Ignorance IS bliss... Arizona to Ohio on a freshly minted endorsement

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RayT, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    nk14zp, it hasn't been a problem - the end is sharp, but I don't notice it all with the gloves on. haha, did I get the shortened lever for free?? Why do they buy shortened levers?
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  2. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    nk14zp, why isn't there a "love" button?? Thank you for all the support, advice and encouragement - it really helps to push on through. I'm behind on posting, but am almost at the end of this road trip - should touch down on Wed.
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  3. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    mpenner - I think all the process of gearing up to go get something to eat is a big deterent. I'm hoping that as I get some routines in place, and some brain power is freed up, that I can think of tackling better food solutions. I eat like I'm saving up for a rainy day when I do finally get food!! Which gear do you leave off?
  4. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    Ohhhh, AwDang, I didn't know such a thing existed!! I've been up to Tellico Plains, rode the Cherohela a bit last late fall, and I LOVE Blue Ridge, GA!! I'll have to see if I can get scooted south by then. That would be awesome!! TY for sharing!!
  5. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    StayFrosty - I'm enjoying the sh*t out of my mid-life crisis!! I think they happen for a good reason - you realize it's gone pretty fast so far and that you'd better focus on what matters most now. And, I'm all about playing as much a humanly possible!!

    My approach has been to take the next slightly uncomfortable step, and practice, practice it until I"m bored, and then move onto the next step. It's allowed me to take this trip with only 3 months of riding experience, but it was very deliberate and intensive practice. I remember the first day I had my Virago 250, I rode it around the loop of our neighborhood for 2 hours straight, until it felt so easy, then I stretched a little further, the same route over and over, and it very quickly got me to this point. I was saying to a friend tonight that this trip isn't really stressing me out (gravel, now that stressed me out, and I will tackle that in the same fashion when I finally hit TN again). It's basically riding a 150ish mile day trip, calling it a day, crashing, and then doing it again the next day. It took the overwhelm out of it for me. And my feelings on it are, I could have something happen when I'm out for 150 miles in TN, so what, really, is the difference if something happens in Kansas instead. It's such a thrill to be out here every day. I'm behind on posting, b/c I found this a week after I started the trip, but already I'll be back in Ohio the day after tomorrow! It went quick!! Hit 1900 miles today!!
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  6. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    Tim - I so appreciate the vote of confidence!! It helps!! I hadn't heard about shifting my weight back on the seat to take some weight off the front tire. My final destination is a gravel drive, so I will definately be adding that to my technique!! And, I'll be asking a lot of questions when I get back and it's soon time to put some new tires on 'er!! As I understand there's various "mixes" of on/off road, like 90/10's. I'm paying a lot of attention now, and soooo many places are gravel, even gas stations, out in the sticks where I like to ride.
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  7. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_11; Coolidge, KS

    I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!!

    And all its wonderful people - Lori, my hostess, made the most incredible breakfast - I barged into her kitchen with my cup of coffee, then asked her to come sit with me while I ate. We talked about travel and men, work and what gives life meaning. Are there any better kinds of conversations?!?!

    She's an incredible woman who turned the tiny town saloon into her office and 3 table top dining room, had the two log cabins built, is currently restoring the opera house (I have no idea how a town this small (40 familys, as I understand) could possibly have an opera house, but it does!!), and then is working to bring 1000 wild horses to a nature preserve close by. She's lived and traveled so many places, but, eventually, came back home, a 5th generation of her family to live here!

    I, then, tucked myself out of the wind, into my big, comfy bed and wrote up this journey all day long, so I don't forget a single juicy bit! IMG_8699 use.JPG IMG_8687 use.JPG IMG_8693 use.JPG IMG_8706 use.JPG IMG_8710 use.JPG IMG_8731 use.JPG IMG_8735 use.JPG IMG_8773 use.JPG IMG_8780 use.JPG IMG_8813 use.JPG
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  8. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_12; Coolidge, KS

    I.... cannnnn..... dooooo THIS!!!

    omgosh, gravel is my NEMESIS!! I dump the bike every single stinkin' time in gravel! Well, not this morning!! Instead, I pushed that beast, and then Lori, my AirBnB hostess (God, LOVE her!!) came to help me push her from the backside...

    ....allllll the way across the gravel and grass lot, and out to the road, so that I didn't risk having to pick her up again!!

    I was exhausted and sweating bullets before I ever got in the saddle!! lololololol

    But, biggest day out there yet - 'bout 260 miles by the time it was all said and done and I'd settled myself into a Holiday Inn Express, heaven knows where!!
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  9. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_12; Lindsborg, KS

    Little Sweden

    My buddy, Matt, gave me the heads up that I should stop in Lindsborg, KS, known as Little Sweden. I loved getting a little taste of my heritage. And, what a darling little town - I'm loving the small midwestern towns I keep stumbling across!! So much character!!

    I put in my biggest day by far, 275 miles. I was kind of down on myself for some reason when I got in that night - exhausted, road weary, windblown. Fortunately, a riding friend told me that 300 miles, off-highway, is considered a big day in riding circles. That made me feel better!!

    Usually, I crawl in a hot shower at night and just stand there, hot water pouring over me, sobbing, just to get the stress out of paying so close attention to everyone and everything all day long. That night, I was too tired to cry!! lol

    Dinner was nommie tho, (the Swedish restaurant was closed... bummed) but that chick, the hostess, she definately wasn't a tail-wagging Swede, that nasty lady had to have some other kind of background, maybe was the dlistant relative of Attila the Hun, she was just plain ole mean! IMG_8840.JPG
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  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I always felt that way about work. Breaks, be it for coffee or lunch shattered the momentum. I wanted to go while in the groove until the task was complete. Leave early in the end if necessary. I hated breaking up the flow in the window of productivity while in the mind zone.
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  11. DSquared

    DSquared Dilly Dilly! Supporter

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    Short levers are for off-road control. If you only put one or two fingers on your front brake and clutch that leaves the rest of the fingers to hold onto the bars. I wasn't sure about them at first but after 5k miles or so with them I prefer them. Also expensive ones aren't necessary, eBay has a plethora for very reasonable prices.
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  12. mpenner

    mpenner Heavy Cruiser

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    If I’m only going a mile or 2 for dinner from a hotel or campground I’ll just wear a helmet.

    I’m not militant ATGATT, more “most of the gear most of the time”. Probably not the best philosophy, but that’s what I do
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  13. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    Another tidbit of gravel riding Technical advance, when you are in a gravel turn and you feel the need to stick out your foot, do like motor cross riders and hold your foot as far forward as you can ..... like beside the front wheel, it gives the front tire a bit more " stick ", and again don't try to be to stiff...let the bike move around a bit as long as the front tire is pointed down the road.
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  14. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_14
    Thank you for the advice!! And, it seems like I hear, stay loose, don't lock up quite a bit - lol, of course it's the first thing your body wants to do!! I'm always talking to myself about what I need to be doing instead! Mid-May I'm going to do a Cornerspin weekend in NC, mear Charlotte, "Dirt Training for Road Riding" - http://www.cornerspin.com/main.html - it's supposed to be all about really getting a feel for traction, being in off-road conditions and how it translates to the road. I can't wait, running around all weekend on little 150's!!
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  15. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_13; Salina, KS to Ottawa, KS

    Against the Wind


    One of my very favorite Bob Seger road trippin' songs, but it doesn't make for the greatest riding, lol

    I made it a short day, just 143 miles of headway against what seemed to be both a head- and a side-wind! I had to keep my head in the game, just trying to stay put in my own lane. It tends to wear me out - rode most of the way at 50 mph! I'm pretty sure I had thalf of the population of Kansas end up passing me at one point or another!

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  16. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_14; Ottawa, KS

    Gonna' Just Keep Riding; Main Street America


    Despite all the cold and the wind, I just wanna ride my bike... FOREVER and visit and photograph every small town in this incredible, diverse, big-hearted country!! I'm surprised and delighted by the architecture, the flowers, the Main Streets, the history and the pride.

    It's one thing I'm struggling with from the saddle - I haven't figured out a way to take the kind of pictures I would like to along the way - so often there is no place to pull off the road, or I'm terrified of gravel, so that stops me out.Occassionally, I ride no-handed for a second, but am not a big fan of that (reminds me of riding my bike no-handed all over the neightborhood when I was a kid, but I sure am not a kid anymore, lol)

    But, when I get to walk around....

    ooooh, so tickled to see what I can see!!

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  17. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_14; Ottawa, KS

    Over and Over Again

    What I've discovered on this little adventure, and so many others, as I've crisscrossed this country, is that most people are really wonderful people, just going about their lives, working hard, raising beautiful little girls (and boys), making their way through a life.

    Last night, I pried myself out of my AirBnB to go find something to eat. The one thing about a solo trip is that it taxes you physically, but especially mentally and emotionally -- I'm problem solving, overcoming my uncertaintly and social anxiety, putting myself in unfamiliar circumstances.... CONSTANTLY!

    And, I usually reach a point, a few times along the way, when I just seize up and can hardly take one more thing.

    I'd put a friend in my ear and walked all the way through the cener of town and across the river to find a bbq place I was told was great by my hostess. Unfamiliar town, it got dark while I had dinner, it was a decent sized hoof to get back to my place. I just locked up, wanted to crawl directly under my barstood and stay there forever.

    And, as always seems to happen, a bubbly, kind, generous saint came along to help me out. Tiffine, a girl who embodies the best of all things midwestern, and I got talking over my fried cauliflower and bbq stuffed sweet potato. As we talked about how physically demanding bartending is, how hard it is to go home after a long shift, try to sleep before your newborn baby wakes up, a life that I, too, had lived, many, many (omg, sooo many!!) years ago, I eventually confessed my angst on this particular evening. And, that big-hearted girl offered to drop me back off at my AirBnB after she got off work!! Which she did, the two of us laughing and talking our heads off the whole way, snapping off a selfie, and becoming instant Facebook friends.

    I look at my pics from this trip, and see how often this kind of experience takes places, and know that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the heart of this country, the heart of the mid-west!

    Overhwelmed, touched, blessed!!

    Thank you again, TIffine for your kindness!! All the very best to you and your new little family!!

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    Attached Files:

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  18. RayT

    RayT Adventurer

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    2019_04_14, Ottawa, KS

    I Like It


    Oooh, and I just love this pic - every once in a while, I get one that I realllly like!

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  19. mpenner

    mpenner Heavy Cruiser

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    Awesome story! Strangers that become instant friends are part of the magic of a long road trip. I have some memories seared into my brain of people (often from this forum) who have helped me when I was in need or whose encouragement and stories and company have turned a campsite or dinner table into an evening to remember.

    Keep up the stories and pictures. They are thoroughly enjoyable.

    How are you going to explain all this to your non-riding friends and family? I’ve never managed to do it justice and convey the joy that a trip (with all of its ups and downs, difficulties, and challenges) brings.
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  20. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

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    It is unnerving at first, but you are in the USA and typically never more than 10-50 miles from a town with services. You have to pay a bit more attention to the weather forecast than you would if you were in a car, but you wouldn’t sweat driving cross country so you should relax and enjoy the trip. Confidence on gravel will come soon enough. As you have experienced, your fellow Americans love helping a woman on a bike so you have very little to be worried about.
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