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DR. Rock 05-23-2008 03:33 PM

The Mobius Trip
The Index: (click links below to see more details)
Mobius I, May, 2008: [NYC - "TAT pt. 1" - Albuquerque, NM]

Mobius II, Sept. 2008: [Albuquerque, NM - "TAT pt. 2" - Flagstaff, AZ]

Mobius III, May 2009: [Flagstaff, AZ - "TAT pt. 3" - Reno, NV]

Mobius IV, Sept. 2009: [Reno, NV - "TAT pt. 4" - Seattle, WA]

Mobius V, May, 2010: [Seattle, WA to Anchorage, AK]

Mobius VI, August, 2010: [Anchorage, AK - Inuvik, NWT - Anchorage, AK]

Mobius 7, May, 2011: [Anchorage, AK - Edmonton, AB]

Mobius 8, Sept, 2011: [Edmonton, AB - "Tura I'doh" - Idaho Falls, ID]

Mobius 9, May, 2012: [Idaho Falls, ID - "Great Basin Loop" - Idaho Falls, ID]

Mobius 10, Sept, 2012: [Idaho Falls, ID - "Hazed & Confused" - Denver, CO]

Mobius 11, May 2013: [Tuscon, AZ - "TKO" - Las Vegas, NV]

Mobius 12, Sept. 2013: [Las Vegas - 3-Step Hideaway - Las Vegas... "The Rematch"]

All GPX files are available for download from here.


The Beginning:

Why Mobius? The surface forms a continuous and ongoing path. When cut down the center it generates interconnected links . It's disorienting. It's a simple concept that's hard to describe. Enough rhetoric.
The kernel of the idea of this trip started around the end of '07. We floated the concept and fine-tuned it in a thread titled: "Dedicated trip bikes: Fly-ride-store-repeat?" in the Trip Planning forum, and we thank those who have helped and advised along the way.

So this is the first post, of the first leg, of an ongoing ride report, chronicling each stage of my and Francine's (La Donna Fugata... or LDF)'s project... throwing into the mix what works and what doesn't for anyone else who may want to keep a couple of itinerant migratory motorcycles as pets. :wink:

Note 1: Mobius 1-8 .GPX files are available for download here.
Note 2: Read on for the background, and the very start of Mobius trip I: NYC to NM on (mostly) the Trans-America Trail, or... consult the index above:

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 03:45 PM

The plan
In a nutshell: Keep our main bikes in NYC, and buy two DRZ400's. Whenever we can coordinate a 2 week vacation, ride the DRZ's from wherever we left off, to the next destination. Cover as much remote, isolated dirt, forest service, logging roads and jeep trails as possible. Camp and cook on our own mostly, hotel when we must. Ditch the bikes in a storage unit somewhere, fly home. REPEAT!

Start with the Trans-american trail as a framework. Mobius I took us from NYC to Albuquerque, NM. Next, with extra-bits to/from arrival/storage/departure points of Albuquerque, NM and Flagstaff, AZ we added the CO & most of UT TAT in Mobius II. Mobius III crossed the Great Basin (whew!) and then some, dropping down to Reno, NV to store the bikes. For Mobius IV, we tackled the PacNW and took another 2000miles in two weeks to get ourselves to Seattle, WA. Mobius 5 was half dirt, then mostly pavement the rest of the way to Anchorage. Mobius 6 looped us up to Inuvik and back to Anchorage, 3000 miles of riding. M7 brought us back southward along the continental divide to Edmonton, AB in 2300miles. M8 followed the Canadian Rockies and the Tour of Idaho T1 route to Idaho Falls. M9 made a big loop around the Great Basin. M10 took us from Idaho Falls through MT, WY, and CO down to Denver. After some bike maintenance, M11 started in Tucson and unfortunately ended in Las Vegas at the trauma center. :cry M12 Looped out of Las Vegas exploring the North rim and back to Vegas via southern UT. Here's what the 27,600mi cumulative M1-M12 looks like (each color = 1 day riding):


And so it goes... (read on for Mobius I, or consult the Index)


DR. Rock 05-23-2008 03:56 PM

So I had been packed for days. Well two days, anyway.

Riding gear:

Packed gear:

And I managed to get out of work early on wednesday. I swung by our building to drop off LDF's BMW keys, and ran into our neighbor Bonnie who is friends with Chris, the guy who panhandles across the street. We took some photos and I was on my way down to TN. Who says NYC isn't a small town?

I had about 4 hours of daylight left, and my objective was to make as many miles as I could on interstate so I could enjoy the next two days on Skyline Drive through Shenandoah Nat. forest, and then the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Rick's place near Deal's Gap.

So this is what I did:

It sucked. But I knew that the number of interstate miles was dwindling, and I was glad to get it over with.

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:01 PM

I made it to Harrisburg, PA. Found a cheap Motel 6 or Super 8... Can't remember.

(Sweetcheeks are AWESOME!) :bow

Had dinner across the street.

Called LDF. Slept well. Woke up early.

VDG 05-23-2008 04:04 PM

:clap :clap :clap

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:15 PM

The last of the Inter-state (almost)
I had another hour+ of hellish droning, vibey, wind buffeted, cold, boring interstate to suck up before I hit the Shenandoah:


You pay $10 to get into the park. Speed limit is 35mph. I saw one other vehicle.

A few things were going through my head. LDF's pace had historically been a little slower than mine, so this was my opportunity to wick it up a bit. BUT, I had knobbies, and gear, and a 400cc bike, and I was riding solo, and if I wadded myself or the bike up on the way down I would essentially ruin her vacation.

So, I pushed in moderation. It was a relief to smell the woods, and be off the interstate. This was just another motivation to keep the speed within reason:

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:17 PM



DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:21 PM

I like all the pull-outs, overlooks, and historic commemorative plaques:

Both Skyline and the BRP I'd like to do again with LDF and the big bikes. I could see how getting stuck behind a line of RV's would be aggravating, but choose the right season, day of week, and time of day, and these roads are just magical.

GB 05-23-2008 04:21 PM

You're going all that way on that bike?? :eek1

Looks good :thumb


DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:25 PM

Side note on cameras
We have 2 Fuji Finepix 30's. They rock. The lens on one of them somehow got dirty / foggy. This is the one that I had for the first part, then LDF was shooting with it. It's since been fixed. (I have to pick it up tomorrow from the shop). $120 - new lens.

Anyway, sorry... it was a little overcast, but not as foggy as the photos seem.


DR. Rock 05-23-2008 04:28 PM

Next up

But first, it's dinner-time here at Bellevue. Time to feed the crew. :dg

JBSmith 05-23-2008 04:52 PM

(Sweetcheeks are AWESOME!)

And Sweetcheeks are what?

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 05:50 PM

Sweet cheeks
Sweetcheeks: Seat cover for monkey butt prevention. :deal

See this thread.

Ray's web site seems to be down, but he was still selling them as of a couple of months ago. PM him for info? :dunno

I originally purchased them just for the paved ride down to TN. However, they didn't interfere at all while riding, (unless standing up while really steeply descending), and ass comfort was um... intolerable after about 30 minutes without it on the stock seat.

LDF rode the first day without them. Tried them the next day, and used them the rest of the trip. They look a little weird. Don't care.:nono

I was a bit concerned that they would wear out over a long ride, but the canvas just sort of fades, like blue jeans. No holes after 3400 miles on mine.

There was one stretch in NM after we left the TAT where we had 200 miles (we had a 206 mile range) to a "maybe" gas station. The next nearest "for sure" gas stop was 28 miles further. I filled two 2L bottles as reserve. Obviously NOT a recommended nor long-term solution for storing gasoline, but it worked great for the few hours we were on that one section.

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 05:59 PM

I know it's called the Blue RIDGE parkway, but since the leaves on the trees hadn't really filled in, I really appreciated that I was following a ridge.

Great riding, and fantastic vistas to both the east and west.

I didn't stop much... just rode hard and steady all day.

Caught, followed and eventually passed a couple of guys on cruisers:

Dogwoods in bloom. Smelled nice.

Found a cheap motel near Route 77, almost at the boarder of Va & NC. Wasn't taking too many photos. Just riding.

DR. Rock 05-23-2008 06:07 PM

The longest milage day
The day's stats:

I picked up some bevarage at a nearby gas station, and got the first of many "Did y'all ride that bike all the way from New York?" incredulity from a couple of guys.

Everyone we met along the way was really curious and nice. (No one made fun of the sweet cheeks). Grabbed an awesome pork barbeque sandwich from this place:

Wished I had snapped a photo of the proprietor. Dead ringer for Dr. John before he lost all that weight. Asked if I wanted fries, and after I said no, threw a bunch in anyway. I ate them.

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