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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Gnarcosis, Mar 7, 2020.
Loving it, roll on!!!
I’m glad some of you guys are digging my ramblings! I wish I wasn’t so busy these last few days so I could finish it up.. but we’ll get there.
good stuff, don't leave us hanging
I promise I won’t! It’s been looong days at work this week, but I think there’s an end in sight!
Another new fan here and yes, you MUST do an RR.
love that part of the country
if ya ever want to you can sign up for eagle rider club, they take 29.99 out of your account once a month and you get a free day. they still hit ya with some fine print charges, so it works out to about 1/2 price
you also get a free day on your birthday
I've done it several times and you can use my code or some one else ya know and both of ya get another day
I missed the part about not riding on the gravel roads part, opps
Yeah the dude told me about it while I was there. I just wish they had a wider variety of bikes. I saw some have Teneres and GS's. May be something I'll look into one of these days. If I do, I'll hit you up for that code!
Never seen wild hogs. Have seen Javelina tho. That's almost the same, right?
Man its been a long day, but I'll see if I can throw another segment up for you guys!
I walked out of the restaurant, full of grease and caffeine..Homeostasis as far as I am concerned. I was subtly trying to take the picture you see above, as I don't really like to be "Mr. takes pictures of everything he does." I snapped a few, I was still too close, and that sign was too tall, but, whatever, we'll make it work. I had my headphones in, and suddenly there was like a 4' tall old lady in front of me, looking at me like she was waiting for something. I pulled out my earbud and said,
"Any good?" She asked me.
"Nah.. the sign is too tall and I'm still....." and then I realized she was definitely not asking about how my picture turned out. "Uh, yeah no, its uh, yeah, no it's not bad, not bad."
I don't know if this GIF is going to work or not, but lets hope for the best and worry about it later.
Based on my stellar review, she headed inside, and I hopped on the Harley, fired it up, gave her a few good redemption revs, and tore off through the dirt parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. (Don't tell that rental guy.)
The plan was to hop back on I40 East for another 30ish miles until Holbrook, then I could branch off and do some exploring. I looked at google maps while I ate breakfast, and memorized the names of the towns I'd be passing through, and figured that would be enough to get me where I was going.
But wait, can't you go stand on the corner...in Winslow Arizona?! I mean you can, but you shouldn't. I don't think ol' Glenn had ever been to Winslow when he wrote that song. No offense, Winslow folk.
After a quick 20 or so minutes on the highway, I spied the exit for St. Johns, my first waypoint town. Right when you get off the highway, its a few blocks off old Americana-esque Route 66. It's like going back in time, seeing all these old school motels and little roadside repair shops. Most of it is nothing more than ruins, as the day I40 opened, the majority of Route 66 was forever bypassed. Some of the stuff has managed to hang on, somehow. You can find that classic motel with the rooms that are Teepee's, all sorts of cool stuff. Abandoned/ time capsule stuff like that is my favorite.
So Ross, where are the pictures? Yeah.. it was still pretty cold, and there was so much to look at, it overwhelmed me and I just drove past it all. I'll be back though, and I'll have pictures on the next one!
NOT my photo, but this is exactly how it looks now. Old cars and all.
Once you turn off this strip, you'll hop on 180, which take you right past the Petrified Forest National Park, and all the associated commercial stuff. I went there as a kid, so I've always figured there is no need to go again. But as I rode by I realized that it didn't look familiar at all.. So maybe next time.
After that, it's a straight shot through plain old desert. It was starting to warm up, I notched my boot heels in the crash bars, leaned back and it was bliss. There was nobody on the road, save for the occasional cow, but they seemed smarter than the average cager anyway, (See kids, this is called pandering.) so we left each other alone.
Every now and then I would catch a little single track trail running through the sand/dirt on the side of the highway, and the majority of me wanted to give 'er a whirl. But then I remembered that I suck at riding dirt bikes, so single tracking' rental Harleys probably again falls under the category of "You can, but you shouldn't." (side note, I have some amazing go pro footage of me tumbling down a hill climb with a DRZ400e bouncing off of me every now and then. I really wanted to throw some stills up, but I cannot find it right now. I will keep trying, rest assured.)
The speed limit on this stretch is 55, a nice easy pace. But this is when I first noticed that this bike had some sort of malfunction somewhere. You see, I'd look down, be going 55 ish. I'd look back up, look down again, and now it would say 85! After troubleshooting this for a while, I took my hand off the throttle, and couldn't reproduce the problem. Huh.. One of those weird gremlins.
95ish miles on the trip, and the fuel light kicked on. Luckily, there was a gas station right in front of me. I got off the bike, topped her off with another 2 gallons, and felt my phone go off. The night prior I figured I better let my old man know what I was up to, just incase he got a call to go claim a body in Nowhere, New Mexico (You're 27 and your dad is your next of kin?) (Uh yeah, 27 is the new 17, and that makes me a minor, so WHO ELSE WOULD IT BE?)
I worked my phone out of my pocket and saw he'd texted me.
"Might want to reconsider leaving this morning, it's supposed to be freezing cold all day."
"Ah shoot, is it?" I mashed into the phone with my simultaneously numb and aching hands.
The ol two gallon tank keeps you at the gas station more often than not. But it's a good excuse to snap the same photo you've already taken many times over. But I mean, that paint!
B-C.. Spoiler alert on where I went next..
Be, two. Continued.
Funny enough, I just came home from a gig a minute ago. Was substituting a bass player and ”Take It Easy” was one of the songs they forced me to play...
Came home, checked this thread and was back in that corner in Winslow again, like right away! Ü
This is amazing - Keep it coming, pictures or not
also check with your insurance agent, your existing proabley covers the rental
Haha that's too good. I really don't mind the song, it's more Winslow that I don't agree with. Speaking of that song, check out this cover!
I appreciate the feedback! I'm going to see if I can bust out another little bit before I knock out tonight.
Ooh good call. I told him that I thought one of my credit cards covered it, the Chase Sapphire ELITE. But he said bikes are considered luxury rentals, and most companies don't cover them. Dude I have a metal credit card, don't talk to me about luxury! He said there was no rush and I could call them and check. So since he wasn't pushy about it, I figured might as well.
As you probably saw from the spoiler above, the next segment was a short one. The destination was just down south to Springerville. When checking out the map earlier, it looked like there wasn't a whole lot after the town, so I figured I should stop and fuel up again, even though it was only 30 ish miles.
Driving though St. Johns, I was impressed with the BDRV:H. (Broken Down RV to House Ratio.) You know those little towns? Where every house is just surrounded by broken down RV's, boats just sitting on the ground, and that damn metal art of the cowboy praying?
In your average midwest town, you're going to see a lot of American flags being flown from houses. But it'll be nothing compared to how many of these you will see.
Anyway, Arizona is not the midwest, but coulda fooled me, St. Johns..
Really the only thing of note between St. Johns and Springerville was a decent sized prison, not too far off the highway. I thought about being in there and hearing a motorcycle go by.. How torturous would that be. Part of me wanted to downshift and let it roar, the other part wanted to clutch in and coast by. Luckily, I was moving, and the prison was not. Before I could make my mind up, it was behind me. Thats how I like to handle shit.
I saw a sign for some lake, but when I looked down into where I figured the water would be, it was just grass. We have a lake like that in Flagstaff. Classic Arizona.
Springerville didn't have much to offer. There was one main drag that was a couple blocks long.
As you can imagine, I was pretty let down..
I saw a Circle K gas station at the end of the road, and pulled in. There was 4 Pumps, all blocked by cars without people in them, meanwhile all the parking spaces in front of the store were empty. I hate people. I backed the bike in to a spot, and waited for someone to leave. A couple good ol' boys came out and moved their truck. I started to move to that pump, and some old sack starts turning in off the street, and he's going for my pump. I would rather get ran over and total this bike than let this asshole take the pump, so I darted in front of him and dropped the stand. He swung around and parked in a spot. Were you even going to get gas, gramps?
I still had my helmet on, earbuds in with music playing, so I couldn't make out what he said, but when I looked at him, he was saying something. I didn't want to make a commotion, so I used my classic "Daze and Defuse maneuver." I don't want to reveal all my secrets so soon, but pick a random dude, walk up to him with a straight face and say, "Hey, Dad." Harness that power. If you can properly tailor it to your situation, deploy this technique, it'll give you ample time to escape even the angriest of the old bastards.
Heres that route again, incase you guys want to check out these fine destinations.
I've gotta be back up in a few hours, so I'll cut it off here for now!
This is simply awesome!
I lived in Springerville for a couple of years, and I have been in that Circle K many times.
There are some...different... folks there.
Yikes.. glad you made it out.
This installment is coming from my phone, formatting be damned!
The next leg of this adventure had me heading east on Highway 60, across the state line, and into Quemado, which in English means “What mado.”
Leaving my “dad” behind, I got back on the road. This bit looked familiar to me, but a lot of the state looks the same. If it was the stretch of road I thought it was, that meant there was hardly any cell signal, no gas for a while, and some seriously massive potholes.
The highway is the old school type, 1 lane each direction, with the occasional passing lane. This one also is blessed with lots of little rolling hills. I do love those little roller coaster type hills, but I know one of these days I’ll come over the top and see a stopped car, a cow, gravel, then entire cast of the mighty ducks, or any other amount of obstacles.
Fuck off, Emilio.
That same wind from the day prior was back with a vengeance. There was long sustained gusts that had me riding at a 45 degree angle to the ground, and shorter blasts that tried to escort you from your lane onto the rocky/hillsidey/barbedwirefencey/etc-y hazards beyond the shoulder. It must have been some kind of quartering cross wind, because at times, the riot shield on the front of the bike would appear to pull away from me, and I could feel the bike being tugged forward. Seems like that windshield really messes with the balance and stability of the bike, but I suppose Harley guys aren’t interested in trivial things like balance and stability, and would rather make sure the wind doesn’t upset their frosted tips, and HD bandana folded just right, so the logo and spooky skull is visible. There was still nobody on the road, and while the wind gusts were a nuisance, they weren’t slowing my roll one bit.
I can’t recall if they are on the Arizona or New Mexico side, so I’ll divy up the blame. But, upon seeing the first Volkswagen sized pothole, I realized I had driven this road before. I was in my work truck before, and some of them were fairly unavoidable, but I knew I should be able to miss them all on the bike. I swear you could fit 2 or 3 shoeboxes in some of these. I think they would stop the bike dead in its tracks if you dipped into one. It was a good exercise in target fixation, and scanning the road ahead of you. And when you would see one ahead, look and lean away from it to avoid it, but a gust of wind would push you right back towards it, that was a great exercise in bowel control.
They probably weren’t this bad, but they were pretty bad.
Even with the potholes, the blind rises, the gusty wind, I still struggled to keep the bike at the posted speed limit. Every single time I looked at the Speedo, I was doing 85. Yes, I am young, dumb, reckless, irresponsible, etc, but I really don’t speed like this on bikes. I’ll do the occasional pull, but blowing the speed limit for miles at a time isn’t my style. This bike just gravitates towards 85.. and without me even realizing! So maybe that thing about balance and stability was wrong. I don’t know what I’m talking about anyway.
The first and only time I’ve been stopped on a bike. Also about 2 hours after I bought that bike.
There’s this thing you learn about in psychology called “Flow.” It’s been a while since college, so the specifics are long gone, but the basic concept is this. When you are doing a job/task/activity, etc, that completely envelops your attention, focus, etc, and you’re getting pleasure or enjoyment from it. So for some it could be wrenching on something, writing, working on spreadsheets, whatever. Essentially it’s “the zone.” Not auto zone, but if you look at a clock and you’re like, holy shit it’s been 2 hours and it feels like minutes, you’re probably found the “flow state.”
Psychology: it’s not just this. I wish it was though.. god I love pugs.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because after all this pothole dodgin’, windshield acting like a sailn’, and overall wild hawgin’, I was pulling into Whatmado, and it felt like I had left Springerville only minutes ago. Man, I thought to myself, there’s that flow state again.
In retrospect, I’m thinking maybe it just doesn’t take that long to cover 50 miles when you’re doing 85 the whole time. Huh.. who knows!
My original “plan” had been to continue East, towards Socorro. And from there I would be able to take the 25 north into Albuquerque. This would require me to fuel up in Whatmado, then I’d be able to make it to Socorro and I could fuel up again.
Now the problem with not making plans is that you may end up making decisions on the fly. And these decisions will be based on nothing, and they may very well end up being bad decisions.
I was craving some caffeine and hydration as I rolled into Whatmado. There wasn’t a whole lot of civilization. But I did see a gas station coming up on the left. As I got closer it looked like a shitty one, and there was a bunch of chapped out, leather clad biker types out front. Now I don’t know if these were like actual bikers, or fellow Hawgs, but frankly I didn’t want to talk to either of them. But at the same time, I did still have that DILLIGAF patch in my pocket. As I mulled this over in my head, I drove past the gas station. And there was my answer, guess we’re not stopping.
Now, on my left there was a junction to take 36 north towards the 40. Or I could continue straight to Socorro. But I would have needed fuel if I wanted to make Socorro, I thought, as I made my left turn onto 36.
Now let’s think a minute. This is retrospective BTW, none of this occurred to me in the moment.
If you’re not going to make Socorro, what makes you think you’ll make a gas station this way. You haven’t even looked at that route, you don’t know how far it is to the 40, not what is along the way. Why don’t you quit being so autistic and just go back and get gas! Eh.. hindsight is 20/20 anyway.
Sometimes I think I need one of these.
I continued along 36, and it was a great road. Not twisties by any stretch, but long sweepers, which was perfect for this bike. Keeping my eyes peeled for a place I could stop and grab a drink and some fuel, I continued along this road, really starting to admire the ol’ Harley.
By the time I came upon this next junction, I was showing 70 ish miles on the trip, so about 25 until the light comes on, and then however many after that. Now, I had 3 options at this point, and I actually pulled off on the shoulder to contemplate. A left turn would keep me on 36, towards Gallup. According to the sign at least. Gallup was far from here. At least it felt far, I didn’t bother to check a map. I could turn right into 117 for Grants, which was still far, but closer to Albuquerque, or I could turn back to Whatmado and get gas.
Rather than checking my phone to see what the better option was, where the nearest gas station was, or really find out anything that could aid me in my choice, I decided 117 towards Grants was the way to go.
Showing about 75 on the trip, I saw a sign indicating 55 miles to Grants. There was no way I would make it all the way, but I was sure there would be gas somewhere along the way. I switched the display off the odometer, and tried to enjoy the scenery. Which at this point my brain was reading as, “look at all this open space, with no buildings, cars, or anything around. It’s gonna suck when you run out of gas. Oh and there’s probably not cell service out here, remember!”
This was just edgy enough to make the cut, but simultaneously, too edgy that it almost didn’t make the cut.
I avoided looking at the Speedo, as I didn’t want to see that fuel light come on. But I decided to do some mental math to prepare myself for it. I reckoned that you could probably get 20 miles tops on the reserve. And it had been coming on between 95-98. So to be generous, I told myself the bike would do 120 miles before running dry. I figured that would be enough to get me to grants, though I couldn’t remember the exact distance. I clicked it back on to the odometer, and hadn’t gone as far as I thought, I’ll definitely find gas soon.
As I passed 95, 96, 97 miles with no fuel light, I started to feel some relief. That wind on the riot shield/ sail must have really been pushing me alon-..
The light kicked on. 98 point something miles. How was there not a damn gas station anywhere on this road! I clicked the odometer off again. No more mental math, either I’d make it or I wouldn’t. Wasn’t much I could do about it now.
I saw some sort of utility truck out in one of the fields. Shoot, he might have gas on that truck. But in my experience most of the time they only carry diesel. I kept moving, remembering the Great Recession of 08, where my dad would only go 55 on the highway, and get pretty damn good mileage doing it. Aha, slow down, you’ll go farther!
Turns out I can drive 55.
Further down the road I saw some cars parked at a trailhead. Please have dirt bikers, I pleaded to the voices in my head. I figured I could borrow a little squirt of fuel from a gas can, and slide a 20 into their window trim. But there was no dirt bikers.
Up next was a sign for a park ranger station. They probably have gas for their ATV’s, but I don’t know how far off the highway the station is, and what if they don’t. Or worse yet, what if they do but they won’t give me any!
I snapped back to reality to see I was entering a tight decreasing left turn. God damnit, now I’m going to bin this bike. I pushed hard on the bar, easing my weight off the left side, waiting for some bit of chrome or something to hit the ground and assist me off the bike.
Me, about to crash into parallel universe me.
But to my surprise, she ate the corner right up. It dawned on me that if I hadn’t slowed down to save gas. That might have ended differently. There’s a reminder. Slow ‘er down.
The little shot of adrenaline had me re-inspired, we’re going to make this.
I started talking to the bike like a dying pet.
“If you can just go a little bit further, I promise I will fill you up with finest fuel money can buy, and I’ll let you take a nice long rest.. please just hang on a little longer.”
I saw a sign with a distance to grants, but I didn’t look at it. I didn’t recognize the area at all, so I knew it was probably too far. I didn’t dare look at the odometer.
I created a hill, and there it was, the most beautiful thing I had seen it quite some time.
I rode right up to a fuel pump, and the bike was happily idling away. I switched back to the trip and was thoroughly impressed she was still running. I thought about sitting here and seeing how much longer it would go. But there were some storm clouds coming in from the west, and I didn’t want them to catch up to me.
Turns out these things hold over 3 gallons. I was figuring it was just over 2. And I just learned that right now when I googled it. Here I was thinking I was special or something!
Almost done with the saga. But there will be one or two more!