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Old 07-16-2012, 04:38 PM   #46
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Salt Lake City is an unusual place. It's clean and well developed, the people are friendly and it seems on first glance to be large enough to support a diverse array of activities, but over the few days I was there I drove around for quite a bit and just didn't find anything that sparked my interest. Even in the desert I stop every 20 minutes because I see something I want to go off an explore. Even went online to Trip Advisor to see what the popular attractions were and there just isn't anything other than building watching. And no, they don't turn into robots or anything. So I started to conjecture a bit--perhaps it's like that by design....if there was a lot to do who'd want to go to church for 5 hours on Sunday?

Anyhow, with that I packed up and headed off for Grand Junction the following morning.






There are certain stereotypes that you'd think would, within a generation, wipe themselves out because once that particular race, religion or occupation got wind of the stereotype (and all the ridicule that comes with it), they'd just cease the behavior or go totally underground with it. I mean no matter how much I loved donuts I simply would not be caught eating one if I was in Law Enforcement. Similarly, if I was Jewish I'd NEVER be caught double checking whether or not I was given the correct change. If I was Portuguese I would not plant two rose bushes in my front yard and pour cement in everywhere else. Now Ad if I was a brother damn straight I'd still eat fried chicken, but if I wanted watermelon, too, I'd go down the street and get it at a different store. But there they were. Six officers in a Krispy Kreme. You can sort of see them through the window if you zoom.


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Old 07-16-2012, 06:18 PM   #47
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Stereotypes are not based on exceptions. Thus, the Krispy Kreme Koppers
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #48
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Stereotypes are not based on exceptions. Thus, the Krispy Kreme Koppers

Brilliant.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #49
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Had to turn around to get a good shot of these windmills, which were amazing to see spinning effortlessly (and rapidly) at such a close distance. I would have loved to see what one of those blades would do to a pigeon mid-flight!



Was loving the (mostly) empty and desolate roads:




And the light sprinkle turned into a light rain.




Not a big deal, I was on fairly straight roads and have years of commuting-in-the rain experience on Sportbike tires. I was worried about the laptop in my backpack, though. Had to stop, put on a windbreaker and did what I could to keep dry.





There was literally no shelter around and it made me think about all the cowboys and pony-express couriers who had to deal with the elements without benefit of GoreTex, insulated gloves and heated Audi butt warmers. Course, I was probably worse off than any pioneer-types who at least had enough sense to coat their boots and jackets with wax.




And this was what I was riding into.



Didn't look too bad. Plus it was still in the low 70s. A little rain and some wind (I thought) would be much better than the 100+ degree temps of Reno-Salt Lake.

Soon thereafter, though, the sky darkened like a stain. And it wasn't flowers falling from the sky.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #50
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The rain just got worse and worse. Then it got a lot colder. The windbreaker I had was soaked within a few minutes and then a few minutes later I could feel icy cold water all over my chest. Had to pull over to remove the camera and phone that were in my jacket pockets and stuffed them into my (thank god!) waterproof Kriega.

I wanted to snap a few shots--and probably should have, but I was getting drenched just standing there and kind of wanted working electronics when I was through with this.

If I could have taken a picture from inside my helmet, it would have been close to this:






Unfortunately I still had ~150 miles to go. I was cold, but other than general discomfort it was tolerable. And then the wind started. And by wind, I don't mean a gentle breeze. The water spray from cars and trucks were perpendicular to the flow of traffic and perpendicular to my direction of travel, which meant I was probably driving at a good 7 degree angle just to maintain a straight line. Somewhere during it all I actually saw a group of motorcyclists huddled together under an overpass. It gave me some pleasure to know that a guy they all probably would refer to as a Squid was going straight into the heart of the storm.

And then the hail started. And then the GUSTS of wind. A combination of the wind, my light bike and a slick freeway that was now a 1" deep black ribbon swimming pool I had to fight to stay on the road. A couple times I almost got blown into the giant sand-pylons on the side of the highway and passing trucks was like being sucked into a vacuum.

Having some experience with wind gusts I knew there was only one thing I could do to stay more stable: speed up. The rotational inertia of wheels help to stabilize the bike and so I kept it between 95 and 110. It must have looked suicidal as I blasted by drivers, but the bike was far easier to control--and of course it reduced the duration of my exposure to the wind and cold. Not sure what the windchill factor was, but the Panigale's water temp was 134.

Due to my best attempts, there still were two or three points during the ride in which the force of the wind, combined with hydroplaning (or just outright slides) caused me to reevaluate the speeds I was going. But the guru dude's advice at the beginning trip was all I could hear in my head ("Right here, right now. Nothing else matters.")

Around 20 miles from Grand Junction the pissing stopped and for once the heat of the seat felt great. Those dudes under the bridge may have stayed safer, warmer and dryer, but they still had at least another couple hours cuddling up together!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #51
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When I got into Grand Junction I could barely use the brake or clutch levers. Now at least I know what my fingers would look like if I was mummified:



It was time to seek comfort in food and drink. And Grand Junction didn't disappoint:





And then back to the hotel bar, then up to the room for some two fisted action. DRINKS, guys. Get your minds out of the perv pipe.


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Old 07-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #52
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Only covered parking spot in Grand Junction and it was mine.



And it just got better from there:



Too bad I was too tired and worn out to give a shit.


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Old 07-17-2012, 03:46 AM   #53
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Great to read a good Ducati story!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:29 AM   #54
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Epic ride

You hve BIG BALLZ to ride that bike by yourself on such a BEAUTIFULL trip!
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:40 AM   #55
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("Right here, right now. Nothing else matters.")

Great read. Love your writing style (kind of a Hunter Thompson/ Robert Pursig combo). Expound on the insights, incorporate the photos and you've got yourself a 21st century "motorcycling and the meaning of life" book. Your guru dude might be channelling "The Power of Now" by Tolle, which would be a good read during your journey if you haven't yet checked it out.

Keep on trucki...I mean motorcyclin'!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #56
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Great write up so far Touring on a 1199 is not something I would do but I do think it's cool when someone goes on a long trip on something most people would consider unsuitable.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
As for Trampolines, Root Beer and Utah--well, I grew up in/around Mormons. Though I wasn't one, a lot of my family was--and because they couldn't drink Coke, they drank Root Beer--which was one of the only non-caffeinated sodas around. As for the trampolines, I don't know why it is, but for some reason Mormons love trampolines.
For a second I had a vision of a topless Kelly McGillis on a trampoline, then I realised that was Amish.

Keep it coming, great story telling
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #58
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Kelly

I think she bats for her side now......................
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:26 PM   #59
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oh hell yes! i think that Duc makes my panties wet as well....
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:38 PM   #60
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Subscribed...
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