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Old 04-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #31
Tiffany OP
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Thumb How Did I Get Here?

Just to backtrack a bit to the beginning of the journey now that I've got time and I'm not dashing across country.

Going back a couple of weeks, it was almost like a bad dream as I found myself heading off on a trans-continental journey that will last several months and I looked down to find myself perched on a Honda 125cc scooter with a bulky bag containing my possessions strapped on the rear seat.



What on earth was I doing that I had it so wrong? How do you ride with these little wheels? And, most importantly where's my bloody Beemer?

I looked round to see another one was following



Was it some sort of nightmare or anxiety dream? Nope, just a rather unorthodox (for me anyway) start to my trip. I'd been hosting a couple of unusual bike travellers, meet Tipi and Chae (with my friend Annie)



Tipi and Chae are from South Korea and had ridden to England on their Honda scooters- yep, folks 125cc automatic ones with those tiny wheels across 12,000 miles including the wastelands of Siberia,



They're my heroes and really nice people to boot. They arrived in time for Christmas and joined 16 of us at my parents' three bedroom house for the festivities. I don't know what they made of their time with my somewhat eccentric family, what I do know is that they blogged six pages about it on their website but as it's all in Korean I don't understand a word of it - they might well be describing the fact that their accommodation was a tent inside a barn during December ...but when they saw where the rest of us were sleeping, they said they had the best deal.

In the run up to my departure, they had come back down to Cornwall. The morning arrived that I was setting off, they offered to help me get to the train station. Their suggestion was that we ride in convoy on their scooters, they would be two up while I had my bag and then they would ride both scooters back to my house.
It worked like a dream, once I was used to being on such a different bike. I made it safely down to the train station, my shoulder was aching a bit, but then it has been a bit painful for a while. I injured it six weeks ago snowboarding when I had a fall whilst going a bit fast and heard my shoulder go crunch. I carried on boarding but somehow my shoulder didn't feel right and gradually became increasingly painful. When I got to the doctor, this was how the x-ray looked.




Torn ligaments had resulted in my shoulder being a bit odd looking- that's the space showing between the bones. Damn - no more snowboarding for the final two days of the holiday followed by weeks of inactivity. I headed to the nearest bar to drown my sorrows, wearing a sling that was closely related to a strait-jacket



Six weeks later after some intensive and painful physio, I was back on two wheels and heading off to America, my shoulder had healed just in time, this, believe it or not is the healed shoulder- it still looks a bit odd in real life too, but the doctors were pleased.



I was ready to hit America- the question was... would America be ready for me?
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:21 AM   #32
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Hi Tiff

Looking forward to reading more of your fantastic travels
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #33
Tiffany OP
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After a tiring journey that included a pleasant interlude at the Piano Bar in O'Hare Airport. I got to Phoenix, sweltered a bit in my bike gear until I reached my friend's house.
The next morning my bike turned up from Tucson, Thelma, my R80GS who has been in exile for quite a while.



In the shade of the garage, I got straight down to work, servicing and doing the usual checks.



Everything spick and span, within 48 hours I was out on the road and not before time too



Yep folks, it was 100 degrees as I pulled out of town, the words "Mad dogs and Englishmen" ran through my head as I turned Thelma northwards and towards the promised cool of the hills.
Payson was my first stop for fuel and a bit of shade. The Harley riders looked at me a bit oddly, but I'm used to that, this time mainly due to my full bike gear, gloves and helmet. Naturally they were in T-shirts, bare-headed and looking cool. I got them to talk to me, turned out they were from Chicago, when I mentioned I was on my way there they did a double-take. They then confessed their bikes were being trucked back up there, leaving tomorrow. As I stood there sweating in the heat, I must confess to hearing a little voice in my head saying "Take Thelma, take Thelma", ahead I had almost 2000 miles to ride in the next four days and I had no idea when it was going to get cooler.

It took a strong dose of self-control to cheerily say "see you on the road", and ride out of the petrol station.
I headed towards New Mexico, it got cooler, at Low Show or was it Show Low, either name could have applied around here from what I'd seen having already been past the Wild Women Saloon, I slowed down to get a look, but thought it would be best not to stop at a saloon, I've sen enough westerns in my time.
On to Show Low where the staff in the petrol station enjoyed the sight of me searching through the fridge for something to eat, finally selecting something and then removing the chicken part out of a chicken cheeseburger and giving it to a dog before heating the rest of it in a microwave and eating it. I guess vegetarianism has yet to reach this neck of the woods.

Time was passing, as I reached the Narrows in New Mexico having regretfully realised I'd passed the only sign to Pie Town without stopping to take a photo of it...when will I learn? I ask myself.
here's some hills.


I'm heading towards Albuquerque, keen to get there before dark.
Someone stood by the side of the road and pointed at the ground as I went past.

OK for all the Yanks out there...what the hell does that mean??????
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #34
Graniteone
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OK for all the Yanks out there...what the hell does that mean??????


They are just giving the "Hey I see you ride too" sign. Kind of like a version of a peace sign. Harmless unless there is junk on the road and they were pointing it out and you didn't notice.

Travel fast and safe.

Look forward to saying hello at the Overland Rally in Flagstaff.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
OK for all the Yanks out there...what the hell does that mean??????
It's a greeting that means keep your wheels down or be safe
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:13 PM   #36
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Tiff! travel safe.

hiya! glad you and Thelma are at last reunited.
have fun in the USofA.....not too sure of your planned route - or even if you have one - but let us know and we will make sure to hook you up with some of the great guys we met during our time there.

ride safe
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #37
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Will be following along for trip, wish u luck, have told a couple friend about ur trips, we are going to try qnd make it up to sedalia Missouri when ur there.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:59 AM   #38
Tiffany OP
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Talking New Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graniteone View Post
OK for all the Yanks out there...what the hell does that mean??????


They are just giving the "Hey I see you ride too" sign. Kind of like a version of a peace sign. Harmless unless there is junk on the road and they were pointing it out and you didn't notice.

Travel fast and safe.

Look forward to saying hello at the Overland Rally in Flagstaff.
Thanks for that GraniteOne (come over and say hello at the Overland Rally in Flagstaff) and Gwing, you know that is what I kind of thought. The first time over here and other riders kept pointing down so I was constantly checking the road to see where the problem was until I realised that it was just a type of greeting. In England it's a bit more reserved, a slight nod or inclination of the head as you see another biker or an occasional hand raised as a hello.

so back to me passing someone who was standing by a pick up truck doing that, at first I assumed he was pointing out something on the road, so I checked, no snakes or holes, nothing there, not even a dead one of these



Then I thought he is probably just a biker himself and greeting me so I relaxed again. But my brain was still thinking about it, and finally, I suddenly thought, is my light working? I stopped the bike and checked, whoops, no headlight, the sun was setting rapidly and the light had quickly faded.
Damn, usually not too much of a problem, as I'm generally looking to stop riding and put up my tent at this point. But I had an invite and a destination tonight. Albuquerque was awaiting me.

First day on the road and to be honest, my panniers are in a state of disarray (somewhat like my life) and I am really not sure where my spare bulbs are. I'm used to automatically carrying some because in some European countries it's compulsory to have them on or in every vehicle.

I started unloading with a sigh. I was lucky, in the first pannier, there they were and even more lucky as there was a headlight bulb in the set, I had no idea if I might have used it up previously. Not forgetting, Thelma and my gear have been in storage for quite a while.

The headlight is a bit tricky to replace, I put my hand in to get the old one out, fiddled around a bit, found a loose wire and "hey presto" the lights came on, it was just the connector and not the bulb. Quickly reload my case and get back on. By the time I reached the main highway (interstate) it was dark and not a pleasant ride with the trucks roaring past and all sorts of debris on the road. I arrived in time for dinner at 9.00pm except...it wasn't 9.00pm it was 10.00pm, I felt bad, I had no idea their clocks were different from Arizona and they had waited on dinner for me.

Alon and his wife Ann made me very welcome as did their labradoodle - that dog is crazy!
Time for a chat and a catch up, I first met Alon when he was travelling on his Honda TransAlp and was in Ecuador, we also met up in Bolivia and crossed the Salar de Uyuni together, a lot of fun.
The next morning we set off, Alon was "escorting me off the premises" and setting me on the road out of town.


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Old 05-06-2012, 06:47 PM   #39
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And trust me...Tiffany and her bike are definitely the sort that need to be "escorted off"...
Apparently, she has a certain "dodgy" look about her. But I will let her tell the story when she has some time to breath.

Got more pics of Tiffany's second visit to Iowa. Guess she can't get enough of the straight flat roads we have around here. ;)
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:24 AM   #40
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a less common signal these days is when you meet a motorcyclist approaching in the other lane and he points at his helmet or head, it doesn't mean he thinks you're crazy.... ..usually. Older police cars had a single red rotating light on top, resembling a bubble gum machine so he is telling you that in your very near future there will be a friendly law enforcement officer, probably with a radar gun. Since a helmet resembles a bubble, etc. Don't see it used much any more.

Have fun out there, stephen
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #41
Tiffany OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
And trust me...Tiffany and her bike are definitely the sort that need to be "escorted off"...
Apparently, she has a certain "dodgy" look about her. But I will let her tell the story when she has some time to breath.

Got more pics of Tiffany's second visit to Iowa. Guess she can't get enough of the straight flat roads we have around here. ;)
Hey Ryan
thanks for the great time with you, Robin and the animals (again!)- feel free to post the pics and whatever, it gives me a reminder to get my RR up to date.
talking of which, I will get on with an update now...
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
Hi there
the list was posted up in my previous RR- here's the list of what is supposed to be happening, I'm going to be mainly in the West over the next three months, I'll also be fitting in visits to my Secret Santas.
Things that are definitely happening...


25th-27th May - GS Giants Event, Salt Lake City, Utah www.gs-giants.com/content/adventure-summit-wsbk-memorial-day-utah


19th-22nd July - BMW Owners' Rally, Sedalia, Missouri www.bmwmoa.org/rally12

and home out of New York 30th July
Hi Tiffany - we're looking forward to you riding to the Adventure Summit at Miller Motorsports in Utah over Memorial Day weekend.

Also, just to be sure you know, there's a pre-party ahead of the BMW MOA Rally. It's in Arkansas, July 15-17, The GS Giant's Adventure Summit will feature some great riding, eating/drinking and camping and we hope you can make it there.

.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:29 PM   #43
Tiffany OP
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Talking Route 66 - what kicks?

The road out of Albuquerque took me along Route 66 part of the way, with signs such as this to ensure I was singing along all the way



I know people say the Interstates are boring, but you guys have some very amusing roadside signs. I don't want to risk offending anyone by quoting some of them.
From miles away I could see this cross by the side of the road, it was huge







Having looked at my map and having learnt from past experience, Texas is BIG, I just cut through the top bit and ended up camping near the Oklahoma border ...which takes us back to the starting page of this RR where I showed the pitiful state of my tent after the pole broke.
I also had these to contend with



lots of them scuttling around outside my tent - a little reminder to always close the zip properly.

The day did improve though. At one of the rest areas I was fascinated to discover a tornado-proof room to shelter in - handily placed between the ladies and the gents' loos.
I couldn't resist taking a look, it looked like quite an ordinary room to me, with bemches around the wall to sit on and some most informative charts on the wall showing typical cloud formations of tornadoes. I studied these carefully as I don't have much experience of this type of weather.


I took photos as well, ready for easy reference in case I do run into any dodgy looking clouds.

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:53 AM   #44
Tiffany OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visian View Post
Hi Tiffany - we're looking forward to you riding to the Adventure Summit at Miller Motorsports in Utah over Memorial Day weekend.

Also, just to be sure you know, there's a pre-party ahead of the BMW MOA Rally. It's in Arkansas, July 15-17, The GS Giant's Adventure Summit will feature some great riding, eating/drinking and camping and we hope you can make it there.

.
It seems like there's a lot going on. I've just found some info about adventure routes to reach the Adventure Summit in Utah, I'll be riding up from Flagstaff, however I don't have a GPS so I'll be riding a bit blind in that respect. It looks like there is some beautiful country along the way. Anyone else going to this event?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:18 AM   #45
Tiffany OP
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Talking Kansas

I wasn't in Oklahome for long- apologies to those who are fans of the State, but I had a destination to reach. Into Kansas and can you believe it almost immediately a big black cloud appeared. I'll admit I'm not hugely knowledgeable about the States, but even I know that Kansas is famous for its tornadoes, my cultural reference point being The Wizard of Oz. I didn't like the look of this cloud looming ahead of me on the highway



I have to admit that in the picture it doesn't look so bad, believe me it looked worse in real life. I stopped and compared it with the pictures from the tornado shelter, decided on a scale of 1 to 10 that it was possibly a 2 and just kept riding hoping for the best.

The cloud gradually disappeared off to the east. I stoppped for a break and after a phone call to VMW in Seattle, decided to do take some action about Thelma's lack of revs and pulling power.
In the carpark of Dairy Queen I got out my tools and spare parts and proceeded to take apart the carburretor. I changed the diaphragm on it



This was me just finishing, the beauty of having a twin-engined bike, from my point of view as someone to whom mechanics does not come easily is that I always have the other side to refer to when I'm putting things back together again, making sure that everything goes back in its correct place.
The change of diaphragm didn't make much difference, Thelma will have to wait until Chicago to have it looked into properly.
Lots of people stopped by as I was working to say hello and ask where the bike is from as it has a huge yellow British registration plate.

I'd lost a bit of time, and as I passed Wichita (singing Seven Nation Army in my head) I realised I had better find a place to camp. I got a perfect spot in a field not too far from the highway, it was hilly so I was out of sight from the road, although it had been a bit dicy to ride Thelma through the long grass hiding the rocks on the slope.

I took a look at the broken tent pole, removed the offending section then re-threaded the shock cord and with some blue electrical tape managed to do a temporary repair to get the tent up.




Still not great but looking a lot better than last night.

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