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Old 10-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #61
CLANTECH
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Location: Goma, DRC
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Shirts

They definitely out-dress the rest of us Swiss

Have never seen a neater ironed shirt on any biker anywhere...

Greets from a Swiss in Africa

Claudio
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #62
Thomas B. OP
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At last someone made a comment on that. I knew it would come sooner or later.
But to be honest we really want to look good and neat in the pictures we show you so we change our tops everytime bevor we get out the cameras.


No, after travelling for decades in t-shirts and always having to pack washed but still wet ones in the morning and having to fully dry them the next evening I looked for an easier solution. I tried t-shirts made or some technical fibres. Some work quite well but some do tend to get smelly pretty fast. I don't mind being a sweaty biker but I don't want to be a smelly one. Then Sandra and I were in Taiwan a couple of years ago and went into this travel shop that had a lot of things for sale. I saw these shirts - technical fibers, very thin, and very very cheap. I looked at them and thought that might be a good travel shirt for my purposes. So I bought some to try them. They do dry over night are comfortable to wear and as some of you have recognised we do look really good in them. The bad thing is you do get a comment every now and then. But on the other hand - who cares - I can live with that.

Thanks for all your posts anyway. I enjoy every response.
Cheers Thomas
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:20 PM   #63
Thomas B. OP
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That evening we reached Alva. It wasn't easy to find a bed. Most hotels and motels were full. One of the motels had a room but it was way overpriced. So we tried to find something else. Coming out of another full hotel my rear tire caught my eye because it looked a little low. Then I spotted this.



No - not again. What is it in the states? Do you have to throw all the nails you don't need anymore on the street so some poor biker can pick them up? Lets take the overpriced room before I'm out of air, I said to Sandra and off we went.
This is what I pulled out of my tire this time. Not as big as the last nail but still good for 2 holes.



While I was working on the flat the motel started filling up with workers. Lots of pickups and truck were pulling into the parking. One of them came over and asked if I needed any tools. He had alot of them in his truck he said. But I have everything I need with me. When I started pumping up the tire he came again and offered help with the compressor of his truck. I gladly accepted that. We talked a little and of course he had a dirt bike too.

The next morning we were up early. Not that that was our plan, but the workers started firing up their trucks at 5 am. So we got up too, packed, and were on the bikes bevor daybreak. We gased the bikes up and made our way out of town and back to the TAT. By the time we reached the dirt there was enough light to see were you were going. It was good to be on the road early because the weather forecast had said something about rain coming and that it would be in OK at around 4pm.

It was a beautifull sunrise with warm light and the clouds helped create a dramatic sceanery.



The riding was good aswell. Beautifull landscape with the tracks winding through the rolling hills.





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Old 10-17-2013, 04:18 AM   #64
Thomas B. OP
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Then again we had some Oklahoma straights were you can make good miles.



There were quit some of these old wind driven waterpumps around. Made me think or the old westerns I used to watch on TV when I was a kid. And now I'm here with my horse.





Grassland



There were some dark clouds in the sky in the early mornig already and soon we were dodging rain showers.



But we were lucky. Althought we got close to the showers sometimes we never got wet. (only a couple of drops, nothing serious)

Strangly the track became small and sandy in one place.



We had gotten pretty far already that day (over 200 miles) when things became interesting. Up to then it was mainly gravel we were riding on and that was no problem. Now the gravel changed to soil and the surrounding became wetter. There was water standing in the ditches between the track and the fields. Often the surface of the trach was dry but all of a sudden your rear wheel would start to break out. Look at the line my bike did.



It was hard to keep your balance and stay on the wheels. The mud was slippery like ice and sticky at the same time. And our almost bald tires didn't help in this situation.





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Old 10-17-2013, 04:48 AM   #65
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Those early morning light pictures are great. The clouds are amazing.
Your tires look like you drove through kitty litter
Great report, thanks for the update!
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:59 AM   #66
swaanimal
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Great report! Can't wait to see more!
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #67
bk brkr baker
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I stopped at this Windmill Museum in Shattuck, Ok. on my way to Mexico a couple of years back.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:50 PM   #68
Thomas B. OP
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We had a couple of downs and going was slow. At some points your rear wheel would just be spinning but the bike would not move an inch.



Then came a turnoff and the map showed a real road near by. But because we are not so smart we decided to go on. It has to get better. It didn't. We came to a really wet and muddy part but the field next to the track seemed to be much dryer. So I took my chances and jumped the ditch. The riding in the field went good. We drove through weed up to our hips but we were moving. Then I noticed that the track looked better again and decided to get back on it again. I opend the throttle and wanted to plow through the water filled ditch. Big mistake. I made it into the ditch but that was it. I got stuck. Puttig my feet down I could feel the muddy water run into the top of my boots. The mud was soggy as hell. Once I put a foot down it was hard to lift it again. I tried to get the bike out by pushing it. The rear wheel would spin but although Sandra would help pushing the bike would not move. F... I took all the luagage off and tried to lift the front wheel to get it into a better direction. I pulled and pulled and after a while the mud would loosen its tight gripp but just to grab the wheel again as soon as I put it back down. I was feeling defeat crawling up inside my head. So I gave it another try and pushed with all my might and Sandras help and all of a sudden the bike started moving. Just don't stop was my only thought. And I did make it onto solid ground. This whole battle took about two hours and as always in such situations - no pictures. We were covered with mud from the spinning wheel and had boots full of water. It was time to get out of here. The next turnoff to tarmac was ours and we were glad to get something rideable under the wheels again.

The bikes and we were a mess. We had to get the mud off before it dryed to concrete.



Elkhart in Kansas was not to far away so that was our stop for the night.
We were lucky. next door to the motel there was a car wash and next to that there was a laundry. So we checked in leaving some mud pieces in the reception and went to the wash.



It took 2 dollars to get the bikes and our pants and boots half way clean.
Then we went, had a shower, put some clean and dry cloths on, and then threw all our bike gear into a washing machine.

The motel owner told me that they had had as much rain in the last days as they usually have in three years. That explains some things.

In the evening new dark clouds appeared in the sky. The owner told us to put the bikes under the roof because there was more rain coming.



Just look at those clean KTMs.

It did rain quit a bit that night and in the morning we decided that there was no point in returning to the TAT under these conditions. So we did the last miles of Oklahoma on the street.

At least the weather was good again. Maybe a bit cool.



To warm up we stopped for breakfast after a while.



And then we finally made it. We reached New Mexico - our destination for this trip.

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Old 10-18-2013, 03:23 AM   #69
MizzouRider
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The picture with the breakfast, and the two bikes outside the window.. Classic!
Looks like you were enjoying a fine breakfast. Glad you made it through the mud! Great RR.
Thanks for posting
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:19 AM   #70
burque magoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzouRider View Post
The picture with the breakfast, and the two bikes outside the window.. Classic!
Looks like you were enjoying a fine breakfast. Glad you made it through the mud! Great RR.
Thanks for posting
+1 Great pics, Thomas & Sandra!

Where was the breakfast picture taken?
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #71
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Wish i was there! Looks great!
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #72
akaDigger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas B. View Post
Then I spotted this.



No - not again. What is it in the states? Do you have to throw all the nails you don't need anymore on the street so some poor biker can pick them up?
Wait until you come back to ride Mexico. lol At least they have an inexpensive tire repair shop every three miles.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:04 AM   #73
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BOTZ HEITERE ...

nice thread, all perfect, probably planned with swiss precision ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLANTECH View Post
They definitely out-dress the rest of us Swiss

Have never seen a neater ironed shirt on any biker anywhere...
pure swiss understatement
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:27 AM   #74
Blaise W
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Thanks for posting another great RR. I hope all of you are going to switch to knobbies for the Western portion of the TAT. Heidis/Mefos are good tires, but you are going to need some more grip soon!

Enjoy the trail; it gets better and better!
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:12 PM   #75
Thomas B. OP
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Hey Chris, how are you doing? Can't remember where exactly we had breakfast. It was just a small town on the way to NM where we stopped for gas and warmed up in a cafe with breakfast and hot tea. It was a bit chilly that morning. I'll send you a PM later. Maybe see you in winter. Cheers Thomas


Hi Blaise W, we changed allready (look futher down). Those old Saharas were still lying around at home for years and I wanted to get ride of them. Not the tire I usually use on these bikes but I thought we would at least do the road to Tellico on them and then if needed get something better. It wasn't really needed (except for in the mud maybe) so we didn't bother to run around for others. Looking forward to the places where the more grip is needed. Cheers Thomas

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Our final goal in NM was Albuquerque where we had arranged storage and had ordered parts and tires at a local KTM dealer recommended by several ADV riders in the regional forum here.

The roads were straight and we just rolled along.



To give us something to see some bisons showed up by the side of the road. ( my western memories came back)



And then straight on again.



Then we came through a national park with some nice scenery. I can't remember its name.





It was late in the afternoon as we reached Taos and decided to call it a day, look for a room, and get something to eat.

Taos.



Sandra went for some small ribs.



Then we were off to A B Q the next day.
We had a couple of days but also some work to do before going home. On our way into town we stopped at the KTM dealer and made an appointment for a tire change. Then we went to the storage we had made a reservation with and did the paperwork. And then we checked into the hotel.
The next day was monday and sunny so I went to work doing part of the maintanance on the bikes in the parking lot.

Here I'm adjusting the valve clearance,



In the afternoon we had a look at old A B Q.



On tuesday morning we dropped off our bikes at KTM and swapped these



For these





With new tires and some spares we went to the storage did an oil change and changed the chains and sprockets.



In the evening we met some of the local ADV riders in a restaurant close to our hotel. I had had contact with one of them here on this forum and he arranged this meeting. After a warm welcome we had a really nice evening with (of course) ADV bike and travel stories.

Hi to all you guys we met that are reading along and thanks again for the lovely evening. We enjoyed it a lot.

Then it was time to store our bikes.

Here the first one goes in.



And then the second one.



Tight fit but big enough.



Then close the door



and lock it.



Now our babys are waiting for our return in winter when they are going to take us to Baja if all goes as planned.
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