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Old 06-29-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
Ratman OP
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Summer Ride in Indian Country

As 2011 progressed reasons for riding around the southwest began piling up. First, I had been at home for a while and needed to get out in the world. Second, there was a motorcyle get-together brewing in mid June in southwest Co. Third, AAA maps describes Indian country as a swath of the southwest thru Ax,Ut,NM, and Co where interesting thing to see abound.

I'd been there several times, but there was much that I hadn't seen. I completed 3 weeks and 3000 miles in IC. I saw a lot....and as it's big country, there is still enough left for another trip next year....and probably another and then another.

As many of you know I live in southern Ca a little north of San Diego. The equipment remains the same. I'd be taking the DS bike with me as well.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's an 1100cc Honda doing the heavy lifting, and the DR350 is for the light work. Primarily this was a camping trip with light use of a motel here and there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


The trailer is homebuilt from V65 Sabre trailing arms, and it uses disk brakes from the same bike in a surge brake fashion. The trailer tongue compresses and applies the brake.
From Odds and ends

Disk brake
From Odds and ends


I've got 3 years and about 15000 miles on this trailer setup towing. I consider it pretty well tested by now. I used a Sabre fork for the sliding tongue.
From Odds and ends


.......anyway, enough about the rig....let me tel you about the ride. It began on June the second......

I planned for three weeks on the road. I'm retired and have retired riding buddies, so I asked several of them if they wanted to join me for some or all of the trip. I got a few takers....4 to be exact.

First was Doug who rides an ST1100, a man I've known since High school. Another High school buddy, Arnold rides another V65 Sabre like mine, and Mike Daugherty on another V65, and the last was 'Nip' Morgan on a Harley.

We planned a meetup at Chaparral Motorcycles in San Bernadino Ca as that was central to the first four riders, then we would meet Nip at Tecopa Hot Springs as he'd be coming from Lone Pine, Ca.

I've had good memories of Tecopa from ride there over the last 10 years. The Hot springs there used to be free and camping across the street was inexpensive.

We made the connection in Tecopa after a nice run from Chaparral. The weather was 90 degrees at the worst...as good as could be expected for early June.
The boys in the shade at Tecopa...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...and Me
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Arnold left, Doug right...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

They even had a horseshoe pit with Horseshoes there under that tree. Mike taught me that it's a younger mans game...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This is Tecopa vibrant down town today
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Post office next door...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Some of the building burned a few years ago...and the rest was abandoned to go to oblivion.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Nip showed up with info that the inexpensive camp ground was $16 per person and the free hot springs was now $7.50 each. Nothing good lasts forever. Nip had also stopped a few miles away in Shoshone and found us a campsite for 30 bucks total that included a swimming pool with warm water. We went for that.
But before we went to The Shoshone campground we tooka 10 mile ride out to China Ranch.
A bit of dirt road was involved...sort of an adventure ride....about 3 miles of dirt, but good dirt.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

China Ranch started in the days of the early mines in Death Valley supplying geen foods to the miners as there was a fresh water. Today it's a tourist destination owned by one of Nevada's political families. The story goes that the chinaman who started the place just vanished one day, and then the Nevada boys owned it.
They have a museum there and gift shop as well as an ice cream counter where Date Shakes are their specialty.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I don't know why I don't have a picture of the Gift shop and relics around the place.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The original ranch house is in those trees
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Arnold got himself in some soft sand at one point, and made a 5 mph drop of his Faired Sabre. It's a rat bike so the loss of a turn signal didn't phase him. No picture....
After the Date Shake we went to the campsite in Shoshone. Pretty nice and with grass to camp on. There were no tents as the air was clean and no rain in sight. That's my finger in the picture.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The date shake late in the afternoon covered my evening meal requirement. A couple of the boys went to Shoshone for a burger. I blew up my red air mattress with my air pump (DR350). Any small necked bottle (like a gas additive) will do as an adapter. If 'pump up' is started with a cold bike no melting follows.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Evening was passed with a dip in the 95 degree pool and by solving world problems....
In the morning as we went thru Shoshone we noted the Sheriff station. Love a small town.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Shoshone also has a Cafe/bar and motel as well as a gas station and Post office.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We'd be in Fredonia that evening posed to see the north Rim of the Grand Canyon the next day.............I'd never been there. I'd been seeing Toroweap on maps for year. This would be the year that the mystery destination would be disclosed.

More soon..........
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Ratman screwed with this post 07-06-2011 at 12:30 PM
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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Pretty clever on the trailer there, bub.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
BigT
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OK, that right there is pretty damn cool!

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Old 06-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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Pedro, YOU are truly the father of innovation. :)
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ShadyRascal View Post
Pretty clever on the trailer there, bub.
SR, BT and FHR........
I wish I could say that that came easy to me, guys. I cogitated for a few years as to whether the concept was worth putting the effort into to see if it would fly...or be too dangerous....or take too much power to be practical.

I drove it for one trip without brakes. It needs the brakes as the whole trailer and bike weigh a little over 500lbs.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Sabre's

The first streetbike I ever rode was my Dad's 82 V45 Sabre. I loved that bike, wish I still had it. Your's bring back some great memories for me, have a safe trip!
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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What a fantastic job on the trailer. Great work and thoughts. Thanks for sharing. I'm an old drilling rig mechanic and love that stuff.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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On to Fredonia

We left Shoshone at about 9am heading east toward Pahrump. We figure to have breakfast there. It's only about 30 miles and we'd get some gas for good measure.

We hit the Main street in Pahrump and turned toward Vegas. I figured to find food and gas out that way. Soon we were approaching the outskirts of town without any satifaction.

One of us found a bakery where we stopped for a confab. Seems we would make do with a muffin and Nip told us there was gas in 40 miles. We all had enough to get there so we stuffed down a muffin with coffee and hit the road for Vegas.
...Outside the Bakery...the first picture of Nip, Doug on the right.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Arnold had had a low battery yesterday at Chaparral. He check his battery terminals, and tightened them. The bike started then so he figured all was well, but this morning his battery was acting up again so he decided to pull out of the trip.....and Doug decided to go with him to make sure he got back to Los Angeles ok. That knocked us back to 3 riders.

We only had about 300 miles to cover today so we scheduled some sight seeing. We'd take the Red Rock turn off that cut back north about 10 miles from I-15 and goes thru the Red Rock State park. That's always a ride to relive no matter how often you've been there.
Pre Red Rock mtns along the way....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I'd like to walk up everyone of those canyon....wishful thinking...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I've skipped a few pictures, but I can't pass up this one.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Here are the red rock of the state park. If you're in Vegas go west out Charleston Ave to see the State Park. It's only 6 pr 8 miles out there and it's worth it.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We wanted to avoid Downtown Vegas and as we drove toward town on Charleston there is a new belt Fwy that circles the town on the west side. We took it to North Las Vegas where we would look up Scott Corsaro who works at a Dyno shop at the Las Vegas Speedway. I'd never been there either.
My GPS didn't know the beltway had been completed so it routed us thru some of North Las Vegas that we didn't need to see. But we eventually got to the Dyno shop.
I had no idea that the speedway was such a complex of speed related commercialism. On the way to the Dyno address we passed Shelby's museum and shop. Hummmm....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I met Scott thru Scott's brother back when I was still working. The Corsaro brothers are two of the young men that give me faith that the world is in good hands for the future.
We approach the shop...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Inside Scott gives us a tour...scott's in the foreground.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These guys work on anything. Makes me realize how little I know about bikes. Here a Harley complete with oil drip pan
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We had quite a tour at Scott's and Nip got a quote on changing his Harley over to tapered roller bearings and a gear cam drive. I think I got that right.

So after the Dyno shop we decided to go see Shelby's museum. I like cars. Here's Mike out front
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Inside we saw this retro car.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Here's the motor like is in that car. Imagine a motor with it's own shock absorbers. Scheesh!
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This little memento is worth big bucks as well.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Believe me we could fill this report with Shelby stuff, but we had to get on the road. We headed north on I-15 to the Valley of Fire road and took it out toward Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire State park.
More great scenery coming up....dropping down into the park.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There's 30 miles of Red Rocks, hieroglyphs and arches..here are a few photos.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

They built a stairway up to the glyphs
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Might be petroglyphs I can't keep them straight.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Bikes from the stairs
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

After the Valley of Fire we high tailed it back to I-15...here we approach The Virgin River Gorge north of Mesquite Nevada
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Virgin River George is as good as it get....we see a lot of 'as good as it gets' in the next couple of weeks.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's Nip and Mike back there as we near the end of the gorge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

A view of the river as we exit the gorge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We've screwed around and getting to Fredonia in a timely fashion is already out the window, So I called the Grand Canyon Motel where I have a room reserved to beg them for patience. They were cool with it.
Just one more gorge picture..
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We put our heads down and got down to the business of getting to Fredonia. I had 2 rooms reserved but since Doug and Arnold had crapped out I had to get them to settle for me just getting one room. They said no sweat...that they'd rent it as it was a Friday night. I've stayed there before. A single is 38 bucks. They gave us a room with three beds for 50 bucks....Way cool. and free internet with no security key.

We walked several blocks down the street for dinner which was very good. It had been a very good day traveling.

North Rim tomorrow.......
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
OK, that right there is pretty damn cool!
Don't encourage him ....

Pete looks like another good trip.

Steve in N. Grafton
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by okiedoc View Post
The first streetbike I ever rode was my Dad's 82 V45 Sabre. I loved that bike, wish I still had it. Your's bring back some great memories for me, have a safe trip!
Okiedoc, Achesley and of course Grafyman thankyou. You guys take a cue from Graftyman don't encourage me. The truth is that I'm out of trick.....nothing but riding and pictures from here on in.

Okiedoc, I've had my Sabre for nearly 20 years and over 200000 miles. I don't imagine that I'll ever have anything else as a steady rider.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:14 AM   #11
tday
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Your pictures came out real nice Pete ! Its good to see Mike , Arnold , and WSD again.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:57 AM   #12
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hey Pedro...whats OMB up to these days? he still riding?
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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Grand Canyon, North Rim

The morning came with a clear sky, and there was adventure in the air. Before today our ride had consisted of the anticipation of seeing the North Rim.

I know that the North Rim is no big deal....unless you've never been there. We noticed as we left the Motel that there were quite a few bikes at the motel last night...maybe we would meet some of them when we got back.
......never did meet this one's owner
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Very creative in the Dir signal department
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There was this pair. The sweet Harley belonged to a gal bike writer.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

An extra clean Hawk
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

........and his riding partner. This gals husband had the trike built for him when his health wouldn't allow him to ride 2 wheels any longer. Sadly he died, so he left it to her.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


So we grabbed coffee and a roll at the gas station in Fredonia. It would be about 70 miles out to the Rim. 28 miles to the Jacobs Lake turnoff then 40+ miles on to the big ditch. We really didn't know the gas situation out there but we all had a 200 mile range.
I only get about 30mpg when I'm towing, but prolly high 30s when I leave the DS bike behind which I did for this run. We'd spend another night at the GC Motel so the trailer would be safe there.
The ride to the rim is a great ride. Good roads in the season (Sometime in May to middle of October). The elevation is around 8 to 9 thousand feet, so it's snowed in and the park is closed during the winter.
Lots of open fields, Pine Forests, and twisties.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally we arrived at the rim.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I tried to do all the photos in stitched Panoramas to give you a better look see.....but as you know, it's hopeless to capture the magnificence with a photo.
Here's my contribution.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There's actually a hiking trail down this valley, I think it's this valley, that goes 6000ft down to the river, and a bridge for crossing, then a trail back up to 7000 ft to the South Rim Natl park. I'll leave that for a younger man.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Boys will be boys.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

You just can't stop yourself from snapping off picture after picture. At least I couldn't.
There's a window rock out there that is fantastic. Note the very small people on top of the rock.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The bigger picture...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

More GC pictures at the link under each photo...if you haven't seen enough yet.
That gives you a sampling of the sights from the North Rim. Of course we moved east on the 15 mile road along the rim to Cape Royal, and the 3 mile spur road to Pt Imperial, as well.
There are also a lot of dirt roads in the park and nearby Kaibab Natl Forest.
I'll show you some of that on tomorrows Toroweap adventure....Adventure is the key word.

There's a magnificent lodge at Bright Angle Point and a gas station convenience store halfway to the point and even more at the Jacobs lake turn off. There's camping at both those places as well.
I've found that nothing is really busy during our recession, but for the north rim you'd have to ask before you went there to be sure.

We numbed ourselves out with spectacular sites. Before we left the rim new sites were just 'ho hum' events.

We all rode back to the motel and arrived there around 6pm. At one point of the ride I lost a map out of my tank bag window. I turned around and went back for it. I got off the bike and retrieved the map, and in my haste to not worry the guys about where I was, I left my kick stand down.
I'm terrible about that if I get in a hurry....or later in the day when I'm tired. Well, this time I didn't notice it till I was in a big left had sweeper at about 60mph.
Oh shit, I recognized the symptom right away. I've crashed doing this same thing before. I'm sure I was in panic mode. The right thing to do is to hang way off the bike on the left....then you can most likely make the turn without leaning more.
....but I was lucky, I just leaned harder and that forced the kickstand to give way before it pole vaulted me into oblivion. Wow, luck beats good.

Back at the motel we relaxed a while before going out for Bread and hot dogs for a dinner at the motel room.
We also met many of the riders of the other bikes at the motel. Nice folks.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


The North Rim did not disappoint..... I could go back there for another visit.
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Ratman screwed with this post 06-30-2011 at 05:24 PM
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:25 PM   #14
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So today is Sunday. We'd been out since last Thursday. Mike being the youngest is still part of Americas work force. He decided that he's seen the North Rim so it was time to get back to work in Down town LA.
He's riding a clean V65 Sabre with a 100000 miles on the Engine. He rebuilds his own stuff, and keeps it pristine....unlike me. He left at first light, and reported a safe trouble free return trip. That's always good news.

Nip and I were left to continue the trip. I had told Nip that I was going to Toroweap, and he said that he'd ride around Kanab and Panguich for the day. Cool.

I unloaded the bike and got my tools strapped to the back. My DR is a 94 and it's got about 30000 miles. It's been Reliable, but you never know.
It had a new chain and tires, but the carb had been giving me trouble with particals in the orifices. So I took tire repair tools and enough stuff to disassemble the carb.
It had a 4 gal tank and I figured it was good for at least 50 mpg. That gave me a 200 mile range and Toroweap was about 80 miles away. I should have had plenty.
I had no idea of what Toroweap was. It could have been an indian Village with gas for all I knew.
As it turned out the round trip was 140 miles out and back to Fredonia. That included the 10 miles of pavement....Toroweap 61 miles
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Here's the first picture of the DR just after it crapped out 20 miles into the trip. Double Darn!
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's a lonesome feeling right there.
I had lots of time so I got to it. There is a place that is awfully tight to getting the garb out of it location. I dropped the carb on that operation. A quick check showed no damage...possibly too quick.
I was happy to find a big bugger in the main jet. I cleaned that out and reassembled the bike. The bike started right up.....but it wasn't running right at the low RPM. Oh well, it was running. I suited up and continued....
Somehow, I miss read a Natl Forest sign. I took the wrong fork and went about 10 miles before I was convinced that the lack of Toroweap on successive signs meant that I was going the wrong way.
I stopped on a hill and checked my map. Oh there's where I went wrong. Humm ....the bike would start now but die when I gave it any throttle. I was on the hill so I Bump started it and got it above the idle point so it would run for me.
I began to figure that I'd need to go back into the carb sooner or later. I'd just added 20 miles to my trip. Coupled by a lower ratio with the new sprockets on the bike, and the bike running bad I wasn't so sure about the mileage anymore.
Now I'm back on the right road. The bike runs strong if I'm on fairly hard throttle, but coming off of deceleration the bike stumbles till I hit it again. It was ride-able, but not real fun.
Anyway I stuttered and stumbled out the next 30 mile to the last 5 miles of jeep road out to Toroweap. A car that I stopped to talk with said there was no gas there....and he gave me a weird look.
The bike was harder to ride at the slower speed. I finally pulled into a campground which was all that was out there. Toilets but no water...I believe that's what you call primitive. Yeah Primitive is what you call it.
I decided to look for summat in the low speed jet, that I didn't check earlier, in the shade of that small tree.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There was one guy in the Campground with his wife. He was nearly at my geezer Stage of life. Turn out Gery with a 'G' was from New Youk, and his business was restoring old air cooled Porsches. Well, we had something to talk about. Air cooled German cars.
I was lucky to Have Gery there as he was travling in an 85 VW van. He had a lot of tools with him and he had the small screw driver that I needed to get the low speed jet out of the carb.... I never found anything wrong with the carb so I put it back together and sure enough it ran just like it did when I rode into the campground. Another double darn was uttered.
I still had a 1/2 mile to get to the rim of the Co River. so I bid Gery a good trip, and rode down to the River's canyon Rim. I finally figured out why There was a place Called Toroweap. It's the easiest place to get down to the River in a 100 miles in both direction. There's a trail down to the river, I learned later.
Here's Toroweap....to the east
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...across the River to the south
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...Kinda to the west
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The rim there is only about 3000 ft above the river....that's what makes it easy to get to the river. In the old days if you lived in this area, you run down there once a day for water.

It was 2:30. I needed to get out of there. I fired it up and nursed it off of idle. That process was taking a couple minutes of starting then giving it a little throttle then it dying...repeat, repeat ad nauseam.

I figured to just stay with it till I was out of there. The scenery was just as good on the way out. I Stopped at about 120 miles an leaned the bike over to get the gas from the right side of the tank into the left side. That's necessary if you don't have dual petcocks. Of course, I had to shut it down to do that, but I did it on a hill for insurance with the restart.
I could see in the tank that I was running low, and about 10 miles short of the pavement I ran out of gas. Hummmm....more lonesomeness insued.
Don't that look pitiful?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I contemplated my navel for a while...about 15 minutes, when A guy and his wife came along. He said, "sure get in', when I asked for a lift. I didn't need to be asked twice.
My plan was to go get my street bike and trailer and come get the DR. We had a nice half hour ride to Fredonia. Turns out the guy was a boy and lived here in the 50s when the main road was still dirt. He had walked all over this area as a boy. Their answer to public transportation back in the day was to get to the road before the postman came by cause he would give anyone out there a ride.
I asked about an old corral that we were going by. He said it was a central location where all the valley's sheep came to to get their shearing done. I enjoyed the time I spent with the guy, and was real grateful for the lift.

There was no incident with the DR retrieval ....prolly took me an hour to get the bike. All systems were go, and I was happily back at the motel by 7pm. Nip showed up at about that time.
We yacked about our days as we finished the hot dogs of the night before. I had some Ramen Noodles to add to the meal.
......all in all, it was another good day. Tomorrow we'd move to the Navajo Natl Monument.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #15
Ratman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sion View Post
hey Pedro...whats OMB up to these days? he still riding?
Old Man Bud is holding up Ok, Sion. His family kind of put pressure on me to quit taking him on long rides.....

He was down in Baja for the Baja 1000 when I left for this trip. The Baja races are always fun to watch.
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....and of course, Luck beats good...
OLDEN DAYS...mostly BAJA
p.ratfab@gmail.com
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