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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AteamNM, Nov 15, 2012.
I'll bet that wind played hell with your gas mileage!
Wow thanks for those few replies.
This is the last of the posts. The epilogue I have written should likely stay buried in a maze of plastic, circuits and electronics. As I have drafted this report, completing the ending left me with a feeling of walking out of a place after the party is over. The lights are off and it's quiet. When the finish line is crossed, there is a sense of accomplishment, a sense of completeness. There is always a tinge of pride, "finish what you start". I'm sure that climbers that get tuned back near the crest or the hiker that falls short of the end, there is no gratification, only the hollow and haunting review of the failure. How we deal with failures defines us right. Make lemonade out of lemons. Several years ago, I took the exams to become a level II PSIA ski instructor. I went to Crested Butte and got my hat handed to me. I passed the teaching portion but failed the performance portion. It was 5 days in Key Stone, Vail and then a trek to Crested Butte. When the day was done, all the ski instructors were assembled in the lodge and announcements were made for those fortunate folks that passed. Applause applause. At that precise moment when all announcements were made, I knew with clarity that I did not pass, I failed. As the air inside you implodes and the taste of bile works it's way into your throat, I walked away. As I was opening the door to the outside, one of the examiners was providing a pep talk. How can you really cheer up those that did not pass? What can you say? As the door was closing, walking into darkness and snow, I vaguely heard what he said. Like when you can only hear someone when they whisper. What he said has stuck with me, sometimes it gives me hope.
He said to remember, life is all about the journey.
Sunday - November 11, 2012
The Final Push Home, I got this.
I was anxious to get on the road and with the change into mountain time I was up early and took some time in organizing my clothes for Sunday. 7 total garments on top, 2 layers of poly long underwear, North Face ski pants and then Klim pants with the blue rubber rain pants as a last resort. Like using first gear on your bicycle.
I stepped outside in the morning and it was 29 degrees. The wind was still very strong but it was at least clear and sunny. Less than 200 miles, we are almost to my residence Jo Jo.
Another abandoned building. Nothing here.
The next leg was to Fort Sumner, 70 miles away. It was hard riding but I was doing well. Just very cold. I actually stopped at the museum for Billy The Kid and took a few cell phone pictures. Closed on Sunday’s.
Then another long stretch of nothingness west to Vaughn.
I used to joke that the only reason a town exists here is because the horse died. Honey we are home, get out. The horse just died.
So I am riding through Vaughn and leaving the town limits the wind gets really bad, throwing me all over the place and then I realize exactly what is happening. Another flat tire. Unbelievable! I stop and again consider my options. I am 90 miles from my residence, I have a 21 inch tube, I can fix this and make it. I can go in limping all the way, I don’t care. I turn around and start pushing Jo Jo again. Also about a mile out of town but I can see the town, I can get there.
I went inside the first restaurant in town and the owner called up Mark who owns a pseudo tire store and he answered. Mark came to the restaurant and asked how he can help. I just needed a warm place to try and install a 21 inch tube in a 17 inch tire. The culprit was a two sided drill bit that ripped the tube in about 4 places, unbelievable. He said no way but we can try. We got the tube in as best we could and I put 45 psi in the tire.
It took a while to get the rear brakes to work and line up properly putting the rear wheel on but we finally got it mounted correctly and I was off again to Clines Corners on the interstate. Just one minor set back. I leave Vaughn for the second time and cautiously travel the edge of the road and go about 50. At Encino I can go west and take back roads as a final leg or stay on the same highway NW and get to I-40, Clines Corners. So I decide to stay on the main road and continued north out of Encino when again, the rear end of Jo Jo starts break dancing. The 21 inch tube did not work, I am totally screwed now.
Jo Jo, alone on the side of the road. I suppose she was feeling the sense of failure as was I.
I made that dreaded call to my wife. It was very hard to hear her and the cell phone reception was spotty. My step son was going to come and get me in my truck. Should be maybe an hour and a half? It is 2 PM, I can wait. So there I was, stranded on the side of Highway 280, a ranch can be seen many miles away. Nothing here but wind. So I may as well go for a walk.
I found a small wash or a wallow where cattle bones were scattered in desiccated mud cracks. I walked to a culvert under the road. This would be a great place to sleep for the night if necessary, at least it’s out of the wind. I walked, I waited and then a car stops, the first to stop in 2 hours. At a distance, it had the LTD cop car look.
As I approached his passenger window, he was holding this card.
Rick is a motorcycle rider, he was visiting his girl friend in Roswell. He was heading home to Albuquerque. He talked on and on. We discussed politics, his work in the VA, his girlfriend and life in general. He was a an old wacky Viet Nam vet.
Then he blew me away.
He said he would offer me some, but he had just enough to get home. Wow, only in America does a 74 year old guy chat with a stranded motor cyclist in no where New Mexico and snort cocaine. He finally motored on and the temperature was dropping into the mid 20’a as was the sun. A bleak feeling when you have to wait and depend on someone.
After while, and well past when the step son should be here I called him and he said he was 50 miles away. I waited, I walked. No one else ever stopped. As I sat leaning against Jo Jo, my thoughts were simple. Fail – fail – fail. I DNF’d. I did not finish. My friend Ray texted me later, he said so far and yet so close.
Around 5:15 I see my truck approach. After removing the bags and gear, we loaded Jo Jo into the truck. I let my step son drive me back to my residence.
At this point the ride is over. I remove 6 upper layers as we drive away. The failure feeling is over bearing, idle chat about the day, about his last girlfriend. He drives, I feel numb and also again an empty stomach reminds me that I have lost over 20 pounds on this trip. I really should eat more. We stop at McDonald's, I can only eat a handful of fries and one of two simple cheese burgers. Matt helps me unload the bike from the truck into the garage. I have finally returned.
My mother gave me a long time ago this little picture that hung in my bathroom as a kid. It is a picture of a Victorian out house. The caption speaks so much to me. I totally get that.
Great Job, really enjoyed the story of the ride and the pics.That was a hell of good idea you had, AND pulled off
On the bright side of the finish, at least your flats were all rear tire ones and did not cause you to eat pavement, I wouldn't sweat coming up one inner tube and a few miles short on a trip of that size if I were you.
Thanks for sharing
Yup, this is a rare heart and soul ride report. I'm enjoying the ride, Tony.
we would only call that a DNF
if you were living in texas now
Sounds like it was a great trip, Tony! Looking forward to the next one...
Thanks for taking us on your Adventure!
what a pleasure to read many thanks for taking the time to Share
irrespective of what you think that was by no means a DNF you got JoJo and yourself home didnt you
With only six more years of perspective, I have learned that rides end in all manner of ways, debts to pay, lessons to absorb. The sense of defeat passes pretty quickly as you mull over what you didn't predict, make a new list, get a new tent (say, for instance), and set a new date.
This is actually a stupid pastime, but my, it occupies your thoughts, ennit?
Good ride, mon.
The first presidential debate this year with the republican candidates started off with Newt being asked about his open marriage and all the scuttle about his wife with cancer. Newt said let me tell you, we all have had pain. We all have suffered. We all have failed.
Well, on to the end I must say. I have rode Jo Jo here in the mountains of New Mexico for the last two days. She is becoming acclimated to 7000 feet. My present day wife is in Belize, scuba diving with her children and having a great time.
I have decided to post the epilogue. Life is just life. We have all had pain, right? I expose myself, to judgment and ridicule or pretense; I don't care. What I share with you is something that only three people that I love know about. My Mother does not know what I share here. I must finish the report. I may have DNF'd the ride, I think I must just let it go, say what it is. Tragic, frightening. But I am an optimist. My friends that know me I hope understand this is personal & confidential. The other geographic audience does not matter thus they know not who I am.
Not your typical ride report I reckon.
May I present the end of the end, the epilogue that ties in the symbolism of a house versus a home. "The rest of the story". Raw and real, this I expose is every day life. At a 1000 miles from no where, there is no place that I got to be.
Sunday - November 11, 2012 7:00 PM
Matt leaves in his car, my beautiful Australian Shepard is glad Im here. But she is a bit weird. Something is not right but nothing clicks. I was anticipating my wife to be there, she sent some coffee with Matt. Then I realize that the motorhome is gone and our enclosed motorcycle trailer is also gone. That is weird. I finally decided to walk in the house. I turn on the lights. The house is different. The house is empty.
My wife has left me. Oh wow. My head feels light, I reach for balance on the hall way wall. I walk into the kitchen. I believe if I were hit across the head with a baseball bat right then I would not have felt it. Im not sure I would now.
I go back into the garage. My dog looks like she is about to cry. I walk over to Jo Jo.
Hey girl. its been a hell of a ride. So far and yet so close. But you know what Jo Jo, you did good girl. A mineralogy professor once told me; do not be discouraged, you flunk but you flunk high.
Thanks for riding alone with me. Thanks to LakeRider in Virginia, large thank you to Curtis and as always, my wing man, my brother Ray and Chris Beck at ttp://www.fastbecks.com/. I never read where people say thank you to ADVrider.com. This forum has been an incredible resource, only made possible by incredible people like you.
Jo Jo made it 3,013 miles. 21 days of riding from Virginia to New Mexico. Three years of riding experience in 21 days. When I grow up, I wonna be an Adventure Rider.
Holy shit Tony!
Unbelievable RR but the ending I could have done without. I have nothing right now but you know you are welcome at our place.
Wow. Sorry to hear that.
Hang in there, Tony-----(PM sent)
So sorry to hear about your surprise upon arriving home. On a positive note, you may well have found another vocation to follow in life
writing the next "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" type of book!
Jesus Christ, Tony! WTF????:eek1
You know, KNOW to call if you need anything, right bruddah?? Hell, the fleabag Scottish Inn that you crashed out in in Springdale is less than 3 miles from my mother's house! Damn, son.....
BTW, how'd you like the SE New Mexico wind? Been riding through it off and on for 30 years now, on everything from GPz550's to K1100RT's. None of it was ever fun.
Shocker ending.....what a rough thing to return home to.
I hope you and Jo Jo have many more rides ahead so we get to read more excellent ride reports.
WOW. Sorry to hear that.