Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dual Sport Podcast

I just listened to the first couple of episodes of The Dual Sport Podcast and have really liked what I've heard so far. I'd recommend giving it a listen!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Next Summer's Adventure: West Virginia

I must miss riding all day in the dirt and then sleeping in a smelly tent, because I'm beginning the planning stages of another long dual-sport ride. It's not quite on the scale of the TAT, but it should still be a lot of fun, and mostly on terrain that I know and love (I haven't started to miss deep sand yet). The route is a nearly 1000 mile loop made from portions of the TWVT (Trans-West Virginia Trail), portions of a missed ride a local rider put together last year(thanks again Garry), and some connections I made up using

I may have a few local riding buddies along with me for this one, which will be cool. I'll be posting more updates here as this thing progresses.

I'm also hoping to spend a few days checking out the Hatfield-McCoy trail system in WV in a separate trip.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Five Star Cycle Ride - 11/21/2010

I left early on a cold Sunday morning to meet up with some of the guys from for a ride at Five Star Cycle in Saegertown, Pa.


I hadn't ridden on the trails behind Five Star before, and I had heard that it might be muddy but I didn't anticipate how muddy it ended up being. The wet conditions made for some difficult riding on the DRZ. Both of my tires kept packing up with mud, making both steering and forward progress difficult to attain. There were a lot of spills today. The high point of the day for me was when Dan from Five Star swapped bikes with me and I got to finish the course on his KTM 350SX-F. All of a sudden I had all kinds of traction and power to work with, and everything was coming up Millhouse for me the rest of the lap.

I tried something different with my GoPro this time. I swapped out the back cover from the sealed cover to the one with cutouts. It definitely improved the sound quality.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10/10/10 Ride - Seven Springs

I met up with some of the rufcutriders early on 10/10/10 and we trailered our bikes to the Somerset area of Pennsylvania. We spent the day riding a variety of trails in the area, some of which I had been on years ago in my Jeep. We saw lots of gravel, old railroad beds, some water crossings and a bit of mud. The only carnage of the day was a flat tire on a KTM, a broken headlight on an Aprilia, and a Husaberg that didn't want to pump fuel.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

GoPro releases a new HD Hero helmet cam

GoPro HD Hero 960 Camera
The $179 HD Hero 960 records in 960p (what I usually use) and 720p. It also lacks the expansion port of the Hero HD. Full info from GoPro.

*full disclosure...the Amazon links above are part of an associates program.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rocky Gap - Allegheny National Forest 9/17-9/18/2010

Larry from and I loaded up our bikes onto his trailer and drove north to Allegheny National Forest. We let the GPS on my iPhone guide us, so we ended up on some narrow gravel roads pulling a very wide trailer. Once we found the campsite, we had some fun trying to find a place to park the truck and trailer. Larry did some Austin Powers type maneuvers and eventually he got it off the road. We set up camp and then rode into a little town 11 miles away to get some food and ice. On the way we saw a big porcupine who was in no hurry to cross the road. I hadn't ever seen one in the wild before, and was surprised at how big it was. When we got back to camp we spent the rest of the evening drinking a few beers around the campfire talking about bikes.

The next morning we hit the trails. We did the easy loop a few times and then Larry and I rode the advanced loop. All of the trails were wide for quads and were pretty easy. Most of the turns had nice berms which I wasn't used to. Next time I ride there I'm going to ride them a lot faster. Larry and I switched bikes for a bit so I got to ride the KLR for a bit. It's quite a bit more comfortable than my DRZ! After the advanced trail, we rode the easy loop back to camp and loaded back up on the trailer. There were little gnats everywhere that would swarm you if you stood still for more than a second. You can see them crawling on the lens of my GoPro in some of the unedited video I shot.

Dowload the Garmin track file

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Five Star Dual Sport Ride 5-29-2010

In May I met up with some other members at Five Star Cycles in Saegertown, PA for a ride in the surrounding area. There was some good single-track and lots of elevation changes which made for a fun day of riding.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Laurel Fork Campout Spring 2010

I had just finished (or so I thought) buying all of the equipment and supplies that I thought I would need for my TAT ride and remembered having seen a post on advrider about a campout at Laurel Fork. I decided this would be a great way to give all of my equipment a "shakedown run". It would be close to 200 miles of riding to get down there (about what I was planning on doing each day on the TAT) and I'd get to use all of my camping gear. I headed out Saturday morning at about 8 am. I made my first stop for gas/food in Washington, Pa. While I was eating a bacon egg 'n cheese biscuit a guy came over and was asking me all kinds of questions about my bike and what I was up to. This turned out to be a very common occurrence as I rode west on the TAT. Most people I talked to were very surprised that I'd ride such a long distance on a dual-sport. On my way south I rode through Morgantown, WV. I'd never really been through the downtown area before. It seemed like a cool town to do the college thing at. I stopped for lunch in Elkins, WV and then started on the back roads that would take me the rest of the way to the campsite. Some of those roads were the best I rode on this trip, with ruts, mud, and some good switchbacks that were all a lot of fun. I finally rolled into the campsite around 7 pm. I didn't know a single person there. Apparently there were a few rufcutriders there the night before and I had just missed them. So I spent the rest of the evening traveling from campfire to campfire introducing myself and chatting with a bunch of new people. Everyone I met was really great and there were some real characters there.

The next morning everyone split up into a few different groups and we went out to ride. My group headed for Smith Mountain road. Smith Mountain was a fun ride. When we got to the end a few people split up. I ended up following the wrong riders and lost the rest of the group. I hadn't filmed any of Smith Mountain, so I turned back and rode it the other direction and filmed the whole stretch. After filming Smith Mountain, I decided just to go exploring and snake my way back towards camp. Along the way, I saw a sign for Spruce Knob, and decided to head that way. The ride up to Spruce Knob was good scenery and good dirt and gravel roads. It actually got a bit chilly when I got  up in elevation but the view was worth it. I think I saw a few snow flakes in the air as I was heading back down. When I got back to camp others were starting to return as well, some with some found ramps. I wasn't brave enough to try any...but I will the next time I'm down there. We had a great dinner at the camp and then spent the rest of the evening around campfires drinking beers and sharing stories. I met one guy (sorry, forget the name) who had just ridden the TAT. I picked his brain for quite a while and felt reassured that I had planned and prepared wisely.

Sunday morning I packed up the tent and hit the road back home. I was anxious to get home, and tried to ride on I79 for a bit. Big mistake. The big rigs were blowing me all over the road and I could barely keep up with traffic. So I got back off the interstate and took the back roads the rest of the way home. All-in-all, I covered close to 600 miles over the weekend.

I'm hoping to make the fall campout coming up next month.


The route I put together to get to Laurel Fork:

My actual route:

The ride report thread on

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

GoPro Hero HD Firmware Update Finally Out

The v02.05.11 firmware update for the GoPro Hero HD is available for download. I'm especially excited about One Button Mode and Upside Down Mode. Its too bad I just filmed 52 GB of upside down video. Other new features are Live Feed Out, Live Feed On-Screen Display, and PAL 25/50 fps Support.

See more info and download here:

Update:  I just did the firmware update and it was quick and painless. I will get a chance to try it out this coming weekend when I head to the Allegheny National Forest.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Welcome to MotoAventure.Me

Welcome! This site is a continuation of what I started when I blogged my 2010 Trans-America Trail ride. I found I enjoyed logging the details of my ride and having a centralized location for photos and videos. And since I already have the cameras and other equipment I might as well continue to put it all to use.

About Me:

I am a 34 year old science teacher living near Pittsburgh, Pa with my girlfriend, two dogs, a cat and a some ocean critters. I currently teach high school chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental biology. I enjoy learning about and using technology in both my professional and personal life. I've grown up riding dirt bikes, but just got into dual-sporting about a year ago.

So here I am back home in Pittsburgh, unable to ride because of a broken finger thanks to some rough Nevada terrain. Starting a new site gives me something moto related to do until I can get back to riding. My first few posts here are going to be recaps of some of the rides I've taken over that last year. I hope to be back on the bike by the end of this month for a camping trip to Allegheny National Forest.

About the site:
In the future I plan to share more ride reports, great photos, HD video, and maybe some product reviews. This site will be a vehicle for me to document and share my progression in dual-sport and off-road motorcycling. Please feel free to leave comments on any posts. I'd love to hear from others interested in dual-sporting. I'm also always very interested in finding some new locations to explore.

Enjoy the ride!