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Old 08-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
corps_of_discovery OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: NY
Oddometer: 19
Southern CA to Central NY, GS noob

Preface. Day -5 or -6. 0 miles today 2700+ to go, I know this is supposed to be “ride” report but I thought background info would make it more authentic. This is my first ride report and my first long distance ride. I have no experience at this so I’m not sure how it will turn out. I have been dreaming of doing something like this for a long time. Knowing that my employment was temporary helped moved these long term goals along quickly. One thing led up to another till all the pieces seemed to have fallen in place. Well sort of… The fact that I am unemployed sooner than I thought has put some added stress to the mix.

However, I keep reminding myself about something I read out a motorcycle book recently, “I care, but not that much”. This motto applies to riding as well as life. Another source of spiritual strength has been The Big Lebowski, I doubt “the dude” or “duderino” would attempt a trip like this but his approach to life seems to make more and more sense to me. Dudeism is regarded as a mock religion and I enjoy that aspect of it. So you might hear some references to that half joking, half genuine, well “thats just my opinion man”. Im also in the middle of Jupiter’s Travels, so I this will be a reference for me. Of course the other book that doesn’t really apply to motorcycles but some broader concepts of life involves Chautauqua. That’s right, I know a lot of ppl hate the book on Zen and Motorcycle maintenance but I find myself bouncing between “classical” and “romantic” approaches and I like philosophy.

Rewind to last fall I got a call from a company wanting me to work in the desert on a one year contract. I had recently got out of the Army, and was not having luck at finding work in NY. So I jumped on board without hesitation. Since the contract didn’t include transportation and they wanted me on the job asap, I dropped everything and flew out within a few days. Prior to leaving I thought that this might be a great opportunity to get my dream bike.

Long story short, I didn’t know what was going to happen when I went to the dealership. With a little prior research I went down to BMW San Diego to look at some used GS’s. Tossed around the crazy idea of a new one but since the cost was so outrageous, I rationalized that I would be forced to get the used model.

At the dealership I test rode one and I knew it was the bike for me, at least at the time it seemed like a good idea. In the back of my mind I was debating over waiting for the Liquid Cooled in the spring or just getting the older used model. I have this theory (fear) that whenever you purchase something big your almost always going to lose on the deal. It’s a fact bikes or vehicles are rarely investments and a waste of money. Seems like anything you really enjoy will cost you. These are blanket statements I have said over and over to make me feel like less of gullible or easily deceived person. The idea of purchasing the used one for a few months and then turning around to get LC in the spring was going to be costly.

Considering the benefits of buying the 2012 it just seemed to make more sense att. So I walked away with a brand new one, with a lucky 7 on the odometer. Honestly it was probably the Triple Black paint that sealed the deal for me. I have always been fiscally responsible my whole life, saving and not buying new crap, so this was it for me. Since I never spent that kind of money on anything other than student loans this was a big shock for me and huge risk. I really doubt that I’ll ever be in the position to do it again.

Prior to leaving NY, the process of modifying my 98 DR650 to the point where I could do some really long distance travel wasn’t working for me. I concluded that I would probably only get so far with it. However, I agree with ppl when they say it’s more about the rider and not the ride. So, maybe another time further down the road ill pick that project up again. Or in the event that I have to sell the GS I’ll consider pursuing it.

Overall I don’t have anything bad to say about the whole experience and I think it’s the right bike for me. My only gripe I have is the cost. This is probably why I have been whining about it for the last 50 words or so. Now that I have the money aspect out of the way, I’ll try to move on to more lofty and/or practical topics to share.

For the past ten months I have driven the machine back and forth to work for about 70miles every day. A few day trips to Vegas, LA and San Diego and one longer trip to AZ (overland/rawhide offroad class). So I encountered some nasty weather and some extreme conditions (minus snow and ice). Again for the most part these were 4 hour trips at the most, and the daily commute of 70 miles or so. I don’t know these will apply to my upcoming trip.

I keep thinking of Jupiter’s travels where Ted dreams up these worst case scenarios of being attacked, crashing, or hurt all the above. These concerns are real for me and wonder it if I have some kind of weird battle I’ll have to a face like he did. I don’t have any dark character lurking around, to face off with so Im not sure what is going to happen. Maybe the apocalyptic daydreams will go away on their own. Of course the conditions are not the same as Jupiters so it makes it even more ridiculous. I won’t be crossing checkpoints, I don’t have language barrier, I have reliable bike with service shops all over. There are stores, hotels and restaurants everywhere, not to mention decent blacktop. So given the lack of obstacles I face, why do I keep mulling over all these horrible outcomes?

Route Planning. Right now the plan is to stay off the highway. Coming from the high desert area I know the first day will most likely be the same terrain and conditions that I have been looking at for almost a year. I have taken 66 to NV border, taken 40 and 15. I would like to take another route but right now I would just like to get out the desert as fast as possible. Im considering the idea of taking the route to 29 palms. Ill make up my mind that morning probably. Major stops include Four Corners, Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon nothing else is on the agenda. I hope my lack of planning doesn’t hurt the trip but I don’t have the time to sit and try to plot out epic stops right now. It is a first for me so Ill take it easy, I did make some plans for tent space so ill be trying my best to meet ppl and camp in backyards etc. Also I am planning on trying stealth camping in cemeteries and sheds in front of hardware stores. All I want to do is get home to get my real camping gear, visit family, and turn around to head back out. Mexico seems like a good choice for the winter. Of course circumstances will probably prevent me from doing so and Im not really sure if Ill even like it. I’ll just have to wait and see. Upstate winters are really not that fun, job market sucks.

Gear and packing. Hodgepodge. I don’t have any of my decent gear with me out here in CA. I left it all in NY, so right now its just a cheap small one man tent, an Army sleeping bag and a yoga mat for a pad. I mailed my good air sleeping pad home because I thought the employer would cover the lodging cost, big mistake. No cooking equip because I have two new stoves at home. Don’t have riding boots not sure if I need them. Ill try and find a pair this weekend but I think they are gonna cost over 100. Right now its just rain gear and some clothes. Ill buy a sweatshirt and head lamp this weekend.

Food. I have a couple of MREs and ill stop at a store to buy canned or bagged stuff. I might stop at a few restaurants along the way also.

The last boxes of personal belonging were sent this morning, so its just me and the bike. It now has almost 25,000 on it and ill have to stop for its service and maybe a tire along the way. This trip is by no means epic yet, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to try and post some stuff to share and get feedback from fellow inmates. Still cant get photos to load.

corps_of_discovery screwed with this post 08-31-2013 at 11:23 PM
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:31 AM   #2
Lokey
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It would be easier to read if your text color was white instead of black. Other than that, good luck with your trip.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokey View Post
It would be easier to read if your text color was white instead of black. Other than that, good luck with your trip.
Thanks
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
mikeprod92211
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Stop at Chapparal cycle in San Bernardino or Cycle Gear by Murrieta and get yourself some rain gear, boots and whatever other gear you need, at good prices.
Sport chalet in Redlands carries a lot of camping gear at good discount as well.
Enjoy your trip. Don't over plan..... make plans each day based on the weather and the interesting stuff to you that is 100 to 200 miles ahead of you!
Have fun! I'm envious....
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
Lokey
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Quote:
I keep thinking of Jupiterís travels where Ted dreams up these worst case scenarios of being attacked, crashing, or hurt all the above. These concerns are real for me and wonder it if I have some kind of weird battle Iíll have to a face like he did. I donít have any dark character lurking around, to face off with so Im not sure what is going to happen. Maybe the apocalyptic daydreams will go away on their own.
Don't let these baseless fears ruin your trip, I am not saying that something bad couldn't happen, it's just that the likelihood is rather small. I have traveled quite a bit by myself on a motorcycle and have yet to have anything go wrong. Last summer I soloed to Prudoe Bay and then down to New Mexico before coming home with nary a problem. All you have to do is to ride safely and stay alert to your surroundings and you will be OK.

The main thing that will stop you is if you mechanical problems. Do your due diligence as far as making your bike ready, and after a couple of days on the road you'll be having too much fun to be worried.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
corps_of_discovery OP
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Chapparal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeprod92211 View Post
Stop at Chapparal cycle in San Bernardino or Cycle Gear by Murrieta and get yourself some rain gear, boots and whatever other gear you need, at good prices.
Sport chalet in Redlands carries a lot of camping gear at good discount as well.
Enjoy your trip. Don't over plan..... make plans each day based on the weather and the interesting stuff to you that is 100 to 200 miles ahead of you!
Have fun! I'm envious....
I went to Chapparal today, awesome store but no joy. They had some Italian boots I forget the name of it. Both pairs were over 200, and I wasn't impressed. In the event of rain I'm thinking about just putting plastic bags over my socks since the boots I have are for the desert. It was a cool place I just wasn't ready to pay 200+ for something that didn't have the support. Most of the trip will be on the road, I think... So I should be good with hiking boots. I want something that has the ankle support and steel shank but it looks like that will cost big. There is a cycle gear in v'ville and Ill try that tomorrow. It doesn't seem like a show stopper now, thanks for the suggestions and support. I have the rain gear top from the bmw jacket, and the bottoms from oylimpa
Ill look up the place in Redlands.

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Old 08-31-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
corps_of_discovery OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokey View Post
Don't let these baseless fears ruin your trip, I am not saying that something bad couldn't happen, it's just that the likelihood is rather small. I have traveled quite a bit by myself on a motorcycle and have yet to have anything go wrong. Last summer I soloed to Prudoe Bay and then down to New Mexico before coming home with nary a problem. All you have to do is to ride safely and stay alert to your surroundings and you will be OK.

The main thing that will stop you is if you mechanical problems. Do your due diligence as far as making your bike ready, and after a couple of days on the road you'll be having too much fun to be worried.
Thanks Lokey. Stay alert stay alive. If this all works out I think Alaska is next. I do think the concerns are baseless, but real.

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Old 09-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:43 AM   #10
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #12
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Day 1 400 miles

Left at 0400. Decided to take 40 and go straight to the canyon. Nothing but big trucks out prior to the sunrise. Lighting on GS isnt great for that type of riding and I will avoid two lanes esp in the dark. I had no issues with the ride except they were doing some bridge work on CA side of the state line. Every single one I hit felt like I was gonna loose it. Eventually slowed it down and held tight. Stopped at Dennys in Needles. Building was falling in on itself. Clear ride that went fast.

Stopped prior to the campground to pick up some food and drink.


Set up camp at Mathers. Saw some other bikes pull in the loop. After talking with them found out it was Elenore and her husband from Germany. She is doing the whole continent . She did Alaska Solo on the Honda.



Here is the link
http://www.fahrbelwesen.de/

Day 2 spent puttin around the Canyon trying to figure out the next day went on some park guided tours. At lunch I was walking back up to the campsite and 2 Elk were just sitting there. They didnt move, apparently they are not even sure about the impact of elk in the park because they were introduced the area and now the population is increasing significantly. They also have no idea why the bulls make such a high pitched yelp or grunt or whatever.



Day 3 I caught a bus at 0400 and went down to Indian Garden via Bright Angel. I was back at the rim prior to noon. 9 miles round trip. The only near-injury event happened on the way back up. I was stomping along and thud. Look down and I see a snake on the left and lizard on the right. The snake does eye to eye thing while lizard is doing push-ups on the rock to the right. Snake goes away first, while lizard is still trying to be tough. I dont know who was started the death match, nor do I know the species.









That evening back at the campsite I saw the guy next to me had a GS Liquid Cooled. He was Aussie on vacation for a month. We bullshitted for awhile and he told me about the million dollar road, badlands etc. The road north of duragno was the best he had ever ridden. I had all intentions of going on it after mesa Verde but changed my mind last min. He also said his multistrada back home is way better than the GS, but the rental fee jumped up for the ducati. I think he said he was paying around $115 for the GS.
What really pissed me off was when I checked his gas consumption. I told him that he should be getting 48 or 49. He didnt know so I turned the key and sure as shit it said 50 on it, cycled through it again the other average was 49. Of all the things that piss me off about not getting the liquid cooled this is #1. Its only 10 mpg better...right thats not that bad. Well I do get bent about the overall efficiency of the machines. I try to find dudeness and let it go.



Side notes and alibi. I found some boots by Bilt they are suppose to be adv model or whatever. Actually impressed with what I got seeing how they were $60. Most of the other ones are well above that mark. Also got a Brazilian hammock on a whim. That turned out to be $20 well spent. Havent slept in that crap tent yet.

Weird thing is after a couple of nights in the thing, Ted mentions it in Jupiter travels when he gets to Brazil. The key is lay at a angle so you have less of a banana effect.

Another bizarre connection is this Quality thing, I made it past the point where the author mentions Tao. The guy has officially made to the point where things are falling apart for himself. Risks of the high country of the mind, i guess. There is much that he has gone into that is groundbreaking or a revelation for me. Maybe I have already covered some of this ground. Most of the pitfalls and traps he mentions I am well familiar with and have done in the past. He does do well at writing about it, which why I appreciate his perspective and writing. Its a challenge for me to capture the thoughts into words. So he mentions Tao Te Ching and makes broad connections to Quality. Funny thing is I started reading dudeism and Tao Te Ching for completely different reason and had no reason to expect them to converge. We will see how it turn out, because maybe he will strengthen the connection or maybe ill be able to have a better understanding the Tao.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #13
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Mesa Verde

Day 5, 253 miles. No issues on this leg. Some rain clouds but didnt run into any.Here is Four corners.



Here is quote from Jupiter's Travels, I think his writing style is awesome sometimes. After riding through a horrible storm...

" I had only to ride out faithfully to find it (light and warmth). Somewhere the same chorus is murmuring the same inexhaustible theme of light and dark, hope and despair and renewed hope, a world where everyone can be a hero, where there is an absolute guarantee of renewal which will be broken only once in a lifetime."

I mean the light and dark and hero stuff is ..whatever. To follow it up with the absolute guarantee part for me I think is really powerful.

$28 dollars spent at Mesa campground $5 to get in. Total bullshit, what a hoax. Museum looks like it was put together by high school students in the 80s. So pissed about the price next morning just went a quick tour (another $3) and got out. I think humans suck at understanding history and are even worse at preserving it. I did see a bear which was cool, it was hauling ass out of the woodline to cross in front of me. Met some Canadians on a GS. Nice ppl and glad we got to talk


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Old 09-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #14
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old2wheeler

day 6 250 miles on 160 through CO. Awesome ride after Durango. Set up a tent space with old2wheeler. Nice place, really a big help for me.
I pull in and there is another person also staying in the back. That day old2wheeler responds to stranded bike forum post and goes out to pick up this guy his bike his gf 200 miles away then drives them back. I still cant believe that he was so willing to help out. They had a blown tire, and on the way from NC to Denver. The bike is not working out for Maro7ak he was frustrated about the whole thing. By the time I got there they were mounting the new tire so all the hard stuff was done.
He was pissed in the picture. I assume they are in Denver now and safe, coming up with a new plan.



I checked and rechecked my tire pressure this morning. Need to replace the rear.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:46 PM   #15
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Ka

288 Miles. Almost ran out of gas once, need to plan out the gas stops better or get a extra gas container. Mostly Corn fields 96 and 40. Hit nasty wind in KA. Could have made it to MO but not with the wind and heat. Boring, trying to come up with a better plan tomorrow and for the next few days.
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