Sequoia Scenic Challenge Dual Sport Ride near Lake Isabella


This was my second Dual Sport ride, and my first in a year since the super fun and hard Big Bear ride. But again all the conditions were coming together to create another perfect storm. Most importantly Doug, Paul and Tom were all in as well as Rollin. The Isabella area provides some epic riding and Spring is the best season for it.

After a couple years of riding with the very reliable Suzuki DRZ400, I had finaly bought a used 2004 KTM EXC 525. During the sale I felt I had purchased a pretty turn-key bike but it quickly started to run badly with some symptoms that were problems and some that I later learned are just traits of the KTMs. While trying to tune the engine and carb, I broke the adjuster bolt on the cam shaft rocker arm (picture). This along with other little things turned into alot of work and parts to repair. I did this work over *months*. In my race to complete the repairs in time, I recieved the last batch of parts on Thur afternoon, and was up late working on the bike, testing it in the morning and calling my friends and saying "i'm in" a few hours before departure. Photo finish for sure.

Another setback was taking a pretty bad spill on the mountain bicycle about a week before the event. The scrapes/bruising looked miminal, but there was some internal bruising that took a while to heal. Just a couple days before the event I was feeling healed up enough.

Paul let us all pile into his Dodge Pickup and towed all 5 bikes and gear in his bitchin trailer. And who says Californian's don't car pool;) Tom setup a reservation at this great place right near Lake Isabella. This is a shot taken on the rear balcony.

This is a shot of a quick snack break on day 1. We had a fair amount of mechanical and navigational problems on this day but still were able to ride all of the "difficult" trail sections. My gas tank ruptured (really rare problem) and soaked me and the bike and the dry grass with gas but no fire. I was able to repair it with some QuicSteel epoxy given to me by one of the other riders. Paul bent his chain guide on a rock but was able to pound it straight with a rock and wrench. Tom's bike seemed extra thirstly and ran low on gas way to quickly (not sure why on this). And at the end of the ride Tom's rear brake master caliper gave out. But all in all, an amazing day of riding with 130 miles including some very difficult single track, 6 hours and 44 min of riding time and about 11 hours on the trails.

On Day 2, Rollin gave up the ghost due to a foot issue and lent his bike to Tom. The picture is at a snack break at the top of the Piute Mountains.

Another picture, same break. We were pretty focused on getting alot of epic riding in - not many pictures taken.

Another picture, same break. At the end of this full day we had done another 97.6 miles (pieced together all the "difficult" trails of the route) in about 5 hours of hard riding. No mechanical or significant navigation issues this day. What a totally fun weekend.

GPS analysis days after the ride.