VIOLA-TING AMERICA - Chasing the dream of music and motos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by viola-tor, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    West Sacramento, CA

    Hey!!! I recognize that bike!! :D I was worried about the top box staying on. But it looks like it survived the trip.

    More please...
    #61
  2. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    It looks like the KAT (as in KAT-OOM!!!) is out of the bag! Yes. :evil

    Orange. Powerful. Excessive. Obscene, even. My new partner in crime is indeed the mighty KTM 990 Adventure, the bike I’ve been lusting over since discovering ADVrider and purchasing Neduro’s clever DSR dvd. Damn you all for contributing to my madness!!! :lol3:super

    After Gary dropped me off defeated at my doorstep I had some tough decisions to make: Do I fix my bike? That’ll take a week at least, and MULAH. I could delay the trip, but that sucks, THIS is my time! (Summer only comes around once a year, ya know...) Perhaps I can find a suitable used bike in the Texas area to start the trip on, like tomorrow...

    I’ve been squirreling away my meager musician money for years, for the future and also for a new bike/gear. Throughout my life I tend to horde my money, foregoing small pleasures so I can live BIG. This has played itself out time and time again from childhood through the present. I can (and do) live on Clif bars and mixed nuts, and I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes (moto gear being an exception), but when it comes to my tools I’m extremely motivated to have nice equipment that is suited to me, be it instruments or motorcycles. After extensive research the KTM 990 Adventure (with ABS) stood out as the only choice for me (the BMW R1200GS is also an obvious pick, but Big Orange ultimately revealed it’s self to be “the one” for various reasons).

    Could I have chosen something more fitting a man of my means? Sure, and I probably should have. The venerable KLR is an obvious pick, and I sure do like that tall Honda XR650. My mind has this hang up about ABS, however, which complicates things and narrows the options. There are a lot of passionate riders who are anti-ABS, but it’s very important to me, and buying a bike that doesn’t have it would be a “downgrade” from my BMW in safety, so that rules out every thumper (except the BMW F650) and the KTM 950 Adventure, which is a damn shame ‘cause I’ve seen some screamin’ deals on that one over in the flea-market. When I started looking at the prices for “newish” dual sports (such as the KLR and DR650) I was surprised at how much I’d have to pay for a highway-worthy bike. I want what I want and I know I won’t be happy with a sub-50 HP single after coming from 100+ horse power... 990. That’s it, or I stick with what I have. Upgrade to the new bike I truly want or repair the one I have, nothing in between. Riding is about passion, so why would I ride a bike I don’t love? Okay let’s check the flea-market...

    What’s this?!? Inmate Bwana just listed his nearly-new, tricked-out 990 Adventure, probably about the time my rear bearing was giving out. Drip, drip, drip...

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    Too perfect! The only hitch is that he (and more importantly the bike) are in Sacramento, CA...

    Last season I was holding down two jobs, one of which was the Principal Viola position with the Tucson Symphony, so I had to fly a lot. It was the rock-star lifestyle, except without the rock, money, fame, drugs, groupies, fancy hotels, and outrageous wardrobes... So basically it was just the travel. :lol3 BUT, I earned enough miles for a free direct flight to take me to my new adventure/assault vehicle. :thumb

    After agreeing on a price and date Bwana picked me up at the airport and I started this portion of my adventure from Sacramento. Not too shabby. Packing all my gear for a month making music on the road on a flight to then pack onto an unfamiliar motorcycle was quite a challenge! The bike had luggage racks (thankfully), but no bags, so I bought a set of cheap-o throw-overs and brought them along, plus my POS top-box and tank bag from my BMW. Not knowing the tool kit or really anything about KTM’s I brought all kinds of tools: tire levers, compressor, ratchet, sockets, leatherman, zip-ties, bungees, a tire repair kit, and enough tie down straps to retrieve a beached whale from the sea if necessary. First-Aid kit, toiletries, clothes, camping gear (tent, bag, pad), trekking poles, riding suit, rain suit, heated vest, two sets of gloves, air-hawk seat cushion, chargers/adapters/computer accessories, maps, paperwork, and of course my Mac. Yikes, a big list already. But wait, there’s more: Carbon fiber viola, bow, shoulder rest, case, extra strings, a small stack of sheet music (some basic warm-up material all the audition material I need for later in the trip), plus the new Kelty pack that I carry the instrument in. Whew.

    Here’s what I see waiting for me in his driveway. He pulled it out of the garage so I’d see it in the setting sun from the car as soon as we turned the corner. I freaked out! :eek1 That’s MY bike! :super She’s even more beautiful in the flesh... :bow

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    Bwana patiently waited and chatted with me as I started packing MY new bike (WOW! I like saying that!). I warned him that I’d be hanging out in his driveway for a while... Eventually he had to leave for a meeting, so we shook hands and said our goodbyes, but I still had a long ways to go... Sure enough, I was still packing when he returned, and I continued well into the darkness of night. Strap this here, secure that there, or maybe over there? The bike came with knobbies installed, PLUS the slightly used Pirelli Scorpions, so I have to come up with a way to haul these off into the night too. Bwana finally finds the solution: put them around the saddle bags. Damn, this thing is LOADED!!! Normally I would never travel this heavy, but these are extenuating circumstances!

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    This is the nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned, hands down. I’m so excited! This is the first time I’ve chosen exactly what I want, and purchased it so new. I’ll probably never buy a brand-new vehicle, bike or otherwise, and this seems better than new in many ways! FMF exhaust, Renazco suede seat, and it’s bristling with protectors for the gas tanks, controls, brake reservoir, radiator... all upgrades I would eventually make myself, cost allowing. Bwana said that he wanted someone to buy the bike that was going to really ride it like it was intended. I'm there for ya, bro! :thumb

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    Thanks for the amazing deal on the bike at an amazing moment in my life, and taking some great pics too! Bwana, you da man! :thumb:beer

    Now I’ve got to find some camping in the dark. I’m already mentally exhausted from all this excitement of the new bike, plus the “puzzle” of packing this thing. I finally hit the road at 9:30 pm. Nice test ride, eh? Riding into the mountains on an unfamiliar bike in the dark, dog tired...
    #62
  3. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Oh, here's update on the insects from my first pictures near Guadalupe Nat. Park. My friend who's a professional bug-man sent me this in regards to my RR:

    "Very sweet. Wish I’d known about it sooner I could have told you that yes, tarantulas “fangs” can penetrate skin and that big red bug is a mite. I don’t recall the species though."

    Good thing I left the gloves on, eh? :eek1
    #63
  4. mistercindy

    mistercindy In a state of equilibrium

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,905
    Location:
    North Dallas 'burb in a box made of ticky tacky.
    So, do we now get pics from California back to Texas?!? And heckuva nice new ride!:thumb

    And, BTW, did you keep the K12RS? That'd be quite a stable.


    :lurk
    #64
  5. Footprint

    Footprint Rat race Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,902
    Location:
    Bettendorf, Iowa
    The 9X0 can be loaded down pretty good and still handle ok... just do not load one side down to much and not be able to lean the bike... can tip over from not leaning on the stand enough...

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    #65
  6. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
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    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Damn dude! I thought mine was outfitted... Impressive... Most impressive! I agree, I haven't experienced any performance problems with all the junk on board either, even the spares! It handles just fine. I like that orange dry bag, what kind is that?
    #66
  7. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Oh yes, there will be pics, I'm just getting started! What a ride...

    The K12 will live again, I'll be mending her very soon. She's a spunky one, but my new love is ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #67
  8. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
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    Damn this bike is tall! Good thing I’m 6’3”. It’s a little scary riding into unfamiliar territory on a strange, full loaded bike, and in the dark too! I’m traveling on the cheap (a-hem, with the exception of the exotic European motorcycle :evil) so I can’t let myself down and get a motel room, even for this one night. How could I live with myself if I rent a room on Day One?!? Nope, stick it out, I can find something...

    I ride and ride to the north and east of Sacramento, trying to get to some areas that look like they have primitive camp sites on my paper AAA map. I end up in some mountain twisties which would normally be fun (and kinda the whole point, at least on my sport touring bike), but I find myself questioning my wisdom. I have a pretty high tolerance for staying awake and alert, but I know that I’m tired and my reaction time must be increasing. This just isn’t safe. There MUST be camping in here somewhere, but there aren’t clear signs at night I don’t know where exactly to look. The road junctions are getting more and more remote and are no longer represented on my large-scale California map so I decide to make a big loop and get back to the Interstate. Well lessee, a fifty mile loop of twisties in the dark on a 990 Adventure... I guess there are worse ways to spend an evening! :lol3

    11:00 passes and then midnight as I roll along trying to find some place suitable for a tent. I pull in a couple RV parks and inquire, but they’re reserved for some RV clubs or something and I’m turned away. Seriously?!? I felt a little bad about rolling in during the middle of the night with my twin FMF exhausts grumbling away until they rejected me. I maintained a slightly higher RPM on the way out. Slightly...

    FINALLY I swerve off onto an exit ramp west of Lake Tahoe about 1:30 a.m. and see some parked construction vehicles and a little dirt road leading off into the hills. Heeeeeeere we go! I try to muster another measure of concentration from the reserves for my first “off-road” experience with this beautiful machine. Awesome! The terrain is nothing serious by ADVrider standards, but I’m amazed with the way the 990 soaks up bumps, rocks, and ruts... I tool around a while trying to find a place that’s far enough from the highway that I can sleep but not so far up this road that I might crash in my strung-out state. I found nice, grassy, reasonably flat spot. I pitched without the rain fly only an arms distance from my sweet new ride so I could go to sleep with one eye on the stars and the other on MY motorcycle.

    The morning after:

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    Morning came too early, and of course I couldn’t sleep with all the light coming in, so I might as well hit the road. It’d be shame not to ride around Lake Tahoe, right?

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    I love this little camera (Pentax Optio W-30), but I sometimes wish for a greater zoom. I do like the waterproof camera!

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    In case you're wondering, the viola is on my back while I take these pics. Part of my reasoning for the viola pack is that it will be on/with me most of the time so I won't be tempted to leave it strapped to the bike. The instrument is tough for sure (that's why I bought it after all), but it could still be damaged or stolen very easily which would be a pain in the ass. Somehow I can still manage to worry about the "worry-free" instrument. Ce la vie. It's been ingrained in me from childhood to caudal and protect string instruments, and those habits die hard...

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    This is great! It’s a cool morning in the mountains, I’ve got a great view, and everywhere people are giving me thumbs up from their cars or stopping to admire my crazy/amazing motorcycle with all the gear strapped to it.

    I peel away from Lake Tahoe and head north-east into the mountains. Riding on knobbies is a new thing for me, and as an aggressive corner-er I’m not sure how to treat these strange rubber protrusions through the turns. Eventually I pull over for a break in an empty parking lot on a mountain pass and what do I spy? Painted lines of a MSF motorcycle course! Funny, this would be a GREAT location to learn to ride, nice cool weather (in the summer) and a great view. I play around on the course for a bit and am quickly frustrated by my lack of low-speed cornering ability. Grrrrrr. I know I’d be rocking this course on my BMW, but I don’t trust these knobbies OR this bike yet (since I haven’t owned it twenty-four hours yet), and it’s fully loaded. I’ll get better.

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    At this point I’m on vacation, but my “destination” is Logan, Utah to visit all my buddies. I served as Principal Viola for the Utah Festival Opera Company (UFOC) for a number of years and many of my closest friendships were made there in the orchestra pit during those hilariously fun summers. The pay is terrible and the hours are long, but it’s so much fun that many of the players return year after year, mostly for the camaraderie. I’ve since gotten other professional opportunities during the summers (such as Cactus Pear Music Festival and others) that allow me to have time off for motorcycle trips, but I can’t stay away from Logan! It’s a “must go” place for me. Besides, now I can go up and party, hike, ride, sleep, lounge, whatever with all my friends without working! Nice... I’d love to explore California/Nevada/wherever more, but I must get up to northern Utah before the festival ends.

    So across Nevada I go!
    #68
  9. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,400
    Location:
    N.California
    Very nice!!!!!!
    #69
  10. Footprint

    Footprint Rat race Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,902
    Location:
    Bettendorf, Iowa
    Pacific Outdoor/ Medium duffle bag.

    http://www.pacoutdoor.com/2008/index.cfm?action=product&productID=52&groupID=30&familyID=2

    I have changed the hard panniers for the Jesse panniers, and the top case for a Carabou case to get the weight lower on the bike. Before you get too aggressive, you might want to drop some of the weight!!


    PS... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=310941 for tent list... locations for inmates who can put you up/let you camp/snag a room and meal. If you head for the mid west pm me and you are in for a couple of meals and room.
    #70
  11. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    You are gentleman, sir Footprint. Perhaps someday I can take you up on your generosity! :thumb
    #71
  12. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
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    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Uhg, Nevada is heating up.

    I figure it’ll take me two days to get to Logan, Utah. I’ll get as far as I can today and knock-out the remainder tomorrow, and it looks like I can maybe cut north on some dirt roads to cut the teeth on my new beast off pavement.

    As I descend out of the mountains I’m called down into a valley by a twisting gravel trail. I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to piloting a big-twin dual-sport, but I’m intrigued... I’ve got the bike, the tires, and here I am! It won’t take too long for a little side trip. Just a test, and a little taste...

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    These tires are pretty gnarly! I know I’m gonna grind off these knobs all the way down by the time I hit Texas a few weeks from now. I’m not really riding hard enough to justify such aggressive dirt tires, but oh well! I hope to get more experience along the way, and maybe I’ll change over to the Scorpions for all this highway work?

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    The suspension on this machine is amazing! I’ve never ridden a bike like this before (‘cause there really isn’t another bike like this! Ohhh, KTM...)

    Damn it’s hot, like jumping into a oven as I fly down, down, down. The landscape is getting flatter and dryer; yup, it’s Nevada. I stop for lunch and a trip to Napa Auto Parts for chain lube and a gallon jug for extra gas. The attendants offer some advice on which dirt “short-cuts” I might try. Okay, I’m developing a route that will take me a little further on the highway before I head 80 miles north on some scenic dirt roads to connect me to I-80 which will put me parallel with Salt Lake City for tomorrow. Roll out!

    Damn it’s hot. I’m getting kinda bored and sun-dazed on these straight roads, but I can always day dream about riding my KTM. ;-) Oh wait, I AM riding my KTM!!! Sweet...

    The next gas stop is Austin, Nevada (I think, is that right DaddyBigDaddy?) where I’m filling up my tank and the jug (just in case!) for my first big dirt odyssey on the Orange Beast. I’ve probably only ever seen a handful of KTM Adventures on the road (or anywhere for that matter), it strikes me as a highly exotic and rare motorcycle (part of the reason I like it so much! :evil). Actually I only recall ever seeing ONE before I discovered ADVrider, and now it seems like I see them all the time, but it’s probably just virtually over in Orange Crush. :lol3 So as I’m about to suit up and hit the road what do I hear approaching? The distinctive rumble of a LC8: a black 950 Adventure! Two KTM’s in a one-horse town at the same moment.

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    Ken’s bike got violated (which isn’t even his bike, or some such nonsense). Free advertising for me!

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    The really ironic thing is that we were both traveling the same direction, a few minutes lost or gained in either direction and we would’ve probably never seen each other as I was only five miles from hitting the dirt. Naturally both our bikes are sporting ADV stickers, so we chatted a bit and DaddyBigDaddy talked me out of a solo dirt mission and into riding due east with him to Ely, Nevada where he intended to drink margaritas. Okay! I was pumped up for some dirt, but this sounds like fun, and it’ll be nice to ride with somebody for a while, especially another sweet KTM Adventure! Off we go, more pavement pounding...

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    Stopped here for a drink and a tee-shirt (which has a plot twist for later!)

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    Yes, there were camera sightings, and we have photographic proof.

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    Riding away from the sun is nice, it’s pretty out here with all the nothing, but the road is kinda boring. Sigh... more KTM daydreams I guess! I doubled the mileage on the bike today. Suh-Weet!

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    Woooo, a long couple of days for sure. It turns out the night life in Ely Nevada can be pretty exciting with a little effort...
    #72
  13. Thylex

    Thylex Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Southern Sweden
    Orange beasts and Black beasts.... I'm in for this monster story :clap

    :lurk
    #73
  14. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
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    The night in Ely (preface: DaddyBigDaddy is crazy!):

    First off let's get some "extra" booze...

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    DaddyBigDaddy trades his new shirt from the Owl Cafe for a vintage Netscape polo from a random guy on the street. Everybody wins!

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    Let's party! I only gamble with my life (motorcycle) and career (classical music), not with real money, but it was fun watching Ken.

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    24 hour diner in the casino, excellent! (and $2 margaritas, oy...)

    "Dude, where are the escorts?"

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    This guy was a local who showed us the "hot-spots" and invited us to his house to party it up some more. ADV SALUTE!!!

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    Bar hopping. Hot-ex-con-meth-head-bar-tender-moms apparently live in Nevada... DUH!!!

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    How the hell do you work this &*#^&@(*#& thing?!?

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    Oh man, we were outlaws that night. The pirate/harley gathering at the same hotel couldn't hold a candle to us so they went to bed leaving the two of us on the rampage in the streets. I haven't partied like that since college, I don't know where DaddyBigDaddy keeps his energy reserves at his age:lol3; he was an animal. Dude, I'm glad we bumped into each other, that was crazy fun!

    Damn, if this is any indication of what kinda trouble my new KTM will get me into this should be a fun ride, eh? :super
    #74
  15. Wildabeast

    Wildabeast Wide Open

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Vermont
    Man, I am SO jealous! That Adventure sure is pretty! I have your same "horde, spend big when the time is right" mentality. So I'm hoping a nice Orange Beast is in my future too.

    Looking forward to the rest of your adventure!
    #75
  16. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Oh yeah man! Thanks, she IS purty! Save those pennies, it's SOOOO worth it. This bike is ridiculous...
    #76
  17. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
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    2,071
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    Owwwwwww... Morning hurts when one has a hang-over and it’s almost 100 degrees by 9:30 a.m. Mrumph-frumphple, let’s ride. Arghlemfle.

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    Eastward, ho! At least after Ken shows me how to check the oil on my bike and I buy a quart to top off. We’re in such poor shape we take the WRONG highway out of town for ten miles before realizing, even with his GPS. Don’t worry, we’re professionals, we know exactly what we’re doing...

    More of this:

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    And this:

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    In such arid conditions we all need to do our part to protect and hydrate the native plant species:

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    Well! how do you really feel?!?

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    At a gas stop a cashier-man has his “special” child with him behind the counter who wants to know what’s in my pack. I tell him I’ll show them what it is, but that they would have to trade me something since I’m a professional (I did this in a charming way, not being a jerk). He says I can take my pick of an ice-cream bar (but felt it necessary to tell me I would have to pay for my gas!) , so I whip out the Black Death right there in the convenience store and proceeded to play Bach and Schubert, two of my stand-by’s. The boy is naturally thrilled, and everyone else seems puzzled and/or amazed. A strange performance situation to be sure, but that’s part of this whole experiment: becoming comfortable playing in less than ideal environments and situations at a moments notice. It’s surprisingly difficult, and riding a motorcycle for hundreds of miles with a hang-over doesn’t put me in the best possible physical state to perform well, but again, that’s part of the challenge!

    As we leave Ken says, “Well, hey! You got some free ice-cream out of the deal!” To which I reply, “No, I worked for it! There’s a difference...” A lifetime of learning to play an instrument for a $1.50 ice-cream isn’t exactly a living. I wish more people understood that.

    Ken had been complaining about a front-wheel wobble problem since yesterday, and he kept trying to talk me into selling my Scorpion tires to him. “Are you really gonna carry those all the way back to Texas? Really???”

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    He was subtle (not!), but he finally wore me down when we reached our split up point at this Yamaha/KTM dealer which didn’t carry tire sizes for the 950 Adventure. Okay, fine... I know that when I get back to Texas I’ll most likely end up buying a set of these exact tires for double the price, but oh well! It will be nice to not be schlepping them for the next few weeks, and there’s a friend in need. Moto-Karma!

    I left DaddyBigDaddy at the shop with his bike on the lift getting my barely used shoes put on and turned north to go up the west side of the Utah Lake (Provo Lake?), a route I’ve never taken before. Ken invited me to ride with him to Colorado for some trails, which was very, very tempting, but Logan calls. I’m sure I could learn a lot from riding with him and his friends, perhaps we can meet up again.

    Riding behind the lake:

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    I hate riding I-25 through Salt Lake City, but there’s really no other way through that corridor that doesn’t add hours I don’t have for today, so slab it up, baby!

    Finally I arrive in Logan with my now-infamous dramatic entrance: Arriving at the backstage door during the intermission of a UFOC opera production when all of my musician friends are outside dressed in pit black. Everyone is so happy to see me roll up and my heart swells up in my chest as I see many of my closest friends from across the country all gathered together for this amazing festival of music. I’m so proud of my new bike and of the crazy events of the last few days from the BMW breaking down to buying my dream bike for a fly-’n-buy, camping, partying, riding... I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep and some R&R for a while in here in the north-east corner of Utah.

    MUCH more to come!
    #77
  18. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Oh, so here's a couple pics of me taken by DaddyBigDaddy in NV. I was loaded up!

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    Not sure what this hand gesture is...

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    #78
  19. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

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    One of the great things about being a classical musician is the opportunity to perform in a variety of venues all over the country, or even the world. Most symphonies seasons coincide with the school year so many have a summer sabbatical. During this “time off” most musicians perform in various summer music festivals that are most often in beautiful, cool mountain locales. Lucky us! Some of the most famous summer festivals are Tanglewood, Aspen, and Santa Fe Opera just to name a few. Chances are if it’s a pretty place to visit in the summer there’s probably a live classical music festival happening somewhere near by. This sounds like it could work with motorcycle trips nicely, eh?

    The downside is the compensation. Many musicians feel that they are getting a subsidized vacation by “getting” to play with a summer festival, which I agree with to an extent, but having to show up to work isn’t a vacation to me (as much as I like my job). I decided a while ago that if I only stand to break even (or lose) on a summer festival I might as well be on moto-vacation for real, unless it’s a rare opportunity to work with some amazing musicians (“Networking” I think people call it in the real world).
    Such is the case for the Utah Festival Opera: I played as principal viola there for four summers but it started to not make sense to work my ass off for nine weeks when I could make the same amount of money in three weeks in Texas and still get to ride to Utah and enjoy all the fun things at my leisure. No brainer!

    Logan Utah is the home of Utah State University, so the Opera Company kinda takes over the town during the summer while all the students are back on the farm. Most of the orchestra stays in a block of student apartments which is outrageous fun. I don’t think many of us would want to live like that long term, but for a couple months in the summer it’s a freakin’ blast! Like being in college again, but everyone is more respectful of each other (we are adults... sorta!). Get-togethers every night after the shows, drinks, meals, conversation, and general hanging out with like-minded colleagues in a relaxed, scenic environment. Excellent.

    So I get to have some fun while all the other poor sods are slaving away in the pit! First thing is to sleep, a lot. I’m exhausted after playing my own music festival (Cactus Pear), and then the stress and excitement of first breaking down on the BMW and then getting the KTM and riding it here over a couple of crazy days. I sleep in for several days.

    The day after I arrive the many of the musicians are playing a chamber music concert benefiting a local animal shelter. I volunteer to be the court photographer.

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    I like the violist's bow in this photo:

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    The “official” dog of the Utah Festival Opera is Birch, who was adopted by a musician during a summer here. He’s the inspiration for the benefit concert, and he’s one of my best hiking buddies while I’m here! It works out great ‘cause he and I can take off while everyone else is in rehearsal or performances.

    I like Birch. I like big dogs in general! He seems pretty happy, and so do I! :lol3

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    I spend two afternoons working on a paint-protector project for my orange beast. It's probably the nicest vehicle I'll own for a long time, so I figure I'll at least make an effort to keep it looking nice. This orange/green-fleck paint job looks cool in the sun! Here are my patterns I made for the paint-saver film (flipped 'em over for the other side):

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    Installing:

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    This stuff is really cool, you really can't see it unless you're looking for it. I think I mentioned it before, but I despise cleaning/detailing, so I'd rather spend some time putting this stuff on so I don't have to worry about the paint for years.

    There's more fun to be had here in (and near) Logan, including cutting my teeth on some off-pavement riding with my new beast and other exciting adventures, all in the next couple posts...
    #79
  20. Footprint

    Footprint Rat race Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,902
    Location:
    Bettendorf, Iowa
    :jack

    I think it is time for some back country rides!!!!! I did wash mine after last summers ride... for 5 min with a power washer during a rain storm.

    You might be getting a little grief for having a clean KTM at your adv rally den00bing.
    #80