10,000 Mile Ride Around North America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by flanga, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. milehimike

    milehimike Adventurer

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    flanga,
    I've been reading your report the last couple-of days when I've time and I am really enjoing it, hope to finish this weekend.

    Thanks for posting such a great report.

    I am a Colorado native and have seen all the sites you've ridden through in this state and I think you have conveyed their beauty perfectly. :clap

    Thanks again for such an excellent read.
  2. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile Supporter

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    So are you gonna write a book about the trip ?
  3. 1lonestranger

    1lonestranger n00b

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    Location:
    Alberta for work, B.C. for play.
    Powered through this RR in two nights, word for word, pic for pic. Bravo!
    I found more geek content on the other side of the tracks here:
    [​IMG]
    From http://columbiavalley.ca/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1496 "The Columbia Valley Wetlands...is the longest continuous wetlands remaining on the continent."
    I've even stopped right there on my buddy's 24-year-old KLR ,looking for cell service.
    Now, I just need a more reliable mount.... Mt. Evans, Colorado, here I come!
  4. bkdraft

    bkdraft n00b

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    +1
    such an awesume story, so wish I could do something like you did. And I wish I could put words on paper half as good as you do, you have such a way with words I just could not find myself stopping. I found this link last night, stayed up until 12:30 AM, then started back this morning and took another 3 hours to finish.
  5. All4Fun

    All4Fun Let the good times roll!

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    Mexifornia
    Many thanks, Fred. Superlative job and thanks so much for the reading references. :clap :clap :clap Any update on your personal life?
  6. Scooby-Dew

    Scooby-Dew Adventurer

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    North Carolina
    Excellent story and pictures!
    Took a little while to read from the start but well worth it:thumb
  7. CharlesH

    CharlesH Support those who support you.

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    Albertville MN
    How do you like the fuji s700? Have you found the size to be a problem on the bike?
  8. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    None. It's compact and well within the carrying ability of a RAM mount. The fixed turret means the whole camera is well-sealed against dirt and grit (which killed my Fuji F10). And the picture quality is very good, both in automatic modes and in manual.

    I like it a lot.

    None of the RR photos were from the fuji s700 (I bought it after the ride killed my F10). But here's a fuji s700 photo from yesterday, about 1/2 mile (call it 1km) from my house. The camera was in full-auto mode; all I've done to the photo is shrink it from 3072x2304 to 1024x768.

    [​IMG]

    If I wanted to twiddle with the pix in GIMP or Photoshop, I'd lighten the shadows just a bit and tone down the too-bright spots on the snow. But even in its raw state, the camera did pretty well on its own; certainly fine for casual work.

    So far, I like the s700 a lot.
  9. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman Back in Black!

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    Flanga, Thanks so much for taking the time to put together such a fine ride report, truely one of the best I have read yet.
    You set the bar pretty high... My never finished report sux by comparison.
    Now that you have that bike broke in yuo need to take us somewhere else. Where will it be?

    Are you happy with the Wing? Have you considered any other steeds?
  10. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    1Lonestranger send me a pm, which (with his permission) I'd like to share with you:

    I wrote back:

    He replied:

    So, deferring to local knowledge, it looks like I was on a different stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway than I thought, for several miles. I apologize for my error.

    With a 10,000 mile trip, I probably made several such naming errors. As this RR will live in the archives here for quite some time, please feel free to offer corrections if you see something where I got it wrong. That way, future riders interested in the same areas will have the most acurate information possible. Together, we're smarter than any one of us alone. :thumb

    While this stuff is relatively fresh in memory, I'd also be glad to answer any questions you may have about routing, gear, whatever. I think there were some questions that slipped by in the middle of the report, when I was hip-deep in writing the report. If I missed a question you previously asked, please restate it here, and I'll do my best to answer.
  11. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    <!--StartFragment -->As for future trips, yes, I hope so. I have very vague plans for three: I'd like to do the same sort of trip, but swing through the southern states rather than the northern, Canadian route I took this time. I'd like to ride to Prudhoe Bay, and to explore parts of Alaska. And I hope to ride the length of the Trans-Labrador Highway. )In about a year, the road will be extended enough so you can ride to Goose Bay and back without having to take a ferry or retrace your own tracks.)

    <!--StartFragment -->I have a vaguer idea about starting in Chicago in late summer, and spending the next few months wandering down the Mississippi River, chasing the season as it retreats south. Part of the idea would be to follow the Mississippi Blues from the Chicago variants all the way to their point of origin, on the Gulf; I'd stop in different Blues clubs or bars along the way, sampling the cuisine and the music as it changes along the route.

    I have a similarly vague idea of starting way the fark up in the Canadian Rockies, and chasing autumn southward all along the continental divide until it reaches Mexico.

    And then there's New Zealand.... <g>

    Far more ideas than time or money will likely allow, but with luck maybe a couple of those might come true. :ricky
  12. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    I like the Wing a lot. It's designed for eating miles, and does great on long trips. Ample stowage, decent mileage, long range between gas stops, and a decently long service interval.

    The fuel injection is bulletproof. Any temp or altitude, the bike pulls fine. (I just took the Wing out from winter storage; it fired and ran on the first crank.) I love the ABS; it's never gotten in my way, and assures controlled stops in just about any road condition.

    I only got about 14K miles from the set of tires I rode on the 10K-mile trip, mostly because of all the dirt I was on. I've gotten as much as 27k miles from a set of tires used only on pavement.

    And despite its reputation as an old-man's bike, it's actually pretty versatile, as you've seen in this report. It's OK on all but the softest dirt roads, and excellent on firmer dirt....



    <OBJECT height=355 width=425>
    &ampampampnbsp
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nQVgaxBdpL8&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></OBJECT>




    ... and can also be quite sporty in the twisties. Come on, tell me this isn't enough lean angle for you in highway riding...

    [​IMG]



    All bikes are trade-offs, but I like the mix of abilities the Wing offers. Plus, if/when you have a pillion, the rear seat on a Wing is great for them--- extremely comfortable. It may well be *the* most comfortable pillion seat there is.

    If I won the lottery tomorrow, I might look at a true sport tourer, maybe an ST1300. But I have the Wing and it's paid for, so I'll probably ride it until either the wheels fall off, or I do. :lol3
  13. shantyman

    shantyman Adventurer

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    Atta boy! you did pick up some wisdom on the Northern leg of that trip.:evil

    Wonderful report, thanks/merci.
  14. Kaanan

    Kaanan Knee deep in snow.

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    De Pere, WI
    I just wanted to say, I'm a definite NOOB. I'm only 20, I got my first bike a few months ago in mid winter. Cold weather, well snow, and constant problems have prevented me from clocking any more than 400 miles on my 1991 Suzuki GS500E. (laugh if you want, first bike) I forgot how I stumbled across this site, but I was just bumming around the forums and stumbled across this thread. And i just wanted to say this report is the reason I joined. Well done!
  15. sigma1959

    sigma1959 Nothing but 2 Wheels

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    18
    Thank you for sharing this report, very well written, great pics and videos. It's like a very good book that one is not able to put down. Thank you and the best of luck to you.
  16. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman Back in Black!

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    You mean like this?.....

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0nrMQ3QwyPo&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0nrMQ3QwyPo&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    Oh so much better than this....

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/whVXD3ex9DA&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/whVXD3ex9DA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    Sorry, thought you might enjoy that after the comments in your report... :D :1drink
  17. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    New Hampsha
    The Dragon is fun, especially with an unladen bike. (Unlike the 10K mile trip, where I was packed to the gills.)
    [​IMG]


    I've tried explaining the Wing to friends this way: It's a (sport) TOURER, where the ST1300 and the similar BMW bikes are SPORT (tourers). Just a matter of emphasis.

    But on a 10k mile trip, I think the touring part of the equation definitely dominates.

    (And as for Harleys, it's not the brand I have problems with--- a bike's a bike. But when they're made loud, maintained poorly (mechanical tuning, not chrome polish), and ridden without regard to traffic or others--- that's when I have a problem. I don't know why, by HD seems to have more than a proportional share of that type. But I should have been clearer in the RR. I have friends who ride HDs; who ride well, take care of their bikes, and don't seek to amplify the noise: No problem there at all.)

    Anyway, back to the Ride Report. :thumb
  18. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    Flanga,

    Great Report!!! I loved every post. Thanks for taking the time to share. Here's one of me on my Wing on The Dragon.

    You've got me beat for sure; a cooler bike and a cooler picture. I didn't manager to get sparks showing in my Dragon picuture like you did, but I did manage to pose for Killboy in this picture.

    Again - Awesome RR and many thanks for taking the time (a lot of it) to report for the rest of us to enjoy.

    That's a badass Wing and a super cool trip you took.

    Cheers,

    Sly

    [​IMG]
  19. MZ3ROB

    MZ3ROB Adventurer

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    Vegas
    Personally, I'd like to thank you because I will be camping at least one night on top of Cedar Mesa after reading your report and viewing the great photos. In about 4 weeks I plan to leave on a 4-? week trip and the desert area I will be definitely going through. I'll most likely hit Mt. Evans also, which I hadn't heard of before.

    I did follow most of the links and was eager to learn about the things you were describing, which surely had something to do with your writing style as another said. Some of us (all of us probably) get stuck in ruts with our heads in the sand and I've taken some things from this that will help me enjoy my own trip even more.

    I hope that my F800ST will step up and do as well as your bike did! I'm still jealous of all the luggage you can carry.... I had though of a Honda ST.

    Take care and enjoy life!
  20. NCJ

    NCJ Long timer

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    Troutman NC
    Absolutely stellar ride report; wonderful photography!

    Noticed you like to read, and have a marked interest
    in geology/earth sciences - a couple of books that
    might catch your interest (if you haven't read them yet):
    John McFee's 'Rising from the plains' (mostly about Wyoming geology),
    and 'Basin and Range', by the same author.
    Have only read a few blurbs from the latter (looking for a copy of it),
    but the former is a very good read.

    Also, thanks for encouraging my (and certain adv'ers, I'm sure)
    latent geekiness...a lot of the stuff I dug, but got kinda quiet
    about during my youth (geology, metallurgy, etc.)
    I'm rediscovering, and enjoying more than ever,
    now that I'm in my 50's and am not near as
    concerned with appearance/image as during younger days.

    Again, loved the RR - kudos, and thanks! :nod :thumb