Detroit to San Diego, Zen and the art of motorcycle negligence,

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by vermin, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    989
    Location:
    Muskegon, Michigan
    Man, anytime you see dead badgers in a thread you know it has to be good.
    :lurk
    #21
    FJ Fun likes this.
  2. IDScarecrow

    IDScarecrow Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,508
    Location:
    PNW Inland Empire
    Normally I dig the reports with lots of flashy artistic photos - but man, your prose is a fine substitute. A photo may be worth a thousand words, but there is no guarantee they will be good words. Yours are all good, even the misspelled ones.

    My brother had a PC800. I was amazed to see him on two wheels at all, but when he did get a motorcycle I was not at all surprised to see he had found the only bike that actually decreases your testosterone level. Most scooters want to be bikes, but here is a bike that wants to be a scooter. He now drives a VW Cabrio . . . . Of course his didn't have the fine farkles yours has - I am sure he would envy the pine branch luggage support.

    Great report!:clap

    :lurk
    #22
    Alexander B likes this.
  3. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,086
    Location:
    Erding, Germany
    Man, that bike causes eye cancer :lol3

    What´s the mileage on the odometer? Or, rather, what was the mileage on the odometer before it broke off?:lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #23
  4. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    The odometer recieved the mallot at about 50,000 at the normal rate of usage I am guessing 70,000. The cool thing about that motor is I actually tried to blow it up last year at an easyrider rodeo to amuse the huddled masses. I turned the twisty thing until it stopped for about 20 seconds. Time goes really slow with a raging blender between your knees. Kind of like when you are about to crash. It did not blow. So I had to settle for having Avengers lift up the ass end soz I could get a head start on a rightous burn out (front brake full on). This portion of the proceedings was wildly successfull. This motor is BULLET proof.
    #24
  5. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,873
    Location:
    Douchevillia
    :lurk A most excellent adventure!! :clap

    Lucky you to have the boy along!
    #25
  6. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    106,173
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk
    #26
  7. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    That bike would send a mechanic into a mild state of hysteria and unavoidable rambling. :lol3

    Why?

    You have no fork oil, speedometer, gas gauge, or tachometer. There is a hot tub thermometer for ambient temperature readings. Your luggage rack is something that 99.9999999% of American's throw away after it sits in their garage for 15 years. And it is a color of orange that makes it stand out like a deer hunter at a black-tie affair.

    Damn straight. :thumb
    #27
  8. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    Day-4 August 27

    Sorry to leave Cheyenne, a pleasant place to hang. This trip has a nice mellow feel to it. When I was younger our trips where brutal, Bruce and I left Detroit one Friday afternoon afternoon, in 1990 and went to sleep Sunday night in Winnemuca Nevada. It seemed appropriate at the time but that time is past. I have done Iron Butt mileage but have never had the organizational skills to keep the paperwork in order. We head south down US-85 toward Greeley Colorado. The morning sun is perfect temp. and we are rolling effortlessly. A nice ride down the front range with the Rocky Mountains dancing along on our right.


    Drifter hightailing across the majestic planes.

    [​IMG]

    I stop at a post office in Nunn CO to mail a card. I am as good a husband as I am a mechanic as I erroneously scheduled this little trip to coincide with our 22nd anniversary, MORON.

    In a feeble attempt at damage mitigation I have dragged an anniversary card through a couple of time zones so that through some fluke, should I remember, I could mail it to her. I was pretty damn proud of myself for remembering, until I pulled the card out of my tank bag and realized my STABIL brand fuel stabilizer had vomited all over it.

    Think quick moron. I sent it to her anyway and put a heart around the stain and said the 22 anniversary is the fuel stabilizer anniversary as it represents the stability of our love.

    I told Drifter to cross his fingers. I been with Sweet Thang for 25 years and the humor angle is bound to get stale. She is sho nuff pick o’ the litter and I don’t wanna loose her.

    Headed down through Greeley and went west on US-34 headed toward Loveland and Rocky mountain national park. I kinda liked Greeley it had just the right amount of Mexicans, college students, working stiffs and just enough yuppies to keep it organized.
    Of course this keen sociological study was done at 40mph on a sunny day so if it doesn’t reflect the Greeley Colorado you have seen, it is understandable.

    Drifter and I have a nice breakfast in Loveland. It is a nice mom and pop diner. I can tell that Loveland has been swallowed by modern life as it is identical to the town we left in Michigan with the exception of the big lumps on the western horizon. Something is starting to bother me about the modern sophisticated world. Everyone lives in their own demographic age/income/race groups. Where are the old people in my town? There might not be any. What are they going to do with me when age forces my cost to exceed my productivity? What happens when the hamster can’t keep his wheel rolling?

    “To the lumps Drifter”. It is pretty exciting as we start to climb Big Thompson canyon toward Estes Park.

    This is the first taste of big rocks we have had in a while and it is exhilarating.

    [​IMG]

    Alot of people don't understand motorcycling. I don't understand wanting to hang onto a hot rock all afternoon. Look close and you can see the guy.

    [​IMG]

    At the entrance of the park a few respectable gentlemen on BMW r/75s from Boulder accost me and are gradually won over by the spirit of CACK. Hey they asked. We see them off and on throughout the day.

    Having a bike like this is a nice efficient asshole detector if a person doesn’t smile or makes a critical remark we don’t have to waste many of our precious moments on earth talking to them. The beemer guys passed with flying colors and were good company.

    Nice twisties

    Rocky Mountain white rumped sheep.

    [​IMG]

    Estes Park

    [​IMG]

    I marvel at my machine, at 12,000 feet above sea level, it runs like a top. It still has the factory spark plugs and wires.

    I marvel at Drifter, we have had a fair amount of physical duress and he has been grinning from ear to ear this whole trip.



    We get up above the tree line and go into one of these nature walk areas at the top of one of the mountains and do the high altitude walk,gasp,walk,gasp. It was nice because we are in good enough shape to hike out where most casual tourist can’t go and have some nice alone visiting time.

    It was in this section that alot of unnatural noises where coming out from Drifters helmet as occasionally the right, left or both sides of the road would vanish and you had a coupla thousand foot drop. Should I have checked the brake fluid?


    [​IMG]



    On a more ominous note there is something attacking the pines in the park, near the town of Grand something. There is not a living tree on the entire side of the mountain. The waitress that gave me the details on the pine situation was a Romanian exchange student and her knowledge of North American botany was a bit sketchy. I could have inquired further but chances are the truth would have bummed me out so we booked.

    Coming down the backside into Grandby was bliss cool, a little overcast and little traffic. I was getting tuckered out by the time we left Granby.

    If the shoe fits.

    [​IMG]

    The only buffalo we saw the whole trip who cares if it was bronze?

    [​IMG]

    We cruised out US-34 to CO 9 at Kremmerling and headed south to Copper Mountain where we had kinfolks waiting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thank god, friendly familiar faces. They are both marathon runners and they do their long days at 10,000 feet. Drifters aunt can kick your dads ass. Aunty cooked up some kick ass red beans and rice and her beau grilled some good chicken and the Corona fairy had left a nice present.
    Nice digs too, a condo at the bottom of the Copper Mountain ski lift.

    They always make us feel welcome and we love them to pieces.



    Good Night
    #28
  9. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    If anyone is interested in the developement of a rat bike as an art form check out this site. This page is featuring my previous rat. That bike was captured in the old Iron Horse mag.

    People on this site rock.

    Vermin

    http://ratbike.org/michigan.html
    #29
  10. linkweewee

    linkweewee tantum quantum

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    14,268
    Location:
    Oregon
    However "It still has the factory spark plugs and wires".:lol3
    Great report! :beer
    #30
  11. sas

    sas Thumper Girl

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    777
    Location:
    Mid-Mich
    I just thought you picked that little drawl up on one of yur suthern trips. :dunno

    Great write-up! :clap

    I laughed (at the bike), I cried (badger) and I laughed some more (anniversary.) :lol2

    My guys went out that way in their Michigan cubicle escape. I got as far as Nebraska in the sag wagon rescue mission. (I'm not proficient enough for the long haul ... yet.) I know EXACTLY what you mean about them big rivers!

    Here's their RR if you are interested.
    Roll Me Away To 100K

    Welcome to ADV!
    #31
  12. threadkiller

    threadkiller Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,820
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    I'm lovin' this report!

    The real beauty of your bike is that you blend in with construction zones thereby preventing you from getting those nasty speeding tickets! :norton
    #32
  13. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    Thank you for flying Vermin Pacific Coast Airlines we have reached cruising altitude of 9,200 feet in the city of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:city><st1:place>Leadville</st1:place></st1:city> <st1:state><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:state>. Feel free to unbuckle your safety belts and mill about the cabin. For those interested the captain will be giving tours of the cockpit.



    &#8220;Hello my name is Vermin thank you for being our guest on Vermin Pacific Coast Airlines. I am about to show you some advanced instrummmaaa. Never mind. I forgot this is a charter it is a bare bones operation.

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:p></o:p>[FONT=&quot]I am as good a graphic artist as I am a husband. This paint program worked like a crappy digital etch-a-sketch ( my daughter now tells me if you hit the A button in paint you can type in the letters. Where was she a hour ago?[/FONT]
    <o:p></o:p>
    A) Cable tied on mirror/turn signal assembly. The advantages of ABS plastic bikes is that you can gore holes in it with any number of sharp objects contained in G. The reason the mirror was dangling is due to &#8220;The Incident&#8221; that won&#8217;t actually happen until the 29<SUP>th</SUP>. Either I have a crummy continuity editor in this film shoot or I have stumbled into another pesky anomaly in the space/time continuum. Either way my mirror was dangling and I didn&#8217;t have the right allen wrench to access the really cool Honda (put the mirror back on with no damage) clips.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    B) Who in the hell made handlebar grips the size of a roll of Certs I came back from one trip absolutely convinced I had Lou Gehrigs disease. Sweet Thang pointed out that I had just done a round trip to the bayou of suthern Leweezeanna (2400m +/-) on a early seventies shovel head superglide.borrowed from a 5&#8217;2&#8221;tall woman. Ever since then my hands give me hell on trips so I took some pipe insulation and wrapped it in electrical tape to give me relief.
    <o:p></o:p>
    C) Cupholder from some Nissan that I bolted clean through the fake gas tank. This is handy I put change for tolls in one of the holes and my Ernest Tubb coffee cup in the other one. Don&#8217;t get me wrong &#8220;Bob Wills is still the King&#8221;
    <o:p></o:p>
    D) My GPS, a compass I got at Murrys auto parts with a digital something else that failed within the first week. The compass only points to the W (due to some high energy electro magnetic fields, emanating from the coil probably). This suits me just fine as I only like to go west. When I head E toward work and I look down and see the W it makes me happy because W is where I like be and it brings back sweet memories..
    <o:p></o:p>
    E) Sunglass holder drywall screwed to the dash. Picture yourself pulling into Sturgis with your real cool prescription sunglasses on. Picture the sinking feeling you get when you realize the vest pocket that held your $350 prescription regular glasses is flapping empty in the breeze. Ah it is only a coupla hundred miles to our last stop in <st1:city><st1:place>Pierre</st1:place></st1:city> we can find them. NOT! I could only ride in the day the rest of the trip. That is the trip where the Harley Fat Bastard Blew Up .Which turned out pretty cool as it forced me to stop in my tracks at dark, all alone. I met a lot more people on that trip because of that. But I don't recommend loosing glasses or blowing up motorcycles to meet people.
    <o:p></o:p>
    F) We have stumbled upon one of my nuclear rants, the one thing <st1:country-region><st1:place>America</st1:place></st1:country-region> has done right and it has remained unchanged since its introduction and it has never been improved upon THE SWING-AWAY-CAN OPENER. This is still a privately run business out of St Louis MO they don&#8217;t have corporate jets or jaw clenching CEO&#8217;s (buy high sell low) and they manufacture the damn things here in the USA. Wall Street would have you believe that such a thing is out of the question. My grandma had one bolted to the wall in the farm house and it opened cans when my dad was a kid, when I was a kid, and when my kids where kids and it still worked fine when we buried them, rest their souls. The only reason electric can openers took off in the first place is because the wretched cheap imported can openers wouldn&#8217;t open cans. Unfortunately this one fell on US-23. at rush hour and I found it a coupla months later on the shoulder and retrieved it. No it was not good as new. The only other product made in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>USA</st1:place></st1:country-region> is J.B.Weld without which I could not survive.
    <o:p></o:p>
    G) Gerber Brand multi tool with the slide in pliers that don&#8217;t pinch the crap out of your tender palm meat the moment it spins off a rusted on nut in which you have invested all of your strength. I had a old leatherman that is a flippin biohazard with hunks of vermins paw sheared off and wedged in the little cracks. I created a unique leatherman dance that included chanting obscenities while my biting bottom lip all squinch eyed. (I will admit to tearing up time and again).
    <o:p></o:p>
    I) Homer Simpson (thanks Andy)
    <o:p></o:p>
    J) Homer Simpson bottle opener
    <o:p></o:p>
    K) I was unable to find a replacement Swing-Away so I am temporarily stuck with this Chinese hunk of junk.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [FONT=&quot]L) My Sweet Thang distress come get me transponder. (cell phone)




    [/FONT]
    #33
  14. rnr

    rnr Simple. Fast. Paid for.

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    all:

    • atgatt flannel on killboy
    • a dead badger
    • a man, his friends, his son
    • the open road
    • the big rivers

    except one thing:

    • No FD failure, ala BMW

    Must be the obsessive preventative maintenance schedule?

    :brow
    #34
  15. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    The next day

    We bid our teary fair wells to the rels. Fine people. We headed south from Copper Mountain through Leadville. Thanks to you guys I was looking for a cool gravel road to take me west to Aspen but I had one of those small atlases that didn't rally show back roads so I played it safe and went south of Leadville to the main highway. Bikes running great, the sun is out and the weather is perfect. Real life is a vague memory we are day forgetin, mile eatin, heart breakin, scenery seein, bug eatin drifters fo sho now. We head northwest on Colorado highway number I don't care. Up a beautiful pass that leads up the back side of Aspen.

    Drifter tries to scare his mom.

    [​IMG]

    Drifter scares himself

    [​IMG]

    Twistin

    [​IMG]

    Why do they call this town Aspen?


    [​IMG]

    Ski Hill

    [​IMG]


    This is a town of richass people, drifters are looked on with confusion and mild discomfort. I try to explain to the drifter that this lifestyle is the reward for a life well lived, attention to your grades and
    exemplary moral fortitude and well worth striving for. I don't know if he bought it. To bad I am making vagrancy look like an attractive option.
    #35
    FJ Fun likes this.
  16. IL8APEX

    IL8APEX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Detroit-ish
    I feel like I have to butt in here. Sorry buddy.

    [advertisement]

    It may not make for fine reading, but I don't want to let Phil mislead his children or anyone else into thinking for a second that he is a vagrant. Phil is a fine man with a beautiful family, a rock-solid marriage, and a gift for self-effacement. He is gainfully employed and excels at his job, thereby insulating himself from the overseas outsourcing to which many of his peers have fallen.

    Heck, just to put some icing on the cake I'll include one final bit of information about our friend here: He is the Vice-President of his neighborhood association. Yep, believe it. This self-proclaimed High Plains Drifter who answers to no one but the open road spends the other 50 weekends a year dispensing wisdom to his well-heeled neighbors across manicured hedges with a plush, fresh-cut lawn under his feet.

    I know he's not the only one on ADV with some contradictions in their life, but I would bet my bottom dollar that not one of us glides through life on so true a path as my friend here. The man simply does not compromise himself or his beliefs. You had better believe that his kids will turn out just fine!

    [/advertisement]

    And now, back to our story!

    -Tom
    #36
  17. sas

    sas Thumper Girl

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    777
    Location:
    Mid-Mich
    Dang it.

    Quit ruining the storyline with that fat-filled Twinkie commercial stuff, Mr. Late Apexer. :D

    :lurk
    #37
  18. Metal Doc

    Metal Doc Duc addicted

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Northeastern, TN
    :clap



    :lurk
    #38
  19. chiba

    chiba FYYFF

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,182
    Location:
    Mechanicsville VA
    Best. Ride report. Ever.

    --chiba
    #39
  20. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG]

    I'm going to say it, that is " Farkle-licious"( new word)
    #40