The Mobius Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.

  1. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    We were clearly in the South. The humidity was higher... We got a little late start, and then realized that we had gained an hour by crossing the time line into central. You know you're on vacation when you don't know what time it is. :thumb

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    Today was the day that we encountered a few set-backs, dealt with them, and reminded ourselves that we were capable of dealing with such things... An exercise in anxiety reduction. That and the fact that we were still making better time than we thought we might, even on the dirt.

    Our first obstacle was this:

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    They must have escaped from a field... unlike the cattle out west who apparantly are much more territorial when it comes to defending their right to be on the road, these eastern varients just ran away.

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    A little ways further, we encountered a bridge out. No signs, nothing...:yikes

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    Mr. Happy puppet makes his first, but not last appearance for the day, boosting morale, and making the world safe for democracy. Easy go-around that added less than a mile to our day. No biggie.

    What next? A downhill, off-camber left hand sweeping curve on loose gravel. The dust had been picking up as the morning moisture burned off in the sun. I'm following LDF pretty close to stay out of her dust-wake. There's a barbed-wire fence on the far side of the curve, I see her questioning her speed going into the turn. She starts to brake, straighten her line, I'm thinking... "her front wheel is going to wash out..." Sure enough, she's scrubbed off a fair amount of speed, but the wheel lets go of the road, and she's down.

    Next thing I know, BAM!... I'M DOWN TOO!

    :eek1

    How did that happen? Turns out, I was mirroring her actions, and basically while watching her crash, was sort of riding her ride. :dunno It was the weirdest thing...

    Damage:

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    I scraped my hand, we spilled a little gas. Shaken up a little. Picked up the bikes, dusted ourselves off. Debriefed.

    The accident scene:

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    Back on our way.

    After about another hour of riding, we were on some twisty pavement for a few miles, connecting dirt roads. We picked up the pace a little, and my bike started to feel squirly. I signaled LDF to stop, and looked it over... seemed good. Rode a little further and realized my front tire was low. :scratch

    Since we were on a blind curve, I rode up to the intersection a ways ahead and stopped. It was flat.

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    Looked for something to support the bike... rock, log, ... nothing. :cry

    We know the drill from flats on the big bikes. Unload luggage, loosened the front axle, and then I just placed the bike on it's side and got the wheel off. :dunno

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    It ended up being near total breakdown of the tube around the valve stem... the tube at first seemed almost rotted, but if I rubbed the grittness off it (probably from the inside of the tire, actually, it seemed healthy:

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    In retrospect, I think any puncture or tear around the valve stem area has to be a tire/rim slippage issue until proven otherwise. I wasn't running a rim lock on the front (2 on the rear), but there will be one going on when we go back to the bikes in September for sure. Hard front braking with the extra weight of the luggage is just asking for trouble.

    Don't want no trouble. :deal

    We prayed for better luck:

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    And tried to salvage some miles from what was left of the day.
    #41
  2. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    We spent the rest of the day playing catch-up:

    Riding on the levees in MS...

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    Getting comfortable with speed on gravel again :wink:.

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    :D
    #42
  3. Mandarax

    Mandarax internet insultant

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    gone
    Thanks for the info. Getting my hands on a specimen will be hard, I'm living on the other side of the big water in the old world.
    #43
  4. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    This one made me laugh:

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    Closer...

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    So the guy is clearing some trees at the side of the road. We haven't seen anyone for miles. It started to seem like the only vehicles on these roads were the occasional piece of heavy equipment that was there to keep the road open for.... what... heavy equipment to be able to ride in to keep the road open?

    So we sit there for a couple of minutes waiting for him to acknowledge us, maybe stop throwing tree limbs around for a few seconds while we passed... but Noooooo.

    The rig is loud, the cab is closed, maybe he's got earplugs in, I don't know. We're just out of his line of sight. We honk our horns, wave... nada. He moved forward a little on his own, and finally we just timed it, and scooted around behind him. :dunno

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    That was nearly the extent of our social interaction with other humans for the day.

    :rofl
    #44
  5. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    The casino is the approved lodging for those doing the TAT on the schedule that Sam has laid out. We passed on it, and figured we could pack some more miles in for the day despite our earlier delays.

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    Welcome to Arkansas, indeed.

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    The traffic was almost like home:

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    #45
  6. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    LDF tearing it up:

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    Rest area:

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    Fresh:

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    It's little scenes like the above that set me thinking on a trip like this. The next half hour, 20 miles, 4 or 5 songs on the iPod... mostly thinking about mortality. Then see something else, and the internal dialog changes subjects. It's a way of interacting with the environment and surroundings that doesn't happen when stationary, doesn't happen when moving in an airplane, or interstate. Sometimes I'd save the thought, and later at dinner I'd remember and Francine and I would discuss it.

    I'm not sure how helmet intercoms might change this dynamic. :dunno I kind of like it how it is. Instant gratification vs. instant Karma.

    "Instant Karma's gonna get you,
    Gonna knock you right on the head,
    You better get yourself together,
    Pretty soon you're gonna be dead..."
    #46
  7. Nichelob

    Nichelob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    On one small patch of rubber
    :lurk
    #47
  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    for heavy equipment's sake.

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    Flooding had damaged a drainage pipe, they were tearing it out. We could have ridden around if they had let us. But they wouldn't. Not even when I told them we had ridden all the way from New York City, and now we would have to turn around and go back.

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    A quick check with the GPS showed an alternate road that took us only a mile or two out of our way.
    #48
  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    This part of Arkansas had been slammed all spring with rain, and had some of the worst flooding in years. We started to see evidence of it. The White river at Clarendon is where CNN and the other networks were broadcasting reports out of. I think this is it:

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    #49
  10. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    In NYC, for some reason people are always asking us for directions. Maybe it's our wholesome non-threatening midwestern approachability. :dunno

    But out here?

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    It's gotten a little overcast & windy.

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    There's no one out here...

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    We approach this guy in a pick-up who sticks his arm out and waves frantically:

    "Does this road connect to CR-317?" (or something, I don't remember exactly).

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    I turn off my music, and start scrolling around the GPS. He's got a thousand questions: Are you really from New York? Did you ride all the way from there? What are you doing out here? Do you have GPS on those bikes? etc,

    So while answering his questions, I figure out that he can take a second road that we passed and cut off a couple of miles and get to the highway quicker. I explain the directions and he says... "I was just on the phone with my daughter and told her I was lost out here... wait 'till I tell her I got directions from a couple from New York City!... and I was born not far from here!"

    He really got a kick out of that. I wonder what cell service he was getting, though.

    Probably whatever company has their towers way up on Mount Pleasant:

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    #50
  11. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
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    When the wind picks up in the flatlands, and you need a rest, it's not enough to just stop. You have to stop and get out of the wind. I can't explain it any better than that. It's just exhausting, and you need to get out of it, away from it to rest.

    This was just a prelude to what we would experience on the other side of the Ozarks.

    See that tree-line in the distance? We agreed to take a break there.

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    As we were stopped by the side of the road, we saw this van, tucked in the trees. Shelter from the wind is not really an issue if you're in a closed vehicle, is it? This guy was just hiding... :yikes What was he doing in there? It was creepy as hell. What was that about? :eek1

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    #51
  12. Black06LJ

    Black06LJ ZRX1200R Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Keep it coming! I love my blue DRZ-S. Nice to see others enjoying theirs and sharing their experiances.
    #52
  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    We pushed on to Beebe, AR. The forecast was for rain, so we got a room at a motel. The desk clerk recommended a all-you-can-eat fried catfish restaurant, and we got there only a half-hour before closing.

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    That's the only evidence. It was delicious. As was the bread pudding, made with real 'nilla wafers:

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    My God we were hungry :D.

    The chef:

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    And sure enough, as predicted, rain started just as we were getting into bed.

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    The day's stats:

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    #53
  14. wickedthunder.com

    wickedthunder.com Who's leading?!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    495
    Location:
    Lenoir, NC
    Great RR. As a fellow DRZ owner and general Noob to all this I'm loving it! Got a couple buddies doing the TAT in July and wish I could go with, but work & finances will not let me get away...maybe one day. Glad to see it can be manageable on a DRZ! Keep it coming...:D

    :lurk
    #54
  15. rich_mc

    rich_mc Full Fledged MEM-Ber

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,218
    Location:
    Ohio
    I love this idea....I'm anxious to see how the transitions between the different legs of the trip go....

    Keep it coming!!!
    #55
  16. woodworkernyc

    woodworkernyc dirty

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    North East PA
    Reminds me of my favorite plate:
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    Interested to know how the MT-21 is holding up at this point - how many miles of tar to get down to TN?

    Great report - keep it coming!!
    #56
  17. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
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    Just a great day of riding :bow.

    But first, I had to make a phone call. I had been keeping track of maintenance and figuring when would be a good day to stop and take care of stuff. On the list so far was LDF's sprockets & chain needed replacing, a new front tire for me, a new spare front tube, oil changes, and air filter cleaning.

    I figured we could ride through the weekend, and with luck, get to Liberal, KS by monday. I called ahead to Milhon Cycle, and made sure that they had a front knobby for my bike that they would hang on to.

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    They did :thumb and we would pick up a front spare tube there as well. A calculated risk, but I figured if we got another front flat, plan A would be to patch it, plan B to run the spare rear tube in the front, plan C, leave the bike with the flat and the other bike gets ridden god knows how far to fetch a new tube.

    [BTW, has anyone ever tried temporarily running the largest width 21" bicycle tube as a front tube on a moto? I wonder if that would work, as you could pick up one of those in almost any hardware store. :dunno]

    We'll call that plan W. :brow
    #57
  18. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    Tar NYC to TN: 185 + 444 + 358 = 987 miles

    That took Bobby's half worn D606 and finished it.

    New rear MT-21's mounted in TN, ~2400 miles to Albuquerque, they're about cooked...

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    Mine are worse than LDF's... I have a heavier ass & wrist than she does, I guess :dunno. I picked up a new front for her in Alb which I couldn't mount as I need a bmf wrench to loosen her front axle bolt. :doh

    I'm hoping to get over the CO sections and into Moab where we'll be due for another maintenance day and change the rears there. I'll be contacting Fred @ Arrowhead a few weeks before we leave. They'll be toast for sure by then.
    #58
  19. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    This hardly ever happened. :brow I caught one on film. :doh

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    I am in so much trouble. :hide
    #59
  20. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,540
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
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    #60