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Old 04-06-2008, 10:58 AM   #1
Mini Trail OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: West Tennessee
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Sweet Mini Trail's Baadasssss Ride

"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want,"
Donald Rumsfeld

So with the former Secretary of Defense’s line in mind, I set out to complete the TN, MS, and AR sections of the TAT on my most capable bike for the ride.

A 1970 Honda CL100K0 Scrambler.

Complete is probably a strong word here. I have been day-dreaming about riding the Trans America Trail since a friend sent me a link to the web site sometime around 2003. My daughter turned 3 in May 2007 and sometime that Summer I realized that I had barely thrown a leg over a bike since well before she was born. We had putted around the yard on mini bikes and there was one time that I had to use one of the bikes in an emergency, but mostly they had all sat with gas varnishing and tires flat-spotting.

I started “preparing” last fall by reading ride reports, ordering the maps and otherwise getting really pumped up, but not riding or working on motorcycles. Santa brought me a GPS, but I would need to learn mapquest, practice navigation by GPS, figure my mileage and average speed and try to figure how accurate my speedometer and odometer are.

Saturday February, 2 was 55 deg and Sunny and Sunday was supposed to be similar in temperature but a storm was expected to come in later. I spent a little of the warm Saturday afternoon changing oil, tightening spokes and trying to get the battery to take a charge.

I live in a rural area of a mostly rural Fayette Co. in West Tennessee. I planned a local route/track over rural roads that I figured would be like the ones encountered in the Tennessee sections of TAT. I tried to tie in a couple of roads that I knew were gravel and leave the rest to Mapquest. I have never been on most of these roads and would find that every road in City Navigator doesn’t necessarily exist in dirt-world. I would need to gauge average speed, fuel consumption and fatigue in order to plan my TAT trip around it. The route is about 120 miles. I didn’t get moving until around two so I knew I wouldn’t finish the whole route by the time the Super Bowl started.

I rigged up this spring-loaded clamp to the handlebars and snapped the 60Csx inside smugly thinking about all the money I had saved by not buying a mount. I rode about a mile before I discovered that the GPS had turned itself off sometime during this odyssey. , I figured it was a fluke and turned it back on. I would repeat this a bunch throughout the afternoon.


In order to mimic a real TAT ride, I decided that I would stop every few minutes or miles and take pictures as if I was seeing something new and worthy of picture taking and not act like I am in a race to finish miles. (I was very ambitious at the begining of this process.) These shots are of the “frontier land” – town about .75 miles from my house. Our post office used to be in the “bank” building, but it was condemned a few years ago and the owner refused to make necessary repairs so it remains unused. It was a really cool, authentic old building despite the miles of unauthentic wheelchair ramps in front.



This building is (not surprisingly) an antique store. They are doing some repairs to the foundation and the sidewalk to it in this picture. Inside is the original post office window from the 19th century and a bunch of antiques (mostly old ash trays). It is only open a few weekends in the summer.


I cross the highway and turn the GPS on a few more times, I come across this fire tower I never knew was here. I’ve lived here 8 years, this thing is within 4 miles of my house.

I found this Gravel road riding last Fall and it was the only road I had intentionally mapped for this ride.
It’s a pretty cool road and it was nice to be out here all alone.


The road ends here,


The GPS says go Left


This is what “Left” looks like:


I stayed here for a long time trying to figure out what to do. It looks like the road goes on, but there is a gate. There is a road sign, but a lot of driveways got blue road signs back when they got the “911” system here. It’s on the GPS though, it has to be real! It does go on and it is a nice road.


I’ve seen better, but this is still a road right?


…and finally this;

Now the road isn’t fenced and it’s not posted, but it’s looking less like a turnpike and more like Farm access every minute. I don’t think I have been spotted, but if I get stuck in that, it will just be a matter of time. Plus it’s February and barely 55į and I’m a big pussy who doesn’t like to get wet and cold.


So I back-tracked and tried to find my way back to my path. It was frustrating because if I pulled the GPS out far enough to see around my blockage, I lost the detail required to follow these back roads. In the meantime, 4 cars went down that road that I was all “alone on” a few pictures up. Making my way around to pick up the trail on the other side I hear a “Clunk” and see this:


I had the screw out because the low beam burned out. I guess I didn’t tighten it back good. You can see the custom GPS mount better in this picture.

There were two of these big ass zip ties on the side of the road where I stopped. I left one for the next guy whose headlight pops out.

Back on the trail trying to find the other end of that road that wasn’t there and this has my attention:


I don’t know where the bridge is so I push on hoping to pick up my trail before I get to it.



This picture is of the other end of that “road” from before. The line on the GPS matches up with this driveway, but there is nothing beyond it that looks anything like the path I gave up on.


That was the last picture I took on the ride. The Camera battery was dead. That was very poor planning on my part. I can justify it a little because the charger is out in the shed and it has been too cold for me to go out there. On the other hand, I have been thinking about taking this ride since fall.



So I rode on, but the GPS kept shutting off or saying “low battery”. I remembered reading other trip reports about vibration affecting gps batteries, but I couldn’t decide if vibration could cause all of these problems or if they were just dead because they were rechargables. I finally took the GPS off of the handlebars and just held it for the rest of the trip. It worked flawlessly after that, but I had to swing it from my arm on the strap or shift without the clutch and it made for a long day. Eventually it got very cold and very windy. I checked the time and let the GPS choose my route home. I got home just before the start of the Superbowl with a whopping 56 miles under my belt for 3 hours of effort.

Yellow is the intended route, blue is actual. My first attempt at GPS navigation.


Here are my notes after the trip:
  • Track mileage was only 56.1
  • Didn't note departure time, Sometime after 2:00 probably 2:15 or so.
  • Does the GPS note times?
  • Didn't note departure mileage
  • Didn't note arrival time or mileage
  • Turned around @ 4:00
  • Should set alarms to remind me of hour.
  • Could the track point things record a time?
  • Didn't reset trip computer on GPS
  • Vibration killed the GPS, must get an isolated mount
  • Probably wouldn't hurt to wire it to the m/cycle
  • How to figure direction on tracks?
  • Very confusing when track crosses
  • Keep track closer to roads.
  • It was hard to find a way around obstacles using the map on GPS. When zoom out enough to see around it lost the small roads.
  • Camera battery was dead
  • Headlight screw (need to buy a new one)
  • Speedometer was pretty close.
  • Neutral light quit working before I left
  • My balls were very cold when I got home
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GB screwed with this post 04-06-2008 at 11:21 AM
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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The pics look good but the text is nearly invisible to most of us black font on a dark background makes it hard to read, so I'm going to fix it for ya
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Oops thanks, I was using the "Waxy" skin so black worked for me.
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:27 PM   #4
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Nice Pics !

I am interested in the aux gas can and mount, got a link or some info for it ??? Thanks.

T.G.
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #5
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:01 PM   #6
Mini Trail OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMGRUNT
Nice Pics !

I am interested in the aux gas can and mount, got a link or some info for it ??? Thanks.

T.G.
It's the Kolpin Fuel Pack Jr. Walmart.com has the best price, but they don't keep them in stores. I learned about here. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=vintage
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:38 PM   #7
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Fuel Tanks

That was from our vintage ride last year. We are leaving on the TAT western Section in a month. I will have a Koplin mounted on both sides of the DT400 this trip. Be carrying a total of 7 gallons of gas on the bike.

Should be posting soon
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2007 - Vintage TAT - Ok, NM, Co
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233901

2008 - Vintage TAT - Ut, Nv, Or
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=331983

2009 - Vintage TAT - NC, Tn, Ms, Ar
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507149

2010 - Unfinished Business Tour - TAT, CDR Shadow of the Rockies
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615279
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
Mini Trail OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie the Snake
That was from our vintage ride last year. We are leaving on the TAT western Section in a month. I will have a Koplin mounted on both sides of the DT400 this trip. Be carrying a total of 7 gallons of gas on the bike.

Should be posting soon
The Vintage TAT was a real inspiration. I have read all of the TAT ride reports and I thought I could out-do the Vintage ride by riding solo on an older bike, camping and without a sag wagon. Reality is a real bitch though.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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I looked the bike over the next weekend. Iím not sure what to do with this shifter seal, it marks up the floor a little, but the oil level didnít drop.

There is also some seepage of oil somewhere up at the top of the head. Iíll wait until itís good and warm, then wash the bike real good and see if I can pinpoint from where it seeps.


Another casualty, the lock ring around the ignition switch had nearly vibrated off.

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Old 04-06-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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February, 9 Ride

February, 9 Ride

With Batteries freshly charged and another day with temps near the 60s, I set out on a new route. The Camera insisted on having the date reset and I insisted it was 2006. Iím atgatt except when I am not. I kept all of the helmet and jacket vents closed all day.


Donít forget to note the mileage.

By klatubaradanikto, shot with DIGITAL+CAMERA&make=EASTMAN+KODAK+COMPANY]KODAK DX6490 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA at 2008-04-06


And take care of the GPS. In response to some advice in ďLaying Down TracksĒ, I put switch lube on the battery contacts, taped the batteries together and used part of the windshield mount to clamp the gps to the bars.


And Iím off, back to the same gravel road as last week and posing next to the shortest stop sign in Fayette County. This ensemble is Cheap Biefe helmet, Arlen Ness Jacket that I like very much except the wimpy zippers in the vents, BDUs from the surplus store with button fly that pipes cold air right to the balls, Red Wing steel-toe boots I needed for a Job in 1997 and fingerless motorcycle gloves that my wife makes me wear.


Iím off to chart new territory. I set waypoints for roads that look interesting to investigate more in mapquest and work into the next ride.



And here is another confusing road that appears as a thru road on mapquest, but looks like this:

Looks like fun, but that is a gate down there.

Trying to take a picture of the GPS, at the moment the picture takes, it goes all reflection on my ass.




This one really sucked. I went a long way down a fun gravel road with nothing around, the map says it goes on through, and it comes to this:




According to the GPS, the road should go on and follow that fence up there by the trailer. I have a lot of back-tracking to do to get around this.


I pick another road and am rewarded by this find:

Itís an old Gravel pit, I think, operated by the city of Somerville, TN.

What really interests me:



I have always been fascinated by things just left to rust. You wonder if it started one last time and was replaced by something new or if right in the middle of a job something catastrophic happened and it never moved again. Itís certainly plausible to think that this old shovel just got used less and less until the batteries wouldnít turn it over one day and then the controls became rusty, but what about this one?


It was here when the day the mine closed, but nobody came after it. Even if it threw a rod, you would figure that long boom or the tracks would be good for parts.


Usually the cables are busted on these old shovels, but this one looks like it was right in the middle of a job.

By klatubaradanikto, shot with KODAK DX6490 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA at 2008-04-06

If I hadnít been by myself, I would have hopped the fence and gotten a picture of me in there at the controls.

Last picture, I told you I was fascinated.


Back on the path, I had noted on the previous ride that this road was dirt/gravel at both ends, but didnít get a chance to ride it so I worked it into this track.




Looks like itís a popular place for the local kids to mess around;


This trail head wasnít posted, but I really didnít feel up to exploring it, but I will definitely check it out later or look for signs of other general use. The trash is a good sign. You used to be able to spot a trail by empty Yamalube containers on the ground.



[/color]
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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Back on the pavement, I began to hear something strange and pulled over to check it out. This nut was close to vibrating off and the ring around the exhaust was rattling something fierce.
I used the little wrench from the tool kit to tighten it up in a field by the road.

Here is another road to nowhere that shows up in mapquest. I followed it a long way until it looked like it was going right by some buildings and I chickened out, still not knowing what to do about them.


So I backtracked around it and the next road had this friendly welcome.


Here is the other end of that road, Iíll come back and ride it one day.


And here is the coveted lake. The road actually did dead end here.


Another friendly sign:





When I come back to ride that other dirt road, Iíll take this path around the levee too:



But today, I just donít have a hair on my ass and I move along. I did ride the paved road on the other side of the lake with a similar ďdead endĒ sign and it wasnít a dead end. I will work that loop into future rides.


Another promising road just peters out into a field.
The worst part about this one is I rode right past someone washing a car about 100í before the road ended, I stopped, took this picture, turned around and headed back past them.


This is where that road would come out at the other end, between the fence and the tractor.


Here I missed my turn and am riding back towards it. I donít know what that tower does, but it is huge. I assume that the elevation is very high for them to put the tower there and it was real windy. My road is up there on the right and it does not disappoint.


Finally, a road that exists and goes somewhere. I met some kids riding 4-wheelers on this road going the other way. Most of them were even wearing helmets, the last two even waved.




No matter where I go out here and no matter how alone I feel, there is always a house or building or some sign of humanity in sight.



Another Gravel road that wasnít on my planned track, but I ducked down to take a leak.



Note the house in the distance.
There is no unclaimed land out here, no vast expanses of wood. Every acre has a house or a farm or a sign posted every 10 feet. The county Sherriff says that this is the reason that they donít find meth labs in this county like they do in the surrounding counties. There is no where to hide.

Back on the trail and I seem to have hit paydirt.



It looks like a driveway, but there are no mailboxes or signs posted. It goes right past some houses, between some fields and even seems to go right through one.




Iím grinning from ear to ear following this path with the approval of the GPS. I wish I had pictures, to document what happened next, but I think itís understandable why I donít.
So I was following this path that takes me next to some woods and dumps me in someoneís back yard. I popped out of the trees and was about 5í away from a swing set. Iím beginning to think that mapquest has tricked me again, but there is a gravel road just ahead and I pop on it going away from the house. I was putting too much faith into the GPS here because when I looked for confirmation it showed that I was not on the road and was headed in the wrong direction. I stopped and took note of the road and the gravel was much thicker and much whiter than most of the roads. It also wasnít very wide.
Once I figured out I was on a driveway and not the road Mapquest promised, I turned around like a dumbass and was met by a Mercedes SUV coming out after me. I stopped next to him left the bike running and my lid on and told him ďsorryĒ for confusing his drive for a road and that I would be on my way. I looked at the GPS and pointed in the direction where the road should be and asked if it was ahead. He looked more confused than I felt and said ďWhat are you looking at to tell you all that?Ē I told him it was in my GPS. (I feel like I lucked out here to get a wealthy guy with a ML320 instead of explaining to some Bubba that the internets told me to drive across his field). He told me the road wasnít there anymore. He had bought all of the property and petitioned to close the road. So thatís what keeps happening to these roads! He asked where I was trying to get too and I told him it didnít much matter. A light went off in his head and I think it only occurred to him at this point that I was just wandering around and wasnít looking for him or his road at all. I apologized for interrupting and asked if the driveway would let me out and took off. The guyís house didnít seem all that impressive to me, but his driveway was freaking awesome. It was probably more than half a mile through the woods and all big, thick, graded gravel. I do kind of wonder why he didnít just use the old road as a driveway, though. It was the same gravel road where I stopped to pee earlier.

It was very disappointing to discover that a lot of these promising roads were being absorbed by the farms that they serviced. I rode on to Ames Plantation which is an 18,000 acre farm, forest, hunt club, University research center and has a collection of local old stuff like old log buildings.

Grrrr.

Oh well, hereís a log building under restoration;



They have a big collection of old, restored log buildings here. Some are from the area and some have been moved from hundreds of miles away.

I headed South to LaGrange, TN through some large, wide gravel roads that is the truck route because the main route has a low trestle.




Itís a strange little place that is well known for its speed traps and buildings Sherman forgot to burn.

South of LaGrange is a vast conservancy area that has a few miles of connecting Gravel.

I was glad I stopped to check that water out before running through it, the narrowest part was deeper than my front axle.

With the sun setting, the air cooling and wind picking up, I thought it would be best to head for home and skip the rest of the track. I let the Garmin pick my route and it did a really good job.

NOTES FROM THE RIDE
  • The GPS mount held up really well. It never turned off (I donít know if because of the mount or the work on the batteries)
  • Trip was 103 miles by odometer
  • I did not re-fill the tank when I got back.
  • I am disappointed in the top speed. I used to ride this to work from time to time and kept up with and even passed traffic on the two lane highways so I assumed it was pulling at least 60mph. The GPS is confirming that it will do just over 62, but it is really buzzing at that speed. I donít remember having much trouble on the trip I took a few years ago keeping up or feeling like it is coming apart running wide open for miles on the highway like it seems to now. I have always felt like it is under-geared and planned to gear up for the trip, at least the TN Section.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:09 PM   #12
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February, 17

The last two weekends in February are miserable cold or we have other obligations. I made up for not riding by installing some parts. I hate to spend too much money on this bike as I have committed to buy a new adventure bike and this may be the last hurrah for the old CL save for the occasional beer run. Nevertheless I did want to put on a new chain and try a taller gear to try to maintain a comfortable 55mph highway. I selected a 39T rear (the stock was 43) because that was the smallest option on the Honda fische.

Itís smaller than I thought.


That shifter seal isnít getting any better.



It looks good with new hardware too.



It also got an expensive, new 6V headlight.



And I set about freshening up the bulbs in the Speedometer. I couldnít find enough 6v bulbs for this so the backlight got a 6v and the neutral light got a 12v, can you tell the difference?



All of my old Hondas eat up expensive unobtainable 6v tail light bulbs like cocktail onions at a Kennedy reception. I will use 2357s on the trial runs and the trip and switch to 6v if I travel at night. Here is a picture of tail light bulbs in case you donít know what they look like.



I thought I would also replace the missing nut from the exhaust flange, but the stud was gone. I pulled a stud out of an old head and was going to screw it in, but found the threads badly wallowed out.



Iíll never get a time-sert or helicoil in there without removing the engine which just isnít in the cards. This will give me a little piece of mind even if it looks shitty.



I also stopped at the Cycle Gear while we were in town and bought a desperately needed battery for only $13.00. There was a sign that said the batteries had lifetime replacement without pro-rating, but there wasnít any paperwork in the box. I need to look into that because I am hard on motorcycle batteries.



While I am working on the bike, I am noting and segregating the tools I use so I can carry as few on the trip as possible. I use the tool-kit wrenches to break all the nuts free and tighten them back and add specialty tools or other sizes when necessary. The impact driver is a necessity for removing the side covers on old Hondas and requires the dead weight of a hammer. This hammer is aluminum, though and doesnít weigh much at all, less than the impact driver. It and the stainless steel vice-grips are medical instruments used in orthopedic surgery that I get from work.



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Old 04-08-2008, 06:27 PM   #13
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MARCH 1 and 2, Weather is in the mid to upper 60ís!

Saturday, my daughter wants to go for a ride with our new helmets and goggles and I canít figure out a good reason not to.



We rode around the 6 acres long enough to rack up 4 miles on the bike and nearly kill the dog who is trying to follow us.
One thing I realize when I see this picture is that I look like a real dipshit regardless of what I wear.

This puttering around was the first chance I got to try out the new gearing and it feels like it is really straining the engine and clutch. The bike feels very slow and rough and I slip the clutch a lot to make slow turns. I attribute that to the gearing, but at one point it died going down hill and I had a hard time bump starting it.


On Sunday I took a trip out to Chickasaw State Park about 40 miles from home. The last time I drove by there I saw some promising looking gravel roads and read that they have trails there too. I had chosen a route that would cover some of the dirt roads I have mapped, but changed the route in order to get gas in town so I could calculate mileage from the last trip. About half a mile from my house I ran out of gas and switched to reserve. The weather was in the mid-60s, but it was very windy in anticipation of the storms that would leave 2Ē of rain and then snow on Tuesday. As soon as I hit the highway, it seemed the gearing was a bad idea. The top speed was now less than 60 and I had to use 4th gear to get there. The trip to the gas station was only 14 miles, but it seemed to take forever. I wished that I had put some gas in the Kolpin, but I wasnít expecting to run out so quickly. I met two guys on sport bikes and got a wave from the second one.

Once I was finally gassed and on new roads, things began to look up;




The road was long and fun and all dirt. I was so excited about the find that I forgot to mark the Dirt section on my GPS so I could add it to my map of local gravel and dirt roads. When I realized it, I figured I would stop and mark it or go back to the beginning.

I tapped the brake pedal and oh what happened?

First : ďCLANK

Then this;



Iím guessing that
1. I neglected to put the clip in the bolt for the rear brake stay
2. The nut fell off.
3. They stay fell off when I applied the brake
4. The hub rotated forward due to the brake being applied and
5. Forced the brake lever down.
6. The brake lever caught on the ground and
7. pulled the rod further forward eventually
8. Ripping the rod from the brake lever, pulling the nut to the end of the rod and wrapping the rod around the rear hub 3 times while I slowed it down with the front brake





Here is where I was:



From whence I came
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:32 PM   #14
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Pretty neat read, keep it coming.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:13 PM   #15
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I pulled the bike tight enough to the inside of the curve and between either apex so that even Colin McRae would miss me if he happened by. I set out to look for lost parts briefly and found myself staring at a big F250 Diesel Crew Cab driven by a lady who was surprised to see me there. The wind was blowing so hard I never heard it coming.

I went back to get the tool kit, survey the damage and start working. I never bothered to check to see if I had cell phone service. I knew I was going to ride out and I hoped I would continue my trip, not limp home defeated.
The worst damage is to the pipe that the brake lever hinges on. If I had known more about how it was put together at the time I may have been able to salvage the brake for the rest of the ride.



This wasn’t fun to unwind either.



Yes I used the crappy tool-kit tools again.



I searched around for raw materials. There were lots of beer cans and bottles, but not a lot of hardware or motorcycle parts. This Gatorade cap replaced the washer and nut and the Bungee cord from the exhaust was re-assigned to holding the brake stay at one end and the pull-rod at the other.



I was here about 30 minutes and aside from the truck, no other traffic passed while I worked. Just as I was getting my stuff back on to leave a yellow compact car drove by slowly with two shirtless white males probably in their early 20s at the helm. They seemed as out of place out here on this dirt road as the F-250 seemed at home. Almost as
out of place as me I guess.

I’m moving again, but with front brake only, so the gravel is slow going. The small rear sprocket gave up whatever compression braking I could expect from the 100cc engine. The road changes, but remains cool.










I can’t imagine what this building is.

Why would it need that huge chimney?

Right across the street is a barn(?) with a cupola.



Oh man this road was so much fun and came just when I needed it as a car was bearing down on me when I got to it. The entrance was intimidating with “no trespassing signs” everywhere as if you weren’t supposed to travel the road, but the signs only apply to the land on either sides. Both sides were well posted as it meandered between crop fields and wooded areas and ended up winding between some houses where people were surprised to see me.



The road ended here at a paved highway and for some reason this field was covered in sheets.



I took the road into Boliver, TN bought a value meal at the taco bell, strapped the food to rear rack and held the giant drink between my legs. That was one of the stupidest things I have ever done. I started back toward the park and stopped at a traffic light where I needed to make a left. When the light turned, I was about to start off, but needed to reach for the drink in order to move my leg. I let go of the clutch, chirped the rear tire and killed the engine. Thank God no one was behind me, but there were cars coming and I freaked. I set the drink on the ground, started the engine, Picked up the drink and somehow managed to balance it while I took off through the light that was now yellow. I rode all the way to the park balancing that drink on the sear and picking it up about 100 times from when it fell on the tank. My route was blocked by a dead end road (for a change) and I ended up on the highway for a lot longer than I would have preferred.

I made it to the state park and found the lake and secluded dock to enjoy my cold meal.



Those trucks had their windows down while parked. I guess this area is pretty safe.
The guy in the Mazda backing down the boat ramp came hauling ass into there, ground the gears in a hurry to back up, then sat on the ramp the whole time I was there. He’s the guy I always used to get behind when I needed to launch a boat.



The battery was charged on the camera this time, but I forgot to put In the SD card. I was working with a very limited amount of memory built in to the camera. Another stupid oversight.
The park had gravel roads marked with little Jeep signs. Some were on mapquest and some were not. Some had little trails like this, but none of the ones I followed went very far from the gravel. It’s just as well since this isn’t the most ideal ride without a rear brake.



I followed the gravel roads for a long time, but there is a lot more to the park I was unable to explore. It got late and I was 40 miles from home, so I let Garmin choose my path home. I knew it would put me on the highway and I wanted to see how the new gearing held up.

It did terrible. Luckily the highway was 4-lane all the way because I had Detroit on my ass for the better part of a miserable hour. The bike could barely cover 55 miles per hour, but I would catch a blast of wind in the face that would slow it down to 45. It couldn’t accelerate from 45 in 5th gear, so I would shift into 4th, get it up to 55, shift to 5th and wait for it to drop back to 45. The speed limit was 65 most of the way.

I was very disappointed. I couldn’t believe the gearing had hurt this thing so bad. I know I looked retarded in full tuck with my chin on the crossbar and my left hand on the fork going 45, but the wind was brutalizing me. A couple on a Goldwing trike passed me and neither one waved.

I finally made it to the town where I would take smaller highways home and relaxed into the 45 and 30mph speed limits. I passed a group of pirates and none of them waved. I spotted two guys on Sportsters ahead of me and they passed a small group of pirates and neither group waved. I decided that I wasn’t going to wave at pirates anymore so I didn’t when they passed me. I got on my highway and passed a lone guy on a cruiser who waved.

Total trip was 109 miles.

Home at last to survey the damage and start a parts list.





Dr. Pepper on the gas tank;



I managed to straighten the pipe that the brake lever is on with simple hand tools. I probably could have done it on the trail if I had understood how it worked.

Back inside, I added up the mileage and it revealed a problem
Mileage
  • ? Feb 2 @8530
  • Feb 9 8587 when back Gas
  • Feb 17 8690 return
  • March 2 8694 Left
  • March 2 8708 Gas 121mi / 1.79gal 69.97mpg
  • March 2 8795 Gas 87mi / 1.33 65.66 mpg

This is very revealing. The last two times I have checked mileage (over 3 years ago and in 2001) it was close to 100mpg. The hard starting, non-existent top end speed and stalling, combined with poor mileage with the tall gear spell some kind of a problem, hopefully a bad plug. It may be a couple of weeks before it will be can test this theory.
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Mini Trail screwed with this post 04-12-2008 at 06:53 AM
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