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Old 07-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #106
RCE02
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Thoughts...

Came across your thread when looking at packing tips posted by ADVRider on Youtube and decided to check out the site. It's really interesting to me because I am a civil engineer and have also noticed a lot of engineers post in this thread. But mostly I just think it's really exciting what you're doing. Also the writing is hilarious so keep it up man!

I recently got accepted for a job in Hawaii and am planning on riding south out of North Carolina toward New Orleans, then through to Houston up to Albuquerque, through Las Vegas to Yosemite and then San Fran. I'll ship my bike from there. I was a little hesitant about this but your posts have convinced me this is going to happen. If the timing works out we might cross paths. Have you figured out any more routes for your trip? Definitely looking forward to seeing more...

Paul


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Old 07-28-2013, 02:08 PM   #107
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Excellent! I joined the adv forum just to follow this thread! Although I am somehow certain I'll be losing countless hours browsing the entire forum...
Whatever you do, don't start looking at the WTF thread. So many wasted hours.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:01 PM   #108
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John,

I got my map back in the mail.... thanks.

It was good meeting you, and the spare bedroom is yours if you need it again.

But seriously.... you rode across Texas and had nothing to report? No pictures to show? This hot flat place isn't that bad, is it?

Safe travels.
The ride report is far from finished my friend. I'm just on California at this point still have to do DV, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico before I get to Texas.

I'm taking my time with the pace and trying to work on the stories rather than pound out a few pages of pics.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by RCE02 View Post
Came across your thread when looking at packing tips posted by ADVRider on Youtube and decided to check out the site. It's really interesting to me because I am a civil engineer and have also noticed a lot of engineers post in this thread. But mostly I just think it's really exciting what you're doing. Also the writing is hilarious so keep it up man!

I recently got accepted for a job in Hawaii and am planning on riding south out of North Carolina toward New Orleans, then through to Houston up to Albuquerque, through Las Vegas to Yosemite and then San Fran. I'll ship my bike from there. I was a little hesitant about this but your posts have convinced me this is going to happen. If the timing works out we might cross paths. Have you figured out any more routes for your trip? Definitely looking forward to seeing more...

Paul


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Congrats on the job, sounds like a dream come true. I just finished the trip, got home the other day and the last few days have been a blur getting back "normal" life. Funny thing is the day after I get back I get an email from a company I sent my resume off to about 6 months ago, that wants me to come in for an interview. The universe has a strange way of timing things.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #110
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Back to our scheduled programming,

That morning I ate a decent breakfast burrito at the hostel's cafe, and set out to ride Tioga Rd to take me East. It was slow going, a line of traffic had built up behind a tow truck. But I wanted to take my time anyways, so I held off on passing.

This was my first experience with high altitude. I can't recall the exact altitude of this pass, but I think it was around 11,000'. As I climbed, it started to hit me. I noticed right away how much more effort it took to breathe. And slowly, bit by bit, I started to nod off. After a few miles I caught myself, I had to pull over NOW and wake myself up before I went off the road. I stopped at a picnic area, and put the kick stand down. Feeling really sluggish, I decided to just sit there and catch my breath.

The next thing I know, I sit up startled, I had just dozed with my helmet still on, face first on my tank bag. I look down on the clock. Crap, it's been half an hour. Double crap. Why is my ignition on?? Guess I really just passed out. My heart skipped a beat as I tried the starter button. The headlight was on... did I kill the battery? The superduke roared to life and I pulled back on to the highway.


Tenaya Lake:

]





Coming out of the pass:



Stopping at Mono Lake for some pictures. It really stunk like rotten fish, there was clouds of flies. I chatted with one woman on the lake shore who said she liked to swim in the lake. Really..???







Aside from being several times saltier than the ocean, Mono lake also has these phenomena called Tufa. They're neat kinda columns made from underground springs in the lake that carry calcium which reacts with the carbonates in the lake water to make limestone. Once the lake recedes you're left landscapes like this:





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Touring USA on a KTM Superduke, I have no idea what I'm doing:
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:33 PM   #111
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I wanted to check out Devil's Postpile, so I made a little detour to Mammoth Lake. A super curvy road lead to the momument, which turned into one lane travel in the park. The lady working at the gate was a real character. She gave me a big smile when I pulled up, and said "Hi! That will be $5 please."

When I pulled out my pass and handed it to her, the smile turned into the most sour disappointed face ever. You would swear she made comission off of the entry fees. Her counterpart in the booth pokes her head in. "CHECK HIS ID." She says with an equally stern face. So I hand them my drivers license as well.

"Ok, you can go in. There will be no one here at the gate when you get back so just go on through. But OTHERWISE, you would have to show your pass again when you left." She says, with a strange emphasis on the latter part. Umm ok, what is wrong with these people? Weirdos.







The site wasn't as ominous as the brochure, but it was worth the short hike out. When I get back to the bike there's a teenage girl taking pictures of my bike on her iphone. Her mom comes up to me, "that's awesome, your bike has totally inspired my daughter." Thinking she was just awestruck by the coolness of the super duke I flash a grin.

"That's great, she should get on that bike license then."

"Oh no, she's already got a bike, she wants to take her bike camping now that she's seen the way you pack."
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:07 PM   #112
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After a cheap and tasty $5 burger and fries in Mammoth Lake, I headed south to Lone Pine to make camp. Pulling into the gas station I chat up an old guy on a cruiser for directions to the camp site. "Oh yea, turn at the lights and there's camp sites going all the way up the mountain until you hit the lone pine campground"

I make my way up the road and check out the first site just a block outside of town, it's basically a parking lot with a couple of picnic tables. No thanks. Keep riding up looking for the second camp ground. Can't find it. After a few more miles I realize it's getting dark, and I might as well settle for the parking lot. I pull a U-turn and head back into town. I get back to the first site and spot the guy with the cruiser sitting on the side of the road with a scruffy looking character on a bicycle. I pull up.

"This here is xxxxx he's a hobo who lives around these parts."

"Don't pay to camp there man, just go up the road and find a spot off the highway anywhere, I do it all the time"

We chat for a few minutes about my trip and my ride through death valley tomorrow, and I bid them good night. I find a decent looking spot that looks like it provides a bit of cover from the highway, and start riding around offroad in the sand/dirt for a secluded spot to camp. I'm trying to find an area that's not a double track trail so I won't get woken up.

This is where I had one of the bigger brain farts of the trip. It's dusk and there's barely any light left. I see a spot on top of a hill and some dumb part of my brain says "you won't be bothered up there." So I point the bike and get on the gas. The hill starts getting steeper and steeper, and it's loose sandy dirt. Part of the dumbass dirt biker kicks in and I decide the throttle needs to be pinned to get to the top. The thought of stopping to think didn't cross my mind. Until I was about 3/4 the way up, and saw that the top was so narrow there was no way to get the bike turned around even if I made it up. Shit. I cut the throttle and get on the brakes. The hill is steep and loose, I start sliding backwards. Shit shit shit, I start to panic. I'm gonna drop this heavy street bike in sand in the dark and I won't be able to pick it up, I'll be stuck here and the engine will be flooded in the morning.

Somehow I keep sliding backwards and keep the bike upright all the way down the hill. Then somehow manage not to drop it getting turned around. I curse myself for being such an idiot. Pointing the bike towards level ground, I continue until I spot a passable cave to sleep. I roll out the sleeping bag, have a cigarette, and shut my eyes.

The next morning I woke up and started packing up my sleeping bag. This is where I find a grape sized tick crawling around, fucking eh this bugger just had me all night long. I squashed it with a rock and felt the most sickening squish as my blood squirted all over the sand. I decide to forgo the roll out the bag camping in the future.



A few shots of the surrounding area. You can see the hill climb in the background to the left.




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Old 07-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #113
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great pics and report, I've been thinking on selling my VFR800 and picking up a superduke 990, how has the comfort been for you?
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:41 PM   #114
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great pics and report, I've been thinking on selling my VFR800 and picking up a superduke 990, how has the comfort been for you?
I'll be honest, its shit. Even with the ktm gel seat it gets tough after 5 hours or so. I also have the ktm "touring" windscreen on there which is a bit of a joke. It's tolerable unless you are trying to make up time, or if you have a headwind. I've ridden a VFR and those will eat up highway miles compared to this thing.

Surprisingly where this bike has impressed me is gravel and dirt roads. As long as you keep in mind it's a street bike, it takes them in stride.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:02 PM   #115
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That morning I packed up early and started rolling at 6am. I was very apprehensive about riding through Death Valley. My schedule had me rolling through at about 10-11am, which was before things got really toasty. I also picked up a dirt bike jersey from Cycle gear, and was squidding it in full force for this ride. After the heat wave in Redding, I was worried about heat stroke in that black leather jacket causing an accident. I started off so early that it was a bit chilly going down the highway in just a jersey. I even stopped at a McDonalds to fill up both camel packs with ice/water, and drank until I couldn't drink another drop. A little over reaction.

When I finally started descending into the valley, the temps started to climb slowly. 75 to 80, 90, 95. What really hit me though was the scenery. I had pictured in my minds eye a desolate wasteland with no life. I also expected a lot of cow skulls on the ground and tumbleweeds. With a name like death valley that seemed apt. But I was treated to some spectacular landscapes, so much that I made a mental note to return in the winter to camp.




I drank so much water that I had to constantly stop to pee. Taking a look around reaffirmed that I was in the middle of nowhere.











A fantastic twisty stretch lead down into the valley, very unexpected.


Stopping at the gas station to install my air conditioning, ziploc bags of ice stuffed into my cargo pockets.


Stopped to snap this picture, as soon as I jump off the bike my nose starts gushing blood. Great place to get a nose bleed John. Buzzards start circling.


I couldn't grasp how large the valley was at first. I thought I had hit the floor, and seeing 95 on my temp gauge made me snicker, that's not so bad after all. When I hit the real floor, it was showing 105 and I wanted to pin the gas and get the hell out of there. Popping out the other side, I see a cyclist riding into the valley. Props to that guy, I wouldn't do that if you paid me.



The irony is that when I finally arrived in Las Vegas, I dropped off my bags with my host in town and decided to ride down by the strip and find a spot to park. Ended up turning onto the strip and getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, in 110 degree heat. 10x more miserable than DV, and I rode straight into it like an idiot. Not much to report on Las Vegas, just a long stroll down the strip in bewilderment, thinking what is wrong with this place and all these people?? I remembered just a couple years ago I was staggering from casino to strip club with my friends, celebrating a bachelor party. It seemed like a different place altogether this time around.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #116
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Great Pics and reporting John .
I am going to do this one day .
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:53 PM   #117
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I gotta ask. Not sure I want the answer though--

What's the yellow liquid in the bottle? (please say fuel)
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #118
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Lmao

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I gotta ask. Not sure I want the answer though--

What's the yellow liquid in the bottle? (please say fuel)
I was thinking the same thing!
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:17 PM   #119
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I was also afraid to ask what's in that big urinal, err I mean bottle..

Don't you love how the Super Duke tells you the outside temp. When I first got my SD, I wondered why would I ever need to know that? I guess it's to know how hot it is in DV.

Glad to hear your battery held up to the power nap, dirt bike skills have served you well, and you've fed some of the hungry wild life. Pretty crazy that you've already spilled your blood twice, but without crashing!!
Thanks for the pics and the stories. If you are back in the Seattle area on this trip, send me a PM!
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:37 PM   #120
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I gotta ask. Not sure I want the answer though--

What's the yellow liquid in the bottle? (please say fuel)
kombucha tea
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