Day 0, Kalispell MT to Eureka MT
Day 0 eh? Today we had two big goals. The first was to get new tires, and the second was to ride up to the Canadian border at Roosville MT in order to officially "start" the ride. So it was more of a prep/get a few things done day.
We rode just down the road to Penco Powersports, where we had called in and ordered 2 sets of D606's a few weeks prior. Dad opted to have them install the tires, though they wanted a lot of money to do such a task and were trying to charge street bike rates on the XR. I opted to install the tires myself, as I figured it would be great practice in case I am stuck doing such a task in the middle of nowhere (and even worse, in the rain). Here I am trying to break the bead on the rear tire.
Notice the rock in my had. It was the only thing I could find to beat the Motion Pro plastic bead breaker with. It worked, but I did get a bloody knuckle and when it finally broke the bead it pinched the tube. There is something really hard about trying to break the bead on a Deathwing on the 17" rim. Bah!
Also, thanks to fellow inmate FDKLR, who sold me for a great price that portable "kick stand" for wheel removal. Check them out:
It also started raining, so I was stuck in the parking lot with on and off rain while changing tires. I can't say the Penco guys are that helpful at all, well at least the guys at the service counter. When we asked to borrow a bottle of Windex for bead lube, they just said "we sell bead lube up front". I did ask a guy at the parts counter for some Windex later and he was much nicer and obliged. The sales guys are also nice. But not the service guys.
Finally, some new meaty treads.
Up the road we headed to the border, with the weather clearing up quite nicely.
Then the weather did this....stop it!
Here's Dad trying to get used to the "floaty" feel of a dirt bike on knobbies at speed. The D606's are the knobbiest tire he's ever had on the XR650, since he usually opts for a street oriented tire.
There are many things you can gather from this photo. The first is that it is stormy again...I swear, we threaded the needle through so many isolated storms that afternoon and managed to get just very light and brief sprinkles. Some of them looked pretty heavy too. The second thing you can gather from this photo is that my Dad is very old...after all, he appears to be a Historic Point.
Here we are at the border! We were sure not to get too close...2 years ago on the street bikes we accidently rode too far. Not quite into Canada but into some weird zone between the two borders. We were forced to go through US Customs and had to explain how we never actually went into Canada and how we managed to get stuck between the two. Luckily they weren't too nasty. But anyhow, let the Great Divide Ride begin!
I was hoping we would remain on the dry side...
We rolled back into a motel in Eureka MT and rested up for the next day, where we would actually hit dirt and the real riding would start.