60 years old...female rider, solo trip to Moab.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Cariboostrom, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    I&#8217;ve been a &#8220;lurker&#8221; on this site for a couple of years now. I gained all sorts of knowledge and inspiration from the road reports. Last summer I met &#8220;Stromette&#8221; (also known as &#8220;AGirl&#8221;) from the Stromtroopers.com forum. She was riding her 1000 Strom to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:State>, alone. I asked her about her V-Strom. After asking me about my experience (8 years) at riding, and my leg length, she assured me it would be a fine bike for me to ride. In September &#8217;07 I bought my 04 650 DL V-Strom, but had to put it away after only a couple of weeks for our long Canadian winter. Over the winter I decided to ride down to <st1:country-region w:st="on">Moab</st1:country-region>, <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Utah</st1:place></st1:State>. I&#8217;d just had my 60<SUP>th</SUP> birthday in February this year, and for some reason that was inspiring me to get out there, stop talking about it and just &#8220;do it.&#8221;

    Feeling rather nervous, I set off on May 31<SUP>st</SUP>, 2008, through the beautiful <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">British Columbia</st1:place></st1:State> landscape. Second day out it began pouring rain&#8230;..Riding down the steep incline onto the Needles ferry at Arrow Lake, I could see the metal ferry deck gleaming wet&#8230;.but I made it without problem&#8230;..and it rained, heavier and heavier, until I reached Kaslo on Kootenay Lake, soaking wet to the knees. My old HD boots just weren&#8217;t up to the job. Other than that I was fine, but it was no night for camping. I dried out in a hotel and next day I rode into <st1:State w:st="on">Idaho</st1:State>, and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery from Kootskia to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Lolo</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass.</st1:placeType></st1:place> That was one ride that AGirl had recommended.

    After a pleasant night camping in Dillon Montana, I was looking forward to seeing <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Park</st1:placeType></st1:place>&#8230;..but&#8230;.as I neared, it began to snow! I thought I&#8217;d have left that kind of weather back in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>, but no, it was actually snowing. I pulled in to the Visitor&#8217;s Centre at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Earthquake</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType></st1:place>, thinking I could at least warm up, and then I spotted a BMW in the parking lot. They say friends appear when you most need them. Well I found a new friend, Zigy, who had also stopped because of the snow. We decided to ride on together&#8230;.and it again began to snow, heavy wet slop that gradually filled the road completely. We passed a car upside down in the ditch with wheels spinning&#8230;.there was no pulling off the road&#8230;too much slushy snow, so we just kept on riding. I was basically too scared to try and stop&#8230;.easier to just keep rolling! The sky was black, there was lightening, and crashing thunder, and then it started to hail! It was impossible to keep the visor down, so the hail was stinging our faces, and we eventually had to stop as we couldn&#8217;t see.

    We were unable to get the bikes far enough off the road to avoid the &#8220;bow wave&#8221; of slush that rose up from the trucks and cars on the road. Worried about a car sliding out of control into the bikes, Zigy said we should ride the bikes up a dirt road to a coffee shop RV campground located a short distance away. He offered to ride my bike up there, saying gently &#8220;It&#8217;s not a testosterone thing&#8221;&#8230; Everything in me wanted to let him ride my bike up there, but I also wanted to know if I could do it, and so we rode one after the other across this busy highway full of snow, and up a dirt road covered in snow to the coffee shop. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment for me! Women traditionally have missed out on such a source of power by letting men do the difficult/dangerous things.

    After two hours during which we ate a delicious pizza and drank excellent coffee, the snow melted to slush again, and we continued on into <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Driggs</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Idaho</st1:State></st1:place>. On the way from Ashton to Driggs we hit some nasty side winds. Little did I know they were nothing compared with what I would face in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Wyoming</st1:place></st1:State>! While parking the bikes at a hotel that night, I tipped the V-Strom over for the first time; there was no damage done, and now I don&#8217;t have to worry about doing that again! Stupidity on my part! I forgot how wide the bike is with the panniers on and just touched Zigy's bike and tipped 'er over!

    At this point Zigy informed me that my bike needed a new back tire, as mine was almost bald! I learned another lesson at this point&#8230;never to rely on someone else telling me that the tires would be fine for this trip. It was a rather sleepless night with a forecast for snow. It was Saturday the next day. Put out a call on ADVRider and Guy from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Victor</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Idaho</st1:State></st1:place> replied, sending us over to Adam at Jackson Hole Cycles where two new tires were fitted. Adam was impressed with a 60 year old woman touring alone, and said I should post a ride report on ADVRider to encourage other women riders to get out there and do it. Thanks Adam&#8230;great service, friendly shop, highly recommended. We made it to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Dubois</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Wyoming</st1:State></st1:place> that night. What a funny little place&#8230;met some other riders from <st1:State w:st="on">Louisiana</st1:State> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Boise</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Idaho</st1:State></st1:place>.

    The following day we hit the wind&#8230;brutal, constant side wind, all across Hwy 287 to Rawlins and 80 to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Laramie</st1:place></st1:City>. At times I felt like crying&#8230;and I was certainly gritting my teeth so hard I thought I might do damage. It was everything I could do to keep the bike heading down the road in a straight line. I honestly felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and that the bike might suddenly spring up in the air and blow away&#8230;.! It was definitely more challenging than riding in the snow. What a feeling of accomplishment though! I was very glad to be riding with Zigy, who gave me good advice about increasing my speed to at least 120 kms per hour in the wind. I think the feeling was mutual, knowing that someone else was along to pick up and dust either of us off should anything happen! Eventually we made it to <st1:City w:st="on">Boulder</st1:City>, and I had a couple of good night's sleep at Zigy&#8217;s home before heading off alone to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region>.

    While staying with generous friends of Zigy&#8217;s I spent two hot days in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> looking at the incredible scenery. Unfortunately, the weather was turning very hot (92F) the next day, and for this Canuck the heat was too much, so I headed north towards <st1:City w:st="on">Salt Lake City</st1:City> and on to <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Idaho</st1:place></st1:State> over the next two days. I certainly did feel like I was a long, long way from home, at times. By the time I reached <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Boise</st1:place></st1:City>, my very worn chain was clanking and banging and making such a din. I enjoyed another excellent day of riding (highly recommended) along Hwy. 55 north of <st1:City w:st="on">Boise</st1:City>, along the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Payette</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">River</st1:placeType></st1:place> to New Meadows. In Nakusp, B.C. I met Richard riding a Triumph Scrambler and Aaron riding a Hyabusa. We shared some good bike conversation, and they helped me make a chain adjustment, but the chain and sprockets were totally worn out, and I clanked and banged my way back home to Quesnel, B.C. I learned another lesson&#8230;never rely on someone else&#8217;s advice &#8220;The chain and sprockets are a bit worn, but they&#8217;ll be fine for this trip!&#8221;

    Since returning home I&#8217;ve got a new chain, and sprockets (front one with an extra tooth. It seems to make for a much smoother gear change) and the Strom is running like new again. Great bike for a trip like this&#8230;very comfortable riding position, very reliable and the Givi luggage worked really well too. So that&#8217;s my ride report&#8230;.I&#8217;m going to order some ADV stickers for my bike and show them off. Ladies, get out there and ride and never let anyone say you&#8217;re too old to do this kind of thing!

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  2. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    It began to snow, outside West Yellowstone...
    (c) zigy kaluzny 2008

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  3. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    I'm not sure how to upload more than one picture per post....

    Here is the mud/snow road up to the coffee shop/RV place....my first attempt at mud and snow on the Strom.
    (c) zigy kaluzny 2008

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  4. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    I finally made it to the beautiful scenery of Moab...no more snow!

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  5. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    this Canadian found it pretty hot riding around in Arches National Park, but the scenery was amazing.

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  6. gregg

    gregg gregg

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    177
    Location:
    South Dakota
    :clap Way to go.
    Is there more pictures?
    #6
  7. longrider999

    longrider999 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
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    1,414
    Location:
    new london,wizconzin
    cariboostrom,GREAT REPORT.best part was where you took the BULL by the horns and told ZIGGY youd be able to ride it yourself.hope you enjoy youre riding season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #7
  8. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    Maybe you'd like to see another picture of the Strom in the snow!
    (c) zigy kaluzny 2008

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  9. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    Hey, I've just got a couple of replies! thanks... Still figuring out how all this goes.... Here's another parked alongside the road in the snow, wondering what to do now!
    (c) zigy kaluzny 2008

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  10. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    If it hadn't been for Zigy's encouragement to go on despite the snow, and to attempt the ride up the dirt road, I would likely have gone back and around this area. So glad I met a good friend just when I needed one! Thanks again Zigy for your compliments on my riding and your help!

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  11. canadasax

    canadasax Been here awhile

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    Oct 3, 2004
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    354
    Location:
    Okanagan Valley BC
    I'm impressed! Good job
    :thumbup
    #11
  12. Backcountryboy

    Backcountryboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Good on you. You personify the signature line I use on my posts. Amazing shots of the amount of snow you were riding in, and with a bald back tire too!
    One small tip on posting. Change the colour of your text to white and it will be much easier to read.
    Thanks for sharing your ride with us.
    #12
  13. KilLeR Kawasaki

    KilLeR Kawasaki Marky A

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    969
    Location:
    Littleton, Colorado
    A hardy Howdy from Colorado. Good luck with your adventure.
    #13
  14. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    Thanks Back Country Boy....for the tip on changing to white text to make the posts easier to read.... Yes, I certainly did have to work at it a bit to get that satisfaction!
    #14
  15. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    103,504
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Looks like a good ride. Those snow shots are cool!:thumb
    #15
  16. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,494
    Location:
    Burien, WA
    Could you go back and edit your first post to white text? Your adoring fans will appreciate it. Nice ride report!!:clap:clap
    #16
  17. Johnny Wolvo

    Johnny Wolvo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    Hiya Lady, You have got so much bottle. Just to do that journey on your own must have taken so much courage, but to carry on in those conditions was brilliant. A very good report. Are there any more pictures?

    Good on ya girl.........From a 72 year old ex UK biker......Johnny Wolvo.
    #17
  18. Mike955i

    Mike955i Future Escapee

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Nice ride report and pics, it's great to see you out there facing the challenge! Hope to see more ride reports in the future.

    Cheers......Mike
    #18
  19. gaulstat

    gaulstat Keep on riding

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Awesome report and courageous lady. Keep the pics coming. Welcome to the ADV lifestyle.
    #19
  20. hombre

    hombre Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    houston,tx
    "No such thing as bad weather. Only, bad gear." Your boot issues can be easily resolved by Choko boot covers or Aerostich boot covers. keep ridin!
    #20