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Old 06-28-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
Dr. Greg OP
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Dr. Greg & Milledue try to follow Lewis & Clark...

Preface: US West 2012

Remember, "Milledue" (MEE-lay-DOO-ay) means "1200" in Italian, not "mildew." I learned that from a Ducati engineer. Just to get things straight. So I'll use "Milledue" to refer to the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S (this is MTS1200S #2, bike #1 was totaled when I hit a patch of hoarfrost on November 4, 2010. I replaced it with an identical bike.

At the start of this trip the odometer read 16,171 miles, and the bike had been completely trouble-free (as had bike #1, FWIW).

As I've said several times, the performance of the Milledue on this trip and the upcoming "US East" trip (late September/October...Mrs. Greg & I are flying to China for #3 son's wedding in mid-Aug/Sept) will determine if I keep it. There are a wider array of bike choices now than there were in 2010. One thing I will say: the Milledue seems to FIT me better than almost anything else. Just wish I were a little taller and bigger and stronger (I'm 5-8, 145). And for that matter I wish I were a little wiser, too...don't we all. Sigh.


I'm Retired!

So I was gonna work till I was 70 YO (5 years from now), but in January 2011 I contracted a pulmonary infection (mycobacterium asiaticum, if you're interested) which darned near killed me...anyway, I was off work for the entire Spring semester. That got me to thinkin'...

If I retired now I might have time to do some of the things (riding) that I've always wanted to do. So I did! My "retirement reception" was held at a local New Mexico winery (Casa Rondena) and the wine flowed freely. Mrs. Greg drove me home. Oh yeah, my job was "Professor of Mechanical Engineering" at the University of New Mexico...had worked there for 35.5 years, since January 1977. Long time to work at one job these days.

I shall continue to do consulting (a day a week or so) for a local medical robotics (my research area) company; that's perfect for my schedule. I can take time off whenever I want.


Idea Behind this Trip

I love to read. And I had just read "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose, describing the Lewis & Clark "Corps of Discovery" expedition. And one of my favorite fiction books is "The Big Sky" by A.B. "Bud" Guthrie (first of a trilogy---highly recommended), describing the early US "mountain man" era (1820-40).

But I had NEVER seen any of that part of the USA...well, we know how to take care of that! So this trip was born.

I wanted to follow the Missouri River up and over the Rocky Mountains, and---starting from Albuquerque, New Mexico---I decided to join the Missouri River in Eastern Nebraska. So the first leg of the trip would be from NM to Eastern NE. Y'know, I don't think I've ever set foot (or, um, wheel) in the state of Nebraska!

After I cross the Rocky Mountains, my planned route became more nebulous. Didn't have any real agenda.


Total Freedom

Might as well say this now. When I was planning this trip, I'd tell friends "...for the first time, I don't have a deadline for getting back. The wife says 'stay out as long as you want cuz the house is quiet with you gone' so I have total freedom."

But..."total freedom" is a very scary thing. And it will come to bite me in the end.


I Don't Travel LIGHT

The pic below shows some of the stuff I'm bringing (I'm planning on camping much of the time). This stuff goes into the side cases (using large "lids" for 73L capacity). Doesn't look too bad, but...


In addition, there's the tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and full size pillow (tired of sleeping on rolled-up clothes) which go into the dry bag.

And all the clothes (I brought too many) that go into the top case. And the tank bag for incidentals, including a drinking bladder (sounds ugly).

And the folding chair, of course...

Anyway, it all adds up. Here's a pic of the bike fully loaded and ready to go...still looks fairly sanitary, if I do say so myself. I orient the dry bag so my back is against that nice soft pillow.


I dialed in "rider + luggage" riding mode, "touring" setting, and prepared to set sail. Oops, one more thing...


The Emperor's New Clothes!

I've been wearing various sets of "inexpensive" textile gear for a number of years now, and have gotten damp, wet, soaked, etc. in various weather conditions. A couple weeks ago while riding home from work I got trapped in traffic in a severe thunderstorm (hail, etc.) and got FED UP with my, um, gentleman's area sitting in a puddle of water.

So as a retirement gift to myself I decided to order a new riding suit. With probably not enough research, I decided on the KLIM "Latitude" jacket + pants (I never wear blue jeans). Chose the "light grey" color over "black" (in New Mexico anything colored black immediately hits about 250 degrees).

So here's the Doc in his new clothes...pretty sharp, huh! Venerable '06 Uly in background (great bike, BTW). Helmet is Shoei Hornet DS...love it (I've been thru several DS's with all my crashes).


Oh yeah, Mrs. Greg buzzed me with a #4 cowcatcher in preparation for the, um, uncertain hygiene of the road.


Ready to Go...

So we're all set. Gear ready, bike ready, Doc ready, weather lookin' pretty good...

For all that we professors are supposed to have a cushy job, I've worked my a** off ever since I finished high school in 1965. Engineering is not like sociology (apologies to any sociologists out there). Jobs every summer, then research contracts every summer at UNM to pay the mortgage. Never had a summer off since 1963 (not counting 1972 when I spent the summer in traction for my broken femur).

But THIS summer is gonna be different. Stay tuned.

--Doc
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
GB
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Congrats on your retirement! Looking forward to your next adventure
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
pinocono
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Following Lewis and Clark, I like it!
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
Abenteuerfahrer
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Congrats Amigo on your retirement...I'll be following you. Ride safe, ride far..

CHeers...
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
lm248
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Like someone else said " oh hell yea"
I'm in
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
Fredfredburger
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I am also a big fan of "Undaunted Courage". Looking forward to following your trip. I have thought of doing the same trip myself.
safe travels
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
Dr. Greg OP
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Thanks, folks. Yeah, retirement is great...I thought it would never come. Got four boys out the door (well, the youngest one is sorta "half out") and the wife said "shoot, you've worked long enough."

That's all I needed. Of course, will all those kids and WAAY too many motorcycle I don't have any money in the bank. Good think we ADV'ers have fairly frugal lifestyles (outside of bikes, etc.)

--Doc
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
sfarson
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Dr... Subscribing, and very much looking forward to this. Likewise I read "Undaunted Courage" last winter, and I've told more than a few how one of these days I hope to ride to St. Louis and then trace and shadow the Lewis and Clark journey to the Oregon Coast.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
thehead21
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Count me in. -Subscribed
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
RealOldDualSportGuy
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Retirement

Will follow the thread

We got back into the Uly world with an 08 for just the same resons as you ae on the Duc.

Ride safe.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:26 PM   #11
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Not sure if your doing any dirt or not.. but heads up.. this was the LOLO motorway today...



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Old 06-29-2012, 03:06 AM   #12
Jurgen
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Should be a great ride. As a fellow Manana Mexican, In.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:03 AM   #13
Sock Monkey
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Been waitin' for this one Doc.



-SM
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:20 AM   #14
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:34 AM   #15
brown_donkey
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Retirement

Dr. Greg, been following your travels for the last couple of years. Enjoyed them. I too have worked for my employer for quite some time (45 years), also ride a Uly. Like my job, but really want to retire. It seems to cut into my free time. Anyway, you have a great trip, drive safely, and I'll follow along and dream.
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