|08-05-2008, 01:50 PM||#61|
Joined: Sep 2007
Oh what a nice bike,i will have one too...
I don´t like mondays...
|08-05-2008, 02:48 PM||#62|
Always a vicious cycle
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Keller, Texas
Your reports are great reads.. so i'm sure that this will be no different.
Now tell us the tale.. and let's see some pics. Subscribed!
Oh, and by all means you have a place to stay in the DFW area, i'm just north of fort worth. PM me
if you need a place to crash I have a couple couches in the media room and crapload of booze left over from my 40th bday party..
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
|08-16-2008, 06:32 PM||#63|
Joined: Jul 2005
Most of my trips were easy to write. In fact, I would write them straight through with no editing, proofreading, or eraser marks.
This one though is stumping me. As I sit here nothing is coming to mind, which is apparent since instead of talking about the trip, i'm here whining about it being hard.
Nevertheless, here is my first attempt:
As I left off, I had just bought a ZRX1200. The day after I got it, I packed up everything. I went to the Tax collector and got the titlework in order and got a plate on the rig.
I went to a hardware store nearby to get some last minute essentials, namely, Zip ties and Duct tape.
I sat down in the parking lot pondering what I was about to do. Am I really going to ride that thing around the country, for a MONTH? Not that I was getting cold feet by any means, but i've never done a trip of that distance by myself. The reality was setting in, and it was daunting.
I decided to take a picture of my bike, sort of to change the train of thought:
With nothing left to do, and with no way to turn back, I left Tallahassee and set my sights towards Wisconsin, my first destination.
The first day of most rides is kind of a waste, you are usually trudging through familar looking territory and you kind of want to get through it as fast as possible. Alabama, as nice as it might be to some people is not what I think of when I imagine adventure. I was zooming through Alabama, when I noticed this:
It took me a few tries to get that shot. I have a 10 second timer, which sounds aplenty, but next time you're near a tank, time yourself to spring 20yards and climb on a tank, and then hop onto the cannon. Hopping onto the cannon is the tricky part, I don't have enough time to shimmy onto it, it's a full bore jump and grab affair, like the old movies where the knights jump out of 7 story castles onto their horses. Let me tell you, I fell off that thing twice before I managed to get that shot. Just imagine driving by the same street you've driven your whole life and see some idiot running to a tank and then falling off of it.
As I continued on, I noticed a difference on how people viewed me on the Nighthawk versus the ZRX. The Nighthawk was enjoyed thoroughly by children and also by women wondering who on earth was riding that contraption. Who would be so irresponsible to ride a machine like that for any length of time? For brief moments though, I could see longing in their eyes, to just teleport out of their minivans and shopping lists and onto the back. Guys paid no attention to it because it wasn't a dignified motorcycle.
The ZRX was like wearing name-brand stylish shoes. At stop lights, guys would nod with that sense of "I acknowledge that you have purchased an excellent motorcycle of the utmost quality. Bravo to you sir, bravo." I'm not knocking the ZRX because It still got the kids excited, I mean, lets face it, it's green, purple, white and gold for crying out loud, you don't get any more '80's tron than that.
I'm now a firm believer that the more riduclous the motorcycle, the more fun you'll have. The Nighthawk is ridiculous, and also Vermin's Cack is probably the poster child of that realm of motorcycles.
Anyways, back to the road.....
I ventured through Alabama relatively quickly in my mind. Tennessee is infinitely more beautiful.
I stopped for directions in a little town called Kuleoka, Tennessee. I pulled into THE gas station and saw a lady sitting on a bench. I sat down next to her and asked her for directions to make sure I was on the right path. She was losing her teeth which was surprising considering she looked on 35 or so. I got to talking to her and I asked her how old she was, and she replied 26! "my dear lord!" I screamed in my head when she said that. It's funny how composed your face will be even though your head is screaming and yelling in disbelief.
She left and I decided to take a picture of myself on the bench. I set up the camera, pushed the self timer, then sat down. Of course.......
Stupid guy!..... I huffed and got up and reset the camera, then sat down. Then...
I laughed out loud and the guy looked at me puzzled as he walked on by..... screw that picture I said to myself and carried on.
I went another hour and found some woods to camp in. I pulled into the woods and set up everything for the first time. I was a bit of a novice at this so it took some time to setup the tent and everything. I noticed that I was covered in these little tiny bugs, and they were itchy, but I just brushed them off as well as I could and got in the tent for some well deserved rest.
first day, 500 miles in the bag. Things were looking good........
|08-16-2008, 09:46 PM||#65|
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Alpharetta, GA
|08-16-2008, 09:47 PM||#66|
Not a wannabe..a usetobe
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
quit yer friggin' drinkin' and get back to writing, girlyman.
kidding. good so far. you should write for magazines.
|08-16-2008, 10:04 PM||#67|
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Charlotte, Y'all
I absolutely LOVED my ZRX... Just sold it to move in a little different direction, motorcycle-wise...
And you're right they do attract a lot of attention wherever you go!
|08-17-2008, 01:27 AM||#68|
Joined: May 2008
Location: Girdwood, AK
looks like you might be coming by my way. (I-74/I-57/I-72) If you want a riding partner for a few miles or a roof give a holler.
|08-17-2008, 06:10 PM||#70|
Joined: Jul 2005
I sat up when the sun started shining over the mountains. I scrunched my face and then rubbed my eyes. I sucked in a deep breath of air and yawned heavily.
I looked around my tent and got discouraged as I saw all my belongings strewn about the tent. In my eager rookie tent setup, I basically unpacked everything thinking I would either need it or it was in the way of something else and needed to come out.
I looked at the mess for a good 5 minutes just thinking about how on earth I was going to tackle it. I decided to ignore it and just go out of the tent to brush my teeth.
I cracked my back and looked at my bike. Everything appeared in good shape, so I went back in the tent and begrudingly put everything together. After a half hour (Seriously, I was so disorganized) I had the luggage strapped down. If you look in the picture, you see the ZRX in the woods. It's easy enough to get it in, but to turn around a 550 pound motorcycle with the trees so close together is a challenge. Scientists can't explain how Stonehenge or the Pyramids were built, and they wouldn't be able to explain how I got that lump out of those woods. I used all my strength and even had to go to the files in my brain and dust off my geometry folder.
Back on the road I was 1000 miles away from Hayward, Wisconsin. I planned on camping somewhere in the Madison, Wisconsin area that night and then I would leave the next day for a nice easy ride to Hayward.
One thing I noticed right away though was I was getting a grinding feeling through the pegs when I would pull in the clutch and coast. I rolled my eyes in my helmet. As sure as sun in the desert, I developed my first problem.
I simply could not believe that this chain could have problems. It looked brand new on the day I bought it. It was clean and didn't have a spot of rust or dirt on it. Look at it for crying out loud, this doesn't not look like a mistreated chain!
I brought a can of Maxima Chain Wax with me, but it was underneath the seat. This meant that I would have to take everything off the back of the bike and I was not going to do that. I was still really a rookie at loading and unloading my gear and I didn't want to do it.
I stopped at an auto parts store and found a can of CHAMPION brand chain lube for O-ring chains. It's this stuff:
I sprayed it on the chain and then took a picture of myself in the window. Wow i'm pretty!
I carried on and just kept on riding. The chain was mildly better after spraying that stuff on there, but it was still grinding when I was coasting. Not terribly mind you, but enough to notice.
at the 500 mile point I stopped. I was tired and my ass was killing me. It was only 4pm at this point, but I had been riding since 7 that morning. I was still in Illinois at this point and was short of my goal of at least making it to Wisconsin. I was at a crossroads at this point. It needed a good thinking:
I decided that I would simply continue until I got tired, and stop wherever that would take me.
I got back on the bike and continued north. I passed Madison, Wisconsin and stopped near the Wisconsin Dells area. I had gone 750 miles at that point and checked my maps.
"Well I'll be damned!" I told myself, "i'm only 120 miles away from Hayward!"
At this point, the sun was setting but since I was so close, I decided to press on. I called Crissi-lyn and told her I would be there a day early.
I pressed on and rode with renewed energy and excitement. A day early?! that meant that I didn't have to find a spot to sleep, and it also meant that I didn't have to unpack my bike and then re-pack it!
I eagerly rode 120 miles and sang to myself as I went. Well, when my odometer showed an extra 120 miles for a total of 870, I stopped. This wasn't Hayward! I checked my maps again and found out that I misread the map and I was still another 130 miles away. It was 10pm at this point and I had been on the ZRX for a total of 15hrs.
I decided that there was only one thing to do, despite still feeling fresh, I went to the gas station to go get my wings. I never drink RedBull, but last time I did, I easily rode an extra 4 hours into the night on a previous trip that I haven't written about yet.
I bought a can, and drank up, I again oiled the chain. Which was not cooperating. It simply wasn't quieting down much.
The last 135 miles went rather quickly. I pulled into Crissi-Lyn's cabin just before midnight. I was impressed with myself. 1005 miles in 17 hours. Not only that, But I had left just after noon the day earlier. 1505 miles in 36hrs! Not too shabby eh?
It was real good to see Crissi-Lyn. I've been friends with her since I was 16 and She has helped me on my Ohio-Florida trip. Helped actually is a bad word for it. Saved my ass is a better way to put it.
She was all smiles when I saw her. I was walking through the yard and she came out of the house. I stopped and she stopped. I saw her smile even through the darkness. She picked up the pace and threw her arms around me.
I spent the next few hours telling stories and enjoying each other's company.
When the yawns came, I decided to go to bed, I took off my shirt and looked down. I couldn't believe what I saw...
"Crissi-Lyn! What are these?"
"Jesus, you're covered in ticks!"
"Get them off me you!"
"Go take a shower you nasty boy"
Even after two showers she was still picking them off me. Just when I thought I was clear, I would notice 4 or 5 of them, They were still crawling on me!
They spent less time delousing Saddam Hussein who spent 6 weeks in a spider hole than Crissi-Lyn spent getting me tick free. It was terrible......
But damn was it good to see her.
|08-17-2008, 06:59 PM||#71|
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I walked my approach path into the woods every night on my UP trip and made sure I had an exit I could ride out without having to back the bike up. The "ride" outta the woods in the morning was the most intense part of the day.
Keep it coming, great report .
ChuckFever screwed with this post 08-17-2008 at 07:46 PM
|08-17-2008, 09:22 PM||#72|
Dusty and Thirsty
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Great ride report!! Your writing is like a cross between a good book and a comedy TV show. Keep it coming.
Dude, what is up with you and chain issues? I think you like it a little tight, which we all will admit is good in many ways, but not with your chain. Looking at the pics of the bike it is hard to judge chain tension. But you broke a chain on a RR, you had chain issues in Europe in another report if I remember correctly. You may want to rethink your whole chain tension philosophy. I personally prefer a loose chain (just slightly) to a tight chain. This type of talk should get everyone going. But seriously, if you have chain issues on this trip, you may want to consider a shaft drive bike next time.
Keep it coming, it is a great read as usual!!
Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
2011 North up the CDR
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT
|08-17-2008, 09:40 PM||#73|
Joined: Jul 2005
Good spot on the chain issues, I was going to go on a long chain rant soon, but I might as well go on it now.
I've been on 5 roadtrips. And ALL of them had chain issues, although the Grand Canyon trip was a mild one.
Chain issues have prematurely ended TWO trips and have almost spelled disaster in two others (this one and the Germany trip)
In my group of friends, i'm the most vocal proponent of a slightly loose chain. The S4 in Germany had a loose chain on the kickstand. When I sat on it, I could still move it, with some reasonable slack. But when that full size blonde sat on the back, it made the chain as tight as a guitar string.
On the Ohio-FL trip, the chain wasn't installed correctly. The masterlink was not riveted properly and the masterlink failed. Which brings me to another point, don't let others do what you can do yourself.
On this trip, it was inexplicable. The chain looked well maintained and the chain was at proper tension. Even while sitting on the bike with all the luggage in place, I could lift and drop the chain with one finger.
Well, on the Grand Canyon trip, I just really didn't bother to grease the chain too much on the Nighthawk. But I wasn't that bad. New chain and sprockets only lasted 6000 miles though.
I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong here. Maybe my version of "loose" is too tight for most people.
|08-17-2008, 10:06 PM||#74|
Joined: Jul 2005
The next morning I got on the nethernet and researched Ticks. Apparently if you get rid of them within 36hrs of them biting you, your chance of getting Lyme, Ebola, Flesh eating bacteria, and Syphillis are next to zero.
I roused Crissi-Lyn awake.
"I have 8 hours to get rid of these ticks, get your good "Tick removal shirt" on and let's go to Walmart."
"You're my only friend who brings disease and parasites into my house"
"Quit your complaining or i'll smother you in Lyme disease."
"Fine, go put some damn clothes on"
"..... good idea..."
So here's a picture of how good they got me:
So we got on our bikes and off we went to go for a thorough delousing:
Did I forget to mention that she rides?
Anyways, we went to Walmart, and I bought some Flea and Tick spray for your house, there was a huge warning not to put it on skin, but it's supposed to kill ticks on contact... just what I need. And then I went to the dog section and got some Flea and Tick shampoo....with oatmeal.
We rode home and I stripped down to my birthday suit and had Crissi Lyn spray me down.
"How am I still your friend?" she said, while laughing
"DON'T PUT IT ON STREAM, PUT IT ON SPRAY!" I yelled
"You'll take it how I want to spray it on you boy"
"I hope your neighbors don't see me"
So after I was sprayed down I took a shower with the oatmeal infused poison. Alas! I was now free of ticks!
Unfortunately they were probably all in my sleeping bag and tent and all my stuff, so I put everthing in her shed and put some bombs in there and set them off. The de-tickification was no officially complete.
We spent the next couple hours on the lake which is in her backyard. We paddled out on the canoe to a little island nearby. In the water, something strange caught my eye....
What on earth!?
If anyone knows what that is, lemme know.
The next day we went to a Pow Wow. Believe it or not, CL is a full member of the Ojibwa tribe, as blonde as she is, you would never guess.
This picture kind of bothers me because CL's dad asked these two women to take a picture with me, I really wasn't too interested because I just wanted to observe and not necessarily take part, but he insisted. The women obliged, but right afterwards demanded $5 each which they justified because "these dresses are expensive!"
Not that I care about the money, it bothered me that they degraded themselves to demand it.
It's still a funny picture though.
I found this one a little amusing as well.
I spent a very relaxing and enjoyable week at Crissi Lyn's. We slept in late, ate good food, and put ice cream in our beards.
The day came for me to leave though. I had an appointment with the west, and there was another blonde waiting for me......
|08-17-2008, 10:11 PM||#75|
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: The OC
I'd say it's time for you to get a BMW, but you might get shafted (pun intended!) There've been some final drive failures occurring on beemers, but I've got 50,000 trouble free miles on an oilhead. Also, maybe your Nighthawk should have been the shaft drive version. I had a shaft drive 700 Nighthawk - put a few miles on that beast - nary an issue.
Diggin' the RR - I went back and read your others. Comments - Kelsey is a saint, and who out there doesn't like a chick in cowboy boots? Also, for such an ugly FF, I admire your confidence as far as insisting on your good looks, but please rethink your policy and post more chick pics - the inmates will thank you!
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