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SWWASAS

Gifford Pinchot Encounter April 21, 2015

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BigTreeWalker

Wouldn't be much fun trying to ride a bike out in the dark. Thanks for the update. I've been so busy with my construction project that I probably won't get out again until the bad weather starts and the gates are all locked.

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SWWASAS

While the bike gets you there quick compared to on foot, if the road is rough with large rocks you spend a lot of time and attention riding the bike. I was concerned riding over blackberry thorns as I do not know how puncture resistant the tires are. In certain conditions I might just ride right past a BF making like a stump. I had a couple of double takes like that and stopped to look back. Like you said I would not want to do it in the dark. I need to address that and probably should at least have a headlight on the bike. Just in case I have to fix a tire and am not out until after dark. I have had a hard time gauging how far away from my truck I can go and get back in a reasonable time. Uphill can be slow but when it is you come whizzing down in no time at all. But dark is definitely a boundary I do not want to cross at this point. I would stop now and then to listen,, and my best hope of an encounter is to completely surprise a BF that does not know what is coming and steps out right in front of me. That location is not exactly a popular mountain bike route so BF there may have never encountered a human on a bicycle. Depends on how much they move around. I saw some people in Orange. Is it still hunting season? Hopefully they will not confuse me on a bike with a running deer.

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BigTreeWalker

Yes, it's deer season now.

When I'm heading out I always check the time and then divide the amount of time til dark by two. Simple I know but when I reach the halfway time I start heading back. Of course you can take into account how much meandering you've been doing and the terrain you have to return through, then adjust accordingly.

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BC witness

I used to ride a mtn bike a lot in the woods, up to about a decade ago, when my Norco Sasquatch was stolen. I found that I saw way more wildlife while riding, than when I walked in the same areas. You tend to cover more distance at a faster pace, even on rough terrain, and you do so almost silently. On 1 ride on an old logging railway grade along a feeder creek of the Yakh River, over a 3 hr ride, I saw dozens of whitetails, a cow and calf elk, a cow and calf moose, a large black bear, and finally a huge bull moose that wouldn't move off the trail, forcing me to turn around.

 

Wear a bike helmet while out there, it's way too easy to fall if you hit a rock or root the wrong way, so your noggin is protected, and it's a great place to mount a GoPro. I always allowed twice as much time for the uphill climb out than for the downhill glide back, and never got caught out in the dark.

 

I really need to get a good bike again, I miss it a lot. I was just so disgusted when my $2G bike was ripped off from inside my locked truck canopy, that I gave up on it in dispair.

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SWWASAS

Time headed out divided by two works for foot travel because your speed is pretty much the same up or down hill. A little slower climbing but not significantly. But down hill on a bike can be three or 4 times faster than uphill. I wear a helmet. I think the helmet might have discouraged the mountain lion from jumping me a few weeks ago. Probably makes you look strange or bigger to them. One thing that I have noticed that I could memorize enough of a topo map on foot to remember it in the field. But on the bike you cover so much ground that you cannot remember the map details. Bike is just different that hiking around on foot. Cover a lot of terrain.

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daveedoe

My wife has been bugging me to get E bike conversion for our hybrid bikes. here is a review of one for fat tires, makes going up hill easy

 

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BC witness

Oh, I like that!

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SWWASAS

I have looked at the Daymak before. Notice when you compare the Falco and the Daymak the ranges are considerably different. That is primarily due to the weight differences. The Daymak is much heavier. The Beast might not be legal in some states due to the top speed and the total motor wattage. Also due to weight you are going to have to treat the Daymak like a motorcycle. Ramps into a pickup bed, trailer, or a motorcycle ramp mounted on the trailer hitch socket. Even that is a problem because motor cycle hitch racks, are too narrow to hold those big ATV type wide tires the Daymak has. I went through all of this with my Bad Dog. Washington does not want an electric bike capable of going more than 20 mph. My Bad Dog could have been converted to electric instead of gas motor so if someone wants to roll their own Damak Beast, you could probably do that for much less than the Daymak Beast cost. But like the Daymak it would need peddles to comply with electric bike laws. The shock obsorbing seat on the Daymak looks like a good thing. But whatever someone does if you operate in National Forest, the vehicle has to be street legal or limited to ATV or off road motorcycle designated areas. So some sort of electric bike conversion is street legal and could use National Forest roads as well as trails. All things to consider if you look into anything other than a normal pedal bike. Quite frankly on the areas I am interested the roads are physically blocked off with ditch barriers, huge rocks, or large trees so no matter what you are riding on an old logging road, no forest ranger is going to be there to stop you or give you a ticket. They cannot get on the road in a truck because of the barriers.

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norseman

I think if your behind a locked gate that has a non motorized use sign your getting a ticket no matter if its a E bike or E motorcycle.

i've been looking at the Zero Stealth fighter as well. At least with some thing like that you can outrun the forest cops ;)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PFuSXJ-z6_8

Here is a zero bike kicking hinney in a enduro race.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ke-3UuQycJM

Edited by norseman

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SWWASAS

Locked gate is one thing and I have encountered forest service personnel on them when I am on foot. They come in patrol then leave normally never even talking to me. I had one all but accuse me of using a logging loader to tear out the gate. But I asked how anyone could do that, not knowing the loader was just down the hill. But the roads of most interest to me are old logging roads that have not been used in decades. They go into older growth forest that I think are more likely to be BF habitat that areas now being logged. I find a lot of cougar scat, and suspicious large scat on them. As one like that that the cougar jumped out in front of me. They have 4 foot deep moats, at least two, large rocks or large trees, blocking the end before the moats. Unless the forest service drives tanks they are not going to be on that road on anything but their feet. That makes no sense to me from a fire fighting standpoint. It will take a bulldozer to remove those road blocks and get fire equipment in.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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SWWASAS

Flew an aerial recon of the GP yesterday.  The winds at altitude were light and it was not real bumpy.     The leafy trees are dropping leaves and leaving more open ground to be seen.    The focus of my recon are mountain ridges,    SW facing slopes,  and high open areas where humans are unlikely to be just because of the climb and accessibility.      I keep hoping to catch a BF moving about in the clear because there are no humans around and catch them when I come roaring past at 200 or 300 feet.    Or see them basking in the sun on some SW facing slope.       Some of my observations yesterday are:     There is a huge amount of forest out there with little or no human access.     There are hanging valleys with heavy forest and streams,  with no mark of human presence anywhere near.        You could be hiding an army of BF out there and never know it was there.     A lot of the ridge lines that connect to other ridges have trails on them.     Some are marked on USGS maps and some are not.    They could be used as a sort of BF highway to move easily from one area to another.     The ones with trails that seem most heavily used are the ones that run East West.   

 

While I was flying, I thought about the time I saw the military helicopter flying in and out of an area along the East Fork of the Lewis River.     I saw it from a ridge about 4 miles away when I was sitting there with my spotting scope.    So I located the ridge where I had been with the scope, looked off in the distance and figured out where the river bend was that the helicopter was going behind as it flew in and out.    I flew out there to have a look.     The area is heavily timbered.    I could not even figure out where they were landing or why they would have been going in and out of there.     Then suddenly I saw a glint of sun off something shiny.       Circled around and there,  with absolutely nothing anywhere near was a large solar panel array.    It looked like 4,  100 watt panels plunked down in the middle of dense forest.  I have one of those panels and it puts out over 5 amps of 14 volt power.   4 of them would be over 20 amps.    That is a lot of power.     No buildings around,  no towers or structures.  no road leading to it.,  just panels in the middle of a patch of dense forest.    What in the world is it powering?     My mind flashed back to once when I was driving SW of Mt St Helens.     I saw a flash on a ridge,  looked up, and saw the sun glinting off what looked like huge metal doors on the side of a cliff far above.    I was so curious about what that could be way up there, that I stopped and went back to where I had seen the doors on the ridge above, turned around looking up, and nothing was there.    It was as if someone had draped camo netting back over the doors and they were no longer visible.     I tell you what.    There is some strange stuff out there and it does not necessarily walk around on two feet.  

 

I noticed campers, camp trailers, and vehicles all over the place.     I guess due to hunting season.       I found a high rock outcrop that had a road circling around it,  and there were two vehicles near the top, and two more winding their way up there.    The roads were carved out of the cliff sides and probably only one lane wide.      Then I noticed one vehicle headed down and one headed right at it.      I did not stick around but someone was going to have to back up a long way for anyone to get past.   

 

Another thing I look for is signs of lava tubes.      Ape cave the lava tube on Mt St Helens is quite visible from the air.    The vegetation is different because  large trees do not grow above the tube because they cannot develop good root systems.     You can look on Goggle Earth and see where the tube runs.     

 

Anyway nice day to fly and like usual I end up with more questions than answers.   

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daveedoe

Great report, thanks Randy, must have been a nice day flying over the GPNF. We had a bit of east wind here but then I'm not far from the Columbia river and gorge.

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SWWASAS

There was some wind but if you keep mindful of it and use the terrain like a bird does,   it can actually help you deal with flying in the mountains.    Up slope winds help and you can sort of soar.        The dangerous part is being a low as I was because if the engine quite I would not have much chance to decide where to put it down.    It would be lets see, do I want to crash here or over there!     But you have to be down there close to the trees to have a chance to see anything.     That Falcon project should have done some experimentation with an airplane to see if what they were proposing was even feasible.    I probably have just as much chance to see a BF on foot or on my bicycle as I do seeing one from the air.     I would imagine BF react to airplanes like they do cars coming down a road.    They hide.     Only once have I thought I saw one from the air and it moved around on the back side of a tree and hid from me.   All I know that it was upright, brown, and moved to hide from me.    But it could have been a human hiding for some reason.    I circled around but did not see it from the other side of some trees.   On the ground I could have forced it to move and break cover.  In the air that is not an option.   

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BigTreeWalker

Interesting trip Randy. Ever think of checking out the area around the panels just out of curiosity? Or is it even accessible on foot?

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