Cross Country on a $50 bike: NY-SF and back

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by XS500RUS, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. mtndragon

    mtndragon Traveler

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    knocking on the golden door
    :rofl

    Top notch story.
    More please.
    #81
  2. 10-95

    10-95 Adventurer

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    Central Texas

    Funny. When the wife and I rode through Cairo we were told by the local LE not to stay there, it wasn't safe. He directed us over the border to Charleston,Mo.


    Great story so far!! :clap
    #82
  3. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

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    admirably resourceful.

    keep going. its a great report.

    nk
    #83
  4. XS500RUS

    XS500RUS Been here awhile

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    After a hearty breakfast of microwaved burritos and coffee at a gas station, we hit the road and rode towards the Rockies. A little ways out of town we took some pictures:

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    As we ascended we could all feel the altitude taking a toll on performace. Up the steepest grades at 8-9k feet, I could still manage 50mph or so. At 11k feet 40 was more realistic. Even the Seca, with its 80hp engine(massive by my standards) was feeling the elevation.

    We bought stuff for sandwiches at an extremely overpriced SafeWay, I guess it's more expensive to truck stuff out to Salida, CO than many other places. We turned off the road and went down an unmarked dirt track and found an excellent clearing in the woods right by an ice cold stream. We took our time eating lunch, and then wetting our feet in the water and drying off in the sun.

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    We reached the Continental Divide soon after lunch, and took a mandatory photo:

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    Brandon and Tom went to mass in Gunnison, and Vanya and I bought food for dinner (fried potatoes). We set up camp at a great campground positioned near an artificial lake.
    #84
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Excellent ride report. Sure wish I'd done something like this when I was at Cornell (class of '92)!

    --mark
    #85
  6. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Cool ride guys!:clap :clap :clap Makes you think about all those folks that think you have to have the newest $25,000 bike to ride across town!:huh
    #86
  7. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Wow!!! Can't wait for the rest of the travel report...
    I too had an XS500C (Marge, as in Marge Brown, the official Yamaha color for 1976). Fun bike!!
    #87
  8. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat

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    Great report, lovin' it. You've got huge cajones for tearing into and fixing those machines. Hats off to you.
    #88
  9. Daryl_Stamp

    Daryl_Stamp Been here awhile

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    See, that's all bullshit when people say they don't make kids like they used to.

    More balls than brains (maybe), but they must be REALLY big if they're from Cornell.

    I have an open Engineering Co-Op position in Newark if you need to earn some dough to make up for screwing off all summer.

    DLS
    #89
  10. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

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    Great RR! thanks for posting!

    When you were at Sarge's in Columbia you were 4 miles from my house.

    I did a similar ride when I was about your age. That was a few decades ago. i still cherish the experience.:clap
    #90
  11. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat

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    +1 to that. I have some older folks in my life that love to spin how they were the last of the tough, yadda, yadda.

    Ride on intrepid youth!
    #91
  12. XS500RUS

    XS500RUS Been here awhile

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    Today was officially a 'rest day,' but early on in the trip we decided to sort of make them relaxed half days to keep on schedule. We got up a little later, and Vanya treated us to some excellent pancakes...made on a campfire!:lol3

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    Next, we got the idea to climb up a butte that was a short hike away from our campsite. It wasn't any trail or anything like that, and that made it all the more satisfying, sort of like a feeling of discovery and conquest.

    Starting out:
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    Getting closer:
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    Almost to the top!
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    The view from the top:
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    We spent about half an hour on top, taking it all in. I'd love to come back to Gunnison Valley some time with something a bit mroe dirt capable like a KLR, maybe in a couple of years:D

    We descended, took a quick dip in the lake (cold!) and then packed. The ride was fairly uneventful, if very scenic.
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    Anton and Tom discussing the merits of $.25 a gallon gas.

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    I don't have any photos of where we camped out, it was near the Utah border in a state campground. Totally unexceptional, I prefer the sketchy free spots:lol3

    Utah was next.
    #92
  13. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

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    Great report, well done. Admire your engineering skills!
    #93
  14. XS500RUS

    XS500RUS Been here awhile

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    My brother is the one with the golden hands. I'm sort of an apprentice, I am intrusted with smaller work, although now that he's off to grad school I've been working on a spare XS500C, trying my hand at carb cleaning, valve adjustment, setting points, etc. My brother's the one who is undaunted by using a dinky chain breaker to seperate a timing chain, or to repair a torn drive chain (I forgot to mention this earlier, the KZ650 broke it's chain in Colorodo) on the side of the road. He is also the one who expertly plumbed in the spare Yamaha rectifier into the KZ650. Without him, I'd probably still be in Kansas:rofl
    #94
  15. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    In into this report it has everthing: old bikes , great freinds all you need now is an Alaska titty bar or a sunken sidecar of doom :rofl
    #95
  16. XS500RUS

    XS500RUS Been here awhile

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    We managed to get packed and on the road by 8am this morning. We got to the border pretty quickly:

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    We stopped by some state park with a lot of natural arches, I forget the name.
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    Nearing lunch time, my brother looked on the map and saw a lake sort of on the way. As it turned out, it was 3 miles of red sand/gravel road, to get to a parking lot, but then another half mile or so of offroading to actually get to the water. The temperature was pretty extreme, we estimated over 110 in the sun. We hid out under some low trees and ate lunch: the usual PB&J and canned tuna. Most of the party was displeased with my brother's decision to come to this location, as they aren't huge fans of off road riding. Considering the fact that we were a long ways from home, and the last thing we needed was more undue stress on the old bikes, they had a point. Personally, I can't get enough of sand/gravel and rocks.:D My brother and I unloaded our bikes and headed up the jeep trail to the water. Unloaded, the XS500 still weighs in at 450+ lbs wet, and the Seca a good 525lbs. With a few near front end wash outs and pucker moments we made it to the lake.

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    Back on the road somewhere:

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    We gassed up in Hanksville (I have no idea why I remember this town's name, of all places.:huh ) and rode to Captial Reef park.

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    We cooked up a great dinner of potatoes, corn nibblets with sauteed carrots, and smoked squid and mussels (broadening our horizons :lol3 )

    Tomorrow we'd have a relatively short ride to Bryce Canyon.
    #96
  17. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat

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    Great stuff...
    #97
  18. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :lurk

    Thanks for posting this - it's a treat to read. :thumb

    :ricky :ricky :ricky
    #98
  19. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    :lurk
    #99
  20. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    :lurk:clap :lurk:clap

    I can relate, I've always ridden bikes of vintage and dubious character.