Cactus hunting? Why not
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Thread: Cactus hunting? Why not

  1. #1
    Member Gdcpony's Avatar
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    Mar 2018

    Cactus hunting? Why not

    Yesterday I took the DL650 out and logged over 450 miles on some of the toughest roads in CA. I got in CA243, CA74, The Palomar Loop, and braved the wind tunnel area near Palm Springs.

    Today I woke up and decided it was the TW's turn to play. I wanted to take some cacti back to the wife when I return to NC and it is Mother's Day so I went hunting! Now Just so you know, I knew where I could get some, but I wanted to find new spots and see new area anyways.

    First, first I checked out a local area here in 29 Palms popular to off road riders. It is near a water tank for the town and is over run with trails for four wheelers and dirt bikes. I found myself- a dirt riding newbie- climbing some of the trails I never thought I would try. I got a quick self taught lesson on hill climbing too. Don't know if its right but it works. Stand up, lean forward, throttle till you get there. I had a ton of fun just going from ridge to ridge out there. I swear I was looking for cacti .

    Then I took some dirt roads, and invented others that ran even with 29 Palms Hwy (62). It is a 65mph road more often traveled at 70 and I didn't like the idea of being road pizza. I found zero cacti along this route, but did remember how much I hate sand. I really hate sand, at the beach, on deployment, in a sand box, I hate it. Ok venting done.

    I ended up on Shelton Road which runs across 62 towards Joshua Tree National Park, but doesn't enter it. I had never been this way, so I figured to try it out. The name "road" might make you think this is a maintained route. Umm... nope. I was crossing through sand filled draws, and rock covered desert with only the lines from what must have been four wheelers as a guide. I actually ended up past the end of the marked right of way a bit, in a VERY sandy draw.

    Still no cacti of interest. hmm... Low on water now I turned around and somehow ended up off the trail on the way back. I found that I liked how the TW handled getting in and out of the small channels in a draw that tend to be built of rocks.

    However, I did lose the poor thing once in some sand.

    Finally, all sorted out and back where I wanted to be, I walked a bit while letting the poor bike cool. Wouldn't you know I would trip and put both hands on a Beavertail Cactus. They have some hair like spines that are like little unseen splinters.

    I could see all the ones in my gloves and feel all the ones that made it through. Well, they do have pretty deep pink flowers each spring so I brought back the pieces broken off by my fall.Kind of a type of revenge since my wife has a brown thumb with any plant.

    Success! Pain! Well, not really pain so much as that annoying feeling of the tiny little splinters any wood worker hates- times a few hundred.

    I decided that was enough for today and started back briskly. I took 62 for a bit, but the traffic blowing by me in my lane was too much. I pulled unto a dirt road and kept on going. By now the gloves were generously passing on more spines to my fingers. Why not take them off? I had to get back on base and Marine Corps order is gloves at all times on a bike. Tickets on base can be worse than the spines. They have since been thrown away though which sucks since they were only a couple weeks old.

    Back at my room, I set to removing spines with tweezers. It took a while.

    I felt the little TW deserved a reward for it's hard work. So I went outside and spliced in the diode kit and relay and installed the LED turn bulbs. I had already done the head light and tail light a week or so ago. Hopefully, it feels justly compensated. After the next trip, I will get it an oil change and adjust the valves. Don't know if they need it, but can't hurt to check.
    Tweaker, Fred, Purple and 9 others like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
    Right side of Oregon
    Nice ride report. Thanks for sharing. Cactus sure are pretty sometimes, but not when stuck in your hands.
    admiral, Gdcpony and Ken like this.

  3. #3
    Member Alberta Darrel's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Alberta, Canada/Quartzsite, AZ
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed coming along.

    Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
    Gdcpony and Ken like this.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Frosty Hollow
    Nice pictures and write up.
    Gdcpony and Ken like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  6. #5
    Senior Member Gulfrider's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Florida Panhandle
    Nice, those one's with the small needles are the worse. I have hundreds of cactus. Some are in bloom right now. I have a variegated padded cactus the rabbits keep eating. Don't have very many needles.
    Gdcpony and Ken like this.
    2005 TW200
    2007 Sportster 1200

  7. #6
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    norcal nutjob
    i got those spines in my lips once... a little too enthused eating a prickly pear. ouch!

    thanks for your service and thanks for the report, that's a really clean bike for over 20 yrs old.
    think of swapping out that front tire, you'll find sand a bit less of a nasty day.

    ride on!
    Last edited by joeband; 05-29-2018 at 12:04 AM.
    Gulfrider, Purple, Ken and 1 others like this.
    1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content

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  8. #7
    Member Gdcpony's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by joeband View Post
    i got those spines in my lips once... a little to enthused eating a prickly pear. ouch!

    thanks for your service and thanks for the report, that's a really clean bike for over 20 yrs old.
    think of swapping out that front tire, you'll find sand a bit less of a nasty day.

    ride on!
    I had to stop myself like 50 times from rubbing my face, scratching my nose, etc. That would have bad a much worse day.

    Per the financial manager and part of the deal letting me pick up the bike (or any vehicle) is I can't replace/upgrade any part until it is worn out. So I am riding the snot out of it (already almost doubled its mileage from when I bought it) on and off road to do so.
    JerseyJeeper and Ken like this.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Ynys Môn
    Plead "age of rubber" on that front tire .....
    Donzo, Ken, Dryden-Tdub and 1 others like this.
    (Warning - Forum may contain nuts) ...... Hidden Content

    TW200 - 1998 - Japanese import - 7000 miles on the clock - TW225 Special Edition 2007
    - Hidden Content

  10. #9
    Senior Member stagewex's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    New Rochelle, New York
    Real nice write up. Thanks for having us along.
    I didn't know that there were base rules for private vehicles that went beyond wearing a helmet? Gloves, that a new one to me but not a bad rule.
    Ken and Dryden-Tdub like this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    Jan 2017
    Southern Nevada
    Enjoyed the photos and ride report.
    Attached are photos of some of the cactus on our Arizona ranch...and a critter seen skimming the ground when wife and I are looking for arrowheads, pottery shards, fossils and petrified wood.
    cactus bloom.JPG
    prickly blooms.JPG
    Prickly buds.JPG
    tarantula wasp.JPG
    Ken likes this.
    2014 Honda CB1100
    2018 Yamaha XT250
    2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II
    2017 Yamaha TW200
    2012 Triumph Bonneville
    2002 H-D Sportster 1200 Sport
    2003 H-D Sportster 883
    1976 Honda CB750F
    1975 Honda CB360
    1970 Yamaha CT1
    1972 Yamaha CT2
    1972 Yamaha AT2/CT2
    1970 Honda SL350
    1970 Honda CL350
    1967 Honda CL160
    1967 Honda CB160
    1962 Honda CA110

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