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skierd
skierd Dork
5/16/12 12:25 a.m.

"You've got a lot of balls to ride that thing up here this early. Not a lot of brains, but balls." - Police officer in Tok, Alaska

30 days, 6600 miles, worn out tires, gear failures, rain, mud, snow, ice, dust storms, wind storms, crashes, broken luggage, broken parts... Maryland to Alaska on a WR250X in March 2012.

(mods feel free to move this to a more appropriate forum if this isn't the correct place for it)

ScottRA21
ScottRA21 Reader
5/16/12 12:32 a.m.

.... Travel log? More pics? More stories!?

Just...MORE dude!

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 2:28 a.m.

I guess the beginning is as good as anywhere to start. A year ago I was a very different man. I was physically well but mentally and emotionally I was broken. Has it really only been a year? Almost to the day...

Chasing dreams and the ghost of my soul

I figured out a lot on that ride. First and foremost, stock spark plugs only. :lol: Let go of the planning and just ride. It took me over two weeks of fighting a schedule and itinerary that was completely self imposed before I realized I was being absolutely ridiculous and needed to relax and flow. I refined my pack list and gear wants/need immensely. I have zero doubts about what to bring with me or what to wear and have the necessary tweaks

Most importantly I think I finally found the courage to live for myself.

From my last post in the previous Ride's thread

Oh well, everything was still the same. Except for me. Now nearly 6 months later, all them are gone from my life, I'm finishing my final semester in college. She gave me the heartache to love the Blues, and the rest gave me the impetus to travel. Winter's closing in fast again, first snow was actually yesterday. But this time I gotta plan, I've got a direction, and a goal. Next year, anywhere but here... time to get busy living.

I got busy living alright. I busted my ass and graduated in December with a degree in Art+Design. Then I started working toward a life that would never have me stuck again, allowing me the freedom to travel and do work that I like for the benefit of that goal. Being realistic in the fact that making a living as an artist is several years and lots of source material, practice, and hustling away, I want to work in the beverage industry or in motorcycles.

Long story short... I found a job bartending. In Alaska, for a cruise line's hotel. Starting in early April, through the end of September. The goal... well there is no goal. I've got an idea to follow the sun after the season is over and end up with a similar gig someplace warm over the winter... or maybe just hiding out in Baja for a while until the next season gets ready to start. Or not. Or maybe I'll hate it and end up working a 9-5 somewhere.

My trusty steed, as always, is my 2008 Yamaha WR250R. It has since had an X change so I'm running 17" wheels front and rear instead of the usual 21/18. I've also racked up a total of just under 31,000 miles on the old girl with nary a problem. Coolant and hoses were changed prior to departure, so was the oil. Swapped the worn out stock seat foam for a seat concepts foam and cover. Heated grips are installed and a heated jacket and heated socks enlisted for the cold weather, and a dual controller. My trusty Nikon D40 will be doing photo duties along with my not so trusty DroidX smartphone. No routes except my old TAT maps in my GPS, just way points. My mountain hardware +35 bag is getting replaced by a Marmot never summer, and I'm shipping most of my clothes up ahead of me. Otherwise this is the same kit I've traveled with since 2010. In an effort to simplify, I swapped my riding gear for an Aerostich Roadcrafter.

From the time I got the job offer to the time I left I had about 2 weeks. During that period I sold my car, my furniture, quit my job, got out of my apartment, moved everything I wanted to keep into storage or sold it or threw it away, shipped a box of clothes and my laptop ahead to myself, and basically closed up shop in Maryland.

Monday March 5th - ready to ride... almost. Wasted half the day tying up loose ends. Big storm blew in west and south of me, dumping rain and snow on the two routes I wanted to take out of Maryland. More than I knew at the time this set the scenario for the ride perfectly. I decided to delay one day to wait out the weather.

Tuesday March 6th - Ready to RIDE! Taken in front of my grandmother's house, where I had staged everything the day before to get packed as I had spent the night at my mom's.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt SuperDork
5/16/12 7:56 a.m.

"They" say you can't do long distance riding on anything with less than a liter. Awesome way to give "them" the finger.

octavious
octavious New Reader
5/16/12 7:58 a.m.

Read the whole thread. Very cool. Kudos to you. I have many adventure trips planned except I'll be in some form of air cooled VW, and my kid will be along fo the ride.

What's the TAT?

Grtechguy
Grtechguy PowerDork
5/16/12 8:18 a.m.

damn...read both of your threads. thanks for making my morning go by quick. it was a great read.

Twin_Cam
Twin_Cam UltraDork
5/16/12 9:39 a.m.

Well there goes my morning. Awesome trip. Wish I had the balls you had to leave it all and do something like that...well I'm married too, so that wouldn't work. Good work anyway!

mistanfo
mistanfo SuperDork
5/16/12 11:16 a.m.

TAT is the Trans America Trail. I believe that he rode it to CO a few summers ago. You will want a dual sport bike or maybe a jeep for that road/path/trail from what I have heard.

failboat
failboat Dork
5/16/12 12:24 p.m.

Great trip, read it during lunch today. I wish I hadn't squandered my early 20's while I wasn't too tied down.

I still have the time/opportunity to do some good road trips but I think the wife would prefer we take the car.

Thanks for reminding me to take the scenic routes every once in a while and not just the fastest. And also got me thinking long and hard about a dualsport for a first bike rather than a road bike.

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 1:54 p.m.

Yup, the TAT is the Trans-America Trail and is effectively a series of dirt roads from Tennessee to Oregon plotted out by a guy named Sam Correro. http://www.transamtrail.com/

Re: bigger bikes... To be fair, I almost had the WRX sold in favor of a Ducati 750SS a few days before I found out I had the Alaska job. There were a few days I wished for a faster, bigger bike and this was the first time I spent days riding wishing I was on something else, but at the same time there are a lot of places I went on my little bike that a bigger, faster, or more streetable bike wasn't going to go, particularly out west. In other words, it's not the horse...

I didn't take a lot of pics on the first day, was mostly concerned with riding and getting the hell out of the Baltimore area before rush hour. Got a later start than I wanted, on the road around one and hopped on I-70 towards Frederick where I met a friend for a cup of coffee. Found out she also is leaving soon, for an internship/missionary post in South Africa #jealousy. While leaving frederick, I had to stop at an aptly named street

then paralleled US340 on backroads for a while until I had to jump on it, followed it through Harper's Ferry to Charlestown, then followed Summit Point Road out past the race track to Winchester, VA. Stopped by Duc Pond Motorsports and talked with the guys there a bit, Donnie Unger (the owner) himself showed me the new club room they're finishing up at the shop. If you need anything Ducati and are in the Mid-Atlantic area, this is your shop. Period. For dinner, he suggested any of the places in old town Winchester.

147 Bar had a bbq pulled pork special and I had what I thought was to be my last Yuengling for a long, long time.

Out of winchester, I hopped on US50 and proceeded to run through the first real twisties of the trip. If you have a bike, you need to run on this part of 50. Twistier and longer than Deal's Gap, and usually almost empty! As I moved through West Virginia the temps steadily dropped to below freezing, lots of ice on the road, pitch blackness and a road that liked to turn back on itself every couple hundred yards...

Made it as far as Tygart Lake State Park, hoping to camp... no dice. Campgrounds were closed. They did have (expensive) cabins however. The office appeared to be closed when I rode past, so at the last cabin at the end of the road, I decided to investigate. Low and behold it was unlocked! I quickly pulled the bike up, unloaded and proceeded to make myself at home by partially unpacking and getting out of my ride gear. About 15 minutes later, a car pulls up and two guys walk up to the door with the key for the cabin. :laugh1: Yup, got caught, they had rented it. I quickly packed and got the hell out of there with a quick warning that the security guard was probably waiting for me.

Sure enough on the road out of the park, I see a car parked by the side of the road running with cop-style lights on the roof. E36 M3. Then he hit the lights, which flashed green, and got out of the car. I slowed down... then gunned it and got the berkeley out of there! Ain't stopping for jimbo no-sleeves security guard, thanks but no thanks. Pushed on another 40 or 50 miles to get out of range and grabbed the first of many hotels for the night.

skierd
skierd Dork
5/16/12 1:55 p.m.

March 7th

Up kinda late due to running around as late as I did the night prior and from taking advantage of the free breakfast...

Best view of the pack job

I quickly aquainted myself with 200+ miles of West Virginia's finest.

After the first 50 miles of true back roads like the above, the rest was perfectly smooth race track quality pavement that was damn near empty. If this is what we get when we pave the world, pave it! Mile after mile after mile of perfectly smooth asphalt that you could tell was simply dumped and graded 2' thick over the existing gravel road. Amazing!

50+ miles of road like this!

and a little later...

Once again I kept riding until well after dark and made it all the way to Kentucky, where I stayed in an absolutely empty state park with hot showers and real flush toilets for free. Set up my tent, made a little first, and fell asleep listening to the creek that ran through the campsite; all was ok in the world.

Tomorrow... would be less idyllic.

skierd
skierd Dork
5/16/12 2:03 p.m.

One of my friends back home is on ADVRider, and his signature has the following quotes in it:

It quit raining for a minute and we didn't know what to do-mtnflow After Saturday I am convinced nothing is waterproof-H14

That was pretty much the story of Thursday March 8.

Damn these crowded early spring campgrounds! Somewhere in eastern KY

Weather forecast called for rain, lots of it, starting around 11am. I was up and rolling by 9ish hoping to put some miles on before I got wet. Shortly out of camp I came across this cool old post office

with a big historical marker out front

Soon followed by a cool old covered bridge

Apparently occupied lols

Shortly after leaving the bridge, it started to rain and hence these were my last pictures for the day. It was chilly, low 50's out, and wet but fortunately my Aerostich kept me dry...

For about 45 minutes. Then I started feeling water on my pants, and sure enough I had an acute case of aero-crotch (water leaking past the main zipper where it bunches up at your waist). Then water started coming in near the neck. Eventually the fabric itself wetted out. I was soaked, head to toe, except for my hands which were in my summer gloves under rubber dish gloves. I made a stop at Woodford Reserve distillery hoping for a free tour and maybe a sample, neither of which they had. :mad: It was at woodford that I discovered that not only did the suit leak, but the 'waterproof' pockets on the suit did too. Goodbye cell phone!

I slogged it as far as Shelbyville, KY as that was the first town I found with a verizon store. Fortunately my phone was insured, and they helped me through the claims process and found me a hotel nearby that was relatively inexpensive to dry out in. Assurion, the insurance provider for my phone, assured me my new phone would be [I]overnighted[/I] and I would be able to get on the road again tomorrow.

I also had the pleasure in stopping in to Derby Cycles in Shelbyville. Great moto shop, first of many that I stopped at, and one of the few brick and mortar bike shops I've found that have as good if not better prices for tires than the online shops. Unfortunately nothing in my size as both my front and rear tire were starting to get pretty thin, so on I went.

Off to bed, full of greasy spoon goodness thanks to the waffle house across the street from the hotel and mostly relaxed thanks to the hotel's hot tub and good, soft beds. (Best Western Shelbyville, if you have to be in this part of the world its a great place to stay!)

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 2:09 p.m.

Friday March 9

According to the folks at the Verizon store, UPS doesn't usually show until around 3pm meaning I had most of a day to kill in Shelbyville, KY. This is harder than it looks. I bugged the guys at Derby Cycles for a while. Then I wandered around WalMart, got some bbq at the place next to the verizon store, bought a book from the dollar store (lol) and read half of it...

finally 3pm rolls around and no sign of the UPS driver. So I continue waiting. And waiting. And finally... there he is! Drives right up to the shopping center, goes into the store next door, hops back in the truck and rolls out.

wtf.

Grab my helmet, jump on the bike and tear off after him. Ask him about my package... not on the truck.

Long story short... Assurion is located in Nashville, TN, or at least the warehouse where they ship phones from is. They claimed to have shipped my package overnight via UPS. Problem: UPS Ground is effectively a next-day service from Nashville, as its close enough. Bigger problem: UPS gives no ****s about ground packages. My phone was mis-picked and sent to the wrong hub and would be delivered on Monday. About two hours of calling, yelling, complaining, and generally losing my E36 M3 over this, I got UPS to forward my phone to the house I was planning on staying at in Oklahoma early the next week. Wasn't particularly happy to be without my only communications device for the weekend and 1000+ miles I was planning to ride, but it was better than being stuck in Kentucky for a weekend.

I had planned to abuse the hospitality of an ADVRider, BigDogAdventures.com aka Mark Sampson. Mark lives about 200 miles west of Shelbyville, so after I got everything forwarded and set up (or so I thought) I hopped on the bike and burned out to southern Illinois.

My WRX in BidDog's garage

Mark and his wife are truly wonderful people. Mark and I swapped stories for a couple hours over an oil change for my bike and some sandwiches inside later, and gave me a place to sleep on one of the comfiest beds I've ever slept on.

Early (for me) the next morning, BigDog's out in the garage getting ready and I eventually pack up to join him for a day of riding... unfortunately his wife wasn't feeling well and he decided to stay home. Maybe next time! Off into the midwest I go!

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
5/16/12 2:43 p.m.

I'm with failboat here. Maybe touring on a 250 would be stupid fun. Doing some dirt would be nice as a way to avoid homicidal traffic.

Also, your picture of waves in the Outer Banks made me all misty eyed. I spent a lot of time in Hatteras village as a kid on vacation.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
5/16/12 3:14 p.m.

I was supposed to lose my job a year ago, and my plan was to ride my KLX 250 to Newfoundland, and back. Stupid company offered me a job in another division. I was really looking forward to that ride.

Winston
Winston Reader
5/16/12 3:50 p.m.

That ride log was one of the best things I've read in a long time. I think that you could sell that to a publisher. I find your writing style really accessible... pleasant, funny, and a little gritty.

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 4:22 p.m.

X - I absolutely loved the Outer Banks. Touring on any bike is stupid fun, don't wait till you have the 'right' bike. The bike you own is the right bike.

Zomby - that sucks! Employment and money always seem to get in the way of a good ride.

Winston - I'd like to condense this and the other rides into more manageable/marketable forms, but so far haven't really tried. To be frank I'm only half sure how to approach getting it published...

Saturday March 10th

Mark told me to head over to the next town if I wanted a decent breakfast. "When you get to the town square, look to your left for the little building that looks like its about to fall down. That's where all the locals and farmers eat" Sounds good to me! Eggs, bacon, biscuits n gravy, all scratch made or locally sourced, now thats a breakfast! Fueled and fed, I headed west out of town. Small town, fields in prep, small town, more fields, small town, more fields, small tow.... wait, did I just see a statue of Wimpy?

Turns out I stumbled across the home of Popeye, Chester, Illimois!

They even have a Popeye museum, housed in the original theater builder where the creator started his career. It had since been turned into a store front with apartments above. Oddly enough, to me anyway, the owner was not a local but moved to Chester to set up the museum when she learned about the history and that the site was for sale, or something like that.

Chester is located high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, and throughout town there are statues of the other Popeye characters.

The bridge west:

At the bridge they had a big bronze statue of Popeye

Turns out this was also where Lewis and Clark crossed the Mississippi on their way west.

Into Missouri we go!

It didn't take long to get out of the flood plain and head up into the foothills of the Ozarks. Along the way I came across Fort Davidson, site of a relatively important civil war battle

Dat's a big hole!

I had gathered from a few newspapers and weather reports I had been able to find during the day that I was heading into another front promising rain all day the next day. There were ample opportunities for camping, but I wussed out and found a hotel yet again, this time in West Plains, MO. Yet again it had a hot tub and plenty of nearby greasy food and a free hot breakfast, so it wasn't so bad. Especially when I woke up to it pouring cats and dogs outside. Good thing I had grabbed a cheap rainsuit from WalMart the previous day!

Sunday March 11

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 4:23 p.m.

Sunday was a long, chilly, wet day. It rained all day. Sometimes a drizzly fog, sometimes down in buckets, but always wet.

Here's where I'm going to plug Warm n' Safe's GenIV heated jacket and heated socks. Without them, I would have been absolutely miserable and dangerously cold on days like today and like the prior Thursday. Because I was able to add upwards of 90w of heat to my core, I was able to stay warm and alert in conditions that would have otherwise made me tired, sluggish, and at worst extremely hypothermic. A heated jacket is the best layering device for any sort of long distance motorcycling.

Anyway, it rained and rained and rained. I had a few 'moments' thanks to a fast balding and flat spotting rear tire and a front tire that was solidly at the wear bars, but compound ultimately triumphed over tread depth and common sense. I only made two stops, once in Eureka Springs, AR to ensure that my infatuation with the town wasn't fleeting (it wasn't, big thanks to Arkansas Adventure Riders motorcycle shop for the coffee and coversation) and once in Fayetteville for food and gas. The roads are simply amazing in the Ozarks, dual sport and motard heaven.

I had planned to maybe ride as far as it took to get out of the rain... which ended up being damn near all the way to the Oklahoma border. I almost didn't make it out of Arkansas however... the local police in Lincoln took offense to my rate of travel through their town. Shortly after leaving the town I see a cop car with lights blazing fast approaching on my 6...

Pull over, bike off, helmet off (thankfully it had stopped raining), and stayed in the saddle with my hands on the bars. Cop pulls up behind me, gets out, and starts walking towards me... then stops as he reads my license plate... then finally walks up.

"How are you tonight?"

Cold, wet, kinda miserable, sir.

"Yeah, I bet. Do you know what the speed limit is here?"

uhh... [**** if I know at this point] 45?

"here, yes, but back there in town its 35 and you were doing 47"

Crap, sorry, must have missed the signs and zoned out a little, been riding all day, was just following the truck that was in front me, etc

"...Did you really ride that thing all the way from Maryland? On a 250?"

Yes.

"Does it belong to you?"

Yes sir.

looks me over, dripping wet in and under my rain suit "Is it going to be a complete pain to get to your license?"

No sir, its in my front left pants pocket, digs out wallet, hands ID to him

"Where are you headed?"

Tulsa.

"Now?"

Yes sir.

goes back to his car with my ID At this point I'm assuming I'm getting a ticket or worse. A couple minutes later, he comes back and hands me my ID.

"Be careful, pay attention, and slow down. You don't have far to go, but the roads are wet and slick and I'm a rider too, those tires aren't much good in this. Are you going straight to Tulsa?"

Yes sir.

"Ok, again SLOW DOWN and be careful out here. Have a good night."

Thank you sir, you too!

:checkered: :toast:

Fortunately I did have plans to stay at must-go place when traveling, Rancho Highfive, and once again I arrived later in the day than I should have. And once again, Scott (HighFive) took me in, fed me, and gave me a place to sleep.

Tomorrow...

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/16/12 5:55 p.m.

After keeping HF up past everyone's bedtime swapping stories and getting fed, I crashed in their spare bedroom and go to sleep in a bit the next day. HF took a half day at work and came home and told me to put my bike on the trailer, we're going riding.

Heh really?

Yeah, get your bike on the trailer. We're going someplace special.

We load up the trailer, get in the truck, and start driving. And driving. And driving. Then... we keep driving. Scott seems to know where he's going... which is good because I haven't a clue. We can't be in Oklahoma anymore, can we? There's these things... rising from the ground... Scott those can't be mountains can they? Where are you taking me?

Down the rabbit hole we went, Scott making promises of street taco's and bbq and runestones and a more. Street tacos? Nope, the truck's closed. We settled on a nearby restaurant which, to my eastern palette, had some of the best mexican food I ever ate. Soon after we ended up at camp, Campo HighFive, unloaded the bikes, and went for a ride.

You do remember that I'm on street tires right? And I've got a few miles still to go right? "Screw it, they've got tires in Tulsa too"

Onward, mush!

Knobbies? We don't need no stinkin' knobbies! Hell we don't even need tread! Up and over the mountain we go... "By the way... if we can't through the creek crossing at the other end... we're gonna have to come back through the mud." Ok, lets go!

Of course, we couldn't get across the creek. It was flowing fast and deep from all the rains over the last few days, and so we turned back up the mountain.

About halfway up... hmm. The throttle grip is moving... but the motor isn't revving up. Oh no... please don't tell me I broke a throttle cable or something... nothing that bad, just my throttle grip had come loose and was simply spinning on the throttle tube. Fortunately, I could get the heated grip off without breaking off the wiring and made it out by twisting the raw throttle tube. With the sun fast setting, we limped back to camp to get set up, I set up the fire while Scott got the grub going.

None of this freeze dried crap either, but scratch made Beef Stroganof from a recipe from Monty (another ADVRider)

Pics don't do it justice, really hit the spot at the end of the day. The good cold beer didn't hurt either. Nor did the Son of Jiffy Pop on a Stick. Because everything is better on a stick!

Ain't many ways to spend a night in the woods, thats for damn sure. "Spare no expense"

failboat
failboat Dork
5/17/12 7:02 a.m.

I sent the link to your story to my brother, and just started reading your first trip log (Eastern TAT). My brothers and I were all in scouts and did a lot of backpacking, this seems like backpacking on a motorcycle.....pack light, carry only what you need and go.

I suggested to my brother we both sign up for the MSF course at some point this summer and take it together. I could see spending a few weeks traveling like this in a few years.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
5/17/12 7:22 a.m.

akamcfly
akamcfly HalfDork
5/17/12 8:02 a.m.

Skierd - I admire you. I haven't even read this thread yet, but I did read the last one. I was riveted to it.

Makes me want to shed everything and make that kind of leap.

Every day is an opportunity.

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/17/12 4:34 p.m.

Failboat - it is backpacking with a motorcycle, effectively. I was in scouts too, made it to Life, only regret was not making it to Philmont. The lighter and smaller packing the gear is, the easier it is to pack and the less effort you have to use to keep things moving. A lot of 'adventure' tourers tend to treat it more like car camping and effectively turn their motorcycles into RV's. I prefer to keep it light... less is more after all. Do it and don't wait! They're paving everywhere, the dirt is disappearing...

Pinch - we don't need no stinkin KNOBBIES!

Bright and early the next morning (All pics from today are Scott's. I left my dslr in the truck and did not have my phone and therefore no point and shoot)

Campo HighFive

Breakfast! (ok, these are mine)

The day dawned cloudy and cool, but soon the sun came out to burn off the chill and the clouds

Down by the creek before leaving camp

Does this Aerostich make me look fat? Or is it my... fat?

Up we went, alternating between nice open twisties along the crest of a mountain and some small bits of easy single and one-and-a-half track.

Notice me looking at the rear wheel. For some reason the bike felt funny, wasn't turning in as well as I was used to and overall kinda riding funny. Nothing looked out of place however, and the tire pressure was fine...

[Later in the day... We switched bikes for a short while. While we both are techincally on the same motorcycles, 2008 WR250R's... mine's stock except for the full exhaust and the sumo wheels. Scott's bike, R², has a dialed in Athena 290 kit, head work to complement, has been dyno tuned via a Power Commander V (with autotune), and has had the suspension reworked to perfection by GoRace Suspensions in Virginia. His also has the Safari 3.7 gallon tank while mine makes due with the IMS 3.25 gallon tank. Up the gravel road back to the paved highway, I relearned how damn nice it is to have a 21" front tire off pavement. Knobs too. And torque, R² comparatively had gobs of it and easily pulled up the steeper grades that would have me madly downshifting in a bid for greater forward motion. Back on the tar... I missed my sumo wheels greatly and really noticed the increased vibes from the big bore. R² was no longer a nice pavement friendly dual sport... it had gone to the gym a bit too hard and was now more of a dirt bike dual sport than a lightweight adventure touring bike. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially seeing how it slots in nicely between Scott's Husaberg 390 and F800GS, but I was definitely happy back on my RX. With 30,000 more miles on it. "Man... your bike's motor is really really running smooth. Don't mess with it, it's running too good!" But... "How do you ride with the rear wheel hopping like that?" What? Yeah, your rear wheel is bouncing all the time, how do you not feel that?" Hmmm... sure enough I noticed it now too. Tire gone out of round maybe? It was damn near worn out after all, and we haven't been treating it nice at all. Shock going bad? Dunno, couldn't find anything... yet...]

So... on we went!

The view's were terrible

The roads were worse.

And the weather beyond awful (beached whale warning)

Man this is pretty bad Scott. Lets get something to eat. Street taco's closed again?! At least there's a place advertising that they always have burgers... except for when we get there and they're out of propane. At least the beer is cold

The wings were pretty good too.

"Ok, remember that ridge trail I showed you?" Yeah... "Well, time to go ride it" Ok... but I thought you said it was a really really long and pretty difficult trail? "Not this part, don't worry." Ok, let's go!

And the payoff...

So yeah, I rode my motard up the K-trail. Even climbed up into the rickety old fire tower (I didn't stay long, the lack of floor structure kinda spooked me)

On the way back down the mountain, Scott let me lead and I turned the X loose on the long perfectly smooth paved sweepers back down the mountain, leaned her over as far as she would go (no chicken strips here damn it!)

Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday.

Back to camp, loaded up the truck, pretty good BBQ on the way home, and pulled in to Rancho HighFive in my usual fashion... late and stinking of the trail. :lol3 Oh well, he's a lucky guy with a very understanding wife at home.

We did notice something after unloading the bikes. Remember those problems? Not turning in, and the bouncing? A few days prior, I had made a chain adjustment using my Motion Pro combo tire spoon and 27mm wrench to undo the rear axle nut. Today... after unloading and giving the bike a quick once over, I noticed my chain slider was half worn through and my rear axle nut was [I]barely[/I] finger tight on. :eek1 How I didn't lose the bolt is beyond me. It must have been loose all day, at best, because the issues went away when it was tightened. I don't want to thing about how bad it would have been for it to let loose with the way we were riding it, especially on those twisties.

On the less than lucky side, my replacement phone had not shown up yet. UPS tracking showed an exception, unable to find correct address. It was too late to call, but I must have given them the wrong address when I was in Kentucky. Sonofabi... In any event, they held it for me to pick up at the customer center in Muskogee. Which opened at 4:30pm. Looks like I'm spending another day and night in Tulsa... which turned out to be more than alright in the end. :)

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
2/4/16 9:03 a.m.

Moved to Adventures forum. I'd say this definitely counts.

Jay
Jay UltraDork
2/10/16 10:27 p.m.

Reading through this as if it were a recent thread, and then realizing it was written in 2012 and never finished =

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