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Old 07-30-2013, 05:56 PM   #121
Joined: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by pne View Post
kombucha tea
Wait, I thought you were supposed to be really careful in how you store kombucha? Doesn't it grow mold really easily?

Sorry to derail... awesome topic BTW.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #122
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REALLY enjoying this! Thanks for sharing.
'03 BMW R1150GS Sport
'03 Suzuki DRZ 400
'07 KTM 400 XC-W (Plated) - SOLD!
'03 Suzuki SV650N (Down but not out)
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:12 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by camoto View Post
Wait, I thought you were supposed to be really careful in how you store kombucha? Doesn't it grow mold really easily?

Sorry to derail... awesome topic BTW.
Just kidding. In Denver I was strolling thru a farmers market when a girl asked me to try some of her kombucha tea. I took a big swig, swallowed, and replied "I can't even lie, this is the most disgusting thing I've tasted in a long time."

It's my improvised spare gallon of fuel. Windshield wash bottle with a spout, securely held on with a few carabineers and cable wrap. I couldn't afford a rotopax.

As a side note, someone asked me what camera I used for these shots. All the shots I'm posting were taken with a Nikon D5200. I carried the kit lens and also a 35mm prime lens, a pretty bulky setup that took up most of my tank bag. I got some great photos, but if I were to do it again I'd probably pack a P&S and not have the constant worry of dropping/losing a dslr.

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Old 07-31-2013, 07:31 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by pne View Post
kombucha tea
Seriously? That is awesome! I've tried to make it myself but something went wrong and the resulting funky mess made me afraid to try it again. I'm impressed!
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:33 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by pne View Post
Ask and ye shall receive!

It's getting late and I haven't eaten all day, so I head onto the pier to find some local grub. I splurge at an Italian spot called Ciopinio's, which I discover is a kind of seafood stew/soup. $32 got me a huge bowl with mussels, clams, crab, shrimp, cod, swimming in tomato, garlic and fennel. It wasn't bad, but I will say it was more interesting than tasty.
If it's the place I think it is, I ate there when I went to San Fran for 3 days in 2005ish. By far the BEST alfredo pasta I've ever had in my life. I'll never forget it.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #126
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Pissed DV Return Trip

Hey Man,

"But I was treated to some spectacular landscapes, so much that I made a mental note to return in the winter to camp."

A good time to visit DV is in March before things get too stinkin' hot.

We drag dual sport bikes down from Oregon. Plenty of dirt and legal roads to ride in the park to old mining sites. Plenty to keep you enterained for a week or two per trip. Nice swimming pool too at Furance Creek.

100-120 mile loops per day no problem.

Fun report to read..lot's of learnin' going on here..said this old gray back!

Thanks for the noon time trip!..Now back to work..

DougFir on
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:35 PM   #127
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Houston Plans?

I have a couch in Houston for you if needed.
If you know anyone looking to buy, sell or rent Real Estate in the Houston area. I'd appreciate the chance to earn your business.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:46 PM   #128
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Got a place to stay in San Diego, if you need it!
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:17 PM   #129
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Riding out of Las Vegas, I spot a sign for the Hoover Dam. Completely unexpected, I glossed over this on the planning stage. But of course I had to stop and take a look.

I tried to pick up parts of Route 66 at this point. I don't remember exactly where this spot was, somewhere along the way to the Grand Canyon south rim.

I skipped breakfast and didn't arrive at the south rim until early afternoon. Big mistake, I was cranky and miserable. The cafe had $8 sandwiches, I brought one and inhaled it before even walking to the canyon edge for pictures. I didn't expect the canyon to be so green. All I've seen are pictures and shots from movies, so I was surprised to see any foilage at all. Compared to all the other parks, I have to admit the Grand Canyon was a bit underwhelming. Just not my thing I guess.

In my trip planning thread someone suggested checking out both the North and South rim if I had the time. So the plan was to bomb to the North Rim and make camp.

I actually enjoyed the highway to the North Rim quite a bit more than the park itself. Aside from some vicious cross winds, 89A had some scenery I hadn't seen yet.

I planned to camp in the national forest right outside the north rim, and arrived there just as the sun started setting. A bunch of the forest had been hit by fire, and I didn't feel like camping in groves of dead trees, so I kept pressing further in. It got darker and darker, but I saw signs for camping a few miles ahead. In hindsite I should have just stopped and made camp off the highway, and I can't explain why I kept riding. Deer and wildlife were everywhere. But I stubbornly decided to push on to the camp ground. I think a lot of us have been in the same spot, where it's stupid to keep going. But for some strange reason it is really hard to stop.

Finally I hit the camp grounds at 22:00. It's pitch black, and I turn onto a gravel road leading into the grounds to see a "FULL" sign. Crap, I didn't expect that. I keep going, looking for any spot to put a tent down. I ride up to the camp site host, a grumpy old guy.

"Are there any sites left?", I'm hopeful.

"No, we're full. Try some place else."

"I understand, but I'm just looking for any spot I can put up a tent for tonight. I got caught out later than I expected and there's a lot of deer out there. I don't want to be looking for another spot in the dark.", I'm trying not to beg...

"No no no, can't do that. Can't just let people start putting tents up anywhere. Hope you have a good head light on that bike."

"Thanks anyways." (and a big F you pal)

I take the gravel road out, ride another mile down the road, and pull off on the next gravel road. Luckily it leads to some dispersed areas. I set up my tent using the superduke headlight, crawl in exhausted, and fall asleep immediately.

Around 1:00 AM, I am woken by a car pulling down the road. Whoever it is stops at the next site over and starts setting up. I roll over and go back to sleep. Now it's 1:30AM, and that person's kids are setting off fireworks. For real?? I dig around for my ear plugs, and pass out again. 3AM, now the guy's car alarm is going off. I contemplate going outside and pulling a texas chainsaw massacre. The next morning I'm up early, and I make sure to idle those yoshi slipons extra long before taking off.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #130
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Camp Quite ? ?

Camped out in Death Valley in a camp ground. Only one other spot taken, so I go the opposite end of the camp ground to give the others space. About midnight a car rolls in and parks right next to us and stays up all night. I get up early to get out of DV before it starts baking. There were 2 guys and a gal from the sounds of it Germany in an old party barge with love machine wrote on the back of the car.
I took the garbage can lid and slammed it to the can a dozen times before I took off.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #131
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Wakey Wakey

I used to run a pub with campsite attached. One night we had a load of lads who assured me they would be quiet after 11pm. Of course they were'nt, they were a pain in the ass, so I got up about 5am, went over to the camp site and gave each tent a very long blast of one of those aerosol can type foghorns right by where their thick heads would be. Then repeated the dose every half hour til they got up.

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Old 08-08-2013, 12:05 AM   #132
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Sorry for the slow pace of updating, just had a long weekend here in Canada and made some time to catch up with friends and my significant other... the ktm xc 250, forgotten how fun dirt bikes were.

That morning I woke up and rode the last few miles to the North Rim. It was not as different from the South Rim as I would have liked, besides a big Model T club gathering with some antique cars in the parking lot.

This morning would also be the first time I get pulled over by the popo on the trip. I got carried away cruising out of the park and a ranger lights me up. I'm not sure how fast I was going, probably around 50 in a 35. I flat out tell him "Sorry, I know I was speeding. I got stuck behind an RV and got impatient. I'll slow it down." and he lets me off with a warning.

I pointed my front wheel North and started towards Utah. Nothing interesting besides getting stuck behind another RV coming into the town of Kanab. I decide to be patient this time and it pays off, the local sheriff sitting right on the edge of town with radar in one hand and donut in the other. I come up behind some kind of adventure bike with hard cases, but we pull into different gas stations to fill up so I miss the chance to chat. After splashing some fuel into the tank and checking my map, I start off for Zion.

Aside from the traffic jam at the tunnel, another instant favorite of mine. (Yes I pinned it through the tunnel and deafened everyone)

I did read the placard that described how this formation came about, but can't recall it anymore. Still very pretty.

It's getting a little warm out, so I stop at the visitors center to soak myself using one of the outdoor taps. I walk back to the bike refreshed, cool as a cucumber. There is a guy standing beside it in black textile gear.

"You must be as hot as I am", he says.

"Actually I'm a little chilly, I just soaked myself in cold water and I have this evaporation vest on" I gotta smirk a bit feeling like a smartass.

We get to talking and I find out Simon is a fellow ADVer from Vancouver. Turns out he is a pretty cool cat who is about my age and doing a similar trip on a V-strom 650, and our routes were pretty similar as well. The difference is, he actually did the research, bought a bike perfectly suited to the task, and was not struggling with simple tasks like me. But of course the Superduke has one saving grace. As we chatted in the parking lot a guy from Europe approaches me. "Sweet KTM!!"

"Yea it's pretty awesome isn't it?"

We both turn and look at Simon and his V-strom. "Oh.. the suzuki is cool too.." He offers out of pity.

"Gee Thanks."

We grab the shuttle up the park and swap some more stories.

Stopping to dunk my feet in a creek at the top

Most of the day was gone, and I had planned to camp near Bryce Canyon at the first spot I could find. Simon agreed to join me and we rode back to the highway. We stopped at the junction of hwy 89 and I see a sign for a diner, "Ho-made Pie". I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I pulled in. 1 mediocre burger and 4 trips to the salad bar later, I was full again. The waiter joked he had never seen someone eat so much salad.

By this time the sun was starting to set, but it seemed like only a 45 min ride to Bryce, so we pushed on. The GPS lied, and after an hour we were riding in the dark. 89 North in this area is treacherous for deer. There were warning signs for deer every mile. And every 10 miles there was a big flashing "OMFG DEER!!!" sign to make a point. Remember how I was saying the pinlock in my new shoei sucks for night riding? Combined with the KTM's shitty US spec headlight and things were not looking too good. After I spotted a few deer in the ditch (as they whizzed by in my peripheral vision, couldn't even see them early enough to react), I pulled into a gas station to reexamine our situation. I couldn't see the deer, which meant I couldn't see well enough to ride. Danger. Simon volunteers to lead, and thank god because he saw all the deer, and there were a lot more than I was missing and simply flying past. It seemed like every few miles we would slow down for something running across the road.

Finally we turn on to 12 leading to Bryce Canyon. "I don't want to push onto the Canyon, just pull over to the first place you see that we can pitch a tent" I tell Simon. He agrees and I follow his lead as we putt down the road. We explore for a bit and don't find anything. Simon is leading and comes up on a corner, and what looks like a pull out on the far side. He crosses onto the opposite shoulder and lights up the ditch, and I follow suit, getting beside him to shine another headlight down. It's just a ditch, and so he pulls back onto the highway.

Automatically, I turn and follow. The bike starts to come over, yikes, it's really starting to come over fast. I plant my foot hard and wrestle with the bars. Then the sick feeling in my stomach as I realize I can't save it. The bike is past the point of no return, and I just can't hold it up. I let it fall and step off to the side. Immediately I start cussing at the top of my lungs, as I turn around to look at the bike lying there on the highway like roadkill.

Simon sees something is wrong and pulls over to the shoulder, starts running back to me. I grab the bars and heave, get it about 6 inches off the ground before I let it go once again. This thing is so fucking awkward with the bags on it. By now a guy in a pickup truck has stopped behind me and gets out to ask me if I'm alright. I'm so angry and embarassed I don't really hear him. Still yelling F-bombs I grab the bars again, and snatch the bike off the pavement. Simon helps me hold it up as I hop on and try to start it. It cranks and cranks, nothing. "lets get you off the highway..." He starts, and I regain my senses a bit. Relax John, you've done this before. It's just the tipover sensor. I toggle the ignition off and on with the key, hit the starter, and the bike roars to life. Then I gingerly idle it back onto the shoulder on the right side of the road. I can't see much in the dark, but I can feel both brake levers are still there, so we putt down the road and turn into a campsite a couple miles down.

After we set up the tents and surveyed the damage, it wasn't as bad as I thought. The saddle bags caught most of it, and the only casualty was the ball off the brake lever, a scuffed bar end, and some scuffs on the engine case. I'm not mad anymore, just embarassed. The last time I dropped a bike was 6 years ago when I was riding through snow on some new sport tires. Blame it on fatigue and not spotting the camber of the road where I tried to U-turn. We had a couple of very warm beers that had been baking in the V-strom's hard cases all day, and decided to worry about the camp fee tomorrow morning.

pne screwed with this post 08-08-2013 at 12:33 AM
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #133
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The next morning, I wake up and walk the camp site. Absent is the usual bear warning signs, and in it's place was a sign warning about scorpions and rattlesnakes. I had to chuckle at that. Discovered the showers were coin operated (bleh) and the sinks had only cold water. After pulling out the maps and plotting our route for the day, we decided to pack up and abscond. (IE make a sneaky exit) Of course, a lady comes whizzing up on a golf cart, asking if we paid. Simultaneously we blurt out some lame excuses.

"Oh crap we completely forgot!"
"Oh I was gonna pay on the way out!"

I could tell by the look on her face, she was not impressed. So we paid the $15 and left.

Stopping in Bryce Canyon for some pictures

Silly autofocus...

The rock has a lovely pink tinge to it.

Saw this abomination in one of the rest stops:

A breathtaking view, right before a set of seriously memorable switchbacks that drop you down to the valley floor.

Simon and I figured it was possible to ride up some of this rock formation. Both of us were to chicken to put this theory to the test though.

A cactus that I watered:

Not sure what Simon is watering:

Still highway 12 but climbing back out of the valley on the other side

My plan was to ride North to SLC, I wanted to see the Salt Flats before getting into Colorado. Simon planned to go straight to CO to meet up with his pops, so we wished each other luck and went our separate ways.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #134
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Everybody wants justice, until it's their turn.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:39 AM   #135
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I was overdue for an oil change, I rang up Christian in SLC and asked about dealers that would be open. He gave me an address of a shop that closed at 7. I glanced at the clock and did some quick math, I'd have to book it to get there on time. Luckily I15 had some pretty liberal speed limits. I think a lot of it was marked for 80 and everyone was doing 95. What the heck, I opened up the throttle and put my head down. Made it to the shop minutes before closing, and found the correct motul 10-50 synthetic for SWEET JESUS $70 a gallon?! There better be unicorn blood in this stuff. I knew they were bending me over, but the last couple of changes I stuck Rotella in. Might as well spoil the duke this once. I swallowed hard, handed over my visa, and a few minutes later was pulling up to Christian's driveway with the jug bungee'd to the back.

Christian, another ADV'er I found on the tent space thread (sorry duder, don't remember your handle) generously lent me the tools and helped me get the oil swapped. 2 plastic panels, a belly pan, 3 screens, a drain plug, and one hose disconnection later the bike had fresh unicorn oil in it. Thanks for making oil changes so easy on a naked bike KTM. I saved the remainder of the oil for drizzling over salad later, move over truffle oil. Motul full synth, for the discerning palette.

After some tasty grub and some 'not as bad as I expected' Utah beer, we take a closer look at the bike. An exhaust bolt has worked its way loose from all the vibes. But more importantly my rear tire, a pirelli angel, was badly flat spotted. I mounted this set before I left, and at 6400 miles it looked sketchy. No cords showing, but I figured the next city I would stop at that would carry a tire in this size was probably Denver. After consulting with Christian we decide to pull the wheel off first thing in the morning and call around for a tire. I retire to the backyard hammock to get some shut eye.

So herein lies the problem, none of the shops have time to pull a wheel off. And none of them are within walking distance. I could carry some jacks and tools with me to the dealership parking lot, and do it there? Or take a cab?

Problem solved!


Christian offers up his KLR. This is going to be interesting. We get it strapped on to the back and I am a bit nervous. But also a but curious, I've never ridden a KLR before. Unfortunately, it wasn't the fire breathing offroad swiss army knife bike I had imagined. I likened it to a riding mower with a lawn chair for a seat. (Sorry Christian, I'm sure it's good for plodding along trails ) Did I mention I brought it to a Ducati dealership? They were pointing and laughing as I unloaded the wheel.

Unhappy with the mileage I got out of the Pirelli, I decided to try another tire. The Pirelli stuck like glue, and I read some rave reviews about these tires lasting 10k. Well they felt like a soft sport tire and wore like one too. I had them install a pilot road 2.

Got everything packed up and headed West towards Bonneville, on what was the most miserable road so far. I80 is straight, which no fun, but tolerable. However I was fighting a 40mph headwind that battered me like a rag doll. There is one thing this bike cannot handle, and that's headwinds. The touring windscreen is a joke, and within an hour my neck was screaming bloody murder. Oh yea, the wind was also kicking up huge clouds of salty dust, which burns your eyes when it comes in through the vents.

When I pulled up to the stop on the side of the road (the entrance to the salt flats are surprisingly hard to find) it was gusting harder than ever. I was regretting this whole detour, no way I could make a pass in these conditions.

I walk out to the salt, and really got pissed off. What the heck, its rough as hell! Big hexagon patches. Chunks of salt. How the hell did people set any kind of records here? I ride the bike out on top of the salt, and start heading out further to see if it smoothed out. It didn't, it got worse. The sign said the race track was 7 miles out. How the fuck was I supposed to find it? Ride 7 miles in this chop? I don't think so.

Pretty angry, I make a U turn and wack the throttle to spin up the tire. Not smart, the salt is super sharp. Like thousands of tiny daggers, it shreds the fresh surface of my new rear tire. Good thing I swapped it out.

Defeated, I pull out the map. I would have to keep going to Wendover for gas, I didn't have enough to get back to SLC. So I set out again, pulling over at the first gas station I see. I chat with the attendant and ask how the hell one drives on the salt.

"Oh see that road behind us? Take that out a couple miles and you will hit the race course"


What the hell. I follow this tiny road out, and bam. There it is. Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway. Just a side note, if you ever want to drive on the salt, this is where you need to go. It is hard to find on a map, because you will look for Bonneville Salt Flats, and see a huge area marked on the map. Don't go there. There's nothing but a stupid sign (see above), a washroom, and a huge desolate empty space. You want to come to the speedway, a few miles West on I80. This is where the salt is actually pool table smooth, and you can see the curvature of the earth, and you can drive on it. Yada yada yada, maybe this is common knowledge, but like I said I have no idea what I'm doing.

As I pull onto the salt, the skies clear up. There is no wind here strangely, and I give a triumphant fist pump. I'll be able to make a pass after all!

A beautiful woman in a tight little dress walks up to me. She looks so out of place I'm caught off guard. What's going on here?

"Are you planning on riding on the salt?"

"W.. Bu.. Huh? Err yes?"

"Sorry you can't do that. This whole area is on lock down. We're filming here."

I look out further and see an ugly ricer car on the salt, and an suv with a big dolly driving behind it. Well damn. I ask her a few questions, and figure if I stay off the main raceway, I won't get in the way of their shot. Of course, this is extremely dangerous and highly discouraged. Because once you stray off the main strip which is nicely marked with pylons and flags, you risk running off the perfect flat surface, into the edge which is mud. Which is also where you break through the salt, and die. Looking back, this was one of the dumber things I did. Had I crashed there would have been no one to help me, hell they probably wouldn't have even seen me, a tiny black speck in a sea of white.

So I take a pre run, drive about 2 miles at low speed to gauge the surface. It seems mostly OK, with a small rock here and there. So I turn around and start heading back from the direction I came. Wait, which way was it again? Scanning the landscape, it was white in every direction as far as the eye could see. I couldn't even pick out my tracks in the blinding white. Looking at my compass, I try to orientate myself. 2 miles later, I arrive back where I started... sort of. Only about 1/2 mile off kilter. Not good.

But I'm known for bad decisions, and a few minutes later I was heading back into the salt, all luggage in tow, at 115mph pinned. Wow, I expected more than that. I ride back to the start again, take my tank bag off so I can get in a full tuck. This time I got it up to 125mph, enough to scare the crap out of me. Once you get underway, there is no way to see any features on the salt. It's all white. You hang on and hope for the best, and every so often you see a golfball size ball of salt whiz past your vision, and thank god you didn't run it over. I think back to the movie The Worlds Fastest Indian, and just how massive that guys balls must have been.

The salt is everywhere. It's even in my boots. This stuff seems to melt and ooze into every nook and cranny. Stopping in Wendover, I find the first car wash and spend the next hour spraying off the bike. Then, with the help of a 40mph tail wind, I book it back to SLC. I had planned to camp, but gave up and got a cheap motel in Spanish Fork. Completely exhausted, but this was a day for the books.
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