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Old 07-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #1111
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Joined: Jul 2012
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Hey guys, great RR. I wandered over here from the HUBB and you're right....RRs do get a lot more attention here.

Hope you're beginning to feel more settled. I can only imagine what it must be like to stop and stay in one place after the journey you've been on. Thing I notice from RTWers is that they make friends along the way, or they find places they really love and in the end it turns out that they've kind of "globalized" themselves to the point where their great friends and memories are spread all around the world.

Thanks again for an epic RR on an epic ride. Lessee, you guys did it on little bitty Symbas, rtwdoug did it on a chopper, and those two wild and crazy Norwegian dudes did it on a pair of 1937 Nimbuses w/ sidecars, therefore, I think between the three of you , or is that the 5 of you, you've proved "the bike doesn't matter!!!"
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #1112
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Location: Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
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I've followed this report from the beginning and it's been a remarkable story, great reading and fascinating images as well.

After just one month travelling in the US and Canada I'm finding it hard to settle back into the office routine so I can thoroughly sympathise with your feelings of restlessness

Where next and on what?

Good health and good luck to you both wherever you are and whichever road you choose to travel.

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:05 PM   #1113
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Great report and what a wonderful trip. It was nice to meet you guys at Edgefield in Gresham.
A Quick Trip to Big Sur

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #1114
Underboning OP
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6/19 The Final Ride

We woke to a cloudy and overcast morning, which didn't do much for my mood. After breakfast in the room, we began packing the bikes one final time. I was feeling more than a bit wistful as I once again, completed the now familiar checks on the bikes. My bearing replacement seemed to be doing fine, so Re rolled out of the parking lot and headed uphill to the hospital. She worked at Mid-Columbia Medical Center on and off for the past several years and wanted to stop in to see some old friends. Since I knew she'd be there for a while, I hung out in the room and caught up on some reading. At around 11:00 am, I rode up to the hospital to say hi and retrieve Re. Several of her former co-workers followed us out to the parking lot to see the mighty Symbas and bid us farewell.

We rode back down the hill and across the Columbia River, where we again turned west on Highway 14. We twisted and turned along the river for an hour or so before stopping in a local park to have lunch at the river's edge. A Clif bar and an apple later, we began the final ride into Portland. Once we reached Vancouver, Washington, we crossed back into Oregon on Interstate 205. With Judas Priest's “Breakin' the Law” playing in the background once again, we made the short two mile ride across the bridge before exiting back onto legal roads. After a quick stop at our hotel near the airport, we rode down Sandy Blvd to the Hollywood District and the symbolic end of our trip. You may recall that nearly eleven months ago, we began our journey at the Panera Cares Community Cafe (if you are unfamiliar with the Panera Cares Community Cafe, they are just like a Panera, except that all the food and drinks are free, with just suggested donations. It seemed particularly fitting that since apparently most round the world trips on bikes of a certain brand begin at Starbucks, that a round the world trip on Symbas should start at what is essentially an upscale soup kitchen ). Inside, we enjoyed a bagel and coffee with our fellow members of the homeless community. After getting the obligatory photo out front, we officially pronounced our trip over.

After drinking all the coffee we could stomach, we walked back out into the drizzly, 65 degree weather and glumly rode back to the hotel. While we have many things to look forward to in the coming days and weeks, both of us were surprised by what a letdown coming “home” is. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hotel room making plans for our short time in Portland and the upcoming drive to North Carolina. After staring at the TV for an hour, we decided to go to bed. As I lay curled up with Re in the dark, all I could think about was where we had been over the past year and how little I wanted to be here.

90 miles in three hours, including two miles of interstate (FTP!).
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #1115
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Great report, and it was great to meet the two of you a few weeks back. Do you happen to have the picture you took with my V-Strom? It was neat to find out you were the ones who bought the bike new, I would love a copy of the picture with it and teh Symbas!

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #1116
blah blah blah
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Sorry to send this trip end, but glad to read the entire thing!
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #1117
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Colin and Re,

I'm not sure I can contribute any original accolades that haven't already been expressed. Just wanted to say that I've read every word of your report (just finished it last night) and found the writing to be both engaging and captivating. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort (particularly after some tiring and frustrating days) to share your adventure with us in such an interesting and intimate way. I started reading your trip a few weeks ago and just like a good novel - haven't been able to put it down. Many nights I found myself up way too late - yet some twist or turn (or provocative photo of Re ) kept drawing me in - and I just had to read yet another chapter. Truly - I think this is the very best, most stimulating trip report I've read on ADV rider. Hope you both enjoyed the family reunion and that your families read through the feedback on here and now better understand what a remarkable and heroic feat you both have accomplished together.

Take care,

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #1118
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[QUOTE=Underboning;. . As I lay curled up with Re in the dark, all I could think about was where we had been over the past year and how little I wanted to be here.

Me thinks I smell the stirrings of another trip in the future????
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #1119
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thanks guys for a great report,followed you all the way ,
were about to set off soon and only hope to have much fun has you guys did
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #1120
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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I still have some catching up to do but I have been following you guys since the start. I moved to NC around the time you began your trip - crazy to think you've been "out there" all this time. If you're ever in the Charlotte area stop by Competition Accessories and say hi
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:05 PM   #1121
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Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
While we have many things to look forward to in the coming days and weeks, both of us were surprised by what a letdown coming “home” is. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hotel room making plans for our short time in Portland and the upcoming drive to North Carolina. After staring at the TV for an hour, we decided to go to bed. As I lay curled up with Re in the dark, all I could think about was where we had been over the past year and how little I wanted to be here.
Like space travel, re-entry is often the hardest part. Glad you're back safe. I (and my friends back in PDX) have really enjoyed your ride reports.
2013 K1600GT "Coconut"
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:34 PM   #1122
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Thanks. It has been good to know the two of you.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #1123
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Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
I expected to have to do some daily maintenance on the bikes as they are really a new bike from the 1970s and, like most old bikes I've had, they require a little tinkering (at least the Symbas have a CDI ignition so i don't have to mess with points!). I enjoy working on bikes, and it's kind of nice to get up every morning and spend a little quality time with them. I also like giving every part of the bike a visual inspection daily in order to keep an eye on the tire wear and brake wear, and to look at the underside of the bikes for anything untoward. (I also "ring" the spokes every morning so I am at a loss as to how a spoke broke without me knowing that it was in danger) Plus since I changed the chains, my morning routine is down to about 10 minutes.

I also like the bikes because they need a little "love" occasionally. I started riding on a series of modern Kawasakis, first an EX500, then a Zephyr 750, followed by a Concours. I put 84K on the Concours before Bambi and I had a coming together one night, and all I ever did with the bike was change oil and watch someone else change the tires. I just didn't ever really care about the bikes, they were reliable transportation to take me where I wanted to go. Then I bought a new 1997 Guzzi 1100 Sport, and what a frustrating bike that was. The EPA-mandated jetting was unrideable as delivered, the fasteners grew a beard faster than I did, things just vibrated loose, and I loved it. The Guzzi importer was down the road in Lillington at the time, and Shelby helped me get it better (it was never really "right"). I spent hours working on that bike, and every time I rode it I felt a connection to it that I didn't feel to my Kwaks. On the right road, that bike was a joy and I helped make it that way. It is one of very few of the 15 bikes or so I have owned that I still miss. At about the same time as the Guzzi, I switched from racing a Honda CB-1 (the 400cc, 4 cylinder from 1989) to reverse cylinder TZ-250s. With the Honda you just showed up for the weekend, check the pressures and oil, put in some gas, and thumbed the starter button. And I never missed it after I sold it, it was a thing. My TZs, however, had names and personalities, and I loved wrenching on them at the track and during the week. Rings every two weekends, pistons every four, and a new crank every year. I knew those bikes inside and out and still get wistful when I hear a two-stroke wailing down the road. As for the Symbas, I like these bikes - they are scrappy little fighters, doing what we ask with just a few teething problems so far.

They also won't ever be as hands-off as a modern bike like a DR or my previous Wee. If I had wanted reliable bike that I just had to hit the starter button on every morning it would have been the choice for me. But my worry about the Wee was that they don't have them outside the first world. If something big went wrong, there would be no parts available (look at the stories of people waiting for many weeks to get final drives for a certain other brand ) and no one who could work on it. I have the shop manual for our bikes on the laptop, and if it's beyond my skill there are mechanics all over the parts of the world that we are visiting who know these bikes. No FI, no ABS, no error codes, just simple and easy.

That said, I was surprised by the fuel issue on Re's bike, but if it happens again, I can strip the fuel system on the side of the road with hand tools. Hell, there is even a cut-out in the leg shields so you can remove the spark plug without removing any bodywork (if I need to pump gas out of the cylinder). And as for my spoke, I am adding a few to my spares kit before we leave the US (Thanks to Micheal the parts guy at Alliance Powersports, the new SYM importer) and I'll just try to keep a closer eye on them. The bikes both have about 4800 miles on them now and I am reasonably satisfied with their service so far.

Finally, the bikes are what makes this trip what it is. If we took different bikes it wouldn't be this trip. I hope we won't have any major problems with the bikes, but won't mind to much if we do. It's all part of the trip. Thanks for your comments, it helped remind me why we chose these bikes. I'm glad you are enjoying our trip so far, hopefully it continues to be as much fun!

I am nowhere near the end of this thread, but I found this post, and just had to reply. Nice to finally find someone who feels the same way that I do about bikes. I have owned a lot of "modern" "reliable" bikes, and have enjoyed going places on them, but have never been able to develop any feelings for the bikes themselves. They may as well have been toaster ovens. They got me there and back, but not much else. My Stella and my former '66 Triumph Bonneville were different. They require some love and attention once in a while. They like to be tinkered with, and best of all, with no computerized crap, they CAN be tinkered with. You learn to live with, and eventually love their issues. Nothing beats a vintage bike, or like the Stella, Symba, and pre FI Royal Enfield, brand new vintage bikes, that still have many of the issues of the originals.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #1124
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Just found this report from a mention in battle scooters. Read the first few pages now I am hooked. Looking forward to the next couple of nights reading about your trip.
Ignorance is never better than knowledge
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #1125
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Now that you guys have been back for a while, how are things going and how have you adjusted to "normal life"?
I ride, Therefore I Am.

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