NC->MABDR->VT->NC: Two Weeks Isn't Enough

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by highcountrymoto, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Flyingmeatball

    Flyingmeatball Adventurer

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    I'm from Vermont and used to drive through Woodstock on my way home from Ohio. One time 2 am trying to get home I'm cruising through Woodstock not a sole around and all of a sudden blue lights. Barney proceeded to give me his proud accomplishment and I turned to him as he walked away and said "is this my welcome home card thanks a lot" he was like "excuse me" my response was just as bold not thinking being on the road for 11 hrs. He took the high road and just told me to slow down. Needless to say I don't go that way anymore. However I have been in Ohio for over 25 years but Vermont will always be home thanks for the pics.
    #41
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  2. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Long timer

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    I’ve had the same pleasure, once at 4am on my way to work. I spouted a similar remark which was followed by a $180 speeding ticket for doing 42 in a 25. Woodstock and Bridgewater cops are the worst. So bad so, that it was once a topic on VPR radio. The bit was about small towns deriving a large income from moving violations.
    #42
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  3. greenmtndave

    greenmtndave Been here awhile

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    Feb 25, 2004
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    Elmore, Vermont
    The Stowe UPS Store is 6 miles from my house. Great ride report, keep it coming.
    #43
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  4. highcountrymoto

    highcountrymoto Been here awhile

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    Day 11 continued: The kindness of strangers
    So... I'm stranded on the side of the road (Cemetery Road), having failed to diagnose the no-power issue during several carburetor tear-downs, when up pulls Eric. "You look like you could use some help", he says, seeing parts and tools scattered everywhere while I was finishing up a cigarette before diving back into the roadside repair. "I think I'm pretty close to solving it, but thanks for the offer", I say like a total idiot as my pride takes over. Eric gets out of his car and assesses the situation. He's a fellow rider and belongs to the BMW motorcycle owners group of America. He explains that part of their philosophy is to help out fellow motorcycle travelers by whatever means necessary. It was getting dark, and he could clearly see that I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    "Tell you what", he says, "I live about 25 minutes up the road and have a motorcycle trailer and a shop in my garage. I'm going to run home, pick up the trailer, and come back. If you get the bike running before I come back, great. If not, we're going to my house and we're going to get this solved. No need to stress out any more."

    So he heads up the road and I keep working on the bike. Another carb teardown, check the air filter, check for any obvious loose electrical connections... nothing.

    Eric comes back about an hour later, trailer in tow, and it's almost dark outside. His wife has made me a sandwich. He has a beer for me to drink to help relax. I reassemble my bike and we load it up on the trailer. Unbelievable.

    IMG_5941.JPG

    We stop to gas up Eric's car and buy some beer for Eric's neighbor, who has apparently been alerted to my troubles and is practiced in the art of getting old carbureted dirt bikes and snowmobiles running. Up some dark, winding, dirt country roads we get to Eric's place and get to work. He has a nice garage/shop in his basement, and his friend soon joins. We crack some beers and start troubleshooting.

    "Is the gas bad?" We drained my tank into a bucket and it looks fine.
    "How's the compression?" We tested it and it was fine.
    "Getting good spark?" Yep, looks good.

    I start disassembling the carb one more time, not believing that I'd find anything new after the first two or three go's at it. Slide and diaphragm out again. "No the diaphragm looks like it's in good shape..... wait, hold on... there it is!" The smoking gun. A tear in the slide diaphragm. That's it!

    IMG_5953.JPG

    Having diagnosed the problem, Eric said "Ok well you'll stay in the bonus room tonight, I have a futon mattress you can use. There's a fresh towel in the bathroom, you can get cleaned up, get a good night's rest. I have to leave for work around 5:30 tomorrow morning, and you'll borrow my motorcycle while I'm gone to run by the powersports shops near Burlington to find the slide/diaphragm you need."

    Eric's bike was a BMW R1200RT. It was his baby. He kept it immaculately clean. It was bigger and heavier and more expensive than any motorcycle I'd ever ridden. It's no exaggeration to say that I was more nervous than I can remember ever being when I fired that bike up in the pitch black at 5:30 am in a state that I'd never been to before and followed him out to the main highway on backcountry Vermont dirt roads before we split up.

    Words can't really explain how unreal this whole situation felt. This complete stranger had gone out of his way to pick me and my bike up off the side of the road, helped me diagnose the problem in his shop, let me crash for the night in his spare room, and was letting me borrow his prized possession to go on a parts run to Burlington.

    We got to the main highway where Eric had to go one direction and I would head the other way to get to Burlington/Williston. It was just starting to get light outside. He told me to be careful around the corners because of the wet leaves, but otherwise open her up and have fun with it. No way was I going to go nuts with his bike, but it was awesome. It was like riding a smooth sewing machine.

    More to come soon, but for now, a picture of the loaner ride during a crack-of-dawn coffee and breakfast stop!

    IMG_5943.JPG
    #44
  5. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    Holy COW! I don't think I could've done what he did. No more BMW riders jokes from me. (unless its real good)

    (Although when I was 18, I picked up a stranded member of the "Outlaws" and his bike and brought him home to Greensboro from Ga. )
    #45
  6. greenmtndave

    greenmtndave Been here awhile

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    I believe it. Vermonter's are a special breed. But I may be a bit bias :lol3.
    #46
  7. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Apr 16, 2007
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    606
    Yeah a thumbs up or a like is way to small a reply for this part of the story.
    #47
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  8. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Long timer

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    Welcome to Vermont
    #48
  9. sdpc2

    sdpc2 Just another Rally Rat

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    Charlotte, NC
    ummmm, what happened to the rest of the story?
    #49
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  10. flexiflyer

    flexiflyer Been here awhile

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    Land of Lincoln and Cows
    I figured he was still travelling with the 'loaner" :lol3
    #50
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  11. Lostb4found

    Lostb4found wrk2ride

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
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    Location:
    ohio valley
    I've reached the point in the winter where I'm reading everyones ride reports. great ride I plan to finish the bar in the spring, road in south but called it quits by Seneca rocks wv bc of non stop rain
    happy adventuring
    #51
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  12. highcountrymoto

    highcountrymoto Been here awhile

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    Feb 22, 2016
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    North Carolina
    Sorry to keep everyone waiting! It's been a busy holiday season, work has been crazy, the story continues tonight!
    #52
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  13. 802_rider

    802_rider n00b

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    Aug 2, 2016
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    Bristol, Vermont
    That is awesome !! I live right down the road from where you broke down in Vermont (Bristol VT). Actually the picture with the bike on the trailer looks like it was taken in Bristol VT at the gas station across from the town square. So glad one of my neighbors stopped to help you. I know I would of helped if I seen a broke down motorcyclist on the side of the road. Vermonters are good people...especially those that ride !! Great read...thanks !
    #53
  14. highcountrymoto

    highcountrymoto Been here awhile

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    Day 12: On the Road Again
    At the crack of dawn, after having ridden down from Eric's remote house and now with some coffee and a breakfast sandwich in me, I was feeling more comfortable on the R1200. It was amazing the difference in feel between this bike and my KLR. Different machines built for different purposes and different budgets, I know... but still.

    Up Route 100 to 89 in Waterbury, then west into Williston. Roadside Motorsports was the destination, a Kawasaki and other powersports dealer that was first on the list from research the night before. The backup plan was to hit up a Harley dealership, as the slide/diaphragm from the Keihin CVK40 carburetor was apparently used on some Harley models as well.

    I got to Roadside Powersports at about 8:45 am, about 15 minutes before they opened. As I was sitting on a railing outside, waiting to talk with someone, the guy who I think may be the owner/manager walked up and asked what I needed. I told him I was looking for the slide/diaphragm for a KLR 650, to which he replied almost immediately "oh man, that's gonna be a part we'll need to order". I figured this would be the case, but it still sucked to hear. He said "well I think the shop/parts store manager just showed up, let's go down and talk to him." Parts guy said the same thing. "Yeah, sorry man, we'll need to order one and it'll be at least a few days, maybe a week... BUT... we did just get a used KLR 650 in the other day. If you want, I could pull the slide diaphragm from that bike, check it out to make sure it's in good shape, sell it to you for retail cost, and put the new part in our bike once it comes in." Of course I responded "Hell yeah! Do it!"

    15 minutes later he had the slide pulled from the old bike and said he checked it out and that it looks good, "take a look and see what you think". Looked good to me, so the deal was done. $180 on an increasingly crippled credit card, but this was the promise of continuing my journey under my own power... no brainer.

    It was a beautiful ride back to Eric's house on the BMW. Sunny skies, perfect temperature, in positive spirits with the new slide/diaphragm securely stashed in the side box. Back at Eric's house I got to work. Eric and his family were gone for the day, but he gave me free reign of his shop and tools to get the job done. Well... not all of his family was gone for the day. Luke became my trusty shop assistant while I drank a few beers and reassembled the carb for about the millionth time this trip.

    IMG_5949.JPG
    Bike reassembled, I took it for a test run up and back the dirt road Eric lived on. It was running, but still rough. It wouldn't hold an idle without choke. What the hell. I pulled back into the shop and pulled the carb again. In my excitedness, it turns out I had assembled the needle and little castle-looking holder in the wrong order. Everything in its right place this time, back together, another test run up the dirt road... SHE LIVES!!! Running better than ever!

    It would be a while before Eric got back from work and it was understood that if I got the bike running before he came back I would just keep going. So I wrote a note thanking him immensely for everything he had done for me and left it on the kitchen counter. We're still in touch, with tentative plans to ride together soon. After I got back home, as a small token of appreciation I put together a "North Carolina care package" for Eric with several NC barbeque sauces, a sampling of NC beer, and a new compression testing kit which included an adapter sized for the KLR 650... no more finger-plug technique next time he helps out another stray KLR rider!

    Panniers mounted, gear on, time to hit the road again. The destination was back into NY to find a campsite in the Adirondacks for the night. Vermont put on one hell of a show for my final day in the state.

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    IMG_5958.JPG
    #54
  15. highcountrymoto

    highcountrymoto Been here awhile

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    Yep, that was the Bristol gas station across from the town square! 100% wholeheartedly agree that Vermonters are good people. I can't wait to get back up there to do some more riding!
    #55
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  16. Vrode

    Vrode Testing...1..2...

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    Glad you got it sorted out. Roadside Powersports are good people service wise. It is currently waaay too cold to ride, but your RR is good to keep the doldrums away, thanks!
    #56
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  17. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    This was a lovely report. I'm in Durham, NC and would love to do a trip like this in 2019!

    Charles.
    #57
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  18. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Long timer

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    Come back soon!
    #58
  19. JNXPILOT

    JNXPILOT Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Central NC
    A great report! A friend of mine and I had 5 days last October to ride and decided to spend 3 days on the MABDR. We tried to avoid the rain by riding north on country roads to Moorefield and then take the route south. No such luck. It started raining on us 20 minutes out of Garner and continued until we got to Culpeper. The rest of the trip was dry and we had a great time. The plan is to ride the whole route in late spring this year.
    #59
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  20. ONE2NINE

    ONE2NINE Been here awhile

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    Jul 14, 2016
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    Campbell, NY
    Great report. Just finished reading up to this point. Glad to hear that you had enjoyed the stay in Watkins Glen, just a few miles up the road from my place. There are a few other hidden gems scattered around the area as well.
    #60
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