Probably the worst damn ride report of all time.....

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TurnerR, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. TurnerR

    TurnerR Ride motorcycles, have fun

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    398
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    The plan: Ride to Born-Free then up the PCH, then through the north, then the Lowbrow Getdown in Ohio.
    (That's as far as I got.... No details....)

    The bike: Harley Girls Bike, the little one.
    (Which I finished putting back together Wednesday)
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    The time frame:
    26 days

    The riders:
    Me. Hardly any plan, solo. Ps I've never even seen the Mississippi River let alone been in a desert.

    What can possibly go wrong.......

    The idea was to leave work at 11am and head out. After hanging with my girl and her boys last night I didn't get a thing packed. One thing led to another and after visiting with my mom, shopping for last minute things and then general tinkering at 4:30pm I'm bolting on a heat shield I had to modify. I think I left at 5:30ish eastern time.
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    Air was put in the rear tire moments after this photo was taken. You'll notice I also swapped the springer last minute for the narrow glide. The springer was just too damn twitchy. Plus I've not actually tested it. Across the country probably wasn't the best shakedown run... It's probably 10"over stock, the 39mm hydraulic forks are only 6" over. I tell my girlfriend it's like 30+. Don't let her read this.

    I wanted to be past Chattanooga before 2. Instead I hit riverbend traffic. Just like everyone said. Thank god lane splitting is not a crime. Well it is, but fuck it....

    A view of the Tennessee. Moccasin Bend mental health hospital is across the river. It's where I used to pick up my women.
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    Currently I'm right outside Huntsville. I skipped lunch and McDonald's was open. It's cooled off and feels fantastic. I'll throw on the Vanson and keep riding. Who knows where I'll stop or where I'll stay. I'm not worried about it right now. That's probably the wicked awesome Smokey & The Bandit shirt talking. Every cross country trip needs a Bandit shirt. I'll update later.

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    *Side note:
    Alabama is completely gorgeous. I'm taking 72 and rode into one of the prettiest sunsets I've ever seen. Didn't even stop at the titty bar. These Bama folk may bang their cousins, but they sure have some nice scenery!
    #1
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  2. bmwtravis

    bmwtravis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    vancouver
    Great start I'm in.
    #2
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  3. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,526
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Sweet Sporty. In for this one.
    #3
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  4. insomnia

    insomnia Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    wide awake in my kitchen
    cool bike nothing wrong with banging your cousins if they are really hot and mad for it just don't get them pregnant and don't brag about it :lol3
    #4
  5. TurnerR

    TurnerR Ride motorcycles, have fun

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    398
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    Not long after writing last night I got sleepy fast. I would rather have camped, but a motel 6 with a 40 dollar price tag was looking nice. "Make America Grape Again"
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    This morning I wanted to be up at 6. That turned to 8:30. Left about 9:45..... So I'm still in Alabama. I'm maybe 30 miles from Mississippi. West Alabama gets flat and lots of farms. Hopefully the scenery will get a little more interesting after state lines.

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    Not sure why those got wavy.... That's what some people probably think my bike rides like. You'd be wrong, it's pretty smooth. I'm heading out again, I needed a biscuit, coffee, and a new analog GPS.


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    I'm gone! Heading to Memphis to cross the river and probably highway 70 through Arkansas to little rock. May drop down after that or keep truckin to Hot Springs. Later.
    #5
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  6. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,521
    Location:
    Northeast
    This is pretty awesome.
    #6
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  7. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking Supporter

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,050
    Location:
    Switzerland
    have fun ;)

    one thing though: with that sorry excuse for a gas tank, you should at least get to know each and every gas station on your way ;)
    #7
  8. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,761
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Good to see ye Ole great style choppa's still alive.
    I'm liking this RR already
    #8
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  9. XTWalt

    XTWalt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Fantastic start. This is going to be as fun for us as it is for you!

    Screw all that wicking synthetic bullshit, and fancy breathable membranes. A Smokey & the Bandit shirt will do fine - better actually.

    But, heed the advice about fuel. There ain't shit out there!
    #9
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  10. sonnyb

    sonnyb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Fort Worth TX
    :clap
    #10
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  11. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Brief Wa.
    I'm watching from the West Coast..My same thoughts on the gas tank....I'm sure you have it fingered out..
    David
    #11
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  12. jetmonger

    jetmonger Motoholic

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Colorado
    Nice bike! Enjoy the ride!
    #12
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  13. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,235
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    had the same tank on an EVO motor chopper.... it didn't go far.... front brakes are overrated, anywayz, just slow you down.... what could happen? :hide .... hehehehe.... i'm in, gonna be fun... :-)
    #13
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  14. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    37,937
    Location:
    Mineral Point, WI
    I gotta get in on this. :lurk
    #14
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  15. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    NWFL Panhandle, Florida KHRT
    I'm in, looks like a great start. Hopefully those are Fuel bottles on either side of the pack!
    #15
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  16. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,579
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    There's a larger Sportster tank available that comes primed. I went that route on mine. They ordered the paint in and I picked decals from a book. The body shop did magnificent work. It made a big difference on my range and the general styling shape was the same. After this trip I bet you'll be considering it.

    Ride safe.
    #16
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  17. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,796
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    A real learning experience. That's why you do it. The cool thing is , after it's over you'll be able to play back your memories of the trip like a movie in your mind. The long days , the rain storms , the heat , the agonizing over gas , these will fade and just the good stuff will be featured in the film.
    Ride on .
    #17
  18. TurnerR

    TurnerR Ride motorcycles, have fun

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    398
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    So after I left my breakfast yesterday I was one happy fella. Alabama was wonderful and I imagined Mississippi to be the same. I was wrong. Holy shit I was so wrong... I could see the state line in the distance and I got on the brakes hard. I thought this 4 lane highway just up and turned to a dirt road?? Turns out that same road I'd been on turned to old concrete and was terrible. For at least 20 miles I pictured myself as Johnny Campbell running the Baja 1000 not letting anyone pass me. When I initially slowed down the ride was horrible, so I did the only logical thing and pinned it. It helped. Some. Soon the highway smoothed out as I neared towns that had some money. I'll only assume the locals with the nice houses didn't care for the shit roads I had just encountered. I rode maybe 60 miles and stopped for another gallon of gas and ate some M&M's. Didn't make them in my plant. I was bummed...

    *Yes I make m&m's for a living.
    **My tank will hold 2.1 gallons of fuel. I usually get about 54mpg and the fuel bottle is .25 gallons. I should be able to run about 130 miles before empty. Hopefully.

    Finishing Mississippi was actually really nice. The western half was far better than the eastern and I was feeling great. Only snapped one pic.
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    I crossed back into my home state and aimed for Memphis. The plan was to be across the river by 3 to beat rush hour. I forgot it was Saturday.... I was there by 2:30 so I had a banana when a fella on a softail came up to chat. He affirmed my thoughts on the best way to cross the river and I was off again. What should have taken 15 minutes took close to an hour. I caught MAYBE 4 green lights. Cars cutting you off and locking them down, darting in and out, it was chaos. I don't understand how people drive that fucking bad... Crossing the bridge was nerve racking. I didn't get any photos. The river was kind of lame. I expected more. I know how my girlfriend feels now....

    I stayed on i40 for just a couple of miles. The plan was to drop down to Highway 70. I got off at the exit, and was looking at road signs before I noticed the cops. 7 to be exact. Hiding behind medians, bushes, signs to buildings. I saw blue lights everywhere. What the fuck?? Are they after me!? Is there some chase or robbery that I've put myself in the middle of??? Nope, just girls softball. Apparently these cops were writing tickets left and right to teams not from the area. I recognize those small town antics. Dick move Barney Fife.

    I tried to nap in the DQ of the truck stop while my phone charged. It was in between games for the softball girls and they were starting to give me a migraine. I was off again. 70 west sucked too. Old road that needed some repairs, so I looked at the map and 79west made way more sense. Excellent choice! The road has be amazing! Just as soon as I turned on 79 I saw a beemer with a ural side hack and some ADV patches on the side of the road fiddling with something. I asked if he was ok, and he said yes. Must have been using one of those fancy digital maps. His name was Damien. A Canuck. Told me how he's doing a 2 year ride and gave me his card.
    Http://motard-du-monde.net

    We said are goodbyes as quickly as our hello and I was gone again. 79 is loaded with farms. It was really flat for a long long time with trees off in the distance to break up the monotony. Stopped for fuel and to adjust my bag in Clarendon, a pickup full of drunk dudes pulled up and asked about the bike, where I'm from, and where I'm heading. They asked if I wanted to come party which I sadly declined. They reminded me of friends back home but I only had a couple of hours sunlight left. I wanted to keep moving.

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    *Note the white lady smoking. That would be the last Caucasian person I would see for over 2 hours. I had no idea with all the farms that I would be the minority. That was pretty neat.

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    Another amazing day riding into the sunset. I figured I'd start looking for a place to sleep, that sun was setting fast on my right and the moon was already high on my left. It was a very surreal scenery that I wish I could have been able to capture the way my eyes saw it. Soon I came upon a park on the north side of Pine Bluff. It said port and boat access so I explored it a bit. Half way to port I found an awesome gravel road and it went to the railroad tracks. I figured halfway down that gravel would be as good a spot as any to pitch a tent. Just as soon I got my lid off my head I saw headlights... Apparently they were taking pickups down the tracks to clean and repair some sections of rail. He said there would be people up and down that road all night I'd have to go somewhere else... Shit.

    I got into pine bluff and thought it's been like 10 hours since you've ate, get a burger. I chose McDonalds again for the wifi. Remember how I said I was the only white boy for 2 hours? This is part of that story... I order my food and as I'm waiting I start trying to type this out. I can feel eyes on me, and 3 teens are staring me down pretty hard. I nod, and mind my business. I can hear something and my ears are burning when I feel a tap on my shoulder. One asks where I'm from so I say East of here. He asks if I know where I am, which I exclaim, "Of course! I'm in the good ole U.S.A. the land of the free!" I don't think that's the answer he expected cause he totally diverted to his buddy and said he needs to ask you something. The second one mumbles a bit before I said speak up buddy I can't hear too well. He finally asks to use my phone which I deny him. I said sorry pal, I'm saving my battery. There is one on the wall back there, I'm sure the manager will let you use. Want me to ask them for you? He said no... Must not have needed to use one so bad or they noticed the leather and chrome thing hanging off my hip. As they call my order another dude decides to grab it... I didn't mean to but i accidentally said "For fucks sake..." The lady could tell I was starting to get annoyed and snatched the bag back. Asked me what I had and I showed her my receipt for two cheeseburgers and a small fry. She gave me my food and then crackheads order came up. 4 piece chicken nuggets... Yeah same thing bro.... I ate outside.

    Decided to get out of that town, Saturday night and people were weird. Didn't wanna get plowed by a drunk driver. Headed south and the scenery instantly changed. Big pine trees and hardwoods and whitetail deer. Felt like home. I saw a few spots that looked promising but my gut said keep going. There on that two lane road in the country was the most random truck stop I've ever seen and it was perfect! Was going to sleep on the grass but the bugs annoyed me. The tent takes 3 minutes. Tossed it out and grabbed my thermarest. The leather jacket made for a comfy pillow. It was warm and I was sweating a little in my jeans for maybe an hour. Then it cooled off and I got a little chilled. After about 330 miles I slept like a baby. Didn't wake up till 8 or 8:30, packed up in 5 minutes.

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    Took off only to stop a few minutes later. That was the first time this trip where I just had to get a picture.

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    Moments after getting on the bike and heading out I heard something. Something loud. Something heavy. In the distance I saw it. Over my V-Twin freedom machine I saw two bikes, riding fast, aggressive, and tight rounding the corner my way. I instantly knew the look. The left bike was an FXR, 2-into-1 pipe, aggressive T-bars, dual front brakes. They had their cuts on, flying their Red and White colors proudly. It was this moment I realized I was no longer in the Bible Belt I call home. I waved, they didn't. It was the 81.
    #18
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  19. oranges3

    oranges3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    110
    ok...
    i am completely hooked...
    ride on and be safe...
    if somehow you end up around atlanta, beers on me!
    #19
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  20. Bikey

    Bikey Jeff in Fairfax

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    You must have meant "best" instead of "worst." This is great....
    #20
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