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Old 09-19-2012, 09:38 PM   #16
HBN OP
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Day 1: Continued...Back to VA!

Beard: "You're kidding right?"
Me: "I wish I was"
Beard: "Whatcha gonna do?"
Me: "Go get it!"

Would my ID get me into Canada? I called the Canadian Embassy in DC, the US Embassy in Canada and a host of other geologically slow telephone prompts for 30 minutes only to find that nobody could give me a definitive answer if it needed to be accompanied by a birth certificate or social security card. Overnighting the passport would have it get to Maine sometime on Sunday. F that.

Beard: "You realize there's the normal way of handling this, and then there's the bat shit crazy way of handling this. You always go for the latter."

With caffeine and chili in my belly, I return south with a strange sense of calm. My body knows I'm going the wrong direction...maybe the bike does too

I pull in to a kitsch tourist store on the VT/NY border for a sticker.


From here everything just seems like a blur. I set the GPS to "HOME" via the fastest route. Thank god for the EZ Pass It begins to rain just outside NYC and continues long into the morning. I keep a steady 75mph or so for hours behind one or two cars. I'll let them catch the cops and deer ahead of me. I stop only for fuel and make it snappy.
I aim to be home by 2:30AM, sleep until 5AM then turn around and head North again.

Everything is going as (un)planned and I yawn from time to time, the music keeping me awake through my Chatterbox bluetooth. The rain streams down inside my faceshield and fogs refracting the brake lights and passing high pressure sodium lamps. On I-95 just before the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, the bike begins to sputter. I immediately perk up, all my senses acute. "What the F was that? It's okay girl, I know it's raining but we can make it". I travel less than a mile down the road when the engine stops. The red oil light illuminated and ABS flashing. Clutch in, flashers on, I coast over to the right shoulder and turn the key off. The steady rain falls on me helmet much quieter than at 75mph. I take a deep breath. "Sweetheart what's wrong with you?" I ask. Following my pattern of luck with ladies, she must be upset because she isn't talking.


I check the fuel tank and have fuel.
The airbox for water or oil but it is dry and clean.
I check the fuses but they all appear to be intact.
Maybe a relay went? Shit I don't want to pull out the multi tester in the rain in the dark to test em right now.
Let me check for spark first. NO SPARK

I pull out my iPhone under the dripping brim of my XD3 and begin searching ADVRider's GSPOT for any relevant articles. After about 10 minutes, I determine the likely cause is a failed Hall Effect Sensor. I actually laughed out loud from a mix of curiosity, coincidence and exhaustion. Beard and I always joke that it's some voodoo mystery box we'll never understand and will fail on us at the least opportune time. Yup.

I call for a tow at 2:00AM. The combination of exhaustion, frustration and boredom overtake me. I fall asleep on Meine Frau in gear and helmet using the tankbag as a pillow.

BEEP BEEP BEEP
I wake up to a two truck backing up. It is 5:30AM. Shit what a wait in the rain. Good thing I got some rest. Probably the most dangerous place I've slept.


Captain Hook Towing to the rescue! This is the first time I've had her on a trailer of any sort. It truly breaks my heart. Trailers are for boats


He loads it up which takes approx 30 minutes, then we set off at a blisteringly fast 45 mph down I-95. I almost shit myself I have him drop me 20 miles away at Bob's BMW in Jessup, MD. It slowly dawns on me that this malfunction could have occurred in a much more remote location with no cell reception or BMW dealer in the entire province! It feels good to be at the BMW dealer for once.

As we pull up, who is there at 6:30 holding the gate open but Bob himself! "I saw the bike on the truck a few miles back and followed you over here" Now thatis customer service. He sets out a box of donut holes and brews a pot. "We'll get you taken care of and back on the road"


The shop opens at 9 and there are probably 15 bikes waiting for service. I am the second or third they roll in the shop. After 20 minutes, one of the techs comes out to confirm my suspicion and I give them the OKAY (Rob me blind dealer!) to fix it. By 11:00 it was repaired and I was back on the road! My mother was kind enough to drive to my house, grab the passport and drive the hour to meet me while my bike was being repaired. Gotta love family She kicked tires and chatted with the burly BMW riders at Bob's until my bike was done. Cool Mama!

Okay, sun was out, day was new, bike was fixed. Nothing else to do but RIDE!!!

I turned around and headed North on 95...for hours. I took one or two pics of random cars but really, 95 is not a place for pictures. It just plain sucks. It sucks your soul, your tires and your EZ-Pass.


Seriously? Your mini-suv has a backpack?




Eventually I made it to New Hampshire and met Beard at a campsite near Newburyport.


Dude rocks! He totally had me covered


My stats as of 7 or 8 PM Saturday evening after my roundabout way north.


My butt wasn't sore at all, I was just a bit tired and in need of a shower which felt amazing and well worth the $.25 I ate a cold can of tuna, swapped stories with Beard and fell asleep flat for the first time in two days as the wind blew and crickets chirped.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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Thought this might help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawikazi View Post
Looking forward to this as I plan a similar trip in June of next year. Not sure if I should take the KLR-650 or ZZR-600. Both get about 50 mpg. The KLR has more carrying capacity with the Happy Trails panniers, but I dread taking it on interstates. The ZZR is a sport bike, but has pretty comfortable ergos as far as sport bikes go. It was advertised as a mid-size sport touring ride, but it is certainly no Concours. It does have a very comfy Corbin saddle, Vario touring windscreen and pretty roomy soft panniers, tail bag and huge tank bag that combined will hold my camping gear and an extra pair of socks and undies. My decision will probably be based on how much dirt I see in this ride report
I also ride a KLR 650. I put on a Cee Bailey wind screen, and it does wonders for the buffetting that goes on I am sure you know about. Don't know yet if it will affect my gas mileage, but I ride slow anyhow, so it doesn't matter I guess. I passes a couple big trucks, and the buffetting was almost completely gone. I really like it. I just hope it holds up when I am riding off road.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:02 PM   #18
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I am totally shocked!

I didn't think that kind of Motorcycle ever breaks down! I still don't understand what went out on it, I guess it doesn't matter because I doubt my KLR has what broke on your bike. I still wish I had a GS........
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:14 AM   #19
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OH may !!! HBN forgot something !!!! And a very important thing for crossing boarders .. Your papers ...

Sorry about the break down... But so glad you got it fixed ,and back on the road for the trip..And kudos to Mom .....

Yes that sounds like the most dangerous place to fall asleep...
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:27 AM   #20
Kawikazi
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Hall Effect Sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcanrider View Post
I didn't think that kind of Motorcycle ever breaks down! I still don't understand what went out on it, I guess it doesn't matter because I doubt my KLR has what broke on your bike. I still wish I had a GS........
Hall Effect Sensor is actually a generic name for the magnetic sensor used in transistorized ignition systems to sense ignition spark. I don't know about the earlier KLR's, but the 2008 and on has fully transistorized ignition, so yes it has a Hall Effect Sensor, but probably cheaper than the equivelent BMW part. Transistorized ignition was preceeded by CDI or capactive discharge ignition systems which were preceded by the old points and condensor system.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:20 AM   #21
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Leave it To HBN to Create an Epic and Exciting Journey

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Damn HB, you don't kid around. This is a most excellent and exciting ride report. Nice to experience before my pc screen.

I feel compelled to mention and for the benefit of others (Not that you were in any condition given your duress at the time) you'll recall there's risk to causing frame damage when trailering - strapped down firmly against sidestand or centerstand down.

Egads! Such a dangerous place to breakdown and no where to hide. Been there and done that and cringe has I reflect upon and how it must have been for you. You handled this great!
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allonsye screwed with this post 09-20-2012 at 06:26 AM Reason: clarity
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:36 AM   #22
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Iron Butt Remedy

HB - is that an Airhawk I spot on your bike? Whatever it is, it obviously works well for you. You've a Russell on that bike don't you?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:13 AM   #23
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HBN, you got determination and swag bro...nice recovery and balls out approach!

Keep the story coming gents!
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:18 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the kind words and information. Beard will post his "Day Two" sometime soon with awesome pics for ya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allonsye View Post
HB - is that an Airhawk I spot on your bike? Whatever it is, it obviously works well for you. You've a Russell on that bike don't you?
Bike has the stock 1150GS Adventure seat on it. My remedy for any bike is the $25 Wal Mart Gel Seat Pad for a car. I let Beard borrow mine for 10 miles and he was sold. I've ridden cross country on mine with nary an issue. It is falling apart worse than my hat though. Both of them are also MIA at the moment
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #25
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Paging Dr. Beard........Dr. Beard, we need you Day 2 update!?


You boys best not be drinking beer out in the garage!


You've got me hooked, and now I need my fix!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:28 PM   #26
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Wow talk about trials and tribulations! Truly a great pic of Sandy Cove. It really is a beautiful spot though and picturesque. I live just minutes up the road! Too bad I didn't know you were here, I would have liked to say hello. Maybe next time. Take care.

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Old 09-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #27
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Nothing wrong with garage beers!
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:14 PM   #28
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Night 1 saw me relaxing in a warm motel, having a scotch with a Belgian ale back whilst drying my gear & having a warm shower, having no idea of the fate of my erstwhile riding partner. After sleeping in a bit I check my phone & see multiple messages from said compadre. Whoops. As soon as I pick it up it he calls again. The story is very abridged: “broke down, rain, no tow truck for four hours, Bob's BMW,” and the he ends with “it was the Hall Effect Sensor you rotten bastard.” I take the last to mean that he'd been on the side of the road for the better part of the night knowing how I'd laugh at that particular part failing. We'd often joked about it being part Voodoo & one of the few things we knew we were helpless against on the side of the road. Better on 95 within shouting distance of Bob's than in Labrador... I tell him to let me know when he gets on the road and I'll find us a campsite an appropriate distance north of him on the Atlantic.

After a quick cup'a I load the bike back up, get into my delightfully dry gear, and hit the road. The plan is to hit some of Vermont's fantastic dirt roads while waiting to hear that Mike was back on the road and then hightail it East. I stopped in a parking lot to switch gloves and had a laugh at this:



I carve up a good section of VT9 that is beautifully deserted at this time of the morning and an absolute dream. The I turn left up a dirt road and head towards Somerset Reservoir in the Green Mountain Nat'l Forest. Without a doubt some of the fastest dirt roads I've ever been on; not so much as a divot for almost the entire 8 or 10mi to the reservoir. I had breakfast with a view:



And then headed back down the mountain.





And I come upon a killer old damn & a huge wooden water pipe. It was about 10ft in diameter AND MADE OF WOOD. I'd just never seen one like it before.







After that I sat in traffic through several towns (Saturday afternoon at the end of summer) and stopped for what would have been one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I've ever had if I hadn't had to wait over 40min to get the damned thing. Then all it tasted like was frustration & bitterness. But it was still pretty good. Somewhere around then I heard from Mike that he was back on the road. At least that's what I gleaned from the garbled message I got that sounded like someone screaming for joy in their helmet with a mouthful of granola bar.

A little more dirt before I bust east:



And then I ran Rt7 East for the rest of the day. No good pics, just lots of small towns, rivers, and beautiful roads being ruined by packs of Harleys going under the limit. Now that I say it outloud, I have no idea why there are no pics. It was beautiful and I wasn't in a hurry. But I was damned well enjoying myself.

I got to our appointed meet up in Salisbury Beach MA an hour or so ahead of Mike as planned. I bought some beer & chocolate and headed to our water-front campsite. Only to find that it was full. No matter; I'd passed several others on the way in and I was sure that Mike wasn't going to be too picky about where we slept after his ordeal. The next one I stopped at had 2 open campsites & I rode out to look at them. It was the eeriest sensation of the whole trip rolling through this camp ground. A dirty veil of thick smoke lay over everything and all the sites were right on top of each other. It immediately reminded me of the refugee camps you see in sci-fi movies after the aliens have blown up all the major cities and only the weirdos with RVs got out in time. I'm pretty sure I even heard some small arms fire in the distance through the haze. I hightailed it out of there about 25min later; the damned place was a maze of criss-crossing roads with similar names & no less than three “Main St's”.



I was starting to get worried about finding a decent spot, but the next place was perfect. Great staff, clean facilities, and friendly neighbors. I radioed the coordinates to Goose and he got there just as I finished setting up my tent. I handed him a beer, slapped him on the back, and got down to cooking some dinner.


Coming up: Day 3! I actually start taking pictures!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:18 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBN View Post

I take a deep breath. "Sweetheart what's wrong with you?" I ask. Following my pattern of luck with ladies, she must be upset because she isn't talking.
well Mike, ya got one thing fixed, good thing you're young and handsome in the Mr. Yukon Cornelius disguise.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #30
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Day 3: Newburyport, NH > Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia

The soft sounds of birds chirping and the wind in the trees woke me up just as the sun was rising over the horizon. Ahhh I slept like the dead and felt rejuvenated enough to get some serious miles in. We didn't really do anything serious but we sure had fun!

My first ritual in the morning starts by letting the air out of my mattress while laying on it. A minute later, I no longer have the urge to keep laying there on the hard lumpy ground. Next I stuff the sleeping bag then roll up my mattress, pack all my clothes and have two neat little bags to stuff into my panniers. Done!

Then Beard wakes up...

And eventually we're off!


Crusing North on some highway before dipping onto some side roads in Maine


Riding on Rt.9 to Calais, ME / St. Stephens, New Brunswick, we spotted many blueberry patches, outdoor canoe guided tours and pine trees. Lots of pine trees.

Eventually we pulled in to Calais and had a quick Subway sandwich and fuel up before making our way to the border crossing. This is my first border crossing on a motorcycle and it went swimmingly. Presently, I cannot wait for some obscure crossing in Asia or South America on a future adventure. I'm sure then I'll wish I was crossing this smooth bribe free zone.


Now you may be wondering how in the hell they'd let a dude like Beard into their beautiful country?!?!

He looks the part


GROUP SHOT! (courtesy of a late model Taurus)


After meandering through St. Stephens and becoming giddy at the sight of Tim Horton's (TH, Horton's, Tim's, TimmyHo's) we started slabbing it to our ferry. Why? We had hours to be on it but you never know what might catch your eye on the way.


The moose fencing lined the highway for about half the trip to St. John. I have some better pics of it later in the RR so sit tight. I know...moose fencing is exciting stuff!


We arrived at the ferry and picked up our tickets from the young girls in the indoor booth. Two bearded guys, two young ladies = wonderful. Add one matronly supervisor = go back outside


And meet the fellow motorcyclists boading the ferry. She was from PEI and welcomed us to visit and stay at her place outside Charlottetown where she had pet dogs, cats and a raven.




DUDE STOLE MY SUIT!!!!


All loaded up on our first ferry of the trip. The car deck reeked of bilge water, bacterial drainage, dripping seafood trailers and death. Leaving our gear down there was a mistake we'd smell for days.


Some assorted ship shape shots!




Drrrrr let's go there


The ship eventually set course for Digby and the sun set to the stern illuminating this hill with the lighthouse


The sun set and the ship was dark. I snapped a few shots with my iphone while smoking my pipe and exploring.


When we finally arrived in Sandy Cove near midnight, my uncle had one of these waiting for both of us. I really missed Alexander Keith's but after a sip, realized how my pallet had changed and this was much lighter and less hoppy than I recalled.


Nova Scotia success deserves some nips of bourbon.


The view out my window as I fell asleep. My great great grandfather brought back the seed for this copper beach tree nearly 100 years ago and planted it in the yard. Today it is nearly 15-20 ft in circumference and still the only one in Sandy Cove.


I drifted to sleep with the window open, the sound of the wind in the pines and the creaks of an old seaside home. Yup...that'll do for the end of the day. I think this trip is getting back on course.
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