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Old 05-05-2004, 09:02 PM   #31
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12th March

What a great day. I woke after the best night’s sleep I’ve had in weeks. I’m amazed at the effect that the injection & anti-biotics have had in under 24hrs. The only downside will be that I’ll have to tell my girlfriend that she was right…:(

I pack the bike, avoid the ‘Complimentary Continental Breakfast’ (which comprises re-constituted orange juice and pre-wrapped ‘honey buns’ :barf) and I’m on the road for 0900, heading North towards De Soto State Park. As I packed, I managed to destroy the zip on my wash-bag, so decide to treat myself to a new one. Or rather try to. It seems that Americans don’t use wash bags. I eventually track down a bag, which, I have a sneaking suspicion, is actually meant to be used for cosmetics… At least it’s black. : I ask at the counter if they have a photocopier – they don’t. The chap next to me, Joe, immediately offers me the use of his. His office is across the street (he’s a psychologist, it turns out – not sure how I should take him approaching me ). I go with him, do my photocopying whilst chatting to him about a trip to the UK he’s doing next week, taking his 82 yr old mother back to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where she was brought up. He asks what weather he should expect. I look out of his office window at the cloudless calm day, already 65º F and not yet 10am. ‘Not like this – you might want to wrap up a little warmer’. I recommend him the crab sandwiches at The Jolly Fisherman at Craster and we say our goodbyes. Another example of superb American hospitality.

I ride through some brilliant roads. The scenery is pleasant, but not spectacular, so it’s easy to concentrate wholly on making good progress. The road surfaces are excellent, dry and I’m keeping a fairly steady 85-90 through the 55mph limit . The bike’s really performing well after its service and the new tyres seem to be doing the job fine – the bike seems every bit as sure-footed as when it was shod with Tourances (although I’ve dropped the front tyre pressure from the 42 recommended by Bob, to 36, as I was running on the previous tyres …).

I enter De Soto Park and I’m a bit underwhelmed. It’s a pleasant enough bit of woodland, but nothing like as picturesque as yesterdays ride through Cheaha… I stop at 1200 at a small, ramshackle restaurant cum new age art shop which looks like it might provide an alternative to Waffle House ‘two over easy and a side of scattered all the way’ (don’t ask).



I sit down and straight away get talking to Jerry and Connie Geron, a charming couple from Huntsville Alabama. They’re up here for a day trip using up a day’s holiday (he has a ‘use it or lose it’ clause in his contract – he works for a firm in support of the International Space Station). They’ve chosen a beautiful day, though there’s a distinct chill in the air, up here at 2000 ft in the hills. Jerry & Connie have a daughter who did 3 months internship near Brighton last year and Connie visited her and was smitten by the New Forest area. They ask if I’ve been to the Little River Canyon – I haven’t, so Jerry goes out to his car and brings me a leaflet showing a 11 mile route which follows the course of the Little River as it winds its way through a gorge. Sounds great – that’s what I’ll do after lunch. We talk whilst we eat our excellent meals and, eventually, having exchanged Email addresses, they leave. I get up to pay my bill to find that they bought me lunch as they left…

I ride down towards Fort Payne and the entrance to the canyon. The road is beautifully and recently surfaced, but, usually just where you don’t want it, there is the occasional pile of gravel in the road. It’s difficult to see as because of the shadows of the trees, so you have no alternative but to ride slowly. Which is no hardship – the views are beautiful.



I ride the length of the road and then the return, as I’ve decided to find a motel in Fort Payne (I’ve checked – there’s no railway line near where the motels are grouped ). I see a sign I’d missed previously…



Mmm… The road is appallingly surfaced, washboard corrugations, bloody great potholes and tons of gravel – exactly what the GS was built for . I get to the other end about half an hour later with (most of) my fillings still in place and head for the motel. I check into the Days Inn, have a splendidly unhealthy meal at the nearby Waffle House and settle down for the evening with the road atlas. Where tomorrow….?

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Old 05-05-2004, 09:03 PM   #32
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13th March

Another good night’s sleep. I’m on the road for 0930, heading towards the Natchez Trace Parkway, a road which leads from Jackson Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Like the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s a road designed as a tourist route – commercial traffic is prohibited. I aim to join it around the town of Cherokee, on the Alabama/Mississippi border, and then ride towards Nashville, where I plan to spend tonight. I’ve programmed a route into the GPS , but I plan to be flexible...;)



I ride through pleasant rolling countryside – the roads are quiet and the weather fine, although it’s not as warm as yesterday. I divert from my route when I see a sign for Natural Bridge. The signs (as with every tourist trap in the USA ) proclaim it in grand terms…



Actually, it’s a cave with a hole in the roof :P - that’s being a little unfair, it’s quite picturesque…



An added attraction is the ‘Indian Face Rock’. If you try hard enough, you can just make it out – well worth $2.50 :



Further up the road, I stop for lunch at Haleyville, and do a bit of a double-take as I see the sign.



Apparently, Haleyville was the first place in the USA to introduce the emergency number 911 (the equivalent to dialling 999 in the UK). The town sign commemorates this fact. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the term 911 took on a whole new meaning, and the numbers have been over-painted on the town’s sign…



Still, at least they’ve still got Doug Kennedy to be proud of…

I continue North West until I hit the Parkway. The temperature has dropped quite dramatically – I notice that a thermometer in Colinwood shows 55º F – down from 65º earlier today at Fort Payne. I decide to stop in Lawrenceburg, which turns out to be a small industrial town, which apparently manufactures rednecks and pick-up trucks, if the local populace is anything to go by… I check into the Best Western and settle in for the evening.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:04 PM   #33
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14th March

On the road for 0900. It’s a dull, drizzly day and I note with a smile that it’s warmer in London, according to the weather channel… There’s little point in riding in this weather unless you have a schedule to keep to, as you’re never going to see any scenic roads at their best. I decide to ride towards Memphis and stop early at Wilderville, a crossroads in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:21 PM   #34
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great report - wish I knew when you were around DC! ping me if you get back this way
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:27 PM   #35
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I am enjoying your "Poms eye view" of our country. I can hardly wait for you to describe the left coast! Isn't it great to find out that the mythical southern hospitality really exists? Enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:55 PM   #36
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Another dull day. I decide I’m going to visit Graceland. I’m no Elvis fan, but it seems daft not to do the tourist bit, as I’m not far away and have no other plan for the day…

I follow Betty’s directions through the scattered showers and soon find myself on Elvis Presley Boulevard. I’m surprised when I get to Graceland – it’s in a pretty rough part of town, just down the road from a whole rank of cheap motels & pawn shops. Some of the hotels cater for the more, ahem, dedicated Elvis fan…



I ride into the car park and park just outside the entrance to the Heartbreak Hotel (no, really). I then walk over to the visitor centre and pay my entrance fee (Platinum Ticket – all features including Graceland Tour, Aircraft Tour…etc) – got 10% military discount, though

The guided tour was very good – the ‘guide’ was a small audio player…



…which allowed you to do the tour at your own speed. The visitor centre was packed, but the tour was run so well that you never felt rushed or crowded once you were in the house.



Which felt quite small, considering the money clearly spent (squandered?) on its interior design and decoration. Now, it’s easy to be critical of someone else’s taste, especially when the décor has been preserved since the late 70s – the decade that taste forgot – but, believe me, Graceland is GARISH Flash photography is not allowed inside any of the exhibits, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it, but, to give you an idea, the ceiling of the ‘Jungle Room’ is covered in green shag-pile carpet…

After an hour and a half’s tour (the commentary for which is top quality), you end up at Elvis’s grave in the garden...



It’s hugely overdone in a good old Las Vegas style, with an eternal flame and wreaths from all over the world…



…glad to see we were represented...

Then it was back to the gift shop to look at some of the choice items on offer…



Shirt?



Teaspoon?



Statuette? (What size, sir?)



Glass, um, thingy?

Enough.

I go and have a look around Elvis’s private jets.



The larger, a Convair, named the Lisa Marie, was used by Elvis on tour, whilst the smaller,



a Jetstar, was used by his manager Col Tom Parker, to fly ahead to the next concert venue to organise things. Incidentally – as Elvis’s manager and agent, Col Parker took 50% of his earnings…

All Elvised out, having taken all the glitz, diamante and poor taste I think I can take, I make my way back towards my bike – and I’m suddenly reminded that I’m in America…



Brilliant.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:56 PM   #37
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16th March

After spending the night in Hernando, Mississippi, I wake to find that the drizzle of the last few days has cleared and it is a beautiful sunny day. Despite the steady rain overnight, I’m pleased to find that the panniers are (at last) apparently waterproof…

I decide to have an easy day’s riding and route on back-roads over towards Tupelo (which happens to be Elvis’s birthplace ;)), before joining the Natchez Trace Parkway. This time I head South West on the Parkway, heading towards Jackson, the state capital of Mississippi.



The Parkway is a very easy ride and I keep up a steady 70 mph. The trouble is that it’s too easy – it really is like driving on a roadway through a park – virtually no traffic, well maintained grounds and not much else – for over 150 miles…



After a while I get off the road, navigating using the GPS as a compass and arriving at the Best Western in Jackson at 1600ish. An afternoon of chores, admin & laundry beckons…
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:56 PM   #38
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I wake to another great day’s weather and decide to stay at the hotel for another night & have a day off riding – no sightseeing, just a day’s general vegging & sorting my life out. I have breakfast at a diner across the road and, returning to the hotel, go and check the bike, which is parked in the hotel’s parking lot…

Uh oh…

Someone has nicked my tools :( The tank panniers are unzipped and my socket set and ratchet screwdriver set are missing. I’ve come into the habit of leaving the tank panniers on the bike everywhere I’ve parked it so far (laziness –they’re a pain to put on & take off).

Bugger.

Luckily, they’re only cheapo Halfords stuff, total cost about £30 – & will be easy (& cheap) to replace here.

I report the theft to the hotel manager. I recount to him a conversation I had with his night desk clerk the evening before… Rewind to 2200 yesterday…

I returned to the hotel after going out for something to eat and saw 2 uniformed security men near the front door. I asked the desk clerk whether there was a crime problem in the area (thinking I’d move the bike nearer to the door – it was around the corner from the security men – and bring the tank panniers inside) and was told that there wasn’t – this was a regular security patrol around 4 hotels in the area. Reassured I went to bed… Fast Forward…

The manager calls the Police (who are there in 10 minutes!) and the policewoman who attends smiles when she hears the story the night clerk told me. There is definitely a problem in the area, although this is the first time Best Western has been hit. She takes details and says she hopes this isn’t how I come to remember my visit to Jackson. I’m then contacted by the hotel security company, who assure me they’re going to do their best to find my kit. I tell them I used to be a policemen and I am realistic about the chances of ever seeing my stuff again…

I move my bike onto the pavement near the front door (where it was parked was just outside the scope of a security camera – D’Oh!) and bring the panniers in. Nothing else was taken (in fact they’d missed my allen-key set ;)), so I write it off to experience and will buy some tools this afternoon or tomorrow at an AutoZone or similar.

It’s still a nice day. :)
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:57 PM   #39
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18th March

After a day off the bike, I checked it over carefully before setting off. I had the feeling it was trying to ‘tramline’ slightly over linear faults on the road on the way to Jackson and suspected the front tyre might be losing pressure. As it turned out, both tyre pressures were spot on. Hmmm…

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cyrus, the manager of the Best Western, had taken $25 off my bill by way of apology for his staff having misled me over the reason the security staff were patrolling the hotel. A nice gesture and one he didn’t have to make. I’m on the road for 1015 on what promises to be a pretty warm day. The weather forecast predicts a 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms, so I put my Cordura trousers on, rather than the hood jeans that the projected temperature would suggest… I make my way to the Natchez Trace Parkway again, having found that it extends to the South West of Jackson to, er - Natchez, spookily enough…

As I leave the suburbs of Jackson, I notice that Estate Agents (Realtors) here are at least honest about their nature…



Riding down the Parkway, I fairly quickly become bored and set Betty the task of directing me, off dual carriageways, to Covington, Louisiana. Covington is just to the north of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway - the longest bridge in the world – an enormous engineering undertaking which spans 28 miles of Lake Pontchartrain, North of New Orleans. The roads Betty selects for me are great – the weather is warm (72º F) and the roads are dry, well surfaced and free from traffic. By midday I’m in Louisiana.

Louisiana has parishes, rather than counties, and many signs have the French translation included on them – a throwback to the French antecedents of the original settlers. I stop for lunch at a great little diner in Franklintown, and sample the delights of shrimp stuffed catfish. What the catfish though of this is not on record, but it was delicious After paying the bill ($8), I go out to my bike and find Bob & Irma Turner examining it.



Bob’s got a Gold Wing and Irma has recently bought a Shadow (a cruiser – I’m afraid I must confess ignorance of any further details). Bob has had a variety of professions, but spent a good deal of his working life in security in the military aviation sector – Irma is a Jill of all trades and seems to have done just about everything – including running her own flying school. We chat for a few minutes and then it’s time to go our separate ways – we exchange email addresses and I give Bob the address of this site.

I head towards New Orleans, pausing only to turn back and take a picture of the sign advertising a housing firm. Words fail me…



Soon I’m paying the toll ($3) to



a tollkeeper who is somewhat bemused at having her picture taken, and I’m onto the bridge…



…which seems to go on for ever… 28 miles is a long way. Actually. It’s two separate bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic. There are about half a dozen ‘cross-overs’ where traffic could be switched from one carriageway to another in case of road works and three ‘humps’, including a lifting section, to allow boat traffic to go under the bridge. The lake is as calm as a millpond. After a long time, the city begins to appear out of the heat haze on the horizon…



…and suddenly I’m off the bridge and in downtown New Orleans. It’s hot, really hot (79º & 78% humidity, as it turns out). Traffic is heavy and progress slow. The temperature gauge on the Adv, normally sitting happily at 5 ‘bars’, increases to 6. I make my way towards the French Quarter, seeking a photo opportunity :P



Eventually I reach my target – Bourbon Street – alleged home of Jazz…



Now home to a million bars/clubs – both topless and erm…



bottomless, it would seem…

The bike’s now overheating (7 bars) and so am I.
Cities – damn! Why do I keep getting suckered into them? I tell Betty to get me out of here and I’m soon fighting my way through traffic to get to Interstate 10, to get out of the city and get some moving air through the oil cooler (8 bars – yikes :eek: ).

Soon I’m heading towards Baton Rouge and the Adv is cooling back down. Once clear of the city I turn off the Interstate and get Betty to find me a motel. I arrive in Gonzales and check into the Best Western. Free high speed Internet access! – excellent – but first a cool shower and full power test on the air conditioning, I think…

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Old 05-05-2004, 10:58 PM   #40
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Louisiana Purchasing...

19th March

I wake early and look out of the window at thick fog. I check the Weather Channel and see it’s not due to clear until midday and that Baton Rouge, 18 miles up the road, is forecast to be 83º with high humidity by 1400…:(

I decide to stay here another night – the room’s relatively cheap, it’s got free breakfast, as well as high speed internet access, and I need to go and buy some tools and things anyway. I ride through the thinning mist to Baton Rouge, to one of the temples to consumerism – a Sears store…



I’m here because Mike Belch has Emailed and recommended Sears’ ‘Craftsman’ range of tools to me, as being good value and carrying a lifetime guarantee.



Curse you, Mike Belch!



You sent me here knowing what would happen!:P – I get out having (only) spent $70 and replaced (in fact, considerably enhanced) the toolkit I had stolen…
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:00 PM   #41
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American Grafitti

Americana – Mailboxes

Postal deliveries in the USA are different from those in the UK. We’re quite used to having letters delivered to our door, but in the US, the United States Postal Service uses one of these



(which, unusually, are right hand drive) to allow the driver to more easily deliver your mail to one of these



located at the end of your drive. The little flag at the side tells you whether mail has been put in today or not.

These mailboxes are something of am American icon. In some areas, your mailbox may be located, along with those for other houses in your side road, at the junction with a major road…



They come in various guises, from the very basic standard item…



to the more, ahem, exotic…



They often have a spare receptacle for a newspaper…



The Post Office takes its job very seriously. All postal employees I’ve met during this trip are, well, sort of, a bit, odd, really… it’s difficult to define – they’re always very helpful, but you feel that they crave order in the world - you just wouldn’t want to be trapped in a lift with one…:P
The modern mail box (the one I’m sure the Post Office would want you to have ) is a soul-less plastic affair.



But there’s still plenty of scope for a bit of originality…



Recreational Vehicles (RVs)

RVs in the USA are big business – I stopped at an RV dealer in Baton Rouge this morning and met Nick...



...who sells them for a living. He reckons there’s a market of seven million RV owners in the USA :eek: … The RVs themselves vary from something akin to a VW camper-van (rare) to behemoths built on the chassis of a Greyhound bus. Nick showed me around a couple he had on site. The first (called an Allegro, if I remember correctly ), is at the top end of the range that Nick sells, but is by no means large, in the American scale of things :P.



It retails at about the $250,000 mark, although the big, Greyhound Bus style RVs can top a million dollars…

The interior is lavish, to say the least, with a fully fitted kitchen…



…double bed with built in TV & video unit…



…bathroom, including bath & shower…



…luxury cockpit area, with swivel chairs for both driver & passenger (as well as a large screen TV over the windscreen…)



…plus a recliner positioned so that your mother-in-law can criticise your driving :P



On the subject of driving, you can drive one of these on your normal car licence. The engine on this one develops about 400 bhp and does about 10 miles to the gallon (of diesel).

You often see these RVs on the Interstates with a car or pick-up being towed behind on an A frame, a kind of reversal of towing a caravan with a car. This allows you to drive into an RV park (sites are everywhere), plug into all your services (some include cable TV, as well as the electricity, water, sewage, phone etc that you might expect), then drive off downtown to get a steak…

Alternatively, you could go for what they refer to as a ‘fifth wheel’…



It’s basically an articulated semi-trailer, attached to a special clamp mounted in the rear bed of a pick-up truck by a pivot similar to that used to attach an articulated lorry’s semi-trailer…



…this pivot is known as a ‘fifth wheel’. The interior of the trailer is every bit as luxurious as its motorised counterpart…



…but at a considerably reduced price – this one was some $55,000…



…although you’d need to spend another $40,000 or so to come up with a pick-up truck that would do the job properly.

Nick tells me that his customers vary from youngish entrepreneurs, to older couples who are retiring. Sometimes the retired couples will sell their houses to buy the RV, storing some of their gear in a lock-up somewhere, renting or buying a permanent RV stand somewhere, and then taking off whenever they get the urge…

RVs are not a good investment, apparently, and suffer from worse depreciation from new than a car. I can’t help but feel that they are really an American phenomenon – trying to negotiate even fairly good class A roads in the UK with something this wide and long would be a nightmare.

I get back on to my bike, which feels tiny, for the first time this trip :P, and ride back to the hotel…

20th March

Another foggy morning, but I pack the bike and I’m on the road for 0945. I head off into Baton Rouge at first, to Louisiana Farm Machinery – they are Caterpillar dealers, and I pick up an O ring from them. This fits over the bar-end weight on the right handlebar. When rolled over the throttle, this provides just enough friction to allow me to remove my hand from the twistgrip whilst riding. It’s a very basic (and cheap) form of cruise control – an idea that Jeff gave me when I was in Daytona…



I then go for a random ride, ending up in the very pleasant town of False River…



…the name False River comes from the lake that the town is built on the shores of. It is a long crescent shaped lake, which could easily be mistaken for a river – in point of fact (remembering my O level Geography) , the lake (called , if I remember correctly, an Oxbow Lake), used to be part of the Mississippi, which meanders down to the sea nearby. As a result of silt build up over many years, the loop that is now the lake, eventually sealed itself off. Enough revision .

A little further down the road, in the town of New Roads, they’re having a Classic Car Show… I park the bike and walk through the exhibits. It’s very warm (84º F) and humid. The cars are a varied collection of classics, from this 1954 Hudson Hornet…



…to this 1966 Ford Thunderbird…



My favourites are the collection of older Thunderbirds – this one from 1959…



…with a colour-coordinated interior…



…this one from 1956…



…with ‘vanity tag’…



…and subtle upholstery…



…but my favourite,



is this particular 1956 T’bird, which is identical to the one which the ‘mystery blonde’ drove in American Graffiti



All ‘juke-box’ chromed out, I take a leisurely ride North East towards Alexandria, Louisiana, where I’ve decided to stop for the day. I pause for lunch at another bit of chrome nostalgia – another diner. This one differs from the last one I went into (in North Carolina) – in as much as the service is appalling.



On the plus side, Penny (whose diner it is), overcomes the ineptitude of her waitress by producing quite the best cheeseburger I’ve ever eaten - for $6

I ride on, feeling a little lethargic after a large lunch, and arrive in Alexandria in mid afternoon. I check into my room, turn the air conditioning up to maximum, and settle in for the evening…

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Old 05-05-2004, 11:02 PM   #42
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Texas - it's big...

21st March

Spent most of the day riding around the Kisatchie National Forest, an area of mostly evergreen trees, near the Texas state line.



The weather is perfect, 68º F and sunny. The whole area is quiet, it being Sunday, and all the churches I pass have full car parks. In the early afternoon, I cross the River Sabine and enter Texas. I stop in Jasper and find I can't get internet connection from the hotel :(

I spend the evening doing chores and sorting out my photos. I check the bike over and note that the oil window is only showing oil in the bottom third - I'll buy some oil & top it up in the morning...

I'm also becoming concerned at the handling of the bike, and I'm pretty sure I've got a problem with the shock absorbers - I decide to post a question on the technical forum to see if I can get some advice...
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:03 PM   #43
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Plenty of oil in Texas (luckily)...

22nd March

Actually, Texas is big - really big. It covers just under 262,000 square miles and has a population of nearly 21 million :eek:

So I got on the bike and decided to go and see some of it. First, though, I fill up with fuel and buy a quart of multigrade. I put about half a litre of oil in the bike and ride North. After a couple of miles, I glance down and see I have a problem. Poo :(



Top tip - when you fill up the oil, make sure that the O ring doesn't fall off the filler cap. (This picture was taken after I'd stopped & removed the filler cap - and graphically demonstrates how much oil you can lose without an O ring in just 10 miles)



I turn around and return to Jasper, stopping at the first garage I come to, which happens to be Jasper County Tractors, a John Deere dealer.



There I meet their fitter, an excellent bloke who rejoices in the name of Will Barrow (no - that really is his name ) - an ex US Army Abrahams tank driver and veteran of the (first) Gulf War. In no time at all he finds an O ring to replace the missing one, supplies me with a spare one, gives me a rag to wipe down the bike with and charges me 84¢...



I suppose I'll never have to worry about my left boot letting in water...:

I stop in Lufkin and spend half an hour with a pressure washer getting the oil off the side of the bike - luckily none of the oil migrated as far as the rear brake or the tyre. I make my way down to Huntsville and check in to the Holiday Inn, change and then deposit my oil soaked jeans into their washing machine...
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MikeO screwed with this post 02-13-2006 at 12:16 PM
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:04 PM   #44
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23rd March

A good day. I get a phone call from Arch Rodriguez, a member of AdvRider with whom I’ve been corresponding from time to time, inviting me down to his house in Katy, Texas (just West of Houston). I plan to avoid the sprawling metropolis of Houston by heading South West and approaching Katy from the West. As I leave Huntsville, I’m struck by the number of prisons there are in the area – I’ve ridden past 3 (I later find there are a further 4 in the county), including the, completely inappropriately named, Holliday Unit…



I stop for lunch at a small diner and have a gargantuan meal of Fried Chicken, fried Okra, mashed potatoes and black eyed peas for an extremely reasonable $6 – these little country cafes really are excellent value – they are often staffed by waitresses who actually seem to care whether you’ve enjoyed your meal or not…



I reach Arch’s spectacular house at about 1630…



…it’s spectacular, not just for its size, location and appearance, but for Arch’s choice of ornament in the lounge…



Yes that is a 1992 homologation Ducati 888 SP4…



Yes, it’s street legal and he uses it now & again. Arch and his girlfriend, the lovely Julie, have a motorcyclist’s dream home. Here’s the bikegarage (not to be confused with the double car garage – which also houses the dirt bikes…)



The Adv is amongst some pretty spectacular company…



We're soon joined by Arch’s best mate and long time riding partner, Warren, who proceeds to cook a Czechoslovakian dish he learned off a couple of Czech bikers he met in Idaho.



It’s called Late Show (well, that’s how it’s pronounced – I think it’s spelt Lecho) and is spectacularly tasty, though I suspect Late Show is probably Czech for ‘Throw in everything you have left in the fridge’.




We stay up swapping bullshit and drinking beer and have fun swapping local expressions. My favourite, culled from the vocabulary of an Aussie marine engineer ‘she threw a leg out of bed’. This meant the ship’s engine had thrown a con-rod through the crankcase. Arch seemed to enjoy the expression “he’s a two faced w@nker”, and continues to use it for the next 24 hours on every conceivable occasion…

Then Arch does something remarkable, something that Buddy Lee, a one time IT pro, couldn’t do* – he gets my laptop’s wireless card to work! Top bloke!
Eventually it gets late and I turn in.

*Sorry Buddy – he made me print this…
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MikeO screwed with this post 02-13-2006 at 12:16 PM
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:06 PM   #45
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25th March

Went to Arch’s new employers today…



…Mancuso Harley Davidson, Houston’s biggest HD dealership. This is one of two stores they have in the area, it’s newly built and is vast – the size of a large aircraft hangar.



The workshop and warehouse areas are even bigger than the sales floor…

As you would expect, you can get most things Harley Davidson here…



Mirrors…



Footboards…



Slippers… (couldn’t find a pipe, though :P)



Bicycles…



Coffee…



…and bikes,



…lots of bikes.

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