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Well I did not, though the level of soreness I will have in the next couple of days may make me rethink that. Went for about 12 miles, seemed like 120, of trail riding with a guy I have know for 50 years but have never ridden with. We have mutual friends that we both have ridden street and off road with, but just never got it lined out until yesterday.

Now Wade and I are both 58, but he has been riding offload much longer and more serious. He has done Moab, the trail that runs from Oregon to Canada off road, and taken Jimmy Lewis riding schools. We have some amazing geography in our great Columbia Basin, and he has been riding this area in his backyard for decades. I am more of a forest service road type, but we went with his nephew Griffen, about 22, and Wade has been kinda raising him like a son since his father was murdered 10 years ago. Griff has more riding talent in his left big toe than I have in my entire body.

We were out for only 3.5 hours, temp was perfect, and I wish I had taken more pictures but fact was by the second half of the loop I was shaking so bad they would not have turned out. The first half was not too bad, several water crossings that saw water up to the top of the engine, and some mud flats, but there were some steep rocky bits thrown in. We got to an old Ghost Elevator at the top of the Waterville Plateau and this is where I should have turned around and gone back the way I came.

So Wade says to his nephew with a sort of sly grin, "Why don't we take Ben down the interesting way?" They swear it is really cool, a hundred plus year old RR grade that used to run grain to the Columbia river, some old RR stuff and really cool rock formations...and a few more water crossings. OK... I semi-reluctantly agreed. When he met a big group of 4 wheeler/side by siders coming up from that direction at a Tee, I again should have sensed something when they looked at my TW and said, Good Luck!

So the next 2 hours or so was bone jarring lava rock, loose rail bed, steep descents into water crossings that had to be met with a sharp turn and power up lose shale on the other side...the guys would stop and spot me at the tough ones, but I only lost it at the ones they figured were easy and had moved on, so I had to extricate the bike myself. I made it but was pretty beat up and tired by the end. Had the TW shed a few parts, but it took everything I threw at it and shrugged. With a better rider on top it is really an amazing bike. I had the tires at 14 PSI and boy was I glad.

We did 20 water crossings and in total I only dropped the bike twice, never in the water unlike Wade, but that name kinda makes it mandatory. Griffen gave me a huge compliment and said I did the water crossings "like a boss". After I loaded up my bike they decided to go do another pass before dark....sheesh. Wade also admitted he has taken some riders on this route for their first time riding with him and they will not speak to him now. LOL
 

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Trying to keep up with other bikes with more than 6" of suspension travel sure can cause some serious fatigue. I've found that fractured basalt is not the TW's favorite playground.
Heal up, and maybe drink up and you'll soon be ready to saddle up again.
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Echo what Fred says. There is a big difference in riding with a mixed group . Or going for a ride with a bunch of TW nuts. When all the bikes are the same. Nobody has more power, suspension, or brakes then the rides are fun.
 

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I have a TW and KTM, honestly I would never take a novice rider on terrain that the actually used the KTM suspension if they were on a t-dub. But, then again I own both so I definitely know where each excels. Either way, you survived and now have some great experience and stories to go with it. Congrats!
 
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