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Old 04-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #151
Parepin OP
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Location: That's... a tough one to answer
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For the next several weeks, I didn't sleep much. I didn't eat much. I often times woke in the middle of the night yelling as the muscle atrophy kicked in. I was on heavy pain killers, iron pills for blood loss, stool softeners to get things movin, and twice daily injections I had to give myself in the stomach to prevent blood clotting. This was hell. I was dreaming on a nightly basis of being back on the road, riding through the country only to be shocked awake by massive cramping and swelling. I couldn't shower, couldn't navigate the stairs, I was draining my wounds daily and swapping out bandages. For a guy that has always been on the move, who just can't sit still, this really was hell.


This went on for several months. I went from crutches to a cane and picked up the nickname “House”. As soon as I was barely mobile, I was putting weight on my leg and rushing recovery. I actually dropped and re-installed a transmission in my truck in my driveway while still using a cane. Recovery looked promising. Nothing died, and every X-ray looked better than the last. The entire time, my old man was pushing me to sue. Sue the hospital, sue the truck driver, sue every fucker in Alaska. That's just not my style. It sucked that they missed the injury, and going in for a second surgery was extremely lame, but people make mistakes. I doubt I'm any worse off now than I would have been otherwise. The only difference I can think of is my knee problems. I was told that, had they noticed the hip, the rod could have been inserted from above rather than under the knee cap, saving that joint from any future complications. But, what's done is done, nothing to be done about it now.


I picked up a job at a local machine shop over the winter. It was a little place, run out of a guy's pole barn. Nine or so machines. I didn't really know what I was doing, but with the massive order he was running through, and the shop going 24/7, they were in dire need of a part jockey. I seemed to fit the bill. The owner also had a wicked limp from a moto accident, so I had that going for me. That christmas I got new riding gear, helmet, jacket and all. Even a sticker that read “If you don't limp, you aint shit.” I got a good laugh out of this. I kept an eye on Craigslist and worked my ass off through the winter, pushing 60-70 hours a week at times. I was determined to get back on the road. I had built up a nest egg for years and barely touched it. And to be completely honest, I didn't know what else I was going to do with myself. I figured, I've already paid the price, I might as well enjoy the ride.


From the machine shop, I was moved up to one of the owners' house to work. I installed in-floor heating lines and dug out his basement for a concrete floor. Four months out of major surgery and I was hauling five gallon buckets of wet clay and field stones from the basement and hurling them into the back yard. Therapy, right? It hurt, I'm not gonna lie. I knew I was pushing it, but every check up seemed promising. I was still on pain killers, vicodin this time, but it didn't do much. Sure it took the edge off, but I still hurt. I liked that, though. I don't want the pain to limit my daily duties, but I like that it exists. It keeps me on track, reminds me to take it easy, and keeps front and foremost in my mind what I've been working towards.


Throughout all of this, I kept working with the insurance company. Liberty Mutual. Sonsabitches. I had intended on buying back the remains of the KLR. I was downright insulted at the measly $900 they were offering me, and was working towards reimbursment for all the custom work and add-ons. They pulled every trick out of their collective hats to deny me what I was working towards. I finally settled on the $900 and informed them that I was looking to buy it back. “If you choose to purchase the bike, you will end up owing us.” Wait, what? Apparently, the fee-free storage facility they moved it to was only fee-free for two weeks. I looked at all my paper work and saw no mention of this. So the entire time I was recovering, I was apparently stacking up fees. It would take the entire $900 plus an additional $300 to get the bike, or I could cut my losses and leave with a check. Fucking awesome. Obscenities were thrown about and I was downright pissed. I finally settled, and told the woman “Listen, I've got some tools and shit still on the bike I'd like back.” This lead to a three-way phone call with the guy at the storage facility where I informed him I'd like some stuff back. I got his number and promised to call him back. I waited a few days until I had the $900 in hand and called the guy back. What did I want? Well, lets start with the tools, seat pad, sheep skin, luggage rack, skid plate, rear shock, bark busters, and... fuck it, the whole engine. He agreed. It was removed and crated up. The insurance company was billed $700. They called me, trying to get me to pay for half. I laughed. Look at your records ya fuckers, I'm fucked up and unemployed. Reluctantly they agreed and a few weeks later I had a crate in my front yard. Take that, you fuckers...






In the early spring, I caught wind of a hell of a deal on a used KLR near Philly. My buddy and I jumped into my truck and rushed down to pick it up. 10,000 miles, oil changed every 500 miles, $1,100. Kick ass. I hauled ass north, dealing with blown brake lights, roasted fuses and a cracked radiator the entire way back. I waited for the snow to thaw and was quick with tearing into the KLR. I pulled the engine and replaced it with the 685 from the wrecked KLR. I swapped out the shock for the stiffer re-sprung unit as well and did all the preventative maintenance I could think of. Sealed bearings, new fork seals, new fluids, new lines. I sold the tank that came with the bike as well as some additional parts I had laying around and picked up a butt-ugly IMS tank, determined not to let the incident in the last leg of the Deadhorse run happen again. A pair of mermites were also purchased, gutted, and worked into place. These things were fucking HUGE. I crated up the 10,000 mile engine that came with the second KLR, valves and doo done, and prepared it for shipping in case anything happened on the road. The same thing was done with the extra rear shock. I putzed around the state, testing and adjusting, adding and modifying the bike until it was the abomination you see today. With that, I was ready. 9 months after the wreck, I was back on the road. Still didn't have a plan, but I had a slightly larger nest egg and was determined to call Mulligan.


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Old 04-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #152
AJxr
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all I have to say is... fuckin A.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:50 PM   #153
mdlak
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thanks for sharing

this is one crazy ass story... loving it!
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:30 PM   #154
kwakbiker
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Nice refreshing attitude there not sueing everyone because of a mistake...good to know that people still realise were human and do make them
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:53 PM   #155
Mike92
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Originally Posted by ajxr View Post
all i have to say is... Fuckin a.

+1
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:19 PM   #156
mac inger
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Youre a character out of Heinlein book brother. Keep it up
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:34 PM   #157
scooterGdawg
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Wow +100
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #158
FloorPoor
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You Rule! Ride On!
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #159
traindriver
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I admire the way you live life on your terms, My hats off to ya.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:19 AM   #160
Parepin OP
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Awesome

Fuckin awesome. Thanks for all the positive feedback.


I've got some good news and some bad news.

Bad: I'm currently in the process of riding my bike back to NY from San Diego. This means there probably won't be much in way of updates for a week or so. I'm in Vegas now.

Good: I got a lot of writing done on the next chapter of this little tale while on the flights south. So, there should be some good stuff coming up soon, with plenty more photos and a slightly fresher memory.
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:21 AM   #161
mac inger
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If you ride past LA you're welcome to crash here and have a drink. My gfs apartment is empty and nice
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:40 AM   #162
CamoGreg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyRascal View Post
Holy shit Alex I didn't know any of this.
^^^ What he said!

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Old 04-10-2011, 07:34 AM   #163
Flashmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parepin View Post
Bad: I'm currently in the process of riding my bike back to NY from San Diego. This means there probably won't be much in way of updates for a week or so. I'm in Vegas now.
What a relief. I'm riding up to Washington and back this week and was worried I would have a bunch of catching up to do when I got back.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:39 AM   #164
BobJInPA
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Location: Downingtown, PA and Snow Shoe, PA. Either way, PA
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I have a new hero! Keep the story going! And keep safe.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:44 AM   #165
disgustipated
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Cool2

Hit me up if you want a place to chill in Boulder, CO.
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