Cycle South 2018 Edition. From Ohio to wherever man.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ohio_Danimal, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    So where to start.

    I’m Dan, a 57yr old DWM with, like many of you, an insatiable Wanderlust.

    I left my Corporate job two weeks ago. Have almost finished cashing everything in. The plan is to leave NE Ohio on June 16(ish) of this year, and do as so many others have done, or tried to do, ride to Ushuaia via a TAT ride (and then, in my plan, return ride, taking more time)

    It started in the mid-70s when a friend’s older brother gave my friend and I an 8mm copy of a movie titled “Cycles South”, a 1971 docu-funny movie about 3 friends who decide on a whim to head south on motorcycles, Freewheeling hippy-styled adventures ensued. I cannot recommend watching it enough! Watched that over and over projected onto a white sheet in his basement
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    I think of myself as a Hippy, and do my best to spread peace, love, understanding and compassion wherever I go and to (pretty much) whomever I meet. I know a LOT of time has passed since the days of yore when Peace and Love was (at least in my perception) more prevelant, and today’s current climate seems light-years away from the peace and love era, but I really want to do my part to bring it back, if even just in my own mind.

    13 years of a failed Marriage wasn’t enough to dampen the overall desire to ride (she wasn’t into it really) and since the Divorce a bit over a decade ago, my riding has exploded, Mostly Sport-touring, ripping around the USA and Canada

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    Typical stuff, but for me never got enough. My favorite bike amongst many was the blue ‘03 SV pictured. Sold with well over 200K on her. (miss that bike)

    The riding was only limited by a couple of broken legs (#1 hit a deer, #2, hit some ice) and limited mainly by my most pronounced life problem, Cluster Headaches.

    They are a neurological disorder, sometime thought to be caused by a malfunctioning hypothalamus gland. They aren’t headaches in the traditional sense, and not related to Migraines (though I have much compassion for sufferers of Migraines)

    The attacks are shorter lived than a typical migraine, though much much more intense. Often referred to by researchers as the highest level of pain one can experience.

    If not aborted by a Sumatriptan injection (which are in themselves hard on the heart) the attack lasts perhaps an hour...only to be repeated again...and sometimes a third time. Every single day of a “cycle”

    You see there are two types of Cluster sufferers. Chronic and Episodic. Mine are Episodic, and a “cycle” of attacks lasts from around 4 weeks (short one) to as much as 4-5 months (my worst) before they end and a remission begins.

    The drugs given during the cycles are done to try to end the cycle. Most of them cause problems of their own, and NONE of them allow normalcy in one’s life.

    Work is impossible. Sleep is impossible. Cluster headaches are nicknamed “Suicide headaches” for a good reason.

    Some promishing research is being done in the UK and AUS on Clusters using specific molecules associated with Psilocybin mushrooms. Some report remissions for the first time in years. Some have had total remission. Let’s just say that one goal on my trip will be …..to trip. We’ll leave it at that for now

    I could go on...and am certainly willing to answer any questions you might have, but will stop talking about my problem now...as I have been in remission now for 14 months. One of my longest ever.

    Let’s talk about my upcoming trip….my bike prepped for the Journey….how I am affording it...whatever.

    I have somehow maintained decent jobs throughout the decades of dealing with this problem. But that Divorce/Custody battle lasted 18 months and cost me everything. A NICE big house in a great neighborhood in Cleveland (Shaker Heights) and much much more. It threw me into financial chaos.

    The decade since, I have tried to live an economical life, but paying off the nearly $100K in debt was VERY hard. Harder than it should have been.

    But...as my Son prepared for College entrance exams, and yet another financial burden was staring me in the face, it happened.

    I was beyond broke and had MAJOR debt

    Ex-wife had nothing to her name aside from the huge house (she still has) and she had little income.

    Because of these factors, and along with our Son doing very well in both the ACT and SAT tests, the offers started coming. HUGE low-income Grants were procured. Combined with academic scholarships, he graduated from a GREAT college with honors and two degrees (Neuroscience and Microbio) and get this….with NO debt. None!

    Then he went and moved to Baltimore and got a great job at a Brain Research Lab.

    In August of this year, he’s moving again...to Boston as he just accepted a FULL RIDE to Grad School at Boston U, along with a salary!

    So, he’s off on his own...and my job as Father is partly successful. I can go now.

    That, and my total debt is now VERY close to ZERO (and will be after a chunk of the nest egg is thrown at it)

    So, to the point. My only funds are the measly $$ from the past 10 years 401K plan at a Corp Job (Senior Buyer/Sourcing for Biotech Co.).

    I qualify for the “55 Rule” for 401K closures.

    1) I am at least 55 yrs old

    2) Have been working at the Co. where the plan is at least 5 years and:

    3) I am no longer working there


    My last day at work was April 16th!!!

    So I can take it all out w/out penalty, althogh I do have to pay taxes, The call has been made.

    The check is, as they say, in the mail. Once in my hands, it’ll be split into different accounts, etc for the trip

    Passport has been secured

    Routes through Mexico determined.

    Room enough on the Nov 3rd date with the Stahratte confirmed.

    Bike build completed yesterday. Bike started. All is well. Getting it plated this week.


    Bike is a 2011 DR650 that I got from a dealer with 62 miles on it, so essentially new. Heavily modified for the trip, having gone over pretty much anything that could be done to a DR to prepare, outside of welding reinforcements on the frame.


    There she is on the left, next to my friend Ed’s DR that he built for the same trip (has since gone to a new Honda AT)

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    Here’s pretty much the entire Procycle catalog, along with full Cogent suspension...lots of stuff

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    Basic list of mods done to date
    • Cogent springs and DDC cartridges up front, 5W oil.
    • Honda Dominator front fender
    • Warp9 fork brace
    • Custom upper triple, Rox risers, Protaper EVO bars in CR High bend
    • Oxford ADV heated grips
    • Galfer brakes and brake lines
    • Trail Tech Vapor guages
    • Dual USB charge port with built in voltage meter (switched on dash)
    • 30W Phillips H4 LED bulb in main light (KTM 690SM headlight bucket)
    • 30W LED light bar, combo spots and floods (switched on dash)
    • Yenkro tower and rally fairing assembly
    • Safari 30L tank
    • Corbin Saddle
    • TCI Skidplate/engine guards, with highway pegs mounted
    • NSU screws safety wired
    • Countershaft seal retainer installed
    • High Output 250W stator installed
    • Mosfet R&R installed.
    • Upper chain roller removed
    • Lower chain roller replaced with improved unit with sealed bearings.
    • Full LED turn signals
    • LED trail light in DR350 shell (Sylvania ZEVO...freaking BRIGHT brake light)
    • Custom tool holder for Snap Jack (no centerstand)
    • Moose Expedition rack system
    • Mule Pack poly molder lockable panniers
    • Givi Trekker Outback monokey top case
    • Cogent Mojave shock
    • All bearing gone over and greased (every one on bike)
    • Procycle mid-pipe and Suzuki x40FOx can from GSXR (the Holy Grail!) with spark arrester added.
    • JNS Sproket cover/case saver
    • JNS lower and further back footpeg brackets
    • Promoto ADV giant footpegs
    • Wheels are (for now) stock. On way to the West Coast, will be stopping at Woodys Wheel Works and getting hooked up with a set of customer wheels for the trip (Rachelle is AWESOME!) with gold hubs, black rims, rear sealed for tubeless, stock sizes
    • Running down 1 tooth in front for now. Will decide after break in miles whether I like it.

    And as she sits today, nearly completed. Just started her yesterday and all seems well.


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    Mule Pack poly panniers on Moose Expedition racks. Top box is Givi Outback Trekker monokey

    [​IMG]


    If anyone has any specific questions about the mods, feel free to ask!


    As far as gear, will be hauling a pretty extensive spare parts bag to hopefully get me out of trouble, including full rebuild kits for both the forks and the Cogent Mojave rear shock. NSU safety wired, Stator replaced with higher-output and Mosfet R&R installed. Running Oxford heated grips, and have SAE plug for my Gerbings jacket liner.


    Using a lightweight Kelty Gunnison 2 man tent to start, with 15deg synthetic Big Agnes sleep system with 4” insulated mattress.


    Extensive cook kit (gasolone burner, custom fit to Trangia winscreen/pot set) , as I LOVE procuring fresh food for the night’s meal when camping.


    And speaking of camping, not planning on doing much in MX and CA, but all bets are off once I reach SA. Will be visiting a friend and her family in Ecuador at Christmas, and I believe they have a secure address, so am thinking of shipping my Redverz Solo tent down there, to avoid haluing that heavy thing all the way down, before I can really enjoy it.


    So...just wanted to get this out here finally in ADV. I’ve been doing some posting in the DR650 thread and a few others, mostly asking for advice. And now, the trip is rushing up at me like a freaking freight train.

    I am a bit scared right now. Vascillating between fear and depression at times. Slacking lately in my daily Spanish practice (Duolingo says I’m 45% fluent lol) but as the Earth rotates around the Sun, time is NOT waiting for me to get going. I’m at the point of no return now!!!

    A group of riding friends from Ohioriders.net are having their annual Deals Gap trip in June. Ed and I will be joining them in the Smokys, and then leaving on 6/24ish to ride the TAT West to the Oregon coast. From there, South until the road runs out.


    My plan for this RR is simple: Raw unfiltered posting and pictures will probably be posted live on my FB page as they happen, assuming I have cell signal etc.

    When I have a restfull place and decent Wifi, I will update this RR as well as the one already going on Ohioriders (link in my signature) with such content that your head’s will explode. Guaranteed,

    So please have patience with me. And I hope you enjoy following along, even if for a short while.

    There have been a ton of Ride Reports here on ADV that have fueled my dream. Too many to try to list, but all I can say is thank you Michnus/Joseph/Charlie/RainbowFarm/ and sooo many others for having the courage to share your life with us, and taking the time to do so.

    In the next week I’ll get the bike plated, get insurance worked out and begin final packing and prep work like that.
    #1
  2. 2talltim

    2talltim Resident MacGyver

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    43019
    FIRST!!
    #2
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  3. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    This aint' Ohio Riders Timmy. But duly noted you were indeed first to post.
    :lol3:lol3
    You'll be missed my friend. But we have time for goodbyes and emotions when I see you in NC (unless you're coming to Sam's bash Saturday...which I am planning on riding Sunny to)
    #3
  4. 2talltim

    2talltim Resident MacGyver

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    43019
    Yes I will miss your ugly mug. I'm planning on being at Sam's unless I have to work.
    #4
    Ohio_Danimal likes this.
  5. Tagman

    Tagman JCunningham San Carlos, Mexico

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    San Carlos , Sonora Mexico
    I have watched Cycles South a few times and love the movie. I lived in Colorado before I moved to San Carlos Mexico, I still ride the route to Colo about once a year and I can recognize many of the locations in the movie. They camped on the beach and caught lobster for dinner less than a mile from my house here in San Carlos. My wife and I have been riding Mexico for about 6 yrs now and am looking forward to your travels. If you come thru Guaymas / San Carlos look us up.
    #5
  6. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Will do and thank you for the kind offer!
    #6
  7. Rudderfeet

    Rudderfeet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Central Ohio, USA
    Following!
    #7
  8. qman8

    qman8 15 GSA / 16 WR250R

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,468
    Location:
    ohio
    Good Luck and Safe travels Dan! Bookmarked!
    #8
  9. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,026
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    You have the right tool for the job, good luck
    #9
  10. hvilla

    hvilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Aztec, NM, USA
    Loved the video...laughed my head off!! Looking forward to your adventures...thanks for sharing!!
    :clap:clap:lurk
    #10
    Ohio_Danimal likes this.
  11. jimjim

    jimjim Just another FF!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,856
    Location:
    oHIo
    Best of luck to you Dan, safe travels! I'm sure it will be an adventure, looking forward to reading your RR.
    #11
    Ohio_Danimal likes this.
  12. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    Have been following for a bit on OhioRiders and have read the entire 32? pages. Wish I had discovered it a little bit sooner since we live in the SAME town. Would have loved to help out and still will if I can be of any assistance. Will be following along as you post all the while wishing that I could quit my job and go with you. Watching intently. Best of luck for sure.
    #12
  13. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Thanks!...I promise it won't be boring.

    Thanks Q...any chance you can ride down to the Gap with me and a bit West on the TAT? PM me

    The DR's known for it's durability, and outside of welding reinforcements on the frame, she's locked and loaded for bear. Thanks for the GL!

    I think on this trip I'm gonna be Bobby Garcia. He got laid more lol, while the others were off smoking pot.

    Wait...scratch that....first I'll smoke the herb...THEN I'll be Bobby Garcia

    Miss ya Jim..

    I'll have the bike home soon for final prep/packing work. We'll have to get together sometime. I'm on Filmore

    I just posted a change in plans on the Central Regional forum.

    Looks like Ed will be with me only for the first few weeks. Then he has things to attend back in Ohio.
    Also, due to his schedule change, he's trailering down to the Deals Gap get together, so I'll be riding down solo....so leaving NE Ohio around 6/17, getting to the Smokys around 6/20 and leaving on the TAT West on 6/24 (Ohio Riders get together is 6/20-6/24)

    Anyone along the way want to ride along, I'm cool with whatever!
    #13
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  14. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Here's more random facts about me that may help those who know me and always wondered, or just the curious
    • When I was 13 yrs old (1973) had a close encounter with multiple witnesses with a glowing ball of light in the woods near my house. Sighting lasted over an hour. Something I'll never forget, and have only mentioned to close friends for fear of ridicule. Now's the time to come out.
    • Then came to discover that my Parents had a close encounter when I was young. My late Mother would go on and on about it. My Dad barely admitted it happened, which pissed her off to no end. Typical movie-type setting. In a convertible at a 4 way stop. Bright lights shine down. Car dies. Mom looks up to see it and for whatever reason Dad sat there white knuckled the steering wheel and wouldn't even respond to her beating his shoulder. Light goes off with a POP sound. Dad wakes up, starts the car and says "what...so the car dies...so what!"
    • My Son Spencer (only child) is the most beautiful, intelligent, loving person on this planet. And from the age of 9 to his Junior yr in College was a stud pitcher in baseball (torn UCL eventually got him)
    picture of Spencer at graduation with a favorite Professor at Kenyon
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    • My (ex) wife was a gymnast (lol...was awesome for a while) [LOOK, I said these factoids would be random )
    • I tried Professional Bass Fishing for a few years. Was very good and won some $$. Never enough to stay afloat so to speak.
    • Was the Manager of a large bicycle shop a long time and built custom wheels for many years. Also was involved in road racing until injury stopped that
    • Obtained the nickname Danimal in the 1980's while bicycle racing based upon my riding style (was a hellacious sprinter for a few years)
    • Suffered through 5 miscarriages with my ex in a 4-1/2 year period before Spencer was born. Man what a tough period for my then-wife.
    • Bought my first bike (Yamaha DT90) behind my parent's back
    • Bought my 4th bike (Yamaha Vision) while in a full leg cast from an accident from a prior Yamaha Vision
    • I eat wings every Monday night at Tim's Pizzeria near my home with my oldest and dearest friend Mike Wagner (Wags). Gonna miss ya Buddy
    Wags and his Viffer
    [​IMG]
    • I haven't cut my hair in over 3 years, since the death of my best friend Mark Moyer (Passinthru here on ADV and elsewhere) Mark died in my arms of heart failure the evening before we were leaving for 4 weeks on a motorcycle trip to the Grand Canyon. I administered CPR until they got there but it was too late. Miss you still Mark, and you'd be proud of my long hair (he was growing his out when he passed away)
    me and Mark
    [​IMG]
    • I loved IPA's before they were popular
    • I was the first person in Ohio to own a CSC RX3 Adventure bike (made by Zongshen). Here is a pic of Merry (her name) somewhere in the Smoky Mtns a few years back. Bike was purchased with intentions of taking on THIS trip, but to be honest, I beat the living snot out of that little 250, and after 30K in 2 years she needed much too much refreshed, so decided on the DR
    [​IMG]
    • Less than 2 months ago, at 10pm while on my way home from Wag's house, witnessed again something crazy. Even got out of my car to stand right under it. Large brightly lit triangle. Was maybe 400-500 ft up. Motionless, no noise, and then rotated on it's axis a bit and was gone. Reported it to MUFON and was interviewed recently, meaning they had other reports from the area same night. Guarantee they weren't standing right under it!
    • Had already bought a 2006 DR650 last Fall and started prepping it for this trip. On first weekend camping trip, ended up in the hospital after going through a car window head first. Was out for 12hrs. Still have no memory of most of that weekend. Some bits and pieces. Two days ago when I fired Sunny up, was the first time riding again since the accident.
    • Love Manga/Anime, going back to when Spencer was younger and involved in the Pokemon card game. I became a certified game judge at tournaments, and two years in a row, Spencer made it to the FINAL match (winner goes to World Championship in Japan) and both times lost to the same kid from Kentucky. Now am infatuated with the series "One Piece", and my bike is named after the main ship in the series (Thousand Sunny)

    That's enough mindless rambling for now.
    #14
  15. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    SO folks tell me...is it too early to start my RR here?....
    I certainly will be updating often with prep details, packout details, kit contents, cooking suggestions, nursery rhymes....whatever
    #15
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  16. Cuzen

    Cuzen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    439
    Location:
    13 Miles from Richmond Indiana
    I will be following along:D.....Mark is on your shoulder.
    #16
    Ohio_Danimal likes this.
  17. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Thanks Cuz
    #17
  18. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Took Sunny out for a ride tonight
    Because I wanted to aim the headlights. Right.
    Also filled the tank. Already had a bit from starting at Ed’s. Took 7.3 gallons to bottom of the neck. Man it ain’t light!!!
    Rode fucking nice though. Huge credit to Rick and the crew at Cogent. Definitely sprung for what she’s carrying.
    Stopped to have dinner. Keep looking out the restaurant window like a kid looking at her.
    #18
  19. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    958
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm in and no it isn't too early to start your RR. Safe travels and enjoy life it's short.
    #19
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  20. B-Mac

    B-Mac Aged Beef Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,820
    Location:
    South Central, Ohio
    Wow, It started to sound like a last farewell trip.:lol3
    I wish you all the best and will be watching this epic road trip. You are the right man for this journey Dan so stay safe and watch your 6.:bubba
    #20
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