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Old 04-16-2011, 08:35 PM   #1
lonesoldier84 OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 109
Talking And in this corner....the FZ6.

Note: If anyone wants high-def versions of any of these images PM me your email and I will email you the image file.

There are some truly spectacular rides people on this forum go on. I hope this humble addition to the fray represents the FZ6 in good stead. I may be blinded by "first bike syndrome" but I am exceptionally fond of this bike. Right, it's time to get on with it.

ALRIGHT. Finally. I tried to keep this chronologically accurate but I'm apparently retarded so some of it is an approximation. Pretty close though.

Ok. So I find some time to start putting this thing together. I wanted to delay going back through the trip’s pictures until there came a time winter was really grinding my gears and I wanted to relive the trip, mile by mile. I will try to put this together as best as I can, and I will try to keep the emotional masturbation to a minimum. Most of the people reading this have probably done a lot of riding trips as well, so I don’t need to tell you about the joys of riding in painstaking detail.

For me, this was my second trip that lasted longer than a couple days. My other trip was a ride through BC. There was a lot about that trip that opened my eyes to how epic riding trips really are. After I got back from it, going on longer and more epic trips became a bit of a focus for me. The day I got back from the BC trip I started planning the trip I went on this past August. The motivation behind it was just to go as far and ride as hard as I could until I had to come home again. 17 days was the time period I had to work with. I drew up a general and random route that was really pretty optimistic.



When I put it together initially I went through google maps and just tried to hit every single road I thought I’d be able to. My goal was to do 900km a day for four days then having 1-2 days off then repeat. As the time for the trip got closer I re-routed my trip with a bit more practicality and room for casual riding days. In the end it was vaguely close to what I had initially wanted to do so I was happy with the scope.

In the months leading up to the riding trip, a lot went wrong. I picked up a knee injury from football, and a couple things happened mechanically with the bike that cost quite a bit to fix. My budget was getting stretched and I hadn’t even left yet. My knee healed up to the 80-85% mark when the time for trip came and that was good enough for me. I threw a bunch of supplies together in the last couple days, loaded the FZ up like a mule, and hit the road.

My plan was primarily to avoid primary highways. If I could avoid them as much as possible, I would be satisfied with my route. Lessons would be learned, I figured, about each area I passed through to help me plan better routes in the future.



The first day was completely anti-climactic. A lot of planning and anticipation for a couple months was followed by big delays on the first day of the trip. I made it to High River just south of Calgary.



But whatever, I figured. I’d get an early start the next day and the trip would start in earnest. Forward progress was being made and that’s all that mattered. I also decided to pick up a large jerry can and strap it to my luggage to extend my range. This would allow me to stop worrying so much about distance to gas stations and would ease my ability to include roads I wanted to take without hurting the schedule too much diverting to gas stations.

Oh, and just FYI, I had ridiculously good luck with weather on the way down. I only got rained on for like a day or so in total, and the vast majority of the time there was nothing but bright blue skies and puffy white clouds. It was picture perfect every single day. I couldn’t believe my luck.
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FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437

lonesoldier84 screwed with this post 04-17-2011 at 10:04 PM
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
lonesoldier84 OP
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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Day two: Decompression.

That is the word that has lingered in my mind since then. Decompression. That is the best way to describe the start to one of these trips imo. The anticipation has reached its climax and the first few days are just getting the hell away from home and forgetting everything about where you’re coming from and you think only about the road ahead. The tarmac stretches on and on ahead of you, and all the tension of life in general and sorting your **** out to be able to make this trip in the first place fades away. You decompress. Your brain is emptied of everything and filled with the drone of your engine and the subtle but overwhelming feeling of complete freedom. The bright blue prairie skies, the mountains in the distance, the tarmac ahead, the air rushing past you, and the entirety of the world within reach…freedom. Epic, spectacular….freedom.

















You should keep in mind for the rest of this write-up that I have a fuzzy memory now of where I started and ended on the various days or even where the hell I went. I really just sort of had a general direction of “South West” and the destination of ultimately meeting up with friends in Southern Cali. Everything in between in either direction was just sort of deciding where I wanted to go at food stops, gas stops, and sometimes just when I saw something shiny down a side road.

But on this, my second day of riding, I did hit the US border and cross into Montana. I ended the day’s ride in Missoula. On the way there, I detoured through what seemed like my own private road. For a couple hours I worked my through a gravel road that was a secondary highway on the map. It looked like it went through some interesting terrain, so I went with it. I’m glad I did. It was a brilliant way to spend the second day. I only saw one other motorist the entire time I was on it, and it was a fellow on a V-Strom that caught up to me and passed by me while I was stopped having some water. I made a mental note that I really have to commit to buying an adventure-touring mount. All I could think of down this road was how badly I wanted to just say “to hell with it” and just turn off the road and get straight at all the scenery that made up the backdrop of the landscape.
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Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.

FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
lonesoldier84 OP
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I made it through the US border without incident. I had been paranoid about this but it was all for nothing. The American border guards were friendly and welcoming. They get painted to be power-mad assholes so often I just sort of assumed they’d give me a bit of a headache.
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FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
lonesoldier84 OP
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I was behind schedule, but decided I wouldn’t care too much about that. Glacier National Park was accessible so I rode it. The roads were decent and there were some decently fun stretches. But the scenery was brilliant as was to be expected. I was very pleased I made the detour.









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Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.

FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
lonesoldier84 OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
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Oddometer: 109
Day 3-4: Riding Montana/Wyoming/Idaho
I am not entirely sure where the hell I went looking back at a map now, but I did make it into each of these three states at one point. Montana was mostly an endless series of high speed sweepers. The riding was very relaxing and punctuated by changes of landscape between streams/rivers/rocky hills/forest.



















__________________
Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.

FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
lonesoldier84 OP
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Oddometer: 109






One thing that struck me was the deforestation. I’ve always said one of the great things about riding is how it puts you in touch with the land you’re passing through in a pretty special way. You start to develop an appreciation for the view Native Americans had of the land. It just sort of….”is”. It has always been there, and as a civilization we have really not made that much of an impression on it yet. But we will. You see the scale of deforestation and you know that in the future, someone riding the same path will not have the same serene beauty to enjoy. Already there were stretches of road in Montana where you just see a lot of miles of the sides of hills with what looks like toothpicks sticking out of the ground where trees once stood. It definitely stood out from the rest of the area.

Anyway, I’ll get back on topic. Idaho/Wyoming were interesting because I decided to throw away the map most of the time and just sort of follow my nose and gradually work my way south. I allowed myself to meander east a bit though because I did want to hit the Grand Canyon before I passed through Vegas into L.A.. At one point, in my quest to be “hardcore adventure rider” (haha, yeah, I know…hardly) I took a detour off the secondary highways and onto roads that didn’t show up on the map. They were pretty unmaintained at got pretty rocky. It went from gravel, to just big ass rocks and ruts in the sand at one point. I made a mental note to try to get a skid-plate welded somehow to the bike if I did this in the future. But for now, there was fun to be had and I just tried to be a bit careful about it.













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Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.

FZ6 vs North America:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15686437
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