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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rudy4pl, Nov 12, 2019.
Great report! So, what the total distance been made and how much fuel it took?
September 7, 2019 Sat (Day 46)
The tide never did get that close to me through the night. Once it fully came in, I was able to sleep soundly.
It is now time to do some maintenance on the bike. I find a town with walmart about 50 miles north. Before I leave for it I spot one of the guys that I've met yesterday on the TAT. They made it in sometime yesterday as well.
After buying a couple of items in walmart, I decided to hit the local autozone and do some maintenance there.
I've spent the whole day on that parking lot.
- All air filters cleaned and lubed
- Cleaned the airbox
- Inspected the carb, it was clean
- Checked valves
- Replaced brake pads
- Checked the wheel and hub bearings
- Old rear tire mounted for the highway ride to Vancouver
- Changed oil and oil filter
- Fixed a cable that was rubbing up front
- Voltmeter fixed in place
- Looks like there is an oil leak from the clutch arm seal and the seal around the front sprocket
At around 7pm I was able to head out. It felt good to finally start moving up north. The night arrived in no time, then in started raining and the temperatures dropped dramatically. My right shoulder was aching badly, I guess because those muscles are constantly engaged with the twist of the throttle. It was a tough ride, but I did manage to put on about a 100 miles. At 10pm I've camped in some murky forest that I found through the app.
My speedometer cable snapped so I don't really know, but the tat is about 5200 miles and I did quite a few detours, so I would assume about 7000 miles through the states. I didn't really keep track how many gallons, just the total spending on gas.
September 8-9, 2019 Sun-Mon (Day 47-48)
In the morning I continued riding the beautiful Oregonian coast, but after about a 100 miles I decided to head inland in order to get on the highway as the progress along the coast has been very slow, a lot of traffic lights and low speed limits. Upon making my way to Portland, I'm greeted by a "fairly" drunk fellow laying on the sidewalk with his pants down covered in shit. I am on the other side of the country, but it felt like I was back home in NYC. Very welcoming
In Portland I needed to buy some rain gear as I lost my rain suit some time back. I stopped by cyclegear, my jeans and boots fully soaked. My hands stained dark purple from the wet leather gloves. I was able to briefly blow dry my boots, but it only made them warm-wet.
It's getting late and camping is harder to find around these developed areas. I find something not far off, it's apparently a fish hatchery. Someone wrote a review a week ago that it was closed off, but luckily it was open as the next camp spot on my map was about 2 hours away. I'm totally soaked and set up my tent there. The only comfort now is to take off all the wet clothes, dry myself off, fresh dry underwear and curl up in the warm sleeping bag and eat a warm soup, knowing that in the morning I'll still have to face the inevitable and put on all my cold, wet clothing and head out.
It was raining all night and the morning. It does not look like it's going to clear up so I'll just have to suck it up and pack up. I rode a couple of hours, and in the afternoon i decided to do some laundry as the weather had cleared up. All my gear is now clean and dry.
I continue on riding the highways and late in the evening I'm about 20 miles away from the Canadian border. I don't see any camping on my map around that area, so I decide to stay in the states and ride a few miles east into the mountains and camp out there. In the morning I'll head out and finally cross over into Canada.
September 10, 2019 Tue (Day 49)
It looks like it's going to finally be a rain-less day. In the morning I started making my way back west to the highway and then finally hit the line for the border crossing. There was a bee or a wasp that kept bugging me while in line. I had to be pulled over and fill out some paperwork as this is my first time in Canada. No weapons, no pepper spray, just some bear spray that didn't have to be mentioned .
It's refreshing to be in a new country. I've never taken my bike to a new country, until today. kilometers, celsius, liters, it's not much, yet feels so different. After a while I realized that my phone data is not working. Fuck, I forgot to check if my plan extends into Canada, and it appears that it doesn't. New currency, tire change, phone plan, groceries, this is going to take all day.
I thought I would be able to simply use the atms here, it turns out that the exchange rate at the atms is very crappy, + an atm charge. I have 85 USD in cash, so I decide to exchange it at the currency exchange place, 110 CAD. This will have to be my emergency cash. It turns out that I can use the american credit card without any silly charges, which is a relief. I was about to purchase a new prepaid sim card, but was able to upgrade my phone plan to cover me in Canada for cheaper.
After some groceries I rolled up to home depot parking lot to change my tire back to the "newish" one. My tire changing skills have evolved. I now wedge wrenches and other tools between the tire bead and the rim on both sides in order to keep the bead in the center of the rim. This works really well. A bicyclist stops by to help, I would have been able to mount it myself, but it's nice to get a helping hand.
It's already around 6pm, but I'm finally ready to head out. I proceed riding paved roads overlooking the stunning mountains over on Vancouver Island.
Shortly, I spot a tag on my map showing a camp spot right off of the other side of the highway. I turn back and there is a pull off on the shoulder and the a little road that is blocked off to cars, but I'm able to make it through with my bike. There are fire pits here so it seems legit. This place seems to be a memorial dedicated to a girl named Shannon Archer whom has passed away at 19, I wonder what happened to her.
There is a bench overlooking the island to the west. I make myself some dinner and enjoy the fading daylight.
September 11, 2019 Wed (Day 50) Part 1
The trip meter on my speedometer was stuck on "9" for the whole trip so far after the crash that snapped my speedo, I never bothered resetting it to "0". I just noticed that it must have recently jumped to "11" out of no where. That's odd. Today is 9/11 as well, I wonder what this means.
After a quick breakfast, off I went. TCAT led me through a lot of pavement and I was getting anxious to get some dirt in. Once I finally did, it was mostly well maintained. On/off rains, apparently it's suppose to rain for the next couple of days in these regions. I pass a deserted bus on the side of the road, the likes of McCandless, and then meet 2 fellow riders not far ahead.
We chat for a bit and see if we're heading the same way, but that's not the case. There's a magenta color loop which veers off of the main tcat. I'm pretty sure It's the difficult way, but I want to find out for myself, plus the stuff I've been riding so far in Canada has been very easy.
"I think that's the mud lakes, we had a group ride there a couple of years back and one guy got stuck in deep mud and burned out his clutch" he says.
I still figured that I'll check it out for myself, if it gets bad, I'll simply turn around.
I ride the main dirt road for about 50 miles and then I come across the turn off.
Sections of the road are flooded at times as the roads are at level with the lake. There are steep inclines which are fairly rutted and then steep declines. I spot a picnic spot by a lake and make myself some lunch. Afterwards I continue on. The first puddle seemed fairly innocent, but it turned out to be pretty deep. After that, I decided to poke a stick each time before crossing. I don't want to get stuck in here, this no longer feels like my backyard.
A couple miles in I come across an overturned vehicle that somebody just left there because they couldn't get it out, this should have been a red flag. After the vehicle there is a steep (video doesn't do it justice) and long V-shaped downhill. The slanted walls are slippery and hard packed, while the badly rutted middle that drops a couple of feet is very loose and spongy.
I continue on, but it's only more and more flooded roads. My gps is showing this as a solid line and about 2 miles ahead, it turns into a dotted line which means that it becomes a trail. If the "roads" here are this bad, I don't think I want to see how that trail looks like. It's time to turn around.
September 11, 2019 Wed (Day 50) Part 2
I backtrack all the way to the steep and rutted hill that I came down on and my worries start turning into reality.
I make it up maybe 30 feet before my rear digs in and stops. I try without the luggage, but I cannot do anything, rear keeps digging in. I try picking up the rear out of the rut and starting again, nope.
I slowly roll the bike backwards and bring it down. This time I'll try with more momentum in 1st and without the luggage.
I get a little bit higher but that's like only half way. This is not going to be pleasant. This is a steep climb that just gets rougher the farther you go. The middle is very loose and the sides are sloped, hard packed and slippery. The sides tilt more towards the top forming a v-shape, forcing me to be in the middle that is loose...
I try a couple more times, in different gears and with lesser tire pressure. I just can't. It seems like I do not have enough power in higher gears, and 1st limits me in speed. After countless drops and pickups, it is getting harder to start the bike. The battery is almost drained. I drag the bike around and bump start it down the hill and ride it a couple of laps to charge up the battery.
Fuck, was the trip meter turning from 9 to 11 signifying that today is the end of my trip? If that vehicle couldn't get out and someone was just better off leaving it, who's going to help me?
I've been at it for a couple of hours already and I'm exhausted. I don't want to try again today and lose any little bit of hope I have.
I park the bike and start carrying up bags with soil to partially fill up the ruts and pound them down so that my rear doesn't dig in so easily. The sun has set a while ago and it is now getting dark. It is suppose to rain for the next couple of days, if I'm having trouble getting out of here at this time, there is no way am I going to be able to get out after a heavy rain...
I set up my tent and get ready for the night. I decide to walk up this section before going to sleep with the aim to gain some hope for tomorrow.
"There's no way I'm getting out of here on my own."
Fuck. I had all the red flags. The trip meter, the Canadians, the overturned vehicle, my guts, and yet here I am...
Its hard to put a like on this post, but I hope you know what I mean. I know you got out and persevered. And that is what the like is for.
We need a cliffhanger emoticon.
If this were a Stephen King novel, now is when we find out the author is actually a passerby who found the remains of a motorbike traveler and posted his photos and videos.
Or maybe some kind of supernatural something or other now posing as the original Rudy.
Cliffhanger indeed - well done!
Now get back to editing so we find out how the Lone Ranger made it out of the canyon alive.
Loving your report, you have had a heck of a go so far, looking forward to the remainder of the report. As many have said, you have experienced many of the same things we all have, it just seems like you are getting them all over with at once! Its great to think of all the lessons you will have learned from this trip and I'm sure future trips you will find yourself much better prepared! You'll have some great great trips to come I'm sure!
September 12, 2019 Thu (Day 51)
I wake up well rested, but it is still dark. I check the time and it's not even tomorrow, it's 11pm. I slept for about an hour.
I go back to sleep and am woken up at 3am to the howling wind that's picking up. It is starting to drizzle, that's not good.
It rained off/on through the night and into the early morning. Once it stopped, I started planning my way up.
Stick to the right side, about 20 feet ahead move over to the left when I see a granola wrapper, keeping pushing until I see a loose branch on the right and transition over to the right side and ride the right slanted wall while trying to keep the bike perpendicular to it, and then transition over at the rusted can to the left, over the slanted wall and ride out. I've filled in the rut in areas where necessary in order for a smooth transition and to maximize my chances of making this.
I air down the tires even more and take off any unnecessary items.
I mess up towards the top and am forced into the loose rut, but am still able to make it up with the remaining momentum. I got a little bit excited hahahaha
I pass the next couple of section until it's easy going and spent the next 2.5 hours carrying all my luggage up. Once I'm ready to get going, I empty out my spare fuel containers into the tank as I might not make it on my main tank alone. It felt good finally hitting the main tcat markings.
I keep on making my way "east", the tcat does a lot of zigzagging north and south with limited progress to the east. It's been raining most of the day and it is pretty chilly, I have to have my heated gloves on all the time along with my winter pants and full rain gear.
I get a ride on the first ferry on my bike.
As it starts getting dark, I find a nice spot to pull off by a lake. I've purchased a waterproofing spray a couple of days back for my boots as they have not been waterproof for quite a while and basically get my feet wet each time it rains or they touch any form of water. I did not yet get a chance to use it as it's to be applied to dry surfaces.
I warm up a canned soup and watch the sun set before I head out to sleep.
That was one loooong climb! That would have been an exhausting 2.5hrs hauling all your gear up there!
I could have probably stopped after that first section that ended before the overturned vehicle, as that was the roughest one, but figured I'll clear the next couple ones just in case.
Just amazing!! Love every second and your emotion is over the top! Cheers!!
Now that is adventure riding boys and girls.
Outstanding... my cheers were almost as loud as yours watching that video... well done, matey.
Man what a great report! Thanks for keeping all the journal entries so you could come back a year later and bless us with this awesome adventure!!! Been a hell of a ride and I seriously respect your tenacity in the face of all the adversity you have endured.