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My rides, My bikes a 50 year adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by augiedog, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    carolina foothills
    I took my first bike ride when I was two years old between my dads legs sittin on the gas tank of his 57 Indian Chief. I remember jumping over the flat top of the railroad bridge in my hometown when I was a few years older on the same bike. I was raised in a small town in North Carolina and my dad took me on many trips back to visit my grandparents in the North Carolina mountians. I feel it is safe to say my biker roots were planted and cultivated from an early age. phone pictures 351.jpg After riding and rebuilding several minibikes with my dad I got my first real motorcycle, a 90cc Yamaha when I was a young teenager. I sold the 90 and bought a 650 BSA lightning just before my 15th birthday. The day before my 16th birthday my dad and I rode to my grandparents home in Andrews NC to spend the weekend with my grandfather on his birthday. My dad on the old Indian and me on the BSA. It was a 200 mile trip up and 200 back two days later that took us 10 hours to ride. I remember it like it was yesterday. I continued riding that old BSA all thru high school. I was drafted in 1967 and sold the BSA to my best friend after getting orders for Vietnam. It was a great bike that still holds a lot of fond memories from my teenage years.
    #1
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  2. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    Over the next few weeks, months or ever how long it takes I am going to try and post up some of the memories, the trips and bikes I have owned since I was a young man in love with motorcycles and the memories they have created for me.
    #2
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  3. Smidty

    Smidty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
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    153
    Location:
    South Africa
    In :lurk
    #3
  4. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Kingsmill Corner Ont.
    Me also. :thumb
    #4
  5. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    After spending two tours in Vietnam I was ready to get back home, back to a normal job and enjoy motorcycles and family life again. Not long before leaving Vietnam I saw an add in a magazine for a big discount to any returning serviceman on a new Harley Sportster. All I had to do was buy it in Seattle and ride it to NC after being Discharged in Fort Lewis WA. Shouldn't be a big deal, right. A 3600 mile ride east from Seattle to Charlotte in Late October cannot be that hard could it ? I bought the bike, a 1972 1000 sportster, a set of canvas saddle bags, 2 metal cans for extra gas, an army sleeping bag, an open face helmet with a snap on shield, a pair of leather work gloves and 2 pairs of insulated under clothes. I had my army duffel bag I would tie on the rear also. My discharge was on the 23rd and the plan was to leave out from Seattle on the 25th. harley-1972-1.jpg This is a picture of a bike like the one I bought in 1972
    #5
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  6. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Oct 9, 2007
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    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Looking forward to what you have to share.
    #6
  7. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
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    435
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    NW Oklahoma
    I'm in!
    #7
  8. johnnywheels

    johnnywheels Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
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    168
    Location:
    Jackson, MS USA
    I'm in. I lament not having a long history in motorcycles, but I do enjoy hearing from others who do.


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    #8
  9. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    I spent most of the morning of the 23rd finishing up all my discharge paperwork. I picked up my travel pay, cashed a check from home, loaded up my duffel bag with the army gear I was keeping, made my last stop at the PX getting a few personal things I might need and called the harley dealer who was set to pick me up at the main gate. Everything went as planned and I was done at the dealer checked in at a motel around 5. I think I packed my stuff at least a 20 times trying to get settled on the best setup. I used some heavy nylon cord and rubber tarp straps from a local hardware store to secure my canvas bags and duffel. The one thing I never accounted for was the weather across the US in late October. I had planned to visit several friends and a couple of family members on my trip home. I bought a USA today newspaper and between, the local paper and TV it became clear I needed to get south as soon as I could to avoid some of the cold temps already setting in in the northwestern US. After a long, restless nite I was up ready to get going by 9:00. The temp was 40 when I left and climbed into the mid 50s by noon. It was a cold first day but it could have been a lot worse. I made it to Lakeview Oregon around 6 and found a cheap motel. I unloaded the bike, road a few blocks to a local mom and pops and had dinner. After dark I rolled the bike into the room, checked tomorrows weather, showered and crashed. The next morning I was up and packed by 8 eating breakfast at the same diner as last evening.
    #9
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  10. NorCal Rider

    NorCal Rider n00b

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    Jul 29, 2018
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    California
    Great read, will be following it.
    #10
  11. joso

    joso Motorcycle addict

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    SouthWest Germany
    In!
    Great idea and great read so far.
    #11
  12. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    The weather was holding about the same this morning. I got underway around 8:30 with temps in the low 40s after deciding I should carry a little extra fuel. I was not sure how far between the stops might be and looking at the maps I was headed toward some sparsely populated areas. With the two cans I was carrying and the bike full I should be able to go around 225 miles under good conditions. My biggest concern was there was very little info I could find out about fuel availability between where I was and any routes east or southeast. I was wanting to keep going south and east to get down toward warmer weather and avoid some of the long desolate areas in Utah and Nevada. I had spent a great deal of time trying to find out about the long vast desert areas in the west and in the early 70s not much was known off the main US highways out west. I had concluded I would have to depend mostly on locals and an occasional trucker for any highway info along my routes.
    #12
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  13. davide

    davide Been here awhile

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    Elizabeth, Colorado
    I am in as well, good read!
    "My discharge was on the 23rd and the plan was to leave out from Seattle on the 25th."
    This brings back memories of my own discharge... I was done on July 20, 1984 out of Turin, Italy. Took the train to Milan the same day, next morning hopped on a gorgeous new-to-me Aermacchi HD 350 Sprint and off I went to the island of Elba to enjoy the rest of the summer. No real gear, proper luggage, etc. Best ride I have ever had.
    Looking fwd to more of your memories...
    #13
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  14. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    I really had not had a chance to test my fuel mileage and hoped to get around 50 to 55 mpg. As the bike was new I was trying to keep the rpm down for the first days and let things settle in. I told myself before I began the trip it was going to be a day to day ride, don't try to rush it as there was no set time to get home and a bad decision out here alone could really get you into trouble. Traffic was light and the mornings were cool. I had figured about three days to get somewhere around Las Vegas where I would decide to go north of the Grand Canyon or south toward Las Cruses NM. I had a friend there and he was wanting me to come by and meet his family. We meet in Ft Sill Ok and both ended up in Vietnam on the same Fire base. The weather gods were smiling on me and over the next several days got far enough south that the cold weather became less of an issue. I stopped in Vegas on the 4th day, I think, ate a 6 dollar steak walked around for an hour or two before deciding to move on. I called my friend in Las Cruses from a pay phone (remember those) 4 minutes for a dollar and told him I should be there late tomorrow afternoon. It was also becoming apparent that three to four hundred miles a day was going to be a good day, possibly a little more in a pinch.
    #14
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  15. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Augie; thanks for sharing your memories with us. I like your writing style and the topic is very interesting. :lurk Waiting for more.......Dave
    #15
  16. IdahoGaucho

    IdahoGaucho Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    86
    I’m loving your ride report. Thanks for sharing.
    #16
  17. tire joe

    tire joe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    160
    #17
  18. tire joe

    tire joe Been here awhile

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    Loving this report,thanks for sharing!
    #18
  19. augiedog

    augiedog augie dog

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    Sitting here and thinking back about my my trip the big thing that really pops back in my mind is how vast and desolate the western deserts were. After leaving Seattle and driving south being closer to the coast there were some scattered small towns and large farms. I made several stops each day taking breaks and getting fuel. I remember talking to a lot of locals as they would walk up looking at the bike with all the gear hanging all over it, see the paper license plate and ask where you from. I would answer" : North Carolina" next was, where you headed. I would answer home. They would say, thats a long way, You gonna ride that all the way? How long will it take you. I would answer, oh four or five weeks I guess, I'm not in a hurry. Most would then say, you must be in the army, seeing the Duffel bag and the army jacket. I'd answer, Just got out,and I wanted to see the US. Most were very interested and asked a lot of questions. It became apparent to me that not many had ever known or meet anyone that had been coast to coast on a motorcycle. But then again, back then I was about as deep in the biker world as anyone and I only knew of three people who had even thought about riding coast to coast,and one of them was my dad. Heck, In the late 60s and early 70s there were only a few bikes that possibly could make such a trip. Also bike shops were few and far between, there was hardy any riding gear other than a 3/4 helmet, lace up or engineer boots, and a leather jacket. We had no rain gear other than possibly a pair of goggles and a western scarf tied over your nose and mouth to ease the sting of the raindrops on your face. The Sportster was the first street bike I ever had with a front fender. Back then we always had two western scarfs one we would tie around the front forks and when it would rain you slid it down letting it rub the tire stopping the rain from getting slung out in front of you and up into your face. The other one you wore as a mask to keep from getting rain burn on your face. I cannot tell how many times over the years I have stopped, robbed a paper box of some of the newspapers , wrapped them around my legs and chest under my jeans and sweatshirt for insulation to keep from freezing. I have always rode my bikes year round, back in the 60s and 70s we made do with what we had at the time. Back then the worst thing I remember was trying to keep your hands and fingers from freezing.
    #19
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  20. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

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    Nov 5, 2007
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    Charlotte, NC
    Awesome idea for a thread Augie! I’ll definitely follow along!
    #20