A Roadie in Motion

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Lost Rider, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,351
    Location:
    Ventura County, California Republic
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    Here's my story, I figure this is a good enough time to start... right in the middle.
    In the last 3 weeks I've traveled thousands of miles, lost on trail going in and out of Mexico, been busted by the US Border Patrol, handed over the Texas sheriffs, stranded with a flat tire in Arizona, partied so hard I puked in L.A., rode on miles of ice in freezing fog crossing the Cascades in Oregon, and now find myself in a truck with some new friends with ADV stickers that say they can ride, on our way to Death Valley where I'll continue on after a few days.
    Please join me on this journey!

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    I've been on the road since June working in a different city working everyday on tour with a few bands. When the touring ended I needed to RIDE so I had arranged (with a little help from another inmate) for my bike to be where the tour ended, in Austin on January 4th. So I went from tour bus to my 12R , without even thinking I should go home, of course. It a wee bit cold in Chicago...



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    I wandered my way towards Del Rio after a few days in the foothills doing what you do in Texas, ride, drink and shoot ( not at the same time):wink: then wandered towards Big Bend.




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    The night I spend camping outside BB I camped next to these 5 German guys who had their Vespa 200's shipped to Miami and were riding to San Fransisco... The cool thing was 3 of them were bike mechanics, and all of the guys had sweet bikes at home, HP2's, GS's, Ducati's etc... They though it would be cool to traverse the US by scooter, and I think they were right. The group was inspiring with the little bikes and tiny amount of gear they has, and was glad to have dinner with them and hang out, listening to their stories.

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    After riding through BB, I cut down to Santa Elena Canyon. It was chilly at night and mid 50's during the day, perfect IMO cause it kept the masses out - no RV's with empty campgrounds so far. :clap


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    I rode down hwy 170 then north through Marfa on 67, camping in Fort Davis.



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    I had been eating very well, picking up local fresh meat along the way.

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    I just love photo's of my bike so deal with it!

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    The next day.

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    Here's where thing got a little more interesting, or when things started to go wrong - depending how you look at it... :evil




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    This was the turning point, after riding through Hot Springs, I had the genius idea that I could follow the "roads" on the map along the Rio Grande for 100 miles or so and cut over to 90... I had 3/4 of a tank of gas and was over confident I could ride my heavily loaded Roadster where I want... :ear



    Here is where the road went through the Rio Grande into Mexico... according to the sign it was 4.5 feet deep, about 2.5 too deep for me to cross... I set the GPS to avoid the river and let it take me on my way. Mistake number 1.

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    The first of what would be a big problem- locked gates.

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    This was fucked up... I was too far to turn back now, and when I came to this the road just dropped off to nothing, couldn't see where it went so I stopped to scout ahead.


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    Yikes!

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    Hating to turn around, and just being a dumbass I went for it. Scary... I had to turn off the bike to turn off the ABS and it still just slid down the hill with both wheels locked up.
    Halfway down with my front wheel against a softball sized rock I stopped to take this photo.

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    I made it down, not really feeling triumphant, more of a sinking feeling, knowing that now there was NO going back...
    More gates.

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    That would be Mexico

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    I had now been on my way for hours with a variety of shitty (or great) roads with a few more rough/steep obstacles. Good fun, lots of work on my road bike. It was about 50º but I was hot with my jacket open coxing my heavy bike down the road.




    Another locked gate, but this time there was no turning around. on the right side, the I was able to twist off the wire, squeeze through, and put it back on.
    I was getting worried about getting out of here.
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    Later to find out, this tunnel was carved out by hand with hammers by Chinese immigrants in the 1800's for railway that was never built.
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    After the tunnel I rode for an hour or so when I cam up to a big steel locked gate. It was late and going to be dark soon, as exciting as it was I didn't want to camp on some rancher's land, this close to the Mexican border alone.
    I had no choice but to ride about 100 yards down the fence to find a place to cut it. 15 more miles and I'm close to 90 and was feeling bad about cutting the fence, I understand why it's wrong to do that to a ranches property. Cutting a fence or sending out a HELP call on the SPOT I figured I chose the less of 2 evils for my stupidity.
    I thought I was in the clear until I saw the US Border Patrol. I was flagged down and stopped. They were polite, but suspicious of how on earth I was riding down the road from that direction. They asked to search my bike... I had things I didn't want to involve so I said sure, and quickly open my top case with DSLR with a big lens with some other camera and camping/cooking stuff. I then quickly opened my right side bag and pulled out some more lenses and clothes.
    One guy was convinced of my story of being a adventure magazine journalist/photographer from Chicago who got lost and was just trying to get back to pavement, and was now more interested in my story. They were amazed at the route I had taken after I show them on the atlas, but the one guy kept asking how I got here through the locked gates. Did you cut a fence? he kept asking. I wasn't going to admit to anything. I watch Law and Order enough... :lol3 I also wasn't lieing right to them in a disrespectful way, I just would admit to anything. They knew, I knew they knew, and they knew I knew they knew.
    Eventually they let me go.
    Wow. I wanted some excitement but jeeze.
    I take off and 5 miles down the road I look down in horror to see my ride side pannier OPEN with most of the stuff gone! Tent poles, food, Gerbings jacket, dirty clothes, shoes. You know, the side where everything is loose of course.
    In the stressful controlled search I musn't have closed it tight. Shit. What a rooky move. If it wasn't for the tent poles and Gerbings I would have kept going. There was 2 US border trucks, and one had went down the way I came, one was coming towards me. Of course it was the guy who was more pushy.
    I turned around and started to collect my stuff as I went, finally stopping to get the poles and jacket from the nice agent. I thanked him in embarrassment and set out. He was now following me, and pulled me over about 8 miles down the road.
    The first thing he said when walking up was " you know an border agents able to track anything, and it is admissible in court as hard evidence".
    Shit.
    He said the other agent had tracked me going down the fence and found it cut. I still would not admit to anything and he was being cool, he kept saying the other guy was bored he would do the same thing etc. He told me the Sheriff was on his way to deal with it. We had a good twenty minutes that we were really just BS'ing about my ride, or the tours that I do. Right before the Sheriff came he told me to add in that you were out of water ( which I was ) and were scared for your life.
    Sheriff came, put me in handcuffs. Went to go to the bike, asked if I had weapons or drugs. No sir. At that time the Agent told him I was searched, and was a legit photographer... no search. :wink:
    It had happened in a different county from where we were, so we spent an hour there while the Sheriff was talking to the prosecutor, a judge, and the other counties Sheriff. Finally I was released and giving a citation for criminal trespass and I had to call in to sort it out.
    By this time there was 4 Border patrol trucks, and 3 Sheriff's cars. Not much excitement around there they said.
    They let me take this shot, making sure no plate was it in.


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    As we just went through Bakersfield I've been told I will loose cell/data soon, so I'm going to have to take a pause until I get better service. You can track me via SPOT live, the link is on my site.

    BTW, about the trailer picture, Dino who driving comfortably says "it's a shitty ride and I got nothin' to prove"

    Cheers!


    Finn
    #1
  2. El Solo Lobo

    El Solo Lobo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Two things:
    (1) No TSO sticker on the sidecase? :D
    and...
    (2) Dude, haven't you read or seen "No Country For Old Men"???? I thought for sure your tale was headed towards something similar to the beginning of that story. :lol3

    Sounds like an interesting ride. Thanks for sharing!
    #2
  3. tkfisher

    tkfisher Fabricator

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    In the pocono woods
    What a start!:clap
    Looking forward to more
    #3
  4. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    354
    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    Wonderful pics - looking for more!

    Best greatings from Germany
    Rudi
    #4
  5. AUS CRUZER

    AUS CRUZER Lets Cruz

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,409
    Location:
    Geelong
    Mate your photos rock.:clap Bring it on,just put some knobbies on that thing thou will ya:lol3
    #5
  6. spenserj87

    spenserj87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Suburban SacTown
    Joe, nice to see you made it on your way - the bike looks good on the trailer. I look forward to hearing a full operator report in the desert.

    -D
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,519
    Location:
    Toronto
    You certainly don't make it easy on yourself! Great ride, report and pics! Thanks for posting :thumb
    #7
  8. GSA Ghost

    GSA Ghost LOST

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    :lurk
    #8
  9. Jamie

    Jamie .

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,226
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    Keep 'em coming!:lurk
    #9
  10. Two Hawks

    Two Hawks Old School

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    NorCal
    That's a crazy steep ass road for that big bike, you either have balls of steel or adventure overrules sanity. Nice pictures to go with an awesome story. Oh how hard could it be to track a 500 pound plus bike. Spot tracking is nice to have when traveling into the unknown, kudos on "No Country For Old Men".
    Keep safe, T..........
    #10
  11. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,351
    Location:
    Ventura County, California Republic
    We had an amazing day in Death Valley, everything we could want in an ADV ride, a flat tire, a couple crashed bikes, visited Charie Mansons cabin, beautiful weather, and video of this crazy guy Kevin (he's metrosexual) :evil launching his new custom Ducati dirt bike. :clap

    What a day!

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    <embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3011503&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="300" width="400"></object>
    Death Valley from ChiTown on Vimeo.


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    Sorry, I'm out of batteries, and losing the wifi. I will continue my story asap.
    #11
  12. OU812

    OU812 Legend in my own Mind!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,073
    Location:
    Buffalo Grove IL and Killing Threads...
    Nice report and pics Joe.Thanks!:D
    You aint missun nuthin here in Chitown.:cry:lol3
    #12
  13. dEAdEyE

    dEAdEyE practicing retirement

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Here,for now
    Great to see these guys on their "dirt bikes"(Duc).Nice shot of the old cowboy.It amazes me to see where you guys take your street bikes.
    #13
  14. ka5ysy

    ka5ysy Doug

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Prairieville LA
    Joe... you need a small inverter to keep the computer going, or get one of the new Mac Pro 17" computers with the real 8 hour battery !
    #14
  15. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    645
    Location:
    The City that Care Forgot
    Joe,

    the night shot of the sky. Did you just trial and error that with aperture priority? Did you process it after with Lightroom or aperture or ?

    It looks really good. Did you color correct the sky to blue? Time exposure on film shows the sky a very dark green

    stay safe

    John
    #15
  16. SteveOnTheWay

    SteveOnTheWay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    NOVA
    Man la migra really put it to you. You would think they had better things to do....
    #16
  17. RMac

    RMac Cheese!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Stumptown
    :lurk
    #17
  18. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,351
    Location:
    Ventura County, California Republic
    After being released by the authorities I was slightly shaken, but couldn't help but have a big smile on my face. What a day.
    I jumped on I-10, happy to just blast down a smooth interstate and thinking of the big margarita I was going to have in El Paso. :evil

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    After an uneventful, but much needed no-tell motel I was clean, and ready to head west. My A.D.D kicked in - I decided I wanted a big change of scenery and time zone, so I set out for a buddy's house in Hermosa Beach, CA.
    After riding west on I-10, I jumped off onto HWY 70.

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    I took a detour and checked out Coolidge Dam. The water was obviously very low...
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    As I rolled into Globe, AZ my rear tire went flat...
    I stopped, found the hole, and put 2 plugs in it but didn't think it was going to hold...
    Made it about 5 miles, stopped and put 4 plugs in to hole that was now much larger.


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    This one lasted less then 5 miles.
    OK, time to stop being lazy, it wasn't going to get me anywhere...
    I took the tire off the wheel to find a huge gash in the inside... not good. My largest patch barely covered it, and I didn't feel very confident about this either.
    I did this work on the side of the road with lots of traffic, setting my Hi-Viz CamelBak 150 feet back propped up by my helmet to alert drivers.
    I was surprised (kind of) how many Harley fucks rode on by and never stopped... I'm sorry but no matter what bike you're on when I see a guy by himself with his back wheel ripped apart on the side of the road I stop... but that's just me.


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    The patch lasted 10 miles or so...
    Now I was stuck. I was near some campground and was pumping up the tire to try and make it there when this kind soul Mark stopped and asked if I needed help...
    Yeah, we're going into Phoenix and can drop you at a hotel near bike shop".... Sweet!
    They made room for my bike buy literally tossing one of their bike in the bed of the truck.



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    It was interesting because this guy was looking at me and talking about how lucky I was to have this freedom taking these kinds of trips, and I was looking at him out riding with his cool sons thinking of what I nice family he had.
    I guess the grass is always greener on the other side right?

    In the morning I bought a new (crappy Battleaxe) tire and was on my way.

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    A day on the freeway was boring, but gave me some spacing-out and thinking about weird shit time.


    I was just west of San Deigo around sunset
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    After arriving in Hermosa Beach I went for sushi and drinks, and drinks, then some more drinks near the pier. Without disclosing the events of the evening, I ended up having a great time ( I think) and was very hung over. This hangover kept my in L.A. for another day...

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    L.A. to San Fan via 101

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    I stopped at the Fishermans Wharf and had some chowder and oysters for lunch...


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    After leaving San Fran I rode up the coast on 1 and camped in near Bodega Bay in the fog. Along the way I picked up some local grass fed beef for another great dinner... hmmm beef.....


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    It was 40º and sunny when I set out in the morning for a glorious day of riding along the coast.
    I was so glad I had a A.D.D. moment in El Paso and rode to the coast when I did, as interesting as Texas was, the 100's of miles of the same brown ladscape and cold temps got real old pretty fast for me. This lush green scenery with the ocean backdrop was just what I needed.


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    After a great day of casual riding I set up camp at Big Lagoon county park near the ocean.

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    What seemed like days ago it was full and bright.
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    Morning sunshine!

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    Since I was here.... I had been saying I was going to go to Bend OR to visit a friend and today seemed like the day to do it... I get off of 101 onto 99 and head NE. Weather and roads are clear all the way supposedly.


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    It was so lush and bright green.. very beautiful.

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    I had studied the weather for some time, had talked to many people coming fro the North, and been in contact with my friends there. Yes, the roads are clear, yes you can make it over the passes.....



    Since I was running out of daylight, I decided to take a shorter route over the Cascades to Bend, HWY 138. In hindsight it wasn't the best choice of roads....
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    The solid ice with gravel spread on top of it lasted about 70 miles.
    The funny (now) thing was being terrfied and amazed at the beauty at the same time for so long. It took about 2.5 hours to get over the pass.

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    As the sun set I was coming down out of the mountains and the temps dropped fast, it was 22º. Again, not the ideal riding temp, but once again the landscape and colors from the sunset kept my mind off it. And the looks from the occasional 4WD truck with snow chains pulling snowmobiles. :lol3

    Near Crater Lake.

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    This would be the cop who wrote me a ticket on HWY 97 - he was nice enough and went fast to get me on my way in the cold... not nice enough to just let me off though....
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    After the ticket I thought I was in the clear, only 60 miles to Bend, I had just enough gas, and was going to survive the cold.
    Then came the freezing fog. The last 40 miles were brutal, with ice on my faceshield and very low visibiliy. I rode with my hazards on...

    This is what it looked like when I finally arrived in Bend.

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    After I arrived in Bend and started to thaw out, my friend informed me that a friend of her's was coming to pick us up in his limo to go out.
    I thought she was kidding... she wasn't, and I found myself here:

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    I'm still in dirty camping clothes, no shower to find myself at a swanky bar in Bend where they served Absynthe... :evil

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    What a night!




    I stayed in Bend for a few days and had such a great time, watched Obama take the oath, did some shopping, listened to a cool young band play, and replaced the shitting BT something tire with a Pirelli... I can't beleive I made it over the ice without falling on this tire.

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    It was nice, but cold in Bend
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    Though I really didn't want to leave, but there was a break in the weather and a snow storm coming in... time to get back in motion. With some routing help from some ADV inmates in a thread I posted in Regional, I headed south on 97, planning to get back into the Redwoods forest on the coast.


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    It was 40º when I left, and about an hour into the ride the temp dropped to 34º, ominous looking clouds and fog started to appear, and finally it started to rain.


    Upper Klamath Lake in the rain.
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    The weather was completely shitty, cold and raining.
    This whole time I still was amazed by the scenery, cloud formations, and times when I came around a curve, down a hill to a break in the fog revealing the wonderfully saturated countryside.
    This was also one of the many moments I though about just how lucky I was to be in good health, live in such a great country where I have a great job, and where I can ride for thousands of miles through such great beauty.

    Life is good.





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    I stopped for a light lunch and to thaw out.

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    HWY 66

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    I thought I was done with ice! Wrong.

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    I made it safely to Prarie Creek State Park, and found a campsite on the beach, after riding down the 6 miles down this snot covered, muddy road. It was worth it.

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    This campsite was too good to move so I head out unloaded to ride.
    While out wandering in and out of Redwoods NP I found myself on this slick, muddy mountain road... where I had a few scary monents including almost going over the edge twice from sliding in the mud.
    I stopped and thought about it, and thought about it some more. Time for a change, I'm really gonna hurt myself trying to ride the road bike where I really want to be half the time.
    I looked on my phone, had service, called A+S BMW in Sacramento, got Ted on the phone, asked if they had a 800GS in stock, they did, and that was it. I was going to buy a GS.
    Tomorrow.
    Could I afford it? well..... I'm by no means wealthy and work my ass off so I can do things like this... but, I can swing it. if they finance me. :deal

    So that was it, I would leave very early am and ride on down to A+S....
    The last night with the R...

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    Eating like a king!

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    I set out the next morning, determined to get to A+S before they closed.
    It was wet, and lighty rained most of the way.

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    I arrived at 3:30, took a test ride, and at 7pm had this new bike, and made a new friend, Ted.
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    I can't believe I just did this!

    I was going to go to a hotel and start working on installing the bags and transfer over my gadgets, but Ted Shred (ADV inmate of course) invited me to his house to work on my bike. Sweet.

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    We stayed up late getting the bike ready to tour...

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    The next moring Ted and I took a ride to properly break in a GS.... :clap


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    After a great first day on the GS I stayed at T S's house again, in good company.




    The next day tragedy strikes...
    After just leaving the dealer where they had adjusted the chain that had loosened greatly, this happened:

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    I was lucky being right down the street from Ted's, who was there in minutes with a trailer...
    A+S did a wonderful job taking excellent care of the bike. Here's the thread so I don't have to get into it here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=427388








    Which leads me to the start of this thread.... I ended up putting my new bike on a trailer ( kind of weird for me, but they said the ride sucked this time of year and got nothin' to prove) down to Death Valley with a group of great guy, and met even more while I was there. We had a great time, and I will be riding with this group of guys again...
    The Flying Duc !
    Good Times.

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    I am on my way back to Sacramento with these guys to pick up some what are now the most expensive ADV stickers in the world that I've had shipped numerous time to try and catch up with me for the last 5 weeks...
    I plan on heading back to coast the before heading south of the border, and then who knows where. I will try to update this as much as possible in the upcoming weeks while I continue the jouney on a 8GS!

    cheers! :freaky

    -Finn
    #18
  19. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,351
    Location:
    Ventura County, California Republic
    Got one Doug, nice seeing you in Sac, I'll be back soon!



    Can I tell my story in my order?
    patience young jedi


    manual, 30 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 100
    all straight out of the camera, I have no time or batteries for PP, just a little cropping here and there.
    The saturated one is when the D90 is on VIVID, the other with the scooter is "NORMAL".
    Quite a few of these photos have been made with a Lumix LX3 also... all the LX3's are 16x9 ratio....
    you can get all the EXIF data on my smugmug site, link's on my site.
    cheers!
    #19
  20. kpick

    kpick Free Range Human

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    700
    Location:
    Nor.Cal and LaPaz, Baja Sur
    I'm not ":shog Metro"

    I can't help it if I have really good hair.

    Nice meeting you Brother Fin...

    Need any company?

    Until Next Time!
    #20