19 Aug TAT DAY 19: Redding Campsite AR to Pryor OK (305km/199mi)
Crawdad +1, kick stand sensor -1, rear shock -1
Trouble comes in twos. After yesterdays great riding, we were expecting more of the same.
Not long on the trail, we came across a section of the TAT which was pretty unexpected. We were just following our little blue line on our GPS app (OSMAnd+) when the road turned from good gravel, to slightly muddy sandy stuff then steep rocky stuff reminiscent of the snow mobile trail we accidentally took on the MABDR except much steeper. Now I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning Warloop Road on any of their ride reports or Facebook posts. We only bought Sams GPS tracks and didn’t bother with his paper maps. Maybe it’s mentioned there? It was scary and exhilarating and totally unexpected. And now that we got through it, we can say it was fun. I don’t know how anyone without serious skills could do that on a 1200gs or Africa Twin.
Shortly afterwards as we headed off the trail to get fuel at Mountainburg, Sim said his bike was doing funny things at around 6000 rpm. It was intermittently losing power. After fueling up he rode up and down the road and the problem seemed to have resolved itself. Bad fuel? We rode on and of course the problem got even worse and he struggled up the hill. We pulled over for another look, but in a less than ideal spot for roadside maintenance with the weather threatening to rain all over us. We also did not have cell coverage so were unable to Google the problem. Was it the kick stand, something electronic, a loose wire or clutch related? We limped into Prairie Grove to find a place we could have a proper look at the issue. Using one of the covered car wash stalls at a gas station, Sim did a quick bit of googling and a proper inspection and deduced it was most likely his kickstand sensor which seemed properly mangled, probably on Warloop road. He disconnected the sensor and it seems to have solved the problem.We carried on towards Oklahoma.
And here is where the trouble comes in twos expression comes into play. Sim says it’s just confirmation bias, but whenever we have had a fairly major issue, it is followed by another one, a ripped bag, a fallen tree and now another shock. Yep mine has gone now. Seriously barely a week since Sims one crapped out on us and like 3 riding days since Huntsville. We had hoped that Sims busted shock was a once off event, a Friday afternoon special, but it seems that Racing Bros shocks are only suitable for road racing and are definitely not suitable for the TAT.
The shock is still completely rideably. Its only on the really bumpy or steep stuff that it really turns to crap. Fortunately the Oklahoma roads are relatively easy so far so we figured we would try to get to our intended overnight at Salida.
Of course then it started to rain on us and when we checked the weather channel there was a Tornado watch advisory for the area. Great! We have ended up in a motel in Pryor. I must say that although there was no actual tornado, we could see the big dark clouds starting to swirl in a totally tornadoey start kind of way of course that could also be just my imagination.
With regards to my shock. Replacement plans already in place thanks to Ken who has a few OEM ones lying around just waiting for poor sods like us to need them.