caught up and informed the group that Austin did start, even though his motor required the full two quarts of oil. I followed him until his rack broke for the fifteenth time, spilling its contents onto the road. Bungee straps donít get the job done. The rest of the morning was uneventful and soon the roll chart showed that we had crossed into Georgia.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2019 :  08:38:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Slowly the sand was replaced with red clay but not before a bit of single track. I am quite sure I have the bike for this part. Every time we enter the woods from pavement my Penton sighs with relief. A huge gully with stream crossing, large rock and climb out appeared. The rider in front of me tried the slow approach and got stuck at the bottom. After several retries he powered his way up and out. I hit the bottom with some momentum, jumped over the rock and had no problem. Thomas was next. He tried to follow my approach, flat spotted his rim on the rock and did a tank slapper up and out. Yes, it is on video. The red clay of Georgia also brought more shade of woods riding. A bit of relief from the hot sun. By the end of the day, group three had worked its way into first. The first group back to camp each day gets the best drinks and food, hence the competition. Camp Thursday evening found us in Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele, GA. We arrived just before sunset again, covering over 200 miles on the roll chart.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2019 :  09:28:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adam has been sweeping using a mono shocked Honda, not sure of the displacement, but not as vintage as the rest of of us. We had some extra time to fool around on some of the sand roads while repairs were being made. At he last gas stop of the day he mad a point of coming up to me and apologizing for bad mouthing my choice of bikes. He was astounded at its performance and ability to keep pace with the larger machines. This is the first Sachs motor he has ever come across. At the party following day 6, Matt the Honda CL360 driver did the same thing. He had not given me much chance of keeping up on the internet before the ride.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2019 :  08:00:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 5
This day turned out to have mostly dirt and gravel roads and was over 250 miles. Austin again struggled with his 350. It had used up all its oil again ind become so overheated that the points plastic insulators had melted. He tried valiantly to get going but houred out. This bike never ran again. The bikes on this trip have taken a horrible amount of abuse. Matt twice submerged his CL360 and flooded the cylinders with muddy water. Pumped out and restarted, this machine finished all six days.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2019 :  09:38:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most of the twin cylinder machines are running some kind of small pod filters, like K & N. They are cheap and look cool. Most of these riders leave off the plastic side covers, so no protection from water and dirt. These riders have never been in a hare scramble and are now going to learn a lesson. When I changed out my air filter in Florida it was almost clean.
The trail is smoother today and tree lined. You donít get a good look at the countryside in a lot of places. The riders are happy to be back on dirt. It was an easier ride. As we head north the dirt turns browner and we get into some elevation changes. I am riding with group one today, the beer drinking faster riders. Somehow, I have managed to be with the first group to reach camp each day. On one day we even beat the support truck.
Our stop for the night is Don Carter State Park. In before dark, another ten hour day of riding. To do a trip like this you have to be prepared to ride in any condition and when fatigued and tired. I donít think about it much when riding. I only notice that most of my missed shifts come late in the day.
I am too busy enjoying the company and stuffing my face when I realize it is dark and starting to rain. I still need to pitch my tent. The instructions that came with the tent said it was possible to erect backwards, the rain fly first. I have never done this. It took a couple tries to figure out but it does work. In for the night. I love sleeping in a tent in the rain.
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2019 :  10:36:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 6
The last day of the 1000 (1400). Packed up a wet tent, not my favorite thing to do. On to breakfast and riders meeting. Adam informs us that today will by the most technical riding day and another one over 250 miles. It has stopped raining for now. I decide to ride in the third group so I can follow everyone back into Chattanooga. Our KX400 rider Jamie has had enough. She had a crash on day 5 and her bike is running poorly. She decides to take to the trailer. She rode very well on a not so good choice and with no dirt experience. She had crashed hard on day 1 of the 2018 Mountain 1000 an broken her shoulder. An interesting person, she reminds me of Janis Joplin.
Just as Group 3 heads out it begins to rain. We are heading into the mountains now and some steep climbs. One of the first is very rocky and you have to be on the pegs all the time to pick your way up. Perfect for a Penton. The off power band torque of my motor works well. The sounds coming from the engine let you know when the power will hit. I any gear but 6th riding is easy at slower rpms. I really like using 3rd and 4th.
Soon it is pouring and foggy. The rain doesnít stop except for a few times all day. My group leapfrogs into first and then back to second. I am running with Randy and a XT500. We are moving pretty fast to catch up when I swap out and high side on gravel. I remember almost saving it a couple times before going down. The camping gear really effects the handling. I ended up grinding to a stop twenty feet ahead of the bike. My left knee is bleeding, helmet scratched, but the bike only has a smashed headlight. It didnít work anyway. My new Preston Petty is all scraped up on top. After somewhat returning to normal I remounted and headed off. I told the 500 rider it might be good to slow down but this only lasted a couple more corners. He later told Adam I was moving faster after the crash.
Twenty minutes later on a downhill my bike became very squirrels. I knew the rear tire was flat but it surprised me. I had a new tire, extra heavy tube and two rim locks. A three inch cotton pin punctured right thru. This must have come off the road grader that built the road 100 years ago. It was just waiting for me to come along.
Adam and the 500 rider wouldnít help but I had it all done in seven minutes, a 21 inch tube stuffed in. The rest of the day went well except for mr hurting knee. We didnít catch up, my fault.
Just before entering back into Chattanooga, there is group 1 waiting for us. Group 2 also caught up and the remaining 11 got to ride in together. A perfect end to a great ride. We arrived in Chattanooga at one of Jasonís restaurants, tired, wet and dirty. The remains of our beer fund were on the tab. All the participants made it in but David, the DT 250 rider. He had flown out to New York. Every swapped stories and said goodbyes until the next time. A bunch of new friends have bee made.
My Penton didnít skip a beat for 1400 miles, half off road. It started easily and only required a chain adjust every other day. The spark plug changed before the start of the 1000 is still in the motor, having also run the 700 miles back to Ohio.
Thank you John Penton!

Rick
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

146 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2019 :  10:42:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Only if the tent doesnt leak! We will see if my rainsuit leaks at Hangtown MX today.
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