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Becoming US citizen... riding Atlantic to Pacific and back.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Nimajus, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    So this may I got my first two wheeled motor vehicle...
    An Aprilia SportCity 250.

    After putting on the plates and getting insurance, I almost ran into a U-turning SUV, but instead avoided it and slid a good distance scraping my knees and ankles.

    Few months later now I have 7,000 miles more on the little scoot than when I bought it. I feel quite confident on the light scooter, and one night I see a post on a friends Facebook...

    "quitting my job, talking to the landlord. Moving to California from NY on a motorcycle"

    I had to reply. I just had to go with him.

    Having just submitted my fingerprints an don my way with the process of becoming a US citizen I really was excited about seeing the country.
    #1
  2. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    So I start to plan and try to manage things at work so I can do this thing...
    I scout Craigslist for a scoot that's more suitable for a long trip. I try everything and my legs are a bit long for most maxi scooters. I settle on this one Burgman 650. Big selling point, it comes with three Givi cases all around. The price is not too bad either for a 2005 with 10k miles.

    Here's me buying the big hippo scoot:

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    I take it to the dealership to check it out and make sure everything is good. I am not knowledgeable with bikes. One day I wish to get a garage and start tinker with them though. But for now I am an absolute noob.

    I get the bike back, everything is good. Just an oil change and top off few liquids.

    I pick it up, insure it and day dream about the beautiful mountains of US as I wait three hours on a wooden bench at the DMV...

    Driving back that evening I think how the 250 is a much better all round bike.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,692
    Location:
    Central fly-over land.
    I'm in for this ride! It's always interesting to see our country through a foreigner's eyes, or in your case, an immigrant's (Welcome, BTW). You are about to take a trip very few American's do, and it will be amazing.
    #4
  5. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Captain Zoomtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Garden State
    Welcome! Good to have you here!

    Having just done a similar trip, I'm curious to see what your reactions are to different parts of the country.

    :clap
    #5
  6. TheBlurr

    TheBlurr Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,588
    Location:
    Montana
    Welcome to America, looking forward to your trip report.
    #6
  7. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    740
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Wonderful way to start your new citizenship. Good luck.
    #7
  8. 70East

    70East Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    NOVA, not by choice.
    Rock on, where are you from originally.
    #8
  9. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,123
    Location:
    So Cal
    Looking forward to your RR
    Congratulation with your new status :evil ride safe :thumb
    #9
  10. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,216
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    this thread surely makes me smile. Congratulations on becoming a United States citizen. I can't wait to see what else does.

    The very best to you, always
    #10
  11. DomEOD

    DomEOD 'murica

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,106
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Welcome to America!
    #11
  12. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Gordo tonto y contento.

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,331
    Location:
    San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.
    Awesome!
    #12
  13. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Thanks for all the nice wishes. I'm originally from Lithuania.

    So back to the trip...
    The guy I'm supposed to ride with is living a bit away, and with my seven day a week work schedule we did not get to ride together until just few days ago. We spent a lot of time chatting online about different route options and what things we need for the trip.

    Due to how last minute this trip came about, my road test was scheduled less than a week prior to when we're supposed to leave. Also most locations are full for 2months in advanced here in NY. So we were gonna drive out of NY, about hour and a half to take the test which was scheduled for 8am.

    We left at 6am, passing through the George Washington Bridge as the morning sun warmed the thick fog that was floating above the Hudson River.

    The weather was perfect and as we made our way through Palisades parkway the valleys, hills and forest around us really made for an amazing morning scenery. Everything was going perfect...

    I was riding my SportCity 250 as I though this help me pass the test with no problems, as the burgman is quite heavy at low speeds and just feels like riding a big hippo. That said the power was plenty enough for a highway.

    Close to our destination we drove up to a round about, my friend passed me going a bit faster than he should've... he was getting into the turn a bit fast.
    I could already imagine him turn too much, hit the curb sideways and flip... but no. He kept his cool and drove straight onto the small curb, and through the grass and kept going. Those 23" wheels on his Kawasaki Vulcan really worked. His turning skills did not. It dawned on me that driving in Manhattan even for multiple years mean that no matter how impressive his skills of going in between traffic and racing between lights can be... he might've never seen a bending turn. SH*T... I thought I was the inexperienced one on this trip.
    #13
  14. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    We arrive at the town, and wait for the road test to start. Once the instructor arrives, he says where's your car? Within two minutes I have two people with cars that'll drive the instructor in their car to follow me on the scoot during the test. But the instructor tells me that you can't have just someone let them use their car. I say that the requirement is 'licensed driver with insured & inspected car,' he says no you can't and enters my license info into his pda canceling my road test. I am getting mad, asking him why can't any car that's legal on the road be ok for him to be a passenger in and follow behind me on the test. He just keeps saying I don't want to argue. He refuses to give a number to call the office where he works. And the online DMV call center has no real people, just automated information.

    I feel so frikking defeated...
    and mad

    [​IMG]

    I check other NY state road test locations and the only one that's available first is this town again... The next date is the Monday that we were supposed to leave. It's the last hope of not throwing away the trip. I have limited amount of time by which I have to be back for work...
    #14
  15. NL7U

    NL7U Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Geritol County (Deltona, Florida)
    Gotta love this report! I'm subscribed!:ear
    #15
  16. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    We drive couple of blocks to the main street to get some breakfast. While parking on an incline my friend drops his bike. While trying to catch it he revs it and floods the engine.

    I'm really feeling retarded about this trip at that point...

    [​IMG]

    After a bagel and coffee we drive out back to NY. He needs to get his bike to a shop to fix the leaking forks and front brakes. I say that we make a half an hour detour and drive through the curvy bear mountain. For me as a smile recovery ride... for him to learn a bit of what leaning the bike is.

    [​IMG]

    As we drive I notice him dropping the speed. We stop and now (probably due to the dropped bike) the kick stand is falling down while riding. He needs to keep putting it up. After awhile I get this rubber hook I had and tie the kick stand under his bike.

    The crazy curves plus the new sticky and smooth pavement on the bear mountain makes me feel a lot better.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,026
    Location:
    California, rest in peace
    In! Have a great trip, hope your license thing gets sorted out.
    #17
  18. tennesseejoe

    tennesseejoe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    23
    goodluck on the trip! this should be interesting
    #18
  19. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    200 miles later I get to Long Island, catch up on some work and in the evening take the big burgman. My girlfriend takes me out to the City Field. Riding the big scoot on the back for the first time she feels a lot more comfy and happy. Does not start yelling at me to slow down at 55 mph. After some highway miles we hit bad traffic, then two really really long lights. Then I stop to ask how parking works for the stadium and bam OVERHEATED....

    It is humid like crazy and 95-100 degrees, but... I just bought this 650 and the dealer checked it and said it was all good (oil change + top off liquids)

    After some hanging out at the game and me trying to figure out what the hell an inning is and how baseball works I start to ponder how Detroit which from what I know is literally bankrupt just ripped Mets a new deposit hole.

    [​IMG]

    Mystified by the magical sport of baseball we ride back with me checking my temp carefully and riding lowest rpm's possible.

    Next morning I drop the bike off at suzuki... It's Thursday. I'm supposed to be leaving for California Monday in early AM. I think that the dealer forgot to top off the coolant. When I bought my Aprilia same thing happened on a hot day.. I topped off the coolant and it's running purrfect since.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. TheBlurr

    TheBlurr Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,588
    Location:
    Montana
    May I suggest you both take a Motorcycle Safety Course before you take on this journey?
    #20