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Old 11-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
edstoll OP
OPD-2019
 
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Iowa
Oddometer: 272
My 50th Birthday Present Fly and Ride

After a ton of research I decided I needed a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. I was window shopping for one and my wife found out. I would be turning 50 soon and she began encouraging me to buy one for myself. I found some for sale on Craigslist, ADV Rider and Stromtroopers. I would find a good buy, agonize over buying them and always flaked out and passed on them. Leshia was getting a little irritated and my birthday was getting near.

Then one day I found one in Charlotte North Carolina on Craigslist. It was setup like I wanted and the price was decent. I communicated with the owner initially via e-mail and then by telephone. The pictures made it look real good in spite of the miles it had and the owner seemed genuine so I decided to see if it would work out.

I calculated the cost of driving my pickup there to get it and that was too much. I looked up one way plane tickets and that was more in line with what I needed. I could see a weather window and thought a fly and ride would be cool.

I spoke with the owner about my plans and he said he would pick me up at the airport. We struck a deal and I began trip preparations.

I thought I would do a ride report here to tell my friends and family all about my 50th birthday present. Anyone else that gets enjoyment out of the report is just a bonus.

I got up at 1 A.M. and drove my truck to the Kansas City airport. It is a 2 hour drive and I had a 5 am plane ride to Atlanta .

It was just me and the trucks on the interstate at that hour.



The bike included an extra seat and windshield so needing a way to haul them. I had one bag with me to check in at the airport. I had my helmet and coat in it but it was mainly for the items to carry back. I went to the bag check and was charged $20 for it. The bag was not too big it is just what they charge to check luggage. I thought that was a little crappy but you have no choice at that point but to pay it.

Sitting in the airport early in the morning I took a picture of the plane I would be getting on and a picture of my carry on. I bet I was the only one in the airport with a Wolfman tank bag for carry on luggage





After takeoff I got an aerial picture of predawn Kansas City . I was pretty exited at this point about my journey.




I am sorry about how crappy this picture is but I thought it was kind of neat. 567 miles per hour at 35000 feet. It sure isn’t going to take as long to get there as it will to get back home.



Atlanta from the sky.



I switched planes in Atlanta and jumped over to Charlotte . I was met by Kevin and he took me through his pretty subdivision to his house with a nice clean garage. It housed the cleanest nicest 2004 model bike I’ve seen. It is obvious Kevin has taken very good care of this bike during the time he owned it. He also was very generous to take time off work to pick me up and accommodate my second childhood shenanigans.
Thank you again Kevin you are a great guy.

Here he is still smiling just before I ride off on his bike.



Here is the bike with my bag scabbed on the back and the tank bag mounted. Kevin is still holding on to it but when he lets his guard down I will jump on and ride it off.




Kevin and his dog Ed stayed home while I left to get lost wondering around his neighborhood. I couldn’t find my way out of suburbia so I stopped and ask a couple of guys who were out in their driveway how to get to a main highway. They told me to go through the zig-zag and take the next right. Then go to the second right and take a left. That should get you out to highway 160.

O.K. got it away I go. Miraculously I got out o.k. and hit the freeway. This bike did not come with any sort of throttle lock and I could see my old wrists were going to have a problem with that. I spotted a dealership and stopped here.



To get this





I don’t like traffic, interstates or cities. I finally made my way out of the highly populated areas to country I am more comfortable in.





Then it was on to the Blue Ridge Parkway .



For those of you who don’t know about the BRP. It is a serene passage that weaves through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is specifically designed for leisurely driving, so you can cruise along at your own pace and relish the astounding views of the Mountains year-round.

www.blueridgeparkway.com.

It was pretty cold in the mountains. Kevin had put a thermometer on the bike. Yes it says 45.6 degrees. I seen it get as low as 39 on the BRP.



But the scenery was nice.









It started to get dark and like I say 39 degrees so I jumped off the BRP and took shelter at Waynesville North Carolina.

I didn't get the stats for the day.

I will post day two later. My wife says I need to vacuum dead flies right now.
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