Red River Scramble 2019: Day 1

I was planning to write this as one big blog entry, but I quickly realized that it was taking me too long to write the whole thing, and that it was becoming far too long, so I’m going to go ahead and break it down into each day to make it more readable.

On Thursday morning we loaded down the Tigers and hit the road en route to Red River Gorge in Kentucky for the 2019 Red River Scramble which is put on by my good friend @MotoADVR. I’ve been looking forward to this event for months, mostly because Drew always raves about the riding in that area and I knew he had been working tirelessly to scout the best routes for all skill levels.

We always try to minimize our interstate riding, so we took backroads the first 3rd of the way. We would have taken them the whole way, but Dwayne wanted to make a pit stop in Lexington to take a spin on a Royal Enfield Himalayan at a dealership there, so we hopped on I-64 at Shelbyville and bopped on over to Lexington.

We didn’t want to hang around too long at the dealership because we had plans to meet everyone at Miguel’s Pizza in Slade at Noon, so we both just took a couple of short spins on the Himalayan and Dwayne took their new 650 Interceptor for a quick ride as well while I waited with the bikes.

After that quick stop, we continued on to Miguel’s where we had some delicious pizza and started meeting some new friends. FYI, if you ever find yourself at Miguel’s really hungry, you can probably leave satiated on just 2 slices, 4 slices is a bit much, but if you’re with a friend, one of you can get 4 slices, one can get 2, and you both eat 3 (assuming you can agree on toppings), and that’s the sweet spot. These are the details people need to know, right?!

We left Miguel’s a little before the others so we could swing back up to the gas stations in Slade to fuel up before heading to the Lago Linda Hideaway to check in to our cabin for the weekend. We had some time to kill before check in so we took the long route which, ironically, incorporated part of one of the novice routes Drew had mapped out.

Once we got to the Lago Linda Hideaway, I found the ladies running the place to be extremely kind and welcoming. They had already opened the cabin up for us, so all we had to do was ride on down the hillside and unload our stuff. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our view from the deck of our cabin was absolutely beautiful, as you can see in the pictures below…

The inside of our cabin was small, but extremely comfortable, it was just the right size for the two of us. My only complaint of the whole place is that I wish there was a bit more counter space in the bathroom, other than that, it was absolutely perfect, and that’s really nitpicking. We have already decided that we will go back sometime this summer and rent this cabin again because we loved it so much.

After we got settled into the cabin, we were sitting outside on the deck when we heard a bike passing by, we went to see who it was and it turned out to be a couple on a KTM 1290 named Jamie and Melanie from Monticello, Indiana. They stopped and Jamie asked if my name was Jenna. It turned out to be a Facebook friend who I hadn’t met in person before who recognized my bike, and the four of us struck up a conversation and hit it off right away.

A little later we decided to run to the store for some water to get us through the weekend. We could have made it there in 20 minutes, but what fun would that have been?! I found a better route, and we took off exploring. I tend to pick pretty good routes most of the time, so our trip to the store looked like this…

Once we got the water, we returned partially the same way, except there was another dirt section with some mud and a tunnel under a railroad that we took to switch things up a little bit. When we got back, we relaxed for a bit while I mapped a route for us to take to dinner. I probably should have checked out Drew’s routes before I started mapping my own, because every route I mapped was part of the routes he already had laid out. Plus, I could have pulled up his GPX file for this route and I may not have gotten us lost in a creek…

We started down a road that turned to gravel, and then to dirt, and then into a creek. On the gravel section it had a steep decline with thick gravel, and for some reason Dwayne’s bike died as we were going down it, causing it to lock up his back wheel and make him fishtail a bit. He didn’t realize it at first because we wear earplugs, and when his back wheel locked up he thought he had accidentally locked up the back brake, so he released it and pulled in the clutch, but then when he released the clutch it locked up again, which is when he realized the bike had died, so he restarted it and got down the hill fine after that.

After it turned to dirt, this road was a lot of fun, but eventually we couldn’t tell if the road continued down the creek, or up a super steep hill with some large embedded rocks. There was no margin for error and we didn’t feel comfortable attempting that climb on 500lb bikes that we had to be able to ride back home, so we made the decision to turn around. I mentioned it to Drew later and he said he thought that we actually didn’t get out of the creek early enough and we missed the road we were supposed to take.

As I was turning my bike around to go back through the creek to head back out, I saw two bikes coming down the creek and recognized one of them to be Matt Kelley. I had never met Matt before, but my teammate Amelia had mentioned him before in passing and what a good rider he is, and I’m also friends with him on Facebook, so I was pretty sure that’s who it was when I saw him, and that was also the moment that I realized I was probably in over my head if I was on the same trails as him! I told Dwayne to stop him and ask him if he knew which way the road went, and he said that he and the guy who was riding with him had been exploring that area for a while and kept hitting dead ends, so he wasn’t sure where the road went either, and they were also heading back out.

After we talked to Matt and his friend for a bit, we let them continue on, and we got saddled back up on our bikes and headed out as well. Everything was going fine until we started back up the hill with the thick gravel that Dwayne had the issues with on the way down. I was up on the pegs, throttling up the hill when I hit an embedded rock that kicked my back tire out a bit. When I went to slide it back around, I slid it too far and ended up laying Tora down on her left side. It is ALWAYS her left side, that poor bike. Every single time I have ever layed her down, it has always been on her left side, so she has one side that has virtually no blemishes, and then she has one side that is pretty much beat to hell at the moment, which you’ll read more about on Day 3, so be sure to stay tuned for that!

Luckily, I put a folding shift pedal on her before we left, so the only thing I broke was her turn signal cover, and knocked her mirror loose. It turned out that although we had brought tools with us, the mirror used a wrench size that we didn’t need for anything else so we hadn’t brought it with us, so I ended up just removing the mirror for the time being.

We eventually made it to dinner at the Red River Rockhouse. The food was okay, but I probably wouldn’t choose to eat there again, since it was my least favorite meal of all the places we ate this weekend. After dinner we went back to camp so we could attend the riders meeting. While we were there, we talked some more with Jamie and Melanie, and we made plans to ride with them the next day, before we all retired for the evening.

Day 2 will be up in the next day or two, so stay tuned!

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