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Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
guitarhack OP
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Day 3

Saturday, June 2nd
Total Mileage: ~ 600

I woke up early because I was still on Eastern Daylight Time - and tried not to wake everyone else. This is a problem that plagued me most of the trip. As a kid, I remember hearing that my grandparents woke up every day (well after retirement) around 6:00 AM, and couldn't understand why. Now I get it... after so many years of getting up early to go to work, sleeping late is difficult.

After my sister treated me to a wonderful breakfast of french toast and bacon, I was off.

For those of you that haven't done it, crossing Kansas is just about as boring as it gets. Again, I am from Kansas. I grew up in Kansas. I love Kansas, but it truly is a BORING state to drive through. I knew what to expect and made the best of it.


Something I ran across a few times: trucks going well below the speed of the general flow of traffic, running side by side, not letting anyone go by - for MILES. One time I think they did it just to keep the rest of us from blowing by, because the highway patrol was down the road radaring. But this time I didn't get it ...and was a little annoyed. WTF?




About this time I ran out of gas again. Don't heckle me too much. Look at the gas gauge! Two bars and only 207 miles since the last fill-up! After this, I filled up WAY too early.




Once again FeMan's tool tube (for my MSR bottle) saved the day. And it's a good thing. It would have been a long walk.



As a kid, we trekked across the state most every year on the way to vacation destinations. And we became familiar with the landmarks, as they were few and far between. One of my favorites is still there 40+ years later: The Largest Prairie Dog In The WORLD!



Every year we would pass signs like this for miles, hyping this freak of nature. Our (four kids in the car) imaginations ran wild. But there was no way our frugal parents were going to stop. So year after year we missed one of the wonders of the known universe.

In about 1983, when I was crossing the country as an E-4 in the Army, I learned what Paul Harvey would call, "The Rest Of The Story"... Behind those four sections of fence, that had partially blown down after a damaging wind storm, you could see the big concrete varmint. I was crushed.


So on and on I droned. I had plenty of time because my wife and daughter weren't due in Denver until 10:00 ish, and I was really SICK of the interstate, so I decided to see something I had passed by my entire life: Western Kansas off the interstate. If I could figure out how to post pics of map in this RR I would, but... Anyway, If you are so inclined, look at a map. I-70, way out in western Kansas and again in eastern Colorado, makes a couple of random 45 degree right hand turns for several miles before leveling off and going strait west again. I figured I would go exploring and get off the slab a little and go north early, meeting up with the interstate east of Denver.

I picked a random exit and started north.
The road started out like this. It reminded me of the Dumb & Dumber quote, "That John Denver is full of shit, man".


The pavement turned to dirt


The view from where I came:






Then things stated to get a little sketchy



Eventually, the road became a 6" deep dust and tumble-weed ditch. I have little experience riding in that kind of thing and nearly crashed multiple times. I was truly out in the middle of NOWHERE and I honestly got a little spooked. Crashing could have been a life threatening event - so I was too much of a pansy to stop and take any more pics until I got back on the black-top.

Heading farther north than I had anticipated, I realized I could take a further detour and knock off Nebraska form my "states visited' tally, so I did.




After traveling some very desolate roads...


...I crossed over into Colorado




I found some more-direct routs and plowed through some heavy rain


...Finally making it to our hotel in Denver.


I checked in, unloaded the luggage from the bike, and headed to Chick Fil A for dinner. That's when I notice all was not well with my chain.

guitarhack screwed with this post 06-23-2012 at 08:19 PM
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #17
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #18
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Good report. Title caught my attention. Im heading to BYOB on friday but will read along as I can.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #19
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Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:23 PM   #20
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Day 4

Sunday, June 3rd
Total Mileage: ~ 300

I almost always ride with ear-buds, listening to music streaming from my phone or iPod through my SENA. On the short trip to dinner Saturday night I didn't. That's when I noticed my chain was making a hell of a racket when the bike was in 1st or 2nd gear. I hosed the chain down with chain-lube and hoped for the best. It didn't help.

My wife and daughter arrived safely at the hotel, I put the chain out of my mind, and all was right with the world. On one hand, I really enjoy solo road-tripping, but I was looking forward to sharing the upcoming experiences with them. With us all together, it started to really feel like a vacation - instead of me selfishly enjoying myself alone on my bike (which isn't uncommon).

On Sunday morning, I slipped out to the parking lot while the girls did their morning girl-prepping, and screwed around with the bike - hoping to remedy the dicey chain. I adjusted for length and crossed my fingers. When we got under way it was clear that my tinkering didn't help. None the less I buried my head in the sand and off we went.

We took the beltway around Denver and headed for a short distance west on 1-70.

We stopped for gas at what must be the world's most scenic gas station. It was along a river.

My daughter Christina stretching her legs at the stop:


Problem is, location comes at a price:

Luckily, this was by far the most pricey gas we faced.


We hung a left and took highway 91 south - where we entered Leadville - which reminded me of a line in a Jimmy Buffett song.


South of Leadville we hung a right and started up hwy 82 towards Independence Pass. Traffic was a little heavy, but it was still a fun road



Reminded me of the "No Guardrail" ride at the yearly Eastern RDV (Rick's RDV)



Going Up....



..and up




...and up


and (you guessed it) up...

Tried to take a pic over my shoulder of the girls in the car and missed em




Until finally:






There was some sort of High-Altitude training finishing up. I think this was the debriefing




It was windy and cold up there, so we wandered around only for a few minutes before we took off.






Christina (my 17 year old) and my wife, Renee'. But don't get used to those names...





I stowed the camera on the way down, as it looked as if rain was approaching - which was too bad - the ride down the other side of the mtn was even more scenic.

It was later, as we were stuck waiting on a train...


...when I had my first epiphany...

The terms, "wife", "daughter" and "car" just aren't cool enough for a Bad-Ass Ride Report (that I am pretending this is going to be). So from hence forth, they will be referred to as "The Support Crew" and "Support Vehicle"

...Charley and Ewin would be proud.

So we finished Sunday's short ride at the Mongolian Yurt that we had reserved ... (um, I mean Hampton Inn)


...and called it a day.

guitarhack screwed with this post 07-14-2012 at 05:59 AM
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pridemore1 View Post
Good report. Title caught my attention. Im heading to BYOB on friday but will read along as I can.
Have fun man. Wish I could join ya.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrou111 View Post
Can't wait to hear more.

Thanks. Hope I don't disappoint.


Quote:
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Great report Brad . I'm thoroughly enjoying your words and photos! Looking forward to more, as it flows .
You're too kind. Thanks Dave.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:06 PM   #23
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Great report !! Wee stroms rule !!
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:57 AM   #24
pridemore1
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great report. Wee stroms do rule. I'll keep in mind letting the dealer do some work as the gas thing would be a bitch. Be safe and as always have fun.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:00 AM   #25
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Anxious to hear about the chain issue, as I've now had 2 long (1000mi+) adventures where my chain started acting up while riding on my SV650.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:37 PM   #26
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And Now For Something Completely Irrelevant..

Proud Dad Alert:

The reason the Support Crew got to Denver so late on Saturday was because the youngest member had to take the SAT Saturday morning. She got her scores back today. 2390 out of 2400.

...sorry, had to brag a bit.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #27
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Proud Dad Alert:

The reason the Support Crew got to Denver so late on Saturday was because the youngest member had to take the SAT Saturday morning. She got her scores back today. 2390 out of 2400.

...sorry, had to brag a bit.


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Old 06-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #28
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Sunday Continued...

Ok, so it's Sunday. I have been riding all day and the bike sounds and feels like it is about to explode. Even at speed it feels like I am riding on rock-hard knobbies. I can ignore the chain no further.

After reading too many horror stories the night before about worn out chains shooting through engine cases, and tossing and turning thinking of what tools I had, and what I didn't have, that I would need to change the chain and sprockets out, something had to give. So I contacted the best guy I know on the subject: Blair at SVRacing http://www.svracingparts.com

Blair is THE MAN. Remember, it's Sunday night. Nobody in their right mind would get involved with such a project at such an hour - but Blair. He called me immediately. We reviewed my problem and discussed my itinerary. He figured out what he could get to me and when he could get it there, and we got a new chain and sprockets ordered - to be delivered to a hotel I would stay at in a few days in Kanab, Utah. He even looked up the hotel and called them to make sure they knew that a package was coming for me - so they would hold it until I got there. Really - I can't say enough good things for the guy.

I went to bed feeling a lot better about the rest of the trip.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #29
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Thanks dude.

Needless to say, you make an appearance in this RR later down the road. Memphis was a real highlight.

Stay tuned.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #30
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What kind of support crew is that? Can't even change a chain? Tell 'em to get in there and get their hands greasy! Damn the fingernails, full speed ahead! Great scenery. You were right to go west.
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