East Coast Travels

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JamesHTrotter, May 22, 2021.

  1. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Well, here we are again. For anyone getting up to speed, humbly and unofficially dubbed "AdvRider's lightest packer", I have ridden thousand's of miles, long distances on small bikes. I suppose the biggest being from New York to Florida to Utah on a CRF230L ( https://advrider.com/f/threads/cross-country-crf230l.1371217/ )

    The CRF230L has been my only mode of motorized transportation since leaving New York in 2019. It currently has 25,000 miles on it and is still healthy and happy. It will be going in for some preventative cam-chain maintenance and a new cylinder and piston.

    That being said, I have recently picked up a 2020 CBR300R. I learned to ride on street bikes, and this one has been a blast. I have never owned a new vehicle before, so this was a big and special purchase.

    Now it is the end of May and I will be heading back to New York for the summer, taking the CBR300R with me. It has less than 400 miles on it, and just took it in for its first service. Life always blesses us with lessons to be learned. And thus was another lesson on attachments. The bike went in brand new and came out beat up. It had been dropped at the dealership. While they have been -mostly- professional about the situation and plan to replace everything damaged (handlebars, exhaust, fairings, mirror, swinger-arm) the situation currently remains unresolved while the parts are en-route.

    Surprisingly, since the drop, I feel more connected to the little bike than I did before. I feel ready for the adventure ahead. Timing is going to be close as the plan is to leave Utah before the month is over, so any un-addressed repairs will have to wait until the return to Utah in August. A lesson in acceptance, forgiveness, understanding and appreciation. Maybe more on that another time.

    This is not a true "Epic Adventure" as I will be starting the ride from Knoxville Tennessee before heading up all backroads back to New York, but it will be a few days of riding and camping and so here it is.

    The most ironic and fun challenge is that while I have packed incredibly minimally in the past, I have zero storage space on the 300R, so the baggage will be even lighter. Granted the trek on the 230L was relocating most of my material possessions, I have had the opportunity to further reduce for this one.

    This will be the most updated way to following along, but there is always instagram: @TheJamesTrotter
    and most recently, YouTube: James Henry Trotter

    The bike before the fall:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next post will be about luggage. As always, thanks for following along.
    #1
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  2. Incredulous

    Incredulous Peanut Gallery Supporter

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    Sounds like a cool ride. Be happy to follow along.

    But...the dealer "dropped" it? As in dropped it off the lift, or was riding it around and dumped it at speed?

    Not sure how I would take too that particular "lesson".
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  3. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    haha! @Incredulous thanks for following along!
    Agreed, it's definitely not an ideal situation, however, it is the situation. I truly believed they dropped it off the lift, as the damage seems more like impact damage than a slide. I had a pretty intense, internal response but started eventually starting laughing.

    That being said, as it seems unavoidable, this has been my thought process.

    I live a radically simplistic life...radically. I do not own much more than fits inside a backpack. This also a very frugal life.
    The backstory in brief: As a child I had wanted to be a Franciscan monk. Always felt a very deep connection to the poor. In 2011, went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, living and working around squatter villages there, where people had next to nothing, living in plywood huts. It was a very emotional experience to say the least. Returned from that and chose to structure my life according to how I felt. It was at this point I began to study with the Trappist monks, adopting a vow a personal poverty.
    This vow has many facets, but one of the main underlying ones is to live in communion with the poor of the world. Most of the world's population does not own a car. Most folks travel on small displacement motorbikes. Thus my really getting into riding.
    Now I learned how to ride from my father, who grew up riding old Honda's, so I learned on larger street bikes, but have slowly gone smaller and smaller.
    Adopting and developing the monastic life has also influenced many of my "worldly" behaviors (i.e. how I eat, dress, etc). I left my job in the public schools of New York to relocate to the southwest to work with the low-income population out here.
    So that being said, buying a NEW bike, a NEW and FLASHY bike was a really big moral debate. It was really and truly an intense time.
    Obviously, I ended up buying the bike and really have been babying it. To be honest, while it has been a joy to ride a fuel injected machine that weighs enough to not be tossed around in the wind, there was a lurking guilt and humiliation for owning it. Not owning much allows me to take really good care of what I do have, but this bike was creeping into a new territory.

    The experience at the dealer (who will remain nameless) went like this:
    -Drop the bike off at opening, first service, less than 400 miles on it.
    -Go pick the bike up two hours later, it is leaking oil.
    -Go inside and tell the service manager.
    -Manager takes the bike back.
    -A few minutes later manager tells me the problem is resolved but my steering was off so they are going to fix that and take it for a test ride (FIRST RED FLAG)
    -Bike is returned to me, I start it up and the throttle is locked up, then I notice the bar end is scratched up.
    -Bring one of the service guys outside to see it, he takes the bike back
    -Service manager comes out again and admits there was an accident, they would fix what they could so I could ride it and they would replace all damaged parts (swing arm can't be replaced only painted, but I'm going to inquire further about this).

    While riding back to the where I live, the initial internal response was self-pity, but quickly turned into laughter at what a wake-up call this was for attachment to material things. I still feel sad when I think about it, but again, this is the situation, I have to accept it and be grateful for it. Everyone makes mistakes, and no matter what the circumstance, it is important to forgive before even being asked forgiveness. All the internal strife I was having about owning a brand new bike, how proud I was about it --all that gone just like that. It's now a dropped bike, currently scraped and scratched. No longer looking new. Everything can change in moment.
    My spiritual father would always remind me to live for eternity, not for this world.
    There is a story from the monastery that goes like this:
    (abridged version)

    There is a brother who is visiting one of the elders, before leaving he makes off with the elder's Bible. The brother takes the Bible into town to a merchant and asks for 14 gold coins for it. The merchant says "it is a wonderful book, however I will have to make sure it is worth that, come back to tomorrow and I will tell you its value."
    That evening the merchant takes the Bible to the elder and asks him what he supposes the book is worth. The elder responds "Oh, this is a fine book! Wonderfully made! 14 gold pieces is a fair price! I would say maybe even 16!"

    The next day, the brother returns to the merchant. The merchant explains that he visited the elder and that the elder says the book might be worth more than the brother was asking, and that he would certainly like to buy it.
    The brother turns pale and asks "Is that all he said to you about the book?"
    "It is, why?" replies the merchant.
    "Sorry, it is not for sale!" says the brother, and he takes the book and returns to the elder.

    He begs the elder to take the book back and begs his forgiveness. The elder responds "My son, I have long since made that book a gift to you to do with it as you would like. I did not want to cause your soul trouble for theft. Take the book and sell it, it is yours."

    The brother insists his soul will never know peace unless the elder takes the book back, which he does, and the brother lives as his disciple moving forward.

    The point being, never to own anything you would not willing give away. A simple, but very difficult lesson. Practically speaking, someone in that dealership shop made a mistake, and probably got reamed out for it. I have the choice to make it worse or to accept it and approach the situation lovingly. I know this might sound stupid or ignorant or naive, however I need to trust the situation will reconcile as it is supposed to.

    That being said.... I know most folks are going to disagree with me on this, but maybe we can keep the conversation less about it. I know I brought it up, but maybe it seemed inevitable.

    Thanks!
    #3
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  4. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    You have a good perspective. Many people get caught up pursing material things instead of truly living.
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  5. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Brother James - U do have a great perspective & it's refreshing. But the dealer sounds like from your explanation that they were not forthcoming with what happened to your moto. Hold them accountable, as they should be. If you are not satisfied contact Honda of America to sort out - what's right is right.

    Vaya con Dios
    #5
  6. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Currently packing. Bringing the bike back to the dealership tomorrow for any cosmetic repairs.
    Will post about packing list tomorrow when the bike is back.
    As most of the trek will be in the eastern climate, have invested in a tent. Cowboy camping in humidity with frequent chances of rain just seems less than ideal.
    Thank being said, I have a little tail bag and a backpack to carry everything from clothes to tent to food.
    As has been discussed in threads past, with a diet of oats and oats and oats, packing food is not so bad.
    Leaving Utah in a few days. Looking forward to visiting the east coast again.

    One backpack, one tail bag.
    IMG_3708 copy.jpg
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  7. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

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    Oblate
    motorcyclist, JamesHTrotter?

    If so, good on ya!
    #7
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  8. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

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    Hey, hope my post didn't KILL this thread! :D

    Regardless, hope everything's OK on your, "East Coast Travels," JamesHTrotter!
    #8
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  9. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

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    :hmmmmm

    Thanks.
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  10. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Alive and well!
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  11. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    The drive across the country from Utah to Knoxville was pretty straight forward. Pretty much interstate, sleep, interstate, sleep. Three nights.
    Knoxville marks the beginning of the long twisty ride back to New York.

    Knoxville to Balsam Mountain Campground (Smokey Mountains National Park)

    IMG_3813.jpeg IMG_3833.jpeg IMG_3836.jpeg IMG_3840.jpeg IMG_3846.jpeg IMG_3858.jpeg IMG_3865.jpeg IMG_3867.jpeg
    #11
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  12. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Having ridden the Blue Ridge Parkway before, and Skyline Drive fairly annually, this time was pretty special as being out in the desert really directed the attention at how lush everything was (and equally humid). Camping out at Balsam Mountain brought an array of experiences that had become unfamiliar--a different cast of evening bird songs, the cold humid nighttime air, clouds, sleeping in a tent (opposed to cowboy camping out in the desert).
    So after waking up in a tent a Balsm Mountain, got an early start. The next few days were already in front of me-- BRP from mile post 469.1 all the way to mile post 0, then Skyline drive.
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  13. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    That bike must be a blast on twisty roads :thumb
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  14. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    So much fun! Didn't hit the Dragon this time around but rode Diamondback, Blue Ridge, Skyline, and few other random back roads. Such a blast on the three-hundo!
    #14
  15. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Anyone who has read any of my past ride reports, this one is less full of internal strife and external epiphanies. It just was just a really fun few days of riding, camping and hiking.
    I am working on a video of what I pack, will post that up once it is done.
    From Balsam Mountain, picked up the Blue Ridge Parkway and rode up to Little Switzerland. When I first got my motorcycle license, my first really bike was an early 2000's CB250 Nighthawk. That summer, I packed a backpack and left New York for two months. I rode out to Philadelphia and spent a night with a friend of mine. The next day I headed over to Shenandoah and rode the twisty roads down towards Asheville, NC.
    Camping out along the way, there was one particular stretch that was damp and cold on a rainy evening. It was getting late, I was feeling tired. I remember riding past Little Switzerland, knowing I could not afford to stay there. I rode on into the cold and rainy evening, eventually finding a spot to spend the night.
    Well, several years later I took the plunge and coughed up the money and spent one night at the Little Switzerland Lodge. What a treat it was! Was lucky enough to have a room with a view and the hotter and pool all to myself! Granted it was a chilly and cloudy evening with rain looming in the air, but was well worth it.
    Slept warm and well!
    IMG_3899.jpeg 9259A719-9594-4152-A9B6-3DF84989574D 2.jpg IMG_3880.jpeg IMG_3970.jpeg IMG_3964.jpeg

    Attached Files:

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  16. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Cloudy ride through the Blue Ridge
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