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Old 04-22-2009, 02:38 AM   #31
Douf OP
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Originally Posted by Rhode trip
Interesting account so far...looking forward to reading the rest! Oh, and post some pics of your studly companions! Hi Joe.
Joe was always wanting me to get a picture of his 'good side' - but I never figured out which one that was

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Old 04-22-2009, 06:08 AM   #32
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What's with the Rick Astley thing.


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Old 04-22-2009, 06:14 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by RockerC
What's with the Rick Astley thing.
Rick-Rolled...

Google it

BTW, I clicked it too .
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:22 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewillsmith
Rick-Rolled...

Google it

BTW, I clicked it too .
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I know, itís not a KTM or a Beamer. . . . . . but aye, itís got two wheels & Iím goín
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:26 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by RockerC
What's with the Rick Astley thing.


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Actually quite apart from the Rick-Rolling aspect, it was intended as a bit of a tongue in cheek reference to the tagline of Striking Viking, who is probably one of the most (in)famous inmates on Advrider.com. (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41699) .....and rather than do another predictably straight-forward travelogue, I had hoped to write up my Alaskan adventure as 'Liking Biking', even working up an outline for a biography to mirror SV's larger than life tale - but in a much less impressive light. (see http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...98252&page=393 and onward for this fascinating insight into what makes the man tick).


Anyway, since I don't know SV or have never even met him, I wanted to get Glen's blessing before pursuing any of this potentially irritating prose. I sent him a note a week or two ago, but as I unfortunately haven't heard anything back, I guess I'll let it drop.

Douf

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Old 04-22-2009, 05:07 PM   #36
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I gotta hear how this finishes. Subscribed..
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:56 PM   #37
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Day 2 Rochelle, IL - Regina, SK







To quote a little known proverb from ancient Chinese philosophy: Confucius he say, 'Man with hole in pocket feel cocky all day'. He also say 'Man with hole in two pockets not feel too cocky'........And in the cool crisp air of the early morning darkness that constituted our first eagerly anticipated departure hour, I vaguely remember Joe ferreting around for something in the nether reaches of his pants; but at the time I just put it down to his hands being cold. Anyway old Confucius is possibly slightly better known for the somewhat more cliched 'Every great journey starts with a single step' and although even the great man himself surely didn't have the philosophical insight to contemplate future offerings from the the likes of Suzuki, BMW, KTM et al, his sentiment was never more appropriate than at this particular moment - although our 'steps' were destined to be of the rolling variety.

Feeling somewhat apprehensive as we prepared to depart, I wondered how my mind and body would tolerate the imminent mental and physical ordeal that this trip represented. However, tempering whatever self doubt lay in my mind was the knowledge that, being a veteran of many other types of physical endurance event, I'd encountered enough blistered, chaffed and bleeding body parts, enforced bouts of roadside vomiting and all the other exceedingly rewarding aspects of long distance athletics, to reliably differentiate between real pain and suffering versus just feeling sorry for myself. Gary's extensive Ironbutt resume inevitably had him feeling confident enough, but I wondered how Joe was justifying his current mindset - whatever that was.



FWIW: '07 Marathon stats (courtesy Marathonguide.com) - Masochist is my middle name

What became our morning ritual, involved unwillingly extracting oneself from a few hours of less than adequate deep slumber at around 4am, taking care of whatever intestinal/appearance related maintenance issues were deemed necessary (some of us were sporadically showering before we went to bed), repacking the bikes, suiting up, riding over to the first available gas station - where we would fill up both the bikes and ourselves with whatever unappetizing fare came to hand (and even the gas was questionable in some of the remotest areas) - then hitting the road proper by 5am at the latest. As a side note: in retrospect, compared to this pre dawn gas station grab and go exercise, I can't believe how much whining I did about the comparably gourmet experience of our daily South African Wimpy ritual that recently presented itself on the Four Corners trip. (referenced in post #1 for those of you with short attention spans)



According the the careful time management strategies necessary to repeatedly complete distances of this magnitude, Gary informed the two traveling neophytes that it was imperative we didn't waste too much time screwing around, especially in the mornings. However, as I really didn't like rushing around with too much urgency first thing, my eventual tactics merely involved getting up slightly earlier and - relatively speaking of course - taking my sweet arsed time.

Another aspect of the preparations to carefully consider was the dress code, because what you had on leaving a particular gas stop would be - barring an act of God - what you'd be wearing for the next 300+ miles (and 5+ hours) until the next refueling stop. With the aid of a throttle lock it was possible to change gloves and make other small clothing adjustments, but second guessing the climatic conditions (along with elevation and other temperature related factors) was something that we all studiously contemplated at each stop; and for that very reason, electric gear became indispensable in short order - especially in the early hours. Not too far into the day's proceedings, I also realized that my custom earplugs - although great for an hour or two - were the cause of no little discomfort when used for these extended riding intervals, so they were ditched in preference to the disposable foam type that worked much better (for fatigue related reasons - not to mention deafness- riding without earplugs was definitely not an option.)

Having each consumed the FDA recommended daily amount of gas station junk food and with the bikes carrying in excess of 11 gallons of fuel a-piece, our happy band headed out to start a day populated with mainly interstate mileage, and heading for the Canadian border crossing a little way south of Regina. As is typical with most east coast originating cross country U.S. efforts (and certainly all those that I've been on), a certain element of 'distance dues paying' is required in order to arrive at the payoff which starts somewhere along the front range of the Rocky Mountains. A quick look at a relief map clearly indicates that crossing the Canadian border unfortunately doesn't improve this scenario, so I resigned myself to the prospect of 2 days and 2000 miles of uninspiring travel before arriving at Dawson Creek and the start of motorcycling Nirvana.



M'lud:
'The defendant stands here today accused of the following:
(i) Stopping without requiring gas
(ii) Fraternizing aimlessly during a ride.'
'And if it pleases the court, let me submit exhibit 'a': photographic evidence of the defendant - during a ride - with both jacket and helmet off' (hushed murmurs of disbelief are heard throughout the court)
'And furthermore your honour I have documentary Ebay evidence connecting the defendant to the sale of an Arai XD, which would incriminate the accused in the unspeakable act of riding without a modular helmet.' (gasps of incredulity are heard from the gallery)
- At the Supreme Court of Ironbutt, Gary's IBA membership is revoked and subsequently he's sentenced to have his extensively collection of distance awards burned on the court steps - doesn't seem that worried though.

However as I recall, even before the first tanks of gas were consumed, surprisingly we stopped for a bathroom break. Before the trip, as I've mentioned previously, Gary had led me to believe that the only times we would take any kind of break in the first few days would be either for gas or to sleep - food/drink was not a commodity deemed important enough to make a specific stop for, but instead would be procured on a haphazard basis when at either a gas station or lodging location. So we all marched into the little boys room, shortly thereafter marched back out and, as we stood around the bikes, took a couple of photos of our immediate surroundings. I made the mistake of grabbing a Power Bar for a quick snack and - I have photographic evidence to it - Joe even had the audacity to take his jacket off. Although having instigated the pause in proceedings, I get the impression that in sharp contrast to the current bout of protracted socializing taking place, Gary had imagined something along the lines of: all three of us pulling quickly into the parking area, simultaneously jumping off our still running bikes, sprinting into the bathroom with helmets affixed, taking care of business, running back out, then wiping our still dangling Johnsons on our respective panniers bags before - in one fluid movement - stowing the jewels, zipping up, hitting the gas and peeling out of there in a cloud of smoke and rubber. Reality bites, huh?



No gas, no hotel? What the F%^k are we doing here?

Well, maybe that wasn't quite the twisted scenario playing out in his mind, but apparently once the picnic tablecloth was unfurled, Gary was irritated enough with our insubordination to jump back on his V-Strom and roll slowly out of the parking lot and back onto the interstate. Joe and I eventually followed and although not having a visual on our leader, my GPS - being programmed with this evening's ultimate destination - ably took over as our immediate guide. Shortly thereafter the pair of us came into the Twin Cities region where - assuming Gary would never take a chance in the potential congestion of a cross town route - we diverted onto the ring road. Well what Gary does and what I think he'll do are apparently two different things, because it turned out that he'd stopped to wait for us somewhere in town, and we'd ridden right past him on the ring road. Establishing that this was indeed the case took quite a while however, since, unable to answer our phones due to the road noise associated with riding, we had arranged to use my wife as a point of contact, leaving messages for each other to intercept and, only at the next gas stop did we finally realize the realities of our current predicament; at which point we simply agreed to meet up later that evening in Regina - a decision that would have Gary riding the day's remaining 800-odd miles solo.



Joe (note: still with hands in pockets ) - possibly enjoying a satisfying fart after a leisurely crap - not the stuff that 60+ mph total averages are made of

Without our experienced shepherd to guide us, the perceived level of adventure increased slightly, but we continued in a generally North Westerly direction along the prescribed path in an essentially trouble free manner. As I recall, the mid afternoon temperatures eventually climbed to a fairly uncomfortable level, with the misery of the stifling heat being apparent even while moving along at our cruising speed. Water from the Camelback I was wearing came in useful as a cooling medium as, in addition to taking regular drinks, I sporadically squirted portions of its' contents onto the backs of my exposed hands which, although evaporating fairly quickly, did provide a measure of temporary relief.



'SIR: I have my riding suit on and am ready to go'
'What about yer helmet, you pathetic wonka. DROP and give me 20'

As we proceeded up through the plains of North Dakota, the increasingly rural roads were arranged in a grid pattern, where a period of riding through the farmlands along an essentially straight stretch would be suddenly punctuated by a ninety degree turn and then another featureless straightaway. At 800 miles and counting into the day's ride, a consistent level of concentration was certainly desirable. However eventually we came in sight of the Canadian border and after a long day of riding, we hoped for a smooth crossing. I said 'A SMOOTH CROSSING YOU CANADIAN MOTHERSUCKERS'. Watch this space...........

Douf





Douf screwed with this post 05-27-2009 at 01:10 PM
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:36 PM   #38
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Ok, I like your style and this looks like an excellent lead-up to some serious masochism so... I'm in for the trip!

Cheers
Allan
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:24 AM   #39
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Ok, I like your style and this looks like an excellent lead-up to some serious masochism so... I'm in for the trip!

Cheers
Allan
Ha! You're in for some serious masochism just reading this drivel, but - even though it's no doubt obvious I need little in the way of encouragement -thanks for indulging me.

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Old 04-23-2009, 04:34 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mileater
Ok, I like your style and this looks like an excellent lead-up to some serious masochism so... I'm in for the trip!

Cheers
Allan
hehe ... Phil you never disappoint
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:27 AM   #41
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hehe ... Phil you never disappoint
According to my wife...........you're wrong........regularly

.....and furthermore - reflecting her complete and utter disillusionment with my 'little engine that couldn't' - she's recently started referring to my pride and joy as 'Mikie's GS'

(FWIW the backstory to this jibe is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...9&postcount=84)

Douf

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Old 04-24-2009, 12:03 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douf
According to my wife...........you're wrong........regularly

.....and furthermore - reflecting her complete and utter disillusionment with my 'little engine that couldn't' - she's recently started referring to my pride and joy as 'Mikie's GS'

(FWIW the backstory to this jibe is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...9&postcount=84)

Douf
I HOPE its not because it's blue .. .but rather it can get Di on her back!
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:31 AM   #43
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Im in and wanna see more!!
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #44
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Pissed I'd have beaten someone with the camera - so no photos here

Canadian Border Crossing - Just south of Regina (Day 2)

Damn! At around 100 miles south of our final destination in Regina and 1000 more since this morning's start in Rochelle, Joe and I wearily pulled into the Canadian border complex. It had certainly been a long and energy sapping first day together, with not only the actual distance to contend with, but also the intense heat of the North Dakota plains depleting our reserves. After dismounting from the bikes, we stumbled lethargically into the passport control offices nonetheless optimistic that an expedient transition would soon have us tucked up in our much anticipated hotel room beds for some long overdue rest. As we waited in line to present our documents, our listless body language no doubt betrayed the extreme exhaustion that we both felt and I sincerely hoped for some empathy on the part of the officials.

However, rather than simply checking our documents and waving us through like the travelers in front of us, after a cursory glance at our passports, we were both asked to take a seat outside an interview room on the other side of the building - which I have since learned is often referred to as 'secondary immigration'. As far as I can remember, Joe was ordered into the office before me and after a while emerged from the room, at which point my presence inside was requested. I answered the usual battery of questions concerning the nature of my travel, where my journey had originated etc and after few minutes I too was shown out. However, Joe was once again ushered back into the room and for the best part of two f%$king hours they bombarded him with a battery of endless questions and inquiries. I was about apoplectic when he finally emerged and fully expected at that stage we would be allowed to go on our way. However, the customs officials then decided that a search of our bikes was in order, so we were both marched outside and watched in absolute frustration as the official began to unpack and sift through our carefully organized belongings. Finally, satisfied that neither of us had anything questionable on board, we were finally told that we could proceed; and so in a state of complete exhaustion and extreme irritation, we both gathered up our belongings off the floor and haphazardly re-packed them onto our bikes.

FWIW many of the alcoholic and substance type misdemeanors in the U.S. are treated as felonies in Canada and consequently they take a very dim view of even the slighest blemish on a persons record, no matter how ancient it may be. The total irony here is that for three forty somethings innocently traveling across country, two of whom didn't even drink, the tiniest blemish on a childhood rapsheet could be sufficient enough to derail the entire opperation in the eyes of the Canadian immigration officials. Subsequently I would advise anyone contemplating a cross Canadian journey to - if necessary - straighten out the appropriate bureaucratic minutae before embarking on the trip, as the likelyhood of a sudden unforseen wrinkle in the proceedings is unfortunately quite possible.

Subsequently however, we were both finally permitted to enter Canadian airspace and, after finishing the repacking of the bikes, the pair of us saddled up and headed towards Regina. By this time darkness has fallen and I was thankful that I'd taken the time to install the HID lighting on the KTM, which at least made visibility a little better. And we certainly needed it; with a mixture of delirious exhaustion coupled with a raging frustration at the whole situation, I certainly wasn't in the best frame of mind to be making sensible roadcraft decisions and I can't imagine Joe felt any better either. Normally, when entering a new country, my mind is instantly filled with wonder at the sudden change in environment. However in this case, even though the landscape did look somewhat different from the immediately preceding U.S. vicinity, I was filled with such an overwhelming sense of anger from our treatment at the hands of the Canadian border officials, that I found it impossible to be inspired by any of our new surroundings; and I cursed the entire godforsaken country along with all of its' inhabitants as if they were all somehow directly responsible for our predicament.

Thankfully the road to Regina was not particularly challenging, requiring less in the way of concentration than a more technical alternative; but even so the rate of progress still seemed excruciatingly slow and the miles covered ticked off the odometer reluctantly at a pace so agonizingly lethargic as to be almost imperceptible. However, despite the slightest ache, pain, sore or frustration being unbearably magnified by the tediousness of these final miles, ultimately we rolled into Regina and - guided by the indispensable technology of the GPS - rode directly to the hotel, where gratefully we spotted Gary's V-strom - already packed away for the night - as we pulled into the parking lot. After mustering what little energy reserves remained, the pair of us grabbed our belongings, covered our bikes and at somewhere between midnight and 1am, we both stumbled into the hotel room where, after briefly relating the days events to a semi-comatose Gary, we flopped into our cots and immediately attempted to convert whatever slumber opportunities existed before the next 4am alarm and another 1000 mile day.

Well, since the original premise of this report was to find out what we missed and where we went wrong, does anyone have anything inspiring to add in regard to the landscape covered during our travels so far? Because looking back at the distinct lack of photos taken, we didn't find that much to recommend it.

Douf screwed with this post 04-24-2009 at 07:38 PM
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:42 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Koshik
I HOPE its not because it's blue .. .but rather it can get Di on her back!
FWIW that reminds me of an old joke, which for your benefit I'll tailor to your South African sensibilities.

After the fall of apartheid, blacks and whites eventually became more integrated within society and members of the black community started occupying positions in the business world, previously only filled with whites.
Anyway, one day in a quite well-to-do banking firm the white CEO of the company is standing in the executive bathroom taking a leak, when in walks the business director, who happens to be a Zulu. As he's stood there, also taking care of business, the CEO glances over and can't help noticing what an impressively large member his colleague is wielding. Utterly dumbfounded, he has never seen anything like it and has to know the story behind this wonderful length of manhood.
'Excuse me' says the CEO, 'But I couldn't help but notice how well endowed you appear to be - what's your secret?'
'Well,' says the Zulu, 'Following an ancient tribal tradition, when I was a young boy, I would tie a small rock to the end of my member and, as I got older, it got longer and stronger, and consequently the small rock would be periodically replaced by a larger stone until I ended up with what you see today'
'That's a great story,' said the CEO, 'Do you think that might work for me?'
'I can't see why not,' said the Zulu, and so the two colleagues left the bathroom and carried on with their duties.
A few weeks later, the two men bump into each other in a corridor and the Zulu inquires about the 'extent' of the progress.
'Oh, it's going great,' says the CEO. 'I'm very happy. In fact, only three weeks have passed since I started with the rock and although it hasn't got any longer yet, I've already got it to turn black!'

Har! Har!

Douf
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