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Old 10-15-2011, 09:20 PM   #1
OnOff OP
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3700 mi and 6 days solo on a borrowed Concours 14...

Recently I met a pilot who is a common friend with another pilot friend of mine. I'm NOT a pilot. He crossed off one of his bucket list items by riding his 09 Concours from VA to Los Angeles CA this past summer. They had a great trip though they did it in the worst of the hottest heatwave of the summer. After 3000+ miles, he was going to ship the bike back to VA and get back to work. About this time, we met while moving our common friend and I lucked into the opportunity to ride the Concours back to MD. Sure, I'd LOVE to ride it back but can I take any route I want? MT was high on my list and the owner was fine with this. Due to work obligations I was unable to go until Sept 21st. My concern was whether snow would be flying in Beartooth Pass or if I would have good weather. Today has been a long day but I did manage to edit and toss 722 pix online. I'll start by just tossing a few of my favorites from this trip. Man, we live in a BEAUTIFUL country. I really need to work on this ride report. I still havent done my Moab dirt adventure report from a few months ago
Its a start...












Just when you are all happy with your handling of the mountain twisties. You have become one with nature and your ride.
Oh wait, there go 2 guys uphill on unicycle at 10,000ft elevation.
Nuff said.



























































The plan was to fly out of BWI through Denver to LAX and do it early enough so I could get out of LA before traffic had me baking at a dead stop. I booked a mid week flight early enough to have a shuttle pick me up at the unGodly time of 3:30am.

The flights out were pretty uneventful and snow was just starting to show up on the peaks of the rockies.



Temps at LAX were already in the 90s


Sean, a teacher, had kindly stored the bike in his garage for the past couple months and his wife was ready to have it GONE :o) He went out of his way to help me with a ride from LAX to Anaheim.



He had to get back to work so I quickly checked out the bike, loaded up and was about to put my gear on when I looked down and his dog had decided to mark my gear as his own. They say its good luck to have a bird shit on you so I was hoping this works for dog piss as well.
In short order I was on the road and headed for Death Valley, Mojave, Vegas and parts north. Thanks Sean for storing the bike, picking me up and helping to rinse off the dog piss! You sir are a true gentleman and an interesting character. I could only smell the urine inside my Arai when I stopped moving so it was OK...




LA traffic was already a mess from multiple car accidents and I sat in many lanes of dead stopped traffic while baking before this east coaster realized it was OK to lane split in CA. Following a few narrow sport bikes through heavy stopped traffic was interesting with a wide Concours but eventually I was out of the LA nightmare. I wanted to head as far north of Vegas as I could before I stopped for the night. Zero sleep the night before, 3am wake up on the east coast, flights to LAX and now baking heat were taking their toll. While going through Death Valley and Mojave areas on a bike one gets a very odd feeling. The lower into this furnace you go the hotter it gets. The bike owner went through this mess with air temps in the 120s a couple months before this and I was going through at about 111F air temp. You keep riding and thinking it HAS to get cooler and I just need to keep going to get through this. And then it gets hotter still. My Camelback water supply was warm and dwindling and my lips dried up and cracked in short order. It was like riding through 50 hairdryers at full blast. There are no places to stop out there that offer any shade and heat stroke can and will leave you brain damaged if you dont get out of there. Its not a section of this trip I want to repeat anytime soon.




OnOff screwed with this post 10-16-2011 at 05:15 PM
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:50 PM   #2
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Hmmmm

150 views and no response at all! LOL Does this mean I have to jump ahead to riding through the Bighorn mountains at night, narrowly escaping death by mule deer, bear, switchbacks and cliffs? Wound up in a tiny town in Wyoming where everybody was dressed up and celebrating Fall? Women started wearing my helmet at the bar and somehow I wound up sleeping in somebody's trailer.





I understand these beautiful women are sisters!



My God Jack, you have a lovely wife! Misty and Jack are both great people and are the couple who allowed me to crash in their hunting camper
Not only is Misty beautiful, she is full of life and her smile lights up an entire room! We all laughed a LOT that night.



Jack is a steelworker who constructs buildings at crazy heights!!! Guys like Jack built this country.



Even the bartender in this town was hot!



My castle for the night!


OnOff screwed with this post 11-18-2011 at 06:32 AM
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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Enjoying it so far! Keep it coming!
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Gas...

I dont think east coasters quite grasp not being able to get gas for LONG stretches of highway. I got used to checking the range on my tank, checking my GPS for fuel stops and figuring out whether I could make it to the next stop or should I tank up NOW? Who tanks up when they are already 3/4ths full??? I was in the middle of nowhere UT but my calculations said I should make the next gas stop without any problems. The next stop forward or back was a LONG haul. I pulled into my "gas exit" and it was a deserted road. HMMM there is a white pickup with 2 people in it. 2 old folks coming out of the desert from a camping trip. I asked them where the gas station was that the GPS said was here. They smiled and said that disappeared years ago! Suddenly I felt pretty small realizing I was about to be stuck many many miles from the next station and not enough gas to get there. This kind couple offered up the contents of their extra 2.5 gallon spare tank that was in the bed of his truck. I paid them and thanked them profusely. Lesson learned and from that point on, I tanked up when I could and carried a spare can. I should mention this 70 something redheaded wife of the truck driver was a stunt pilot! She flew all kinds of planes and led a VERY crazy life. She is one of the few people on record not employed specifically to do so who had piloted the Goodyear blimp for a few hours. You meet the neatest people while crossing the country on bike. I DID find people to be very friendly and interested in where you were headed. Riding solo made it simple to meet people and find a place to crash.


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Old 10-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #5
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Road trip vs dirt

I realize reading a ROAD trip can be boring compared to our offroad adventures but both can be interesting in their own realm. If you are falling asleep on this ride report, I promise to follow up with a write up of a recent week in Moab UT. If you want to check out some Moab pix in the mean time to get your dirt fix, click my link here...
http://imageevent.com/peteh/moabutahcycletrip

Call it a cross country street ride report with a Moab dirt fix

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Old 10-16-2011, 04:43 PM   #6
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Man, I wonder if we ever passed each other. I left NJ the 14th of Sept. and returned the 30th.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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Ill follow along, I like those Connies.. :)

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Old 10-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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Great ride. Love the pics.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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Thats a good question

I was surprised how FEW bikes I saw on this trip. VERY few bikes in NV, AZ, CO, UT, WY, MT and SD. From Wisconsin east I saw a handful of guys but not many. The last day I slabbed 832 miles about 550 of which were heavy rain. When I hit Chicago, heavy depression set in that I was back east! What were you riding?
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnOff View Post
I was surprised how FEW bikes I saw on this trip. VERY few bikes in NV, AZ, CO, UT, WY, MT and SD. From Wisconsin east I saw a handful of guys but not many. The last day I slabbed 832 miles about 550 of which were heavy rain. When I hit Chicago, heavy depression set in that I was back east! What were you riding?
I was on a 08 Connie, man, it was a tough choice of my Street Glide or the Connie, but I'm sure I made the right choice. Beartooth Pass was amazing.
I had an ignition switch problem in Sturgis, but managed to get the bike started. I drove back to NJ from there, without shutting the bike off. I only slept a half hour all the way home. I was checking my GPS files and the night I left Sturgis, through the next 24hrs., I drove over 1200 miles. I dozed off on the Penn. Turnpike and bounced off the cement median wall, scarring the left saddle bag, but amazingly keeping the bike up. The bag saved my leg some serious injury.
Notice where I dropped down 150 miles off of I90, to get out of some wet and windy wind, coming out of the north. it shook my Shoei Hornet all night long
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Wow!

You had an interesting trip! I should have followed your southern path at the end to cut some of my rain but the way the storm was swirling, I think I would still have gotten wet. I fell asleep on a bike in 1986 and learned my lesson with some broken toes when my foot came off the peg at highway speed. When you wake up on the grass berm headed for the woods at 85mph, you will NEVER do that again. When I start shakin my head to stay awake, I now listen and pull over to sleep. Glad you made it home safely and hopefully got your problem sorted out. My FJR1300 is getting a complete wiring harness replacement as I type but Mamma Yamma is paying for it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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Really great pics!! Enjoyed the report.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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Funny thing is, I never got a hint, by dozing, it just hit me. I still can't believe, I didn't go down. I had just gotten the only sleep, during the whole ride, a few hours earlier, about 100 miles west of Wheeling, WV.
I pulled the bike up, right next to a state rest building, because I didn't want to chance, shutting the bike off. I slept on the floor, which didn't seem to be unusual to the truckers. I guess they see it all.
The Connie is getting fixed this Thur., under warranty, I've been able to use it, because I found by banging of the left side of the ignition box, when the computer fails to make contact, by depressing the key, that seems, to do the trick. Mama Kawa, is gonna put a stronger spring in, for the known problem/failure.
What were you running with the hounds, cat or bear? Isn't Moab the cat's nuts? I gotta get back out to Colorado with a dirt bike. I have a KLR, but I'm thinking of getting something like a F800GS, but the KLR, probably would do fine, set up properly, whadda think?
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:17 AM   #14
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Vegas to parts north...

I stopped briefly in crowded Vegas just long enough to roast in the heat, get stuck in rush hour traffic and found the construction on the highway outside Vegas to be insane Traffic NOT moving and about 102F. Head north and wound up crashing in Mesquite NV. The following morning I was headed out of Nevada, through the corner of Arizona and the goal was to see Zion and Bryce national parks before I ate dinner with my friends in Fruita CO, just outside Grand Junction CO. 15 is a pretty scenic drive through the Virgin River Gorge though the winds whip through here HARD at times. The Connie was solid in the wind and her weight was appreciated on the bridges between canyons. The winds would funnel and form a vortex here and would pick up 30 mph in the blink of an eye at times.







I cruised in the vicinity of this couple for a while. I'd stop to take a pic somewhere and they would pass and then I would catch up and so on. He kept a nice pace for towing a trailer in the wind.





Next stop Zion National Park...

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Old 10-17-2011, 08:18 AM   #15
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Zion National Park is beautiful!

Zion...





































Where you line up to go through the tunnel...









VIDEO of the area around the tunnel. Imagine cutting and blasting through all this rock!

Videos are large files, click ONCE and wait for it to load.

http://photos.imageevent.com/peteh/c...4/MVI_0860.MOV

Lets ride INTO the tunnel...

http://photos.imageevent.com/peteh/c...4/MVI_0865.MOV















Its REALLY TOUGH to capture the beauty of Zion with a camera. To be continued...

OnOff screwed with this post 10-17-2011 at 08:27 AM
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