MA to CO and Back: The Anti-Adventure Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hondarider, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
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    Adams, MA
    Ha! I've got a long way to go if I ever want to catch up with you. How's the 1150 treating you? Still chugging along?
    #61
  2. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    Location:
    The Center of my Own Universe
    37 states and 41,000 miles. Never gonna sellit!
    #62
  3. Isgro

    Isgro Free ranging...

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Where'd you go? I want more! :D
    #63
  4. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    Vacation and no real computer. I can't type on this iPad. Another couple days and I'll be back to civilization. I'm anxious to get back to it as day 3 ends with poor judgement and blatant stupidity.
    #64
  5. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    At least you got them in the right order. Waiting to hear the story.

    1) Poor Judgement


    2) blatant Stupidity


    3) [​IMG]
    #65
  6. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
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    1,890
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    ^ That comment made me feel so old! :cry




    I usually stick to dirt-oriented ride reports,
    but you got me with the laminated packing list/10 pairs of socks...


    and kept me with the magnificent word pictures.
    :lol3

    Thanks for the morning's entertainment, it was awesome.
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation.
    #66
  7. Isgro

    Isgro Free ranging...

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    FINE. I guess I'll have to be patient.

    :D
    #67
  8. azia

    azia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    This is like reading books 1 and 2 in a 3 book series, getting really hooked, then realizing the author hasn't even written 3. Dammit!

    I'm subscribed and not-so-patiently waiting for Day 3!!!!!!! :lurk
    #68
  9. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    OK...back from vacation and back to business...

    Short commercial break...if you're ever in the Lake George area with your family and you're looking for that perfect Adirondack Lodge vibe with lots of food and the nicest staff ever...try Canoe Island Lodge...the place is phenomenal and your kids will love you for bringing them there. The owners, Tom and Karla, give every indication of being genuinely great people and Tom's a bike guy so that helps if you're like me and family fun is a lot like torture. I spent my days hoping Tom would let me fix something or put me to work in the garage changing the oil in a tractor or fixing a golf cart. He's a BMW and Harley guy, but don't get him started on his Vespa scooter...he may seem like a "Rocker", but he might just be a "Mod" at heart...I think he really loves this thing. He let me take the scooter for a spin and I could feel myself succumbing to it's dark power...step-thru chassis, plush seat, clutch-less accelleration, and surprisingly fast 300cc motor...it's like your 10 years old and riding your minibike all over again...but without getting electrocuted every time you try to shut it off with that shitty little metal tab that grounds out the spark plug (some of you know what I'm talking about)...I could feel myself turning to the Dark side...my voice sounding just a little bit more like James Earl Jones...somewhere in the distance I heard the Imperial March...these things are just silly fun...but be careful...there's no known cure once you're hooked...I've seen the hardest 1%er go all Rip Taylor over a canary yellow Vespa with a big-bore kit and a pipe...I swear its true. So I promptly returned it before my transformation could become irreversible. The same thing happens everytime I drive a rental minivan. Anyways, great people, great food, phenomenal surroundings...not enough bike guys to talk to...so please book a room for the 4th week of July next year and bring your bike...we can ditch our families after breakfast and go riding in the Adirondacks every day.

    BTW...Adirondack Ural is closed...bummer...I was looking forward to visiting them in Chestertown.

    OK...OK...I apologize for the paid commercial endorsement...back to Day 3, Nebraska, and gale force winds. Not much more to tell...it was windy...it sucked...we pressed on. At one point, however, Mike started yelling through the headset...a sudden crosswind had blown his tankbag clear off the tank and it was trailing behind like a kite in a windstorm. The only thing that kept it from being lost completely was the little safety strap tied to the bars. It was flapping in the wind wildly and he was trying to wrestle it into submission at 70mph while also maintaining the 30 degree angle needed to continue in a straight line on the highway. We pulled over and regrouped. I've had that magnetic tankbag for 20 years and I've never had it even move - let alone take flight. The winds were fierce.

    The winds eventually subsided as we neared the Colorado border.
    #69
  10. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    I tried to prepare Mike for the nothingness that is Eastern Colorado. Most of us east coast folks have this expectation that one you hit the Colorado border you'll be rolling into something akin to Vermont on steroids...lush forests...snow capped peaks that reach into the sky...roaring glacial rivers stocked with ice cold Coors...every house looks like a Tyrolian ski lodge...everybody driving a modified Land Cruiser, a vintage Jeep, or a horse...nothing but outdoor recreation, elk, and folks hanging around the campfire like a beer commercial...I blame that lying prick John Denver. The reality is that you pass a sign that says "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" and all you see is flat nothingness dotted with cattle and fences. No mountains, no rivers, no nothing...just highway and the occassional tumbleweed.

    This is how I always imagined Colorado...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #70
  11. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    What you get instead is...

    [​IMG]


    and it's endless! It's like looking at the edge of the world. I can't imagine what ear;ly settlers were thinking when they looked west and saw nothingness on the horizon...just rolling plains and more plains. It makes one feel small in the universe.

    Anyhow, we were zipping down I76...headed for Denver...and the heat was stifling. Record highs (and wildfires) were descending upon Colorado and we were riding right into it. The heat came off the highway in blurry waves and were were alone out there...no shade to be found for hundreds of miles...or so it seemed. I felt like a shipwrecked sailor...bobbing up and down in the middle of the Pacific...with no shade or fresh water to be found anywhere. The miles ticked off in slow motion as we made our way west.
    #71
  12. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    Can anyone see my images? I have all the pics hosted on Photobucket and the links were working fine before, but now I don't see anything.
    #72
  13. jdesro

    jdesro Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12
    I can see them.
    #73
  14. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    OK...rebooted and ready to rock.

    Air temperatures hovering around 100...tarmac temperatures considerably higher...and me dressed from head to toe in black...even my helmet. Rookie mistake. The temp gauge on the GS was reading 1 bar higher than normal...still in the middle of the range, but a little warmer than usual nonetheless. I imagine that I was sweating pretty good, but through the magic of high altitude and low humidity, any moisture was evaporating just about as quickly as I could make it. I suspected that we might be dehydrating as we rode - my suspicions would be confirmed later in the evening.

    After our less than plush accomodations at the Motel 666 in Adaire the night before, I was looking to step things up for our first night in Colorado. I searched the gPS and found a Hampton Inn in Golden...three soft pillows...icy cold AC...a down comforter...and right at the foothills of the Rockies....PERFECT! Too bad it was still a few hot, dusty hours away...at least we had something to look forward to.
    #74
  15. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Nov 21, 2006
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    868
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    Adams, MA
    With our new destination set programmed into the magic direction box, I noted that we wouldn't get there on our current tank of gas...or at least Mike wouldn't. Being the caring and considerate person I am, I figured we'd stop and let him fill up one more time instead of leaving him to die on the plains. The mountains were in sight now and our spirits were running high. The temps still seemed to be on the rise.

    I spied a gas station on the horizon, about 50 miles outside of Denver, and decided to stop. As I approached the exit, I pulled in the clutch and downshifted to 5th...CLUNK!!!

    WHat the hell was that? It sounded as if I had forgotten to pull in the clutch before downshifting. My mind raced. Maybe I'm a little more dehydrated than I thought...maybe my left foot and my left hand are out of sync...that doesn't usually happen. I went for 4th and this time I was paying close attention to the bike...the clutch lever went in but the RPMs didn't drop...uh oh! I revved the engine a bit, matched up the RPMs and downshifted again...clunk...not so bad this time.

    So the clutch isn't disengaging...bummer...good thing this is a long downhill exit ramp. I pumped the clutch lever vigorously and felt only the slightest engagement right at the bar...not enough to fully disengage the tranny from the motor, but enough to unload it a little bit. I got it down the 2nd gear and rolled through the stop sign at the bottom of the ramp. I proceeded to the gas station and rolled up to the pump with the engine off in 2nd gear. I topped off while playing with the clutch lever and looking for sign of a leak at the slave cylinder. No indications of trouble.

    I found a bit of shade behind the gas station and pushed the bike over there to investigate further. This was the last thing I was looking to do late in the afternoon...100 degrees...middle of nowhere. I poked, I prodded, I investigated, but I couldn't find anything amiss. I decided to just let it sit while I found something cool to drink.

    Ten minutes later, the lever had just a little bit of resistance and I was hopeful. Ten minutes more and I think it was actually engaging. I couldn't stand around in the heat any longer so it was time to hit the road. I put it in neutral, started the engine, and started rolling down a slight hill torward the road. I gently nudged it into 2nd gear and didn't bother stopping when I hit the road. Accellerating up the on-ramp, I rode it like my old CBR900RR...rev, power shift, rev, power shift...all the way back to 6th gear and 70mph. The clutch wasn't doing much more than lessening the harshness between shifts.

    Oh well...I had 50 miles to figure out what to do.
    #75
  16. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    F5....F5....F5....grrrrr
    #76
  17. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    Back on the highway, two riders speeding along at 70 mph in the hot late afternoon sun...my mind is racing...why is the clutch not working? I checked the master cylinder and it was full...checked the slave cylinder and no sign of leakage. Could it possibly be related to the heat? It's not THAT hot...I hear tell of BMWs running the length of Africa without issues. Could it be the altitude? Shouldn't be...it's a sealed system. Moisture in the fluid boiling due to the heat and high altitude? Water boils at lower temps at high altitudes...

    I was struggling with this one. I replayed everything I've ever read or learned about hydraulics...Mike and I discussed at length...he's a mechanical engineer...he should know something...still no answers...I should've travelled with someone who went to a better college. I decided my time was better spent deciding what I was going to do when we hit Denver with no clutch. The shifting wasn't overly problematic...a little blip of the throttle during downshifts and the bike seemed happy enough. Red lights and traffic were the challenge. I figured I could slow down well in advance and manage to keep moving in first gear unless things came to a complete stop. Lane splitting was an option, but its a bit sketchy and MIke was following me...I'd rather not be the reason he gets clipped in traffic by a truck. If I hit a red light that simply refused to turn green, I figured I'd roll up in first gear, hit the kill switch, stop the bike, and shift to neutral. Once the light turns green, if there's no downhill, I could start it in neutral and then I'd have to undertake the embarassing push-start in traffic to get the bike rolling fast enough for a shift to 1st gear without stalling. It wouldn't be pretty in full gear with a fully loaded bike on a 100 degree day, but I was confident that I could do it and it would beat having the bike towed. I had a plan so I felt pretty good about my chances of making it to the hotel.

    A quick google search on the iPhone for the nearest BMW dealer (yes, while I was riding) yielded two dealers in the Denver area, but it was Sunday so neither one was going to be much help. No choice but to press on to the hotel.

    We hit Denver and traffic was mercifully light. We merged onto I70 and headed west. I "cali-rolled" a few stop signs, missed the entrance to the hotel, flipped a u-turn, and pulled in without use of the clutch. It was a bit tense, but we finally arrived.

    We checked in, cranked up the AC, unloaded the bikes, and crashed on down-filled comforters...I love the Hampton Inn. Don't judge me.

    This was the 3rd night in a row where we managed to rent a single room for 2 guys without being asked "1 bed or 2?". I was going to lose the bet on that one for sure. I made a mental note to put my arm around Mike and kiss him on the head at the next check-in...:huh
    #77
  18. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    We're in Colorado! The idea was nearly lost due to the challenges of the day, but here it was Sunday evening and we were in Colorado! Hooray! Time to celebrate with a couple cold beers and a big ass steak. We regroup, change into shorts and t-shirts, and try to find someplace to celebrate our accomplishments. I checked with Trip Advisor and, while there were a couple restaurants within walking distance, there was a highly recommended steak place just 2 miles down the road.

    So...you just changed out of your hot sweaty riding gear after a 12 hour day on the road...you're rocking shorts, a t shirt, and sneakers...the restaurant is a scant 2 miles away...it's getting late...

    "So, should we ride the bikes?"

    "I dunno...I don't really feel like putting my riding gear back on"

    "It's only surface streets...a 4 minute ride...really"

    "I guess we can just be really careful"

    "I'm game if you are...we'll just be really careful"

    "OK...let's roll"

    "Hey, you know Colorado doesn't have a helmet law..."
    #78
  19. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Adams, MA
    Yup...you guessed it...us two jamokes set out on motorcycles from the Hampton Inn in Golden, Colorado at 8:00PM on a Sunday night...no helmets...shorts...t-shirts...sneakers...sunglasses...too stupid to live.

    Oddly enough, after my bike sat there for half an hour, the clutch came back to life...at least a little bit...so I was at least able to stop at red lights without fear of a push start.
    #79
  20. Trl Rdr

    Trl Rdr Big Red Bird

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
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    2,067
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
    Is the trip to the restaurant simular to the movie: Dumb & Dumber??

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2
    #80