Reaver's Ramblings - Toronto to LA on the GS Twins

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Reaver, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,725
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    Homeless Adventurer
    Home!!!

    1300 kms/800 miles in one day, last 5 hrs at below 10C with a low of 4 (39 F).

    We arrived frozen at 3 am but with both bikes happy.

    Story at 11.

    Need to call "Housekeeping" to deal with our 3 wk away disaster (2 cats alone, cooped up and unrestricted).

    Then I can go edit and add the missing parts.

    Stay tuned!
  2. tah1800

    tah1800 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    284
    Location:
    Colo Springs, Colorado
    Welcome home Reaver. Glad you didn't have to make roadside repairs.
  3. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    The great state of confusion
    Yeah - What he said!!! :clap

    Except for the BHG it looks like it was one hell'ova trip!
  4. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
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    885
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    So Cal
    :clap:clap:clap
    Glad you two make it home uneventfull :lol3
  5. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    4,725
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    Sure was! Major highs and lows, in both temperature and in emotions not to mention altitude.

    Reality is setting in and the trip seems distant already. Time now to build the "GS" shed and on Monday the contractors come to redo the front walkway and driveway. All new concrete stairs and patio with new asphalt. Best go change our oil now while I can still wreck the old driveway!

    PS......I love that pic of Bec's skid marks before the crash. I had lost sight of her in my mirrors so I stopped and waited. Nothing. When I seen her standing in the road without her helmet I knew exactly what happened! She just pointed to her tracks leading up to her bike and they just told the whole story! In 3rd gear on the packed tire track, she wandered into the soft middle while looking at the scenery. Speed + soft sand + inexperience off road = :p3rry

    Thanks for all the good wishes and offers of help.

    Having eaten all the food before we left, it's shopping time!
  6. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    Jul 9, 2009
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    Team Canoodia
  7. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Jan 12, 2010
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    4,912
    Location:
    Grand Valley, Colorado
    Welcome home to the two of you.:freaky:freaky
  8. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    We woke up a bit later in Macon MO's new Comfort Inn. So comfortable. It even had a hoist to get the whales out of the pool for a check up. We had decided that it would be too much to make it home in one day so there was no rush. I got tired of paying for nice hotels with all the amenities only to sleep and leave. Still, we only had time to enjoy the free breakfast and watch the news about all the flooding and washed out roads in the areas we had just left. I finally caught the fly who had bugged me all night and threw it in the microwave. Sucker lasted 20 secs on HI before a tail spin crash and burn. Impressive.

    Serviced my rad and took off by 10:30. Burned a tank on the straight, boring Interstate lined with pro gun ads before stopping for a McCoffee. On the road again we passed like 5 miles of traffic cones but no sign of construction or equipment. WTF? This happened a large number of times in the US. Closed lanes, reduced speed and no sign of anything but slowdowns. So by our 5th that day, we ignored the signs and paid the price. Just after an exit, traffic stalled. Zumo showed 4 1/2 miles to the next exit. Damn. I can't keep track of which States have helmet laws let alone lane splitting. We can't anyway with our double wide baggers. The shoulder was full of tire blowing debris and I wasn't chancing it. My fan came on but the temp was stable...... An HOUR later we reached the exit and filled the tanks again. Got caught up in Friday traffic and more construction so I ignored Bec's request for stopping to eat. It was one of those interstate hubs where you have to pay attention and lane change all over to find your way. It was then I remembered that after 2 tanks, I should have filled my rad. Being mostly water now, I figured it was evaporating, explaining why my leg was dry and there were no more puddles on the block. So now I'm staring at the temp guage, watching traffic, reading Zumo and keeping an eye on Bec while trying not to get lost. Soon as we were clear and Zumo said "Turn in 138 miles", we found a Wendy's. Couldn't find evidence of a leak so I chose to leave it alone. By the end of the third tank it was getting cold out so it was refuel, wear all our sweaters and rain gear while having a coffee. It was decided that we'd see how the next tank went.........

    Well, an hour into that I was freezing at temps around 9 C so F it, I stopped for more McCrap to warm up. Bec wasn't really into it anymore. I convinced her to finish the tank and see what happened.

    I think you somehow "Get into the Zone" at some point and the cold seems to affect you less. It dropped to 4 then went up to 7 which felt great now. It was dark and getting late so the traffic was light but with the damn gawkers who pull up beside you then hover for a bit before passing and pulling in front of you with their damn "squarebacks" leaving you in their turbulence really pissed me off. Reaching Port Huron, and my US warehouse location, if felt good to be in familiar territory. Filling up for the 4th time, we found our passports, got the toll money out and tried to figure out how long we were in the US seeing as we re-entered part way through. I didn't realize Port Huron was so dead at midnight. All the traffic signals were flashing and we had free reign of the streets. Weird.

    Customs was quick and also dead with the Agents in a great mood. It's so much easier coming home than entering the US. We had taken separate lines through, playing the "Which line is faster?" game. I won. There was no way I was getting a hotel less than 2 hrs from home, cold be damned! The 402-401 haul is so damn boring but we pressed on. The tops of my fingers were numb from the wind although the grip heat was on high, my gloves were still wet from the 2 days rain through Colorado and Kansas. I noticed my temp guage had dropped a bar showing colder now but could mean hotter as the water may no longer be touching the sender which is on the top side of the cylinder, thus reading cooler while the engine is actually getting hotter from lack of water. I tried to rationalize all that, dreading another dark highway stop to refill the rad when it popped back up to normal. Huh? OK.

    Riding along, cold and bored I wondered if just my rad cap was defective, not adjusting to the 12 000 ft atmospheric pressure in CO which would in effect, cause a higher differential pressure and maybe the leak was only the weakest link showing it's face. Better that than a hose blowing off, eh Woody? I hadn't added water really since that last pic mid Kansas. The morning's fill didn't use much at all, esp. considering the spillage factor. Things that make you go "Hmmmmmmmmmm".

    I watched Bec in the mirror for the signs she was done but she gave no indication. Doing random lane changes I watched for her to signal and follow, checking to see how fast she reacted as an guage of her condition. That and I was tired and bored so it kept us both alert. I'm sure the truckers thought we were nuts. 2 am, riding in 5 C conditions. We passed a Cop but he probably shook his head and let us be. We were chilled to the bone and *may* have been over the limit a tad suffering from "get home-itis". It's an aviation disease where pilots make bad decisions when really wanting to get home. Riding faster feels colder but is quicker.

    Arriving home just after 2:30 am, we parked the bikes and dropped everything. It was then I found the inside door locked. We only brought the garage door opener and left our keys at home. The Pet Sitter had locked both the garage door and the inside door which we normally leave open. So where did I put my keys 3 wks ago?? I could swear in my toolbox so I destroyed that in my cold, tired rage. I eyed the sledge....Bec said I put a key in the backyard. Really, I only hide stuff on myself. Old age creeping in and all. So there I am in the backyard at 3 am with a flashlight ripping the deck benches apart and swearing. Finally found it, calmed down a bit and came in, tripping over 2 anxious cats. Stupid things keep coming into my life. Anyone know that song about a guy trying to lose a cat "...and the cat came back the very next day"?

    Anyway, Bec cranked up the heat while we layered up the clothing and double sheeted the bed. I awoke 9 hrs later when I finally overheated. 2 days in the rain followed by a marathon "Iron Ass" ride in the cold has me feeling sick. I even had a nap. My nose is running but it was worth it, I think anyway. Bec has to attend meetings all week to catch up. Who likes a sniffling, coughing co-worker? At least she can say it was an adventure.

    It certainly was.


    Bored, taking night shots. The scenery in the last few days didn't inspire me enough to take any more.

    [​IMG]

    Me "Flashing" Bec. She thought it was photo radar.

    [​IMG]



    I picked up a souvenir on the road somewhere. It was a hazard to motorists with it's screws still protruding. I made every effort to find a DMV and return it, unsuccessfully. :D

    [​IMG]


    Now I have to find Bec a new case......

    [​IMG]
  9. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    the hose blowing off was a real thrill...................

    Your cap could be screwed up...

    When I had my issues with cooling system, I found that refilling the remote reservoir did NOT top off the radiator tank even when left overnight so that it went thru a complete thermal cycle. I had to take the radiator cap off the tank then slowly pour water into bottle and allow it to drain into the radiator.

    Naturally when you remove the cap, the contents of the bottle run into the radiator or onto the ground unless you've pinched off the hose first ... Who thought THAT was a good idea? :huh

    This was a "new" experience to me ... as with every car I've ever owned, when the system heated up a bit of coolant would flow into the remote tank due to expansion, and would flow back into radiator when cool ... along with any extra needed to replenish for leakage.

    The vacuum side of the cap seemed to work fine, but I should probably buy a new cap anyway.... IIRC Joel said "they all do that" ...

    enough of that crap ... long thread here if anyone is interested!

    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=691458[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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    Glad you and Bec are back safe and reasonably sound...

    :clap
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    4,725
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    What I did was bleed the air off at the water pump BEFORE removing the cap which also released any pressure. Then when I removed the rad cap I let the res drain into the rad for less mess in the parking lot. Don't want to upset anyone. :D

    Bottom line is it quit leaking. What did you sacrifice, two man size Fosters? Well it worked. I'm hesitant now to remove the engine and tear it down......... We shall see. No plans for further trips at the moment. Subject to change on a whim of course. :evil
  11. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I think it was four or five man-sized Fosters, I was looking for an excuse :lol3
  12. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Jan 12, 2010
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    4,912
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    Grand Valley, Colorado
    Yeppers..... those big green cans come in handy....:freaky
  13. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    east tn
    Enjoyed this report immensely! An Adventure well ridden and superbly chronicled. All best wishes as you share the journey ahead.
  14. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    Thanks man!

    Now that I'm home and suffering from a cold, I'll have time to search the 2300 pics I took and add more anecdotes. :D
  15. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    Homeless Adventurer
    [​IMG]

    The different colours represent one day's travels.

    My cold has gotten worse but has given me the time to edit the RR and add the missing days and a bunch more pics. Go ahead and reread it on the Boss's time. :wink:

    12500 kms in just under 3 wks. I need a lengthy butt break.

    Next big trip.........South.
  16. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    I think you mentioned the south one is solo........ Are you heading south, because you can, or is it job related....... What route...???:D:D
  17. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    Aug 7, 2008
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    Homeless Adventurer

    Well, we've done the east coast, the west coast and most of the states and provinces now. The north doesn't interest us much although it's beautiful. Camping, bugs, bad roads, large carnivores... Riding with her I'm limited in my off pavement travel. I'm no pro but have been wiping out on vehicles ever since dad left the key in the riding lawnmower which was before I was old enough to go to school. Bec's wrist was already shattered once so she's very protective of it now. Thankfully her Moab sand trap only hurt her ego. She's happy to wait for me while I play.

    Bec is goal orientated and works in a high pressure, fast paced environment. I can't see her accepting a 4 hr border crossing in the heat as it sometimes happens in CA.
    :kboom

    My plan is to ride through the US as fast as possible then slow it down starting in Baja. I'd find a nice place and rent a bike for Bec to ride for a week after flying in. Job related? I hope to buy a house on the Pacific shore with a bunch of Cabinas to rent. Of course your stay will be discounted :D.

    One never knows what the future holds.
  18. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    Added to the cost of fuel, hotels and food, you have to consider wear items on the bikes.

    Both our rear (new) tires are shot. I think the heat wears them out faster since I usually get 20 K kms out of the Tourances.

    Her chain and sprockets are toast at 32K kms. I mentioned her chain was shot and asked if she noticed anything weird since she usually puts phantom defects on my work orders. "I thought you just replaced that?" :rofl No honey, but I did get you a new one like you wanted. :D

    Haven't been able to fault my cooling system after spending a wad on a rad pressure tester. No sign of a leak and no fault codes. I'll leave it be.

    Need to change the oil on both and get her two new turn signal lens and side case parts.

    So once again, bringing all the tools and spare parts wasn't necessary and Bec is right. That's a good thing. Still, it lessens my worry factor.

    I made amends with the neighbours now so all is good. :thumb

    It was great having you along and I appreciate all the offers. Knowing that like minded people are everywhere and willing to assist makes an epic trip much more achievable and comfortable. For some, leaving home and all it's comforts is a scary thing.

    Just DO it!
  19. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    That sounds like an awesome prospectus to me. Crossings in Socal can be a pain in the a$$. Small crossings like bisbee/ Douglas, are better, but the Santa Teresa ,NM crossing, 5 miles from my house is the best..... Some of the best sipping Tequilla can be had on my porch. Seriously....AZ facilitates better than CA. imho.
  20. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

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    I was under the impression that you could ride to the tip of Baja without importing your bike. Only when you cross the Gulf at La Paz did you have to complete all the paperwork.

    I know, it lacks the "Personal Touch" that NM would have. :freaky

    Maybe I can do both?