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Old 11-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #35
AteamNM OP
Wonna Be ADVrider
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sandia Mountains New Mexico
Oddometer: 4,048
Day 18
Thursday - November 8, 2012

Ryder Are Me. Was hearing noise from the rear end and was concerned. Not easy to get the rear wheel off the ground but Ryder provided a jack for a good inspection. Turns out it was just the new brake pads bedding in. Plus the chain got a good service.

Time to leave Arkansas and head into eastern Oklahoma 20 miles away.
As I crossed into West Siloam Springs Oklahoma I stuck with 2 lane roads as best I could but it was not much fun. Final destination for this day was King Fisher Oklahoma. I was not wanting to get another motel room but my advisers in Dallas and Albuquerque were telling me to get ready in a day or two for serious weather, winds again on the plains. Arg. Tomorrow Jo Jo sustains an injury, 2 miles from Texas.

Day 19
Friday - November 9, 2012
Jo Jo Rides Trials – No Stop Rules Apply

I stopped for gas in a cross roads town called Drumright and I met a guy named Marshal Thompson, a real cowboy and he asked me about my trip. I told him I admired his boots. They were red and white, pants inside and sporting some real spurs. Unfortunately I don't have pictures but I will get to that later. Mr. Thompson said he operated cattle on a small ranch there, like 2000 acres or something and he was also a Ferrier. There were at lot of blank horse shoes hanging on a rope across the back of his truck with 3 ranch dogs that were very friendly. Marshal was the real deal and told me if I come through Drumright to stop by for supper, spend the night or spend the week. Your always welcome to stay anytime with me. Wow, I have always been treated well by the good folks in Oklahoma.

I push on westward and soon near the Washita Battlefield historic site in the NW corner of Oklahoma. No longer in civil war lands now. Custer mascaraed a claimed 103 Black Kettle Indians here during a blizzard in 1868. Women, children and their supplies including horses, coats, blankets and food were destroyed. Custer was an Indian killing machine. Although there was a peace treaty in place at the time, apparently a few Black Kettle dudes were not behaving. This was all a part of western US expansion. Alexander Hamilton had a grandson killed here by a war party after the massacre. It was very windy but there is nothing for scale or to gauge the wind. Anything that is alive is anvil strong. Speaking of an anvil. They say in the Pan Handle, a good wind gauge is an Anvil hanging on a chain.

Looking north about 1 mile is the encampment and the battle ground area.

So I leave the battle ground and I’m not far from the Texas border. The town of Ryden is nothing but a 4 way and a small C store. I now have 3 miles to Texas and something serious bad happens to Jo Jo. She puled a ham string, oh no!

My cell phone works, there is a store here, I can ghost shift. I will figure this out. I again did not stop and think a minute but immediately dug the tools out – AGAIN – from the saddle bag. I disassemble the clutch housing which means taking off the bark buster plastic. No big deal but I did not understand what that little piece of black plastic is and why it fell on the ground. Something electrical. Then I look at the case side and realize the problem is the cable is broke at the transmission . I have wire, zip ties, bailing wire even. Maybe I can rig up a splice/connector. Once again I call NMTrailBoss. Of course he answers as always since he is the parts manager for a large motorcycle dealership. Hey Curtis, I’m on the ledge again, really high up on the ledge. What is it this time he asks. I explain the situation and he hangs up to locate the closest dealer and do they have a KLR clutch cable? I reassemble the bike and start thinking about riding Jo Jo without a clutch for a 110 miles or more? Curtis calls me back and says there are 3 dealers, the closest is in West Reno Oklahoma; south and a bit east from me, just over 100 miles. I can do that, I can get there before dark. Curtis then advises that no dealers have a cable. Today is Friday, that means over night Saturday ubber high priority delivery. Okay, R&S has three in stock, the clutch cable will be delivered to a dealer in Elk City. He asks can you make it and I say hell yea. I refused his offer of rescue.

So now I am ready to leave, push the beast up a small incline and turn on the key. I hit the starter button and no magic? What the hell? So I guess that little sensor is important. I unload the saddle bag again and dig out the tools, again. I took the plastic sensor and could not figure out how it goes in the clutch arm. I then took the contact and touched the wiring plate and there was spark. Can I tape this together and ride on? Answer was no. So I remove the bark buster and get a flash light out. The spot the plastic sensor goes into is upside down and after finally able to see there is a slot and the clutch blade has to be positioned just right. Okay, now I know what I need to do. But alas, where is the little brass cap that was on top of the sensor? Wow, really? You lost the brass piece? God Ateam, your are so stupid, you’re a jerk, you’re an ass hole. How can you loose the contact piece. Calm down, get on my hands and knees and with the flash light on, I set up a grid search. After about 5 minutes I find it. What is that noise? Oh that is my heart beating about 120 beats per minute. I got the sensor installed correctly, reinstalled the lever and the brush guard again and the bike will start, I can pack my stuff and go. I roll off the small hill and Jo Jo jump starts into gear and I’m off. Ghost shifting from neutral to first is very rude, second gear is not much better. But the upper gears shift easily. I can do this, just don’t stop. I have been taking photos while riding for 2500 miles and I was pretty good at it. There really was not a lot of photo opportunities in Oklahoma so I didn’t take many pictures. But as I approach a mammoth wind mill farm I took out the camera to take a few shots. I was wondering why the wind is blowing a steady 30 miles an hour and almost half the wind mills are not spinning. Seemed crazy to me.

So I watched the camera as it bounced along the slab and disintegrated into pieces.

As I was returning the Sony $100 camera point and shoot in my tank bag pocket I saw it miss and bounce off the tank. In that nano second a lot turns through your mind including catch it on the second bounce, grab it now. In the mean time, I was thinking make a stab at it and wreck right here on the road. So I watched the camera as it bounced along the slab and disintegrated into pieces. I had slowed down and deciding if I go back and get the memory card at least and then I see a convoy escort truck sitting ahead on the shoulder of the road. Okay, go back and get the card, maybe the guy will push start me. I uturn and see the debris. The traffic is getting heavier as it is becoming Friday afternoon and oil field folks are heading for town. I stall the bike, jump off or actually dismount which is never easy to do. I grab up the pieces and stuff it in the tank bag and start pushing the bike towards the guy in the escort vehicle. I approach and tell him the story, what just happened. Will you be so kind to give me a push? Why yes of course he says. So he pushes and I hit first gear and nothing. Then we try it again and nothing. He then asks me does the motor not work? Oh snap, I’m so stupid. Yes of course and I start the bike. Now the third time is the charm right. He pushes and Jo Jo sparks to life as I jam her into first. As I turn around to say thank you I see in my mirror a site that has been burned into my mind, like a protected PDF file you just can’t erase. This kind soul who pushed me three times gave it his all and when Jo Jo kicked to life, down he went. I saw his glasses scattering across the highway, his cow boy hat in the air, his arms out stretched at impact. Oh dear God, I was in a bad spot deciding do I turn around and stall again to ask him if he is alright? Or do I go on. Traffic made my decisions for me. I continued. I could not see as my eyes were streaming tears. I was so sad for that man. What the hell am I doing? So with heavy heart I ride into Elk City and I really don't remember the miles of nothing. I just saw the arms out as that man hit the pavement.

I rode no stop trials in traffic and a lot of cross country riding when approaching slowly at a 4 way intersection. I exit off the interstate and spot a Clarion Hotel up on a hill. It’s almost dark.

As I top the embankment, I hear my phone ringing in my pocket. I stall the bike and dig the phone out. It's Curtis, he tells me he has some bad news. Fed-Ex nor UPS will deliver Saturday to Elk City. It is 4:30 on a Friday, plan C is now to find a dealer in Amarillo since they will deliver Saturday in Amarillo. So Curtis calls David Brown Sport Center and they said hell yea, tell him it’s just a spurt down the road to Amarillo, come on in on Saturday morning. So plan C calls for me riding in mega winds, 147 miles to Amarillo, on the friggin Interstate and in the dark. This is going to be bad. I have already logged in 200 miles today, over 100 miles with no clutch and now I ride the super 75 mph Interstate.....

I stopped on my way to Elk City to get gas and two young kids gave me a push out. So I have enough fuel to make it to Amarillo and I ride off into a sunset that was not pretty at all. Good thing since I no longer own a camera. The cell phone served me well anyway. My first mind FFFKKK as I am getting blown off the road by trucks and by the south wind. Cross brace, edge of seat riding and the gusts literally push the bike sideways. I would soon get more experience in cross wind riding. At 70 miles into the ride I realize that I need my under jacket and winter gloves. the GPS is slowly registering a steady climb in elevation as I know that Amarillo is above 4000 feet. So once again I have to stop Jo Jo and and get warm gear on soon. A exit for a ranch road comes up with a bridge across I-40 and I decide although no one is around, there will be enough hill to roll off the bridge and jump start. I add more gear on while sitting directly over the west bound lane. Now is a good time to use my exhaust to warm up and why not just piss off the bridge. I must admit that at this point, with al the mind games of the day I’m getting a bit crazy. I am screaming profanities at the world from atop the interstate bridge. I know I’m in a marathon, I know I have to push on. Finish – finish is my mantra now. I roll down the bridge and Jo Jo starts again, limping along without a clutch, frozen to the bone, still 80 miles or more to go.

As I swerved and tacked along at 70 miles an hour on I-40 I met Mr. Sidney. Secret Sidney actually was his name. Mr. Sidney is a sneaky bastard, he is not nice. Sidney is a west bound San Andreas fault in the asphalt that runs all the way to the Pacific ocean I bet. Mr. Sidney would jig and jag but always west bound. The wind would blow Jo Jo in violent gusts, deafening. And there was Sidney trying his best to trip her. Cross the wake, cross the wake. Amarillo 59 miles, Amarillo 52 miles, Amarillo, 37 miles. Really, does the great state of Texas have to tell me how many miles it is every stinking 5 miles? Who owns the sign factory around here, I bet he is rich. Then my Dad sneaks into my mind. It was not a Jeddi & OBeeOne Kanoby Star Wars kind of thing. Just there was my Dad, giving me that look. I kept saying I was sorry, but I wasn’t sure what I was sorry for. I’m thinking am I melting down here, is this how people act and feel when they are mentally unbalanced? My face masks fogs with every breath and I can hear my heart beat inside my head. After what seemed like hours the sign said Amarillo 17 miles. But then I was seeing blue lights. Spread apart, way out on the horizon. They would come on and then off. Sporadic. Am I hallucinating? Then I realize much later that a cop is positioned on each side of the highway and the flashing off and on is trucks crossing a bridge heading south. What, there is a detour? Are you kidding me, really? Sure enough west bound traffic is being diverted south to highway 287, why I don’t know. So the no stop trials event is not over yet.

And then I approach the line of truck at the exit. I slow down to first gear and nearly stall, letting the truck traffic proceed ahead. In the meantime, the stack of 18 wheelers are right on my fender, they are not happy. I start weaving as we approach the turn, I’m gonna stall so I turn into the dirt and encounter a fence. I opened my knees and barely made my turn and then jumped back in line where I was. I cleaned it, way to go girl, good job. Now I’m in a line of trucks heading strait into the fierce wind and it is actually a reprieve, sort of. But then I see trucks making a right hand turn at a stop sign and intersection to go west on highway 287 into town. The road is busy, a half mile of stopped trucks awaits me. The asphalt shoulder is maybe 3 feet wide and then it’s dark dirt and a fence. I got to make the pass on the right, no choice. As I roll by one truck after another a few are not so nice and swerve off the road at me, they try to block me which forces me on the dirt. I stand up, trials riding again, in the dark and finally make it to the intersection. But again I turn right in the dirt since there is traffic, but this is easy and I jump onto the main highway and motor into Amarillo. Mentally exhausted, flat out starving since I had not eaten at all the whole day. I spot a room that is next to a Cracker Barrel and check in. I tell the clerk about my 140 mile clutchless ride from Elk City and please be nice and give me a cheap room. He tells me the rodeo is in town and he only has one room left, a handicap. Sold to the humbled wonna be ADV rider.

Damn what a day. Tomorrow if UPS delivers, I will get Jo Jo’s ham string repaired and we will head SW down to Clovis New Mexico, maybe.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 04:41 PM
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