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Old 08-15-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
hitchiker_forever OP
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Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Cool2 Across the Country on a Honda C70 Super Cub

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The Sierras, I love my state.

Why?

I love my cub. I rebuilt it two years ago and its the first bike I ever rode and boy did it ride... 35 mph, but hell that was fast for me.
As long as I'm moving I'm happy.
If I'm on a bike I'm ecstatic,
If I'm touring I feel sublime.
Sad? Jump on the cub for a minute. Nervous? Stressed? Hello road. This year I found out that I apparently had major depressive disorder. Fuck doctors and all those hospitals, all I need is my bike .
But my life started to outgrow my cub and I would have to commuting longer and farther soon. I needed a bigger bike—and the money for it. But I wasn't going to shoot it in cold blood, no way we're going out with a bang, lets do something amazing, lets make it to New York. And so the planning began....

The Beginning

Honda cub across the country? 70ccs? 35mph? $600? Camping out? 18 years old?
You're crazy.
Yep, so can I go mama? Papa said yes, I'l turn back when I've spent $250.
(Insert months of various attempts to convince her)
Alright well if you break down or lose your money call me, I'll pick you up anywhere.
Thanks mom.
That's the simplified version.
So with a hug and a kiss I set off Sunday July 17.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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Pics if the rebuild

Before I get into the trip I want to put down a couple pics of the rebuild.
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Picked up for $200
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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Ehhh....

Maybe a little over my head seeing as I had no repair skills or experience....well I guess I'd learn some...Name:  rust.jpg
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it seemed that a little water leaked into the cylinder after 20 years of laying around.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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in
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Anyways the rust was just skin deep and a clean hone fixed it up right away

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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After the first hone

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Nice, new rings now with it and I'm set.
Now to the journey.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Leaving Home, Heading to 395

The first day

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Th...=h&vpsrc=6&z=9

With me:
A road atlas, a compass, tools, spare inner tube, a Vons milk crate full of camping gear, a backpack full of comfort, a list of ADVrider phone numbers, some cup ramen and canned food, and a GPS for the sole purpose of sending coordinates back home.
Travel light, travel fast.
Ready.

Heading out of my home town of Thousand Oaks, it felt surreal that this was the first step of a long journey. Parents waving behind me and the road open in front of me I took one look back and waved goodbye heading out of my little suburb of Thousand Oaks.
I took out my directions and started heading through the twisty roads of the California mountains. The sun started to dissipate the morning cold as I took the downhill roads out of Thousand Oaks. Laughing, singing, just going nuts in my helmet I made my way further away from the Pacific and closer to the Mojave desert.

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San Frascisquito Canyon Road just north of Santa Clarita. Note: Pictures are from cellphone thats why they suck, lost camera in Utah, to explain later...sorry

The uphill sucked, dropping my speed down to 20mph in some places, but it was worth it. There was always a twisty downhill waiting to be found in California.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
wordguy
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In.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:13 PM   #9
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The Desert-Getting lost

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First day and already lost, ended up on the Sierra highway

Turns out my instincts aren't as good as I hoped, but who says getting lost isn't fun?
I followed the highway all the way to Rosamond where it just...ran out, it just turned into a dirt trail. I stopped by to ask a road worker how I could get to Mojave without jumping onto the I-14.
"Ehh Mojave, well you see this dirt road here goes all the way over there, I used to ride my dirt bike through there, it's rail road property but no one will bother you."
I told him thanks and prepared for my first off road experience with a top heavy bike and virtually no gear besides my helmet and gloves.
I liked it. The bumps, my crap suspension, and the purely instinctive feeling of riding on dirt.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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looking forward to this one
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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Private Property? I'll just be a minute...

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Crossing under the I-14 entering Mojave via railroad tracks

After making my way into Mojave I started off for Death Valley up Highway 14, no longer an interstate.
Road was a generous two lanes wide with a large shoulder for me. At 35mph the incoming traffic felt like it was coming up at 30mph. The freight trucks were the worst though, the wind they gave off could push me off the road If I didn't pay attention.

The desert was an oven though and approaching high noon, the heat came down on my face like a tanning booth, I passed through Red Rock Canyon park and stopped for some water.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #13
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Rest Stop At Redrock

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So Red Rock is charging me $5 to come stop by their park for water. How about no? On $600 that a days worth of gas. So I hide my bike under the cliffs while I stopped to refill my canteen and nalgeen bottle. I took out some rice crispy bars and nuts for a snack. I never ate lunch, instead I just snacked through the day to save money and had a big breakfast and supper (not really....pot of ramen=big?).
While I was enjoying my nuts I realized that some of them had fallen out of the back basket while I was riding, O well thats okay (foreshadowing hint hint reason digital camera is gone in Utah).
After I had finished my snack and drank my water I peeked out of my little crevasse and looked for any hard ass camp hosts or park rangers looking for my money. Back on the road, heading for Ridgecrest this time and ultimately Death Valley through to Nevada. But damn was it getting hot and my butt was starting to get sore...I worried for my testicles a lot on this trip.

Anyways, As I left Red Rock (very secretively) the road narrowed. Here's where the real automotive dodging began. Two lanes no shoulder.
The system:
Just watch that mirror,
Wait till he comes within 50 ft.
Is he passing?
Look for patterns in incoming traffic.
Can he pass?
Ride on the line.
Shit hes not passing.
Dodge into dirt wait until next large gap in traffic.
Rinse and repeat.
Optional: increase to 100ft for freight trucks.

Do this for all two lane highways.
Its really not that hard, just takes some focus.
Now heading on to Death Valley.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:03 PM   #14
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Making a Decision


View Larger Map

Unfortunately, I don't have any salvageable pictures of the Searles or Panamint Valleys. If I had to describe it in three words they would be.
Hot as Hell.
The air just dried you up, your lips would chap, and most of the time.
It's quiet, deathly quiet.
Just a vast expanse of nothing except the occasional breeze. This is where the government came to test out weapons of mass destruction. Passing by China Lake only the occasional car or truck passes by. I stop by a gas station and get a bunch or warnings.
"Do you have enough water?"
"Thats not enough."
"You sure you're bike isn't going to break down"
"Does At&t have reception out there?"

Thanks for making me feel better...jerks.

Still, I found it spectacular.
Climbing and climbing on the cub for hours but then coming over into the Panamint Valley the entire untouched valley opened up with a tiny little road curving down the mountain side.
Trona Wildrose Road.
Quiet.
Desert solitude.
No towns for miles, unless you call a gas station a town.

Eventually I made it to a cross roads near the middle of the valley where I saw this sign.


I sat there for about 10 minutes. Thinking... do I stick with the plan? Or do I go north to avoid the heat I know lies ahead of me? And possible chance of death?

Right, we're not going through Death Valley and the South. Lets head north. Lets improvise.
So my route changed from this:
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=31...=h&z=9&vpsrc=0

To this:
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.06...=h&z=4&vpsrc=0

And then the adventure started.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #15
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End of the day

The rest of the day was a speed run to find a place to sleep the sun was setting and I needed somewhere to camp out. Full throttle toward Lone Pine, chasing the sun the Sierras in plain view the Panamint range behind me.
Shit.
I got a flat from a nail.
I was tired. Dead tired. I'll fix it in the morning. I picked out a spot behind a building by a town called Independence and called it a night. Some ramen and bread to fill me up then straight to bed.
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