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Offline TN2Wheeler

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The Maine Adventure Trail
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:54:48 PM »
Most dualsporters know about the TransAmerica Trail running from eastern TN to the Pacific coast. MSTA member Rick Giddish painstakingly laid out a mostly unpaved easterly adventure stretching from the eastern end of the TAT in Tennessee to the northernmost tip of Maine. He he called it the MAT or Maine Adventure Trial. In 2011 and 2012 a few MSTA'rs (Galen Diehl, Bill Hammomd, George Goad, Jon Durhring and, of course, Rick and I) rode the MAT in 2 parts.

A picture blog of MAT2 is here: http://www.jimrandall.net/MAT2/mat2.htm
 
There were LOTS of pictures. I culled a bunch, really. Even so there's probably more than most people want to view, except possibly those who went. Enjoy as much as you can stand

Jim
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 07:42:57 PM by TN2Wheeler »
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Offline donmoe

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 08:32:26 PM »
Jim, 

Thanks very much for your travelogue!  Nice pictures.

I get the distict impression that a R1200GS rider would find the route no more difficult than Galin on his 800. Do you concur?

That would certainly make the trip to STAR 2016 different... Now to find someone to team up with...

     Don
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Offline HawkGTRider

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 08:47:50 PM »
I wish I'd grown up riding trails and, correspondingly, achieved a higher level of expertise and comfort on loose surfaces. My comfort level for travel leans more towards little paved roads, but my soul aches for this stuff. After thousands of miles of dirt roads in 2014 through Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories, as well as dual sporting in my home area in Tennessee and MSTA events around the country, I should be getting more comfortable with this. But as much as I WANT to do this stuff, I still get a little white knuckled thinking about it. Maybe it's just my age and the thought of busting my behind when I'm out by myself 100 miles from anywhere that has a name. I still want to do it though.

I might try to incorporate some of this route into my trip to STAR in Vermont this summer before proceeding northward through the eastern Canadian provinces. I want to go to Radisson, Quebec and Goose Bay, Labrador among other places, and they are near the ends of long unpaved roads. In the late 90s, there was still a stretch of about 280 miles northward from Matagami, QE with no services, and it may still be that way. Can you say spare gas tank?

As was noted in some of the pictures, sometimes the better part of valor is to turn around and go a different way.
Geoffrey Greene
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Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations.

Offline TN2Wheeler

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 09:15:55 PM »
It would have been ridable by a strong rider on a big bike with aggressive tires.

Tires are important for this kind of thing.  The typical 50/50 tires that come on "adventure" bikes are not up to the task on loose surfaces,  particularly on a heavy machine.  That's really the catch 22 - tires that work well on pavement suck off pavement and vice-versa so it's always a compromise.

On my DR650, which I consider my adventure bike,  I run a full DOT knobbie on the front and a less aggressive DS tire on the rear. I do this because,  as DS bikes go, the 650 is heavy (360lbs) and tends to push the front end in loose stuff. A loose rear wheel is fun, a loose front wheel not so much.
Jim Randall
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Offline Brick

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The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 06:27:04 AM »
Yea I would love to think I too could ride these roads on my Tenere'. Truth is at 69 and a 600 lb adventure bike it's not a good idea.
Jim's point about tires is so true. Except the Tenere' came with 80/20 tires which only hint of an off road ride. I've been running Continental TKC-70's which are listed as 60/40 which to me sound a lot more off road worthy. But I run them because I love how they hold and handle on the paved curvy roads. Also on my local gravel roads they work fine too.
At STAR in Colorado last time we rode some actual dirt and it was fine. However I must say that conditions were very good. Nothing deep, loose or wet so I was fine. No guarantee that the next road will be as good. I just don't bounce as well as I used to.
Last May I attended a Tenere' rally in PA where I rode with a few guys on roads that were less than ideal. I found out that when a 600 lb Tenere' wants to lay down in the mud I can't stop it.
I'll enjoy your DS adventures from behind my computer screen.
Thanks for posting them.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 06:28:54 AM by Brick »
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Offline TN2Wheeler

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 08:23:53 AM »
It boils down to doing what you enjoy. I enjoy this kind of thing more than street riding and far more than touring. Not everyone does. I get it. No problem.

I live in an area that others come to visit FOR the twisty pavement. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a bit jaded. When DS/adventure riding I can ride the same area over and over and each time it's a little or, if a few days have past, a lot, different. Surface/traction management is all important. You have to pay attention. I suspect it's similar to (but undoubtedly less) the intensity that track-day junkies enjoy but without the extreme speed and lean angles. We probably should be paying that level of attention when street riding too. But on the street I find I spend a lot more time watching out for other vehicles than just for enjoyment.

And FWIW, I think off pavement riding is a bit safer than the street. You may fall down but it's likely to be at 20 mph rather than 60 and for sure you won't be run over by an idiot on their phone.

But hey, that's just me. I have been a member of MSTA for a couple of decades and I used to love to roll up those miles. You guys enjoy!
Jim Randall
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Offline PYG RYDR

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 08:27:24 AM »
Most dualsporters know about the TransAmerica Trail running from eastern TN to the Pacific coast. MSTA member Rick Giddish painstakingly laid out a mostly unpaved easterly adventure stretching from the eastern end of the TAT in Tennessee to the northernmost tip of Maine. He he called it the MAT or Maine Adventure Trial. In 2011 and 2012 a few MSTA'rs (Galen Diehl, Bill Hammomd, George Goad, Jon Durhring and, of course, Rick and I) rode the MAT in 2 parts.

A picture blog of MAT2 is here: http://www.jimrandall.net/MAT2/mat2.htm
 
There were LOTS of pictures. I culled a bunch, really. Even so there's probably more than most people want to view, except possibly those who went. Enjoy as much as you can stand

Jim

Jim,  Thanks for trip down memory lane!  Big Fun Trip!!!  Galen
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Offline PYG RYDR

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 08:43:04 AM »
I plan to ride a large northern section of the MAT in June, the week before STAR 2016, and end in Vermont.  (I have ridden the southern-VA/WV/PA sections several times already!-2 1/2 times with Jim, once with Rick and once alone) 


For 2012 I rode my TYGR PYG, but considering both the LTL PYG and BYG PYG for the second trip.


For this riding any dual sport/adventure bike with a knobby front and semi-knobby on rear will work, if you have experience, in my opinion.


If anyone wants to join my ride, let me know. 


BTW, I will be stopping at Mamies in Martinsburg, PA for some excellent food!  http://mamiescafe.com/  I had the best sandwich-Reuben and donut-maple bacon, ever on a previous trip!!!


Galen
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Offline TN2Wheeler

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 12:27:05 PM »


...
BTW, I will be stopping at Mamies in Martinsburg, PA for some excellent food!  http://mamiescafe.com/  I had the best sandwich-Reuben and donut-maple bacon, ever on a previous trip!!!


Galen

I didn't do the maple-bacon donut but I absolutely agree - best Reuben ever!

Jim Randall
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Offline donmoe

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 02:07:10 PM »
It would have been ridable by a strong rider on a big bike with aggressive tires.

Tires are important for this kind of thing.  The typical 50/50 tires that come on "adventure" bikes are not up to the task on loose surfaces,  particularly on a heavy machine.  That's really the catch 22 - tires that work well on pavement suck off pavement and vice-versa so it's always a compromise.
Thanks for the advice, Jim. Before leaving Washington for my tour to Alaska last summer on my R1200GSA, I had Heidenau K60 Scout (50/50) tires mounted and had no problems on the several unpaved roads or under repair that were definitely worse than those shown in your photo collection, except perhaps at the end where Galen bailed out. I'll have to consider whether to mount the Scouts again for the MAT. I got surprisingly good mileage despite lots of pavement riding on chipseal as well as asphalt. I also give kudos to the RawHyde training course that I attended in July in Colorado for giving me the confidence and skills to ride that big bike in such conditions.

      Don
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Offline PYG RYDR

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 03:55:01 PM »
It would have been ridable by a strong rider on a big bike with aggressive tires.

Tires are important for this kind of thing.  The typical 50/50 tires that come on "adventure" bikes are not up to the task on loose surfaces,  particularly on a heavy machine.  That's really the catch 22 - tires that work well on pavement suck off pavement and vice-versa so it's always a compromise.
Thanks for the advice, Jim. Before leaving Washington for my tour to Alaska last summer on my R1200GSA, I had Heidenau K60 Scout (50/50) tires mounted and had no problems on the several unpaved roads or under repair that were definitely worse than those shown in your photo collection, except perhaps at the end where Galen bailed out. I'll have to consider whether to mount the Scouts again for the MAT. I got surprisingly good mileage despite lots of pavement riding on chipseal as well as asphalt. I also give kudos to the RawHyde training course that I attended in July in Colorado for giving me the confidence and skills to ride that big bike in such conditions.

      Don

Don,

I agree about tire adding to confidence.  I suggest you consider the Mitas E-07 for your rear tire.  I prefer it over the Heidenau.  And remember to air down the pressure in gravel/mud/hardpack.

Galen
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Offline donmoe

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 08:07:54 PM »
Don,

I agree about tire adding to confidence.  I suggest you consider the Mitas E-07 for your rear tire.  I prefer it over the Heidenau.  And remember to air down the pressure in gravel/mud/hardpack.

Galen
Thanks for the suggestion, Galen. I checked both Revzilla and Twisted Throttle and neither offers the correct sizes for my GSA, 120/70-19 front and 170/60-17 rear. As I understand it, Heidenau only brought those sizes to the US market in July. However, some guys have run the wrong sizes and have gotten along OK.

Part of the RawHyde training was to air down the tires for extensive off-road riding. On my tour I kept them in the mid-30s and got along just fine.

     Don

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Offline Bermuda Ron

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 01:56:34 PM »
What a beautiful and picturesque adventure.  I'm actually shopping for an off-road ride right now, and this really got my juices flowing!
Ron Campbell, MSTA Member
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Riding out of Mills River, NC in the heart of Motorcycle Heaven!

Offline donmoe

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 04:48:11 PM »
Are the GPS route or track files available for download somewhere?

      Don
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Offline TN2Wheeler

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Re: The Maine Adventure Trail
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 07:39:08 AM »
Are the GPS route or track files available for download somewhere?

      Don
We have gps tracks.
Jim Randall
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