Solo Journey Through Latin America - En Moto Al Sur!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by kizniche, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
        A few years ago I wrote a list. It was meant to be nothing more than an expression of my desires. It contained epic long and short-term goals, without a time constraint or an expectation to accomplish any. Between “skydive” and “hike the Appalachian Trail” was “motorcycle South America.” I remember when this came about. It was early 2007, and while traversing New Zealand with my old pal, Phil, I had been reminiscing over a motorcycle trip with my mother that occurred two years prior, covering 2200 km through Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria on two BMW R1150R motorcycles. As I stared out the passenger car window into the lush New Zealand mountainside, I realized that what was missing from New Zealand was a motorcycle, and what was missing from motorcycling Europe was New Zealand's tropical rain forests and unexplored wilderness. Instead of New Zealand again, my next destination would be South America. I nixed the idea of renting a bike or shipping my own and decided to mix things up. The allure of a dangerous journey through beautiful Latin America was what captivated me, and so my goal only naturally evolved into motorcycle Latin America! Thus, the title of this publication is En Moto al Sur, which translates from Spanish to On Motorcycle to the South.

        Preparations for this trip began just over three years ago after returning from New Zealand, when I moved from my hometown of Stuart to Boca Raton, FL., resuming my university study of the biological sciences. Being monetarily broke and driving the wrong bike for this type of trip, I was staring down a challenge to become ready by my graduation. Fortunately, scholarships and grants covered my tuition and most of my apartment costs, so my job at the local off-campus college textbook store expanded my savings. July last year, I hopped a plane to Denver, CO and purchased my first KTM, a 2005.5 950 Adventure, bringing what had been previously just a few words on a piece of paper and some fanciful ideas, into the tangible realm.


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    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A lot of encouragement has come from my father, family, friends, and strangers, and to you all I thank, but there was no greater support than from my mother. Entrusting me with my first motorcycle at age 9 and teaching me to ride sanely, she accepted the dangers of what she was unleashing with a stride. She always supported my travels, including this one. Without her support, I might not have been able to fund my new bike, have the fortitude to mount it, or even be in the position to contemplate this type of journey this young (or ever). The tentative plan was to set off shortly after my graduation in May, 2010. Devastating news struck early December, 2009, when my mother discovered she had severely progressed liver and colon cancer. I invited her to move from North Carolina to live with me while she sought treatment. My final, most demanding semester coincided with her diminishing in health. Sadly, she didn&#146;t make it to my graduation or to see me off to South America. Her death this past March has only reinforced my determination to continue on, bringing the strong spirit she instilled in me along on my trip.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In the past month I&#146;ve reduced my possessions to only those that can be carried on my moto, left my apartment, and quit my job. I intended to work through the beginning of the Fall college semester, the busiest season of the year, but the pressure was building. A decent amount of preparation still remained. My girlfriend would be moving to Atlanta to pursue her Ph.D. at GSU. I weighed spending my last moments working 10 or more hours per day in a stressful work environment vs. sharing them with loved ones and finishing preparations. Although I consider many of the people I worked with friends, something had to give. I as well as many others would claim I'm a masochist had I chosen to stay.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Prior to leaving the country, I'll be visiting family and friends in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. With today's exodus from Boca Raton, my course is set for North Carolina and Tennessee's Tail of the Dragon. ETA: 2-3 weeks.

    Hasta la próxima vez!
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    #1
  2. zadok

    zadok Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,048
    Location:
    Western Australia
    All the best for the trip. Looks like you are well kitted up for it.:D
    #2
  3. Aussie_Gringo

    Aussie_Gringo The anti-septic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,207
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Brilliant start to your journey, mate.

    :thumb
    #3
  4. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    <div align=justify>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Palm Beach County tax collector was my last stop leaving Boca Raton to renew my moto registration, and by high noon on the 1st I had safely made it to Stuart, FL. The previous day had me worried I might not get on the road this day. After putting new tread on my rear wheel in the morning hours of the 31st, the four vaccines I had taken the 30th began inciting a formidable immune response. Inflammation left me run-down, red-skinned, head aching, and with mild pain coursing through my joints. A sushi dinner that night, at Fuji Dragon, rejuvenated me and the next morning I was feeling top-notch.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was a swelteringly hot morning as I set off. I was glad it was such a short trip on the highway slab. I soon got some Thai noodle dinner in my stomach with my friend Sean, and was off to another friend's house before heading to the beach to call it a night. As I hoped, Max was able to hook me up with a 2-gigabyte DDR2 stick of ram to replace the 1 gig in my laptop. Garmin's Mapsource (software for working with maps and tracks for my GPS) or Windows7 was faulting because of a lack of available ram. This new hardware was faster and of higher capacity. It was just the thing to get the Weee-PC working at a usable speed. The cool evening with refreshing rainstorms persuaded me to drive an extra 20 mile loop that night before arriving at the beach. I managed to get a few hours sleep between being woken by the no-see-ums, aka the vertebrate-blood-sucking flys of the Family <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratopogonidae" target="_blank">Ceratopogonidae</a>. Like this night, they sometimes storm the beach with full force.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I woke up rather early at 7:30 on the 2nd, from the sun and the unrelenting biting flys. I found breakfast at the local supermarket then had a peculiar thing happen to my bike before I left. As it does sometimes, the engine let loose a cringetacular clunk-crack as I hit the starter. Unlike previous times, though, I noticed popping coming from the exhaust while at idle. I took the opportunity to bring it under Max's carport and check out this mysterious condition as well as suss out a gnarly speed wobble I noticed happening in the 30-40 mph range, since hitting the road the previous day. I adjusted every suspension setting I could to the owner's manual recommendation for maximum payload, except the left fork's rebound adjuster. It was seized; and with a lack of proper tools and knowledge of shocks I would leave that job to a professional. A quick test ride revealed the wobble was greatly reduced, but still remained. With the one shock rebound not a likely cause, it was most likely due to the unbalance of luggage. I'll be taking the fork to be serviced at <a href="http://www.wmr1.com" target="_blank">WMR Competition Performance</a> on the 7th with new fork oil and whatever replacement parts.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;One problem was mostly sussed, but the cause of the popping had been eluding me. I found it only coming from the left exhaust- the rear cylinder. After reading many insightful posts on <a href="http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=34" target="_blank">Orange Crush</a> and messing with the remote idle screw adjusters for far too long, I gave up until later. I managed to make it less apparent by enrichening the rear cylinder's fuel mixture, but I was still not satisfied with the way it was running. A few hours later I took off the seat with a hunch, and sure enough, found a silicone vacuum cap and zip tie missing from the rear cylinder's vacuum line (used for synchronizing the carburetors with a vacuum gauge). It was nowhere to be found, presumably gone from vibration or a backfire that happened as I started it in the morning. Instead or risking another vacuum cap and zip tie, I secured screws tightly in each hose. I started it up and that old familiar purr was back! That night, Sean and I lured some amigos out to the <a href="http://www.elliottmuseumfl.org/index.php?main=2" target="_blank">House of Refuge</a> Beach with promises of fire and beer. Hopefully we did not disappoint.

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    <tr><td><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIJvSSbByRI/AAAAAAAAB4g/57fK9kcMjrs/s800/IMGP0307.JPG"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">SUNSET ON THE ST. LUCIE RIVER AT THE HOUSE OF REFUGE (STUART, FL 9/2/2010)</div>
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    <tr><td><object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/ucs02v6q_38?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0x5d1719&amp;color2=0xcd311b"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/ucs02v6q_38?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0x5d1719&amp;color2=0xcd311b" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">BURNIN ON THE HOUSE OF REFUGE BEACH (STUART, FL 9/2/2010)</div>
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    #4
  5. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/101441616403188866046/201009Florida?feat=directlink" target="_blank">Photo Album / Álbum de Fotos</a>&nbsp; - &nbsp;<a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=802243" target="_blank">GPS Track / Recorrido del GPS</a>&nbsp; - &nbsp;<a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=802242" target="_blank">GPS Track of the Hike / Recorrido del GPS de la caminata</a>

    <div align=justify>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I saw many old friends around my home-town over the weekend. I was met with open arms and delicious meals. The KTM shop was closed Labor Day, so I took it easy at the beach. Before that, though, my photographer friend <a href="http://austinbeausoleil.com" target="_blank">Austin</a>, who recently returned from California, joined me to visit <a href="http://dominoshouse.org" target="_blank">Domino's House</a>, a no-kill adoption cattery and animal shelter where another friend and recent roommate Christian was newly hired at.
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    <tr><td><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIshW4U5XVI/AAAAAAAAB6Y/1Lmt1v7vMPg/s1600/IMGP0361.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Emu (<span class="species">Dromaius novaehollandiae</span>) (<a href="http://dominoshouse.org/" target="_blank">Domino's house</a>, Palm City, FL 9/6/2010)</div>
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    Tired Kitten (<a href="http://dominoshouse.org/" target="_blank">Domino's house</a>, Palm City, FL 9/6/2010)</div>
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    macroalgae of the Phylum Rhodophyta (Virginia Forrest Beach, Stuart, FL 9/6/2010)</div>
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    Spiraling Barnacles (Virginia Forrest Beach, Stuart, FL 9/6/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Early Tuesday was my appointment to have the left fork's rebound adjuster repaired along with refreshing the fork oil in both shocks. Joe and the others at <a href="http://www.wmr1.com/" target="_blank">WMR Competition Performance</a> know their KTMs. They handled my bike with precision care. Check out their showroom. I hung out for the ~2 hours it took to be serviced. In that time I got some valuable tips for my trip and I left them with my web link to follow my progress. The servicing didn't completely fix my steering wobble, so I was in search of a scale. An hour later I found myself scratching my head, again. I discovered each of my panniers weighed 39 +/- 0.5 pounds. Since the center of gravity seems as though it needs to be precisely balanced to be rid of the wobble, instead of following an obsessive-compulsive path, I may soon be searching the market for a steering damper.
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    KTM 450 SX-F (Palm City, FL 9/3/2010)</div>
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    KTM 250 XC-FW (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)</div>
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    KTM 450 HC (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)</div>
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    1190 RC8 (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The decision was made to travel 25 miles south to Jupiter with Austin to see two mutual friends, CiCi and Jessica. We stayed the night in the dorms at <a href="http://www.honorscollege.edu" target="_blank">FAU's Jupiter Honors College</a>, and returned to Palm City the next morning with CiCi. We told her the plan, that she was coming with us to Orlando, after we were on the road. She was thrilled. A quick load of laundry in Palm City gave us some clean threads and I a moist cell phone<b>!</b> Miraculously, 30 minutes of blow-drying resuscitated it and we were ready to go. Most of the ride with our car and moto convoy was along Hutchinson Island, a barrier island that lies on South Florida's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_Coast" target="_blank">Treasure Coast</a>.
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    Cruising up Hutchinson Island (Jensen Beach, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant (Fort Pierce, FL 9/8/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A short turn inland soon brought us to our planned destination for the day at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. Off-road travel was prohibited, so we hiked the 1/2 mile to the primitive camp ground. A quick scout of the area revealed a stairway to a dock over the tranquil St. Sebastian River.
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    Beginning hike to set up camp (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    I in the trees, Cici and Austin on the ground (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    Trouser flag on the St. Sebastian River (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Dinner was quick but tasty and the fire helped keep the bugs at bay once the sun had set. As Austin and CiCi took a late-night swim, I found a tree frog that was modeling for me. A cool breeze from the river was with us for most of the night. A few hours before daybreak I was awakened from the cold (70 °F/26 °C), but I was too cozy in my hammock to go out to find a blanket, so I endured it until the sun came up.
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    Austin and CiCi - 4 sec. exposure, no moon, LED flashlight (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    Our mighty flame - .25 sec. exposure (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    Tree frog (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div>
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    Closer Tree frog (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We got up somewhat early to catch the remaining sun rising over the river. We gave our fiercest <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haka" target="_blank">Haka</a> faces for the camera and began our northward hike to the canal. A large portion of our hike was through blackberry patches, but sadly their season had ended <a href="http://motoalsur.blogspot.com/2010/05/halpatiokee.html" target="_blank">months ago</a>.
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    Kyle, Cici, and Austin on the trail (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
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    Trailside (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
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    Grasshopper of the family Acrididae (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
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    Grasslands (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
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    Shrub-like poisonous plant Lantana (<span class="species"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantana_camara" target="_blank">Lantana camara</a></span>) at the end of the canal hike (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div></td></tr></table>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Our 7 mile hike left us famished. We took a quick dip in the river then had lunch. The evening ended with us charming the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manatee" target="_blank">manatees</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_alligator" target="_blank">alligators</a> with our <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo" target="_blank">didgeridoo</a> and guitar. We broke camp early the next morning and after a quick refueling at a market, safely reached our friends' Anthony and Dansir's home in Orlando, FL.
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    <tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIssq4gt9iI/AAAAAAAAB84/Dp-te6QS82A/s1600/IMGP0536.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Sunset from behind on the St. Sebastian River (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
    </td></tr></table><table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIstlwHrTAI/AAAAAAAACA0/zoQoTfotS4c/s1600/IMGP0544.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Didgeridoo and guitar over the river (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)</div>
    </td></tr></table><table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIsuvEoNUvI/AAAAAAAAB9o/UznXUcpRxD0/s1600/IMGP0575.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Poolin` (Orlando, FL 9/10/2010)</div>
    </td></tr></table><table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TIsuwnWO8kI/AAAAAAAAB9w/pMtIoMuoBho/s1600/IMGP0577.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:8px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Kyle makes a splash (Orlando, FL 9/10/2010)</div></td></tr></table></div>
    #5
  6. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thanks zadok and Aussie_Gringo for the encouraging words.

    I made it to Atlanta, GA two days ago. I'll be here for at least another week, before heading to NC then the Tail of the Dragon. I've been stressing over my water situation. I gave away my stainless steel water containers because they were too difficult to safely secure to the bike. Instead, I'll be going with Rotopax's locking mounts and their 1-gallon water containers. They'll arrive in NC next week. One will be attached to the front of each pannier, as I already have the rear taken with Kolpin fuel packs.

    A Scotts steering damper and triple clamp kit is due to arrive here tomorrow. This should stop my 25-35mph steering wobble and alleviate some stress... not to mention pump up my confidence offroad!

    I'll leave this post free of pictures or video. This first page of the thread is getting heavy to load. I hope you all are enjoying my experimenting with my new camera and macro photography.

    Cheers
    #6
  7. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #7
  8. Aussie_Gringo

    Aussie_Gringo The anti-septic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,207
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Beautiful photography kizniche...keep us posted :thumb
    #8
  9. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,385
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    'Looking forward to much more! :clap

    ktm950se
    #9
  10. prometheus rising

    prometheus rising Ghost In The Machine

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    834
    Looking like quite an adventure, have fun, be safe and post often :thumb
    #10
  11. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    This arrived in the mail today.

    [​IMG]

    ...and now in search of a drill.
    #11
  12. ahimsa

    ahimsa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    Australia
    Beautiful photography!
    The algae one is top notch :thumb But I find it hard to read caption.
    I ll be checking for more.
    #12
  13. tiernan

    tiernan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    85
    What kind of camera do you have?
    #13
  14. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Indiana
    i have to own a orange bike soon! Beautiful.
    #14
  15. Taurkon

    Taurkon Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,267
    Location:
    Calgary, Ab
    :freaky Looking forward to this one!
    #15
  16. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/101441616403188866046/201009Georgia?feat=directlink" target="_blank">Photo Album / Álbum de Fotos</a>
    <a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=816389" target="_blank">GPS Track of the Walk Downtown / Recorrido del GPS de la ciudad a pie</a>
    <a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=816142" target="_blank">GPS Track of the Loop / Recorrido del GPS del bucle</a>

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;On Wednesday the 15th, after walking Sara to GSU, I familiarized myself with a small part of downtown Atlanta. I picked up Darwin's first edition of <i><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species" target="_blank">On the Origin of Species</a></i> at <a href="http://www.parkplacebookstore.com" target="_blank">Park Place Bookstore</a> before having a savory salmon wrap at Pixels Café next door. I made my way through <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Olympic_Park" target="_blank">Centennial Olympic Park</a> and saw a performance by the computer controlled Fountain of Rings, before returning to my casa. On Friday, UPS delivered a Scotts steering damper aned triple clamp.

    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJaEonwflcI/AAAAAAAACFQ/YEnVKp9SqWk/s800/IMGP0763.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Moth in Woodruff Park (Atlanta, GA 9/15/2010)</div></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Replacing the upper triple clamp required removing the ignition security bolts. A local Atlanta land trust was able to lend me a drill to do this. Three hours later, I had the upper triple clamp replaced and steering damper mounted. This being my first time working with this bike's steering, I moved slowly to assure everything was done carefully. Besides the right brake line guide for the high fender needing some convincing with a file to fit into its new home, everything came off and went on without a hitch.

    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJVxfQURoaI/AAAAAAAACD4/seSbSEjnF7U/s900/IMGP0798.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Scotts upper triple clamp and steering damper (Atlanta, GA 9/18/2010)</div></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Late this morning I drove <a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=816142" target="_blank">short loop</a> through the forests of north Georgia to get a feel for my new steering. I didn't encounter terrain that was too demanding, but was still able to familiarize myself with how the damper handled on gravel and the street. I was impressed, but the true tests have yet to come.

    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJZVVcNaqtI/AAAAAAAACEU/fsJvQEHHPYg/s900/IMGP0802.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Red Top Mountain State Park (Cartersville, GA 9/19/2010)</div></table>
    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJZVV3nXueI/AAAAAAAACEc/bGRESM_YEtg/s900/IMGP0803.JPG" width="800"><div align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Red Top Mountain State Park (Cartersville, GA 9/19/2010)</div></table>
    #16
  17. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,641
    Location:
    Oregon
    This is a great start. I'm really enjoying your write up and the effort that shows on the detail of your photography.
    Thanks!
    Lion

    #17
  18. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thank you all for the encouragement!


    Thanks. I've changed the font size of the captions on the latest photos. It should be more readable.


    Pentax Optio W90


    Yes! I didn't realize until I saw it for the first time in front of me, that the paint has flake that alters the color when in the sun. It's hard to capture in a photo, but I'll be trying


    By the week's end I expect to be rolling into North Carolina.
    #18
  19. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Georgia
    <center><div align=justify>
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/101441616403188866046/201009Georgia" target="_blank">Georgia Photo Album / Álbum de Fotos de Georgia</a>
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/101441616403188866046/201009NorthCarolina" target="_blank">North Carolina Photo Album / Álbum de Fotos de North Carolina</a>
    <a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=826308" target="_blank">GPS Track of Georgia to North Carolina / Recorrido del GPS de Georgia a North Carolina</a>

    <b><u>2010.09.21 Tuesday</u></b>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This morning I drove to <a href="http://www.cyclespecialty.com" target="_blank">Cycle Specialty</a> to diagnose what appeared to be the symptoms of an oil pressure problem. With the engine warm, coming to a stop from the engine having been wound up (mid to high RPM), the idle would occasionally drop 300-400 RPM to ~1050 RPM, the oil pressure light to flicker, and a rhythmic metal on metal noise to emanate from the engine. A quick twist of the throttle would sometimes relieve the problem for the rest of the stop, but sometimes I would have to hold it at ~2000 RPM. From the stop, once the RPMs climbed above the lowered idle, the noise and flickering oil light would subside.
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There were a number of things I considered after some research on <a href="http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=34" target="_blank">ADVRider</a>... Too low of an idle was not the cause, as I was meticulous about my idle mixture, carburetor synchronizing, and idle. A clogged oil filter was out, as it was new and clean. A tear in the oil return hose wasn't it, as there was no oil leaking. The oil wasn't low or old, as it was replaced ~2k mi ago with 10w-50 fully synthetic with the level periodically checked since. This left the likely culprit to be either a sticking check valve in the oil return hose, a weak oil bypass valve spring, the cam chain tensioners needing replacement, or something else. The tech suggested the Scotts stainless steel oil filter (which I had installed a few months ago, around the time this problem began to appear) may be causing the problem. A quick and cheap way to rule this out was to replace the SS filter with a standard paper filter. I used their shaded garage to change my filter, and after a quick ride, couldn't reproduce the problem. Voila!

    <u><b>2010.09.22 Wednesday</u></b>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Beer is my fermented beverage of choice. I suppose I can pinpoint when and where I first really discovered good beer; it was when I was 19 in Bavaria, Germany. This was while <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/101441616403188866046/2005EuropeanTour" target="_blank">touring Europe with my mother on BMW R1150R motorcycles</a>, through Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria during the summer of 2005. A few years after that, I started brewing beer in small 5 gallon batches (roughly 53-12oz bottles), producing quite a few brews since then. I've brewed stouts (an Irish stout, a cream stout and a wheat-stout), a Belgian ale (fermenting it with yeast harvested from my favorite beer, <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/215/672" target="_blank">Chimay</a>), an IPA, and two hard ciders (one fermented with honey, açaí juice, and whole organic cherries, and the other with whole blueberries and whole raspberries).
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So, when I was asked if I wanted to tour the <a href="http://www.sweetwaterbrew.com" target="_blank">Sweetwater Brewery</a> in Atlanta, GA., I couldn't resist. What the tour was lacking, the bar made up for. Their Sweetwater IPA is their most well-known beer. It has a crisp citrus flavor, a strong hop aroma with a moderately hoppy flavor, and at a reasonable 6.7% ABV (alcohol by volume), it's definitely the most drinkable as well as my favorite of their brews.

    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td> <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9o3ldDCkI/AAAAAAAACXE/mBdX-v69W0I/s900/IMGP0870-2.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Sara, checking the tap for deliciousness (Sweetwater Brewery, Atlanta, GA 9/22/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJvMwI--P2I/AAAAAAAACSg/OuP-jOj8bGk/s900/IMGP0858.JPG" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Fermenters and filling machine (Sweetwater Brewery, Atlanta, GA 9/22/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJvMxRXzhdI/AAAAAAAACSo/NGw6G8zg2No/s900/IMGP0859.JPG" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Boxing machine (Sweetwater Brewery, Atlanta, GA 9/22/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuo-zYvOjI/AAAAAAAACWw/UksvGIeAxkc/s900/IMGP0872.JPG" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Bartender Pouring a sweetwater IPA (Sweetwater Brewery, Atlanta, GA 9/22/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <u><b>2010.09.23 Thursday</u></b>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD" target="_blank">Salvador Dali</a> was a 20th Century surrealist painter and artist. Although I lived in Florida for the majority of my life, and adored Dalí's work, I never made the 200 mile trek to the <a href="http://www.salvadordalimuseum.org" target="_blank">Dalí Museum</a> in St. Petersburg, FL. When I found out the <a href="http://www.high.org" target="_blank">High Museum of Art</a> here in Atlanta was exhibiting works from his last 40 years, I couldn't miss it.

    <table border=0 align=center>
    <tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhiVeK9XI/AAAAAAAACL4/Hv5bqvY9Uk4/s900/IMGP0873.JPG" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    HIGH Museum of Art, Dalí: The Late Work (Atlanta, GA 9/23/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Photography is prohibited in the Dalí exhibit, but here is some of what I saw, from other sources.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhe_MIvhI/AAAAAAAACLc/Av5p76V6jgs/s900/Halsman-Dali-Mustache-RDY.jpg"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:686px;">
    Dalí's known for his eccentric Mustache (Phillippe Halsman, 1953)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhqO7xbfI/AAAAAAAACMc/KpNgk8QuXsE/s900/Dali%20Atomicus%20%28Philippe%20Halsman%20and%20Salvador%20Dali%2C%201948%29.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Dali Atomicus (Phillippe Halsman and Salvador Dalí, 1948)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhYFxdf7I/AAAAAAAACLE/W-eVDtTZjlw/s1100/Voluptas%20Mors.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Salvador Dalí portrait, in Voluptas Mors (Phillippe Halsman and Salvador Dalí, 1951)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The enormity and detail of these paintings can't be properly expressed with images on a computer screen. If you ever come across a Dalí exhibit, don't hesitate to stop and see it. Standing at 20 feet, it demands your focus. They are both intensely serious and playful. Notice how Dalí incorporate biblical imagery into his paintings, such as bread, fish, bibles, and ostrich eggs (their egg, so large they could sometimes be incubated by the sun instead of the bird, were sometimes born alone, thus associated with a virgin birth).

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhgV2auuI/AAAAAAAACRY/brm9gBX_Xko/s881/Dali-Madonna-of-Port-Lligat-RDY.jpg" width="640"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:640px;">
    The Madonna of Port Lligat, Oil on Canvas, 144 x 96 inches (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, 1950)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At 10 inches, they are another painting all together, with incredible detail. I secretly hoped to find a ladder to examine every part of his colossal works.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhfnOXtOI/AAAAAAAACRQ/rJ9Q7AAjW98/s1000/Dali-Madonna-of-Port-Lligat-CLS.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    The Madonna of Port Lligat (in Detail), Oil on Canvas (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, 1950)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhlk8Yv5I/AAAAAAAACRs/TIBnjJgS9Z0/s1600/Dali-Santiago-el-Grande-RDY.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Santiago El Grande, Oil on Canvas, 160.5 x 120 inches (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, 1957)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhnaKbI-I/AAAAAAAACMQ/lZXlJeCb0V4/s900/Dali-HoneyisSweeter-RDY.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Honey is Sweeter than Blood, Oil on Canvas, 20 x 24 inches (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, 1941)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhqywIXfI/AAAAAAAACMk/Ms9_Gsu70_U/s1500/Christ%20of%20Saint%20John%20of%20the%20Cross.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Christ of Saint John of the Cross, Oil on Canvas, 80.7 in × 45.67 inches (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí ,1951)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhj0R9OVI/AAAAAAAACMA/jtHJBncipLc/s900/Dali-Tiger-RDY.jpg" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Fifty Abstract Paintings Which as Seen from Two Yards Change into Three Lenins Masquerading as Chinese and as Seen from Six Yards Appear as the Head of a Royal Bengal Tiger, Oil on canvas, 200 x 229 inches (Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, 1963)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The majority of my time was spent in the Dalí exhibit, but I didn't leave before taking a walk through the rest of the museum and getting a few photos.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ-P0otOKcI/AAAAAAAACdE/q_MOTupax4E/s900/IMGP0876.JPG"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:675px;">
    Sculpture (unknown info) (HIGH Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 9/23/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJuhZhjc3LI/AAAAAAAACXc/rLvCeIP2PpA/s900/IMGP0920.JPG" width="800"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    African Mask (HIGH Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 9/23/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <u><b>2010.09.24 Friday</u></b>

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The drive to North Carolina had clear skies and cool weather. My engine problem I thought was fixed presented itself while stopping at a gas station outside the North Carolina border, and once in dense traffic inside the state. Although it came about twice, where it would have done many more times had the metal oil filter been installed, I am still dissatisfied with it happening at all, and I'm again in the search for a solution.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ6Yg6WSXgI/AAAAAAAACT4/e_AkYTyNTnQ/s900/IMGP0933.JPG" width=800><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    The smokey mountains (North Carolina, 9/24/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In Highlands, NC., I noticed my spongy rear brake had now completely died. I knew I would need all the braking I could afford for the twisties ahead. A similar problem in the past with this bike allowed water to contaminate my fluid, and this time was no different. The gasket that seals the reservoir is deformed, possibly from heat, and was displacing more brake fluid than usual. This, I suspect, was causing the seal problem. A quick flush with new brake fluid returned use to my pedal.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9pkV6aCGI/AAAAAAAACXo/LN12bKamJU0/s800/IMGP0936.JPG"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Relaxing in the shade with OJ after flushing the rear brake fluid of water (Highlands, NC 9/24/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I reached my destination for the night, in Candler, NC., where my father and his girlfriend were awaiting my arrival. Our stomachs lead us to a vegan restaurant in downtown Asheville, <a href="http://rosettaskitchen.com" target="_blank">Rosetta's Kitchen</a>, where I had a delicious grilled portabella with potatoes, gravy and sautéed kale, washed down with a savory <a href="http://www.duckrabbitbrewery.com" target="_blank">Duck-rabbit</a> brown ale. This being Friday, we couldn't pass up coming downtown without stopping in Pritchard Park for the weekly drum circle. Unexpectedly, I ran into a friend I haven't seen in over a year, Greg. We talked a bit and listened to some music before giving him a web link to follow my trip and calling it a night.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9p_hSSQHI/AAAAAAAACYA/jdxOzSXLMm0/s800/IMGP0940.JPG"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Drum circle in Pritchard Park, Downtown (Asheville, NC 9/24/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <u><b>2010.09.25 Saturday</u></b>

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A set of <a href="http://www.rotopax.com" target="_blank">rotopax</a> water containers and lockable mounts were waiting for me to install at my father's house in Weaverville. My stainless steel water bottles turned out to be too cumbersome and difficult to secure to my bile, and were left with my friends Austin and Cici in Florida. This happened from a mix of bad planning and high expectations, and another water storage option would have to be used. Five hours in the garage, two trips to Lowe's, a set of foot-long subs, and here is the result.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ6YyRlyL9I/AAAAAAAACUQ/-Yxf8e2LF8Q/s800/IMGP0957.JPG"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Father's Workshop (Weaverville, NC 9/25/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9qOI-a63I/AAAAAAAACYg/IOgHipMCBlw/s900/IMGP0963.JPG"><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:675px;">
    Agua! (Weaverville, NC 9/24/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9qMHI_zMI/AAAAAAAACYQ/ZUBz6i1PQFQ/s900/IMGP0962.JPG" width=800><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Mas agua! (Weaverville, NC 9/25/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My father gave me a piece of dense foam I had been eyeing, to fabricate something I had in mind for a while. My tire spoons now live under my seat. There's still room to hold future tools.

    <table border=0 align=center><tr><td> <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TJ9qPk3VNzI/AAAAAAAACYo/ZjFwPTml29Q/s900/IMGP0965.JPG" width=800><div class="caption" align=left style="line-height:1.4em;letter-spacing:.2em;font-size:9px;margin-bottom:15px;width:800px;">
    Under-seat storage, now with tire spoons (Candler, NC 9/24/2010)</div></td></tr></table>
    </div></center>
    #19
  20. Lee C

    Lee C Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,751
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    :clap Great spot for the Tire Irons Ride safe and Enjoy:1drink
    #20