Return of the Clunk: The CX goes looking for the middle of nowhere

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jlevers, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    A couple years ago, right after graduating from high school, I hopped on my ‘79 CX500 and rode across the country. Boy oh boy, what an experience. It was a total perspective shift for me. So, almost exactly two years later, it’s time for another ride across the country on the same bike! (If you want to read about my last ride, here it is: Clunking my CX Cross Country)

    This time, a few things are different. Well, now that I think about it, damn near everything other than the bike is different…

    Last time, I had a limited amount of time for my trip. This time, I have one deadline―be in Minneapolis by August 9th, because I’m flying from there up to Alaska to spend a few weeks exploring with my family. Once I get back from that, I have no deadlines...and I’m STOKED.

    Last time, I didn’t get off the bike and look around much. This time, I’m planning to do a bunch of hiking, because I love the outdoors, and I want to see more of what the US has to offer than can be seen from the seat of a motorcycle.

    And the biggest difference: last time, I’d never travelled without my parents, I’d never been on my own for more than a week, and I didn’t know how incredibly nice most people are. With the experiences I’ve had since then, all those things have been flipped on their heads, and I bet this trip will be the best yet.

    A very brief introduction to me: I’m 20, and I just wrapped up my first year at Northeastern University in Boston―I’m a Computer Science student. I love bikes, love the outdoors, love type 2 fun. I really enjoy programming, I really hate speed traps, and I’m really worried about climate change (if you don’t feel the same way on that last one, you really should). Not all of that is relevant to this trip, but I just want to give a general sense of who I am.

    I’m a little shaggier now than I was in these pictures, but here’s me and my clunky steed (the namesake of this ride report) from a few months back.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    One of my goals for this trip is to find some really remote, beautiful places. I’m looking for hikes with anything up to Class IV scrambling (and the more scrambling the better!), so if anyone has any recommendations, hit me up! And if there are any climbers reading this, I’d love to find a partner to do some climbs with along the way (but I’m not gonna have a rope). Here’s a couple pictures from recent hikes in New England.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My route last time was a big “U” across the country, ending in northern Washington. Now, I’m starting in western Massachusetts, going up to Ontario via Vermont and New York, and crossing back into the US in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Then, I’m noodling across Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, and heading down the west coast until I get to LA.

    [​IMG]

    I have yet to pay for a night of lodging while on a motorcycle trip: I usually stealth camp. I’m going to try to keep that streak rolling, so get ready for lots of sketchy campsites.

    I gotta say, the aspect of this trip that combines motorcycles with the outdoors was majorly inspired by The Pan American Trail. What I’m doing is nowhere near as gnarly as what those guys did, but it’s a start, and I hope to someday do something half that awesome.

    I’ve met so many great people on ADVrider, and I’m sure the same thing will be true this time. I’m stoked to meet some of you along the way!

    I’m hoping to leave by July 26th at the latest, if everything goes to plan...it rarely does, so we’ll see what happens. This is my last week of work (full-time work, anyways―I’m doing some remote work on the road), and then I’m going camping with some friends till the 22nd, so I’ll only have a few days to get ready. I don’t have time to do a full teardown on my bike...with a 40 year old bike, I might have some issues on the road.

    But as my mom said to me before my first day of preschool, “Son, just fuckin send it.” (Or something like that, my memory’s a little hazy.) And that’s what I’m gonna do.
    #1
  2. TropicalDale

    TropicalDale The Adventures of Peter Pan

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    :lurk
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  3. iplax13

    iplax13 Been here awhile

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    Is that Tuckerman's?
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  4. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Yep, Left Gully! I skied it for the first time this May...I'm stoked to go back. I take it you've ridden it too?
    #4
  5. iplax13

    iplax13 Been here awhile

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    I have yet to do it.
    My old boss talks about it all the time, and I drove passed it a few weeks ago, but would love to do it soon. 6hour ride from me in NY though.
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  6. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Totally worth it, although that is a haul from NY. It was my first time ever doing any backcountry skiing, so it felt...steep, to say the least. But I could tell that if I were to do it again it would be way more fun and way less scary. Here's a funny picture from that trip:

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    Hey Dude! Glad to see you made it home and happy to see you're still trippin around this big blue marble. Safe travels and keep on writing and posting!
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  8. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    in.
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  9. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Hey Duane! It was great to meet you last year. Maybe I'll see you out in the Seattle area in a couple months!
    #9
  10. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

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    Spent the past few hours reading through your last adventure. Good read. Looking forward to reading this one as well.
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  11. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    I well remember your last journey! All the best on this one! I'll be following! As for Tucks....there were a couple of guys from my college who rode cafeteria trays down it and claimed the North American speed record for tray riding as a result.
    #11
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  12. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

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    Am I understanding your map correctly that your trip to Alaska is in the middle of your ride? Do you have a place to store the CX in Minneapolis while you are in Alaska?
    #12
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  13. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    Great plan! I read your first ride and you are more prepared this time around. I love that you have a budget of $0 for lodging. Ride well. Be well. I'll be reading along as you experience.....
    #13
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  14. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Thanks everyone for following along!

    Wow, now THAT is badass. They must have been going properly fast by the time they got to the bottom!

    Yep, the Alaska trip is right after the first two weeks of the ride...I'm leaving my bike at a friend's house in Minneapolis for a few weeks. We're planning to spend a few days in the Boundary Waters when I get back from AK, which I'm pretty excited about.
    #14
  15. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I really enjoyed your earlier ride report. It's great to read that your first trip wasn't your last. For some people, these trips fade into those obscure "One time when I was young..." memories while for others, it's a bug that you catch and just can't shake. Seems as though you now fall into the latter category.

    Welcome to the club man! :lol3


    Looking forward to following along.

    :ricky
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  16. cmcteir

    cmcteir Adventurer

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    I enjoyed your last Clunking thread - in! :lurk
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  17. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Now that you have got all the kinks worked out of your CX, this trip may be a bit less adventurous. :wink:
    #17
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  18. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    That's why I'm riding more dirt this time :lol3

    Also, turns out I was running a quart low on oil for the entirety of the last trip, because I was checking the oil with the dipstick screwed in, so there's also a chance my big end bearings will explode at some point...wouldn't want it to work too well!
    #18
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  19. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    Really looking forward to season two!! Try to keep both feet on the ground most of the time!
    #19
  20. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

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    I read your previous RR in its entirety over the winter. You've got nothing to worry about.

    That's an ambitious plan. That time of year you are going to need gallons of DEET in both Alaska and the Boundary Waters.

    Good luck.
    #20
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