10/8/11 Tom's Annual GAG Ride Report!

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10/8/11 Tom's Annual GAG Ride Report!

Postby Tawmass » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:16 pm

It was that time of year for my annual, invitational Great Annual Gifford (GAG) Ride! I finally found a weekend where I didn’t have obligations, so October 8 was the weekend. My list of invitees over the years has continued to grow and this year’s list totaled 14: Tom Savage, Scott Wilson, Kerry Owen, Stevie Ray Branstetter, Joe McCormick, Randy Burress, Keith & Courtney Reams, Rick Higgins, Chris Horgan, Adam & Jared Achepohl, Milo & Mitch Juenemann, my girlfriend Donna and I, plus Cali the wonder dog. A change of plans this year was to have two different riding groups: the intermediate group and the advanced group, which worked out really great.

Donna and I arrived later in the evening of Friday night to Takhlakh Lake and parked our camp trailer. Stevie Ray was right behind us, and then Scott & Kerry showed up, mentioning something about some guy who was off the road stuck back a few miles. The Achepohl boys already had a large fire burning, plus Randy, Keith & Courtney and Tom were already there too. After a bit, Scott & Kerry went to rescue the poor soul that was stuck, as we all milled around the fire. Awhile later in drives an old van with a very loud muffler. Turns out it was Smokin’ Joe and he was the one who was stuck! Milo & Mitch soon came in, then it was a late evening of tall tales around the fire.

The next morning had the coffee flowing and everyone was amped to go riding. This would be Joe and Kerry’s first time at The Giff, so they didn’t know what to expect and had of course heard the horror stories. As we waited and waited for Rick to show, we were about ready to leave, when he drove in, along with Chris Horgan. Who is Chris Horgan, you ask? Chris is none other than the big cheese at: http://stewardsofthesequoia.org/ Chris is a heavy hitter on the land-use side of things in Cali and he was a welcome addition to our group. Turns out he has game on a bike too!

We all took off by around 10am – all 14 of us. We made a few stops, I took a few pictures, and that’s when I realized I was running my camera battery that was just about toast. I normally carry a spare charged battery, which I forgot - a rarity! Oof. Looks like I was going to have to depend on the video camera. Which again presents a major problem: when you have so much great video, how do you records all the fun things in say less than 10 minutes before everyone’s eyes roll back into their cranium?

After about 10 miles, we split up into the two groups. Tom, Keith and Randy took off on the intermediate route and the rest of us went up Juniper Ridge. Oh, and the weather was awesome! Wet, tacky soil and no dust!

I’ll let the video do the complete ride report, but along the way, the following things happened:
• We came across a couple bear hunters who were too busy eating wild berries to hunt.
• We came across about six hikers that of course gave us the stink eye.
• Scott jumped into the lead, followed some game trail down a ridge and left us all going WTF? Fortunately the trail merged back onto the original trail. Scott, don’t forget your meds!
• I had one slow-motion tip over in front of everyone. You’re all welcome!
• There were some other crashes too, but NOTHING like Adam on his new 300 ‘Berg! He tried riding around a switchback and instead got launched down the bank; helicopter’d into a tree and landed almost 100 feet down! Fortunately he was merely bruised and we eventually got his new bike back onto the trail (not easy). Was crazy!
• Many riders went on reserve and/or ran out of petrol a few miles before finishing – it was sketchy, but everyone eventually did make it back to the finish thanks to gas sharing – about 78 miles - yeah!

At the evening’s campfire, I was sniveling about running out of nectar (tequila), the Achepohl Boys presented me with a GAG Gift – a bottle of Patron Tequila. They’re now my new best friends! I of course pulled the cork and the bottle made laps around the fire like peewee riders on track day.

Sunday morning was cold and foggy. I was hoping to take Donna out for a ride, along with Keith & Courtney, but nobody had any motivation except Stevie Ray and Tom, so while everyone left, they went out for a short 30-mile exploration ride.

What a great weekend with awesome riders! See y’all next year!
-Tom

PS: click my name to view all the pix.
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Last edited by Tawmass on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:15 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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Postby WOX » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:41 pm

Adam on that righteous Husa 300! Can't wait for the story!
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Postby endoquest » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:37 am

That was indeed a Great Annual Gifford ride Tom. Thanks for making it happen. Freight-training through the woods all day with a bunch of great guys is hard to beat. And how about that weather? No mechanical issues all day and only ONE, slight step-off. Not even a flat tire. Thanks!
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Postby E-Ticket » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:54 pm

MAJOR FREEKIN' THANK YOU, TAWM!!!!

I finally went on one of your GAG rides ... and had a totally awesome weekend! :D

Thank you so much! E-Ticket

==================================

Click on the following for my ride report, pics, and videos:

http://www.omraoffroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11000
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Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F ("Wee Beasty"); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
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Postby Tawmass » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:00 pm

Finally got the video finished, so check it out! (first picture in my write up).
-Tom
You don't stop riding because you grow old, you grow old because you stop riding.

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Postby endoquest » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:53 pm

Nice vid Tom, and thanks for deleting the wheezing. Next year can't come soon enough, cheers.
2012 Husaberg TE300, 2005 KTM525EXC, 2002 Suzuki DR650, 2002 Montesa315, Schwinn unicycle.

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Postby Tawmass » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:52 am

Hey Adam, notice how I timed the music scream with the still of your switchback? :D
-Tom
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Re: 10/8/11 Tom's Annual GAG Ride Report!

Postby bin rydin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:26 pm

Great Vid Tawm =D> , Nice to have something like this to watch when the weather sucks, Awesome scenery. Looked like you were in a hurry to get somewhere??? Afraid your battery was wearing out, or you just had to pee real bad? :roll: I was waiting for the footage of the bike switchback salvage operation #-o but I guess you had to run... Thanks for the mid winter (desk) ride.


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