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. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Safe travels, Jesse!

    I'll be following this thread as I did your last one. It doesn't look like we'll get a chance to meet up along the way and get in some riding together like we did in in Colorado last time. Interestingly, a couple of weeks ago I was at the Argo Inn in Idaho Springs where we met up last time and I was telling a guy there about your awesome trip.

    When do you plan on being in Los Angeles?

    Rick
    #41
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  2. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Following this trip like the last one. Have a great experience again Jesse.
    #42
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  3. fastredbike

    fastredbike back on the loose

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    got a real soft-spot for Honda's CX bikes, never found the right one though. I'll be following along with much interest.
    #43
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  4. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Too bad we won't get to meet up like last time -- that was a blast. Hope you enjoyed Idaho Springs when you were there recently...what a sick town.

    I think I'll probably in in LA in mid-October, but it could be much earlier or much later than that.

    Thanks Dave! Glad you're following along again.

    They're fun bikes (although since I've never had another one, I don't really have a point of comparison :D).
    #44
  5. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Your morning update -- my muffler fix very much did not hold up, and a bottle of oil leaked in my bag. Oh well, there's always some hiccups at the beginning of a trip....
    #45
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  6. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Day 2

    I said adios to Kyle, and headed out. (This is Kyle)

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    I left Killington, and rode north for an hour or so until I got to the trailhead for the hike I wanted to take.

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    The northern part of VT Route 100 is a ton of fun, but it had nothing on the gap road I took up to the trailhead...that was a second gear kind of road. It was so narrow, twisty, and steep that I couldn’t find anywhere to stop and take a picture. Awesome.

    I hiked across the ridge that includes Mt. Abraham and Mt. Ellen, which was a really pretty hike.

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    It goes across the top of Sugarbush ski resort, which gives you lots of opportunities to climb lift towers ;)

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    I was planning to hitchhike back to my bike when I finished the hike, but it turned out the road at the other end was a tiny dirt road in the middle of nowhere...so my 9 mile hike turned into a 13 mile hike before I got picked up. Can’t complain, though...it was a pretty road, and to my surprise, I didn’t have to deal with a single farmhouse dog! I eventually got picked up by a really nice woman named Diane. Thanks Diane, you’re the bomb.

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    I eventually got back to my bike, and started riding up towards Lake Willoughby, which Michael from Iron and Air (it’s a sick magazine, give it a look) recommended I check out. As I was riding there, I noticed that I was riding directly into one of the more menacing clouds I’ve seen, and that cloud quickly turned into this.

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    After checking the radar, I decided to skip Willoughby, and after waiting an hour or so, the rain stopped and I got back on my bike. Of course, within seconds of starting my bike, it started absolutely pouring again...but I figured, fuck it, I’m gonna get wet at some point, so it might as well be now! I headed towards Burlington, where my friend Sean goes to school. A very wet couple hours later, I showed up dripping on his doorstep, ate dinner, and passed out.

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    #46
  7. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    A quick realtime update -- I'm in Potsdam NY, making a public library smell bad while I use their wifi :lol3
    #47
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  8. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Day 3

    Here’s Sean, the night’s host, with his very non-stock Impreza…

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    I got a late start from Sean’s -- mostly because I moved slow, but partially because an oil additive I was carrying with me was leaking in my saddlebag. Whoops.

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    Once I dealt with that, I made a beeline for the Adirondacks. Lots of great roads in the ‘dacks, both paved and unpaved!

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    I tried to cut off a corner in my route by taking some tiny roads I could barely see on Google Maps, and while the road did exist, about 15 miles in, I came to this...bummer. That shortcut turned into a longcut!

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    I rode from Big Moose (yes, that’s the actual name of a real town) into the true middle of nowhere on logging roads. I think I rode 50+ miles of dirt in the process, and I’m finally getting a little more comfortable sliding. Except for when it comes to sand. I still very, very much do not like sand. Also, I finally saw someone on a less dirt-worth vehicle than me! There was a guy in what I think was an ‘70s Stingray on those logging roads. He waved me past before I got a chance to take a picture, but driving that car on those roads is a baller move.

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    I ended up at a huge hydroelectric installation, which was super cool. It was so well hidden in the woods that I wasn’t really able to see much of it at once, not even the dam itself, but there was some serious infrastructure.

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    I ended up camping on the side of a dirt road below the dam. I’ll have some pictures of that in the next installment.

    For some reason, in the middle of the day, I was practically falling asleep while riding. I think it was related to how hot it was, but it seemed like more than that. I also felt super out of it when I was setting up camp around 7pm, and felt almost feverish until I fell asleep. Maybe heat exhaustion? Even as I’m typing this now, from an air-conditioned library, I’m feeling pretty weird. I’m still sweating, even though it’s not hot in here. Fun stuff.
    #48
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  9. CCitis

    CCitis Been here awhile

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    I feel like that sometimes when my body is fighting off some kind of sickness, or just overtired, overheated. Sleep and water are your friends.
    #49
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  10. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    I've been drinking a ton of water...hopefully it'll go away soon. It's all good -- just part of the experience.
    #50
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  11. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Watch out for that heat. You're riding at pretty much the hottest time of the year. It's very difficult to stay cool and hydrated in very hot and humid weather like we are having in the NE. Riding in bike gear traps in body heat and makes cooling thru evaporation more difficult. Drink tons; if you aren't needing to pee every hour or so, you are not hydrated enough. Stop often and get some rest in shade or A/C; go swimming.
    #51
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  12. thadf

    thadf Adventurer

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    I hope you don’t mind me living vicariously through you. I’m early 40’s, married, 4 kids...so what you’re doing isn’t accessible to me right now.

    Thank you for taking the time to document your adventure.

    Enjoy your state in life for the moment. It gets better with age though!!!

    Be safe
    #52
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  13. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

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    If you’re drinking a lot of water and sweating profusely, you can flush your system of electrolytes. Make sure you don’t skip meals and also have a couple light snacks. When I was in Iraq, probably drinking a liter of water per hour, I skipped eating for half a day and had a severe reaction. When I’m hot, I lose my appetite, so I have to force myself to eat a little something every couple hours. A handful of trail mix, a slim Jim, something.
    #53
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  14. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Today's a boring one...I'm working in a library in Massena, NY, by the Canadian border. This town seems like it's seen better times. Lots of sweet forest roads around here, though! Pics to come...
    #54
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  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    If you were closer to Watertown, @bb82bird has good wifi and a shower and a garage. Not saying he'd answer the door but I think you two would get along. He rode the translab with me and can fix pretty much anything.
    #55
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  16. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Thanks for the potential hookup -- if Watertown was closer, I'd message him. I think one of the dudes on the CX500 Forum is putting me up tonight :)
    #56
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  17. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    The stereotype of Canadians being incredibly nice has been amusingly true so far in Ontario...
    #57
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  18. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Days 4 and 5

    I woke up at sunrise next to a beautiful reservoir. This is more like it.

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    I’ve discovered in the past few years that I feel a ton better if I get some exercise every day, so I’m trying to do half an hour of some kind of exercise every morning to get it out of the way, whether that’s bodyweight stuff, running, or anything else. It’s weird trying to work out in a tent, but I’m figuring it out :lol2

    I eventually packed up and hit the road...the first 20 miles of which was some super fun gravel.

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    It was interesting seeing some more of the infrastructure for the hydroelectric plant that was hidden in those woods...there were absolutely massive power transmission lines going everywhere. I couldn’t find a good way to capture the scale, but these are the power lines.

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    There was also some more pipeline -- the scale of everything that makes projects like this work is just insane.

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    At one point, I was leaned way over in a corner, when suddenly, my bike sounded a whole lot louder than I was expecting. I looked down, and...well, this would explain it:

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    I fit the pieces back together, packed up my tools, put my riding gear back on, and the moment I tried to accelerate -- there it goes again! Whoops, I didn’t notice the sliding mount on the back of the muffler was loose. After another round of unpacking, taking off gear to avoid dying of heatstroke, tightening things up, and doing that again in reverse, I was good to go! It’s been a few hundred miles since then, and the muffler still seems to be attached :lol3

    I wasn’t feeling too great, and needed to do some work and catch up on the ride report, so I stopped in Potsdam, NY, at a public library...and ended up staying for 5 hours. The siren song of AC got me again! (In reality, I just had a lot of catching up to do.) I finally kept rolling…

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    That evening, I did some googling for free campsites, and ended up at Deer River State Park. I cooked dinner along the river, and met a local couple and their adorable puppy...solid end to a pretty low-key day.

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    The next morning, I went for a jog and a swim...the perfect combo. Today’s library patrons should thank their lucky stars that there was a river for me to swim in, because with how hot it’s been, I was NOT smelling super great.

    I had a bunch more work to do today, so after a few minutes with my good friend Google Maps, I found a sufficiently roundabout way to get to another library.

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    Riding doubletrack with this much stuff on my bike was quite the adventure, but it worked out! I saw a flock of 10+ egrets at one point, which erased any doubt I had in my mind that I had made the right choice by taking the road (way, way) less traveled.

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    I holed up in the Massena Public Library for most of the day, and then set my sights on Richmond, Ontario (near Ottawa), where a guy named Keith from the CX500 Forum had offered to put me up for the night.

    The border crossing in Cornwall was pretty painless, although the Canadian customs officer was a little confused by how I was planning to take 5 days to do what was supposed to be an 8hr drive through Canada. After some discussion of what I meant when I said I was “noodling” my way to Sault Ste. Marie, he sent me on my way.

    Man, the difference between the States and Canada was visible damn near immediately. The town in NY where I’d spent the day was in rough shape, there was tons of litter, and people generally seemed like they were having a rough time. The second I crossed the border, the streets were pretty and clean, and the people just looked happier. It was an incredibly large difference for two places only a few miles apart.

    I cruised towards Ottawa on back roads, wondering how much speeding I could get away with. I decided 20 km/hr over the speed limit was probably fine...From some advice I got from Keith later, that was probably not the best idea, but I was in such rural areas that it worked out alright. It was basically just miles and miles of farmland.

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    I came across a bunch of these signs, which I thought were great.

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    A couple hours later, I showed up at Keith’s, where I got to check out his sweet garage, and introduced myself to some burgers that he very generously provided. Tomorrow, it’ll be time to start putting down some miles!
    #58
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  19. TownPump

    TownPump Been here awhile

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    50 mile long logging road ... sounds like you were on Stillwater Big Moose Road. In Big Moose there is the Big Moose Inn which is a great little place to stay, drink/eat relax. And further west on that Road is the Stillwater Inn which is another worthy rest spot.

    Not sure where that hydro plant is.
    #59
  20. jlevers

    jlevers Type 2 fun

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    Yep, that's the road! And a bunch of other little logging roads off of it...

    I'm going to have to look up that hydro plant at some point, I didn't know there was anything of that scale in New York.
    #60
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