NC to CA and back on a KTM 690 Duke

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sneeze Juice, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. docm26

    docm26 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Really enjoying following along. Thanks
    #41
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  2. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Charlotte,NC
    Started off today rather lethargic. The 3 hour time difference, and all this riding is getting to me.


    So, this mornings plans were simple.


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    Grabbed a quick bite to eat, and was on my way.

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    30 mins in I had planned a pit stop. I’ve been carrying one liter of oil, thinking I would need to top off at some point. I’ve been over 3,000 miles, and nothing noticeable from the sight glass. Everyone claims these are such oil burners? Maybe I’m lucky. But, shifting out of neutral the last two days has been on a steady decline. There was a KTM on the way to Phoenix. Picking up a liter of oil, and explained I was traveling the country. Told them I only planned on simply draining the oil, one 13mm easy to access bolt. But really didn’t want to do it in a parking lot somewhere in 97 degree desert heat. Told me it would be an hour charge, billed as an oil change. Couldn’t do anything else. Adios big box store!


    Went to an Auto parts store, grabbed a drain pan, funnel and some gorilla tape. One of my side bags decided to rip. Yay






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    Got back on the road right after, and made it to Phoenix. Absolutely drenched in sweat, and not wanting to ever see sunlight again! Not a fan of this weather, nor is my bike. It was running an extra 1-2 notches on the temp gauge today. Most likely will be escaping this gnarly heat tomorrow, just unsure where to go?

    My initial plans were to make it to San Diego, and weasel my way back. Currently not too excited to even go to San Diego. Maybe that will change in the morning?
    #42
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  3. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Started the day off early, and explored Phoenix. Nearing lunch time, it was just too hot and I wanted out!

    My only real goal of this trip was to hike, and make it to the California coast. The past few days I haven’t really been feeling California, so instead of heading to San Diego today. I decided to head to Jerome, AZ and enjoy cooler weather.


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    I took one pit stop along the way.... Had to pee, and saw a Harley dealer from the freeway.



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    I’m not a Harley guy, and walking past the apparel section of the dealer made me feel grimey. The sales guy was super cool though, and I sent this photo off to a friend. He is a Harley guy, and has been joking I will be trading the Duke in for my ride home.


    Made it to Jerome, where the weather isn’t as brutal. Came across these bikes, but the owners weren’t around to chat up. That’s a long way from home!





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    When I decided to retire last year, I traveled the US by car with my girlfriend. Jerome was one of our stops.


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    I remember taking this photo, it was raining and cold!





    Walked past the same area today, thankfully much better weather this time around.


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    Enjoyed thrashing around the twisty roads here for two hours, till coming around a blind corner to find a car halfway in my lane. That was my que to head towards the Airbnb!


    It’s now nearing 7 PM here, off to dinner for me!
    #43
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  4. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
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    Location:
    east tn
    Exercising the flexibility to select a day's destination based on the weather, the roads to get there, the condition of those roads, the elevations/temperatures expected, and sometimes just pure whimsey turns out to be a good way to roll. Keep it coming . . .
    #44
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  5. Frenchman83

    Frenchman83 Adventurer

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    Fort Wayne, IN
    Looks and sounds like you are having a great time. Jealous of the freedom you have!
    #45
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  6. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I’m very fortunate, things could be far worse.


    Jumped on Google to find somewhere to grab dinner, and noticed a place with the name “Merkin” Hilarious.

    Did some research, and realized who owned it. Makes sense now!





    Currently enjoying this

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    #46
  7. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Well, going to spend another two days here. Lots of decent roads, and great hiking around these parts!

    I had semi planned on the grand canyon today, but it will be rather cold there for the next few days. It’s been funny trying to dodge weather on this trip :)

    Still might end up heading there in two days, or head elsewhere. Guess I will find out how I’m feeling then.
    #47
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  8. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Started the morning off with a simple breakfast.

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    Made the mistake of not asking if milk was in the smoothie..... After getting halfway through it, I knew my day was going to be filled with stomach aches at a min.



    Shortly after, headed down from Jerome which is a semi tight road where cars and Harley’s go far too slow. I had a Suzuki something in front of me, 5 Harley’s, and a sport touring bike on my ass. I couldn’t go anywhere. Well, the guy on the whatever sport tourer behind me decided to pass on a double yellow while doing a wheelie with a girl on the back. Normally I would hate on such irresponsibility, but enjoyed the little show considering how annoying it is being stuck behind traffic. In his defense, there was a lot of visibility.


    Headed towards Sedona, for my first time expecting a bit too much. Some solid views, but the roads are absolute trash. Arizona should be ashamed of the condition. Far too much traffic, and you have to pay at every single corner of the place. Very off-putting


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    The endless traffic and 50MPH wind gusts got to me, and I started to get hungry and bailed. Currently sitting down and recovering after eating half of this. No idea how a single human could finish something like this. Barf



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    Already had dairy earlier, so why not continue. Some of my food choices are really starting to catch up to me. But it’s been very difficult to find fruits and veggies. Going to relax for the rest of the night, and do absolutely nothing.
    #48
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  9. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Woke up today still feeling tired and sore. Called two places for a massage, neither answered the phone. Oh well.

    Spent the day here, and around the general area hiking.


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    After a few hours of hiking, spent some time on various trails. Completely out of the Dukes element, and my skill set but I still had a blast roaming around.


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    Desperately in need of a wash, but trying to hold off till I return home.


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    Ending today’s activities with this, and heading back to my Airbnb after.



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    No clue which direction I will head tomorrow!
    #49
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  10. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah, daily bike servicing. I lube the chain every night, and clean it every 3 days. Check random nuts and bolts, and usually check the air pressure every morning.

    Took off the front sprocket cover, to find a bunch of caked up lube. Motorex loves to fling

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    #50
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  11. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    The last few days physically, have been getting to me. I set off on this adventure, only because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Aimlessly travel on a motorcycle.


    San Diego was my target, but I’m just not feeling it at this point. My girlfriend lives with me, and multiple things have broke in the past week. Hot water tank, AC unit, etc. I feel bad that she’s had to call off multiple days, to meet with people to take care of the issues. I also genuinely miss her, and would rather be doing something like this with her. So this morning I decided to make my way back towards the east coast. I might not go directly back home to Charlotte, instead heading North to Ohio and visit family. Nothing is set in stone as of now.


    Left my Airbnb, and went to a little breakfast spot. Sat down at a table, and an older gentlemen asked me twice to sit with him. I wanted to say no, but decided to do it anyways. Also at his table was a guy in his 30s? Both locals. The older gentlemen was the type to chat with everyone in the place, and never stopped talking. He was waiting on a to-go order, and was gone before my meal came. I was left with the 30 something, who was mentally handicapped in some form. Chatting was exhausting. Nice gesture to start off the day, but it wore me out.


    Adios Jerome




    I took a mixture of the freeway and Route 66.

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    At one point I climbed a pass that had to be nearly 10,000 feet. It was cold, and I didn’t have any of my layers on and too stubborn to stop. I suffered till I needed gas, eventually coming upon this.

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    At one point I was in 15 mins of almost dead stop traffic. Wasn’t in the mood to clutch in, clutch out, foot down, clutch in, clutch out for an hour. Took the shoulder like an asshole, and at 40 mph it took me 30 minutes to get past traffic. Sitting in that would have been brutal. My first day of this trip, I suffered through 3+ hours of Atlanta traffic. I’ll take the risk of a ticket from now on.

    Oh yeah! My poor decision rubbed off on two other riders. Eventually I had two Harley’s behind me :)


    Not 30 mins later traffic came to a halt. SUV flipped, and it must have just happened. This is the second time I’ve witnessed a car overturned on this trip. Time for Route 66


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    I almost ran out of gas twice. Only snapped a photo of the cluster the second time. Furthest I’ve ever stretched this bike. Definitely nervous all 30 miles

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    I kept seeing signs for fuel, but this is how the stations would end up looking :(


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    Currently in Albuquerque, and thankful to be in bed. Long day of riding.
    #51
  12. TarmacSurfer

    TarmacSurfer Efforteless

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    Thanks for the write up. I'm glad to see you are following your gut, sometimes is best rather than try to push forward. So if you weren't feeling making it to the San Diego, no worries. You should always try to have fun on these trips, otherwise what's the point? Right? Safe travels.
    #52
  13. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Charlotte,NC

    Indeed. I will end up on multiple other trips during this year anyways. But, this trip will probably cease in two weeks or so.
    #53
  14. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

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    Always good to get away on a bike.There are so many roads and routes that would have been much more enjoyable.You wont see much from an interstate.Good luck.
    #54
  15. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Charlotte,NC

    I’ve taken various different routes than what is listed here. But, have mainly used the freeway. Only because I wanted to get the hell towards the west coast, then start to take my time. It caught up to me though! Endless amazing roads near where I live, anything in the middle of the country really wouldn’t excite me much.




    Today started off fine. I was told of a breakfast spot and actually found it based off not the best directions. They also had motorbike parking, which is always a plus for a busy spot

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    Spicy turkey sausage was a bit interesting.

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    I left fairly early in the AM, and it as pretty cold. I had all 3 layers in my jacket.

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    As usual, the wind was absolutely brutal today. You have to go 90 MPH to even slowly pass people constantly, even semis tend to go 80+. It was really hard to hang on today, and being full tuck for almost the whole ride isn’t fun.

    Also, dealing with irritating drivers boils my blood, and it’s hard for me to not remain pissed for the majority of the day. You usually can see a solid 1+ out these ways, and at 90 MPH I would steadily pass vehicles. I would pass people going roughly 80, and they would end up following me and getting right on my ass once I pass them. I would get over and shed 10 MPH for them to pass and they never do. This happened multiple times.

    Or the best, someone going 75-80 in the left lane and you come up on them at 10+ MPH quicker and wait for them to get over. Once they finally do, they will speed up 10+ MPH every time. I don’t get it!



    Saw John Wick once I got to Amarillo, then got lost tying to find my Airbnb for about an hour, and same deal trying to find food. My Garmin is almost useless


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    It’s supposed to storm tomorrow, coupled with high winds again. Not in the mood to ride in that, so staying here for two nights.


    Absolute first world problems, and I shouldn’t let little things sour my day. I think this long of a period without sex is what’s really getting to me.
    #55
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  16. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

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    In ref to your mention no veggies at restaraunts in Texas - get off the Interstate ! I just returned from Big Bend to East Texas and came all the way on FM (rural roads) roads and it only added about two hours to the entire 700 mile trip and every small town has cafes with good food and lots of vegetables - plus fantastic scenery
    Have a safe trip home but slow down and get off the Interstate
    #56
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  17. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    Great description of why I hate freeways, particularly on a smallish bike. But I've had some amazing rides across northeastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma panhandle on two-lanes. Capulin Volcano and vicinity. There's a stark beauty to the plains, and when you're not fighting traffic it can be an otherworldly experience. Just a bit north of your route you'd a been in a much better place . . .
    #57
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  18. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Massive country, and I was trying to get away from the middle of it. Spent a lot of time wandering through it last year. I generally only eat at destinations, which is always off the beaten path. Bad luck at finding veggie offerings.

    Yes, the interstate sucks. I’ve spent the majority of my time on it, but have taken more back roads and gone off the beaten path than I’ve mentioned here. Currently storming here in Amarillo, and Oklahoma City is my next stop most likely. Looking like it will storm there all week, but I might try and avoid the freeway there
    #58
  19. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yeah seems like rain will just not quit here in East Texas too

    Ride safe and enjoy
    #59
  20. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    To enjoy the middle of our massive country, try plotting a route that *avoids* big cities; instead of thinking city to city try planning small town to small town on two-lane highways. Even better, State or National Parks or Monuments to other natural features, via circuitous back roads, assiduously avoiding 4 or more lane highways. It's a whole 'nother world.

    Once west of the Mississippi River the population thins out; only the interstates and big cities are congested. Out in the great plains darn near every pickup driver you meet will wave, 'cause you may be the first person he's seen in an hour or more. Gas can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, so never pass a station thinking that there'll be another at the next town 50 miles ahead. But folks are friendly and the stress melts away.
    #60