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Old 07-16-2008, 04:55 PM   #1
EvilClown OP
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If You’re Going to Ride Coast to Coast, You’ve Got to Start at the Coast

If You’re Going to Ride Coast to Coast,
You’ve Got to Start at the Coast


There’s a couple of spots up near the lighthouse where I know it’ll be necessary to get a shot or two before we leave. Parked, I head over to where I spotted Don on the way in. He’s already working on his bike. His brandy-new high-dollar headlamp bulb has failed him. He’s already got the spare in and is buttoning it up. Apparently, my unintentional circuitous route around the Mulberry bush to get here hasn’t set us back as far as I thought it would. We’re at Nubble Light on Cape Neddick, Maine, where we agreed we’d meet to officially begin our journey. We’re heading to Malibu, California.

“How you doin’?” “I think I’m about ready to throw up.” Good. I’m not alone. It’s been quite an emotional ride to this point. Somewhat surprising and yet it shouldn’t have been. The concept of riding all the way to Malibu and everything that goes with it has become somewhat overwhelming the closer our actual departure comes.



Done with the headlamp, Don gets his bike moved over near mine for the obligatory photo shoot that marks the beginning of our journey. We get some shots.



Don even has a new digital camera! Wow! First a GPS, and now going digital? What’s next? Not so fast. Out comes his trusty 35mm. He’s not yet ready to completely abandon the ‘old school’ memory recorder.



Photos taken and a quick chat with the van load of people next to us, we’re geared up and heading towards the EvilClown compound for dinner.





We pull up just in time to see Sue pulling steak tips off the grill. She still hasn’t met Don. Introductions quickly out of the way, it’s time for dinner.

Having taken the first steps, and a bit more relaxed, we discuss this anxiety surrounding the trip over a couple of beers. Neither of us are prepared to abandon the trip. We do, however, conclude that tomorrow we’ll just head to Pennsylvania instead of Malibu. Much like eating an elephant, it’s much easier to swallow this trip ‘one bite at a time‘.



With our final plans made, Don settles into the 'Flamingo Lounge' for the night and Sue and I head to bed. While the journey has already begun, tomorrow’s the big day.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
kres
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Ooooooh! Its gunna be like a time capsule. Neat.

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Old 07-16-2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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Laugh this ought to be good...

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Old 07-17-2008, 03:04 AM   #4
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A few more pics...



All 760 pounds of the 'S.S. Clampett' is ready to roll.



Woody’s convinced he’s going to be meeting Malibu Barbie.



Heading east to go west (my mom‘s crowd gets a kick out of this for some reason), I cross into Maine to meet up with ‘Guzzi Don'. Hi, Mom!



Didn't think of it at the time but we might as well had been staring out across the country as far as distance goes.



Back across the bridge to NH.



The sun sets on our first day - or partial day.



Hmmmmm...what's up with this font...?
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:39 AM   #5
atadloco
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I think you need more stickers on you bike Mike..
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:00 AM   #6
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Looks like some fun here.... bring it on(with lots of pics please)
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:20 PM   #7
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Guzzen Maine 2 Malibu

Holy Nerves! In me forty-tree years of motorcycle touring, i've never been so nervous/scared. Maybe it was because my old man said to me about a week before the trip: "It'll be a miracle if you make it there and back!"

Great, thanx for the support......

Did we mention that this trip started on Friday the 13th?

Not even half as nervous for the Barrage-Gouin ride a few years ago.....that one i should have been a wreck.....why? Let's put knobbies on a Moto Guzzi Quota, follow 18 other inmates on 950's, 640's, KLR's, GS1150ADV's, GS80PD and an MZCountry to Northern Quebec and ride 500 miles of dirt roads! Sounds like a great time And it was


Sue's the best! Great steak tip dinner, thanx Plus she let her husband go on a tree week cross country ride with some strange long haired Guzzi dude from Maine, very cool Flamingo Lounge accomadations were first class.

Overwhelming......
Vanload of people: "where ya going"
us: "Malibu"
Them: "where's that?"
Us: "California"
them: ""
This was pretty much the reaction we got from everyone!
So the going to Pennsatucky theme worked very well.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:36 PM   #8
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolguzzi

Not even half as nervous for the Barrage-Gouin ride a few years ago.....that one i should have been a wreck.....why? Let's put knobbies on a Moto Guzzi Quota, follow 18 other inmates on 950's, 640's, KLR's, GS1150ADV's, GS80PD and an MZCountry to Northern Quebec and ride 500 miles of dirt roads! Sounds like a great time And it was
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atadloco
I think you need more stickers on you bike Mike..
Actually, I picked up a few more along the way but for some strange reason they wouldn't stick.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:54 AM   #10
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The journey of a 1000 miles starts with...breakfast.

O’dark-thirty comes early as it usually does. A rap on the door of the ‘Flamingo Lounge’ rouses Don. It’s time.

Amazingly enough, we actually got a little sleep. Last minute stuff is lashed to the bikes.



The only thing missing is rain. Sue and Kayla get up to see us off.



Sue cooks us up some killer omelets. She doesn't refer to herself as the Director of 'Camp Spoiled Rotten' for nothing!

I should mention that without her support, none of this would be possible. Don tells me she's a keeper. I don’t disagree. After 28 years I still wonder how I ended up with her - and probably more so - why she keeps me.



Fed and loaded we pull out of the driveway. We’re on our way - to Pennsylvania.

But first, let's swing by the scale and see just how much 'more shxt than a Christmas Goose' weighs...



760 pounds full of fuel. For those who care, it was 560 with a gallon or two in it and no bags.



Despite our non-plan to slab it to Colorado before any meandering begins, we cut across Hogback to Albany. After all, it’s the shortcut.

Don and I have ridden together as part of a larger group in the past but never just the two of us. We try to get into a ‘rhythm‘. It’ll come.



Following a state trooper or a while…



…a stop at the overlook on Hogback…



…fuel in Brattleboro, Vt (nice Corvair, btw)…



…Max‘s BMW for a spare hall sensor I didn‘t make it to the NH store for (prep for this adventure is a whole nuther story)...



…it seems to take forever to get to Albany. That’s alright. We really don’t have to be anywhere for a few days. 9 or 10 actually.

I keep this in mind and try to get into 'vacation mode'. It usually takes a day or two but I really don't want to take that long.



It's begining to warm up.



The flooding in the Midwest sends us towards I-70 out of Albany instead of our original I-80. The biggest difference? Ten. That, and it’s drier.



Slab through the Midwest is slab through the Midwest. The upside is it gives some good ‘helmet time’. Time to think. Time to contemplate. Not a bad thing at this point in my life.

Droning along my mind can drift to places it hasn’t been to in a long time. Places like the planning sessions Lenny and I had way back and when for a trip very similar to this one that was to happen in 1992 - 500 years after Chris Columbus did his whole deal. It seemed appropriate at the time.

Of course, life came along and that ride never happened. Wasn’t it John Lennon who said that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”? Oh, well. Most of it I wouldn’t change.

There was at least one moment leading up to our departure that had me wondering if I was going to have to bail and postpone the trip yet again. This thing we call work does occasionally have it’s drawbacks.



Obviously, things worked out as they typically do as Don and I were on the road ‘living the dream‘...



...visiting exotic locations...



...seeing the sights...



As ordinary as they often were they took on an extraordinary flavor. There's something about the road that does that.

About two hours before we call it a day the ‘first day rain’ finally hits. I’m somewhat surprised - ok, shocked - it’s taken this long as I can typically forecast the weather weeks in advance of my departure: RAIN. Lots of it. At least on the day I'm leaving.



I don't think I even bothered with the rain gear.

We reach our goal of Pennsylvania. As it turns out it’s a fairly uneventful day. That's ok. Events are often overrated.

The Knights Inn in Somerset is home for the night.



Our poseur camping gear looks good lashed to the bikes in front of our dry room.

We get checked in, spread everything around the room to dry and head to dinner where Don is introduced to one of the best features of digital *photograghy...



...you don't worry about wasting film so you can take shots of food!

(*I use the term very loosely.)

We both end up ordering the blackened chicken and shrimp which came highly recommended by the hotel owner.



She knew of what she spoke!

Over our Yuenglings we plot our course...



We decide. Tomorrow…we’re going to Missouri.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:30 PM   #11
goodolguzzi
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Guzzen Maine 2 Malibu

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Fresh coffee and Mrs Evilclown loaded omelettes
a great start to day 1.....ah, actually day 2.

June 14 stats:

575 Guzzi Miles
592 GPS Miles
67.8 mph moving ave
90 mph Max
54' Min Elev.
2437' Max Elev.
46,325' Climb Elev.
297 Miles Climbing

Slow day.....but we got to PA for ysinglings

Wonder if anything good happens in MS?

Carry on Mr Evil

Happy weekend
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:36 PM   #12
goodolguzzi
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Guzzen Main 2 Malibu

Holy photo attachment......didn't think it workd
Still new to this teknologee stuff.......

The featherweight red headed step child @ 700 pounds!!!

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Old 07-19-2008, 03:03 AM   #13
EvilClown OP
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Slab-O-Rama!!!!

Up early, we load up and walk over to a little diner we spotted last night on the way to dinner.



We review our course over coffee. “Hmmmmm…let’s see…it looks like we get on I-70W and ride…FOREVER!!!!”




The breakfast of chumpions arrives! Mmmmmmmmm...

Back at the room we gear up. Our gear is still a bit damp but it looks like it’s going to be a Golden Graham day!



The owner is out and about and gives us the sideways look after seeing our parking arrangement under the eaves. She couldn’t have been too upset as she allowed me to fill my cooler despite the sign suggesting I don‘t. Nice lady.



We finish loading up...



...put few clothes in the 'dryer'...



...and roll out towards the interstate.



The weather is perfect. A call home the night before gives me the news my mom is praying for good weather for us. It's working. Thanx, Mom!



My camera keeps me entertained...




...the sky smiles on Don...



...as the morning fog burns off...



...we roll past farms...



...and shiny trucks...



...over rivers...



...and through mountains.

At a fuel stop I talk with this couple just returning from a rally.



He mentions the impact of the price of gas these days. By now I've learned to just tuck the receipt away and don't think about it. Quick math the day before made we wonder if I could afford to get home at that rate.

Afterwards I hope that Sue and I are able to do what they do when we're 70-something.

Back on the road...



...we motor past another couple out for a ride...



...it's a great day to see America.

Riding isn't easy. We stop for a rest.



The ginormous building in the background resembles the one in front of our bikes. Apparently, they are Ohio's tribute to fine porcelain. That is all they house. No restaurants. No gas. Just porcelain. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Back on the road, this van's plate makes me smile...



...the driver sees me snap a picture and gets a charge out of it. I wonder if they are retired teachers...or just socially inept.

We stop in London for gas. Seeing a hospital sign I ask how far it is. The cashier is extremely concerned. "Are you ok?" "I'm fine." Don interjects "He just wants to eat there." Through a grimiced face she says, "Oh, don't eat there. Get something right here. We've got sandwiches and stuff."

The look was enough to convince me. We hang around a awhile waiting for the sandwich and eating. She harasses us a bit. We harass back. Her shift is about to end and a couple of vans packed with kids pull in. For whatever reason she blames me for this.



As a final shot I ask, "How's that working out for you?" I guess you had to be there.

We get back on our bikes.



We try to make the best of the weather.



The state of Ohio thanks us for visiting.



This rig makes me think of Sue. "If we could just get a bike in there somewhere..."



I work on my photo composition techniques...



...and read the bumper stickers...



...and exchange a thumbs up with this truck load of GI's.

A fellow traveler...



...with an old school bed roll...



...Don is still awake.

About to lose service...to be continued...
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These are our Golden Years. ~ EC

The future is no place to place your better days. ~ DMB

ECUADOR: Maintaining Rigid Flexibility

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Old 07-20-2008, 03:12 AM   #14
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The slab continues...

Ahhhhh...back at Camp Spoiled Rotten, with consistent internet service and the font figgered out...now where were we...?

Oh, yes, somewhere in Indiana about to enter Illinois...



...we click off another state on our way to Missouri. Truth be told, we're really heading to the National Moto Guzzi Rally being held in Malibu but we can't tell our heads that or we seize up.

Despite my mother's prayers the sky is turning ugly.



We stop in Casey for fuel...



...and check out the local bike scene...



...while carefully watching the sky.



Gassed and snacked, we continue on. With the heat we decide if it starts raining we'll stop and put on the rain gear and stash the camera.



The clouds put on an impressive show (we've been on the slab for a couple of days now so it doesn't take much to amuse us...ok, just me.)



Looking back over my shoulder I roll the throttle just a tad more...




...we can see much friendlier skies ahead...



...somehow, we manage to escape the ugly weather...



The sun is getting low but we continue on...



...Saint Louis isn't too far off...



We make the obligatory stop for photos at the Gateway to the West...



Don is such a tourist.

With the quick photo stop out of the way we move on to find a place to stop for the night.



A little ways into the suburbs, this will do.



Bikes unloaded, showers, etc, we head out for a late dinner...



Tomorrow, with any luck at all, we'll be in Colorado!
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:41 AM   #15
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So when was this? The title makes it sound like it was taken in '92 and just now posted, but that ain't right. Good start!
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