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Old 01-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
Rojobandito OP
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Two guys, two dual sports, and no solid plans

We are Johnny and Cody and we ride a KLR650 and a street legal Xr400r.
For those of you who don't know, it's very cold in Iowa this time of year.
This is what prompted us to trailer up the bikes and head out in search of warm weather and interesting terrain.
So far we have been to Kansas City, Mo and Castle Rock, Co.
We are planning on hitting NM, AZ, then up the coast of Cali to Salem and Seattle.
Anybody want to ride? We do! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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GPS tracks would be appreciated, as well
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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Johnny2k here.

Hello, fellow internet users! This is Johnny of the Rojo Bandito/Johnny Duo, AKA The Algebros. I'll summarize a little of the history of this trip right now and maybe get into it later if needed.

This is the part where I discover my love of riding and gain the desire to travel.

I bought a motorcycle and was introduced to this site and ever since I've been wanting to travel. Three years since I started riding the conditions were correct for getting the hell out of Iowa City and into the wild. The problems I had yet to resolve were the timing and the funding. Lots of equipment I thought I would need and appropriate clothing had to be ordered. My plan was to leave a year ago and ride solo out to Oregon through a specific route where I could stay with people or camp to save money. Things hit the fan when I fell in love and acquired the CUTEST god damn puppy in the world. Well, girl and I broke up and I was starting my second semester of community college when I met The Rojo Bandito in my math class.

This is the part where we decide to get out of Iowa.

Alluva sudden I'm in my math class trying to sit in the front so I can see the white board. The cute girl with a black and white striped shirt and tall leather boots sits next to me. Nothing ever happened with that so don't get your hopes up. The same day Rojo Bandito decided to sit closer to the front as well and strikes up a convo about me having a helmet. After class we discuss riding and then the next week he rode in so I could see his sweet ride. At that moment I didn't realize I had met someone I would spend many hours in the future riding down gravel, dirt, and mud roads; my first true dual sport friend. Honorable mentions go out to El Guero for being the first ADV'er I've ever met. We had fun but not much off road.

Cody and I rode all over the areas surrounding Iowa City and made a few videos which I have posted to youtube and in the Iowa regional forums. I'll post one of them here now! It's from the weekend of Oktoberfest in a German colony and includes a few songs by Bavarian stlye musicians.


http://youtu.be/oPocgGfDwYY


The end of the semester was near and I brought up scheduling up some classes so we can work together on homework again. This is key for any school, right?


Let me tell you returning students something. If you're going to be an older person in community college you want to gang up with someone right away or you're going to look like a loser and no girls will study with you. Actually, no girls ever studied with us anyway. None of the other people in the class wanted to join our math study group, The Algebros. Whatever. Who needs people who don't own motorcycles, right? There was one guy, Monty, who was going to join us but he was kind of a weener about getting his bike up and running.


I realize you're not here to read my whole life story but maybe people like to have some background, get a feel for what kind of person you're reading about. In short: I'm a friggin' jackass with nothing better to do but to finally make his dreams of exploration come true. Rojo Bandito is fed up with living in a area full of nothing, surrounded by cheating pieces of shit. I think that goes for his personal and professional life but maybe I shouldn't speak for him on that one. Oops?

The point. We talked about my planned trip and he was interested in going! Perfect, right? Traveling with someone was a huge plus for me because I haven't been more than 500 miles away from home in 6 years. He was ready to leave town right after the semester ended and I wanted to wait until I had more money saved up. I tried to convince him to wait but it was GO TIME for him! I relented with my attempts of coercion and decided just to try to organize a meet up on the road some time in the future. This was near Thanksgiving break so I wished Rojo a good holiday and prepared for a nice cold ride to Cedar Rapids, IA to see a my friend, Kristine, friend from college who ended up marrying one of my best friends from high school. She was in town and I wanted to get together since it had been since their wedding, four year prior, that we had seen each other. During our nice coffee and chat session I became extremely antsy to get up and just go out to Oregon one way or another. Her descriptions of that part of the country were too much. I could not believe that a place in the US could be so cool. Later that night I was on the phone with Rojo asking if he really wanted to leave and to inform him that I could get my shit together and be gone the day after our final test.

"You serious?" He asks.

"Very."

"Let me sleep on it."

Several days later he says he's in and we began the process of selling all our extra goods for funding.



....to be continued.

johnny2k screwed with this post 01-27-2012 at 08:17 AM
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojobandito View Post
GPS tracks would be appreciated, as well
Here's our updated map so people know where to suggest routes near our path if they would like to.

http://g.co/maps/ysvua

johnny2k screwed with this post 01-27-2012 at 02:12 AM
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:51 AM   #5
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Part II

By now it's obvious I'm a long-winded son of a bitch with no regard for what information is relevant or potentially interesting. This is what I feel like writing so this is what you get.

This is the part where we're almost ready to leave

What's worse than quitting your job, moving out of your house and then finding out you can't leave for a few more days? Watching Spongebob all day, every day waiting for almost a month to go by before getting the signal to go. Don't get me wrong here. Sitting on my ass and watching TV is not challenging but when you're anxious to go and you can't stop and everyone is doubting you'll ever leave it can be aggravating. There were no ill feeling between the two of us and I don't blame Rojo for any of that mess. It was just boring.



We both spent our extra time getting things even more prepared than we intended. I was going to wait until getting to a warmer place before getting new tires, sprocket, and chain but what the hell? Why not get it while I've got nothing else to do? The tension built to a point where I about considered getting a shipping company to haul the bike but I maintained my faith in Rojo that he was really intending to leave and wouldn't bail on me. It's a scary time when you think back and start to regret making a huge change in your life that you know you want to make and realize it may not have been the best idea. Here are some images to keep you entertained!

This truck brought me some things.


These new tires are going to be put on by the nice guys at McGrath Powersports in Cedar Rapids who don't care that I'm an asshole for bringing in my own parts to save money. I would have done a lot fo this stuff on my own but I sort of already unloaded some things I needed to do the job on my own. Excuses, excuses... I just didn't want to mess with it.
[This kills the advriders respect for johnny2k]

Gere's a shitty photo of my beast all packed up to get to the shop


I like my new sprockets. 14 tooth front now instead of the stock 15. I believe it will help improve my off-road riding. We'll see. The chain was not the one I intended to order but I didn't know I had time to send it back and get a new one so I'm going to try my luck with a non o-ring chain with some advice from people online. More maintenance, okay.

The third rear tire I've had on this bike. Not pictured is the second front tire I've used on this bike. That stock front is not too bad but I wanted a pair of matching Kendas.

Wow. I forgot what tread is supposed to look like. My old tire was getting pretty bald.

This many miles before getting new tires, sprocket, and chain.


This is the part where I'm getting seriously anxious and skeptical that we'll ever leave.

"Just go." I've read this so many times in reports on this site. In the end I always lose a debate with myself where the victor is the part of me that is too afraid to "Just go." How do you "Just go"? It's not that easy to learn but once I figured it out everything became much more simple. You start getting your mentality in the right place you notice your actions start working for your goals. What I'm trying to say is "Free your mind and the rest will follow." There's no better way to think of it. In my situation it was easy to free my mind. Having lost first a great friend, a brother, then the best girlfriend in the world, and a grandfather all within 365 days I decided that if I didn't get the hell out of the state I was going to continue a very unhealthy path into destruction and never be happy. This is the opposite of what is good. If anyone is curious about my algorithm for "Just go." I will write it up but it's probably different for every person and I already feel I'm getting to deep into aspects of this voyage that most will not want to know about.

"Shut up and write about motorcycles. Post more stinkin' pictures!"
- Most people reading this.

My mind was ready but my body was locked down until... THIS GUY shows up!

My days of laying around watching Sponge Bob are over!

It's time to roll!

We spent the night at Rojo's mom's place. She made us breakfast in the morning and we set to tying up loose ends around town.

johnny2k screwed with this post 01-27-2012 at 08:20 AM Reason: Drunk when writing the first time.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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Thumb I'm in...

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No, I don't know where that road goes, let's find out!
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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In...
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Cold PBR a weber grill and the rocky mountains,...it all goes away!
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojobandito View Post
We are Johnny and Cody and we ride a KLR650 and a street legal Xr400r.
For those of you who don't know, it's very cold in Iowa this time of year.
This is what prompted us to trailer up the bikes and head out in search of warm weather and interesting terrain.
So far we have been to Kansas City, Mo and Castle Rock, Co.
We are planning on hitting NM, AZ, then up the coast of Cali to Salem and Seattle.
Anybody want to ride? We do! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I will visit Iowa end of next month for my buddy's wedding. when will you guys start the trip, maybe I am interested to join you guys.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
johnny2k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VI-RIDER View Post
I will visit Iowa end of next month for my buddy's wedding. when will you guys start the trip, maybe I am interested to join you guys.
Right on! Well, I was hoping to have all the updates in before we started getting comments but I'll let out a little spoiler. We've already left Iowa and we're heading in your direction.

Where in Iowa are you going? Ever been to Iowa? Stay tuned for a flurry of updates tonight.

Welcome aboard our journey!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo1 View Post
In...
Which of those states listed in your location is your current location? We're in Colorado right now and staying for the weekend. Good weather the next few days so we'll be out riding.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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Part III

This is the part where our trip begins.

One of our last things to do before leaving Iowa City was to fill all the tires. That's when Cody told me that the trailer has a slow leak on the left side but he has some CO2 cartridges that can fill it up as needed. We guessed it wouldn't be a problem very often.



So we proceed to hoot as we left the city and holler as we left the county.

Remember that thing I said about having a slow leak in a tire on the traile's right side? Well, it become a problem and Cody(Rojo) noticed it was time to pull over and pump a few of those CO2's into the tire. We had only made it to the Montezuma, IA exit before it needed air (~60 miles max). He pumped four cartridges total into that tire and it only got to 20 PSI out of the 40 it needed.

http://i.imgur.com/FCUF6l.jpg

While he was dealing with that I was on the phone looking up a place in Des Moines that sells tires. First result for "tires des moines" was a page for Michelin, phone number 515-237-8473. I wrote the tire size on my hand while calling those fools up asking what they can do. The guy says he can get one in about 30 minutes. We were unsure of the lugnut pattern and didn't measure it until we made it to the tire shop. It ended up being the most common lug pattern so it was fine.

We were in that tire shop for less than 10 minutes. Those awesome people were able to change the tire before we got change and a receipt. Around the time of leaving Flatt's (lol, great name for a tire shop) hunger struck. I know an awesome taco truck near there that serves up barbacoa tacos for a $1.50. The first time I was there they served the tacos with a roasted jalapeno and lime.

Me.



The taco


Rojo/Cody

Slight difference in the garnish this time. I noticed that the jalapenos looked like the had been roasted for much longer because they were fairly dried out and skinny looking. After downing my taco and my pepper Cody gave me the rest of his because he didn't feel like eating it. That was not a jalapeno. It was something viciously hot. I grabbed a bottle of old water from beneath the seat to cool off my mouth. 20 minutes later my mouth was fine.

Somewhere between on our way to Kansas City we got a call back from Keith about staying at his place for the night. The action was go. He's moved to a new house since I've been there so it's good we didn't just show up hoping to stay there and then just camp in the back yard when he didn't answer the door. That would have been interesting.

Keith sent a message with his new location and his schedule for the evening. For the next few hours he'd probably be in his flying device before going to a climbing wall to practice his monkeying skills. He is one of the most interesting people I've ever met in my life and through his lack of fear for his safety and adventurous spirit I have enough stories to dedicate a website to him. Maybe he has a blog I can link to so you can see for yourself?

His friend bailed on him so we drove back towards his house to meet him in the driveway.

This picture sucks!

We went to a grocery store, cooked some brats went hiking looked at photos from his recent traveling in Africa and I stayed up entirely too late. If you'd like to know more about what happened that night you should check out http://somethingmean.blogspot.com/. I'm sorry I didn't write more already for this site but I've already done a lot of that elsewhere. You know how moms deserve to know right away what you're up to, right? Also, I think there are more important things to write about at this point. Here are a few photos from the evening. I'm sure you'll figure out where in the story they fit in.







This is a safety flare that Keith gave us because we asked about where to get some fireworks.

"Right here." He says.




Our original plan would have taken us to Oklahoma City. No offence, people in that area who were willing to help us, but we decided going to Denver would be much better for us. This is exactly what I wanted to do so I was happy that we agreed on that plan.

In the next episode: Cody drives all day...AGAIN! We eat an excellent dinner and we create a UFO!

Stay tuned, fellow internet users!
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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Wink

SO we have made it to Castle Rock, ColorReddo. After a day of drooling on outdoor gear at what was probably the coolest outdoor store ever, fixing the lock on my topper, drooling on bikes and gear, and going for a joyride into the hills, I am getting very antsy to do some riding. With a high of 40 degrees and blowing snow, Denver has not been very conducive to our mission of doing some serious riding. I am thinking tomorrow's forecast of 50 and sun may have to be sufficient.
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:23 AM   #13
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Part IV

Kansas Citty, Missouri to Caslte Rock, Colorado.

This is the part where we get too comfortable

We leave Kansas City and notice some amazing sights. The hills are cool and cars in traffic are impressive. Just so you know: every cool muscle car I see is dubbed a Camaro to me. Even if it's not a Camaro I still say "Check out that Camaro!"

http://i.imgur.com/ygrKel.jpg
This is a Camaro to me.


Wow! Mountains, right? It looks cool so it has to be a sign that the mountains are near, right? Nope. Kansas interesting on each border but not in the middle.

We joked about these being sky scarpers.



Stopping for gas in place like this requires getting a photo.

How doesn't a condom machine demonstrate the voyaging ideology?


I have a soft spot in my heart for old technology. Phone booths played such a huge part of American culture and now they're fairly extinct.

Once we got into the 50 miles surrounding Denver we started to notice the amazing change in topology. Several wrong turns and small emergencies with the straps keeping our bikes attached to the trailer made us very cautious about the remaining miles into Castle Rock. We made it into town and found our hosts waiting with a pulled-pork dinner. I ate so much I needed to lay on the couch in recovery mode. A long night of getting to know Blake and Anita really was especially cool. At the first greeting I felt like they were already best friends. The were Iowans so it does make sense but how often do you meet a stranger and immediately feel a tight bond.


This is the part where I must come to a close for the evening because I have other things to attend to. Documenting the trip is but one of many responsibilities of mine. I promise I will explain later. Future posts WILL leave you wanting to know what happens next but I can not end on a cliff hanger here.

Good night, friends. Let us all dream merrily of responsive throttles.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:50 AM   #14
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Cool2

So I am up and anxious. Still haven't had the bikes out, but that will change very soon....I am getting anxious to push forward. Our hosts have been very gracious and I would love to stay longer, but we have a mission. We need to see as many states, cities, people, places and landmarks as possible before we run out of resources. After making the tough decision between Brakes Plus, Just Brakes, and Brakes and Pancakes, we got new front pads put on for under $100. Not bad. I will be a little more at ease pulling a trailer through the mountains with actual brake pads. New Mexico, here we come. Suggestions on where to stay and what to see in NM would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
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Yahoooooo, great start and I was worried that all I had to keep me mind occupied was my xc ski training. You save the day

Keep it coming, love your style of sharing.

ride warm and dry

gale

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=572583
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