Clunking my CX Cross Country

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jlevers, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Bewildebeest

    Bewildebeest Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    Near Northampton,England
    Wow. Great video. You can't imagine how it feels - sitting here in leafy (old) England DSC_0309.JPG and seeing all that incredible Colorado scenery, the bikes, the hotel etc etc.

    A coast to coast trip is now definitely on my list. Thanks for the inspiration.
    jlevers and Gham like this.
  2. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,090
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.

    Nice video,it's good to have friends!
    jlevers likes this.
  3. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Don, thanks for the video! I enjoyed watching it. It was great to meet/ride with you guys.

    It's incredible, basically everyone I've met on this trip has been extremely nice. I think that I used to think that most people were jerks and there were a few nice ones, but now my view is completely the opposite of that.

    Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I'm staying with a friend at Reed College in Portland, OR and not a ton has been going on. Stay tuned for the last few days of the trip, I'll probably be leaving Reed this afternoon or tomorrow morning!
  4. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    I just set elk from Portland, and noticed that my rear tire is literally completely bald. Will it make it four or five hundred miles without popping? I really, really don't want to deal with the logistics and cost of getting a new tire when I'm this close to the end of the trip. I'll be in Bellingham in three days, tops. In theory, I could be there today.[​IMG]
  5. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6,183
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    If the cord isn't showing through, you can make it. Just ride easy and try to avoid rain. Lucky for you it never rains there in the PNW.:-)
    Gham and jlevers like this.
  6. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    33.496960,-117.195289
    Jesse,

    Motorcycle Superstore has a great write-up on how to check motorcycle tires: HERE. It's a good idea to find the tread wear indicators, as they'll give you a immediate idea of how much rubber you have left. You'll find some sort of icon spaced regularly on the sidewall showing you where the tread wear indicators are supposed to be. If you don't find any wear indicators, it's possible that they were in the center of the tire and the rubber is worn down past them. If that is the case, watch the tires carefully and frequently for cord showing through, as that tire is worn out and potentially dangerous.

    A bald center doesn't always mean there's no tread depth left on the tire center but, as flei mentioned above, be easy on the throttle on wet surfaces. if you find the indicators a bit to the side of the center and they show that you still have some tread left, you should be OK. Make sure they're properly inflated and check them all the way around frequently. Tires often wear faster when they're near the end of their useful life, especially in hot road conditions.

    Rick
    jlevers likes this.
  7. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    557
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    If you were still on the East Coast I'd just give you a new tire, and even mount it for ya, but unfortunately you're a little far from Durham, NC right now :)

    Charles.
    jlevers likes this.
  8. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,198
    Location:
    Idaho
    Get it changed now. I'd hate to see your trip end in disaster for want of a new tire.

    Plenty of tire outlets in and around Portland that can fix your up for a reasonable cost.
    jlevers and avtechinbtown like this.
  9. avtechinbtown

    avtechinbtown Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    268
    Location:
    Bloomington Indiana
    I second this opinion.
    jlevers likes this.
  10. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Well, too late :lol3 I made it! I'm staying with a family friend in Bow, WA, about 20 miles south of Bellingham. It's kind of surreal that I'm finally here...
    ponytl, nk14zp, KingFishman and 5 others like this.
  11. Bikey

    Bikey Jeff in Fairfax

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    Congratulations! And thanks for sharing a great RR with us.
    Gham and jlevers like this.
  12. Bewildebeest

    Bewildebeest Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    Near Northampton,England
    Woohoo ! Well done. Surely you can't sell the bike after all you've been through together ?
    Does it have a name yet ?
    flei and jlevers like this.
  13. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    The bike is definitely not getting sold...Hopefully I'll ride her home next spring/summer. I never really came up with a name, but that's ok.

    I'll finish up the proper report sometime in the next couple days. Thanks to everyone who's been following along!
  14. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    557
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    How about Miley? 'Cause... you know... all the miles you racked up on her? :dunno

    Charles.
  15. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6,183
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    Way to go Jesse! I'm so happy your trip worked out after all the hard work you did for it (in so many ways). I'm sure your parents are relieved and proud. Keep me posted on how things work out for you out there. And be careful on the slopes at Whistler! Look forward to your return trip back East and following your future adventures.
    jlevers likes this.
  16. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,090
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    I'm pretty bummed this one's almost over! :lol3
    nk14zp and jlevers like this.
  17. TDC_ERock

    TDC_ERock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Lowcountry, SC
    Take Chuckanut rather than I-5 from Bow to Bellingham!

    Great RR.... If you do ride back east and do another report, try to remember to put up a link here for those of us who are subscribed to this one.

    Enjoy the Pacific Northwet!
    jlevers likes this.
  18. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Days 34 and 35


    The day after getting to Tina’s, I pretty much just hung out, read, and saw the local aquarium and the aquarium science program at a local college -- Tina’s husband, Jacob, is really into aquarium science, and he showed me a lot of cool stuff he was working on.


    Then, I slept a bunch, and in the morning, struck out for Portland. First, though, I had to stop by Tina’s workplace for some muffins. Here she is:

    [​IMG]

    I headed up 101. There were some awesome coastal views...they’re way prettier when I’m dry and warm :rofl

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I rode 101 up to Tillamook, where I had seen some tiny forest service roads that went through the Tillamook State Forest. I got to those roads...and lo and behold, they were dirt. Crap. Well, might as well go for it :shrug :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Well, about 10 miles in, it started getting pretty gnarly. Deep, loose soil, rocks almost as big as my hand, you get the picture. I persevered through it for a mile or two, with many very near misses, until I encountered a guy on a grader working on the road. I asked him if it got better or worse, and he looked me and my bike up and down, laughed, and told me to turn around. While I was slightly annoyed, he was probably right :muutt

    I wobbled back down to the asphalt, and got on Route 6, the main road through Tillamook State Forest. That was a pretty fun road :ricky

    [​IMG]

    After getting very lost in Portland, I got to Reed College, where one of my good friends from home goes. It was REALLY nice to see a familiar face. I moved into her room (she has a bigger single than most doubles), showered, did laundry, and just hung out with her friends.


    My plan was to stay until Sunday (I got there on Friday), but on Sunday afternoon, I ended up just sitting in the cafeteria and talking to one of the people I’d met until a time where it seemed dumb to leave, so I ended up staying another night. Thanks for letting me crash in your room, Rose! I took some pictures of her, but they all came out blurry for some reason, so I just pulled one of her Facebook pictures...I can virtually guarantee I’m going to get shit for this :lol3

    [​IMG]

    It was really fun hanging out with some people my age! I’ve exclusively been around people older than I am on this trip, and I enjoy that too, but it was nice to meet people my own age too. Reed’s really pretty, too…

    [​IMG]

    ----------------
    Start: Waldport, OR
    End: Portland, OR
    Mileage: 201 miles
    EZMoney and flei like this.
  19. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    This is it! Day 38 was, somewhat unexpectedly, the last day of the trip. When I left Reed, I took a look at my rear tire, and it was...on its way out, to say the least :lol3 whatever, I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of getting a new tire right at the end of the trip, so I just kept on chugging.

    From Portland, I headed east on 14, trying to get over to Gifford Pinchot National Forest, since it looked on the map like there were lots of bomb back roads.

    [​IMG]

    On the way, I entered a beautiful sort of fjord/canyon-y thing.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I hit the forest roads in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and boy, was I not disappointed :ricky :ricky because of my rear tire, I had to keep it a little slow, but I’ve gotta go back there someday with a more trustworthy tire, because those roads would be AMAZING. Regardless, they were still gorgeous, in a very PNW kind of way. There were also a couple of nearly CX500-sized potholes :thwak :lol3

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    My original plan had been to head up to a guy from the CX500 forum’s house in Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula. When I got out of the forest in Randle, WA, I took a look at my phone, and discovered that it was farther to Sequim than to Bellingham… :hmmmmm guess I’ll just go to Bellingham :shrug I kept it under 70mph nearly the whole way from Randle to Bow, which is just south of Bellingham, and where I’m staying with a family friend. Considering the speed limit is 70mph for much of the way on I-5, I was having a mild existential crisis. Going UNDER the speed limit?? On purpose???!?!?? Well, I felt somewhat more justified when, in Seattle, in rush hour traffic, I hit the rear brake and had so little traction that it immediately locked up :doh mountain biking instincts to the rescue! That wasn’t great.

    I made it to Bow by 7:30pm. I didn’t really take any pictures between Randle and Bow, because I was so focused on getting here. Let me tell ya, it was REALLY weird to actually be here, where I’ve been thinking about/planning on being for a year or more.

    I did it! Wow. I’m still somewhat in disbelief that I (and my bike) made it 7500ish miles across the country. (7500ish because my odometer broke back in Colorado, so I don’t really know how far it’s been :rofl.) I left home 38 days ago, went through 23 states, met a ton of really cool people, seen amazing things, and all around had a really fucking good time.

    At the beginning of the trip -- in fact, probably all the way until around Oklahoma, I wasn’t having such a great time. I was homesick, lonely, and stressed out by the fact that I wasn’t making the mileage I needed to, and that my campsites were always very sketchy and I was worried about being kicked out. I seriously was thinking about turning around for quite a while...but thought, fuck it, I can’t spend so much time and money on this trip and not at least go through with it.

    I’m so, so, so glad I didn’t turn around. Once I got into the swing of things, no longer was feeling time pressure, got used to being alone, and got into territory that felt very different from home, I started having a MUCH better time. I didn’t think of this till now, but my riding style also chilled out somewhat, which probably lowered my stress, even if I didn’t realize it.

    I have never done anything anywhere near as cool as this before, and you better believe I’ll be doing more epic trips in the future. A HUGE THANKS to everyone who’s helped me along the way, especially my parents for helping me plan this and letting me do it in the first place, my friends from home who talked to me all the time, Larry in Sacramento, Murray in NC, all the people who let me stay at their house and fed me, the people who lent me gear, those who lent me gear, and anyone else who has been involved in this trip who doesn’t fall into any of those categories. Also, thank you to everyone who’s been reading this ride report! It’s motivated me to keep working on it, and I love that I’ll be able to look back on this to remember the trip.

    I’ve also had some people tell me that I’ve inspired them to take epic trips themselves. That is probably the most satisfying thing anyone has said to me about this trip. I said this earlier in this thread, and I’ll say it again -- if you want to take a seemingly infeasible trip, just DO IT! STOP WAITING! There will be no perfect opportunity. I’m not at all wealthy, I ride what most would call a crappy bike (shhhh don’t listen to them, I love you bike), and I had an amazing time. Go ride!

    Next on the docket are Alaska in a few days (sans bike, sorry), and my cousin and I are planning a trip to Southeast Asia for this winter.

    In the meantime, here’s your final picture for the report. I made it! Thanks again for reading.

    [​IMG]
  20. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    557
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Now that you're in the area... check out Mattole Rd from Ferndale to Honeydew. If you're coming from the south, traveling north up the 1, and you're feeling adventurous... I always wanted to try Usal Rd, which is near the northern end of US1 between Rockport and Hales Grove. It continues up along the coastline after US1 takes a turn east. It's dirt, and I was on a rental bike at the time, with a strict "no dirt roads" clause in the contract. I really, REALLY wanted to ride that road up along the coast. Although Google Maps doesn't show the road in its entirety, Mapquest did back when I originally planned my route -- and you can see the actual lay of the road using google maps' satellite view, to see where it goes and how it connects. I'd like to take Usal to shelter cove road, and then pick up the Kings Peak Rd to Wilder Ridge road, and come into Honeydew that way. It's lots easier to just take 101 to ferndale and start there, but damn does that dirt look like fun to me.

    Seriously though, Mattole Rd is the bomb. It's a little hard to find in Ferndale (or it was in 2003), but once you do it's so worth it.

    Charles.
    jlevers likes this.