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Old 07-28-2013, 12:40 PM   #76
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #77
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Back on the highway, two riders speeding along at 70 mph in the hot late afternoon mind is racing...why is the clutch not working? I checked the master cylinder and it was full...checked the slave cylinder and no sign of leakage. Could it possibly be related to the heat? It's not THAT hot...I hear tell of BMWs running the length of Africa without issues. Could it be the altitude? Shouldn't's a sealed system. Moisture in the fluid boiling due to the heat and high altitude? Water boils at lower temps at high altitudes...

I was struggling with this one. I replayed everything I've ever read or learned about hydraulics...Mike and I discussed at length...he's a mechanical engineer...he should know something...still no answers...I should've travelled with someone who went to a better college. I decided my time was better spent deciding what I was going to do when we hit Denver with no clutch. The shifting wasn't overly problematic...a little blip of the throttle during downshifts and the bike seemed happy enough. Red lights and traffic were the challenge. I figured I could slow down well in advance and manage to keep moving in first gear unless things came to a complete stop. Lane splitting was an option, but its a bit sketchy and MIke was following me...I'd rather not be the reason he gets clipped in traffic by a truck. If I hit a red light that simply refused to turn green, I figured I'd roll up in first gear, hit the kill switch, stop the bike, and shift to neutral. Once the light turns green, if there's no downhill, I could start it in neutral and then I'd have to undertake the embarassing push-start in traffic to get the bike rolling fast enough for a shift to 1st gear without stalling. It wouldn't be pretty in full gear with a fully loaded bike on a 100 degree day, but I was confident that I could do it and it would beat having the bike towed. I had a plan so I felt pretty good about my chances of making it to the hotel.

A quick google search on the iPhone for the nearest BMW dealer (yes, while I was riding) yielded two dealers in the Denver area, but it was Sunday so neither one was going to be much help. No choice but to press on to the hotel.

We hit Denver and traffic was mercifully light. We merged onto I70 and headed west. I "cali-rolled" a few stop signs, missed the entrance to the hotel, flipped a u-turn, and pulled in without use of the clutch. It was a bit tense, but we finally arrived.

We checked in, cranked up the AC, unloaded the bikes, and crashed on down-filled comforters...I love the Hampton Inn. Don't judge me.

This was the 3rd night in a row where we managed to rent a single room for 2 guys without being asked "1 bed or 2?". I was going to lose the bet on that one for sure. I made a mental note to put my arm around Mike and kiss him on the head at the next check-in...

Hondarider screwed with this post 07-28-2013 at 05:42 PM
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #78
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We're in Colorado! The idea was nearly lost due to the challenges of the day, but here it was Sunday evening and we were in Colorado! Hooray! Time to celebrate with a couple cold beers and a big ass steak. We regroup, change into shorts and t-shirts, and try to find someplace to celebrate our accomplishments. I checked with Trip Advisor and, while there were a couple restaurants within walking distance, there was a highly recommended steak place just 2 miles down the road. just changed out of your hot sweaty riding gear after a 12 hour day on the're rocking shorts, a t shirt, and sneakers...the restaurant is a scant 2 miles's getting late...

"So, should we ride the bikes?"

"I dunno...I don't really feel like putting my riding gear back on"

"It's only surface streets...a 4 minute ride...really"

"I guess we can just be really careful"

"I'm game if you are...we'll just be really careful"

"OK...let's roll"

"Hey, you know Colorado doesn't have a helmet law..."
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #79
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Oddly enough, after my bike sat there for half an hour, the clutch came back to least a little I was at least able to stop at red lights without fear of a push start.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:14 PM   #80
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Is the trip to the restaurant simular to the movie: Dumb & Dumber??

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #81
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Great report so far. Nice writing and humor, but how about a few more pictures to go along with the story?
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #82
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:53 PM   #83
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Sure, he had ridden 725 miles today
sounds insane!!!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:16 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Long Trail View Post
Great report so far. Nice writing and humor, but how about a few more pictures to go along with the story?
I wish I had taken more, but riding the super slab for 3 days didn't seem very photo-worthy. We were just trying to cover as many miles as possible and stopping for photo ops seemed like a time suck. In retrospect, I wish I had taken more. I also made the mistake of bringing a Canon Rebel instead of my usual point and click camera that fits in my pocket. This meant unpacking the camera from the left pannier whenever I wanted to snap a picture. In most cases, that was a lot of effort for such boring subject matter. I could have used the iPhone more, but it was wrapped in plastic and mounted on the bike most of the time. Live and learn. Next time I'll bring a simple camera that fits in my pocket and take pictures of everything.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:38 AM   #85
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Windmills in Iowa

I think a good number of these behemoths are part of Midwest Energy's numerous wind farms, one of Warren Buffett's utilities. You'd run into a good deal more if you stayed on I-80 rather than splitting off and heading to Denver, especially in Wyoming.
As for the fairly consistent prairie side-wind, get used to it. In 30 years of making the annual pilgrimage to Sturgis, you could count the times we didn't almost get blown off the road on one hand. But to really experience 70 plus mph wind sheer go a little east of Fallon, Nevada on highway 50! Come to think of it, maybe that's why it's America's "Loneliest Highway".
I too love Hampton Inn's; they took first place on Consumer Reports hotel shoot-out a few years back. Unfortunately, my wife is on Holiday Inn Express's repeat offender plan, but they're not all bad either.
We are currently traveling your part of the World Ross. I'm writing this from the hotel in Danbury, Connecticut. If I had more time I'd head up north and check out what's left of the old Indian plant in Mass., maybe even stopping by.
But alas, we're obligated to hitting the road and making it back to Iowa via our Honda Ridgeline (you can call me by my new ADVrider handle: Hondadriver) by tomorrow night in order to jump on the bikes and trek on out to Sturgis once again!
Anyway, glad to see your thread is up and running; the NUTS are looking forward to more of your neurosis,

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Old 07-29-2013, 07:36 AM   #86
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Outstanding Writing, this is a real pleasure
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #87
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When we last saw the Dynamic Duo, they were weaving through Denver traffic in full blown those squids you see in flip flops and shorts on a Hayabusa during spring break...shameful...truly.

We were in search of a place called the Keg Steakhouse and Bar where we were assured a decent steak and cold beer. We had ridden roughly 650 miles through rain, high winds, and scorching 100 degree weather...we were 2 timezones off of our normal clocks, it was getting dark, and, whether it was the fatigue, the dehydration, or the altitude, I was feeling especially dopey.

I had left the GPS in the hotel because I was sure that my finely tuned sense of direction and desire for red meat would lead me directly to the restaurant. After 2 or 3 u-turns, Mike was starting to wonder why he had followed me across the country and how we had managed to even find Colorado.

We finally found the restaurant and opted to eat at the bar. That first cold beer was gone inside of 15 seconds and a second was right behind it. The steak was very good...Mike declared that it was the best steak he had ever eaten (he's never been to Texas or Kansas City) and we enjoyed the attractive wait least I did...I'm creepy like that. I called it quits after 2 beers - congratulating myself on my discipline and good judgement. I was anxious to get to bed so we decided to head back to the hotel as soon as the steaks were gone.

We got up from the bar to make our exit and, as I stumbled across the room, knocking over stools in my wake, I suspected that something was amiss. Mike, who is a much stronger drinker than I, seemed to be having some problems of his own. We got out the door, ambled over to the bikes, and came to the startling revelation that we were drunk. Like drunk...inebriated...intoxicated...ossified...WTF? I only had 2 beers...I was careful...conscientious...the model of responsibility...and now I'm standing/stumbling in the parking lot...wondering if someone had slipped me Rufinol in my garlic mashed potatoes. I bet it was Mike! He's been eyeing me desirously in the hotel room and suggesting we hit the hot tub! He's been planning this the entire time! Oddly, however, he seems to be likewise intoxicated...I'm sure its just a clever ruse so that I'll let my guard down. I'm not falling for it! Not this time...not again...

Anyhow, amidst my theorizing about how I came to find myself in this predicament, another thing occurred to me; it was dark middle of the night "who turned out the lights?" dark...where did the sun go? Apparently, when you position yourself directly at the eastern foot of a mountain range, you should not expect a long and gradual goes behind the mountains and poof!'s gone. The temps drop too!

So, our two heros find themselves drunkenly loitering in a dark parking lot...thousands of miles from helmets...and thank God for this, wearing sunglasses.

This is not exactly the adventure I was looking for...

Hondarider screwed with this post 07-29-2013 at 01:23 PM
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #88
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #89
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As we stood there in the parking lot...laughing deliriously at our current predicament...wondering how we managed to get ourselves into this condition on just a couple of beers, it was getting darker and darker. I also noticed that the parking spot I had nosed into was on an incline and I would have to push the bike backwards up-hill to get out of there. I don't know if you've ever ridden a GSA, but the sheer height of the thing means not a lot of boot is touching the ground...even worse in sneakers. So walking it uphill...backwards...astride, in my current condition, seemed implausible at very best. That leaves pushing it out of the parking spot as the remaining option and I was having enough trouble balancing on my own...let alone pushing the bike and not dumping it onto the asphalt. More time for quiet contemplation...followed by foolish laughter and brave rhetoric like "God hates a coward" and "Watch this!"
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by h2oboy View Post
Thanks Man! I had no idea that F5 does that.
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