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Old 11-20-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Everlasting Summer

This is actually an extension of two previous ride reports, The Rootbeer Run, Chasing the Sun, and other Misadventures, and will be added onto the end of it when the time comes. I'm still in the process of putting down the past few months to written word and wanted to get these thoughts down while they were somewhat fresh.


The scheming for this ride had gone on for months. Jettin Jim came up with the idea first and brought it up back in November of 2010. I didn't think much of it at first, but as winter dragged on it struck me as more and more of a good idea. I didn't have much going on at the moment. I was working at a local machine shop at the time, working as a parts jockey. Load blank, unload part. Deburr, clean, inspect. It was cool at first but I felt my time here was quickly coming to an end. I ran the idea past my long time friend from High School in an attempt to coax him in the right direction. Ian seemed to be getting tired with the way his life was going, along the same lines as I. A job that was quickly growing old and a lifestyle that just didn't fit right. He had no riding experience, but quickly came to me with an ad for a KLR from Craigslist and a trailer. It was really that simple.


Everything else got complicated. We would spend the next couple of months preparing. Jim had to back out unfortunately due to unforseen circumstances, but Ian and I had too much invested at the time to really be able to delay. We had both given a set quit date and monetary goal to reach. Ian spent his time bombing around the countryside on a permit, gaining his experience the only way he know how. I, on the other hand, flipped my KLR in an unfortunate accident involving a railroad crossing and unrealistic speeds. With the KLR in pieces, and with some new hardware myself, I was confronted with a hell of a speed bump but I managed to come out of it as well as I could.

For reference, here is my first KLR several years ago. First bike purchase and before any mods had been done.


After some quality time, I came up with this.


Aaaannd then this


Several months later, I find THIS!


Which becomes this


And then, after the railroad incident, this


Seein the pattern yet?

The machine shop gig didn't last too long, needless to say, and I fell back into my old industrial roofing gig with my hand still in a cast. I had actually rigged up an ATV thumb throttle to my old Honda just so I could get to work and back. It worked out fairly well, I think. In the meantime I worked my ass off, upwards of 60 and 70 hours a week. I payed for it, though. With my bum leg significantly weaker, I knew that I was in for an interesting first couple of weeks. And, sure enough, I managed to lay myself up on more than one occasion. My god, I love modern pain killers.


And so this continued well into September. We had a release date tentatively set for the first week of October, but as this date neared Ian and I both found ourselves unprepared. That last week I must have spent damn near 50 hours piecing my KLR back together, not having actually run since the beginning of June. I had the frame and all that powdercoated, and had managed to obtain sponsorship from Schnitz Racing. Our bikes were fitted with the bad ass 705 piston kit and port/polished heads. I was still in my break in period when we would head out for our shakedown run through the Adirondacks.

My steed


And Ian's weapon of choice
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:30 PM   #2
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I see a pattern! Let's see what you've been up to
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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Not done with the first epic RR and off on another one! This is gonna be gooood!
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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Subd!

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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Baja!

Happy New Year! Looks like you are "roughing it" in Baja. Looking forward to an update!
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #6
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Talk about getting back on that horse!

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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What a Pro..

Great sponsership! Yer ridn with the best...
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
thorzite
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merge the threads for me bro ...

Hey Alex ... you should merge this thread with the rootbeer run, I'm too lazy to flip flop
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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Hi all. Iím Ian. Iíve been Alís partner in crime on several poorly thought out misadventures for about 8 years now. Weíve been doing some talking and have decided to tag team this ride report. Iím not much for writing, but as Iím sipping some whiskey and watching fear and loathing I start getting flashbacks of our ride and begin to get all sentimental and shit. I better get this down before my brain files these memories to a place I can no longer reach them.

My story starts out on a weary Monday afternoon sometime in February 2011, in a fisheries lab in Oswego, NY. Thereís some frozen dead alewife thawing in the sink, and Iím bullshitting with my friend and fellow technician while adjusting the radio to one of two rock stations we get. Iím thinking to myself, fuck how has my life gotten so routine and boring? I catch little adventures here and there, but itís not enough. I feel as if Iím pissing my life away in 9 to 5 drudgery. I donít hate or regret my life, but shit there has to be something more.

My phone buzzes with that ominous sound of a text. I flip it open and itís from Al (whoppy). Canít remember details, but itís something about a bike trip planned with jettin jim to South America, and how I need to pull my head out my ass and buy a bike. My buddy/tech is still talking, but I canít hear him because in my head Iím in South America, riding through palm trees in a black leather jacket with an American flag on the back like captain America from easy rider, just the road and not a care in the god damn world. I come back to, the lab stinks like slimy oily fish, my buddy telling me something about new protocol, and life marches on.

I had blown off Alís suggestion of an extended holiday because my co-workers and I had me convinced that it was silly, a waste of time, foolish, etc, etc. I was going to grad school, I was going to make something of myself, I was going to be a respected fisheries biologist and make a living for myself. I honestly canít tell you what happened, but a week later I was on Craigslist looking up KLR 650s. Itís one of those seldom opportunities you get in life where your gut and heart scream your doing the right thing. By March Iíve found a 2005 KLR, well maintained for a price I could handle, in Lewiston, PA, only a 5 hour drive. By the way, Iíve never ridden a motorcycle in my life, unless you count once when I was 12 and I drove our family mini-bike straight into a pine tree, ever since terrified of the thing.





I rented a trailer for my mechanically unsound Subaru forester, picked up a very tired and overworked Al, and headed south to PA. The bike was as described, picking it up was rather uneventful, but test driving it (not a clue of what the fuck I was doing) I had my first chance to lay it down on a nice rutted gravely backwoods PA trail. Thinking to myself, this is going to be a wild ride.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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I really hadn't planned on continuing with this thread. I got a little over-ambitious when I started it and wasn't really sure how I could keep two separate rides in the same storyline flowing.

HOWEVER, I have a fair amount of this ride written already. And seeing as how this is going to be an amalgamation of two points of view, I might as well contribute. I know Ian's got "The Itch" now, and in the spirit of keeping his Adventure Fu flowing, I'm gonna go with it.

As far as a merger, it's not gonna happen UNTIL I can get caught up on my main report.

New posts to come...
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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We headed out in the usual fashion, late and ill prepared. This wouldn't be that unusual of a ride, to be honest. I've cruised through the Adirondacks many times before and used it quite frequently as a shakedown run after each and every rebuild. From my hometown we headed more or less north-east. I didn't manage to get too far before my front brakes quit on me. We found a bolt had rattled out of my front caliper. Of all the bolts that I torqued and loc-tited, I somehow missed the front caliper bolts. No big deal, really. We asked a passing trucker where the nearest hardware store was. A short detour and I had an acceptable replacement installed. I caught some shit for this move and sped off, heading east. For the record, I got the right hardware and had it installed by the end of the day...







We stopped in Auburn, where Ian spent his last few months working, and snagged some massive and exquisite sandwiches. We rode well into the darkness that night, following random side roads until we eventually just hit a BRIDGE OUT. With some rutty ATV trails dropping down into the creek bed it didn't take much more coaxing for either one of us to kamakazee into the darkness. We would make camp right along the creek this night, Ian in his hammock-cocoon thing and I in my well abused 2-man.






The next morning started off nicely with a run through the creek and up the opposite embankment. I don't care how many miles I've got, rocky water crossings always get me. I managed to make it up with little issue, but Ian hesitated a bit and dug himself a nice rut, but we got 'er up and on road in no time. With overcast skies and the scent of rain in the wind we just bombed around the countryside, determined to put both bikes through a thorough test. At a gas stop I waltzed up to the gas station attendant and inquired on the whereabouts of the nearest diner and/or restaurant. She seemed a bit amused when she replied with simply ďNoĒ. Alrighty then. It would seem that this is the only place for miles, but they have BREAKFAST SAMMICHES! Score... kinda.... I guess. We ate, anyway, and hit the asphalt again.





New camera. Fingers will be an ongoing theme.


We spent the remainder of the afternoon more or less patrolling the dirt. There are TONS of dirt roads all across these mountains, apparently. We hit every trail we could, only getting turned back by bridge outs and ninja ponds as they pop out from the overgrowth. Then the rain started... and... just never ended. Caked in mud and slowly going hypothermic we decided the best option was to hit asphalt and get some miles down. Maybe we could drive out of this. We didn't get too far, however, before Ians bike sputtered to a stop. She started right back up, though. With a shrug we moved on... for a couple hundred yards. Off to the side, we poked and prodded a bit but just couldn't find the sweet spot with which to kick the shit out of. As the rain intensified the tarp came out and the tank came off. After pulling apart his carb, Ian found.... an ant. In his float bowl. A goddamn ant.







After a good hour or so, and long after I had wandered off out of sheer boredom, I hear the distant tweet of a KLR roaring to life. Back on the road and back together we continued heading east along Route 3. The plan was to hit Vermont by nightfall to visit Ian's younger sister in college. This was family week, you see, and Ian had promised sis... the bike's dead again. Motherf.... We let the bowl refill and moved on, a few miles at a time, until we hit the next town. Tupper Lake, that is. Not a bad town to be stuck in. We hit the first motel along the strip and managed to snag a little shed of a cabin for $50. That night Ian went about tearing his carb down for a full cleaning. He was sure there was just some shit in there somewhere. With dripping gear hanging in the corner and gloves jammed in the radiator, I was just glad to be out of that goddamn rain. Cold, man. Real cold.








Up the next morning, we were greeted with a wondrous sight. Blue skies. A quick jaunt into town for breakfast before returning to gear up. And as we loaded up, it began raining. I spent the next several minutes flipping clouds the bird and yelling obscenities at the sky in general. With that done, we headed out. We went west till you could go west no further, and grabbed a ferry across Lake Champlain. South along the coast, the Vermont side this time, we came to the town of Burlington, where Ian's sister went to school and his parents were visiting for the weekend. We spent that night just kinda hanging out with the family. Beers and hot-tubbin. Real grilled-fish burritos for dinner and a solid Denny's run for breakfast. Good people. Good times.







Anyway, we made the run back towards home base when all was said and done. We had originally planned on riding all the way to Maine, but a few factors got in the way. For starters, my swing arm had long since shredded it's worn rubber chain guide. I cobbed together a replacement out of several dozens of layers of gorilla tape, but it was up in the air as far as how long it would last. That, and the weather. Forties and rain, all day, every day. We had both had a satisfying shakedown run either way and had some tweaking to do back home before heading out for the real thing, so the decision was unanimous and we started for home. What a long, cold, miserable ride. There isn't enough greenery in the world to make a ride like that tolerable. But we made it, and it took the remainder of the night just to get strength back in my hands. I believe I just sparked one and stood in the shower until the water ran cold, then some...


Tag, you're it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #13
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wow I hope this one will hope together
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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good post Al! For a reefer addict your memory is pretty fuckin good! Recalling some awesome times. Just got back from a 14 hour workday, I'm whipped as hell now but expect a post tomorrow.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:34 PM   #15
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good post Al! For a reefer addict your memory is pretty fuckin good! Recalling some awesome times. Just got back from a 14 hour workday, I'm whipped as hell now but expect a post tomorrow.
I've quit smoking ever since I ran out. I'm amazed what's coming back to me.
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