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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AteamNM, Nov 15, 2012.
hard to think clearly with piss running down yer leg........
Thursday - November 1, 2012
The next day was dry and the systems check determined that the fan is not working. So I made a few calls and found a local and former Kawasaki dealer, now a Honda dealer in Summerset Kentucky. I stopped in and advised of my problem. The dealer told me they knew nothing about Kawasaki’s and it could be a week before they could get the parts. Huh? Really? They did find me a Kawasaki dealer in Huntsville Tennessee who said they would be happy to help me diagnose the problem.
What an address right? I live on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky, first house on the right.
The local Honda dealer can work on side by sides though. So my first gremlin has struck. Okay, no problem I hope as I roll south to Huntsville. The folks at Thompson’s Yamaha (2915 Barker Hwy, Huntsville, TN 423-663-2222) were very accommodating.
Problem identified, a blown fuse. The charge was $30 bucks and I was happy to get this little issue sorted out. Many thanks to the Thompson crew.
Okay,time for a mindlessness video. At a 1000 miles from no where, this song comes to ring so true later.
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Time to find a camp site. Hay Field Camping I spent a little time riding around looking for a stealth camping spot, especially since this was Halloween. There was a mobile home for sale and it was covered in ivy (kudzu?). I rode the perimeter of the last of the season freshly cut hay field and found a spot that would be very difficult to see me from the highway as well as homes nearby.
Every night camping I took a walk, this night no different and as a bonus, on Halloween. I decided that I would walk the perimeter of the hay filed, vast and maybe 2 miles around. I had pre-ridden the course earlier on Jo Jo so I knew where the outlying homes were located. So I am in the middle of acres of cut fields and it is dark. Halloween night, 11:00 PM maybe and I vaguely hear the sound of a drone, not a plane, a droning noise with vibration. I’m looking for the noise in the air and then see a helicopter. It is very quiet and it traversing my position maybe 5 miles out. I watch and amazed about the stealthyness and the damn thing turns immediately and comes right at me dropping down in elevation. This is surreal to say the least. As it approached I felt vulnerable as it passed over head, still quiet and fast. Okay time to return to base camp and listen to the critters in the thickets behind my camp.
Park Jo Jo behind the tent, away from the highway. .
Friday - November 2, 2012
Good view to wake up to.
This is the view of my camping area from the road. Maybe 200 yards away.
On my way to visit my friends and client in Murfreesboro TN. Civil War country now.
Saturday - November 3, 2012
I say goodbye to my Tennessee La Familia who fed me and gave me shelter. There has been a lot of life happen in this garage.
Just too cute.
Southward journey continues.
I sometimes see a trail, I sometimes follow.
Alabama. I met a guy riding a bicycle and pulling a trailer. I stopped at a little C store and I saw him off in the corner, away from the main area. Same kind of spot I typically parked in. I went over and sat down, shook his hand an introduced myself. We chatted a while, then I went in the store and bought him a pack of cigarettes. I came back out and did a short interview. I am proud to present to you, Mr. Billy Jo Edwards.
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Did I say I like sunsets? From my tent in Alabama.
Tomorrow I see Mississippi.
Great ride report. Loving it.
Thank you, I'm not very good at this. I realize I am not very good at ADV riding and other such things but you got to start somewhere right?
Sunday - November 4, 2012
Alabama tent back yard view.
Heading west finally out of Alabama and soon to be in Mississippi. Then I smell something very good.
This was a treat.
Closed for the season? I wish there were more drive ins left.
On into Mississippi, great day of riding and found another state park.
I had my lap top out and sitting at a picnic table, enjoying the camping and heard a noise. Sounded like a heavy truck crossing a bridge. Then I heard it again, sounded more like steel hitting steel. Oh crap, that is thunder and I dont see any stars. I scramble my stuff into the tent, put the laptop in the shoe and sort out dry bags. Then the storm came with a vengeance. I was on the phone with Ray and he could hear the thunder. This time I took the tarp and wrapped my self and bag inside and between it so that I could stay dry as the old tent was leaking from the ceiling in several spots. After the first wave of storms I had to get out of the tent and I dawned my rain gear and took a walk, It was very dark and I saw the ranger coming. He asked me if I was okay since I was in a tent and all. He also advised me to seek shelter the next time in the laundry house. I asked me if there were tornado warnings and he said no, but those 100 foot tall pins trees fall all the time. Uh OK, thanks for that advice, I hope no trees fall on me tonight. I survived another night of down pours and woke up to much better weather.
Monday - November 5, 2012
Today I got my ass kicked riding across the Mississippi River into Arkansas with steady rain.
I love maps. My map pouch gets personal later.
Not always sunny.
Custom GPS water proof device
This set the mood for the day, another abandoned factory.
Saw these two guys standing inside a garage and turned around to chat and verify my heading. As I left they told me to keep my powder dry. Ha ha.
Second effort at left side boot repair in West Helena Arkansas. I wore my trials boots. They were nearly wore out when I shipped them to Virginia. The problem with the left side boot is that riding trials the left foot is always covering the rear brake. As such, your foot stays in one place and wears quicker than the right side boot. Stopped at a hardware and bought Shoe Goo. 5 star rating for this stuff. They gave me a plastic bag which I taped over my boot. I could feel the water spray coming inside the bottom of the boot.
Americana lives on in the great USofA!
Found a room in Pine Bluff. My plans were to continue west into Dallas to visit and ride with Ray on his DR650. However a text from my client changed my plans. Tomorrow I head northwest toward Fayetteville Arkansas.
Tomorrow, you get to meet Leon.
The world needs more Leon's.
Tuesday - November 7, 2012
Route 7 The Ozarks! Just an amazing ride here
Lets go and visit the Ozarks of Arkansas. From Pine Bluff NW up to Fayetteville was epic times 100; a total; huba huba day. Home of the Razorbacks and
what a college backyard to play in. I did a little class 4 canoeing on the Cossatot Wild & Scenic River many years ago and remember how beautiful and remote that
river was. Of course the Buffalo float trip is also a ritual for college kids, really just spectacular riding 2 lane all day. Over 250 miles riding today and also a small petroleum issue I will talk about later.
The Village of Hot Springs. Very historic and some old money here back in the day.
Stop and rest often. Find a secluded spot, out of site out of mind thing and chill out.
Water and maybe a little dancing in the trees.
While chillaxin’ I spotted this partial license plate. When in Rome right? The Razorback matches Jo Jo pretty well.
Hell yea, this was the typical view all day.
How about one more video? This is part of Alabama as well as Route 7 in the Arkansas Ozarks.
I look out at this vista and I think what a church. A religious view, really a cathedral.
Wow Jo Jo, you got a fat ass but your still pretty.
End of the day, always rewarding to be out at dark thirty and ride into this.
At this point I decided to push on into Springdale Arkansas, @30 miles away. My second gremlin strike is waiting just around the corner. Jo Jo finds her way to a Hindu Hilton in a unique way.
Oh I almost forgot about the gas issue. So I leave the Village of Hot Springs and the traffic on Tuesday morning with about a half a tank of gas. I stop at a road cut to check out some killer geology.
So after a bit of geo speculating, I decided to ride around on the berms and Jo Jo wanted to get some air and ride a bit O’ trials. I motor on west on Highway 7 and realize my map pouch is MIA! FFFKKK! I turn around and backtrack which I despise to do and go back to the geo quarry. I ride around, I look. Wilson! Wilson where are you? Then I look down between my head light housing and the light and there it is. Wilson, your back. So I added a micro bungee cord across the head light supports and Wilson is now secure.
So I’m back re riding Highway 7 and motor on through the Village of Hot Springs and from there on it’s just twisty visual Nirvana. iPod music is playing Moody Blues, Collective Soul and David Grey. I’m just Jonesin’ along, a rubber neck on a ball bearing socket. A happy idiot. Then I start thinking about my mileage. How far to the next gas station? Lets see, I have ridden about 190 miles on a tank. Do I turn around and go back to Hot Springs? No and hell no. It can’t be that far to the next gas station right? Then a few miles later I hear that sputtering sound, it sent a feeling through my body, that oh shit feeling. Reach down quickly and hit the reserve. I know I got maybe 45 miles or more on reserve but I hate riding like this with no spare fuel. There just has to be a gas station somewhere along Highway 7. Look at the map, sure, maybe? So as the twisty miles roll on, I’m no longer enjoying the scenery. I’m worried about gas. How far is it to the next town? Every corner or a break in the trees has me thinking the next turn. Nothing, just trees and trees. Does this road and these blasted trees go on forever? Well if I run out of gas, I will make a sign and stand on the side of the road. Surely someone will have some gas. Not the first time I have begged for gas on this trip. So I’m about 40 miles now since reserve. Really, is this how the election day ride is gonna go?
Then I spot this.
Happy happy happy. The dispenser was very old, double the price on the meter. 5.3 gallons, I still had .6 gallons left. Wow I was so happy to walk in that old place and pay for gas. Now at 200 miles I get gas, I hate that feeling. I asked the lady how far to the next gas station? She says about 40 miles. She also said that she closed the store earlier to go vote. I’m thinking I’m so lucky. Later around 7 PM that night I would realize that I was not that lucky.
Found yah, nice report. I know JoJo so enjoying watching the diminishing tire tread. Looking forward to more.....
Caught this via Kevin and Wally. Nice report so far!
Wednesday - November 8, 2012
As I entered the out skirts of Springdale, Jo Jo started freaking out, the rear end was going all over the place. It is now around 50 degrees, it’s dark and I’m so close to town center. I sit on a curb and stop to consider my options. Slow down, come up with a plan, look at all the options. I can find refuge. I will repair tomorrow and since I have actual work to do in town here I should get Jo Jo to a motel. The tube came out of the rim and the push and ride to the room was crazy with the tube rolling around and jamming between the swing arm. I was hoping the tube could be repaired but in my heart I knew it was wasted while I pushed and sometimes road Jo Jo. So many times I nearly dropped the bike, but never did. After nearly a mile of riding on lawns, on sidewalks, crossing parking lots. It felt awesome to lean the bike against a crappy motel wall, walk in with no shirt on, dripping in sweat, clothes, jackets and helmet hanging off my bike and announce I need a room. I was just wasted.
Meanwhile the fat white trash chick took like 20 minutes to check me in. I pushed the bike backwards to my room and felt like I just finished Kona. Now to find a block or something to get the wheel off and get the show back on the road. Dumpster diving and alley scrounging and I found this, a recycling bin. Later I had to return to alleyscrounging and locate some bricks as the plastic bin was suffering from diastrophism.
This was the problem.
The heater/AC in the crack whore motel was awesome, but did not work.
Leon's Motorcycle Shop facilitated my needs. We installed the rear tire and Leon went back to his place only 3 blocks away. I told Leon I would get the bike loaded and head over to replace the brake pads. I turned on the key and no green magic light. I then noticed my charged adapter was plugged in over night. So I decided to push the bike again over to Leon’s place. Pushing a heavy bike with saddle bags is very difficult. But rolls better with air in the tires.
Also replaced rear brake pads provided by the owner. My spin on Highway 7 through the Ozarks was rear brake-less riding. I heard that metal on metal sound so I mostly just went slower and used the front brake.
Leon had a museum and a killer shop. This is the parts room and his office.
Leon's man castle
Leon has micro fish back to the 60's. He does not have internet and doesn't need it. Leon is old school, a gem.
Very rare Honda 50 totally restored and pretty.
A true American.
<table style="margin: 0px 0px 25px;" id="post19996583" class="dg-post" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; WHITE-SPACE: nowrap; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="thead" colspan="2">
</td></tr> <tr valign="top"> <td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="dg-post-user dg-align-center smallfont" align="center" width="175"> grizzzly
The Pre-Banned Version
</td> <td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; LINE-HEIGHT: 20px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333; PADDING-LEFT: 15px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" id="td_post_19996583" class="dg-post-content"> If you walked in there with out your shirt on, that is probably the most excitement she has had in awhile………… you should lock your door and have an escape route planed :eek1
If you cant find a good block just lean the bike kickstand side up against a pole and tie it with the tire you want to change off of the ground
if you are doing the rear tire be careful not to let the bike role forward off of the kick stand
<table style="margin: 0px 0px 25px;" id="post20017803" class="dg-post" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr valign="top"> <td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="dg-post-user dg-align-center smallfont" align="center" width="175"> ridenm
not waiting anymore
</td> <td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; LINE-HEIGHT: 20px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333; PADDING-LEFT: 15px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" id="td_post_20017803" class="dg-post-content"> Tony, it makes me happy to see that you are taking your time and seeing the sights along the way. I love traveling by motorcycle, but I've had to do so under a tight schedule sometimes and forgotten to look around.
Stay safe, and enjoy yourself.
Remember my comment about the iPod controller and the crack whore motel. Well it disappeared over night with Jo Jo locked with a cable around the frame and the other end of the cable went inside my hotel and locked to the inside door knob. I had removed everything on the bike, but I forgot the iPod controller on the windshield. This was not the only piece of electronic equipment that suffered a fatality on this trip.
There will be more electronic Gremlin attacks; well maybe not a gremlin but close enough.
I'm not sure why you don't consider yourself an adventure rider. Whatever that is.
I skip over so many perfect pictures of far off lands, eloquent word smithing worthy of the name prose, and examples of planning and organization to move armies, in order to find nuggets like this.
Thank you for taking me on your journey of the heart and a man's soul.
After leaving Arkansas into Oklahoma, things get different. Seemed the closer I got to New Mexico, the harder it got. You will see.
And my writing is so raw and rash, but it's what came out on the key board.
Thursday - November 8, 2012
Ryder Are Me. Was hearing noise from the rear end and was concerned. Not easy to get the rear wheel off the ground but Ryder provided a jack for a good inspection. Turns out it was just the new brake pads bedding in. Plus the chain got a good service.
Time to leave Arkansas and head into eastern Oklahoma 20 miles away. As I crossed into West Siloam Springs Oklahoma I stuck with 2 lane roads as best I could but it was not much fun. Final destination for this day was King Fisher Oklahoma. I was not wanting to get another motel room but my advisers in Dallas and Albuquerque were telling me to get ready in a day or two for serious weather, winds again on the plains. Arg. Tomorrow Jo Jo sustains an injury, 2 miles from Texas.
<hr> Day 19
Friday - November 9, 2012
Jo Jo Rides Trials – No Stop Rules Apply
I stopped for gas in a cross roads town called Drumright and I met a guy named Marshal Thompson, a real cowboy and he asked me about my trip. I told him I admired his boots. They were red and white, pants inside and sporting some real spurs. Unfortunately I don't have pictures but I will get to that later. Mr. Thompson said he operated cattle on a small ranch there, like 2000 acres or something and he was also a Ferrier. There were at lot of blank horse shoes hanging on a rope across the back of his truck with 3 ranch dogs that were very friendly. Marshal was the real deal and told me if I come through Drumright to stop by for supper, spend the night or spend the week. Your always welcome to stay anytime with me. Wow, I have always been treated well by the good folks in Oklahoma.
I push on westward and soon near the Washita Battlefield historic site in the NW corner of Oklahoma. No longer in civil war lands now. Custer mascaraed a claimed 103 Black Kettle Indians here during a blizzard in 1868. Women, children and their supplies including horses, coats, blankets and food were destroyed. Custer was an Indian killing machine. Although there was a peace treaty in place at the time, apparently a few Black Kettle dudes were not behaving. This was all a part of western US expansion. Alexander Hamilton had a grandson killed here by a war party after the massacre. It was very windy but there is nothing for scale or to gauge the wind. Anything that is alive is anvil strong. Speaking of an anvil. They say in the Pan Handle, a good wind gauge is an Anvil hanging on a chain.
Looking north about 1 mile is the encampment and the battle ground area.
So I leave the battle ground and I’m not far from the Texas border. The town of Ryden is nothing but a 4 way and a small C store. I now have 3 miles to Texas and something serious bad happens to Jo Jo. She puled a ham string, oh no!
My cell phone works, there is a store here, I can ghost shift. I will figure this out. I again did not stop and think a minute but immediately dug the tools out – AGAIN – from the saddle bag. I disassemble the clutch housing which means taking off the bark buster plastic. No big deal but I did not understand what that little piece of black plastic is and why it fell on the ground. Something electrical. Then I look at the case side and realize the problem is the cable is broke at the transmission . I have wire, zip ties, bailing wire even. Maybe I can rig up a splice/connector. Once again I call NMTrailBoss. Of course he answers as always since he is the parts manager for a large motorcycle dealership. Hey Curtis, I’m on the ledge again, really high up on the ledge. What is it this time he asks. I explain the situation and he hangs up to locate the closest dealer and do they have a KLR clutch cable? I reassemble the bike and start thinking about riding Jo Jo without a clutch for a 110 miles or more? Curtis calls me back and says there are 3 dealers, the closest is in West Reno Oklahoma; south and a bit east from me, just over 100 miles. I can do that, I can get there before dark. Curtis then advises that no dealers have a cable. Today is Friday, that means over night Saturday ubber high priority delivery. Okay, R&S has three in stock, the clutch cable will be delivered to a dealer in Elk City. He asks can you make it and I say hell yea. I refused his offer of rescue.
So now I am ready to leave, push the beast up a small incline and turn on the key. I hit the starter button and no magic? What the hell? So I guess that little sensor is important. I unload the saddle bag again and dig out the tools, again. I took the plastic sensor and could not figure out how it goes in the clutch arm. I then took the contact and touched the wiring plate and there was spark. Can I tape this together and ride on? Answer was no. So I remove the bark buster and get a flash light out. The spot the plastic sensor goes into is upside down and after finally able to see there is a slot and the clutch blade has to be positioned just right. Okay, now I know what I need to do. But alas, where is the little brass cap that was on top of the sensor? Wow, really? You lost the brass piece? God Ateam, your are so stupid, you’re a jerk, you’re an ass hole. How can you loose the contact piece. Calm down, get on my hands and knees and with the flash light on, I set up a grid search. After about 5 minutes I find it. What is that noise? Oh that is my heart beating about 120 beats per minute. I got the sensor installed correctly, reinstalled the lever and the brush guard again and the bike will start, I can pack my stuff and go. I roll off the small hill and Jo Jo jump starts into gear and I’m off. Ghost shifting from neutral to first is very rude, second gear is not much better. But the upper gears shift easily. I can do this, just don’t stop. I have been taking photos while riding for 2500 miles and I was pretty good at it. There really was not a lot of photo opportunities in Oklahoma so I didn’t take many pictures. But as I approach a mammoth wind mill farm I took out the camera to take a few shots. I was wondering why the wind is blowing a steady 30 miles an hour and almost half the wind mills are not spinning. Seemed crazy to me.
As I was returning the Sony $100 camera point and shoot in my tank bag pocket I saw it miss and bounce off the tank. In that nano second a lot turns through your mind including catch it on the second bounce, grab it now. In the mean time, I was thinking make a stab at it and wreck right here on the road. So I watched the camera as it bounced along the slab and disintegrated into pieces. I had slowed down and deciding if I go back and get the memory card at least and then I see a convoy escort truck sitting ahead on the shoulder of the road. Okay, go back and get the card, maybe the guy will push start me. I uturn and see the debris. The traffic is getting heavier as it is becoming Friday afternoon and oil field folks are heading for town. I stall the bike, jump off or actually dismount which is never easy to do. I grab up the pieces and stuff it in the tank bag and start pushing the bike towards the guy in the escort vehicle. I approach and tell him the story, what just happened. Will you be so kind to give me a push? Why yes of course he says. So he pushes and I hit first gear and nothing. Then we try it again and nothing. He then asks me does the motor not work? Oh snap, I’m so stupid. Yes of course and I start the bike. Now the third time is the charm right. He pushes and Jo Jo sparks to life as I jam her into first. As I turn around to say thank you I see in my mirror a site that has been burned into my mind, like a protected PDF file you just can’t erase. This kind soul who pushed me three times gave it his all and when Jo Jo kicked to life, down he went. I saw his glasses scattering across the highway, his cow boy hat in the air, his arms out stretched at impact. Oh dear God, I was in a bad spot deciding do I turn around and stall again to ask him if he is alright? Or do I go on. Traffic made my decisions for me. I continued. I could not see as my eyes were streaming tears. I was so sad for that man. What the hell am I doing? So with heavy heart I ride into Elk City and I really don't remember the miles of nothing. I just saw the arms out as that man hit the pavement.
I rode no stop trials in traffic and a lot of cross country riding when approaching slowly at a 4 way intersection. I exit off the interstate and spot a Clarion Hotel up on a hill. It’s almost dark.
As I top the embankment, I hear my phone ringing in my pocket. I stall the bike and dig the phone out. It's Curtis, he tells me he has some bad news. Fed-Ex nor UPS will deliver Saturday to Elk City. It is 4:30 on a Friday, plan C is now to find a dealer in Amarillo since they will deliver Saturday in Amarillo. So Curtis calls David Brown Sport Center and they said hell yea, tell him it’s just a spurt down the road to Amarillo, come on in on Saturday morning. So plan C calls for me riding in mega winds, 147 miles to Amarillo, on the friggin Interstate and in the dark. This is going to be bad. I have already logged in 200 miles today, over 100 miles with no clutch and now I ride the super 75 mph Interstate.....
I stopped on my way to Elk City to get gas and two young kids gave me a push out. So I have enough fuel to make it to Amarillo and I ride off into a sunset that was not pretty at all. Good thing since I no longer own a camera. The cell phone served me well anyway. My first mind FFFKKK as I am getting blown off the road by trucks and by the south wind. Cross brace, edge of seat riding and the gusts literally push the bike sideways. I would soon get more experience in cross wind riding. At 70 miles into the ride I realize that I need my under jacket and winter gloves. the GPS is slowly registering a steady climb in elevation as I know that Amarillo is above 4000 feet. So once again I have to stop Jo Jo and and get warm gear on soon. A exit for a ranch road comes up with a bridge across I-40 and I decide although no one is around, there will be enough hill to roll off the bridge and jump start. I add more gear on while sitting directly over the west bound lane. Now is a good time to use my exhaust to warm up and why not just piss off the bridge. I must admit that at this point, with al the mind games of the day I’m getting a bit crazy. I am screaming profanities at the world from atop the interstate bridge. I know I’m in a marathon, I know I have to push on. Finish – finish is my mantra now. I roll down the bridge and Jo Jo starts again, limping along without a clutch, frozen to the bone, still 80 miles or more to go.
As I swerved and tacked along at 70 miles an hour on I-40 I met Mr. Sidney. Secret Sidney actually was his name. Mr. Sidney is a sneaky bastard, he is not nice. Sidney is a west bound San Andreas fault in the asphalt that runs all the way to the Pacific ocean I bet. Mr. Sidney would jig and jag but always west bound. The wind would blow Jo Jo in violent gusts, deafening. And there was Sidney trying his best to trip her. Cross the wake, cross the wake. Amarillo 59 miles, Amarillo 52 miles, Amarillo, 37 miles. Really, does the great state of Texas have to tell me how many miles it is every stinking 5 miles? Who owns the sign factory around here, I bet he is rich. Then my Dad sneaks into my mind. It was not a Jeddi & OBeeOne Kanoby Star Wars kind of thing. Just there was my Dad, giving me that look. I kept saying I was sorry, but I wasn’t sure what I was sorry for. I’m thinking am I melting down here, is this how people act and feel when they are mentally unbalanced? My face masks fogs with every breath and I can hear my heart beat inside my head. After what seemed like hours the sign said Amarillo 17 miles. But then I was seeing blue lights. Spread apart, way out on the horizon. They would come on and then off. Sporadic. Am I hallucinating? Then I realize much later that a cop is positioned on each side of the highway and the flashing off and on is trucks crossing a bridge heading south. What, there is a detour? Are you kidding me, really? Sure enough west bound traffic is being diverted south to highway 287, why I don’t know. So the no stop trials event is not over yet.
And then I approach the line of truck at the exit. I slow down to first gear and nearly stall, letting the truck traffic proceed ahead. In the meantime, the stack of 18 wheelers are right on my fender, they are not happy. I start weaving as we approach the turn, I’m gonna stall so I turn into the dirt and encounter a fence. I opened my knees and barely made my turn and then jumped back in line where I was. I cleaned it, way to go girl, good job. Now I’m in a line of trucks heading strait into the fierce wind and it is actually a reprieve, sort of. But then I see trucks making a right hand turn at a stop sign and intersection to go west on highway 287 into town. The road is busy, a half mile of stopped trucks awaits me. The asphalt shoulder is maybe 3 feet wide and then it’s dark dirt and a fence. I got to make the pass on the right, no choice. As I roll by one truck after another a few are not so nice and swerve off the road at me, they try to block me which forces me on the dirt. I stand up, trials riding again, in the dark and finally make it to the intersection. But again I turn right in the dirt since there is traffic, but this is easy and I jump onto the main highway and motor into Amarillo. Mentally exhausted, flat out starving since I had not eaten at all the whole day. I spot a room that is next to a Cracker Barrel and check in. I tell the clerk about my 140 mile clutchless ride from Elk City and please be nice and give me a cheap room. He tells me the rodeo is in town and he only has one room left, a handicap. Sold to the humbled wonna be ADV rider.
Damn what a day. Tomorrow if UPS delivers, I will get Jo Jo’s ham string repaired and we will head SW down to Clovis New Mexico, maybe.
Awesome report Tony!
Love the fall colors in the state parks. Lovin' the roadside interviews too!
Edge of the seat stuff.......go JoJo and Tony. I am riveted. Note to self, when adventuring take extra cables so you don't have to do the non-stop trials run dodging trucks in a stiff Texas, flat-ass-land wind. Awesome!!
You my friend ARE a true adventurer.
Tony. i must have scored you in many ute cups and after reading this report so far, im going to have to give you a clean so far for a score!
Saturday - November 10, 2012
West Texas Wind Storms, how bad can it be?
David Brown’s Sport Center represents in a large Texas way. This dealership is huge and spotless. I checked in and went to the service shop in another building to get Jo Jo checked in. Everyone there had heard about me and were curious about the trip. There was a lot of talk about trials, they just sold a 300 TXT Gas Gas to a local high school kid and they knew many folks that I have ridden with from the Amarillo and Pampa areas. I saddens me thinking about some of the guys that are now gone, guys my age. I rode over the cottonwoods with folks he and I both knew. When living in Texas for 11 years, we traveled to Pampa at Lake McClellan for the Texas State Series and then the US Central Regional Series. So there were two events a year out here on the cap rock. We rode over dead fall, huge cottonwoods that had died. A few sections on top of the cap rock but mostly air logs and more logs. By the last few sections of the third loop, we finally figured out how to ride the logs, only to soon forget until the next event there 6 months or so later.
One older gentleman was somewhat assisting a mechanic with a non starting Kawasaki side by side. I thought the Kawasaki was his, he seemed to know what questions to ask. He then disappeared and came back and stayed in the service managers office for a while. The cable arrived around 10 AM and they told me I could do it myself and use their tools if I wanted, which is what I did using my own tools. No charge, come by any time and if you need any help we will get you lined out. As I was leaving, the old guy asked me about the Albuquerque economy and I finally asked him what his business was, real estate? His response, hell son I own this place. I had been complimenting his shop and the staff and he said that made him happy to hear praises from a customer. It was a very impressive shop and very laid back like most Texans.
Oh yea, they also sell Klim gear.
Wow, a new Jo Jo for only $6200. It’s such a cute little baby.
David Brown. He is 72 years old, wow. He has been the owner for like 30 years or more.
Mr. Brown then took me to his man cave, his personal shop and his beauties. A 1952 Vincent, worth @ $100K. He rebuilt it himself and this bike was so far ahead of it’s time. Cantilevered front brakes, the rear fender has a hinge that allows you to remove the rear wheel and switch it around. It has a sprocket on both sides of the wheel. This was the father of dual sport bikes. Race it on Saturday night and then go cross country or trials on Sunday, ride it to work on Monday.
Mr. Brown was just a great host, I could have listened to him talk all day but with the wind storm on it’s heels and a long way across New Mexico, I needed to come up with a plan. Again my weather consultant was on the web advising me of the storm, where the precipitation was. I found a row of self storage buildings and one was unlocked so I had a temporary home as I consulted. Ray said the weather my friend, looks terminal. I decided to make the ride to Clovis and see what happens. Riding in the wind is a very proprioceptive, one of eight senses we never ever use. I don't recall reading many adventure reports riding in this kind of wind weather, maybe in Mongolia's steeps?
It is difficult to describe a wind storm like this. I had been exposed on the road for several weeks, I was very acclimated. But the power, the sound and the percussion you felt through the torso and into your legs came constantly from the south. I called the storm the Grim Reaper Wind. It was scary but also a beautiful and a powerful raw element. I tapped my wind screen to my helmet leaving Freona to minimize the silt coming through the edges. When I stopped in Clovis, none of the tape was there. I only made contact with one tumbleweed on the ride from Amarillo and they were abundant and fast. I dodged many and some were the size of Smart Cars. Tumbleweed at 2 o'clock, check. Traffic behind you, clear. Traffic in front, clear. Set up, prepare for evasive action. One large devil bounced off a culvert and became air borne with an intent to fly at me. It never touched the ground as it soured overhead.
Took refuge from the howl behind a store to make a phone call.
The weather was screaming. I had to put Jo Jo on her kick stand tilting into the wind. I learned this earlier when I got off the bike, set the kick stand and started to walk off as I saw Jo Jo lean, wobble a bit, lean and as I ran to the left side, I was able to grab the mound of crap dry bags on the back and two arm wrestle her back to the kick stand. I will never make that mistake again with a 500 pound bike in a 50 mile per hour wind.
I made it into Clovis wind whipped, discussed the weather again with Ray in Dallas and decided to push on. If I could make Fort Sumner 70 miles away I would be very close to my house. Then it started sleeting and rain. The sound of sleet against the bike and helmet was like the sizzle of a frying pan. It was violent and rude outside.
I got 5 miles out of town and the road was just too slick. At 40 miles per hour I could not keep the bike on the road, I was literally sliding side ways off the the highway. I turned around, defeated. Jo Jo will never be pretty red again thanks to a Eastern New Mexico sand blasting. I found silt in my hair, in my shirts, the interior of the instrument housing was coated in brown buff colored micro sand. I felt like I just spent a day at the beach during a hurricane. It took some effort to get all the sand out of my gloves.
A Saturday night in Clovis, should be awesome.
Wow, this is pretty awesome.