Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
It’s been almost two years since I last attended a dual-sport ride. I had been hearing how much fun the NETRA Turkey Runs were, so I decided to try one. The Red Fox Turkey Run was scheduled for the last Sunday in August. It was only about 100 miles away up in Vermont so I figured it would be a good time to get away on a quick camping trip. Luckily I was able to convince the wife to come along for the weekend. That way, if I got hurt, there’d be someone to drive me home. Saturday morning we loaded up the family truckster with our camping gear, cooler, riding gear, tools, bike and dogs. Now, while I am truly grateful that my wife decided to come along, why could she not be somewhat better prepared. <Rant Mode On> Currently she is not working, but instead of getting money from the bank, buying ice and making sure everything was ready, she watches Oprah and has to tell me all about it. So anyway, once everything is loaded we have to drive around and take care of stupid errands. <Rant Mode Off>

We finally get out of town around noon and have to suffer through 30 miles of road construction before we actually get to drive the speed limit. It was at this point I realized something was left behind, the bladder for my Camebak. So along the way we stopped at all the bicycle shops, yet nobody sold just the bladder. It was either a whole new system or nothing. Finally I stopped at a motorcycle shop outside of Bennington, VT. They had either a Thor or a Moose drink system. They also carried the hose assembly for the Moose drink system. Since I knew this would screw into the average water bottle, I bought it and decided to carry a water bottle in my Camelbak pouch instead.

The drive from Albany, NY to Townshend, VT was very scenic and it took us by Mt. Snow ski area and through several small ski towns along the way. The temperature was just perfect for driving with the sunroof open the whole time. We arrived in Townshend a little after 2:30 and after some confusion (MapQuest gave directions for driving over an old wooden bridge that is now closed to traffic) we found the campground. We checked in and went to find a site. I ended up parking next to this guy, Mike from Connecticut, who was also there for the Red Fox. We erected our huge tent and set up our little retreat. This was really a nice campground and our spot had plenty of shade along with some afternoon sun. The organizers did a fantastic job selecting this place. Later on in the evening I talked with Mike about the ride. He invited me to ride with him and his friend Josh, but I had planned on meeting some other riders from the Albany area. Mike also informed me they were A-riders, which meant I’d be struggling just to keep up. I finished prepping the bike and went to bed around 10:00. Only to be awakened by howling dogs and a very loud snoring neighbor (not Mike). This meant that 6:30 a.m. came way too early.

After a quick shower, coffee and breakfast I donned my riding gear and was ready to go by 7:45. I pushed my bike out to the rode before firing it up, my wife told me that several other campers weren’t as courteous. I let the bike warm up for a few minutes then rode down to the start. I arrived just in time as the Tech Inspection line quadrupled in length. After 15 minutes they had taken my name, brand of machine, plate number and decibel reading. I received a small sticker and proceeded to the sign up. After paying $35 I received a bailout map, roll chart and a lunch ticket. I tossed the map and ticket in my fanny pack and attempted to load my roll chart. <Rant Mode On (again)> Why does NETRA insist on using W I D E roll charts? I’ve got a perfectly good holder, but none of the damned roll charts will fit in it! <Rant Mode Off>

I started looking for the other riders I knew would be there. This is where I must digress a little. While this was my first NETRA Turkey Run, I’ve ridden quite a few AMA dual-sport rides. This does NOT mean everyone is riding around on factory dual-sport bikes with universal tires and turn signals. In fact, over 90% of the bikes at most of the organized rides I’ve been on were simply licensed dirt bikes. The Red Fox was no exception. Yet every time I attend one of these rides I see someone with a bone stock factory dual-sport. I usually feel sorry for this individual when I see them in the morning, because, as a minimum, their bike should at least have a real set of knobby tires and remove the stock mirrors. However, when these same individuals start making snide remarks about the pseudo-street legal two-stroke dirt bikes I quit feeling sorry for them and peg them with my famous Boudreaux award. The origin of this award is a whole other story, but I’ll spare you the pain this time. Let’s just say the guy riding the DR650 was my recipient on this ride. Hopefully he stuck to the paved roads and finished without incident.

Eventually I bumped into a couple of the riders I’d been looking for, at the Portacan of all places. They had just arrived and hadn’t gone through Tech yet. By this time it was almost 9:00 and I was ready to leave. Just then I bump into Mike and Josh who asked if I want to ride with them. Never let it be said that I don’t ride to the challenge. Before I knew it we were headed out to enjoy the 2001 Red Fox Turkey Run. While I don’t remember every detail of each section we rode, mainly because of the blistering pace Josh was setting, I will say the ride was awesome. The only drawback was the dust, but this was a whole lot better than riding in mud. The rocky sections were extremely rough. If I stayed close to Mike I’d hit one of those square-edged rocks, hidden under a blanket of dust, and would be out of control. That was usually about the point where I’d back off and let Josh and Mike take off. They were always nice enough to wait for me at the end of the section. The majority of the challenging stuff was steep rocky jeep/snowmobile trails. Being able to pick the right line through this stuff was crucial. I also discovered that if you hit the right rock you could literally jump over some of the loose rough stuff. What singletrack existed was extremely fun. I’d made some simple suspension modifications since the Speedsville Enduro and the GasGas was handling awesome. The minor change I made to the jetting was also noticeable, as I no longer heard any pinging when I lugged it up hills. At 16 miles we stopped and topped off our gas at a small gas station along the route. Granted, having to judge how much oil to add is always a crap-shoot. I took on 0.8 gallons so I added almost 4 OZS. of oil. That was close enough.

Somewhere around mile 30 I finally took my daily soil sample. Going through a singletrack section I tagged a tree with my right shoulder. I’m not quite sure exactly what happened after that. It was one of those “that’s gonna leave a mark” type crashes where everything happens in slow motion, yet you don’t remember much. The damage was very minor though. The right upper arm guard was literally ripped off my chest protector. I got back up and going again. We were only three miles from the lunch stop at the top of Magic Mountain, a ski area that had a terrific view of the valley below. It was around 10:45 when we arrived and lunch wasn’t going to be served until 11:30. Rather than wait around we decided to keep going. Riding back down the ski slope really got my legs burning. The trail was solid rock and had some good drops. There was a little mud to negotiate around, but nothing to get stuck in. Once we were down the mountain we cruised the next 25 miles into the next gas stop.

Just before we arrived at gas I had my first encounter with an upset native. We followed the arrows up a dirt road and at the end of the road an arrow turned us into a residence. Realizing the mistake we all turned around and discovered an over grown two-track. There were about seven riders in our group at this time and all of them started down this road. Just as I was taking off a red pickup stopped and an obviously upset landowner (who’s driveway we just turned around in) hopped out and started screaming obscenities at me for tearing up his lawn, which I hadn’t done. I thought the guy was going to grab me so I decided to take off. This isn’t the first landowner/rider confrontation I’d been involved with, but in this case I was not a club member and decided exiting the situation was better than initiating further confrontation. A couple miles later we were down the road and the welcome we received from the gas station attendants overshadowed this last situation. They provided snacks and drinks for us all free of charge, although there was a donation can sitting on the table. I told Josh and Mike about my encounter and we all surmised that the guy had torn down some arrows. It’s truly sad that things like this happen.

So far we were about 60 miles into the ride, with another 45 left to go. Topping off our gas tanks I was only able to squeeze about 1.5 gallons into mine. The GasGas was getting incredible mileage considering the amount of climbing and terrain. I like this bike more and more all the time. The rest of the ride went fairly well. There were a couple of rough and rocky sections and towards the end my legs were getting extremely tired. It was difficult for me to stand for any length of time. All of a sudden we came across a club member in the trail. He handed us a finishers pin and stated that we were one of the first groups to finish. I stuffed the pin in my fanny pack and rode the rest of the way back to the start. We had covered 105 miles in a little less than five hours. From the start I made my way back to the campground where I took a shower then enjoyed an early dinner of steak, baked potato and salad that my wife had prepared. After dinner we packed up the car and headed for home. The weekend was slowly winding down and we had to get back to the real world. It seems as though those great days of riding are too few and too far in between.

Farmer John

T.C.F.<br>(tire changin' fool)
Mar 8, 2000
Good read WoodsRider.

I used to do dual sports on my RMX. It NEVER failed that someone with a KLR 650 or BMW thing would tell me how bad my bike would be on that particular ride. I would always make a point of tracking them down at the end of the day just to see how their day went :p
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