Chasing Summer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jean-Luc, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    <st1:city>Bombay</st1:city>'s pub in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Dawson</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">City</st1:placetype></st1:place>

    Beautiful and warm day. A girl playing piano. The whole town is still sleepy, like if everyone was recovering from an hangover. No, that's just me.

    I've been procrastinating for too long, I need too start this thread! It's the first time that I’ll write a ride report while traveling and it’s so hard
    :arg. Riding most of the day, when we stop there seems to be always something better to do than sitting in front of a computer. Oh well, we’ll do our best…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    (longish prologue)<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Long ago when I signed up to AdvRider I remember entering in my profile for Dream ride: ‘South America to <st1:place w:st="on">Patagonia</st1:place>’. Over the years I updated the profile for new bikes and such but the ‘dream’ stayed the same.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Lately I was starting to think that it would stay a dream for ever… <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then bad news happened: my company was being bought by a much bigger one and layoffs would occur. Stressful times, especially because I liked my job and team very much. But it could also be an opportunity! After a lot of thinking and discussion with my wife and friends we decided that it was worth taking the risk so I volunteered for the severance package. I will be thankful all my life to my wife for supporting me on this adventure! :bow
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Long story short, I planned to leave in a 6-months trip that would go from <st1:city w:st="on">San Francisco</st1:city> to Prudhoe Bay and then after reaching the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Artic</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Ocean</st1:placetype></st1:place>, set the compass to the opposite direction and ride to Ushuaia. Yes, I’m aware that <st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state> is not the most direct way to Patagonia but it was very appealing to me to do the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Americas</st1:place></st1:country-region> from tip to tip. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Being able to find the time and money to do such a trip is a rare opportunity so finding someone having that same opportunity at the same time to come along is really improbable. I knew however that I could join R-dubb and Eduardo who were planning a ride from <st1:city w:st="on">Quito</st1:city> to <st1:place w:st="on">Patagonia</st1:place> starting end of November.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A few days after making my decision “official” (that’s back in March) I received a call from R-dubb having drinks at Zeitgeist for an AdvRider gathering. I had missed the thread but hey, time for a little detour from my commute and here I am amongst a dozen or so AdvRiders. Obviously, quite excited, I shared with them my new project. Most were enthusiastic about such a trip but that’s to be expected from AdvRiders! However, Teryk was even more passionate than the others and made it clear that he would love to tag along. At this point, after a couple of beers and the novelty of the news I didn’t know what to think about his real commitment for such a project. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have known Teryk for years and we had some memorable rides together. However, in the last years he became more passionate about bicycling and training for IronMan so he had no time left for motorcycle trips. We ended up seeing each other scarcely and it was pure luck that I had met him at Zeitgeist after so long. Anyway, I knew that he would be a great riding buddy so we decided to see how that could work. <o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

    Joined:
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    Why am I chasing summer? Because I can.

    If you want the long version, I'll tell you about how I first fell in love with adventure riding. I bought a one owner, pristine R100 GS because I liked the look. I found the BMW-GS mailing list. Folks like cRAsH, JL and Santa populated that list and I got a taste for how much fun adventure riding could be. I went on a ride with some of the original advrider inmates and came home with my beautiful bike dented and leaking oil.

    I was hooked. :deal

    I began planning an epic South American adventure that kept getting pushed off. First work, then a motorcycle accident. In 2005 I quit my job and gave up my apartment and was finally going to do it. I was 2 weeks from departure. Bags packed. I got a call from the lawyer handling my motorcycle accident case and was told I couldn't leave the country. :eek1

    I got a job, found a place to live, got a girlfriend and once again the trip was on-hold.

    Flash forward to 3 months ago when I ran into JL in Zeitgeist, a cool bar in SF. JL told me about his trip and drunken logic had me decide to quit my job and join him. Morning logic had me questioning that decision with thoughts of responsibility and resume building and the like. That day at work the most amazing thing happened. The non-profit I work for lost one of their largest contracts. To help them make up the budget shortfall I, selfless guy that I am, offered to take an unpaid leave.

    I have the wonderful opportunity to chase summer and come back to my job when I return.
    #2
  3. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    <o:p></o:p>It&#8217;s 5am and I can&#8217;t sleep anymore. I&#8217;m tired though since we&#8217;ve been prepping the bikes until late last night. But between the jetlag (I just came back from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">France</st1:place></st1:country-region>) and the excitement it&#8217;s impossible to go back to sleep.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today is THE day, the start of a big adventure, but for <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Francisco</st1:place></st1:city> it&#8217;s just a normal foggy summer day. Turkish who has been staying at home, plays the paparazzi for us. Turkish is actually planning to join us for the South leg of the trip, from SF to <st1:place w:st="on">Patagonia</st1:place>, but that&#8217;s a different story.

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    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
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    Map, cigars (thanks SashaPave!),,, we're all set!

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    <o:p></o:p>

    Ready, GO!
    <o:p></o:p>
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    </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    When planning the route I&#8217;ve tried to find the best compromise between having a fun ride while making time to arrive North early enough in the season. So for our Californian leg it was a mix of 101 then the twisty 128 and the 1 along the coast.

    Beautiful, but we took very few pictures

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    We have ground to cover and California is our background so we'll take more pics later on.

    Lunch while keeping an eye on our shinning bikes. The weather is awesome and we're so excited to be finally gone after the rush of the last days.

    I'm already testing if the "tanker" system works :evil. The huge tank of Teryk's 640 will certainly be helpful in remote areas.

    [​IMG]

    A couple of riding pictures. Please don't drop the camera the first day :huh !

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    For whatever reason we wanted to reach Oregon today. The planned small routes didn't always go through...

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    We ended the day pretty late in Grant Pass where we found a camp close to a river.
    #3
  4. rabia

    rabia Karen Smith

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    1,842
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    RI
    You guys rock!! :clap Have a fantastic ride J-L!!
    #4
  5. Katsumoto

    Katsumoto Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Tabasco, Mexico
    :clap

    Seems that the starts aligned perfectly for you guys... be safe, have tank loads of fun, take many pics, and keep us informed...

    just wondering what exactly is the "tanker" system?
    #5
  6. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
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    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    :lurk This is going to be fun to watch. Ride on and be safe.
    #6
  7. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    OK this is going to be good. Ride safe and keep posting. We will be watching your progress closely. You are living my dream.
    #7
  8. ErrinV

    ErrinV D Boon!

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    Alhambra, CA
    This is going to be a good one. Better get in at the beginning.
    #8
  9. Steez

    Steez USMC Infantry

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
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    Nashville / Chattanooga, TN
    :lurk
    #9
  10. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Seoul Survivor
    :lurk
    #10
  11. Silky

    Silky Awaiting Baby...

    Joined:
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    Sydney - North
    :lurk mmm Popcorn and dreamrides, what a combo... There goes Sunday night...
    #11
  12. rallybug

    rallybug Local Yokel

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    Location:
    North Salt Lake, UT
    Bigger fuel tank on the 640 Adv, so when the 950 runs out, I assume they'll siphon some fuel across from the 640 to the 950 to reach the next fuel stop :dunno

    Sounds like a great ride, JL :thumb
    #12
  13. Pundy

    Pundy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
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    346
    Location:
    North of North New Portland
    This is the good stuff!! Can't wait to hear it all.
    #13
  14. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
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    Location:
    Toronto, CANADA
    :lurk:lurk

    can't wait !!
    #14
  15. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
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    Cascadia
    Please send food :D

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    [​IMG]
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    #15
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,031
    it's augst... don't tell me it's time we start chasing summer. :(: :waysad

    :lurk
    #16
  17. Santa

    Santa Focused on the Future

    Joined:
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    1,448
    Enjoy the ride my friends.
    #17
  18. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Thanks Rabia and others for your encouragements!

    I had so much fun reading ride reports to prepare this trip that I kind of want to give back to the "community".
    #18
  19. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    They say in Dawson that it could start snowing in a couple of weeks or so :eek1. But it's been a real warm summer so far so we should be fine.
    #19
  20. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    It was really cool to go to sleep while watching the stars last night. The sleep was not so good like it’s often the case for me for the first camping nights. Early wake up again while Teryk is still asleep.


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    The packing routine is not optimal yet but we leave reasonably early after stopping in this great place for a coffee. <o:p></o:p>

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    We want to be in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Seattle</st1:City></st1:place> not too late tonight since we’re staying at Teryk’s friends’ house. There is no real cool route to reach <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City> without wasting too much time so we opt for the ‘5’. The ‘5’ is a real nightmare for Californians riders because it’s so straight and boring. Here it’s very different, going over passes with turns and nice scenery. Really cool, but not for long enough. Going further North, it becomes flatter and straighter, the traffic is heavier and it even started to rain. Not fun anymore! <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Even if you tell yourself “Hey you’re going to Ushuaia, it’s your dream ride” the feeling for the day is still “Well, I’m going to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Seattle</st1:City></st1:place> and the traffic sucks especially when you can’t split lanes!”.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The good thing is that we were able to make the Autocom work this morning so were able to chat on the freeway. We were not sure to take them on a trip where simplicity should be key but we decided to give them a try, at least for <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State></st1:place>. Boy, we were hooked right away! It takes a bit of practice to make them work fine but when that’s done it made our riding life way easier. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Keeping an eye on your unlocked valuables is a real issue on a bike so here we go :lol3

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    We just wanted to arrive in <st1:City w:st="on">Seattle</st1:City> but the traffic was stop and go around <st1:City w:st="on">Portland</st1:City> and again in <st1:City w:st="on">Tacoma</st1:City> before <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City>. At this point I was really craving for the remoteness of the big North. :nod
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fortunately all was forgotten with the wonderful welcoming of Julieann and Patrick! There were also 2 good friends of them staying for the weekend and the dinner was a lot of fun. :freaky <o:p></o:p>
    #20