AngryJim, DIrtBikeDave, Jonala & Placelast do the Creek


Apr 11, 2001
DBD organized a ride at the Creek and AJ performed guide duties.

I awoke early as usual but did into have to haul any bikes up as both of mine have sold; the 250 off to a new anxious owner on the east coast via Roadway Express for a reasonable $322 collect. All I brought was my gear and premix – AJ generously provided a bike for me; he has a ’05 250exc and ’02 for sale - this was to be a test ride for my consideration.

Arriving first provided the prime front spot at the Oak Flat staging/camp. DBD arrived shortly after me, with Jonala and Jim thereafter. I’ve never met AJ before; funny how we develop ideas of how someone is supposed to look like and act. He was younger than envisioned and in good shape physically, which later meant he could really ride – I never had him in sight when I was #2 in line behind him; glad he waited at trail junctures.

He had me start out the day on the ’05 as to lessen the shock of riding an unfamiliar bike; have to say it’s very similar to what my 250 was when on the fire road leading to the trail head. Once on the trail differences were apparent: this thing hooks up, is stable and rails at the same time. Performing sweep allowed a view of the first problems encountered on a long rock climb: Jonala and DBD have some difficulties but there were some good lines to go around them. On my way to the top my punch line to AJ was going to be “the KTMs made it to the top unscathed” until my rear tire clipped a baby head-sized rock and pitched me and bike 90 degrees; so much for boasting, especially after one of the other two went right by me. And the tear in my Moose leathers prevented any lying.

After much more single track, AJ traded me his ’02 for the ’05 I was on up to that point. Whoa! This one has some serious juice; wants to wheelie and can chug/grunt just fine.

We then picked up some of the Wild Boar loop though some steep slopes and ridge back single track, stopping periodically for us – well, at least me – to catch breath. AJ used his discretion to take us down a canyon of little traffic; it doesn’t get much sun so was damp enough for the traction wee needed for off-camber turns and hopping over tree roots and rocks. I don’t remember getting out of 2nd much; mostly first gear. We took an extended break near the mouth of this canyon and snacked and talked bikes, enduros and such.

DBD wanted to trade which put me on his fine CRE. More zip! And more nervous – not stable like the KTMs, but with that similar and fun zing factor of a well-tuned engine.

Crossing over to the other side, AJ took us though Manzanita twisties galore until we poked out on the ridges. One sole insert for my Tech 6 came partially off, which meant it was getting rather troublesome to shift and slide back onto the ball of my foot. At one break DBD rolled electrical tape with enough loops to secure it for the rest of the day.

Now there was this one outrageous down hill where the descent was a controlled brake slide - both ends! Things were getting gnarlier and gnarlier until we stopped at an extended hill climb others were attempting. AJ couldn’t resist and made it on his 3rd attempt. He did say I could become the proud owner of his ’02 at no cost if I cleaned it. Though in the process or any attempt I’d certainly become maimed.

Back on the course he took us up one stream bed which required momentum to overcome wet rocks and deep ruts around trees, with embedded roots; I was so glad to be on his torquey ’02. We then did some more twisties and ended up near a pond, which had smaller ponds nearby on the trail; there was no way around due to the buses, and he did not want to have to clean two bikes with a filmy mud splash, let alone newly clay-dyed gear. So more intense twisties and we reach a gnarly downhill, to which Jonala says “no way – maybe when I was younger”; he was going to take another way back to camp. I wasn’t going to let him go back alone and joined in – at least that’s my excuse – or was it being on a loaned bike, I sis not want to break it? Either one will work. So the Super Seniors and the vets parted ways back to camp.

On our way back Jonala pointed at my loaned KTM, and I took it he meant we were to swap. So we did. Then he said “no, this one's too big” and I told him “too late budding: you’re on it now!” He came to like it; at least that’s what he said after pulling in to camp. His XR is not bad at all – like a couch with a mile-wide unintimidating yet adequate pull. Only thing I’d change is the large-diameter throttle wheel.

AJ and DBD arrived shortly after we changed back into street clothes. We chatted for some time, ate and said good-byes.

That was one of the best rides I’d been on; moreover like a pro with no bike washing!

AJ: thanks again for the loan/test ride. I never imagined KTM suspension could be so good; both are so dialed. And those engines – sure fine. I had to decline as they both were too bulky for the beach weakling (your’s truly) to manhandle into submission. But I do appreciate the opportunity as doing so narrow down my next bike choice. For a while there I thouigh you were living up to your screen name and taking it out on us with the trail torture, but then it occured to me nothing was beyond our abilities, and it was a good push to exercise and test the limits our skill.

That’s great of you to lead us on some of the Creek’s finest.

DBD: for calling us all together. The Creek is like Ballinger on overdrive; 10x, eh?

Jonala: for waiting and watching out for me. It was a pleasure to have my first and last rides at the Creek with you.

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
That was a great ride! I had a blast. It was excellent seeing the three of you again.

Thanks for the report, John. If you get another bike soon, we will have to try for an encore. One minor correction - I am Senior Class eligible, and not a young whippersnapper Vet like Angry Jim.

I also greatly enjoyed riding Jim's '02 and '05. Those are fine machines. Anyone looking for a quality used bike could not do any better. I might even buy one, but I would need to sell my CRE first!

With a good guide, Clear Creek is a sensational place to ride. Thanks for showing us around, Jim!

angry jim

Sponsoring Member
Aug 4, 2000
Reading this report makes me feel like I was there... ;)

It was good meeting up with a couple ol riding buddies from way back, and meeting Placelast for the first time. I rarely ride for fun anymore, so i was really looking forward to a relaxing, fun day.
I arrived 15 minutes early and was still the last guy there. I was glad that I wouldn't have to wait. Somebody mentioned something about enduro's, so that became the theme of the day. Single track was the order of the day. After a slow and rocky warm up we got into lots of tight single track used in the National enduro. It was low gear root and rock infested trail with one good sized log to cross. I took the opportunity to watch for carnage after I paddled over the log, but everyone made it over pretty good. We took plenty of short breaks so we wouldn't wear down too early in the ride.
As John said, I decided to drop into one of my favorite canyons at clear creek. We played around a little, but everyone was fresh at this point and made it through some pretty tricky stuff. There was a steep, loose hill that dropped right into a creek crossing that I thought might be trouble, but everyone made it fine.
After our 'lunch' we headed for bushy single track to the north. The trails were a little easier and faster, so we got in some quick mileage and about a 10 mile loop. After doing some fun little hill climbs while Jonala wrestled his XR down a steep, slippery hill, we climbed a tricky little hill that lead us to another fun trail. Jonala showed everyone his enduro experience with a hot line through the creek bed. It was good to see Jonala tap into his aggresive side and clean some really nasty roots and rocks. Dave made sure I didn't get stuck and off we went.
The miles were adding up and we decided to take the slow, meandering way back. We took every pig trail we could find. There weren't many problems until we came across a steep rutted left hander with creek at the bottom and a steep 'V' rut back up the other side. I waited for everyone to evaluate the decent. I had a good view and thought it was doable, since everyone had done so well so far. I was much more worried about going up the other side actually. It ended up being ok and I found a spot up the other side to watch the fun. Dave went next and plowed through without to much trouble. We waited for the 2 Johns, but I could see that they were turning around. It looked like Placelast was just about to drop in, but we weren't even sure if we could get out yet.
It was just Dave now on the last leg of our ride. I played around for a couple of minutes climbing up the hill we just went down and turning around and back down again. Dave had a head start out of the 2 foot deep rain rut trail, but I rounded the corner and saw Dave spinning his rear tire like he was on a treadmill. After he caught his breath, I told him to start the bike and throw all his weight on the seat as he let out the clutch. It worked awesome and Dave gloriously wheelied up the rut for several yards before encountering a hard right hander. Dave briefly ghostrode the bike before it stalled upright in the deepening rut. Eventually we crested the ridge and regrouped with a relatively easy ride back to beer...or camp.
We got in some good quality miles and had fun doing it. I can't wait to do it all over again soon. It was good to see some old school DRNers. By the way, you guys, I'm about ready to move up to the senior class too.


Sep 20, 2000
I wish I was close enough to learn something from you guys. I had a great time. Thanks again for waiting for me all day.
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