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Old 01-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #571
just jeff
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Hmmmm....Sounds like a Rear Tire Change Shootout competition coming up between you and Nomadgal!!
Regards....justjeff
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:06 AM   #572
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
Hmmmm....Sounds like a Rear Tire Change Shootout competition coming up between you and Nomadgal!!
Regards....justjeff


Yeah I suppose. I have a bit more experience on that end than she does though, I've done or helped with 8 tire changes/flats in the last year or so... this will be my 9th! I did the Rebel once, the DR twice, helped with Nip's flat rear and fixed my own flat about a month ago when I ran over a really nasty nail. I'll be swapping the rear and changing the front's direction once my tube gets here. I'm certainly not the fastest at it (I think Jim can change a flat in like 15 minutes), but it gets done.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:18 AM   #573
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Ashram and Keeler Party (Oct 27th)

Pete assured me that this would be a relatively easy day, a fairly short ride with about 5 miles of dirt. We hit the road, heading toward the sierras.


Eventually we reached the turnoff and it was just... sand. Oh great. My arch-nemesis.


I crept along slowly, "landing gear" extended in some of the particularly hairy parts. For a while it was fine, but then the road started getting more steep. The incline by itself wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the camber of the road, slanting off towards a cliff. I didn't take any photos, because momentum was a necessary component of most of this route, and stopping didn't feel like a safe idea at the best of times.

At one point I took the low route when I should have taken the high one, and my bike started digging into the sand. I rocked forward and back, trying to keep it up and keep going, but it was a lost cause by that point. I ended up backing up onto slightly more solid ground and going the other way instead. "The other way" was a very narrow strip of dirt with tree branches to smack me, which made me nervous.

Eventually we made it to the top of the hill, an area I will generously call a "parking area". I gladly stripped out of my heavy gear and changed into my toe shoes. I cable locked everything to the bike - not that I expected to see anyone this far out of the way, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


We started up the trail to the Ashram. The first part was really steep! Nip stopped now and then to gather pine nuts, pointing out the hundreds of cones littering the ground and offering us a few nuts. He was also a bit of a showoff, walking backwards and talking to us along the way.

We stopped from time to time to rehydrate and enjoy the views. And boy, were the views worth it.


I loved the trees, clinging to life. I wonder how long this one's been there?


As the trail crept upwards through the sandy terrain, winding around manzanita bushes and hugging the side of the mountain, we discussed the people who built this path, shoring up the sand with rocks to prevent erosion, and hauling up all the materials they'd need to build the Ashram. They must have been pretty devoted to their cause!


A bit over an hour later, we arrived at a stream, coursing its way down the side of the mountain and cascading down cliffs to the valley below.


We balanced on the log and crossed over the water, finding a completely different environment on the other side. In the shade of the mountain, fed by the stream, deciduous trees flourished and carpeted the ground with their leaves, eventually forming soil. Small, delicate grasses found a niche here. It was a sharp contrast to the arid, sandy dust we'd just come through.


Not long after, we found the Ashram itself.

"The history of this remarkable building can be traced back to 1928, when Franklin Merrell-Wolff and his wife Sherifa first visited the area west of Lone Pine, California. Here stands Mount Whitney, which at the time was the tallest peak in the United States. The couple had been told by an Indian philosopher that the spiritual center of a country was close to its highest point of elevation, and for this reason they sought a nearby location to work on several writing projects. Starting at the legendary Olivas Ranch, Wolff and his wife packed their typewriters and camping supplies onto burros and hiked up to Hunter’s Camp, a flat area at the base of Mount Whitney. The pair set up camp near a waterfall on Lone Pine Creek, and spent the next two months contemplating and writing.

Later that year, Franklin and Sherifa Merrell-Wolff founded the Assembly of Man, an educational institution with a generally theosophical orientation. As part of this work, the couple decided to start a summer school near the area they had camped the previous summer. Wolff made inquiries to the U.S. Forest Service about a special use permit for the school, and was informed that in order to receive authorization for such an operation in the High Sierra Primitive Area, the Assembly would be obliged to erect some sort of permanent structure. Moreover, he was notified that building permits for the Hunter’s Camp area were not available. Accordingly, Wolff explored the next canyon south for a suitable site, and found a spot high in a beautiful piñon pine forest surrounded by two branches of a clear, cold creek. The founders of the Assembly of Man decided that the remote and quiet wilderness of Tuttle Creek Canyon would provide the ideal atmosphere for their summer school.

Wolff and the members of the Assembly of Man received permission from the Forest Service to operate a summer school on Tuttle Creek in 1929, and the next year work began on leveling a site for a structure. Wolff handled all of the dynamite used to blast a flat area, and as rock began piling up, he got the idea to use it in the construction of the building. The structure was laid out roughly along the four cardinal points of the compass, and built in the shape of a balanced cross to symbolize the principle of equilibrium.

Building materials such as lumber and cement were initially brought to the site on the backs of burros from Olivas Ranch, and the site was approached from the north side of the canyon. Later, Wolff cleared an access road on the south side of the canyon, which could accommodate a tractor pulling a flatbed trailer. Wolff and his students would spend the next twenty summers working on the ashram, spending their days engaged in hard labor and their evenings with music and study around a campfire. The group also held formal services at the site, with Wolff and Sherifa officiating." - Tuttle Creek Ashram


We explored the structure. It was pretty impressive! Very solid. It looked like other visitors used it from time to time. Were they strangers, like us, or part of the Wolff pack?


Upon the hearth, tucked in a corner, I discovered a tiny statue. Shiva?


On one wall hung an owl pendant. It was gorgeous, but it belonged with the Ashram.


A large altar was the only structure in the building. The surface bore these words: "Father, Into thy eternal wisdom, all creative love, and infinite power; I direct my thoughts, give my devotion and manifest my energy; That I may know, love, and serve thee. - Anon"


The view was lovely. I would have wanted a much larger window if this were my project, but the reality of the snowy winters at this high of an elevation was probably more of a deciding factor.


We sat outside and contemplated our navels for a bit. I mentioned an interest of mine, Vipassana meditation, and suggested that they focus on their breath, if they were interested in meditating. We spent a few minutes relaxing this way.

Spying another building nearby, I decided to take a look, and found this creepy shed.


We had noticed that the roofing was... well, missing, leaving most of the wood exposed. Inside the shed I found some roofing tiles which suggested that somebody was (hopefully) replacing it. At least somebody cares about preserving this place!


By this point, we had enough of the Ashram, and began our trek back to the bikes. I gathered some pine nuts along the way. They were surprisingly tasty! They made my fingers sticky and black with sap though, and I ran my hands through the dust to try to keep from sticking to myself. We made far better time on the way down.

Back at the parking area, I geared up and maneuvered my bike to point down the trail we'd come up. I tried to hop on, and the camber got the better of me, sending me slowly flopping over onto my left side. D'oh! I had the bike back up before Pete could get out his camera, and with that indignity behind me, we began our trek back to pavement, Nip leading the way.


This was better in some ways, but worse in others. On the one hand, I didn't have to worry about being unable to make it up the hill, on the other, I had to control my inertia while being cautious of my brakes in the sand. For the steep parts, the sand was thankfully not bad, and I was careful to mimic the path that Nip was taking, sticking to the high parts of the camber and out of the deeper patches.

Back on pavement, I was thrilled to get out of first gear, and followed Nip through the back roads. He led us to an unusual place called the Alabama Hills.


The rocks looked like something from another planet. Erosion had left many arch shapes and odd, lumpy oval boulders from the ancient volcanic rock covering the landscape. This is a popular movie filming location - everything from old westerns to Star Trek, Tremors and Iron Man has parts shot in this area. There is a movie museum in Lone Pine, but I didn't get a chance to check it out.




Continuing along, we found this shack, carved into the mountainside. There were a bunch of holes, presumably for ventilation, and we speculated that it was probably used for dynamite storage originally. Nip mentioned that these sorts of places used to be called "hippie holes", because people lived in them back in the 60s. Seems like it'd be pretty cramped, but free rent at least!


We noticed how late it had become, and Nip decided it was time to hurry! There was a Halloween party in Keeler that he didn't want to miss! After a brief detour to Nip's place, he and I rode to Keeler in the setting sunlight. Pete decided that the day had gotten the better of him, and that he'd rather just relax instead. Fair enough!


I didn't have a costume, and figured that if anyone asked, I was a motorcycle nomad. Nip at least had a skull mask, and after chatting with some people, I found him cutting a rug with some of the local ladies.


There were a surprising number of people for this event, given that Keeler is so small that it isn't even considered a town. It's apparently classified as a "census-designated place", but the whole town (as well as nearby Darwin) seemed to show up. There was quite a spread, people had brought tons of food potluck-style, which took up multiple tables.


I wandered around aimlessly, talking to a few people. I am not much of a social butterfly at the best of times, especially not when I am a stranger, and have almost nothing in common with most folks. I met a few interesting characters. One bearded, crusty-looking mountain man with a large backpack introduced himself as "Paint Your Wagon", and told us stories of how he'd hiked up from Mexico and had been recently hiking in the Sierras in a snowstorm. He had nearly froze as he misplaced his camp in the low visibility. Another woman, Canyon, lived in nearby Darwin, and described herself as a hiker. "People ask me what I do, you know? And I hike. That's what I do, who I am, but most people don't get it." She'd come back to town after the recent chill had made her hikes a less positive experience. I relayed some of my adventures, to a fairly positive reception, although most people didn't seem too terribly interested.


I ate, I watched people dancing, and eventually I decided that I'd done about as much talking as I felt like, and decided to take my leave. The ride home was brisk, to say the least, without my liner, and I was grateful when I escaped the wind. I had a good night's sleep in anticipation of another day of adventure ahead!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:31 AM   #574
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:57 AM   #575
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I'll have to put the Ashram on my list. Can you PM me the route?

Keep it coming!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #576
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Hey Fey, almost ready to hit the road again?
I'll text ya! near Apalachicola national forest now, gonna camp put for a few days, maybe a week.
Tomorrow promises rain, just loaded up my Nook with library books! Bring it on rain!
A day of being lazy!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:42 PM   #577
Ratman
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Ashram Hike

Nip had mentioned the Ashram house. I thought it'd be a great way to spend the day. Both Fey and Nip took to the hiking better than I did. The day was a beauty and the Ashram house was quite a rugged well built place. Here's where it is... http://goo.gl/maps/TnwJU

Here's a marker for an important turn. We were heading about a 1/3 the way to the top of that canyon.
From DV Oct 2012


There's Nip with Fey in the background showing the ADV salute celebrating having attained the parking lot and getting off the bike.
From DV Oct 2012


We huffed and puffed toward our destination...
From DV Oct 2012


That's our skinny little trail...notice all the pine cones. They all had nuts in them, and others had a few nuts laying where they fell. There were so many nuts that the squirrels and birds couldn't eat them all.
From DV Oct 2012


From DV Oct 2012

The last 100 yards after crossing that stream...
From DV Oct 2012


Finally the house..
From DV Oct 2012


From DV Oct 2012


Quite large and well built...The structure was solid.
From DV Oct 2012


The Naval contemplating area....sitting down felt good.
From DV Oct 2012


Up the Mtn from out back...
From DV Oct 2012


Looking back at Lone Pine, a world away..
From DV Oct 2012


Fey adequately described the return trip to Lone Pine thru the Alabama Hills.

Fey, how's the wrist feeling....any plans about getting out on the road?
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #578
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[QUOTE=Feyala;19001907]Oklahoma to Oregon along the California coast, Oregon forests, Hells Canyon, and beyond...



[quote]

Linked over from Hell's Canyon. Looks like a goodun that may consume some time.

Better late than never, right?
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:53 PM   #579
NomadGal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
Hmmmm....Sounds like a Rear Tire Change Shootout competition coming up between you and Nomadgal!!
Regards....justjeff
LOL, I'd get killed! I'm a bit slow on the draw!
At least I know now what to do, think it will be easier the next time, even though I am fervently hoping that there will be no next time. But then again, 9,000 miles from now I am going to need a new tire again.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #580
Feyala OP
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Darwin to China Garden (Oct 28th)

We set out around eleven in the morning, aiming ourselves toward Keeler. Pete and Nip wanted me to meet a local artist named Craig. He was quite eccentric, but seemed to have a good sense of humor.


Craig had carpeted his property with various assemblage sculpture. Some of which had a fairly obvious message...




... while some were a bit more vague.






He was also the proud owner of this bike, which I'd noticed at the Halloween party. The DIY square tubing sidehack with a plank for a seat must be interesting to ride on. And by interesting I mean terrifying.


The tank bore a Banksy stencil of Mona Lisa wielding a bazooka.


It was also decked out with other little touches, like this fringe and skull beads. Kinda ratty overall, but I like bikes with style, even if it isn't a style that I would go for personally.


I thought this old car was pretty classy too, it's a shame it isn't properly restored yet, but maybe that's a future project? Gotta have something to do if you live in Keeler!


Eventually Pete and Nip grew tired of Craig talking their ears off and gently goaded me along to leave. We headed southeast towards our next landmark, Darwin! The landscape seemed to go on forever.


I didn't know much about Darwin, except that it's even more of a ghost town than Keeler, and is in the middle of nowhere. Several people had mentioned a "music camp" in passing. Once a year, folks gather in Darwin for a jam session, to see who they fit with musically.

There was a documentary made about this town. I'd like to see it, the trailer expresses some of the beauty of the area far better than I could hope to.


We passed lots of buildings which looked abandoned or nearly so, rusted-out shells of broken vehicles, and the occasional sign of life.




This is probably the most photographed post office in the county. It's amazing to me that people manage to live in places like this, where there aren't any jobs, no stores, schools, churches, nothing to occupy your time but what you cultivate for yourself. It has a certain kind of monastic appeal: go to the end of the road, renounce your attachments, and live in relative isolation, unburdened by the demands of the world at large. Of course, the folks who chose to settle here did so for any number of reasons, and with working vehicles, fast food and entertainment are less than an hour away, but it must be interesting to live in a place where you have to work to seek them out.


On our way out of town, we spoke to some ladies (including Canyon!) who were tending a garden on the side of the road. They had heard that the road to Panamint was washed out from the recent storms and was impassable. Well, we'd see. We told them that we were going to go for it anyways and they seemed surprised.


The road was gentle at first, a bit sandy but not bad, and we were able to keep up a decent pace. As the road grew more sandy, we stopped to air down our tires.


Not long after, we came across some old abandoned buildings. These were remnants of the mining industry which, like most of the other small towns in this area, created Darwin originally.




Inside one of the buildings, there were still the remains of an old machine, which I believe was used to help pump water. The wires had been scavenged from the control boxes, but it was nice to see something intact.


The geology in the cliffs was fascinating. All sorts of multicolored rock formations, constantly changing as we went along.




The cliffs absolutely dwarfed us.


The road degraded into a sandy, rocky wash. It was difficult at times to see where the actual road was. Pete frequently took the high road and blazed his own trail across crunchy, undisturbed terrain. I tried this from time to time when the 'road' got really bad, but I didn't enjoy the occasional surprise when I would be faced with an impassable rut or a row of large rocks blocking my path. For the most part, I stayed in the wash and fought with the sand.


Eventually we reached China Garden, and I had to take a 'victory shot' of the bike and the canyon we'd just come down. I was more than ready for a break!

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Old 01-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #581
Feyala OP
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Quick Update

Still in Phoenix. I'd love to be on the road soon but I still have to fix the rack and the box. The former should be dealt with via vice and/or hammer, I'm still looking for a cheap aluminum plate to fix the latter (Home Depot wants almost $40 for a thin sheet of aluminum, hell with that, I'm going to look at scrap yards!)

After making my prototypes and thinking through the process, making tank bags was going to take more time than I want to spend on it, so I ordered a set of Tusk tank panniers, which seem to work fine. I'll need to attach some straps to keep them centered on the tank, but they don't hit my knees and they should fit the heaviest stuff (namely tools) just fine. I also plan on waterproofing both this and the other textile bag I have with a silicone sealant to make them more water resistant. Also: cupholder! Yay!

Some recent tooth sensitivity has led to the discovery that my wisdom teeth are pretty fucked up, so I'm going to need to get that looked at. I'm planning on scheduling a consultation at a dental school-run facility (half price!) on Monday. They will likely need extraction, if the dental school won't do them at rates I feel are reasonable, I'll be looking at my options in Mexico. One of them appears to be growing forwards into my other teeth, and the other appears to be growing off kilter and full of cavities. Thankfully, they are not painful.

I changed the rear tire with one of these and flipped the front tire around with no problems. I balanced them both, and the front was previously off, but only slightly, and still has plenty of tread. The new rear seems to have a decent amount of tread, and is a harder compound than the last one, so hopefully it will last a bit longer (also made it exciting to get the tire on the rim).

My cush drive rubbers need to get replaced at some point, but for now I shimmed them with some pieces of inner tube rubber and the sprocket seems a lot less loose. Maybe this will help with some of the lashing I've been experiencing!

I found a 32mm socket and tightened the steering stem nut, it was a bit loose, but I have not been on a test ride to see if it is tightened appropriately yet.

I have gotten replacement motorcycle pants (BMG Pioneer), some nicer cool-weather gloves (BMG Thermosport), both used from inmates. I am skeptical how the Pioneer Pants will handle when the weather starts to warm, but I'll give them a good shot. They seem much more well made than the First Gear ones I had before, and the idea of being warm and dry in the rain is appealing enough to make me willing to gamble with sweating to death. I'll deal with problems as they arise.

I got a battery terminal to SAE cable, so I'll be able to use my compressor at will now, instead of having to take off the seat or jumping it off the starter relay. This should make it easier to air up tires, leading to more willingness to air them down when the going gets tough. Hopefully this will help! Still working on a SAE to USB solution for charging, but should not be hard, soldering equipment is available here.

The body damage to my bike has all been sanded as flat as I care to get it, and I'll be fixing the paint work once it stops raining. I'm not a vain person, but I've got the time, the stencil, and paint is cheap.

Still not sure what my plans are when I leave here other than "Meet up with Esther at some point" and "maybe go to Mexico if I have money, once my replacement passport gets here, which will take some time." Mardi gras in NOLA? On the up side, friends who owe me money have started to pay me back, so by not moving around and spending I am actually making a bit of cash. So that's nice! Offsets all this crap I am buying...

TL;DR: I'm not dead, just busy with mundane crap. I wish I were riding and doing things worth writing about. But, better to take care of this shit now than go off half-cocked I guess!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:14 PM   #582
Feyala OP
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Reply Time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
100 lbs. is quite a bit. Not too bad on road, but can be tough Off road. Also, if most weight is rearward ... it can lighten front end ... and cause a wobble or tank slapper. Steering head bearings should be set at PERFECT tension ... not too tight, not too loose.

I went from hard bags to soft bags and knocked off 35 lbs. of weight. I'm now down to 65 lbs. including camping equipment ... but not much cooking equip.
I should weigh my stuff at some point. I'm getting rid of some stuff I haven't been using, but gaining a netbook and some exercise bands. I might be way off with 100 lbs.

I like the idea of soft luggage, but I don't have the money for a Giant Loop, and having an actual box is infinitely more convenient than having to dig through a bag to find the one thing I need on the side of the road. I had a set of soft saddlebags on my first bike (the 250 Rebel you can see on the first page of the RR), and it was nothing but trouble. I overpacked them (I guess?) but in any case they sagged and slid around due to only being attached via velcro, and melted a bit on my exhaust, before I glued on a large patch of leather to help a bit. No bueno. Giant Loop looks like a nice tight package but I question how easy it is to get to stuff. I just remember how much of my day was involved with doing and undoing tarp straps on the first leg of the trip (drybags count as soft luggage right?), and I will skip that again if possible.

Quote:
Filter Skins are good ... but if you're not in a hurry, its not too hard to clean your filter. Use motor oil to re-oil filter ... if it's all you got. Don't use too much oil. I only use Filter Skins riding in groups where dust is SUPER thick. Solo riding, even off road, I can go for a week without cleaning filter.

I start off with a 12 oz squeeze bottle (Asian Hot sauce), filled from home. That lasts about a month on the road, oiling and cleaning everyday. In the USA I don't carry Kerosene ... but start with a can of WD40. In Mexico, after WD40 runs out ... I take run off from Diesel pump hose ...it stinks but good for chain cleaning.
I got a bunch of pool filter socks that I will try as soon as my air filters are dry. I almost got run out on a rail as my parents apparently can't stand the smell of kerosene, lol. I am big on low maintenance, and decreasing the number of mystery specks I can't seem to get out of the filter is appealing. The filter after I got out of Death Valley was absolutely caked with dust, super gross.

WD40 I have heard can have some negative effect on the o-rings, which is why I use kerosene when I can. I've used WD-40 a couple of times and it does seem to leave things a lot "drier". I've never thought about Diesel runoff, I wonder if somebody would become irate if I collected it in the US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Could it be sand/dirt got into the tire while running low pressure? This would abrade tube over time. Also, a heavily loaded bike, low pressures in very hot weather can be hard on tubes.
It wasn't heavily loaded, wasn't terribly hot, but I wasn't around for the life of the tube, so I couldn't tell you. I'd just never seen a non-puncture tube failure before and it made me leery.

Quote:
Sounds like you've got this in hand. Some Gringos camp on beautiful beaches ... thinking it's totally safe. It's not. Any tourist areas can attract some opportunists. You have good awareness. In some places there are JUST SO MANY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ... you cannot camp.

unfortunately many will advise against. Especially the women. But in the same breath ... will invite you to their house to stay and for dinner!
Yeah, being a gringo in Mexico is like being a walking wallet, I get that. I also don't like to get drunk as much as lots of those folks on the beach, which should help. Even in the US, I am a bit leery about being invited back to somebody's house though, because I no longer have control of the situation once I'm in their space. I think that I have a pretty good quick-judge of character, but serial killers are also known to be pretty charming. Not sure if this is justified or paranoia, but it's why I prefer the woods to randomly knocking on farmhouse doors and asking if I can pitch a tent in the states. (Not saying I'd never do it, but I am pretty insanely cautious.) Maybe I should read more stories about Mexican good Samaritans to put my mind at ease...

Quote:
Most medium to large sized towns in Mexico have a Mercado Central (big public market) Not only can you buy fruits, veg, meat ... YES the meat dept. will indeed terrify you!
... but Mercados have lots of little restaurants side by side inside the Mercado. My favorite place to eat ... with the locals. Really small towns?
(Aldea) You're out of luck, but usually a Comedor or two will be around somewhere. Usually somebody will take in strangers to feed them and make a few extra Pesos. Ask: "?Hay Comida?"

Once you discover Mexican panaderia's
you will be hooked. Lots of Veg food too ... but even beans have Manteca in the broth.
Yeah, I've seen pics from mexican carnicerias, lol. We even have some here in Phoenix, whole roasted pigs, headmeats, etc. Manteca isn't something I'm going to argue over with the locals, I'm one of the less picky vegetarians, especially in a foreign culture.

Any particular bakery delights you'd suggest I try?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #583
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
While weighting the bike with luggage gives you the total weight if does not identify where you could save weight. For that you need the weight of individual items. Some bicycle riders weigh all the items yep every thing, tyres, tubes, nuts, bolts, chains ... they call them 'weight weenies' http://weightweenies.starbike.com/ . Suggest you do the similar - use the kitchen scales (should have a resolution of 1 gram .. what ever that is in ozs... about the weight of one grain of rice ) They add up all the bits to get the total. More applicable to motorcycle camping are the light weigh backpackers. http://www.lightweightbackpacking101.com/ Be careful, the lighter the weigh the less stress most things can withstand. Going from cotton clothing to synthetics means lighter weight, faster drying and longer lasting so that goes against what I just said. They do cost more, and you'll find that with most lighter weigh gear.
This sounds like a lot of work. Some things (like clothing) I am switching to synthetics when I can (when I can find it in the thrift store), and many others I have an eye out for lighter versions if I can find them. I have so many egregious weight hog items that a scale isn't even necessary to find out where most of my problems are. I'd love to get a newer synthetic sleeping bag, for example, because they've made a lot of improvements in the 7-8 years I've had this one. I'd love to lighten up my tool kit. But having done backpacking before, there's a reason why I am on a motorcycle this time!

Cost is honestly the biggest hurdle to upgrading my equipment. I am doing this trip on the shoestringiest of budgets, there is no nice 50k/yr job waiting for me at the end of the rainbow. It's the tradeoff I've chosen to make, but it does mean I need to be creative more often. I'm okay with that.

You do have a good point though. I need to simplify. It's much easier if one is going out for a fixed time, easier to pack for the exact conditions. Maybe I should get better at mailing packages when the seasons turn, but then again, there have been times in the summer when those long johns came in handy...

I need to learn how to improvise!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #584
2000RSV
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Location: FDL, WI
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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Still working on a SAE to USB solution for charging, but should not be hard, soldering equipment is available here.
One of these:

http://www.warmnsafe.com/sae-coax-jack-adapter-6-in/

and one of these:

http://www.warmnsafe.com/usb-3with-pouch/

Enjoying the RR.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #585
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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
Feyala -

Just ran across your rr last night, and I finished catching up a short time ago. Top notch reading. Greatly enjoy your nearly "stream of consciousness" writing style. I like the comments Joseph Campbell used to make about "The outward journey mirrors an inward journey". Its obvious you are having that beautiful yin yang of external/internal reflection, your writing makes that clear, otherwise it would just be "travel".
Hey, thanks for the kind comments, and I'm glad to have you along! I definitely feel that the thoughts and feelings present in a situation make a journey more than just a series of events.

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My life situation is significantly different than yours, but are some points that really resonate. The doing more with less stuff... currently I ride a Ninja 250 and it works for this little guy. "Use what you got". Not too bad having bought a bike basically from a yard sale for $1500.

Over the following years I learned to wrench on the bike and slowly built up a fairly comprehensive "home base" tool collection. It is really wonderful to know your bike, its systems, how things work, and when they don't, what is likely the culprit. I've sort of become a local guru for the Ninja 250 guys, and enjoy helping them learn to do their own wrenching. Love to read of your trials and travails while "learning your bike".
I think if everybody bought less, the world would be a much better place! Good for you. Ninja 250 is a great bike, and doing your own work is very empowering on a root level. I bet you get killer gas mileage. I miss my 80mpg Rebel some days...

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Over time I have done a lot of research and have built up camping gear I am comfortable with, always looking at small packing size vs. cost vs. features. Weight isn't as important on a bike compared to pure hiking but it still adds up. Some of my gear is decidedly spendy, but spreading the cost over the years of use helps me swallow the expense. Riding gear is something I have not scrimped on at all. The money I have spent on gear over the years has definitely exceeded the cost of the bike...but I consider it cheap compared to even a simple hospital visit. So far, mercifully un-needed (save for riding comfort), but its like insurance...you don't need it until you need it.
The nice thing about expensive gear is that oftentimes it does not have the "planned obsolescence" that cheap gear does. It's actually cheaper, over time, to buy a slightly more expensive pair of shoes, than to spend the money on 5 or 6 "cheap" shoes over the same wear period. A lot of the good manufacturers will also handle defects and problems with less consumer cost than the alternatives. It's been counter-intuitive for me to spend more (especially with things like motorcycle gear), but aside from 80mph crashes, everything has held up pretty well so far.

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There have been times when my wife and I have been decidedly "poor", but we have found that mindset and perspective is everything. Its a subtle mind-flip to go from "impoverished" to "frugal". Poor or impoverished may be a condition, but frugal is a choice, and even if nothing else practically changes, having a sense of choice is very empowering.
I agree. I definitely aim to "thrive" even if I don't have much money, rather than just scraping by. I also have access to a lot of resources that truly impoverished people don't have, which I try not to take for granted. I might be poor, but that isn't going to stop me!

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You may want to read JDowns ride report - http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076 he has been riding VERY frugally and doing a lot of camping. I could easily see someone as resourceful as yourself easily doing a similar trip.
Hey, thanks, I'll check it out!

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So very glad you seem to be healing up well!

...and, I bet another gal rider I know who lives in Seattle was at the Furry Gathering.
Thanks! And yeah, probably. Furries are everywhere!
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