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Old 02-10-2010, 05:48 PM   #1
KEN PHENIX OP
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Location: SOUTHEAST TEXAS
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out of Snowmageddon . . . . .

This thing began a few months ago with a promise to to drive the moving van to where ever my girl and son-in-law to be chose to settle and then ride back. The northwest? Colorado? It turned out to be Northern Virginia - only 1500 miles - No problem, as good a place as any, right? The wedding is set to take place the middle of January and the move 2 weeks later.

I planned a fantastic route to the east coast and down to the Chesapeake, through the Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge Pkwy, The Dragon, etc. Fine so far, right?

A minor snag in the ride plan presented itself in December in the form of a knocking smoking motor. Ebay to the rescue: I clicked buy it now on a 2,000 mile 2006 Katana complete kit and popped it in the old Bandit the first week in January. Kinda cutting it close but the bike runs fine.



January 27th I finish the side case install, pack my gear and head for College Station TX to load 'er on the truck.



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Old 02-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
KEN PHENIX OP
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January 28: An uneventful drive to Hattiesburg MI marks our first day out.

January 29: I get the first hint the return ride route might be changing when we run into ice just south of Chattanooga.



The kids secured one of the last rooms available and I staked out the Waffle House parking lot and enjoyed the spacious accommodations of the Penske motor hotel.



January 30: The weather reports start rolling in - snow plows are out in full force on I-81. Still we have no idea what's in store.



We make it to our destination, Lovettsville VA at 1:00 am. It's 14 degrees, 31 in the house and the furnace won't fire up.

January 31: Friends arrived to help unload the truck. Now the waiting begins.



February 1: More snow falls. There is no way to get the bike out the snow and ice covered 1/4 mile incline that is the only road from the house.

February 2: A break in the snowfall. I gear up and take a chance but it was not to be. Not today. Half way up the road I hit a patch of ice. The old Bandit slammed to the cold ground and I did a swan dive off the front. No harm done, other than another day of waiting.

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Old 02-10-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
mrbreeze
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which is why my V-strom is waiting patiently in the garage...still...
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:11 AM   #4
KEN PHENIX OP
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February 3: The heat is fixed, interweb access installed. More snowfall. I start looking at options. Do I rent another truck and drive south? No, too expensive and nothing available with a ramp anyway. I clicked and called all over the area to find anyone who could fit son-in-laws Highlander with a hitch and then located the only bike trailer in captivity 50 miles away.

February 4: After countless attempts we successfully make it up the hill and out to the road. The kids haul me west to I-81 to turn me lose. Not a great plan but a plan. Now what? The bike won't start. Plugs are fouled and we burn more daylight to find replacements. I finally began my southwestward trek at 2:30 pm eastern time. More snow is on the way. Darkness falls around the 200 mile mark and I press on a little farther, until, even though the slab was dry, I begin to see ice forming and falling off the vehicles ahead I decide to call it a day. I checked in at the nearest motel and parked in front of the room.



February 5:



February 6:



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Old 02-11-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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Holy crap! Looks cold!!!

Lou
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
moterbiker
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Wow, this looks like something that would happen to me.

Stay safe!
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
KEN PHENIX OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moterbiker
Wow, this looks like something that would happen to me.

Stay safe!
Yeah, this ain't what I had in mind at all! I was looking forward to riding down the east coast, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Dragon, etc. Oh well, there's always next time.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEN PHENIX
Yeah, this ain't what I had in mind at all! I was looking forward to riding down the east coast, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Dragon, etc. Oh well, there's always next time.
There is no snow here in Raleigh!!!!
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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February 7: Super Bowl Sunday. The forecast is sunny and 33. Here's my chance. The man in the next room, a rider there on business, gave me a ride in his Sprinter van up and down the interstate to do some ice recon



and then helped me get through the motel parking lot. Yes, you could skate on that parking lot.



Success! I'm on the road again.





The weather and the plows have taken their toll on the asphalt. I dodge the potholes. 18 wheelers are everywhere lobbing huge chunks of snow and ice off their roofs at me.



Every so many miles I was taunted again by another Blue Ridge Parkway sign. Not this trip. I could not risk getting off the slab. I made it back to Chattanooga.

February 8: Partly sunny and 27 degrees. Where I-59 crosses the northwest corner of Georgia I was treated to another snow flurry. I rode on southward to Slidell LA where Saints fans were still partying but I slept right through it as well as the rain storm. I had a room next door to a gang of roadside Super Bowl t-shirt peddlers too.

February 9: This morning was a little warmer and cloudy. The winds out of the north were as strong as any I've encountered on the bike. I experienced my longest sustained pucker moment ever as I crossed the mighty Mississippi in the wind, that is until I crossed the Lake Charles bridge. As the wind was whipping me around, on the bridge, in traffic, at highway speed, I noticed a line of fresh oil a foot wide in my lane and the cagers would not let me over. Out of desperation I waved my left arm motioning to the car beside me to back off and let me in. Not fun. And that never ending elevated causeway between Baton Rouge and Lafayette is miserable in a car and worse on a bike. I will avoid I-10 through Louisiana in the future. I fought the wind for 280 miles today but it sure is good to be home.

BUT WAIT! It ain't over yet. Here comes the weird part: I parked in front of our bakery and hobbled inside. A while later a man walked in with his hat and his insurance card in his hand. "Is that your motorcycle?" Sure enough, he had backed into poor Bandit and knocked 'er over. The damage is not too serious and the man gave me all his information and insists on making it right. I'll get her looked at one day this week.

I'M HOME! WHEW!
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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jesus man! rotten story. glad to hear you did alright.

Ive been thinking about putting up with whatever i have to to get south enough to get into some warm stuff. Thanks for reminding me how dumb that could be since i would eventually have to come back through it to get home
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:03 PM   #11
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Good read! Glad you made it home, sounds like an adventure!
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:04 PM   #12
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Nice trip. Not so nice weather. Makes me miss my old Bandit; it was quite a capable tourer...
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:59 AM   #13
KEN PHENIX OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclingtom
Makes me miss my old Bandit; it was quite a capable tourer...
Yeah, this Bandit is like a old friend - and since the '06 Katana heart transplant it looks like she'll be with me a while longer.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:34 AM   #14
bk brkr baker
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Well when I read your story it reassured me that I'm not the only I.F. out here. Twice I've ridden cross country in late October , early November and the weather always rules. But even I am not going to try cross coutry in January or February , that's just nuts.
Once on the way back from Bike Week coming through North Carolina and thought it would be fun to ride some on the B.R.P. scince I was right there anyway. So I unloaded the Skorpion from the tan van and took off. As I gained elevation the temps dropped and so did my enthusiasm level.I was running about 55-60 when I rounded a corner and saw the road was covered with snow. I got slowed up and didn't fall but, the roads did not improve and I soon headed back to the van. Lesson learned .
Anyway, glad you made it home. Next time pick your season.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:48 PM   #15
KEN PHENIX OP
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Originally Posted by bk brkr baker
. . . . .
Anyway, glad you made it home. Next time pick your season.
Yeah, I had to drive the moving truck and I had to make a choice to either ride or fly back. The locals I planned to ride with were just as surprised to see the snow as I was. Just my luck to go there in the worst snow in 100 years.
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