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Old 07-17-2013, 04:33 PM   #16
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I said "amateur"...seemed plausible.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #17
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After a few days of laugh's at the expense of M!ke's new visor, I was really starting to think that this thing might not be much during prolonged highway riding. Sure, I was planning to stay off the highways as much as possible on our way to Florida...riding the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end and taking backroads through South Carolina and Georgia, but what if our plans changed at the last minute due to weather? What if we found ourselves trying to make up some hours by hopping on the super-slab? What if it just rains and rains? Mike's lack of preparedness was keeping me up nights. Have I mentioned that I'm a Type A Obsessive Control Freak Nut Job?

So I was sitting in M!ke's office a couple days before our planned departure and discussing preparations. Once again, I voiced my concerns about the world's lamest windshield. I told Mike that I was going to buy one for his bike, strap it to the back of mine, and then sell it to him at twice the cost in some hotel parking lot 2000 miles from home. At very least, I was adding a big piece of cardboard and some duct tape to my packing list so that we could fab up a windshield on the fly. Of course, that meant printing and laminating more load plans...

At that point, M!ke finally admitted that the little windshield was total shit and did absolutely nothing. After the hour ride to the dealership, he knew he was screwed and opted to order a real windshield from Memphis Shades. It was already mounted on the bike and he was ready to go. He just wasn't planning to tell me until the morning we left. Prick!

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Old 07-18-2013, 04:58 AM   #18
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So its 6JUN13, everything is packed, bikes are freshly serviced, and the GPS is programmed with a scenic route from Massachusetts to Key West Florida. My plan is to depart promptly at 6:00AM on 7JUN13. M!ke assures me that he will still be in bed when I arrive at his house that morning.

Now our office has a surprising number of amateur meteorologists...I guess you get that with nerdy engineers who live for launching things into space...and they've been tracking the weather all along our route for weeks. They actually had a large white board with daily weather maps and predictions for just how miserable we were likely to be. Apparently south Florida in June can be hot and sticky. Honestly, these guys were way more excited about this trip than either Mike or I. So, on the morning before departure, someone had plotted a giant map and posted it for all to enjoy along with helpful little notes about high winds, flooding, and riders being crushed by falling trees.



I called my father in Florida and he said that they were expecting a solid week of rain. I checked a bunch of news reports about Tropical Storm Andrea and it looked bleak. By Thursday afternoon, it was time for a command decision. I went to Mike's office and told him to pack a warm jacket and gloves - we're headed west to COlorado.

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:16 AM   #19
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Great ride report so far (and the ride hasn't even started, haha)! Your writing is very entertaining. I'll definitely be following along. Us Massholes have to stick together.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:33 AM   #20
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The two-wheeled odd couple

Well Felix,

I'm enjoying your little thread immensely, and I'm not even an engineer! Keep up the good word; I have something to look forward to now every day,

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Old 07-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #21
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Yeah, love it! Funny, and entertaining. Everyone knows a "Mike", and can identify. This should be good.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #22
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Florida..WTF happened to CO..?

I picturing Mike making it about halfway..
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #23
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To his credit, M!ke is quite flexible. He wasn't the least bit peturbed by our change in destination. He hadn't been to either location and wasn't the least bit concerned. His plan, as far as I could tell, was to just follow me and see what happens. Every state line would be a new surprise and he wasn't the least bit troubled by where we might or might not end up. I truly envy this casual approach to life sometimes and, at times, it really made travelling with him enjoyable. His plan, if he ever even considered forming a plan, was to follow me, stop when I stop, eat when I eat, and sleep when I sleep. I even tracked his fuel consumption for him - tracking the 150 miles that his bike could cover between fill-ups and stopping accordingly. He truly seemed to be on vacation while my mind raced every moment like some hopped up cruise director. I even brought him winter gloves and a tank bag to use.

4:30 AM on Friday the 7th and I'm ready to go. Too bad its raining outside. Accuweather is telling me anything I want to hear. Tropical Storm Andrea is cranking up the coast and things look bleak. The western end of NY looks fairly clear, but that's 8 hours away and M!ke already complained when I said I would be at his house at 7:00. Nothing to do but pace back and forth and study my packing list for that one critical item I missed...maybe an ice axe or a welding mask will come in handy...I've still got room for a tennis racket...sure, I don't play...but you never know...what if I run into Anna Kournikova in Aspen and she wants me to play...its best to be prepared.

Anyhow, the wife and kids finally wake up and ready to see me off. They were probably looking forward to the break. I suited up in my shiny new official BMW Motorrad rain suit...more commonly referred to by my children and coworkers as my "super suit" (it's important that you only say the words "super suit" using your best Samuel L. Jackson impersonation...as in "Woman, where's my super suit?!")...this phrase was used to death on this trip. So I donned my suit, wrapped my phone and GPS in cheap plastic sandwich bags, and rode out of the garage into the pouring rain. I wouldn't be back for 4300 miles.




Note - waterproof phone and GPS are kinda pricey, but I found that if I wrapped them in a cheap plastic sandwich bag and then clipped them into their holders, they were completely dry and the touch screens still worked perfectly. I brought a dozen or so bags with me and they lasted through the whole trip without incident. You can even push the power plug right through the bag after they are wrapped and you have a real nice seal. I wouldn't dump a bucket of water on them, but from behind the windshield of the GSA, this worked great.


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Old 07-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hondarider View Post

Wow! Cleanest windscreen I have ever seen!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #25
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After a rainy 30 minute ride, I arrived at M!ke's house at 6:55...early...anxious to hit the road and head west. Accuweather was promising sunny skies just a few hundred miles down the road, but Andrea was bearing down on us and the outlook was bleak for New England. As you might expect, Mike was not ready. He was still wandering around, looking for his clothes, eating some cold pizza, and waiting for his girlfriend to come down and see him off. Unbeknownst to me, said girlfriend was not happy. It seems that she was not pleased by our change in destination. Apparently Colorado is someplace that she would very much like to see and MIke was now going off to see it without her. When she finally did come down, her displeasure was palpable. This would be a subplot during our entire trip. It was now 7:15 and I was getting irritated by the lack of urgency being displayed. Let's go!!

M!ke finally gets his rain gear on and seems like he's ready to get moving...then he's dorking around with his iPod for an eternity...then I get the first glimpse of a process I would see played out over and over again throughout the trip...M!ke trying to put on his rain over-gloves. It was like watching a 4 year old trying to put on his second mitten. I was running low on patience by this point...standing in the rain for most of this nonsense...and I was ready to go. When M!ke ran into trouble trying to get his Scala headset to work, I nearly lost it and told him to get his a$$ on the bike. He could fix it at a rest area somewhere dry.

Note: If you're taking a road trip, I really can't overstate the value of a good Bluetooth headset. These things were a game changer for me. No more trying to decipher hand gestures for low fuel, "I'm hungry", "We missed a turn", or "There's a gremlin on your wing and William Shatner is freaking the hell out". These things are amazing. I could answer the phone, talk to M!ke, listen to my iPod, listen to local radio, place phone calls, and, had my GPS been so equipped, I could get verbal directions. For someone who talks as much as I do, these things make the trip. I can't be so sure that M!ke was as happy about it. This means that he had to listen to me talk for 12 hours a day. Sometimes we would agree to take a break from talking to listen to our individual music, but my singing would trigger the VOX and kill the music in both our headsets. Usually this would happen when I was belting out my favorite Journey or Led Zeppelin tunes...trying to hit the high notes with Steve and Robert.

Rockin out and suddenly the music stops...

Mike's voice in the headset " What did you do?"

"Nothing"

"You were singing again, weren't you?"

"No"

"Liar"

"I'm going back to my music"

This conversation repeated for thousands of miles. Sometimes he'd have to listen to me sing Journey's "Lights" for a few minutes before I'd notice that the music had stopped and I was transmitting. Poor Mike.

Here's a picture that his girl begrudgingly took before we hit the road. I'm surprised she didn't cut off our heads. We had to pretend that we weren't happy to be hitting the road. This is our crime fighting pose..."Try to look like a super hero!"


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Old 07-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #26
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The next 12 hours involved slogging across the New York State Thruway in the pouring rain. Thank God for EZ-Pass because M!ke would have been at the tollbooth for an hour wrestling with his rain mittens and trying to fish change out of his pocket. We eventually got the headsets working and were able to pass the time talking about just how angry his girlfriend wasNot much else to report about the thruway...big trucks are your enemy and there's not a whole lot to see. At one point, M!ke tells me that he's on fire...I laugh, hoping that its true just to break the monotony. We pull over to find that his shiny (LOUD) chrome pipes have melted through the leg of his rainsuit. We pull over to investigate and implement corrective action.

Lucky for him, someone had a fresh roll of black duct tape in their "pannier" and was able to hook him up without much trouble. I was able to quickly access the tape by referencing my handy-dandy laminated inventory card...left box...blue bag...BAMM! Duct tape for the fix and velcro strap to keep the pant leg from flopping around in the wind. One point for AR disorder.

He had to ride the rest of the trip with molten plastic all over his pipes. I wouldn't have been able to handle it. I would have been at Walmart that night buying Sprite Zero and a Magic Eraser. Fortunately for M!ke, he is not burdened by such things.


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Old 07-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #27
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On the topic of rainsuits, I can't really say enough about the BMW suit I bought for this trip. I've never really owned a nice rainsuit before...usually I just stay home if it rains or tough it out if I'm already far from home. However, as I venture further and further from my home, the odds of spending a day or even multiple days riding in the rain have increased exponentially. I wore this suit on multiple days during the trip and I was completely dry at all times. The inside didn't even turn into the Turkish Bath I was accustomed to with low cost PVC or rubber rainsuits I've experimented with in the past. The collar was comfortable, there was no restriction of movement, and it was easy to get on and off. And the color, well, rest assured that I attracted plenty of attention wherever I stopped. Some of the HD pirates seemed to be sneering more than usual...as if I was the one who looked ridiculous. And added bonus, now that I'm home, I can take back the night as the Fist of Goodness...running across rooftops and crashing dinner parties.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #28
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Day 1 ended somewhere outside of Cleveland, Ohio...about 525 miles from my house...the rain had let off somewhere around Buffalo and we were just trying to break free of the grey skies...we stopped at a Hampton Inn and that set the bar for accomodations for the rest of the trip...covered parking...3 fluffy pillows...a down comforter...and a full breakfast buffet. This was truly not a bad way to end a long day in the saddle. We agreed to share rooms and simply alternate who paid from day to day. Seemed like it should all come out in the end. Discussion of money makes me terribly uncomfortable and M!ke displays his trademark nonchalance on the topic so it was an easy arrangement to live with. Mercifully, our rain suits were already dry by the time we stopped so we checked in, changed, and cruised over to Bob Evans to eat waaaaaay too much fried food.



After some deep fried appetizers, I ate my first of about 20 country-fried steaks that night...I do so love country-fried steak with a mountain of mashed potatoes and tons of gravy. Some pie for dessert and I was ready for bed. We got back to the room, Mike stepped out to make an uncomfortable call to his angry girlfriend, and, by the time he returned to the room, I was dead asleep. 9:00PM.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hondarider View Post
Back to the longest prologue to a Ride Report in the history of motorcycle forums...
I think this guy http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=903152
took your claim as a challenge. He won, BTW..

'Scribed
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #30
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DAY 2: 05:00 and I'm ready to rock. In the course of 15 minutes, I've knocked out the 3 S's and I'm packing my bags for departure. M!ke is pretending to sleep, but I know there's no way he slept thru the electric razor concert I just held. I'm pretty sure he is well on his way to hating me. The trip won't be a success unless we return to work; unwilling to speak to one another. Our coworkers are counting on it.

Speaking of our coworkers, I had been "checking in" via FaceBook at every stop and posting pictures of our exploits on a regular basis. People back at home were following our progress, sharing with the office, and responding to my posts with as much inappropriate content as possible. I'm sure my mother was thrilled to read such disparaging remarks about her son.

So back to Saturday morning and M!ke pretending to be asleep. It was probably close to 06:00 at this point and he was still playing opossum. I had already dressed and packed; now I was studying the map and Accuweather's forecast for the next day or two. Mike finally started moving and I greeted him with as much innocence as I could muster.

"Oh, you're awake?"

"You're such a dick" was the response.

hahahahahahahahaha...I bet it was the razor

M!ke rallied and pulled his crap together in about half an hour or so...I went off to pack the bike and then came back to nudge him along. Thank God he showers at night or this would have taken forever. He told me about the multiple phone calls he made the night before and how he was planning to come back to the room to watch the Bruins game, but when he arrived, the lights were out and I was dead asleep. He also mentioned something about me snoring like a bear in hibernation. I made a mental note to try the BreatheRight strips the next night; I'm not completely inconsiderate.

We hit the road around 07:00 after breakfast and headed west on I90/I80. Accuweather was predicting bad weather and possible tornados east of Des Moines for Sunday so I made it a goal to get west of Des Moine by the end of Saturday. Right before we left the hotel, I decided to pop a Codeine pill to ease the back pain from the previous day of riding. Day 1 of this trip was the first day of riding for me this year; I had been too busy to get out and make some runs to build a little stamina so I started this trip completely cold. I stalled the bike leaving the parking lot, I tried starting in 3rd gear from a red light, I missed a turn, and I think I nearly rear-ended a car. I heard M!ke's voice in my helmet asking me what the hell was wrong with me. It seemed distant and surreal.

It wasn't until I was rolling down the on-ramp to the Interstate that I realized I had just doped myself before climbing on a motorcycle. DOH! I had to forcibly pull my $hit together and ride out the drugs. Mercifully there was nobody on I-90 at 7:00AM on a Saturday and I had a couple hours to pull my head out of my a$$. Lesson learned.

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