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Old 11-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #31
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Caught this via Kevin and Wally. Nice report so far!
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #32
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Day 17
Wednesday - November 8, 2012


I rode and pushed Jo Jo about a mile to the nearest motel. The most wore down flea bag Hindu Hilton white trash place I have stayed in since a moto trials national in Goldendale California.

As I entered the out skirts of Springdale, Jo Jo started freaking out, the rear end was going all over the place. It is now around 50 degrees, it’s dark and I’m so close to town center. I sit on a curb and stop to consider my options. Slow down, come up with a plan, look at all the options. I can find refuge. I will repair tomorrow and since I have actual work to do in town here I should get Jo Jo to a motel. The tube came out of the rim and the push and ride to the room was crazy with the tube rolling around and jamming between the swing arm. I was hoping the tube could be repaired but in my heart I knew it was wasted while I pushed and sometimes road Jo Jo. So many times I nearly dropped the bike, but never did. After nearly a mile of riding on lawns, on sidewalks, crossing parking lots. It felt awesome to lean the bike against a crappy motel wall, walk in with no shirt on, dripping in sweat, clothes, jackets and helmet hanging off my bike and announce I need a room. I was just wasted.

Meanwhile the fat white trash chick took like 20 minutes to check me in. I pushed the bike backwards to my room and felt like I just finished Kona. Now to find a block or something to get the wheel off and get the show back on the road. Dumpster diving and alley scrounging and I found this, a recycling bin. Later I had to return to alleyscrounging and locate some bricks as the plastic bin was suffering from diastrophism.

This was the problem.

The heater/AC in the crack whore motel was awesome, but did not work.

Leon's Motorcycle Shop facilitated my needs. We installed the rear tire and Leon went back to his place only 3 blocks away. I told Leon I would get the bike loaded and head over to replace the brake pads. I turned on the key and no green magic light. I then noticed my charged adapter was plugged in over night. So I decided to push the bike again over to Leon’s place. Pushing a heavy bike with saddle bags is very difficult. But rolls better with air in the tires.

Also replaced rear brake pads provided by the owner. My spin on Highway 7 through the Ozarks was rear brake-less riding. I heard that metal on metal sound so I mostly just went slower and used the front brake.

Leon had a museum and a killer shop. This is the parts room and his office.

Leon's man castle

Leon has micro fish back to the 60's. He does not have internet and doesn't need it. Leon is old school, a gem.

Very rare Honda 50 totally restored and pretty.

The world needs more Leon’s

A true American.

The Pre-Banned Version

If you walked in there with out your shirt on, that is probably the most excitement she has had in awhile………… you should lock your door and have an escape route planed

If you cant find a good block just lean the bike kickstand side up against a pole and tie it with the tire you want to change off of the ground

if you are doing the rear tire be careful not to let the bike role forward off of the kick stand


not waiting anymore

Tony, it makes me happy to see that you are taking your time and seeing the sights along the way. I love traveling by motorcycle, but I've had to do so under a tight schedule sometimes and forgotten to look around.

Stay safe, and enjoy yourself.

Remember my comment about the iPod controller and the crack whore motel. Well it disappeared over night with Jo Jo locked with a cable around the frame and the other end of the cable went inside my hotel and locked to the inside door knob. I had removed everything on the bike, but I forgot the iPod controller on the windshield. This was not the only piece of electronic equipment that suffered a fatality on this trip.

There will be more electronic Gremlin attacks; well maybe not a gremlin but close enough.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 10:32 PM
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #33
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I'm not sure why you don't consider yourself an adventure rider. Whatever that is.

I skip over so many perfect pictures of far off lands, eloquent word smithing worthy of the name prose, and examples of planning and organization to move armies, in order to find nuggets like this.

Thank you for taking me on your journey of the heart and a man's soul.

More please.

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Old 11-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #34
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Hey IronHorse,

After leaving Arkansas into Oklahoma, things get different. Seemed the closer I got to New Mexico, the harder it got. You will see.

And my writing is so raw and rash, but it's what came out on the key board.

Thank you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #35
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Day 18
Thursday - November 8, 2012

Ryder Are Me. Was hearing noise from the rear end and was concerned. Not easy to get the rear wheel off the ground but Ryder provided a jack for a good inspection. Turns out it was just the new brake pads bedding in. Plus the chain got a good service.

Time to leave Arkansas and head into eastern Oklahoma 20 miles away.
As I crossed into West Siloam Springs Oklahoma I stuck with 2 lane roads as best I could but it was not much fun. Final destination for this day was King Fisher Oklahoma. I was not wanting to get another motel room but my advisers in Dallas and Albuquerque were telling me to get ready in a day or two for serious weather, winds again on the plains. Arg. Tomorrow Jo Jo sustains an injury, 2 miles from Texas.

Day 19
Friday - November 9, 2012
Jo Jo Rides Trials – No Stop Rules Apply

I stopped for gas in a cross roads town called Drumright and I met a guy named Marshal Thompson, a real cowboy and he asked me about my trip. I told him I admired his boots. They were red and white, pants inside and sporting some real spurs. Unfortunately I don't have pictures but I will get to that later. Mr. Thompson said he operated cattle on a small ranch there, like 2000 acres or something and he was also a Ferrier. There were at lot of blank horse shoes hanging on a rope across the back of his truck with 3 ranch dogs that were very friendly. Marshal was the real deal and told me if I come through Drumright to stop by for supper, spend the night or spend the week. Your always welcome to stay anytime with me. Wow, I have always been treated well by the good folks in Oklahoma.

I push on westward and soon near the Washita Battlefield historic site in the NW corner of Oklahoma. No longer in civil war lands now. Custer mascaraed a claimed 103 Black Kettle Indians here during a blizzard in 1868. Women, children and their supplies including horses, coats, blankets and food were destroyed. Custer was an Indian killing machine. Although there was a peace treaty in place at the time, apparently a few Black Kettle dudes were not behaving. This was all a part of western US expansion. Alexander Hamilton had a grandson killed here by a war party after the massacre. It was very windy but there is nothing for scale or to gauge the wind. Anything that is alive is anvil strong. Speaking of an anvil. They say in the Pan Handle, a good wind gauge is an Anvil hanging on a chain.

Looking north about 1 mile is the encampment and the battle ground area.

So I leave the battle ground and I’m not far from the Texas border. The town of Ryden is nothing but a 4 way and a small C store. I now have 3 miles to Texas and something serious bad happens to Jo Jo. She puled a ham string, oh no!

My cell phone works, there is a store here, I can ghost shift. I will figure this out. I again did not stop and think a minute but immediately dug the tools out – AGAIN – from the saddle bag. I disassemble the clutch housing which means taking off the bark buster plastic. No big deal but I did not understand what that little piece of black plastic is and why it fell on the ground. Something electrical. Then I look at the case side and realize the problem is the cable is broke at the transmission . I have wire, zip ties, bailing wire even. Maybe I can rig up a splice/connector. Once again I call NMTrailBoss. Of course he answers as always since he is the parts manager for a large motorcycle dealership. Hey Curtis, I’m on the ledge again, really high up on the ledge. What is it this time he asks. I explain the situation and he hangs up to locate the closest dealer and do they have a KLR clutch cable? I reassemble the bike and start thinking about riding Jo Jo without a clutch for a 110 miles or more? Curtis calls me back and says there are 3 dealers, the closest is in West Reno Oklahoma; south and a bit east from me, just over 100 miles. I can do that, I can get there before dark. Curtis then advises that no dealers have a cable. Today is Friday, that means over night Saturday ubber high priority delivery. Okay, R&S has three in stock, the clutch cable will be delivered to a dealer in Elk City. He asks can you make it and I say hell yea. I refused his offer of rescue.

So now I am ready to leave, push the beast up a small incline and turn on the key. I hit the starter button and no magic? What the hell? So I guess that little sensor is important. I unload the saddle bag again and dig out the tools, again. I took the plastic sensor and could not figure out how it goes in the clutch arm. I then took the contact and touched the wiring plate and there was spark. Can I tape this together and ride on? Answer was no. So I remove the bark buster and get a flash light out. The spot the plastic sensor goes into is upside down and after finally able to see there is a slot and the clutch blade has to be positioned just right. Okay, now I know what I need to do. But alas, where is the little brass cap that was on top of the sensor? Wow, really? You lost the brass piece? God Ateam, your are so stupid, you’re a jerk, you’re an ass hole. How can you loose the contact piece. Calm down, get on my hands and knees and with the flash light on, I set up a grid search. After about 5 minutes I find it. What is that noise? Oh that is my heart beating about 120 beats per minute. I got the sensor installed correctly, reinstalled the lever and the brush guard again and the bike will start, I can pack my stuff and go. I roll off the small hill and Jo Jo jump starts into gear and I’m off. Ghost shifting from neutral to first is very rude, second gear is not much better. But the upper gears shift easily. I can do this, just don’t stop. I have been taking photos while riding for 2500 miles and I was pretty good at it. There really was not a lot of photo opportunities in Oklahoma so I didn’t take many pictures. But as I approach a mammoth wind mill farm I took out the camera to take a few shots. I was wondering why the wind is blowing a steady 30 miles an hour and almost half the wind mills are not spinning. Seemed crazy to me.

So I watched the camera as it bounced along the slab and disintegrated into pieces.

As I was returning the Sony $100 camera point and shoot in my tank bag pocket I saw it miss and bounce off the tank. In that nano second a lot turns through your mind including catch it on the second bounce, grab it now. In the mean time, I was thinking make a stab at it and wreck right here on the road. So I watched the camera as it bounced along the slab and disintegrated into pieces. I had slowed down and deciding if I go back and get the memory card at least and then I see a convoy escort truck sitting ahead on the shoulder of the road. Okay, go back and get the card, maybe the guy will push start me. I uturn and see the debris. The traffic is getting heavier as it is becoming Friday afternoon and oil field folks are heading for town. I stall the bike, jump off or actually dismount which is never easy to do. I grab up the pieces and stuff it in the tank bag and start pushing the bike towards the guy in the escort vehicle. I approach and tell him the story, what just happened. Will you be so kind to give me a push? Why yes of course he says. So he pushes and I hit first gear and nothing. Then we try it again and nothing. He then asks me does the motor not work? Oh snap, I’m so stupid. Yes of course and I start the bike. Now the third time is the charm right. He pushes and Jo Jo sparks to life as I jam her into first. As I turn around to say thank you I see in my mirror a site that has been burned into my mind, like a protected PDF file you just can’t erase. This kind soul who pushed me three times gave it his all and when Jo Jo kicked to life, down he went. I saw his glasses scattering across the highway, his cow boy hat in the air, his arms out stretched at impact. Oh dear God, I was in a bad spot deciding do I turn around and stall again to ask him if he is alright? Or do I go on. Traffic made my decisions for me. I continued. I could not see as my eyes were streaming tears. I was so sad for that man. What the hell am I doing? So with heavy heart I ride into Elk City and I really don't remember the miles of nothing. I just saw the arms out as that man hit the pavement.

I rode no stop trials in traffic and a lot of cross country riding when approaching slowly at a 4 way intersection. I exit off the interstate and spot a Clarion Hotel up on a hill. It’s almost dark.

As I top the embankment, I hear my phone ringing in my pocket. I stall the bike and dig the phone out. It's Curtis, he tells me he has some bad news. Fed-Ex nor UPS will deliver Saturday to Elk City. It is 4:30 on a Friday, plan C is now to find a dealer in Amarillo since they will deliver Saturday in Amarillo. So Curtis calls David Brown Sport Center and they said hell yea, tell him it’s just a spurt down the road to Amarillo, come on in on Saturday morning. So plan C calls for me riding in mega winds, 147 miles to Amarillo, on the friggin Interstate and in the dark. This is going to be bad. I have already logged in 200 miles today, over 100 miles with no clutch and now I ride the super 75 mph Interstate.....

I stopped on my way to Elk City to get gas and two young kids gave me a push out. So I have enough fuel to make it to Amarillo and I ride off into a sunset that was not pretty at all. Good thing since I no longer own a camera. The cell phone served me well anyway. My first mind FFFKKK as I am getting blown off the road by trucks and by the south wind. Cross brace, edge of seat riding and the gusts literally push the bike sideways. I would soon get more experience in cross wind riding. At 70 miles into the ride I realize that I need my under jacket and winter gloves. the GPS is slowly registering a steady climb in elevation as I know that Amarillo is above 4000 feet. So once again I have to stop Jo Jo and and get warm gear on soon. A exit for a ranch road comes up with a bridge across I-40 and I decide although no one is around, there will be enough hill to roll off the bridge and jump start. I add more gear on while sitting directly over the west bound lane. Now is a good time to use my exhaust to warm up and why not just piss off the bridge. I must admit that at this point, with al the mind games of the day I’m getting a bit crazy. I am screaming profanities at the world from atop the interstate bridge. I know I’m in a marathon, I know I have to push on. Finish – finish is my mantra now. I roll down the bridge and Jo Jo starts again, limping along without a clutch, frozen to the bone, still 80 miles or more to go.

As I swerved and tacked along at 70 miles an hour on I-40 I met Mr. Sidney. Secret Sidney actually was his name. Mr. Sidney is a sneaky bastard, he is not nice. Sidney is a west bound San Andreas fault in the asphalt that runs all the way to the Pacific ocean I bet. Mr. Sidney would jig and jag but always west bound. The wind would blow Jo Jo in violent gusts, deafening. And there was Sidney trying his best to trip her. Cross the wake, cross the wake. Amarillo 59 miles, Amarillo 52 miles, Amarillo, 37 miles. Really, does the great state of Texas have to tell me how many miles it is every stinking 5 miles? Who owns the sign factory around here, I bet he is rich. Then my Dad sneaks into my mind. It was not a Jeddi & OBeeOne Kanoby Star Wars kind of thing. Just there was my Dad, giving me that look. I kept saying I was sorry, but I wasn’t sure what I was sorry for. I’m thinking am I melting down here, is this how people act and feel when they are mentally unbalanced? My face masks fogs with every breath and I can hear my heart beat inside my head. After what seemed like hours the sign said Amarillo 17 miles. But then I was seeing blue lights. Spread apart, way out on the horizon. They would come on and then off. Sporadic. Am I hallucinating? Then I realize much later that a cop is positioned on each side of the highway and the flashing off and on is trucks crossing a bridge heading south. What, there is a detour? Are you kidding me, really? Sure enough west bound traffic is being diverted south to highway 287, why I don’t know. So the no stop trials event is not over yet.

And then I approach the line of truck at the exit. I slow down to first gear and nearly stall, letting the truck traffic proceed ahead. In the meantime, the stack of 18 wheelers are right on my fender, they are not happy. I start weaving as we approach the turn, I’m gonna stall so I turn into the dirt and encounter a fence. I opened my knees and barely made my turn and then jumped back in line where I was. I cleaned it, way to go girl, good job. Now I’m in a line of trucks heading strait into the fierce wind and it is actually a reprieve, sort of. But then I see trucks making a right hand turn at a stop sign and intersection to go west on highway 287 into town. The road is busy, a half mile of stopped trucks awaits me. The asphalt shoulder is maybe 3 feet wide and then it’s dark dirt and a fence. I got to make the pass on the right, no choice. As I roll by one truck after another a few are not so nice and swerve off the road at me, they try to block me which forces me on the dirt. I stand up, trials riding again, in the dark and finally make it to the intersection. But again I turn right in the dirt since there is traffic, but this is easy and I jump onto the main highway and motor into Amarillo. Mentally exhausted, flat out starving since I had not eaten at all the whole day. I spot a room that is next to a Cracker Barrel and check in. I tell the clerk about my 140 mile clutchless ride from Elk City and please be nice and give me a cheap room. He tells me the rodeo is in town and he only has one room left, a handicap. Sold to the humbled wonna be ADV rider.

Damn what a day. Tomorrow if UPS delivers, I will get Jo Jo’s ham string repaired and we will head SW down to Clovis New Mexico, maybe.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 04:41 PM
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:23 PM   #36
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Awesome report Tony!

Love the fall colors in the state parks. Lovin' the roadside interviews too!
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:34 PM   #37
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Edge of the seat stuff.......go JoJo and Tony. I am riveted. Note to self, when adventuring take extra cables so you don't have to do the non-stop trials run dodging trucks in a stiff Texas, flat-ass-land wind. Awesome!!

You my friend ARE a true adventurer.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:08 PM   #38
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great ride report.

Tony. i must have scored you in many ute cups and after reading this report so far, im going to have to give you a clean so far for a score!

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RIDE STEALTH, Sunday worship, a strap-on, and Does this water taste funny?
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:16 PM   #39
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Day 20
Saturday - November 10, 2012
West Texas Wind Storms, how bad can it be?

David Brown’s Sport Center represents in a large Texas way. This dealership is huge and spotless. I checked in and went to the service shop in another building to get Jo Jo checked in. Everyone there had heard about me and were curious about the trip. There was a lot of talk about trials, they just sold a 300 TXT Gas Gas to a local high school kid and they knew many folks that I have ridden with from the Amarillo and Pampa areas. I saddens me thinking about some of the guys that are now gone, guys my age. I rode over the cottonwoods with folks he and I both knew. When living in Texas for 11 years, we traveled to Pampa at Lake McClellan for the Texas State Series and then the US Central Regional Series. So there were two events a year out here on the cap rock. We rode over dead fall, huge cottonwoods that had died. A few sections on top of the cap rock but mostly air logs and more logs. By the last few sections of the third loop, we finally figured out how to ride the logs, only to soon forget until the next event there 6 months or so later.

Hell son I own this place.

One older gentleman was somewhat assisting a mechanic with a non starting Kawasaki side by side. I thought the Kawasaki was his, he seemed to know what questions to ask. He then disappeared and came back and stayed in the service managers office for a while. The cable arrived around 10 AM and they told me I could do it myself and use their tools if I wanted, which is what I did using my own tools. No charge, come by any time and if you need any help we will get you lined out. As I was leaving, the old guy asked me about the Albuquerque economy and I finally asked him what his business was, real estate? His response, hell son I own this place. I had been complimenting his shop and the staff and he said that made him happy to hear praises from a customer. It was a very impressive shop and very laid back like most Texans.

Oh yea, they also sell Klim gear.

Wow, a new Jo Jo for only $6200. It’s such a cute little baby.

David Brown. He is 72 years old, wow. He has been the owner for like 30 years or more.

Mr. Brown then took me to his man cave, his personal shop and his beauties. A 1952 Vincent, worth @ $100K. He rebuilt it himself and this bike was so far ahead of it’s time. Cantilevered front brakes, the rear fender has a hinge that allows you to remove the rear wheel and switch it around. It has a sprocket on both sides of the wheel. This was the father of dual sport bikes. Race it on Saturday night and then go cross country or trials on Sunday, ride it to work on Monday.

Mr. Brown was just a great host, I could have listened to him talk all day but with the wind storm on it’s heels and a long way across New Mexico, I needed to come up with a plan. Again my weather consultant was on the web advising me of the storm, where the precipitation was. I found a row of self storage buildings and one was unlocked so I had a temporary home as I consulted. Ray said the weather my friend, looks terminal. I decided to make the ride to Clovis and see what happens. Riding in the wind is a very proprioceptive, one of eight senses we never ever use. I don't recall reading many adventure reports riding in this kind of wind weather, maybe in Mongolia's steeps?

It is difficult to describe a wind storm like this. I had been exposed on the road for several weeks, I was very acclimated. But the power, the sound and the percussion you felt through the torso and into your legs came constantly from the south. I called the storm the Grim Reaper Wind. It was scary but also a beautiful and a powerful raw element. I tapped my wind screen to my helmet leaving Freona to minimize the silt coming through the edges. When I stopped in Clovis, none of the tape was there. I only made contact with one tumbleweed on the ride from Amarillo and they were abundant and fast. I dodged many and some were the size of Smart Cars. Tumbleweed at 2 o'clock, check. Traffic behind you, clear. Traffic in front, clear. Set up, prepare for evasive action. One large devil bounced off a culvert and became air borne with an intent to fly at me. It never touched the ground as it soured overhead.

Took refuge from the howl behind a store to make a phone call.

The weather was screaming. I had to put Jo Jo on her kick stand tilting into the wind. I learned this earlier when I got off the bike, set the kick stand and started to walk off as I saw Jo Jo lean, wobble a bit, lean and as I ran to the left side, I was able to grab the mound of crap dry bags on the back and two arm wrestle her back to the kick stand. I will never make that mistake again with a 500 pound bike in a 50 mile per hour wind.

I made it into Clovis wind whipped, discussed the weather again with Ray in Dallas and decided to push on. If I could make Fort Sumner 70 miles away I would be very close to my house. Then it started sleeting and rain. The sound of sleet against the bike and helmet was like the sizzle of a frying pan. It was violent and rude outside.

I got 5 miles out of town and the road was just too slick. At 40 miles per hour I could not keep the bike on the road, I was literally sliding side ways off the the highway. I turned around, defeated. Jo Jo will never be pretty red again thanks to a Eastern New Mexico sand blasting. I found silt in my hair, in my shirts, the interior of the instrument housing was coated in brown buff colored micro sand. I felt like I just spent a day at the beach during a hurricane. It took some effort to get all the sand out of my gloves.

A Saturday night in Clovis, should be awesome.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-21-2012 at 10:53 AM
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:54 AM   #40
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Wow, this is pretty awesome.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #41
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I'll bet that wind played hell with your gas mileage!
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #42
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #43
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Wow thanks for those few replies.

This is the last of the posts. The epilogue I have written should likely stay buried in a maze of plastic, circuits and electronics. As I have drafted this report, completing the ending left me with a feeling of walking out of a place after the party is over. The lights are off and it's quiet. When the finish line is crossed, there is a sense of accomplishment, a sense of completeness. There is always a tinge of pride, "finish what you start". I'm sure that climbers that get tuned back near the crest or the hiker that falls short of the end, there is no gratification, only the hollow and haunting review of the failure. How we deal with failures defines us right. Make lemonade out of lemons. Several years ago, I took the exams to become a level II PSIA ski instructor. I went to Crested Butte and got my hat handed to me. I passed the teaching portion but failed the performance portion. It was 5 days in Key Stone, Vail and then a trek to Crested Butte. When the day was done, all the ski instructors were assembled in the lodge and announcements were made for those fortunate folks that passed. Applause applause. At that precise moment when all announcements were made, I knew with clarity that I did not pass, I failed. As the air inside you implodes and the taste of bile works it's way into your throat, I walked away. As I was opening the door to the outside, one of the examiners was providing a pep talk. How can you really cheer up those that did not pass? What can you say? As the door was closing, walking into darkness and snow, I vaguely heard what he said. Like when you can only hear someone when they whisper. What he said has stuck with me, sometimes it gives me hope.

He said to remember, life is all about the journey.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 06:31 PM
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #44
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Day 21
Sunday - November 11, 2012
The Final Push Home, I got this.

I was anxious to get on the road and with the change into mountain time I was up early and took some time in organizing my clothes for Sunday. 7 total garments on top, 2 layers of poly long underwear, North Face ski pants and then Klim pants with the blue rubber rain pants as a last resort. Like using first gear on your bicycle.

Surely there will be no more gremlins, not this close.

I stepped outside in the morning and it was 29 degrees. The wind was still very strong but it was at least clear and sunny. Less than 200 miles, we are almost to my residence Jo Jo.

Another abandoned building. Nothing here.

The next leg was to Fort Sumner, 70 miles away. It was hard riding but I was doing well. Just very cold. I actually stopped at the museum for Billy The Kid and took a few cell phone pictures. Closed on Sunday’s.

Then another long stretch of nothingness west to Vaughn.

I used to joke that the only reason a town exists here is because the horse died. Honey we are home, get out. The horse just died.

So I am riding through Vaughn and leaving the town limits the wind gets really bad, throwing me all over the place and then I realize exactly what is happening. Another flat tire. Unbelievable! I stop and again consider my options. I am 90 miles from my residence, I have a 21 inch tube, I can fix this and make it. I can go in limping all the way, I don’t care. I turn around and start pushing Jo Jo again. Also about a mile out of town but I can see the town, I can get there.

I went inside the first restaurant in town and the owner called up Mark who owns a pseudo tire store and he answered. Mark came to the restaurant and asked how he can help. I just needed a warm place to try and install a 21 inch tube in a 17 inch tire. The culprit was a two sided drill bit that ripped the tube in about 4 places, unbelievable. He said no way but we can try. We got the tube in as best we could and I put 45 psi in the tire.

It took a while to get the rear brakes to work and line up properly putting the rear wheel on but we finally got it mounted correctly and I was off again to Clines Corners on the interstate. Just one minor set back. I leave Vaughn for the second time and cautiously travel the edge of the road and go about 50. At Encino I can go west and take back roads as a final leg or stay on the same highway NW and get to I-40, Clines Corners. So I decide to stay on the main road and continued north out of Encino when again, the rear end of Jo Jo starts break dancing. The 21 inch tube did not work, I am totally screwed now.

Jo Jo, alone on the side of the road. I suppose she was feeling the sense of failure as was I.

I made that dreaded call to my wife. It was very hard to hear her and the cell phone reception was spotty. My step son was going to come and get me in my truck. Should be maybe an hour and a half? It is 2 PM, I can wait. So there I was, stranded on the side of Highway 280, a ranch can be seen many miles away. Nothing here but wind. So I may as well go for a walk.

I found a small wash or a wallow where cattle bones were scattered in desiccated mud cracks. I walked to a culvert under the road. This would be a great place to sleep for the night if necessary, at least it’s out of the wind. I walked, I waited and then a car stops, the first to stop in 2 hours. At a distance, it had the LTD cop car look.

As I approached his passenger window, he was holding this card.

Rick is a motorcycle rider, he was visiting his girl friend in Roswell. He was heading home to Albuquerque. He talked on and on. We discussed politics, his work in the VA, his girlfriend and life in general. He was a an old wacky Viet Nam vet.

Then he blew me away.

He pulled out this little brass container, pulled out a plastic straw and took several snorts of cocaine.......

He said he would offer me some, but he had just enough to get home. Wow, only in America does a 74 year old guy chat with a stranded motor cyclist in no where New Mexico and snort cocaine. He finally motored on and the temperature was dropping into the mid 20’a as was the sun. A bleak feeling when you have to wait and depend on someone.

After while, and well past when the step son should be here I called him and he said he was 50 miles away. I waited, I walked. No one else ever stopped. As I sat leaning against Jo Jo, my thoughts were simple. Fail – fail – fail. I DNF’d. I did not finish. My friend Ray texted me later, he said so far and yet so close.

Around 5:15 I see my truck approach. After removing the bags and gear, we loaded Jo Jo into the truck. I let my step son drive me back to my residence.

At this point the ride is over. I remove 6 upper layers as we drive away. The failure feeling is over bearing, idle chat about the day, about his last girlfriend. He drives, I feel numb and also again an empty stomach reminds me that I have lost over 20 pounds on this trip. I really should eat more. We stop at McDonald's, I can only eat a handful of fries and one of two simple cheese burgers. Matt helps me unload the bike from the truck into the garage. I have finally returned.

My mother gave me a long time ago this little picture that hung in my bathroom as a kid. It is a picture of a Victorian out house. The caption speaks so much to me. I totally get that.

AteamNM screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 06:54 PM
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #45
Bourbon Tester
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Central VA
Oddometer: 198
Great Job, really enjoyed the story of the ride and the pics.That was a hell of good idea you had, AND pulled off

On the bright side of the finish, at least your flats were all rear tire ones and did not cause you to eat pavement, I wouldn't sweat coming up one inner tube and a few miles short on a trip of that size if I were you.

Thanks for sharing


wb22rules screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 06:49 PM Reason: typo
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