Tiffany Ambling through America

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Tiffany, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Daryl, right from the word go on the bike trips it's been light packing for me and for my pillion rider- yep, all the stuff for two people including full camping and cooking gear fits into those boxes.
    Although to be honest, I'm not sure my "pizza box" on the back would be described as streamlined:D
  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    We're setting up the slideshow as I type. I'm upstairs in the office area, while Thelma is down in the service department, they seemed to think that having handlebars that don't sit straight is a bit of an issue:huh

    So the guys have set to work

    [​IMG]


    I think I will owe Jeff a few drinks later:freaky

    Looking forward to meeting Mike and the others this evening, the Canadians have already arrived, having ridden through a major storm to get here. Thelma and I have scrubbed up for this event, but she is doing better than I am.
  3. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603

    Tiffany
    I consider 'Streamlined' as not having stuff strapped here and there all over the bike, its all contained. Like a UltraLight backpacker, one needs to separate their needs from their wants. It's a skilled traveler who can do more with less and this can be a real point of pride. Plus its allot easier to manage less stuff.

    Ride Safe!
    daryl
  4. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Joe got into the swing of things and started spraying the twisted and dented petrol tank

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    To prove I was taking my boiler-suited role seriously, here I am having a skype conversation with my sister in England, still in work clothes, which as I was on video mode she was able to see and appreciate

    [​IMG]
    Back out into the open-air workshop and even the topbox had a facelift

    [​IMG]

    We start piecing everything back together

    [​IMG]

    which takes a while as nothing seems to fit!!:D

    Meanwhile, Joe is still spraying

    [​IMG]
  5. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Two pairs of hands are needed for this tricky bit


    [​IMG]

    we're getting there

    [​IMG]


    almost done
  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Finishing touches

    [​IMG]

    and then I'm off to Ojai as Thelma has an appointment there

    with these guys

    [​IMG]

    This is Adrian, the maestro of BMW seats, he works at Bill Mayers Saddles, and here he is putting the finishing touches to my new GS Adventure seat.

    [​IMG]

    at the end of it all

    [​IMG]

    Thelma looks fantastic and they decided I needed a bit of smartening up too and gave me a new t-shirt.

    Huge thanks to Joe, Lara, Erdem, Sarah, Rob, Adrian and the rest of the guys at Bill Mayers.

    Thelma and I are ready for the road once more.
  7. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,390
    Location:
    Easton Wa
    Crossed paths with Tiffany outside a Safeway in North Bend, Wa.

    It was nice talking with Tiffany. If you ever need a place to crash or work on the bike up there in Easton, WA. Drop me line.
    Good luck on your travels. See ya around.

    Dave
  8. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Hi Dave
    It was good to see another airhead in the carpark and nice to meet you. Many thanks for the offer of accommodation, I'll let you know if I'm heading back through that way.
    safe riding
    Tiffany
  9. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    With Thelma looking good, we headed down to the beach, in search of a certain sign...

    [​IMG]

    OK, so I hadn't actully ridden the whole route, but I HAD ridden from Phoenix to Chicago and then down to LA all within the last two weeks.
    and there was a familiar face, Gary aka Bear who also works as a motorcycle guide, he specialise in Route 66 and we'd last met at a bike show in England last year.

    [​IMG]

    I headed over to the Santa Monica pier, as I needed proper proof that I had reacched the Pacific Ocean (I live on the coastline of the Atlantic in England)

    [​IMG]

    lunch at Bubba Gump's and I saw this old advertising sign which seemed very apt for those who have just ridden Route 66, not sure if it was just a joke

    [​IMG]
  10. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Thelma and I headed down to the beach, I was tempted to have a quick ride on the sand but thought I might get told off:thumb
    [​IMG]

    Leaving the ocean behind I headed out onto the concrete jungle that forms LA's freeway system. It's something that we hear about in films and on the telly, but it's not until you're in the solid queues of traffic that you appreciate just how bad the congestion is. I went into Brit biker mode and filtered through (lane splitting as it is called over here)

    headed out towards the desert

    [​IMG]


    some distance down the road noticed the lines of wind turbines on the hilltops around me, it was a bit eerie and made me feel like a lone wagon in the last century surrounded by native Indians.
    Everywhere I looked there seemed to be turbines

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course the key thing about wind turbines is that they are usually built in places where there is a LOT of wind:huh so not a pleasing sight. I held on tight ready for the gusts but I was in luck, it was a rare wind-free day in the valley, and I soon arrived in Palm Springs at my friend's house.

    [​IMG]

    A warning that it would be a flying visit...a quick catch up on 18 months of chat and happenings, a great Mexican meal with very nice margaritas (sorry, we seem to have lost the photo of the margaritas!) and then I was up and on the road at 5.30am:eek1 making the most of the relatively cool temperatures at that time of the morning.
    As I set off down the road, only the dog was up to see me off

    [​IMG]

    I was heading to Flagstaff and had a lot of miles to cover that day, with a lot of desert to cross.
  11. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,827
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Boy, you DID get lucky with the wind!! I've been in full-blown sandstorms up near Palm Springs, I'd be scared to ever take a bike through there! :lol3 Enjoy Flagstaff, should be a teensy bit cooler than the desert. :thumb
  12. dfhepner

    dfhepner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    San Jose, CA, USA
    I found that the crash bars cause more damage on an AirHead than the prevent. On my R75/6 they tweaked the frame and cracked open the valve cover when the crash bars came in contact with someone rear bumper at low speed.
  13. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Flagstaff was to be my destination, I was heading for the Overland Expo
    As I looked at my odometer, I realised that I'd managed to cover over 5,000 miles in the four weeks since I had left Phoenix, and yet I was just 120 miles from my starting point.
    I knew I was heading in the right direction when I saw vehicles like this

    [​IMG]

    Then, while I was at a petrol station, two bikes did a U-turn and pulled up, they had recognised Thelma - she's getting so famous that before I know it she'll be asking for her own Facebook page. The riders were Mark Ordway and Gaurav Jani who had literally just flown in from Delhi, loaded his stuff onto a borrowed GS and headed up to the Expo. I tagged along with them (I'm sure I was invited!)

    [​IMG]

    I requested some off-roading, Mark knows many of the trails in this part of the world and we headed up Schnebly Hill Road

    As always, I didn't slow to take photos on the gnarly bits, just too busy hanging on. Further up we stopped for a break and I got some pictures

    [​IMG]


    just lost the rest of this page as the computer crashed..off to make pasties for tea, I'll finish this section later
  14. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,076
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky

    ...better the computer crashed than you.....
  15. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    As we headed up the Schnebly Hill Trail, we saw some other riders, this is Gaspard from San Diego (or possibly SoCal), not sure if he's on ADV Rider, but if anyone knows him, I've got a couple more pictures of him riding the trail on my facebook.

    [​IMG]

    we paused to look at the great views

    [​IMG]

    Thelma was looking particularly immaculate that day...just an hour before I got driven off the gravel by a small pick-up truck

    Gaurav was tearing up the trail- no sign of jet lag

    [​IMG]

    we made it to Mormon Lake, a great setting for an event like this

    [​IMG]

    There were travellers everywhere... in trucks, buses and even an old ambulance as well as the many on bikes. I saw quite a few familiar faces, including Austin Vince and Ted Simon, I tried to keep a low profile as the last time I'd seen those two, I got a bit silly after my second glass of wine and was last seen sitting on Ted's precious original Triumph from Jupiter's Travels whilst wearing a pair of Austin's wife's knickers on my head:huh

    Luckily no mention was made of the occasion, and in fact Ted even had a few kind words to say about Thelma

    [​IMG]

    I gave various talks and taught some classes, generally having a ball of a time. I wondered over to the vehicle driving track to watch some of the big trucks in action

    [​IMG]

    looking at the way they were driving, I was glad I travel on a bike

    [​IMG]

    some were getting rescued

    [​IMG]

    I, rather foolishly jumped into a land rover with Jeff Simpson, who was having a go at the tippy over course (it probably has a more technical name than that) I sat in the back, kept quiet, took photos and wondered why on earth I had voluntarily got in as the whole vehicle tipped from one side to the other.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I informed Jeff that my Mum wouldn't be too happy if he tipped this thing over with me in it:ddog
  16. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    There was a petting zoo
    I'm quite fond of goats so went in to say hello

    [​IMG]

    It didn't seem quite so keen on the whole petting thing

    [​IMG]

    there were even bison

    [​IMG]


    which to my disappointment were not in the petting zoo, but then I saw the adult ones and realised why

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    a bit big and nasty looking.

    Entertainment was provided by the Camel Trophy guys who built a raft

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    it didn't look the most stable or safe of craft, and guess what they were planning to do with it??

    [​IMG]

    That's right, they're going to try and float a Land Rover across the pond on it- if it was unsuccessful, guess who was chief understudy??
    Yep, Thelma, who was waiting in the wings ready to be called forward.
    we all watched with bated breath as the Land Rover inched onto the raft

    [​IMG]

    and then cheered as it floated across

    [​IMG]

    celebrations that evening with the Camel Trophy team

    [​IMG]

    and then on the final evening a solar eclipse- I've never seen one before.

    [​IMG]

    This second picture almost looks like a fake or pretend eclipse, but I can assure you that it's a genuine eclipse.

    [​IMG]
  17. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    All the fun and sociability was put aside the next day, when I said my goodbyes and headed off on my own once more, I headed north. Later looking for a place to camp, I decided maybe this was not a good spot

    [​IMG]

    I managed to find a great place, near Page in northern Arizona

    [​IMG]

    I used the local Burger King as my "office" for the evening

    [​IMG]

    Checking emails and planning a route for the next few days- for those who are wondering what's up?? how come Tiffany is PLANNING??
    well the event I was heading to the following weekend was the Adventure Summit and it was to be a competition with points awarded for adventure routes ridden to it. I soon had my competitive head on and was looking at maps to work out my best route

    waking up in the morning, I found I was right next to this huge dam

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    no riding along the edge of the dam-style stunts for me, a nice bridge instead

    [​IMG]

    if you have vertigo, I would not recommend this route.

    I then tried to fond somewhere to get a cup of tea but it was still early morning and the cafe was not open. They had a sign with their opening hours outside which a young couple were examining and looking at their watches. We then had quite a surreal conversation about the time as they were telling me that Arizona is two hours different from Texas (their home) and so the cafe should be open according to their watches, while I was saying that Arizona is eight hours behind England and we were too early according to my watch. Leaving them to wait I rode on..

    what a nice State sign

    [​IMG]

    and what a great warning sign- watch out for people driving this type of vehicle as they obviously don't know how to use the brakes

    [​IMG]

    I felt the title "Hazards of rough terrain" understated things a bit.

    the next sign was even better..what an invitation

    [​IMG]

    I looked round and the only witness was this little fellow



    [​IMG]

    It was a great ride through the desert landscape, the sand wasn't too bad, but then I found out why it was supposed to be closed, as I came around a corner, this was in front of me

    [​IMG]

    and getting closer

    [​IMG]



    they seemed to realise that reverse is possibly not my forte and turned aside

    [​IMG]

    they then flattened things down a bit and I rode through with quite a bit of paddling (and for all those who thought they only helped because I'm a woman, well think again, because the bulldozer drivers thought I was a bloke until I took my helmet off a bit later)

    and why did I take off my helmet, well the dust and dirt had been wetted to reduce dust, which resulted in Thelma's tyres looking like this

    [​IMG]

    with a complete lack of grip, Thelma ended up like this

    [​IMG]

    not one of my prouder moments, but you know what I was too tired to care. One of the drivers saw what had happened and drove over to help.
    A big thank you to Doug for his assistance, I'd been struggling a while on my own, but as the mud was so deep, I was just sinking deeper into it the more I tried to lift up Thelma. With his help we soon had her upright

    [​IMG]

    and I rode off a bit more gingerly.
  18. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
  19. iloco

    iloco Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    291
    Location:
    Chilhowie, Va
    Tiffany will you be anywhere near Va on your travels this summer.
    I enjoy your reports. :clap
  20. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Hi iloco
    Pleased to hear that you've been enjoying my RR's (wait till you hear where the next one is going to be from)

    In the meantime, in response to your question, I'm feeling somewhat proud that I know Va is Virginia (unless someone corrects me). Someone had to recently correct me about Omaha, which I thought was the name of a State (I blame the Counting Crows for that little misapprehension)
    I don't think my travels take me in your direction, but here's a list of the upcoming places and dates

    14th June - Horizons Unlimited Mini Meet- Vancouver, Canada (yep, that's tonight:D) looking forward to this one as there are some other overland riders in town including Miquel Silvestre

    22nd-24th June - Tynda Burning MotoMan, Eugene, Oregon ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php

    27th June - Alt Rider, Seattle http://www.altrider.com/

    7th July - Horsepower Farm, Austin, Texas http://www.horsepower-farm.com/

    12th July - Pack and Paddle, Lafayette, Louisiana packpaddle.com/events-and-trips/

    19th-22nd July - BMW Owners' Rally, Sedalia, Missouri www.bmwmoa.org/rally12

    and home out of New York 30th July, there might be a NY talk/presentation, waiting to hear back from the guys there- unless any of you can suggest somewhere?

    I'm not sure what my closest point to Va would be, if you're a BMW rider I might catch you at the MOA National Rally. Otherwise it will have to wait until next time I'm over.
    Ride Safe