Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Training on loose sand, experimenting with tire air pressures

Today's primary objective after work was to train/work on riding on loose sand, something that proved quite difficult at times in the last couple of days.  I got to a small stretch leading to the Mill Canyon Trailhead and began trying different air pressure levels.

Started off at 13 PSI, not very stable and much use of the "outriggers", my feet dabbing the sand in order to remain upright.

Lowered it to 11 PSI on the front and 10 in the rear.  Better handling with some occasional dabbing.  Didn't really want to go lower than 10 PSI so after a few runs back and forth, called it good for the day.  I was quite sweaty and tired at this point so I rode over to a nearby rock formation to park in its shade for a bit.

Yagi rode the sloping slick rock at the base of the rock formation with no issues, the only difficulty being in its rider's mind.

After I was rested and cooled off, I rode about a bit, exploring some trails that lead to closed off areas again.  Upon my return to the aforementioned rock formation I took a pic of it for future reference:

 Yes, lots of slick rock to ride over.

 La Sal Mountains

Imposing Rock formation on the way back
to the MIll Canyon campground.

I started heading in the direction of the campsite, but decided to take the turnoff to something called Tusher Tunnel.  Sounded intriguing.  Trouble is, you have to climb this deeply sandy hill to get to the tunnel.  I'd done this hill before when I first took Scarlett, my 2014 Ural sidecar rig to Moab, years ago.  It was pretty tough on three wheels and being alone, I decided instead to detour onto the Monitor-Merrimac OHV Loop Section P.

This part of the loop was ALL Sand.  The tan colored stuff was doable though I did manage to drop Yagi for the first time today in some deep stuff:

Further forward, the sand would turn gray in color, I think it was silt from the creek that the trail runs through.  I remember going through some wet stuff in past rides with fellow Uralisti through something called Tusher Wash.

I didn't make it that far at all, the gray sand convinced me to head back.  I waited for a large herd of UTVs to race by and then proceeded at a more leisurely speed back to the campsite.

I did stop before the highway and aired the tires up.  Managed 12.5 in the rear tire and only 11 in the front tire with the small hand pump I carried.  Looks like I'll have carry the electric one from now on!

 About an hour before sunset, I again posed Yagi
on a hill with the La Sal mountains in the distanbce

Pretty much the same sunset angle as yesterday but with much more clouds, it was an OK sunset, not great.

 Last gasp by the sun....


Unknown said...

Your "imposing rock formation" looks like the Sphinx.

redlegsrides said...

Unknown, I kind of thought so as well.

RichardM said...

That sand doesn’t look like much fun. And it’s starting to look hot (temperature) as well.

As far as tire pumps go, I really like the CyclePump I’ve even used it to air up the truck tires...

redlegsrides said...

Loose deep sand is not for the unwary .... tried going faster and it was just quicker time to the front wheel starting to weave! Ah’s all good

redlegsrides said...

I’ll check out the pump.... thanks

Troubadour said...

I'm not a big fan of sand either, but the trick is keeping your head and eyes up, move your weight back on the seat or better yet stand on the pegs and allow the bike to move underneath you, then keep your speed up to float the front tire. You're wise not to air down too much, and should be safe at 10 psi.
Great scenery and beautiful photos, makes me want to check out Moab, thanks for sharing.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Troubadour for the tips....I'll try them next time. Making the front tire float more makes sense. I've been trying to stand on the pegs more and more, especially on the rocky bouncy bits....not sure about doing that on loose sand but will give it a shot.