Dual Sport Riding Club, Stampede Pass to Greenwater Via Tacoma Pass

Details and Naration

I left at 6:15am to drive 110 miles North to Bend Washington, stopping for gas at Costco and breakfast at McDonalds. Here's the event description from the Meetup page

Meetup at the North Bend Chevron fuel station at 10am. We will ride back roads up to Snoqualmie pass ending up in Easton. There will be fuel in Easton if needed. Then we will ride to Stampede Pass to Tacoma Pass then to Greenwater (there is also fuel in Greenwater).

There will be a couple of challenging spots. I would say a 4 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. This ride may be to difficult if you are a beginner or never been off road.

Your bike needs at least 30/70 tires to handle the rocky, loose gravel and rocky hills. This ride will be big bike friendly.

Bring your lunch and fluids to drink.

I will have a quick rider meeting at 10am then head out.

All are welcome to join me in Greenwater for ice cream :)

We started with 11 riders and picked up 2 more in Easton for a total of 13.
  1. Organized by Shawn Johnson, a great, easy-going, fast rider on a tricked out KTM 1290 Adventure.
  2. Fred Faghihi, very fast, up in the first 3 most of the ride.
  3. Myself on an almost-new 2017 Africa Twin CRF1100L
  4. Joe Calhoun, lowered DR-650 (I was well matched to his pace early on)
  5. Ben Middlebrooks
  6. Robert Appling
  7. Sean Breen (brought the 2 guests)
  8. Robert Goldbecker
  9. William Eidsmore
  10. ?
  11. ?
It was very experienced group, mostly on DR-400, DR-650, and similar dual-sports.

Track Log with map links

TimeMinuteskmkph avgComment
6:14am8.8getting ready to go
6:22am117.1223 km117
8:20am4.6Costco gas stop Tacoma
8:24am34.043 km76
8:58am27.9McDonalds breakfast Maple Valley
9:26am26.128 km64
9:52am28.9Mt. Si Chevron, North Bend Meetup Start
10:21am24.129 km73 Kickstands up, the ride begins
10:45am4.4NF-55 cross the South Fork Snoqualmie River
10:50am27.127 km59
11:17am9.1Kachess Lake Rd
11:26am16.813 km46
11:53am3.13 km51
11:56am14.8Easton Shell Station
12:11pm8.513 km89 Highway stretch
12:20pm1.6I-90 Exit to Kachess Lake Rd
12:21pm23.115 km40
12:44pm74.7NF-41 & NF-4113 Tire Repair(!)
1:59pm9.46 km35
2:11pm11.57 km39
2:23pm4.9NF-7040, NF-5200, NF-5200-3
2:28pm16.08 km31
2:44pm15.3NF-7040 (Valley View pictures)
2:59pm12.48 km39
3:12pm14.2NF-7036 (Rainier View pictures)
3:26pm11.98 km41
3:38pm5.5NF-7030, 70, NF-7210
3:43pm10.613 km73
3:54pm1.8NF-70 turn onto Hwy 410
3:56pm3.03 km63
3:59pm62.4Greenwater ice-cream
5:01pm14.922 km90
5:16pm2.9Silver Creek Visitor Information Center, "Where can I get gas?"
5:19pm12.014 km71
5:31pm28.7Hwy 410 and 123 waiting for tow truck
5:60pm32.538 km70
6:32pm7.5Gas stop in Packwood
6:40pm133218 km98 Packwood to I-5 to home
8:45pm218 km Arrived home
14h28m8h35m moving728 km84.8 kph59% moving, 354 minutes of breaks

Leaving home

The ride up I-5 was fast and cold. Low of 51°F (10.5°C), high of 61°F (16°C). And, at 130 kph (80 mph) the Africa Twin gets pretty poor mileage (42 mpg), so I stopped for gas in Tacoma.


Shortly after getting gas, I wanted coffee to warm up and something to eat. A McDonald's "Big Breakfast" and Large Latte filled the bill.

Meeting at the Chevron Station

First regrouping stop where NF-55 crosses the South Fork Snoqualmie River

I suffered a pinch flat

The bike really felt funny and wasn't steering right. Then the ABS light started flashing, and I became sure that something was wrong. I stopped and waved down the group. My front tire was *flat*. Several people had pumps and tool kits. I had nothing. But none of the pumps would do anything for the tire. Apparently the tube was really badly cut. After a few minutes, Shawn came back and decided that we were going to change the tube. He had a suitable spare. My centerstand has been purchased, but not installed. However, we were able to lay the bike down on my Aerostich suit without a scratch. Turns out this is a really easy way to work on the front wheel for this bike. Between the union of 5 people's tool kits we had everything needed to get the wheel off, tube changed, pumped up, and back together. Total delay about 1h10m.

It's notable that I never felt like I hit anything hard. I didn't check tire pressure before the trip, but I think it was good. The decal on the bike recommends 29 psi. I pumped it up to 36 psi after the repair and rode a bit more conservatively afterwards.

TBD I need to put together an off-road tool-and-spares kit for each bike I ride off-road. It should contain at least:

Valley and Skyline picture stop

Rainier view picture stop

Ice Cream at Greenwater

Most of the group hung out with ice-cream and talked bikes and riding for an hour outside in the perfect weather.
Fred leaned back a little too hard in his plastic Adirondack chair and it came apart on him. That was fun!

The trip home

At about 5pm, I begged off as I still had about 3 hours to ride home and I'm still on Central European time, so it already feels like 2am.

I only have 2 bars showing on my gas gauge and think I have maybe 50 miles of fuel remaining. I can head West and have a long, ugly ride home or South and have a pretty ride. I hope there's gas somewhere along the way. I proceed at 50 mph to get best mileage.

After about 20 miles, I stop at a ranger station to ask where I can find fuel. She says equal distance back and foward, so I proceed on towards Packwood. She says about 35 miles. I'm pretty sure I'm good for that, but maybe just barely.

At the turnoff from Hwy 410 to 123, there's a traffic pause while they pull a car back up that went over the edge. We wait around for about 28 minutes.

From here it's mostly downhill to Packwood. I ride a few miles of it with the bike off, coasting in neutral.

A lot of it is at 80 mpg or more. Made it into Packwood with 1 bar showing, but not flashing yet. Got exactly $20 of fuel at $5.299/gal and see that I averaged 50 mpg since Tacoma. The Africa Twin gets pretty good mileage flogging in in the dirt. The spec is 4.97 gal, so the 50 mpg range is about 250 miles. I was only at 190, so still had 60 miles remaining.

Nice ride from Packwood, but West into the setting sun, then only I-5 and home 15 minutes before the Google estimate.

Total day was 6:15am to 8:45pm or 14.5 hrs and 728 km (455 miles). About 44--50 miles on unpaved roads.

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