Coast to Coast (and back?) with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Skippy86

    Skippy86 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Deep South...
    Freaking amazing trip! I am impressed you can put that many miles on a superbike and not have an arm or butt cheek fall off from lack of blood flow.

    I am trying to decide what bike to get next, and you are making a pretty good case for the Ducati... Most bikes are rated in MPG (miles per gallon), I am pretty sure Ducati uses PPM (panties per mile).

    Look forward to hearing more! :lurk
  2. r3mac

    r3mac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    352
    Location:
    North Shore, ma
    Great images, the bike is brilliant.

    Ride reports seem to blur together, but this one really stands out as an adventure.

    Subscribed.
  3. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Thanks, guys. PPM--hilarious. Glad I've been able to put a 'road-ride-report' together that captures the interest of ADV inmates. Not an easy task! Please bear with me as I try to recount everything since the last posts. It's funny--normal days after work consist of, "I woke up, worked my ass off for 8 hours, pulled some hair out, ate dinner, had a drink, then went to sleep." In short, most days we spend fulfilling obligations can be summarized in just a few sentences, which means over a year we really are screwing ourselves over and over a lifetime perhaps our existence can horribly be summarized on one page of an obituary. Now that I'm out on the road I'm struggling to just try and remember everything that's happened. An hour of riding seems to require at least an hour to describe!

    Unfortunately I can't type when I'm out on the bike, so most of my philosophical ponderings can't be captured in photographs and take even longer to assemble. And when I finally get somewhere I have an intraweb connection I end up spending more time editing/uploading photos than I do describing the various mental states and on-the-road thoughts that are as equally important. I'll get to the essays soon, I suppose.

    Right now I'm in Eden Prarie, MN, after covering 410 or so miles since leaving Herrick, SD, this morning. So here goes my attempt to recount the hours since my last posts.

    Rapid City. Why did I go? It was out of the way on the map, but put me in a good position to strike Badlands the following day. Stayed at the Alex Johnson Hotel, which prides itself on being historic. (If by 'historic' they mean creaky doors and fluctuating shower water temps (as in scalding coal hot, then icy cold), it's quite historic indeed.)

    As for the city itself--hmmm. Being out on the open road, as vulnerable as it is, is calm, peaceful and tranquil. Oh it has its dangers (exposure, isolation, lack of food/water/gas), but mother nature is never personal. If it's freezing cold or boiling hot it's only because nature is indifferent. Anonymity is guaranteed unless Grizzlies abound. But in cities the environment and everything in it reacts to your every movement. You can remain anonymous to some extent if you know what you're doing, but people are just freaks. ESPECIALLY in Rapid City, which had this weird 'hot city night' thing going on in which all the 'locals' from 80 miles around hit the streets and acted like zombies would act if they drank Red Bull instead of eating brains.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately 'hot city nights' includes unexpected storms that help to control a city full of out of control, slobbering idiots. And for the first time I understood what the Japanese meant by the historical use of Tsunami.
    [​IMG]

    Fortunately I escaped the madhouse streets AND the bad weather with a 16oz NY Steak, some prawns and two glasses of a Napa blend:

    [​IMG]

    I'd heard my whole life that steak in the SD/NE region was the best in the world, but honestly, I got the feeling that steaks around here were like Idaho potatoes in Idaho. Meaning--all the good stuff is exported (in ID all you can buy is Oregon potatoes). Anyhow, I walked around a little bit after dinner, but the more I walked the freakier it got, so I retreated to my 8th floor room at The Shining inn. If the people in Rapid City went to NY or SF or Rome or Paris and acted like they were acting they'd get their asses beat for being so retarded. It was like a giant 8th grade dance after party where people smoked oregano and pretended they were high.
    Fred Oliff likes this.
  4. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Tampa Fl
    I love this thread.......
    I've been planning a trip like this for while........
    BUT after reading this, who cares about the planning and just worry about where to store the trip goodies!
    Will be doing it on my beloved R1!
    Thanks for the inspiration and helping me move along to get this facking thing started!



    By the way, GREAT WRITE UP!
  5. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Parking for the hotel was either on the street or on the top floor of a parking garage. The former required moving every 2 hours and the latter required affixing a flimsy paper cutout to my 'handlebars'. In a town filled with raging goofballs, I opted to hide my bike in the garage, as I'm sure the only sportbike on the street would have invited lots of 'test rides' which would have left my Panigale on its side. The parking garage was filled with like-minded dipsticks, but there were far less of 'em.

    The good news? When I went out in the morning my bike was still upright. The bad news?

    [​IMG]

    $25 is better than a dented tank and cracked fairings, but still an unwelcome sight at 9am.
  6. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    I failed to mention that the check-in girl asked me if I was here in Rapid City for "THE RALLY". I had a helmet and a full leather jacket, which should have clued her in to the fact that I was not here for Sturgis, but I didn't know what she was talking about until the next morning:

    [​IMG]

    It was then I understood why there were so many Harley Davidson's being towed by trucks.....
  7. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    I've never been to Sturgis during Bike Week, but as one fellow Ducati.ms inmate said, "Sturgis is like Spring Break for old people." Word.

    Anyhow, while all bikes were moving NorthWest, I set out due East and headed into Badlands:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've always wanted to do Death Valley on motorbike....been there in my FJ, ran miles there in my Asics and put in some time on my mountain bike, but never on a motorcycle. Badlands came close.
  8. NoSoup4U

    NoSoup4U Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Los ANgeles, CA
    This is so fucking amazing to read about your travels AntiHero! It feels like a rebirth of sorts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Im so glad to know I am not the only nut touring regularly on a super sport bike! Heading out in two weeks to Pikes Peak with a buddy for a two week trip through Utah and Colorado. I'm doing long trips every year on my 1198S and its no problem. After 2-3 days the sharp pain makes room for a general numbness of the joints and then its a piece of cake :D
    Keep the good stuff coming, I can't wait for the next round.
  9. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    On my way to Herrick, SD, I stopped to take a leak. If I have a choice, I prefer to pee on something rather than into something. So I stopped on some road to do my thing and dammit if I didn't feel a pinch on my right bicep. The pinch became a sting, which then became a red hot, searing pain....instead of unzipping my pants I started to tear off my jacket....and found this:

    [​IMG]

    I don't know how long the bee had been in my jacket, but I figure once I got off and started to move around it got angry and decided to kill itself.

    No big deal....I did my thing and hopped back on the bike into rural SD. I'd noticed in Nebraska that the birds are suicidal. And SD was no different. They fly directly into your path as if it's some machisimo game they play to impress the local chickadees. I'd grown tired of it and stopped even paying much attention (they're good). So 20 miles or so after the beesting I came upon a gaggle of 8-10 small goose-like/partridge/mini-pheasant like birds on the opposite side of the road. 50 feet away three of them decided to run--right into my path.

    Now when crazy shit happens on the street that doesn't demand a reaction I don't react. And this was no different. When birds want to commit suicide, I'll deal with it at the car wash. So throttle on I pushed forward....the first bird barely avoided the front 120. The second? Decided breaking every bone in my foot was worth dying for.

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I felt that instant, painful, throbbing, explosive, crushed, swelling feeling you get when bones break. I couldn't shift and half of my concentration was spent on confusion. I pulled in the clutch, rolled to a stop and inspected the damage, but the pain was increasing and I didn't even have duct tape. I really thought my ride might be over. Accelerating back up to speed I had to use my left hand.
  10. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    So after all the issues with the birds and the bees I finally made it to the converted grain mill elevator I would be staying at for the night:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A storm was coming in, and despite the fact I was hungry as hell, and that there was a delicious menu posted in the kitchen...

    [​IMG]

    ...all the grocery stores and gas stations close at 7pm. There are no restaurants. So I parked the beast inside to keep me company:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...andI cooked and ate what was in the fridge for dinner:

    [​IMG]


    Which was a really good fookin' idea, because a vicious storm rolled in. Lighting, thunder and RAIN. 120db rain on the roof. Never heard anything like it. I managed to get one pic while holding on tightly to the back door so it wouldn't blow off its hinges.

    [​IMG]
    Fred Oliff likes this.
  11. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Left Herrick in the AM after it was nice and clear.

    [​IMG]

    My knowledge of South Dakota prior to visiting consisted of one story that sort of summed up my experience there (though not nearly as traumatic). A good guy I used to work with grew up in SD and when I had asked him what it was like he said, "lots of fighting and drinking on the weekends." And then a couple months later he went back for a wedding. Turns out the reception consisted of 'barbecued pork served wrapped up in newspaper" and "each guest was given a bottle of Wild Turkey" when they arrived. In the end, they all ended up sleeping in cars that were on the property.

    [​IMG]

    And so whereas there are trampolines in every front yard in mormon country, almost every house in SD has 5-10 old, wrecked cars outside. Seems a little absurd, but then again, when a car breaks down around here there aren't any car repair shops, nor is there anyone to sell a junker to. So they just rot....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Finally made it into Minnesota:

    [​IMG]

    Thought briefly of going to Fargo:
    [​IMG]

    But the thought only lasted about .004 seconds


    Saw this church, which reminded me of a church I stopped at with my bud Byron years ago back in Occidental, CA:

    [​IMG]


    I hadn't eaten all day. After checking in I headed out for grub. There's salmon buried under the salad there. It was prepared for a deer, perhaps, considering the overwhelming amount of salt, but I was hungry and that's the best seasoning of all.

    [​IMG]

    The restaurant had a wine store attached to it. They had Ridge. I couldn't resist.

    [​IMG]
  13. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Oh and broke the 5,000 mile mark today. :)
  14. NoSoup4U

    NoSoup4U Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Los ANgeles, CA
    Congrats!
  15. duncanmac

    duncanmac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Excellent and entertaining RR. As a vicar you are doing a terrific job. You have a host of us riding with you in spirit.
  16. DefconZero

    DefconZero Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Subbed! Truly amazing report thus fair.
  17. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Awesome. Do it--you won't regret it. And check out Kriega packs. I wish I'd gotten a larger one for my tail.
  18. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Every year? Shit, man, you're a masochist! I hear you about the numbness....pain turns to dull ache and you just get on with it. I wish I could have stuck around for Pikes....which means I'll probably be doing it next year. :)
  19. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    I'm still trying to work out a happiness index of the cities I've been through....I've narrowed it down to being very activity based. More on that (hopefully) to come.

    The most valuable lesson I've extracted from this trip so far involves experiencing an idea I've known--but was a bit suspicious of (sorry Joseph Campbell!)--all along. Our lives can be spent carrying out actions that we hope will lead us to a greater sense of purpose, accomplishment and meaning, but all these are secondary to the need to feel alive. And when we pursue the activities that make us truly feel alive, we discover the places and people and things we always had wished existed--people and places and things that have always been there--waiting patiently for our arrival.
    Fred Oliff likes this.
  20. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Amazing RR! Like your mentality to change what wasn't working for you and take on adventure of a lifetime. Be safe and keep taking us along for the ride.

    Later
    John