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Old 06-07-2015, 09:35 AM   #1
Sinnergy OP
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24 days and nuthin' to do...

Scene: 6/5/2015: a spartan conference room in Troutdale, Oregon: one guy in a polo and khakis talking to a speakerphone.

Boss says "ummm... I see you didn't use your vacation last year..."

me: "yep, that's cause you had me on the transit project, and said it absolutely had to be done 'now'!"

Boss: "and you only used five days in 2013"

me: "well, I actually got on my motorcycle and rode to Deadhorse, AK--the furthest point north you can go in a private vehicle, but when I got back to Fairbanks, you had left me this voicemail telling me the networks were down and that if I didn't get in and fix it, you were going to close the biz and put my employees out on the street. Still; I was pretty happy to get 6800 miles in in eight days..."

Boss: "and how much vacation did you use in 2012?"

me: "well, I told you one of my kids was sick, and that was also the year that my wife broke her ankle and needed help getting around, and to be driven to physical therapy, and the like. Sorry boss, I haven't taken a single day yet this year... I'll do better."

Boss: "so accounting tells me that if you quit next week, we'd still have to pay you through October... June is a slow month, and things seem to be running pretty smoothly... Get out of here and burn some of that vacation..."

me: "but boss, what am I supposed to do? The kids will be out of school in a week, and (wife) is only working part time while she works on her new book. I don't think I'll survive sitting in front of the TV for three weeks. What am I supposed to do?!"

Scene: Sinnergy and (wife) in living room of house obviously built in the 30s and last remodeled when I Love Lucy was in its first run. Two children present, one (11) at computer--obnoxious song about narwhales or some such payling too loud, one (16) on couch with earbuds in.

me: "boss says I have to take some vacation time. He doesn't want to be in trouble with the ASPCA or some such. I guess you should start making a list of those things that you want fixed, cleaned, updated, or whatever around here."

(wife): "You do remember that we're going to knock this house down and rebuild in a year or two, right? That's why you've been working so many hours--at least that's what you told me. Only two more years and it'll be paid off."

me: "I know. But you know that I can't just sit around. We're talking about three weeks! What am I supposed to do?"

(wife): "you've been talking about getting on your bike and riding to Mississippi to see your brother, why not do that?"

me: "OK, that'd be cool, but that's three days out and three days back, I think I should at least have a plan for what to do with the rest of the time. Kids? What did you want to do this summer? It looks like I have some time; want to go to Disneyland? The beach?"

boy (11): "they've got a kick-ass facial horn, like an underwater unicorn... they're the jedi of the sea..."

girl(16): "Meh"

(wife): "you could stop and look at things this time."

me: "you know, I used to do that a lot. Maybe you're right. I should try it again and see how it feels..."

(wife) "sounds like a plan to me. What do you need to get everything ready?, a month? When does the vacation start?"

me: "well... boss made it pretty clear. I'm outa here next Friday."
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
129drifter
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OR to MS?

Oregon to Mississippi and back? I am following this one
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:42 PM   #3
Vinbowie
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Nice intro.
Now I'm rooting for you.
Go, man, Go.
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They just stand back and let it all be." Springsteen
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:42 PM   #4
Nomadic
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Can you feel the envy coming across right now? To have three and a half weeks paid time off and the blessing of your family. That is awesome. I think you should head south, your brother heads west (providing he can get time off of course) and you meet up and do Baja. That would be a trip.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
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Once you are done in mississippi you can ride the blue ridge parkway. Then poke around west by god virginia while heading into southern ohio as you are slowly making your way to michigan and wisconson. Once done in the dells you can stop by the corn palace.

Well that is just for starters.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
ryder1
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Here are some fun websites.

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Old 06-08-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
Sinnergy OP
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So... I spent most of the weekend trying to get things ready. Mounted the new windscreen, modified the tank bag mount to make fueling easier, fixed the wiring for my GPS adapter... you know; the little stuff.

I'm still trying to decide just how cheap I am for tires. I probably have 2-2.5K left on the tires that are on there, and I have the new ones hanging in the shop. At home, I have a tire changer and could mount up the new ones for the trip, but knowing myself, that means I'll waste the last 2.5K in these tires. At the same time, I called my brother to look around his area, and it sounds like the 'cheap place' is going to charge me $35/tire to swap 'em out. Any inmates between Picayune, MS and Slidell, LA with a tire changer? I'll put a call out on Red Rider, too, but for now, I'm planning to strap the new tires to the back of the bike and change 'em when I need to.

Another point where I'm having trouble making up my mind is about the top case. As much as I love having the extra space, I hate traveling with it back there, and somehow it always turns into an excuse to load the bike down more. I may change my mind (again), but for now, I'm planning to leave it home.

So I headed in to work this morning, knowing there are about a half-million things that I have to get 'lined up' so I can be away that long, and I swung by the post office on my way in to work. Bet ya' can't guess what was waiting in my mail. I know I wouldn't have guessed...



Frack!
Cat Puke!
Dead Rodents!

So I've just called the number. I have to take the bike 280 miles to the nearest 'approved service center', and they will likely need to keep the bike 'two to three days depending on current work load'.

Screw 'em.

I'll pull the wheel tonight and check the flange. Unless I see something ugly, I'm riding. It's gone 65,000 miles so far without wobble, it ought to make it another 8 or 9K before I get this taken care of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadic View Post
Can you feel the envy coming across right now? To have three and a half weeks paid time off and the blessing of your family. That is awesome. I think you should head south, your brother heads west (providing he can get time off of course) and you meet up and do Baja. That would be a trip.
My brother has an old 'RT, but it isn't really road worthy at the moment (he is a carpenter, and somehow, these metal bits are a mystery to him). My current (and still very malleable) plan is to get out there, and spend a day helping him get it going so he can come ride for a while. We'll see. That and he doesn't have a passport, so Baja is out of the question. On the other hand, suggestions are quite welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder1 View Post
Here are some fun websites.
Again, noting that nothing (at all) is fixed in this plan (or lack thereof), I'm thinking mostly of staying west of MS, and probably in the southlands.

Many years ago I had a project in Rocksprings, TX. Every two or three weeks I would fly into DFW, rent a car, and drive to Rocksprings. I remember a tonne of interesting things that I would see along the roads there, but I was always in a hurry and couldn't stop. I'm thinking now that I want to get into that area for about a week and really dig into the backroads. That's where those websites will really come in handy.

I know that I have a bad habit of turning many of my trips into mileburners. Like I mentioned in the intro, I did Oregon to Deadhorse, to Dawson City, and back in eight days with the last three being 1200 mile plus days. That one was originally planned for three weeks as well, with good (?) excuses for cutting it short, but it is a bad habit, and I regret it every time. I need you folks to keep reminding me to listen to the sound of the universe. It doesn't matter if I only go 250 miles in a day as long as they're 'good' miles. Besides, if the company isn't falling apart, boss really wouldn't mind if I stayed out longer. I actually have something like 22 weeks of vacation on the books...
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
ryder1
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I would change the tires before the trip and keep the old ones as "gap" tires, you know when you realize that the current tires are right on the edge and you haven't ordered new tires yet.

Leave the top box at home.

The websites in the above post has sights to see in the west so don't forget to look at them. Carhenge is in Nebraska and Cadillac Ranch is in Texas somewhere.

Put some tape over the clock on the bike and put the phone into silent mode then just ride!
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
Sinnergy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder1 View Post
I would change the tires before the trip and keep the old ones as "gap" tires, you know when you realize that the current tires are right on the edge and you haven't ordered new tires yet.

Leave the top box at home.

The websites in the above post has sights to see in the west so don't forget to look at them. Carhenge is in Nebraska and Cadillac Ranch is in Texas somewhere.

Put some tape over the clock on the bike and put the phone into silent mode then just ride!
I always order new tires as soon as I mount up the last set. I've done the saving tires thing before and always end up giving them away.

This isn't meant to be a 'tyre thread', but part of that has come from what I'm running. This is a heavy bike, and with this kind of riding, I've gotten about 8K each out of Metzler Tourance and Shinko 705s. Between the two, I like the Shinkos better, and have gone through several sets. But what I'm running now has been my first set of TKC80s, and they have really surprised me. I was expecting them to run (and wear) like dirt knobblies, but they've been great. So hanging in the shop now are a brand new set of TKCs which I'll take with me, and also a new set of 705s which I'll have to figure out how to use before they get old. I also don't like running tires that have been sitting too long. Been there, done that, still have the torn out riding pants to show for it.

There've been times in my life when all I could afford was a clapped out '74 kZ400 with rust holes in the gas tank, but even that bike had good rubber under it.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
Sinnergy OP
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Yup. Gonna happen.

Last night I pulled the wheel and inspected the rear flange.



Yes it is the aluminum one. Yes there are wear marks on it where at some point the wheel was under tightened, but no signs of cracking or pulling away from the bearing.



As long as I'm here, the brakes have plenty of surface:



And here's what's left on the TKCs:



But there is some fresh meat waiting:



So that gives me three days to sort gear, and load up.

I'm starting to get excited.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:18 AM   #11
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Might try the Natchez Trace while you in Ms. One of those slow riding, calm, smell the roses type roads with no commercial traffic and smooth pavement.
Not the adventure type road, but a nice change of pace.

edit: Here is the map of tent space provided by inmates. Many list tools/garage/tire change help.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776925
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
Sinnergy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clampett View Post
Might try the Natchez Trace while you in Ms. One of those slow riding, calm, smell the roses type roads with no commercial traffic and smooth pavement.
Not the adventure type road, but a nice change of pace.

edit: Here is the map of tent space provided by inmates. Many list tools/garage/tire change help.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776925
I appreciate that. I already have a couple of tent sites mapped out on that one, but since the 'regular' google maps won't work with it anymore, it is hard to use on the road (my phone won't run g-earth). But I hadn't really thought about it for tools, yet.

Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:51 AM   #13
Clampett
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Did you try the new Beta version listed in the thread? It is supposed to use the browser with CSV format data instead of the KML used by G'Earth.
It may not work for you, but if it does you'll have a new resource.
I'm taking a trip in a few weeks. I need to make sure inmates posting inspiration for me is good
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...0.k_vVZjYEd3NM
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:50 PM   #14
Sinnergy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clampett View Post
Did you try the new Beta version listed in the thread? It is supposed to use the browser with CSV format data instead of the KML used by G'Earth.
It may not work for you, but if it does you'll have a new resource.
I'm taking a trip in a few weeks. I need to make sure inmates posting inspiration for me is good
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...0.k_vVZjYEd3NM
Nope doesn't look like that one works either...

I'll take my tablet for when there's 'net, and have been saving some contacts on the phone.

WooHoo! Just a smidge over fifty hours to freedom!
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:59 AM   #15
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Tomorrow... tomorrow... You're only a day away!

30 hours to go...

Maybe I should think about what stuff I'm going to take with me...

Trying to make sure that I can ignore the biz (as much as possible) while I'm out meant I didn't get home until well after seven last night, and was then too tired to do anything but scarf down a couple of burritos and watch an episode of Daredevil on Netflix before falling into bed, but I was up early this morning and spent an hour remounting my fog light switch and putting the windscreen back on. Other than I'd still like to have a 'regular' cigarette lighter style outlet on the bike for charging my phone and helmet, the bike is pretty much ready to roll.

Gear... not so much.

I haven't pulled, sorted, or packed anything yet. I've already decided to go pretty light this trip, so the HF radio, SLR camera, and bigscreen TV will stay at home.

I lost my good sleeping bag on a ride last year, and still haven't found a good replacement, so will have to budget more space than I usually do for that.

I have a great tent that'll come, as well as the Klymit (sp?) air matress and Walgreens inflatable travel pillow. I'm too old (and/or possibly too fat) to put my boots on anymore sitting on the ground, so a folding chair is a must for me, but I've found a couple over the years that have short frames, so they don't stick out too wide off the bike.

Clothes I'm going to limit to 10 sets of undies and socks, five T-shirts, two sweatshirts, two shorts, a pair of jeans and a pair of cargo pants. I'm hoping that'll all fit in my day pack. I plan to stop and meet a number of inmates when/where I can, but I'll do my best to stay upwind.

Cooking is one small pot with lid, two mini-stoves, two fuel cylinders, and a knife/fork/spoon set I've had since the 80s. I usually do two meals a day when I'm riding; a brunch at whatever greasy spoon looks good, and dinner after camp is set up or (when cheating) into the motel.

I'm still having trouble making up my mind about tires. As was recommended, I found a couple of inmates from the Tent list (and have contacted them) with tire changing tools, but another (vendor area inmate) has a pretty decent sounding deal on just showing up and buying the tires there--but that's in Louisiana, and the current rubber is going to be pretty thin by the time I get that far. I do like not packing them, though.

Anyhow... no pictures yet today. I'm at work. I have powdercoating to bake, sheet metal to bend, and LC/APC couplers to get installed and micro-inspected. Of course, the hidden window on the desktop is a satellite view of southern Utah...
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