Journey of Solace

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DaBinChe, May 24, 2014.

  1. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,023
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    It has been a few years since my last road trip. The last trip up to the Arctic Circle satisfied my wander lust for a while, normally I have to do a few trips a year. This time my trip up to AK is for a different purpose. I'm competing in the Scooter Cannonball Run. I'm riding a NHX110 the second smallest displacement in the event. Yesterday I embarked on my journey.

    The plan is to not have much of one...life is more interesting with mystery, if one knows what is going to happened then what is the point. I barely called the insurance company the day before I left to get Canada insurance ID card, that has to be sent up to Seattle and I'll get it on my way up. The KISS methodology is my style of doing things so for this trip it holds true. I didn't pack for the trip until the morning that I left. The night before I got stuff laid out on the living room floor. I like to pack light, my evolution of packing and travel stems from experience in backpacking. Last weekend I spent half a day prepping my scoot, fluid changes and a new rear tire. I barely just semi looked over the event route, have an idea of my way up to AK and haven't even thought about the way home...just know I'm not going thru TX.

    I'm riding up to AK, most are trailering up. From the time I leave to the time I get back home I'll have about 8k miles. I plan on riding up like the way I would ride in the SCBR with about the same average milage of about 360miles a day. It is good training for the actual event. I'll get fitness conditioning for being in the saddle all day. It'll get me in the proper mindset. I'll hone my routine, work out all the kinks and by the time the event starts I'll be a well oil machine, very efficient just like my scooter.

    I've been busy the past year and my mindset hasn't been well. Last year I lost someone that I love dearly and the repercussions of that hasn't been well. I've been dealing with it by keeping busy. I've always found comfort in these road trips, they keep me sane, center my life.

    The last couple of weeks have been hectic, tying up loose ends to be gone for a month. Once the event starts I'm not sure if I'll have time to keep this updated, but will keep it up before and after.
    #1
  2. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Location:
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    First day I had a late start didn't get on the road until after 10:30. All packed up and ready to go with starting milage for the trip.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    For those that have seen previous ride reports these next few pics might be familiar. Going over the Sierras, hwy88 over Carson pass about about 8.5k feet. Scooter ran great in elevation. This is a nearby lake along the highway.[​IMG]

    Been here many times:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    On my way to Gerlach where I'll be visiting a friend that I haven't seen in 5 years.[​IMG]

    Out on Steam Boat rock/mtn. overlooking the Black Rock Desert . If you look carefully you'll see Black Rock in the background between our shoulder that is what the Black Rock Desert was named after. The playa you see is where Burning Man is held.
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Location:
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    Second night in Gerlach, my friend Stacie showed me around Gerlach and the Black Rock Desert. The other few times that I had been here I didn't get a chance to see the place. It's a small one block town with nothing happening except Burning Man. The lack of rain/snow this year really showed in the Sierras and beyond. We climbed a mountain, stopped where the pavement ends and the west begins, got stuck in a sand pit, checked out some local pottery, had some world famous Bruno's Ravioli, and helped her with her welding stuff.

    I'm heading out tomorrow morning and will stay near Bend.
    #3
  4. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Location:
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    Sunrise over the Black Rock
    Desert[​IMG]
    #4
  5. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Location:
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    #5
  6. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Second day of travel. Got up before the crack of dawn..kinda odd of me cause I don't normally wake up naturally till late morning, left Gerlach by 7:15. Had breakfast in Cedarville. Yum butter![​IMG]

    I was making good time so far and found a short cut that saved me about 8miles, first dirt road on the trip.
    [​IMG]

    Woohoo Oregon! Been here before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Having ridden a Metropolitan, Symba and now the Elite thru this same section, I have to say that I much prefer the Elite. It just does everything better except for dirt roads compared to the Symba's larger wheels. What I really like is the power that the Elite has with it's FI and water cooling is the ability too maintain speeds into the wind and up grades. Instead of losing 15mph I only lose about 5mph.

    Originally I was planning on staying around the Bend area but I was making such good time, got to Bend around 3, and decided to just go all the way to Portland.

    So this day turns into a 480mile day, a hundred more miles then the longest SCBR day. I made it to Portland around 7:30. Spend an hour eating breakfast, stopped a bunch to take pictures, got a little lost in Portland. If I can keep this same pace for SCBR then I'll finish up most days around 3-4pm. I actually felt really good and fresh. This scoot is very comfortable and did well on the dirt road.

    Having ridden Eastern Oregon before this time around I can tell they also had a dry winter. Got my first rain going by Mt. Hood all the way into Portland. Meet up with Colin and Rebecca the couple that rode around the world on SYM Symbas:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=716979
    #6
  7. Inoplanetyanin

    Inoplanetyanin One day closer!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    Wow, an honor to post first reply.
    DBC, super happy to see you start the trip. I know you and many others have been waiting for it for so long. I, for one, as an Elite owner, am very hopeful you will finish it as planned and have a lot of fun doing it.

    Pictures are awesome. I've ridden a bicycle from LA to NY and remember Gerlach well. I've then taken the dirt road to Winnemuca, this was in 03. The 45th parallel sign I think is the same one I took a picture with as well.

    Your rear part of the scoot looks heavy, be careful in turn and sudden maneuvers. I still don't know why you are going through tires so much. Do you have 350 cc engine there that you drag race? :)

    If I didn't have to take the license exam in few weeks, I would probably be there riding the similar way you do.

    Please do not hesitate to ask for help if needed!
    Safe journey and enjoy it, that's the most important! Thanks for posting the pictures. Waiting for updates and of course photos.
    :clap:clap
    By the way, I found that placing a flat piece of wood on the floor board gave additional options of resting the feet. Maybe you could find it useful being in the saddle for so many hours. Looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Location:
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    Last night spent with Co and Re sharing stories about our travels abroad and on small bikes. Cultural differences, scams, etc. Baby hungry, baby SO hungry!

    Today just resting and checking out Portland. Portland has developed a lot in the last 10years. Colin took me on a tour around Portland, showed me all the strip joints.

    Tomorrow I'll be heading out early to Seattle.

    Scoot feels fast and agile without all the luggage.
    #8
  9. zuphilius

    zuphilius Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    I would love to do what you do, sounds like a bunch a fun. Say hi to Boeing for me if you happen to ride by up in Everett! Be safe!
    #9
  10. The_Commander

    The_Commander The Man.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,326
    Location:
    Hwy 61 adjacent
    This is going to be too good not to subscribe.
    #10
  11. maddiedog

    maddiedog In dog we trust

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Marietta, GA, USA
    Best of luck in the Cannonball, and ride safe.

    I think you've got a good chance at winning, you've got a good bike with a good handicap relative to the durability and speed, good attitude, and are tough enough to just roll with it instead of bringing a ridiculous support network with you. I'm rooting for ya. :)
    #11
  12. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Location:
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    I enjoyed your calculations as to why a 110cc is in with a chance. I also like that your daily rider is what you are riding. I find the engineers who need a custom built ride less interesting to follow in this event. I hope you find what you are looking for. I have a feeling that following your ride in this madness will give me a glimpse of what I am looking for. Cheers.
    #12
  13. Inoplanetyanin

    Inoplanetyanin One day closer!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    I am also rooting for that single cylinder that had already worked hard for 28,000 miles. I wonder if it's compared to human age in terms of life expectancy, is it like making a 50 y.o. run the marathon? :evil I would love to see how long these engines can last (mine only has 10K on it now). What spare parts are you carrying with you, DBC? What oil are you using in it right now?
    #13
  14. emmettken

    emmettken Long timer

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    Location:
    southwest idaho
    :clap
    #14
  15. RedArrow

    RedArrow With scootrboi

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
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    Location:
    Bisbee, Arizona
    Hey, DaBinCh ~

    Finally found where you are at!, It all looks good! Let me know if you need any accommodations through Eugene my sis lives there she is a teacher also , she would love to meet you!

    Ride Safe!

    ~ Red Arrow
    #15
  16. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    Third travel day.

    Left Portland around 7:30 and headed up the Columbia.
    Bonnieville Lock
    [​IMG]

    I wanted to ride thru the Gifford Pinchot Forrest it's my favorite place to ride thru in WA.
    Mount St. Helen
    [​IMG]

    This time around I thought it would be okay cause there was less rain this year. I got up there and the road was still snowed in. I had to drop down the same way I took last time I came up this way. Like last time I got lost again. Took me forever to find my way up. Got to Tacoma and couldn't find my way to 99. I said the hell with it and jumped on the I5. Took I5 all the way. Was planning only 225 miles but ended up with 300+miles
    #16
  17. Fishenough

    Fishenough Team Lurker

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    North of 56
    Subscribed and hoping to catch a glimpse of you all on your journey!

    And don't hesitate to drop me a note if assistance is needed on 0 to 50 mile (or so) of the Alaska Highway (spend my time between mile 0 and 47 on the highway 97).

    Cheers
    #17
  18. RedArrow

    RedArrow With scootrboi

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,260
    Location:
    Bisbee, Arizona
    Hey, DaBinCh ~

    How's the beast holding up? I like the pack over the front handle bars I will try that with Trail on my wild adventure to the grocery store :lol3 It still looks a little cold up there. The pic of the peak with the snow is that Mt. St. Helen?....any wild life?

    I will follow your trip! Looks like fun!
    Nice pics also!

    ~ Red
    #18
  19. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    Under the seat, all the heavy stuff:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #19
  20. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,023
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    Changed oil in Seattle. Exhaust mounting bolts loosened and the muffler was bouncing around. I think it happened around Portland, but I didn't pay attention to it thought it was just my stuff making noise at each bump. Around Centralia the head tube broke right before the muffler. Rewelded it in Seattle, had to drill and tap the mounting holes too cause all the bouncing around destroyed the treads. Before I left I thought to my self should I locktite it and figured that after 28k miles nothing has gone wrong so it should be fine. It wasn't so...I was lucky to be in the Seattle area where a buddy of mine has all the tools for the job. Prior to taking off for Cannonball I hand only ridden this scoot a little over 150 miles in a day. So I think the all day WOT and bumps loosened the bolts.
    #20