06-24-2013, 09:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Day 5- Ended in Clarksville, AR- ~196 miles
I woke up with a bit of a fever and coughing up green stuff instead of Mississippi dirt. I took two aspirin and prepared for some road therapy.
The day started out nice and proceeded to get hot. Very hot. I stripped off my jacket and rode with just the ballistic jersey.
This guy did not agree with me on the temperature.
We rode up into the Ozarks looking like this:
But feeling like this:
We had arrived:
The Ozark Mountains provided shade, cooler mountain air, wide smooth gravel roads, and stunning vistas:
After one of our stops I walked over to my bike, grabbed the handlebars, and started to mount up. SNAP! The POS Husky kickstand broke and I had 400 lbs of bike and gear leaning into me. I barely managed to hold the bike up. I’m sure my back will thank me later tonight.
So, at our next rest stop
Here was my improvised kickstand
I dismounted, took off my gear, walked back over to my bike and met one of the trees inhabitants
This guy literally slithered over my foot peg to get this perch.
The Ozarks are a beautiful ride. Highly recommended. It was sad to come off the mountain in search of shelter and a machine shop. Riding into Clarksville I saw this:
Clarksville Small Engine Repair. Mike was the owner. He looked at my broken parts, smiled and said he could fix it. While he welded and made sparks for an hour I played with his dog.
He not only welded the kickstand, he cut a hollow tube in half and welded that onto it. Then he welded a metal rod to the outside. Then he tapped the kickstand to put a bigger stronger bolt through it. I believe this guy invented engineering overkill.
May not be pretty (I don’t like pretty things on my Husky), but I bet it holds. It will be tested. BTW, Mike said he would be happy to help anyone in need passing by on the TAT.
Now some practical matters on riding the TAT, some people use goggles, some prefer face shields. This was my view for 60 miles in TN:
We are riding with both Montana GPS’s and Scala G9 communication systems. We can talk to each other from 300 feet in the mountains to over 900 feet in line of sight. You don’t “need” this gear, but it makes riding strange roads safer.
With the GPS you can see the curves coming up. We have been on many long straights that end at a sharp off camber turn. It’s really, really, nice having a heads up before you get there. Especially when you are hot and tired and maybe not paying 100 percent attention.
With the comm system, you can warn you buddies before they encounter: sharp turns, logs, stream crossing, branches, logs, rocks, road kill, deer, turtles, lizards, armadillos, road graders, cars, trucks, cows, potholes, attacking dogs, etc. Plus you can coordinate stops, photo ops, and generally harass their lack of riding prowess (and receive the same).
I’m sold on the value of both items. They cost far less than the potential hospital bills and the repairing of wrecked bikes.
2006 Husqvarna TE610- TAT 2013 survivor!
2008 KTM 300 XCW-e
1993 Harley Heritage Classic