Escape From N.Y.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by madeouttaglass, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    [​IMG]

    Who the hell chooses to start a ride report with a picture of a tractor? You're supposed to hook the readers with an epic scene of mountains, vast deserts, tree lined paths....
    In February people want you to throw in a few beaches, palm trees and maybe a good looking girl in a bikini. A pile of snow is not what anyone wants to see. Nor do I.
    Hang on for a while and I'll do my best to bring them all to you. Well, maybe not the bikini picture. That could bring on the wrath of Glasswife.
    Our story starts on a soon to be distant snow covered hill top in NY. Tucked in the basement of a tiny home you'll find a few motorcycles that haven't seen the light of day in months. Like most winters I have had enough. In years past I used to preserve a bit of sanity by flying out west in late January, attend an optics convention for a half day, then ride a rented motorcycle around California and Nevada for a week. Putting that hole in the winter calendar made the rest of the winter bearable. With a great lack of foresight as to the consequences, I stopped doing that years ago and have subsequently lost my mind. Last winter shortly after the snowpocalypse I hopped on a GL1500 and rode out of the snow and didn't stop until the bike hit the Gulf of Mexico. It helped, and a vow was made then to never endure another NY winter without a motorcycle escape.
    This brings us to that lovely picture above, taken a couple of hours ago as the thermometer was inching to 8 degrees from -2 this morning.
    This winter has been one of the coldest in 50 years. I have two choices for storing bikes up here. One is a garage but it has no heat or insulation. The one project out there has been untouchable for almost the entire winter. Sure, I could dress in layers and layers but tools that are -10 to 10 degrees F are not fun to work with. Instead, the bikes get stored in our heated walkout basement so their annual maintenance can be done in comfort but they are now trapped. Besides the 16 inches of snow that is currently on the ground there is a 5-6 foot tall snowbank to get through first. Then comes a 100 yard uphill slog. With some luck the sun will help melt the remaining snow in the path that is now cleared.
    The plan- Not much of one actually.:D
    In about two weeks I will haul a bike out and head southwest. I will be away for roughly a month and want to explore some new places, possibly some old. Paved, unpaved, doesn't matter. WARM is what is being sought. On my previous CC ride I also kept a RR and received some great suggestions from inmates while we were on the road. I couldn't take every one of them, but there is little doubt that the best sights I saw were from routes sent by other riders. Suggestions are welcome.
    Others have started their reports asking just when does it start? Some have waited to write until they have returned. My previous one started the day we flew out and picked up the bike. This one will start with the push to escape from N.Y.
    #1
  2. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    This should be good.. on with the escape!

    Cheers,

    .
    #2
  3. Wdwrkr

    Wdwrkr Long timer

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    I'm in.. Let's see what you got
    #3
  4. AdvRich

    AdvRich Parallel Reality

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    …and I totally relate. Great start and look foward to the adventure. :clap
    #4
  5. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    A note from the Adirondacks? Now there is a place with tougher winters than mine. I remember talking to the previous owner of Steinhof's (near Whiteface Mtn.). He rode a VTX through a snowstorm and on to Florida. He had the same attitude- Enough!
    I had other thoughts on how to start the RR that might have been better but I needed to feel like it was starting. I've checked everything over on the bike, rebalanced the almost new front tire, changed the oil, and mounted a new rear tire yesterday. The forecast called for two more inches of snow overnight. Instead we have five new inches and it is still coming down. I'll have to take the snowblower to the path I cleared 24 hours ago. Worst case, I'll use cargo straps to hang the bike off of the tractor bucket to get it up to the garage. The weather may wear on me but it won't steal this trip from me. In three weeks I should be into our deserts.
    This was supposed to be a TW200 ride in the SW and possibly Baja but this winter did change that plan. I was going to haul that bike out on the back of my Westfalia but the drawn out cold has halted the rebuild of the VW until spring. This trip will be on the FJR. Don't worry, it still will have dirt and camping. It is not a pure slab ride between Best Westerns. I've traveled 2 up on plenty of single track on everything up to and including a GL1800. If Antihero can take his new Ducati offroading across the country I sure don't mind doing it on this bike.
    #5
  6. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    Take no prisoners :rofl
    #6
  7. AdvRich

    AdvRich Parallel Reality

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    Sounds good and on an FJR too!
    I had an '82 Westfalia back in the late 80's. It had the 1.6 laid over diesel, 4spd, no a/c, and got 30mpg. Neither fast nor quick so you could always "smell the roses" even at top speed. :lol3 Maybe next years RR will be with the TW and camper. :evil
    #7
  8. RevZilla

    RevZilla Best on Two Wheels!

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    That picture just adds to my depression. We've certainly received our fair share of Old Man Winter this year. For the love of baby Jesus, bring us back some warm weather:clap!
    #8
  9. ssevy

    ssevy Been here awhile

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    I feel your pain. Unfortunately, this nagging little detail called work prevents me from heading south this time of year, and I have to keep wiping the nose prints off the computer monitor from all of the long nights reading ride reports to maintain my sanity.

    Please think of all of those left behind as you proceed in a southerly direction:cry
    #9
  10. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    And I feel yours too ssevy. I used to be the same way until I realized that I was usually in close enough to the same financial spot at the end of the year no matter how the year went. The only thing that changed was being one year older, then one decade older, then more people around me were no longer alive. I'm in my 50s and believe that it is the rare 70+ year old that still has it in them physically, or just the desire to go for a long ride. Shit, others my age already don't want to go that far from their doctor's office.
    We all read these ride reports to join people like Antihero, John Downs, and Kerncountykid on their adventures. I have read each one of their stories and many more. They'll all tell you that they are regular people who realized the world will go on if they are gone for a bit. That applies to all of us.
    Each one of us would likely survive financially with an unexpected expense. Say your car gets totalled. Some here would just write a check for another. Many like me would cringe- but do what needed to be done and not think much about it a year or so later. To me, the mental health of a motorcycle trip is well worth the cost. The month I spent riding the Ural across the country was no RTWDoug adventure, but it was the best month of my life- so far.
    #10
  11. AdvRich

    AdvRich Parallel Reality

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    Just finished reading the Ural CC ride. What a great and memorable adventure for everyone! :clap :clap :clap
    #11
  12. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    I'm glad you liked it Rich. So did I.:D

    Today there is a short window of "decent" weather. This winter shows just how relative things can be. A few degrees above freezing and the people of the NE are ready to dance in the streets. Cold rain is due very shortly, then deep cold and snow return about in 30 hours. I had to take advantage of this short window.
    There was no way the bike would make it up that 100 yard frozen incline so I got the tractor out again. It was a little hair raising getting it hooked up and lifting the bike. The tractor slipped and wouldn't back up the ice covered hill. The flat area between the basement door and a steep drop off is only about as wide as the tractor's wheelbase. I didn't like doing a 180 with the bike hanging over a 15 foot drop off but it needed to be done. (Thank God I got a New Holland option called Supersteer. If you're ever in the market for a compact tractor you should look at this NH option. It saved my ass today.) Facing forward the tractor still spun on the ice even with 4WD locked.

    Failed back up attempt:
    [​IMG]

    Made it out to the road:

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. drtyrrel

    drtyrrel Been here awhile

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    Couldn't you just get a set of 17" chains ? :D
    #13
  14. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    They do sell them for my Ural. Maybe next time.- assuming I return.
    #14
  15. AdvRich

    AdvRich Parallel Reality

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    I've had a lot of different things hanging off the front end loader over the years, but nothing as beautiful. Glad all went wellÂ… thinking that was a different seat kind of pucker factor while "riding" the FJR out today.
    #15
  16. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Here I am three hours later. Our "30 hour window of decent weather" was not quite accurate. It is snowing like hell outside. I decided that I'd rather not do my packing and final checks in the sub zero garage next week so I'm keeping the bike inside. If only I had an elevator. I could have saved all that tractor work of the last couple of days.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. drtyrrel

    drtyrrel Been here awhile

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    I take it you're single or soon to be :D
    #17
  18. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

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    Hahaha - I was thinking the same thing.

    This winter has been a little over-the-top.
    I'm feeling the same urges as Glass, reading the same RRs and yearning for the siren song of the southwest.
    Those last minute deals to Vegas sure are tempting, and I hear they rent dirt bikes.
    #18
  19. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/9y2Yr1wxRzo?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/9y2Yr1wxRzo?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    No need to go past 30 seconds there folks.
    #19
  20. DaLunk

    DaLunk Confused and Bemused

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    And my wife thought I was nuts this week when I started shoveling a path through the yard this week to liberate my bike from the shed. Only 50 more feet to go, but it will take a digging iron to go through the snow plow piles.

    I'm subscribed to this one. :D
    #20