Author Topic: Az to: Mount Rushmore, Sturgis, New Mexico, East Coast, NYC, back to Az.  (Read 50582 times)

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Offline Shenanigans

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I am going to have to do this in parts because its way too daunting to do all at once. So I will post the parts as I get done writing them since I have to look over my notes and maps and such.
All the digi pictures from Az to Sturgis to New Mexico are from Grohidighasts camera. I am waiting to get my slide film back and have to make prints from the 35mm rolls then makes scans of everything. I will update them when I get them.
A little bit of this trip will over lap the other trip report but I thought I would put more context to the pictures.

A little teaser list of some of the things that happened...

-2 Rear Tires
-3 Tubes
-2 Chains
-3 Crashes
-2 batteries
-1 full speed blow out
-10 miles pushed to the nearest town on two seperate occasions
-20 miles ridden to the next town on a flat rear at 4 miles an hour
-countless hours on the side of the road, rain and shine day or night.
-1 1/2 months spent sleeping on the ground
-1 free night in a luxury hotel because I crashed in front of a bunch of executives.
-1 group of executives that turned out to be a aging hippy, a cop who wants to sell drugs and be on the "other side" of the law, a mother of 3 and 4 "old" people and an Indian gentlemen who all own major clothing lines, or something.
-1 group of said people that proceed to get ultra hammered in the lobby of the hotel room while telling me about various things.
-1 Bag of the devils lettuce that the nice people of tennessee left on my bike, in plain sight with a note saying Good luck with your trip
-5 nights spent sleeping under a tarp on my bike in the middle of no where while it rains.
-2 days spent in a field in Wyoming trying to get #$%* to run.
-countless interesting people met.
-80 pages written down describing the first 2 days. I have been gone for months.
-8 hours spent going top speed, red lined in Texas.
1- bear almost fought in the woods in the middle of the night with a cheap walmart machete and no phone.
-1000's of miles with out the comfort of a cell phone
87443- attractive females in checkotah Oklahoma for no reason what so ever.
10-police stops and one near mistaken arrest for credit card fraud
1- shop owner who called the cops walking out just in time to see the police give us our machetes back.
11000 total miles
1-other country that would let me in (thanks Canada) but one home country that would not let me BACK in. Thanks America.
1-#$%*ty job worked to get my broke ass gas money
105-MPH with my feet on my handle bars and my hands in the air.
1-Topless is law sign found.
1-mirror lost to hitting a taxi cab in NYC
Many close calls with disaster.
1- Creepiest lake on the face of the earth.
And some other things I cant think of off the top of my head.

  Here goes...

Me and forum member Grohidighast set out from Arizona, we planned on leaving around 10 that night and being in Denver the next day. There was supposed to be a third person but he flaked out last minute. He would have been the odd duck on a 650 V-Star anyway.

Bikes packed up. Yet to see any mileage and still clean.



We headed out, when we pulled up to the street and Grohodigasht said "there is only one word to describe right now" to which I replied "Fcuk yeah?". Even though thats two words its exactly what we were both thinking. We pulled out and got on the freeway, to be honest I was unsure if the bike would even make it to Globe, let alone mount Rushmore. Only because of the fact that I had put less that 150 miles on it since it was completely finished and that only right before we left. I guess I would find out soon enough.

We took the 60 and made our way up the twists and turns in the canyons that surround globe. They probably look a lot better during the day but at night they were just black walls. Soon enough we made it out to the first rest stop just outside of Globe. We ate Power bars and kept our eye on the shady couple walking around in the dark of the stop, then got back on our bikes and headed into Globe. Globe is a small mining town, this part overshadowed by the mountain which had been squared off from mining. It looked sort of like a pitch black DEVO hat. The whole mountain is pitch black except for the red dots thats follow the numerous pipe lines that snake around it. It over looks the streets, the main one which we were passing on is filled with old run down buildings. However there windows show disproportionate life. Nice interiors of stores, shops and cafes in run down buildings. This made the town seem fairly friendly but hard to imagine it being busy during the day.

We headed out past the town and into the desert. Nothing but blackness and whatever your headlight lights up in front of you. Everything else is black until the horizon of the sky meets the ground, the sky itself is much brighter than the earth. I took the lead as my headlight from some old gold wing was much better than his set up. He had a single light from one of the dual light set ups from the 70's. A uneventful while late he pulled off to get gas and since I was leading I missed the turn off. I went down the road a bit until I noticed. Not more than a couple hundred yards away. So I pulled off to turn around and just for kicks turned my bike off. Pitch black all around me, pure nothingness. I quickly kicked the bike back into life and made a U-Turn to go fill my tank. When you ride a while and fall into that sort of trance getting gas is like an interruption.

heres a picture of Grohidighasts bike at the pump. The total blackness of the background is not an illusion of the camera flash.



Back into the night we headed the road soon became curvy and the skyline began to rise. We were entering more canyons. The roads soon became very curvy, a pretty fun road on my bike but I don't imagine to comforting on a chopper with a poor headlight. We descended some more into the salt river canyon and ended up in the bottom just before the bridge where we decided to take a break. It was a kind of bizarre sight with the roads snaking down each side of the canyon the headlights of the other cars resembled search lights. There headlights sweeping out into the void illuminated by the mist from the river as the cars rounded the corners on the canyon walls. Kind of like search lights, 3 or 4 cars total were descending either side of the canyon. The guardrails giving the lights shining out above us peculiar shapes all with the roar of the overflowing river just below us. We walked down and checked the river out. The only illumination was my flashlight. The water was high and strong and would have be terrifying to fall off the cliffs about 20 feet to the raging water below. Even a few feet from the edge your cautious instincts kick in and you step slower. We got back up the stone steps to check on our bikes, both coughing oil out the cam breathers. A bit concerning but what could we do. Kicked the bikes back to life and across the bridge over the water to the opposing side to snake our way up that cliff. Soon adding our headlights to the strange show to anyone watching below. The skyline soon lowered back to normal as we got out of the canyon and back onto the open road.

More hours of uneventful blackness and maybe a small town or 2. My Speedometer back light went out and it began to make a "wheeering" noise. We came to the next gas station and noticed the ground was wet. We had just inadvertently missed a passing storm. Lucky us. I let Grohidighast borrow my par of vise grips as his throttle handle kept slipping off. Up the 191 we went and soon day break. The morning sunlight revealed that my speedometer had eaten itself from the inside out. Guesstimating speeds around cops would not be fun. We eventually got to the long rolling hills in the Navajo Indian reservation. Miles and miles of giant rolling hills and straight road.



We came to a T in the road. A small town where we got gas, If you have ever been to an reservation you know for whatever reason there is always tons of feral dogs. This place was no exception. The inside of the gas station was spacious and mostly empty. Entire shelves dedicated to a few cans of this or that. I stared and contemplated the dogs fate as we both got gas and ate. The area was very busy for being so early, I don't think they like to waste daylight.

We go east on the 160 and a few miles later are in the painted desert. We passed the camera while riding back and forth to take a few photos.










Not half a mile after we took these pictures I saw Grohidighast fall back and pull over. I looped around and pulled up thinking maybe he just wanted to take more pictures. We had a problem. The end of the clutch cable had broke. One possible solution was using a pair of vice grips but I guess he had lost them during the night and he had none. A scenic place to stop though really...









I was wondering, "Is this it already?" and really it would have been sensible to turn back. We stared at it a while and came up with this rig. Which worked but was very very difficult to even take off with, any normal use would be throw out the window. Good thing most of the road ahead of us for a while was at least straight. Did you know the starter motor can replace the use of the clutch to start out by using it to lurch foreword and start you off with the bike in gear?



We went on and for the most part were ok. The road T'ed off 3 or 4 times but most times we got lucky with no other traffic. The one time we had to stop to let traffic past kept us on edge because we had to deal with traffic coming both ways and it was not easy to quickly select gears with the foreword controls. About 10 miles or so later we past the exit for the four corners monument and came up the welcome to Colorado sign. I pulled up and turned my bike off to wait for some other tourists to take pictures and move out of the frame. When they left I turned my bike on and kicked it. I knew with in the first 1/4 of that kick that something was wrong. The bike always starts with ease. I put my hand in front of the headlight to see if I had power and nothing, great. So in front of the sign all my gear came off and I unloaded the bike. Took the tank off and the seat and whipped out the multimeter. I was relived when my battery showed 12.6 Everything else seemed in order. I got the idea that it might be the cigarette lighter so Grohidighast jammed it into the corner of the welcome sign. It may still be there as far as I know







I reloaded everything and put my gear on got on the back to leave and turned the key on. Hand in front of the headlight and no power again. I dreaded unloading all the stuff again and Grohidighast was pulling out in the road. It occurred to me for some reason to wiggle the positive lead and that did the trick. I guess the cam breather had spit enough oil that seeped down and was enough to block the connection. I wiggled it around a lot to make sure it had clean contact.

We went on until Cortez Colorado where we stopped in a parking lot just in town. There was no way we could do stop and go traffic with his clutch. We pulled over and made a few calls to see if any shop around was open. I learned for the first time that for some reason motorcycle shops are closed on Mondays. He got some sketchy directions and took my bike to go try and find the place. I kinda lounged in the shade a bit while he was gone. Running over to what I though was an ice cream shop, but turned out to be a coffee shop. It had been converted from one of those 60's metal camper trailers and the inside was barley big enough to fit 4 standing people. I went in and was disappointed but I asked them to fill my water so as not to be completely rude. I think they noticed my disappointment. Went back over to the bike and watched the heavy traffic go by. One couple on a bike stopped to see if I needed help. All he could do was offer the number to the shop that works on his bike. He then asked if the choppers engine was "like his" as he made a v with his arms. I find it bizzare that you can own and ride a bike and not even be familiar with the engine configuration. I thanked him and took the number in case we needed it. Grohidighast came back, no luck and it looked like a storm was moving in. My mind started to look around to find a place to set up camp. We figured we have to at least get to a store to eat. We stare at the problem some more trying to come up with solutions when I get this brilliant idea...



Although it was sketchy we made it to the nearest walmart where we proceeded to find a rather nice corner in the back of the parking lot. A bit secluded with 2 grass hills and a wall on top. Also with very little traffic. We got food and decided to stay the night there.



Little did we know that during the night the water tables rise and the curbs around where we were sleeping start seeping water. Right into where we were sleeping.





The next morning we find a shop to patch his cable and then are on our way. I never realized how awesome Colorado really was and not to far at all. At some point along here I lost a pod filter.





A few times we had passed and been past by another rider on some older Honda cruiser. We got no waves in return and almost a cold should. As we were at this paticular rest stop he caught up and pulled off. No greeting or anything. As he was walking past I was adjusting my rear luggage when I pushed on it too hard and the bike lurched and fell over. A bit embarrassing and we quickly picked it back up. No offer from help from our fellow rider. We stood a while around our bikes and the other rider got back on his and went to take off. JUST as he was pulling past us he stalled it  ;D suddenly I did not feel so bad about dropping my bike.



Up the mountains and I noticed that my bike felt a bit sluggish probably from being jetting for lower elevations.













All the way up to Silverton and of course the Silverton train which CW McCall did a song about.




Anyways we marched on for a while until it got dark. We came to a mountain pass. I wanted to sleep but Grohidighast pushed for us to go over it. At first we backed tracked to make sure it was the right route and then we went for it. At the time we were not aware that it was a high mountain pass. It was also the middle of the night and freaking freezing. We descended up, on the pass the tree were blocking everything much similar to the the cliffs, pitch black beyond the light and the only difference where the skyline meet the tops of the trees. I was cold, all I had was jeans and my jacket. Every moment was agonizing. After what seemed like forever we got to the midpoint. If it was just me I would have curled up into a ball in the corner but we pressed on and made it. As we were descending I could feel in my legs and arms and fingers the warm blood again winning the battle with the cold. Relief! We made it into the next town and found another corner of a lot to fall asleep. To our dismay that walmart was not 24 hours. I settled with a dinner of tater tots from the Sonic across the street. It was still pretty chilly and my warm sleeping bag was more than welcomed.

The next morning we awoke and looked to see what we had just crossed and got this, Pikes peak.





More soon to follow....
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 06:26:35 pm by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline dustyc

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Nice.  What's the time frame from start to finish?  I might have missed it.  Reminds me of going on tour playing music -with no deadlines for getting to the next gig. 
1977 CB750

Offline andy750

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Great photos and report so far...looking forward to more updates  ;D

cheers
Andy

Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild. And rebirth: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,173213.msg2029836.html#msg2029836
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Offline Soos

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Quote
I got the idea that it might be the cigarette lighter so Grohidighast
jammed it into the corner of the welcome sign. It may still be there as far as I know

HAHAHAHAaa.... Don't ask what i've stuffed in those signs....



Sounds like a AWESOME trip to say the least.
11,000 miles?!?!!

Looking forward to reading on the rest of the trip!


l8r
-=≡ Soos ≡=-
Just think to yourself what would Alowishus Devander Abercrombie do?
"Brix will be shat by your neighbors." - schwebel
(61mm)652cc 1979 cb650

Offline Shenanigans

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Nice.  What's the time frame from start to finish?  I might have missed it.  Reminds me of going on tour playing music -with no deadlines for getting to the next gig. 

Start to end time was about 3 1/2 months.

I am still waiting on my film photos before I do too much more.
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline kghost

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Well thats uber cool.  :o
Stranger in a strange land

Offline Shenanigans

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Argh there is so much stuff in the notes. No way I could re type it all. I got most of my film back today. I still need to find someone with a slide scanner and get the good photos scanned.

Anyways...

Heres our bikes the following morning.


And the flatlands before Leadville and the town of Leadville. We went into a mom and pop owned gift shop and the older couple that owned it were pretty crazy. The conversation started out normal but after we had paid for our stuff the conversation soon veered off. I think we slowly backed out of the store nodding our heads.



Grohidighast  bike had no power in the mountains. It must be more than a altitude issue. It was suggested to us that its the carbs them selfs. The intake manifold of the cycle x carbs is different in length from 1-2 3-4 maybe causing one to be lean and the other to be rich? Maybe Honda had 4 carbs on there for a reason, does any one have a set that are in perfect or good tune?



A while after Leadville and just after the Eisenhower tunnel Grohidighast  clutch cable gave out again.



After a while we finally got into Denver and crashed at a friends house. Well their yard anyways.





The next day we headed over to a local from the Honda chopper board to try and find a clutch cable. He helped us out big time with a cable and a set of plugs. We made our way to the Nebraska boarder.



If I had a sport bike I would probably be dead right now. The route we took had miles and miles of nothing. Gentle rolling hills with only the occasional farm. You look out and see nothing but the gold green color of the grass. You could see as far as your eyes would let you. You could go as fast as you could for hours and not see another car. It was as desolate and for some reason more worrying than a equal barren desert. At least a desert has variety, this place had nothing and maybe thats what made me a bit more nervous than usual that I would break down or crash. If I was seriously hurt in a crash I would have been pretty much helpless. I was glad that I was riding with at least one other person then. It was still in the back of my mind that if a car took us out, would they find us before we were nothing but skeletons in a ditch? I mean there are few thing cooler than skeletons and motorcycles but still...













The small towns with the old style pumps. I forget what small down in Nebraska this was in but as we were getting gas the local sheriff pulled up to the pump to get gas. Let me describe what happened. He gets out of his dodge truck and he must be at least 70 with a big cigar in his mouth. His grandchildren in the back along with the dog all barking and yelling. He pays, comes back out and then a lady in a car who had pulled up to get gas starts yelling at him about something and I soon realize it must be his daughter as she ended up taking one of the kids. He gets his gas and almost drives away with the gas cap open his daughter and the gas station attendant flag him down before he gets out of the dirt lot. Something about  witnessing this whole thing was amazing too me. I think maybe because they are so much like outlandish book charters but they are real. It would not be the last exaggerated person I met.



We ended up staying in a camp ground. Getting closer to Sturgis we were seeing more and more harleys and goldwings. We eventually found our way to mount Rushmore. We pulled up to the entrance and they wanted 10 bucks just to get it! Forget that, we turned around went past a few barriers and got one shot. Then headed out for the road that runs right next to it, for free. My entire life I thought that the faces were carved out of the side of the whole mountain. All the pictures I have seen were framed to suggested it, in real life its really not that big so that was a bit of a disappointment.





When we got to the black hills there we so many bikes. Hundreds and hundreds. We were not even in the town yet. I guess we had developed a faster pace from the rest of the trip so it was also a bit frustrating because all the other bikes were going sooo slow. We got into the town of Sturgis and stopped at a gas station. Grohidighast also bought the corniest T-shirt he could find from a tent vender set up in the parking lot. We also saw an awesome S S remake pan head in a bobber. The only bike I saw besides hundreds of "baggers" and goldwings. For some reason I also noticed a bunch of CX500s too. So from there we turned around having no interest in the town other than saying we have been there and started heading south. More open roads and just as we were getting near Cheyenne Grohidighast  bike started running on two. We pulled up the on ramp and just off the road. We would spend the next two days here.



To be continued...






   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline moham

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Excellent. Awaiting next installment.
78 750K-The Ocho
74 550-The Cherry Picker
70 750K0 motor-Dick in a Box

Offline andy750

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Great stuff!

I had the same "experience" at Mt Rushmore and got the photo from the road as well. Your comments about riding in the middle of nowhere making you nervous...yep been there...only I was on my own  ;). If you break down in places like that you really want to know how to fix the problem.

cheers
Andy
Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild. And rebirth: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,173213.msg2029836.html#msg2029836
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Offline Shenanigans

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The order of events for the next 2 days are a bit jumbled because its a bit hard to remember the order of events from almost 4 months ago that I did not write down but I think it went about like this...

For the rest of the day we tried to figure out what was wrong and to make things worse there was a storm moving in. So for a bit we combined our tarps over the bikes and made a tent. The heavy rained missed us luckily. Right away a fellow biker pulled up and helped us out the best he could but no luck.  Kept running on two and we could not track down the problem which was obviously in the ignition system somewhere and starting to drain the battery from all the testing. Before it got dark I made a food/water run and then we set up camp for the night. The next morning Grohidighast took my bike from Cheyenne to Denver to get a points plate to replace the electronic ignition. I just kinda lounged in my sleeping bag hiding from the sun. About an hour before he got back a cop car rolled up. They said someone had called to report a dead body on the side of the road. They figured I was dead because I had not moved for a couple hours and that no living person would be in a sleeping bag in this kind of heat  :D :D :D I guess thats what I get for being from Arizona. Ghrodigasht made it from Cheyenne to Denver and back in under 5 hours! Who says a 550 cant go?  We were helped out soooo much by the biker, an other driver and a rancher who lived down the road. They bought us food and both hung around to see if they could help. Also they made calls to try and find us the coil late at night. "I know every one in this damn town, we can get you a coil" He made phone calls and eventually got a hold of someone who owns a custom bike shop and gave Grohidighast a ride to the shop to get the coil. After we got it back it was still running on 2, #$%*. I have to say they were some of the nicest people I met during my whole trip and in there own words "Don't really want you to leave, just don't want you to be stranded". The next morning we worked on it some more and our friends came back at different points and checked on us.
          We tried this and that, made sure the gap was set on the points that everything was getting power and that the signals from the points were getting sent. We eventually switched the signal wires and the coil wires while trying everything we could think of and got spark on the two "dead" cylinders. The OTHER coil had gone bad! So Grohidighast again borrowed my bike went into town and found the nearest harley dealer and got another coil. I guess what must have happened was the electronic ignition went and somehow took both coils with it. We tested EVERYTHING and that was the only thing that could have happened, strange.











And finally the depression in the grass our bikes and us had created the past two days.




We made our way south and got back to Denver that night and stayed with our friend again. They had a very nice backyard. Before getting there and a bit bored while eatting we decided to stuff a bunch of fruit in the exhaust and blow it out. The results were not as entertaining as we hoped but it did blow it a good 10 feet.







The next day we made our way down to New Mexico and copied part of the route from easy rider and went through Taos.




The daily grocery store stop to eat.





Now, probably starting from somewhere back around Nebraska it was brooding in my head to just go to New York. The bike had proved itself with almost no problem. I had just about enough money to get there. I had always wanted to ride there and figured there would be no better time in my life and its the farthest I can go without a passport. Even if I failed a few miles out it would be better than "what if". So I argued with myself back and forth while heading south but I think deep down as soon as I thought about it the answer was yes. I finally decided that in Albuquerque I would depart and take the 40 east. I would have taken one of the main roads east earlier but did not want to let Grohidighast ride alone too far. I figure if something happened I would feel terrible. So we finally got into town and to the freeway intersection where he would head back to Az and I would be on my way solo east. Here is our bikes at the gas station and departing point. Notice the rain starting?



About 20 seconds before I was supposed to depart heavy rain started moving in. Now remember we had not really got rained on ONCE so far on this trip. This was not starting off very well, and it would get much much worse. For me anyways.


So we depart the block to the freeway and it starts pouring. Me and Grohidigasht pulled up to the freeway entrance and stop light where my bike starts dying at the light. So I give it one last rev and run the light to get under the overpass and the bike dies. I gave it a few kicks and got nothing. Grohidigasht makes a left and gets on the freeway as I wave. Now on my own "Awesome way to start this" I thought to myself as the water from the rain ran up to my ankle on the ground. I turned the key back on and put my hand in front of the light, I had power. When I stopped at the light water must have started running into the pod filters. About 5 mins later the rain stopped just as suddenly as it started and the bike kicked back to life. So I got on the frontage road to get on the freeway and of course somehow miss it, can things get any worse? Yes, yes they can.

Crash 1 of 3

I went down the frontage road up to the next light to make a u-turn to get back on the 25 south to get to the 40. and came up to this intersection heading south on the "pan American freeway"

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=35.109281,-106.628253&spn=0.001248,0.002022&t=h&z=19

the light turned red and I hit brakes and my back wheel instantly locked up. I was on my front brake but did not want to use too much of it for fear that if the road was that slick to lock up my rear, if I lose my front I am going down. I can at least try and ride out the rear lockup. So maybe 50 or 60 feet from the intersection I start trying to ride this out. As I get close I noticed the cross traffic that I am heading for, not good. 40 feet, 30, 20, 10. About 5 feet from the crosswalk the rear end swings around the right and down I go. The added "traction" of my bike grinding along the ground was enough to stop it from going into traffic. Look back to make sure I am not about to get run over from behind. Get up get to the bike and turn off the fuel since my fuel lines came off the tank and turn the ignition switch off. I am in one piece and the bike seems to be too. However it turned out that I could not have picked a better place to crash...


To be continued...








« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 03:11:13 am by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline moham

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Well you certainly got some beautiful shots of the countryside while you were stuck for days on the side of the road...and would it be safe to say from your experience on this trip that, when you needed it, people (strangers) were there to help? Or is that too optimistic a statement...?
78 750K-The Ocho
74 550-The Cherry Picker
70 750K0 motor-Dick in a Box

Offline Shenanigans

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Well you certainly got some beautiful shots of the countryside while you were stuck for days on the side of the road...and would it be safe to say from your experience on this trip that, when you needed it, people (strangers) were there to help? Or is that too optimistic a statement...?

In the small towns I got more help than I could ask for, people do want to help you but people from bigger cities seem far to busy to care. To me at least, the people in bigger towns were colder than I expected and people from the smaller ones more concerned than I thought. Next time I do a trip like this I will avoid the larger city's even more so than I did this trip.

The next leg of photos are all slides and I am still waiting to get them scanned...
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline mcpuffett

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Great report and pictures can't wait for the next instalment  8), cheers Mick.
Honda cb750 F1 76' and cb750 KO 1970,   suzuki GT750A 1976  Honda VTX 1300 2006, Lancaster England.

Offline andy750

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Well you certainly got some beautiful shots of the countryside while you were stuck for days on the side of the road...and would it be safe to say from your experience on this trip that, when you needed it, people (strangers) were there to help? Or is that too optimistic a statement...?

I would agree with Shenanigans that strangers are always ready to help when you are in need...I had the same experience on my cross-country trips. Everyday you can meet someone new who is genuinely interested about what you are doing. I dont mind big cities and with some pre-planning its possible to meet very cool people there who will offer you a place to sleep or meet for a beer etc, etc...if no preplanning they can still be helpful but perhaps more wary than in a small town.

Looking forward to the next update,
cheers
Andy

Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild. And rebirth: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,173213.msg2029836.html#msg2029836
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Offline azuredesign

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Shenanigans: Your story, at least to me, is the epitome of what a motorcycling adventure should be. There's something about being young and traveling that puts you in situations that an old fart like myself would not see. Whether good or bad, these somewhat arbitrary incidents make for the quintessential adventure. I was 19 when I made my first cross continent bicycle trip, and after more than 35 years, it's still one of the best things I ever did.

Thanks big time for sharing your adventure!
Ben

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I remember the days of being unencumbered by wife, children, work, etc...  Only then I never thought to make my road trips on a bike.  Did them in an old Toyota pick-up.  I'm glad you're sharing your adventure with us all, and you'll be glad later for all the pictures and the stories you write down.

Looking forward to the rest of the journey.

Offline Shenanigans

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I will add the pictures later as there are not that many for a while anyways.


After the crash I got up and paused to look at my bike for a second then picked it back up. A car pulled up behind me and the occupant got out and walked over. Just as I had got the bike back up he came over and asked if I was ok, which I was. I rolled it over to the sidewalk and he pulled into the parking lot of the hotel on the corner (which you can see from the Google maps link) and walked back over. As I was looking my bike over he asked where I was going and I told them about my plan. He then said that his company had rented out the hotel and that I was welcome to stay in one of the extra rooms. At first I thanked him but declined and shook his hand. I put the fuel lines back on and let the carbs fill back up with gas. Kicked it over and pulled out into the street, the bike was pulling horribly to the left. So I made a U-turn and pulled into the lot to park. In retrospect my bars were bent and thats what was causing me to feel the pull but adrenaline is a funny thing and makes you think a bit odd. It was also quite useless as the majority of it hit after my crash. So I deducted that I needed to align my back wheel. As I was doing that the occupants of the hotel came out one by one until there was 8 or 9. Now the range of these people was incredible. From a Indian gentleman to, for lack of any other way to describe him, a gentleman who was obviously a "hippy" in the 60s and never gave it up, he also had a cb550 back in the day no less. He could not remember the year but from what he told me about the black on the tank we deducted it was a 74. So I talked a bit with them and decided to take them up on the offer of the hotel. I later learned that they were all sort of coworkers and reps. for different clothing companies. What they all do is rent out a hotel and each rep sets up the clothing lines that they work for in the hotel rooms. Then the buyers for the major chains walk around the different hotel rooms and pick out what they like and buy it for the chains that they work for.

They said I could pull the bike into the lobby but I put it under the overhang to the side entrance since I did not want to leak anything in the hotel room and brought my back pack and sleeping bag in, covered my bike with my tarp and they showed me to an extra room. The room was full of racks stuffed with clothing with "Demo" written on every piece. The bed was hidden in the room amognst all the clothing. I took this opportunity to shower and change into clean clothes. They actually washed all my clothes for me too. Its odd to come out of a room and have someone you don't know hand you all your clothing. Everyone was in the lobby so I went out there and sat and ate some take out they had ordered for everyone. Everyone then proceeded to get drunk off their ass which in itself was a bizzare scene to me. Here I am in some random hotel with a cast of drunk people who I honestly could never imagine getting drunk at all together in the first place. Amazing. There was a girl my age there but she seem constantly angry, it did not help that at one point all of my drunken company started yelling, uhh "surprising" things at her to come over and meet me, At some point she fled to the other side of the hotel. And remember some of these people I could never imagine outside of a library desk. More shenanigans for a while and then took a group photo and went to sleep in a nice bed for the first time in a while. The next morning after the free breakfast I said goodbye after getting a few phone numbers and got back on the road heading east.


Sorry for the bad photo. It was 50 ISO film in a dark room. I lightened it up as much as I could.



Ok, much better way to start the day today. Full of food that I did not get in the canned isle of a grocery store and with a full nights rest. So I got on the 40 east and I gunned it. I mean throttle all the way back.

To be continued...
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 04:03:35 am by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline seaweb11

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You always meet the best people and have the best road stories when your shiit breaks ;D
Be it a bike, boat or plane.................cars are not the same :P

Offline Shenanigans

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I wish my speedometer worked so I could have known my real speed. Counting the mile markers put me around 100 but its hard to be exact. Going so fast on a bike that rolled off the line around 35 years ago is a thrill in itself and a bit of a risk. The motor that was propelling me down this road was put together almost 35 years ago. At one point it sat for 25 years and now I am just sitting here redlining it for a hundred miles and depending my life to it. At that speed if anythings happens your done for. A blow out or a ladder, animal or even bottle or 2x4 really anything but these thoughts race in your mind yet your wrist keeps the throttle wide open and you continue, almost disattached to your body. Fully realizing that what I was seeing right that second could be the last thing I ever saw but the fact that you are wondering about it means your alive. After a while even that speed starts to seem mundane and your mind starts to wonder even more. I floored it from New Mexico along the 40 in the left lane and I fully expected to get pulled over but it never happened, after going so fast for so long when you finally slow down to around 50 you feel like you could jump off the bike and run and keep up. Before I knew it I was in Texas. Flying past the towns of Boise then Gruhlkey, Adrian, Landergin, Vega and Everett. Only slowing down to get gas and every time I pulled into a gas station my bike would idle perfectly as if it had not just been past red line for a few hours. The view was not very interesting so I continued to go as fast as the bike would go only slowing when passing Amarillo. Once I was past the big city I went back into the left lane, tucked down as far as I could and gunned it past Conway, Lark, Groom, Boydston, Jericho, Alanreed, McLean, Lela, Shamrock and finally Texola. I was soon out of Texas. My total time in Texas was somewhere around an hour and a half.

At this point any worry about my bike was thrown out the window. As if it was suddenly no longer in my control weather the bike would explode or do fine. All I could do was ride it.

I continued this way all the way to Oklahoma city. Getting gas seemed like a huge interruption. I wish I could just ignore it and be able to keep going. Sometime around here I took an offramp and found some nice woods to get some sleep in for a bit. A while after Oklahoma city I slowed down a bit to around 80 as the scenery was a bit interesting. I passed over a bridge over what looked like a lake system. This slowing down may have saved me. I past the lake system and a small town called Checotah.

I was a few minutes past Checotah when all of a sudden I could feel the rear end of my bike start to go to the left. It snapped me out of my trance and everything then went into slow motion as I feel the rear go out to the left. Not knowing if its going to keep going I sat there grabbing the bars all my concentration on that rear end moving out. There is a second there where I was unsure of if it was going to stop sliding out or if it was going to keep going and I would soon be trying my luck as a ragdoll. Remember all this happened over a span of maybe 1 or 2 seconds. As soon as I felt the rear go back to the right everything seemed to explode back into action as I tried to ride the rear wheel out, no longer worried about the back trying to walk around my front wheel. Before I knew it I was on the side of the road stopped with my bike upright between my legs. The rear was completely flat.

I sat there a while. I had lost my phone somewhere around Texas. I looked at my map and it told me the nearest town was Checotah. I sat a while in the shade of my bike, I don't exactly know why but I guess just to let my mind wonder a bit more. I noticed the field off the side of the road and the bolts and cords that were on the side of the road. I wondered about their story and the fact they were made new in some factory and then shipped to a store where someone bought them brand new off the shelf. I wish I knew the complete story of the stuff laying on the side of the road, it was probably an interesting story on how it ended up there.

A fellow stopped by in a truck and confirmed to me that my best chances were back in the town and that the next town was not for a while. He gave me one of those 5 hour energy shot things which I put in my backpack. The bike aint' gonna push itself there so I got up and go it across the highway and started my way back to Checotah on the side of the highway. It took a while but I finally made it into town. "Town" was a tire shop and a gas station on the opposite side of the freeway. There were a bunch of houses a little north but they could not help me.

I got to the tire shop. It was completely empty except for a toolbox and a stack of tires. A few young kids ran around inside, playing on the tires. Where the front office would be there was a completely empty room with a cash register sitting on the desk. It reminded me of the gas station on the Indian reservation. Then the guy who owned it came out. He told me he had no way to repair the tube but I rolled it around back to the air compressor to see if the tire would at least hold air. He did not have a nozzle that would fit.

Next try was to get it to the gas station on the other side of the overpass. Which was pretty close after how far I had just gotten the bike. I tried the air there and the tire would hold none of it.

What now? Well I pushed it up the gas station and decided it was time for a god damn soda. The gas station was also a sort of fryer. With there daily special for food listed on the whiteboard. They also had a few booths to sit down at where a few old farts were reading the papers and doing crossword puzzles. I sat down with my soda to look at my map to find the closest town that would have a bike shop. Thats when I noticed the girl that worked that, and maybe 3 out of the five people wondering around were just beautiful girls. The gas station was very busy and about half the people in and out of there were seriously gorgeous young women, it was insane and I have no idea why the ratio was like that but I was not going to complain. Needless to say I took my time around there before finally moving out. I talked to a few of them and they agreed the the next biggest town was Musgokee,  About 30 miles north of where I was. I wish I had a phone ;D :'(.

30 miles! There is no way the bike is going to be pushed that far. That would take days and besides the odd amount of girls there was not much car traffic. So I got on it and took the 69 north. I rode on the shoulder of the road on the flat trying as hard as I could to keep the tire on the rim. After about an hour a car pulled off in front of me and I rolled up and stopped by his window.

He was an older gentlemen, maybe in his 50s or 60s. He drove a flashy white Mercedes and had a huge gold cross hanging on the inside of his car and had on a nice suit and a cowboy hat. His speech was eccentric and very "southern' he told me he was a preacher of the biggest church in the area and a fellow biker. He kept telling me "us bikers gotta look out fer' each other, Im just trying to look out fer a fellow biker. Ya' know what I am trying to get at?". An amazing character really, straight out of a book. He offered to call a tow truck for me or get me some water. I had my transportation covered and had plenty of water so I thanked him and he sped off, his car flinging rocks in the air. Encounters with random people like that are why I love traveling.

I eventually got into town and found the shop. I checked to see if they had a tube my size and they did, that was a relief. So I propped it up on the center stand and proceed to take my rear wheel off and deliver it to their service bay...



To be continued
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 06:10:27 am by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

eldar

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I can safely say I wish I had been able to do something like this. I did not have my bike yet and when I did, not enough cash to fix it fast. now i have 2 kids to worry about. I envy you on your trip! Maybe someday when the kids are older I might be able to be as carefree to do this. I look forward to that day.

Rock on buddy!

Offline UnCrash

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I can't wait for the next installment of your great adventure.

Thanks for posting it here.

You can't make too much popcorn, but you can definately eat too much popcorn.

Offline heffay

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dude... seriously, i'm in colorado! AND have an extra room!

but, pikes peak isn't a pass... you have to go up and back down.   :D

writing style is awesome!  if i could offer one suggestion though... there is a difference between wander and wonder.   ;) ;D
its almost like you meant it that way.   :)  endearing.

i just read this thread for what seems to be way more than an hour!  ;D  i've realized i need to put those new tires on the sport bike. 

keep it coming... if you get bored from writing go here  ;)

http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=5517.0
Today: '73 cb350f, '96 Ducati 900 Supersport
Past Rides: '72 tc125, '94 cbr600f2, '76 rd400, '89 ex500, '93 KTM-125exc, '92 zx7r, '93 Banshee, '83 ATC250R, 77/75 cb400f

Offline Shenanigans

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I spent a hour or so poking around their showroom. Looking at all the sport bikes I don't think I will ever get. I think it was the FZ6, which had an attractive set of headers which was ruined by a tube running in the middle from the number the 2 to 3 header. Newer bikes are a world apart from our SOHCs but I dont think they could slide down the road on their sides with almost no damage. The shop that did my tire gave me a great price on the tube and mounting. Yamaha of muskogee, I think this is their building. They gave me some cash and demanded I get myself a warm meal, they are good people.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Yamaha+motorcycle&sll=35.718887,-95.319958&sspn=0.020104,0.033131&ie=UTF8&ll=35.7118,-95.373505&spn=0.002513,0.004141&t=h&z=18

So after putting the tire back on and reloading all my stuff I was off again. I went on for a while with nothing too exciting happening. It started to get late in the day so veered off the highway and found some nice woods to camp in outside of Morrilton.



During the night it got humid, very humid. At some point during the night I must have pushed my jacket and sleeping bag off my upper body. Since I had no shirt on I got destroyed by mosquitoes in my sleep. When I woke up it took me a second to part it together. I though I had broken out with chicken pox and I hoped I did not get sick. Packed everything up again and back to the road. Every mile I went put distance between myself and home. If the bike became inoperable I would have to figure things out, I did not even have a phone to count on. I was the only one that could help me figure it out. Maybe I could hitch a ride in the back of a diesel rig? I guess I could have sold all the parts off my bike. The pipes were in good condition and could get me a bus ticket back home. Even the correct finned points cover goes for a decent amount. I came to realize that as long as I had a straight frame I would be fine. I could find or rig everything else, including a motor if I had too. It would be a lot of work to find one and switch it out or even find a set of forks or a rim but it could be done. Whats waiting a week? This made me feel a little better. Since it was early in the day I took a few detours to smaller towns. Resting in a few parks and looking around some old graveyards. I noticed then that some graveyards are excellent places to sleep.  Every town has one. The older and more hills the better. You can usually find a mowed place in the back thats out of sight and the people that are there have other things on their minds than to mess with you. There is a low chance of people wondering around late at night too, and if there is its not to hard to scare them off ;D The only thing is you have to be out of there around daybreak if your in sight but some of the smaller ones you could get away with spending days there if your smart about it. And its a bit of a mental hurtle but realistically is no different than any other place. Never in your life will you notice all the small sounds as when you rest alone in a graveyard. I wished it was later in the day so I could stay at that particular one and I wished I would have taken more photos around this time.

After a while I crossed the Mississippi and parked to rest some more in this lot.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=&ie=UTF8&ll=35.136681,-90.062426&spn=0.002531,0.004141&t=h&z=18




On across Tennessee uneventfully. Miles and miles and miles then gas. Miles and miles and miles then gas. I thought about a lot of random things. I think I want to stop and visit Checotah again on my way back. What if my dumbass ends up in a ditch? What if starts raining but does not let up for days? How will I get the money to get back home? blah blah blah. Riding along watching my shadow infront of me grow taller and taller and soon it was night. I pulled off to go try and find a place to sleep in a small town. I did not find anywhere really suitable but there was a dennys so I pulled in and figured I would get some food to get me through the night. I would have just had the usual tuna or sardines but I had forgot to resupply myself.

The following incident is probably one of my favorite things that happened on the trip just because how ridiculous it is.

I walked into the dennys and found a seat. Ordered and then pulled my map out to look over where I should go. There were two guys sitting in the both next to me probably around mid 20's "good ole' country boys". They asked where I was heading to and we chatted for a bit and I told them about my friends bike with confederate stripes across the tank figuring they would get a kick out of it since they were both wearing confederate shirts. They left before I did. After I finished my food I walked up to pay and the waitress said the two guys payed for my meal. Awesome. So I then walked out to my bike to get back on the road and noticed a mailing bag with the clear side down under the strap to my bike. So I picked it up and turned it over. The clear side letting me see the contents inside the bag. It was filled with "the devils lettuce" The clear side had a note written over it with a marker that just said "I hope this helps with your trip". So here I am holding this bag containing more than I know what to even do with of some mystery plant ;D in the middle of an open parking lot with a fair amount of people walking around. How in the hell did that happen?





A little bit later I started heading north east on the 81 I think it was. It was the middle of the night so what the clouds were doing was a mystery to me. Stopping at a gas station I noticed the television bolted up in the corner. It was on the weather. I looked at where I was and then saw a giant yellow and red blob heading due south. It was just north of me, I watched as it looped over and over. I think if I floored it I could make it out of harms way. Since the 81 heads north east I would have to take another road due east to be able to get out of its way in time. I ran to my bike and took off taking the first major road that went east. I could see the storm now because of the lighting, the flashes lighting up the clouds and revealing the tops of the mountains. I would like to think of this as the true spirit of cafe racing. I was on a curving mountain road in the pitch black of night, thousands of miles from my home. Going as fast as I could trying to beat the storm on a bike that is 16 years older than myself. Now that I look back on it I should have just hunkered down somewhere but it became a battle between me and the storm. I HAD to beat it. Everything my headlight was lighting up was flying past me, there was only this rush of scenery and the almost still loom of the storm. Reminding me it was there every few seconds with a flash. I cut it close a few times having to grind my pegs to be able to make the apex of a turn and having to slam on my brakes. It was one of the most intense rides of my life. The flashes getting nearer and nearer. The closer the storm got, the taller and more forbidding it seemed. I kept on the gas and made it. For a few mins it rained a little bit as the east part of the storm skimmed me but I got out of the way. I pulled off and watched it lumber by. I felt like I had just escaped a out of control train or something. Its really hard to describe the feeling but it seemed like more than just adrenaline.

 I made my way back to the 81 around daybreak and kept moving on. The remainder of the storm kept me soaked but the bike ran fine. I pulled under an overpass at one point to let some of the heavy rain pass. I watch the people of the town go about their lives which they had probably been doing before I got there. I sat on the bank of the overpass and drifted off to sleep. I was awoke by a police man shinning his flashlight on my bike. Not a good sign in the middle of the day. He saw me wake up and asked if I was alright. I told him yes and then made some conversation for a bit. It hard to search a bike and talk at the same time... ;)  The rain stopped and I groggily got back on the road. The front brake being useless when wet almost got me in trouble a few times but I learned to keep it dry real quick. On and on north east pass the hills covered in trees with fog seeming to seep out of them and rise into the air. I pulled into a gas station and it began to rain again. I sat there watching the odd effects of the sun on the fog and sheets of rain on the hills. I was unsure if it would last for hours or days and there was nothing I could do about it but wait.



To be continued...



« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 03:08:02 am by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline Shenanigans

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dude... seriously, i'm in colorado! AND have an extra room!

but, pikes peak isn't a pass... you have to go up and back down.   :D

writing style is awesome!  if i could offer one suggestion though... there is a difference between wander and wonder.   ;) ;D
its almost like you meant it that way.   :)  endearing.

i just read this thread for what seems to be way more than an hour!  ;D  i've realized i need to put those new tires on the sport bike. 

keep it coming... if you get bored from writing go here  ;)

http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=5517.0


Be careful heffay, I might just take you up on that offer.

I would really like to go to Colorado again and explore more of it and its about the perfect distance to break a finnished bike in.
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline BlindJoe

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updates?? you're killin' me smalls