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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.
Welcome along on the ride!
Made it to Mexico
Mexico, Maine that is!!!
I figured I would stop at dusk and Mexico seemed about the right distance, it was, but there was a catch, no motels in Mexico Maine. I pushed on to Rumford, the GPS took me for a ride around looking for a motel and dropping me off in a residential area in front of someone's house, claiming, I had arrived at destination. I back tracked a few miles asked a couple local guys directions and was happy to find the Linnel Motel. It was dark and the temperature had dropped from a high of 62 to 45 in a hurry when the sun went down.
The ride to the US border with my buddy Steve was excellent. The Fall foliage is at peak and simply amazing. I don't remember them ever being so nice.
US Customs was a breeze. The Officer at US Customs even asked if I had a blog when I told her I was headed to SA, I told her how to find me on ADVrider, so now she's likely reading along.
I'll post some pictures from today later. The internet here is very slow. I tried to Skype Angele and we talked briefly but then it cut out. She knows I'm safe and sound after day 1
did you know you can become a world traveler just 35 miles down the road from where you are at tonight in Lynchville...at the world traveler sign, look on your left as you ride down the rte 5/35 and make the turn towards waterford...its a cool photo
I googled World Traveller Sign, Cool, I knew Maine has a Mexico and a Peru, in fact I passed the turnoff to Peru and I knew Maine has a China but I never knew so many world famous spots were in Maine
Go man go!
Lurking's encouraged, welcome aboard.
I plan to get down between Albany, NY and Scranton, PA today and arrive at a friend's place in Hagerstown MD on Friday. Weather is supposed to awesome today 60F and sunny!
As a native Mainer, (now living in Los Angeles), I sorely miss this time of the year. The crisp weather and foliage are just the best.
It is not fun leaving home for a long time.
Angele made a great breakfast and kept a stiff upper lip.
It was nice of my buddy Steve to join me for a run to the border, His GS is in the shop, so he brought his wife's Red Can-Am
I had no idea when I left Rumford, Maine this morning I would ride in 5 States today. I won't bore you with descriptions of perfect weather, twisty mountain roads, tall fragant pines, long shadows, huge vistas, steep mountain creeks, but here are some pictures of my day today, sent from Pittsfield MA after riding in ME, NH, VT, NY and MA
You got that right. What a day of riding I had today! A 10
I hope you stashed a few Mooseheads in your pack, you never know when you have that thirst for home.
Doh! So much to think of. I had a couple Bud Lights after a long day today in a Pittsfield Bar where the locals were cheering the fact that the Yankees were down 6-0 against Detroit.
Welcome aboard AL
Im in as well!!! I too was cheering for the Tigers as they pounded the Yankees (Boston fan here) Safe travels down south and keep the rubber down. I used to leave up in Boston until 2004 and this time of the year is what I miss the most!!!
The only way I can describe today is spectacular. Clear blue, about 60 degrees, no wind, Fall leaves! A perfect day to ride the Mountains
I guess yesterday was just too perfect. Today was payback day. It had to happen. I left my comfortable motel room in Pittsfield, MA after debating with myself whether that was wise it was raining so hard. I followed the GPS and told it to avoid Interstates and Tolls and head for Hagerstown MD.
I was off to a pretty good start in spite of the rain and in fact it even let up for a bit and as I re- entered NY State (I only left NY for MA late yesterday when I found that a cell phone that I have from the USA was de-activated. I had no idea why, but it was getting late and I told the GPS I needed a hotel and the nearest one was just south of me in Massachusetts).
Turns out the phone was de-activated because I had used it to call Canada directly which you can`t do, who knew?
Nice of the good people at Tracfone to deactivate a phone and not tell you. I got it re-activated when I promised to call their international call access number and when you do that it tells you to dial direct. ROTFL
Anyway I took this picture this morning as I crossed back into NY.
Things were going good to this point
So things proceed nicely, The Gps which I've told to avoid Interstates takes me to the Taconic Parkway, which was good, like and Interstate but no big trucks and little traffic in absolutely pounding rain. I even saw NY State Police catch and ticket a truck.
I saw three dead deer on the side of the road, one as big as the KLR. I was keeping the speed at 90kph.
I don't know what made me look but I used my right mirror to check on a dry bag I had strapped to my luggage at one point and it was coming loose. I hadn't looked at that bag, while riding since I left home. It was like I had a 6th sense. I saw a road coming up a half mile away (the parkway has cross roads that are not Interstate like exits). I figured I'd pull over there and fix the straps. I looked again and the bag was gone. I slowed, pulled on the grass, there are no shoulders, and stopped and started to walk back to find the bag. It couldn't be far. I had just seen it. I looked up the road, a car was coming, I watched to see if he would swing around the bag, Nope. The bag had my walking shoes and a couple guide books in it. When I didn't see it, I looked back at the bike, now 60 feet away, and there was the bag dangling against the back tire!!!! Yikes. I don't know why my size 11 hiking shoes didn't get jammed up in the back wheel. I must have caught it the instant it happened. The bag was touching the tire but wasn't even blackened let alone ruined. LUCKY. I think the rosary beads friends gave me for my trip saved my butt or maybe it was the travelers Angel I got from another friend. Thanks Girls!
So with my luggage strapped back on the GPS is telling me to turn in 10k on to I-84. I pull into an exit and try to figure out why, because I have asked the GPS to avoid Interstates. Garmin may not know it but I-84 is definitely an Interstate and a very busy one at that. Then I set the destination again. The GPS which has had me traveling North on the Taconic Parkway decides, screw that, we should be traveling South on the Taconic Parkway. Yikes! Having no other plan, I follow. Then as I go about a mile the GPS says, I changed my mind lets go North and try the I-84 thing again. Having no other plan I follow. I get out on the I-84 and riding the KLR in torrential rain and high winds with almost 90,000lbs speedboats otherwise known as Tractor Trailers or Big Trucks is not my idea of fun. What a nightmare. Then I struggle to read a large electronic sign over the highway as I approach the bridge over the Hudson, through the fog in my shield I read " REDUCE SPEED UNSAFE CONDITIONS AHEAD" WTF! It's going to get worse? Some cars slow, some don't, the Big Trucks swerve around the moving chicanes and seem to speed up. Chaos!
I took the next exit. I pulled into a Valero Gas Station in Fishkill, NY (at this point I believe the "killed fish" may have drowned) Valero wants their parking lot to look nice so they have coated it with driveway sealer. The effen parking lot is so slippery it's like a black, skating rink. Yikes! Why I didn't crash I don't know.
So I'm in the Valero parking lot, chewin' on my heart, which has been in my mouth since I hit the I-84 trying to convince the GPS that the I-84 is in fact an Interstate and in the interest of the environment and fuel economy it occurs to me to shut the KLR off.
So after trying time and again to convince the GPS I don't want to go back on the I-84 it becomes academic because the KLR won't start. It has never let me down before, but it won't start. It will almost start but it won't. I have a good battery, thankfully, lights, it turns over no problem, farts and backfires and tries and tries to start but won't start. I try again and again encouraged by how close it get to starting then one time it starts revs to about 7 grand and then quits. Yikes! I try some more, so close....... but it won't start.
I now look at the kick stand lockout, which from time to time especially when it's been wet forces me to put the bike in Neutral to start it. It's dry as a bone and doesn't seem to be the answer. All the while It's raining so hard It feels like a fire hose is on me.
Out of options I try my CAA or AAA to those of you in the USA. I pull the card out of my wallet and call the number. I call the number after I find my glasses because the number on the card is so small you nearly need a magnifying glass to read it. AAA answers, from Washington State, guess that's because my newly re-activated cell phone (thanks god I re-activated it). Is a pay as you go with a Bellingham Washington number, that I bought while I was living in Vancouver, BC. At least the guy on the other end knows what rain is. He connects me with AAA NY, They put me on hold because they don`t do motorcycles. I say my Canadian contract says they do. She checks, I`m right. She has no resources. They don`t have a list of bike shops to call. She tries her best to help. She googles Kawasaki for me....NOTHING in the NY area. She Googles `Motorsports`` for me, at my suggestion, she finds 5 shops.....4 will not answer their phones and one EMS motorsports flat refuses to help. `They don`t do Kawasaki`s. Here is my bike sitting in the rain, on Valero`s shiny parking lot.
I am on hold for an hour and a half while all this goes on. I call a buddy at home to see if he has any ideas or can find a resource for me. In all the time I played around with AAA the engine must have dried out and reluctantly started. I let it warm up. It works fine. I go back out on I-84. I have had enough. The rain which was suppsed to start to let up continues to pour. It`s still steady hours later. I have had enough. My friends place in Hagerstown will have to wait for another day. I ask the GPS for a motel. It says there is one .5 kms away but tell me to take the I-84 and the first turn will be in 27 kms. Yikes
I type in Quality Inn because you can`t type in Motel-6 or Super-8 on a keyboard that does not have numerical capability. It finds one at the next exit off the I-84. I zip out there, swim with the big trucks again for a couple miles, take the exit and then a few surface streets and find the place. I`m not certain but I`ll bet I could hit the Valero with a rock from here. I get the last room at the Inn. It seems a lot of people, even those in cars, did not want to drive in this. This are my digs for the night. It's all good! Better safe than sorry.
I'm safe and sound and have a lot of time to work on my ride report. Quality Inn let me park under their awning, tomorrow the forecast is for sun and it's another day. Of course the forecast was for four days of sun when I left home three days ago.
In summation of today.
AAA came through in the end. After I got to the hotel a tow truck driver called and said he had located a Kawasaki Shop 30 miles away in Mayberg, maybe, not sure of the name of the town. I told him I had said to the AAA dispatcher the bike was "almost" starting and if I got it going I was going to hang up the phone and get out of there. I told him that's exactly what happened and he was good with that. He called just as I was trying to call AAA and tell them what happened. So they would have helped me, it just took a few hours.
Tonight I walked across the motel parking to the I-84 Diner. It's a classic Diner on a large scale with excellent food. I had an open faced meatloaf sandwich and a couple Bud Lights and I'm cured
This meatloaf sandwich, had real baked veggies, onions, celery and wonderful carrots and a baked potato with lots of whipped butter and sour cream, and I never thought to take my camera. the restaurant was so NY. Friendly people working there with personality a pastry case to die for and it said all pastries made on premises.
I wish I had brought my camera, never thought of it, would have been good "food porn'
Now I'm going to watch the news, get some rest, and put this day, day 3, behind me.
I just tried the bike, started, no problem But now I wonder what happened when it was wet?
Have to have a shop replace plug wire, coil, maybe, I'm not sure. As long as it starts to morrow and I can get out of expensive NY I'll be happy
Late to the party but in now! Awesome!