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Old 11-20-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
AK Smitty OP
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3.5 months to Machu Picchu - Or where ever the ride takes me

So my plan is pretty simple; head South. For a person that is a planner it is not a real detailed plan. I work in AK on a 2 week on 2 week off schedule and have been flying and riding as much as possible. I knew to keep going south of Mexico 2 weeks off at a time just wasn't going to do it. So I asked for a leave of absence and thankfully I was able to work out some time away. Thanks to my hefe for being understanding and allowing me to chase a part of my dream.

I want to ride to TDF(tip of South America) but for me 3.5 months is not enough time. I like to enjoy the people and the places so I thought Machu Pichu was a great goal and compromise. I would love to have 6 months off but I am very thankful to be able to walk back into a job when this trip is over. I am excited for what I have and this will be my longest trip so far. We will see how I feel at the end of 3 months maybe I will be ready to go back to work...

I might not be ready personally but I bet my bank account will be. My goal is MP but if I dont make it then I must have found something really cool along the way...

Enough jibber jabba. This ride starts in CO at the famous Woodys Wheel Works!! I just finished up one my best rides through the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Wasatch Natl Forest and through Arapahoe Natl Forest. It was only a 2 week ride and it was amazing. I will be spending more time in this area in the future.

Here are a few highlights of AZ-UT-CO!!!
Me at the Grand Canyon
Lots of Grand Canyon Shots

My whip at the grand canyon
Lots of Grand Canyon Shots

Getting harassed in the GC...but no ticket!
Go Pro pic of this guy harassing me! Glad I could get a sneaky pic.. DCIM\100GOPRO

cool balanced rocks north of the Grand Canyon
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Heading into Zion
Zion Natl Park

Some locals that were a littler closer than I would like. I did get some great go pro video except a bug the size a bird splattered on my lens. So...its good video if you look through the bug guts
More sheep

Angels Landing hike

Living on the edge
Living on the edge

one wrong step and a several thousand foot drop for this guy

I think that I really add to the view

Near Bryce
Near Bryce Canyon

Utah Dirt
Dirt riding through free range country

Hiked Deseret Peak with an old friend I ski bummed with years ago. The lucky SOB is a stay at home Dad/ski bum still. He figured it out early on.
Near the top of Deseret Peak

more UT dirt. I got very lost this day and the road disappeared.
Near the end of Diamond Ridge Rd

Lake Granby CO
Granby Lake CO

More CO
East of Granby Lake.  Abandon Town

Highest road in North America
Estes Park

What's this guy all worked up about? Must be
This guy was heavy in the rut


For more pics of the ride I should have done a ride report on. Go to http://akjts.smugmug.com/Motorcycles.

Right now I am playing catch up a little and my ride report will be more detailed and personal once I get back in the rhythm of the road again. Stick with me I will try to share with you lots laughs and the highs and lows of the road.

Bike dropped at Woddy for some new Excel rims and tubeless tires!!!!!

When I return to the bike I have a day and a half to ride to AZ for a wedding that I am in and then off to Puerto Vallarta Mexico.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
poolman
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AK Smitty,

Wishing you all the best for a fantastic journey! The Peruvian Andes provide a stunning setting in which to ride, and arriving at Machu Picchu by motorcycle is an unforgettable experience.

Be sure to post often here on Adv!


Cheers,
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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Subscribed. Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Excellant pics, I'm in.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Have a fun adventure...........
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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This should be interesting.....

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
Johnnydarock
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Hey Smitty: Looking forward to following you south. I bought two KLRs for some Swiss friends and they took 6 months to go from Los Angeles to Peru....sold the bikes...and flew home. Machu Pichu is doable in 3.5 months but you'll be jamming. Good luck and have fun.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
AK Smitty OP
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I agree I will be moving quick. I am actually not that goal oriented so we will see where the road takes me. I thinking that I may not do CA justice and kind of just cruising through. But not really sure sticking with the no plan thing. I guess that is plan. Damn it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnydarock View Post
Hey Smitty: Looking forward to following you south. I bought two KLRs for some Swiss friends and they took 6 months to go from Los Angeles to Peru....sold the bikes...and flew home. Machu Pichu is doable in 3.5 months but you'll be jamming. Good luck and have fun.

Johnnydarock
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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No sleep, bad weather and weddings to make

Flew back to AK for a few weeks of work an a little play. Woody’s had my bike for about 5 weeks. They could have done it faster but I had no need for it to be done any sooner.

So here goes with my schedule to make it to my buddies wedding. Fly red-eye Tuesday night(that’s the earliest I could get out of work), land in Denver at 11:00 am Wednesday. Super Shuttle to Woody’s no later than noon, which is about an hour with traffic. Get everything sorted and be on the road by 2, 3 at the latest to make rehearsal for the wedding tomorrow(Thursday) at 5 PM. So about 880 miles in less than a day and a half. Harder than I like to ride but very doable.


Speed Bump numero uno - Super shuttle is not leaving the airport until 130 and has 4 other people to drop off at various locations. I tell sweet understanding counter lady(sarcasm) that when I booked the shuttle they guaranteed a departure by noon. She looks blankly at me then says “well its 1:30”. I ask about other shuttles and she says one just left. I think but do not say:Oh well thank you for that very helpful information. For some reason I did not sleep on my flights and I always sleep on planes. So I know that I am a little edgy so I just turn and walk away. Super shuttle lady is not my friend and I decide it is just best at this point to get a refund. Oh well time to adjust and make it happen. $23 dollar shuttle canceled hello $75 dollar cab ride!!!

Speed bump numero dos - Time constraint pressure continues to build because now I hear about the big snowstorm coming in tonight. I look to my right out the cab window and see said storm on the horizon. Hello anxiety my old friend how I missed you since sweet counter lady! Haha. Cab driver was cool we bs’d on the drive and he gets me to Woodys about 1:30.

I say hello to Jill one of the great people at Woodys and she says “Hey! How are you? You look tired! Want me to set up a cot?” Very sweet but no time and thank you. I must beat the storm and get at least a couple of hours south of Denver.



I have a bunch of stuff that I ordered sitting in boxes at Woodys. Riding gear and biked stored safe and sound along with way too much stuff I brought and accumulated from my rides. Flying and riding is almost as much logistics as riding but I am lucky to have the time I do to ride. Thank you 2 week on 2 week off schedule.

Bike with the whole new shop to itself!!!



Look at those rad new tires and rims!!! I had some life left on y old read tire and Woodys put it back on to get me to AZ. No sense using up a brand new tire on a high speed run to AZ. New Heidenau in Scottsdale before I cross the border.



Wider. Amazing photo and use of finger for perspective!




One the road about 3 and keep staring at dark clouds to my right scary!
Speed bump numero tres –Clouds are not as scary as the gale force winds I encounter on the hwy south of Denver on my way to NM. It feels like I am riding at a 45 degree angle. Random dude at a gas station starts chatting me up. I ask if he came from the south and if the wind is as bad? “Yep I came from south and the wind is very bad so be careful and hold onto the bars tight!! “ I laugh and head out feeling surprisingly good for not having slept for 48 hours at this point. Making good time but the wind is beating me down. I am on the white line all the way to the right and the gusts are bowing me all the way to the middle of the other lane. Luckily I have both Southbound lanes all to myself. Long day and the wind seems to be getting worse. 350 plus miles and off the road in a dumpy little hotel in Las Vegas NM. Up early to charge it tomorrow.

Once I get settled in for the night I see there is a high wind advisory for the Las Vegas, NM area overnight and that Denver is a white out!! I dont like to be on such a schedule but looks like having to rush out of Denver was good thing. Storm lasted 3 days and I would have been flying to the wedding in AZ.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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My take on Woody's

WARNING MOTO TECH TALK AHEAD!! NON MOTO NERDS SKIP THIS POST!

Nothing but good things to say. Chris, Jill and Zach were all great and a big help with anything I needed. Most things were handled with email and they always got back to me quickly. They also installed a Givi top box for me. Not difficult but with my schedule it was nice that they said yeah no problem. (Chris threw in a free tube for my front). I am tubeless now but carry a set of tubes JIC. Thanks Chris for the tube and t-shirt. Its the little things like that and great customer service that make stoked on a place. Woody's is a great family owned biz that still cares about their customer. A dying breed for sure.

I went with the wider tire and 19" inch rim for several reasons. My reasons are in least important to most.
1. 19" may be easier to get abroad.
2. I am genetically in-seamed challenged and BMWs F800 is not custom built for me. Lowered the bike ~1"
3. Better braking
4. Better for the twisties and I love those tight corners.

I know that I have given up some dirt performance but I am ok with that. Traveling solo I am very selective about where and when I ride off road and this set up still works for me. Sand will not be my friend but then again we weren't really getting along all that well on previous rides.

So far I am very pleased with the set up and everything that Woodys did. I did have a scare that at about 75 and above in big sweepers I got severe death wobbles. Tried to blame the way I was loaded but then tried with no gear and the same deal. It was a function of a brand new front and old almost trashed rear tire. New rear tire problem solved. We suspected this but it wasn't until after the new tire was installed that I could be sure about the new set up.

Rear tire was put on at GO AZ in Scottsdale and the above death wobbles spurred some interesting conversation. I have mixed feelings on Go AZ. Not all bad but not all good. I will see if I feel like its worth elaborating in my next post.
It is actually similar to BMW dealers I have been in. Only two BMW dealers have I got the warm fuzzies. Most others I feel farm more welcome being the only gringo in a shady mexican bar than I do at BMW shops! Prolly a conversation for another thread.
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No matter how big your house is. How recent your car is. How big your bank account is. Our grave is still going to the same size!!! - Stay Humble - Go Live

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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Las Vegas NM to Phoenix

Woke up about 630 and wanted to be on the road at sunrise. Damn it was cold 36 degrees!

I thought NM was suppose to be warm. I gave it until 730 becuase it was cold and I had to dig out everything that I own. I kept thinking just head South and it will get warmer. It did not! High wind and no warmer than 50 most of the day. I must say for a ride that was simple a destination ride and straight boring roads...I was still having fun! I think its the music that makes it all better. I just realized what few pics I took are on my other camera.

The Beeline Byway coming into AZ is awesome! Insert great pic here!!! I would love to cruise through there with some more time.

I missed rehearsal but made it in time for time the dinner. But before dinner I dropped my bike in front of a couple of my buddies!! I hold nothing back on this blog and will tell all!! I was over loaded and very tired after 12 hours in the saddle. I felt super cool standing there with my bike on its side in front of the Fancy Country Club with benzos and Land Rovers!!

Oh well all part of the deal and none of the bridesmaids saw me!!!

House all the grooms men stayed in:
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It was pretty sweet 5 bedroom place right near the golf course and pool. Bike to be dropped at Go Az tomorrow and the big day for my buddy!! I have been a part of 4 weddings in the past year!! Always an honor to be asked but I am running out of single friends!!

Always a groomsmen never a groom!!! Just waiting for the right girl to sweep me off my feet!

All the groomsmen getting ready for the wedding.



Thats is one of only 2 pics I took during the wedding. They pat big money for Pro Photographers I am off the clock! haha
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No matter how big your house is. How recent your car is. How big your bank account is. Our grave is still going to the same size!!! - Stay Humble - Go Live

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
AK Smitty OP
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Checking out PHX area

So I dropped my bike at Go Az the morning of the wedding and had scheduled to pick it up the next day. It was not ready and there was some story. New chain needed after 15K! I had no problem replacing the chain because of where I am headed but still seems a little fast. I wanted an after market chain and they didn't listen and installed OEM. Since I am getting the bike back a day late I will just roll with the OEM chain. I just don't feel like most service guys listen. They always seem to want to tell me more than listen to the guy that is on the bike everyday.

So I hope I don't have to speak of this again because if I do I will be in a pickle. When my bike is cold it seems to take an extrememly long time for the start button to do anything. Sometimes it doesnt do anything at all and I turn the key off and on. That may or may not fix the problem Go AZ said the bike is just taking longer to do its thing because its cold. I say sometimes its thing is to do nothing. They cant duplicte the problem. I consider buying a spare starter button assembly(its the entire pod on the handle bar) $236 dollars!!! Ouch!!!! i am going to chance it I guess. Maybe I have imagined all this? At least thats what Go AZ service has conviced me.

Bike picked up and 3 days in PHX to get organized and visit with Mom. She flew out for Maine to visit before I disappear on the road from banditos or any of the other crazy horror stories. Its cool she has healthy Mom worries and that's ok. I get a kick out of the horror stories I hear from people that never travel to the places they feel the need to tell me about and how dangerous they are!!! My first moto Mexican trip last year I seemed to get a lot more negative comments. This year has been almost all positive input and "good for you" type comments.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words.

Took a drive around the greater PHX area and got some great pics.
North of Scottsdale


All Bikes. Pictures do not do this place justice. It is amazing on so many levels!!!








Several more pics on smugmug. I really just didn't know how to capture it. Great old bikes cars and snowmobiles.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #13
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Good luck! enjoy and drive safe!

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #14
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Tonto Natl Forest

Forgot to mention had a great but expensive dinner in Scottsdale with my friends from AK, Mom and Dennis. Was nice for my Mom to get to visit with Charlie and Chelsea from AK whom she had met a few years ago.

More great views on our drive. I enjoyed a couple days off from the bike after the big push from CO and wedding festivities. I had ridden through this area on my way down and wanted to take my Mom and Dennis to see some of the scenery.

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I really liked this shot. Great reflection. I need to think about using a tripod once in a while.




I had a great time with my Mom and I am glad we got to spend some time together before I left. I hope that our visit helped put her at ease some. Although since I have been doing dumb stuff my whole life I think she has become accustom to a certain level of constant worry.

Time to say good bye to AZ and cross the border
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:49 PM   #15
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AZ to Hermosillo to Alamos

Took off from Maricopa and headed to Hermosillo. Have been dragging ass a little due to allergies or cold I picked up in AZ. Stayed a night in Hermosillo to rest and try to kick the cold. Took 2 pictures.

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Pirate house
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Got some things done, like a new cover at autozone from when mine blew away along with my rain cover for my tank bag. Didn't latch my side case and it blew open down the hwy at 70. Haha Those are the only two casualties I know of right now.

On the road at about 9 off to San Carlos for an early lunch.
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Lunch spot- great shrimp omelet. Sorry no pic of the food.
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Pretty hot today and not a lot of corners but off to Alamos I go!!

Looking for Aduana on the way to Alamos. Took this dirt road.




The over look at Alamos




You know its touristy when there are cars with fake horses.


Wouldn't be one of my RRs without a plaza night shot!




Off to San Blas in the am. Going to make a stop at Aduana. Cool old church and silver mine.
Very cool and beautiful town. Not cheap by Mex standards but still worth the stop.

Here is the hotel I stayed in on one of the several plazas. Was very cool to walk around and check things out.
When I walked in to the hotel there was a guy just hanging out drinking tequila. He was not anyone that had anything to do with the hotel. Jorge was passed out on a couch in a side room. Hombre numero uno woke him. He had been drinking all day!! They offered me some moonshine tequila from the agave in the valley. Had a little moonshine and agreed pon a price. Decent place and good location. Jorge and his buddy were cool. Love having moonshine with the locals. I really should have gotten a pic of them.

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