RTW the Jamie Z Way: California is the place you outta be.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    July 16, 2021

    ADV Fest, Day 2.


    I had a few things I wanted to do today, but first breakfast.

    There was a bit of confusion about breakfast. Revzilla had promised breakfast each morning, but nobody was quite sure where to go. I wandered around a bit, attended the morning riders meeting, and then returned to find this line.


    There was one food truck which was serving our free breakfast, and there was more than an hour wait.

    The line went past the Harley demo where they had ten bikes lined up and ready to go. I wanted to be sure to try one of these.


    After breakfast I tended to my chain. It’s been making clunking sounds, and I figured my best bet until I get back to Denver to install a new chain, I’d clean it up as best I could. While cleaning, I noticed that the clip was missing from my master link.


    That’s not good. I asked about a replacement at the on-site shop. The mechanic checked around but didn’t have anything. He referred me to a store in Sturgis.

    I bought a new master link, but only installed the clip. I went by a car wash to clean up all the oil and grime which has built up from my attempts to lube the chain back to life.


    And then back to Buffalo Chip where I took a ride on a Pan America.


    I recorded some video, so I’ll save my thoughts for now and post the video sometime later.

    Rever had created some routes specifically for this event. They were divided by skill level. The A-routes were the most challenging, consisting of a lot of muddy and rocky singletrack. B-routes were considered moderate skill level with a mix of singletrack, rough roads, and pavement. And C-routes were the easiest, said to be a mix of pavement and gravel roads.

    I chose one of the C routes called Devil’s Tower Loop, and headed out in the afternoon for a ride. The loop goes into Wyoming.


    And past a couple of historical sites. This general store has been open since the 1800s.


    With some scenery.


    And of course, Devil’s Tower.


    I had considered entering the park and perhaps doing some hiking or other sightseeing, but there was a long line to enter. Besides, it was now late afternoon and I wanted to make it back to Sturgis.


    The loop went past Vore Buffalo Jump, which is an archeological site where Native Americans once used the geography to help hunt bison. They would herd the bison toward the sinkhole where hundreds at a time would jump and fall to their deaths.


    The site offers guided tours, but I was too late for that, so the guy let me go out back for a few minutes and a couple of pictures. He told me that they have found tens of thousands of bones and tools at the bottom of the pit.


    Back at Buffalo Chip, they held a daily wrap-up including an acknowledgement from the organizers that breakfast was not planned out well. A few riders went up on stage to tell stories about the day’s ride. Lots of tales about taking big bikes through some rough terrain. They held a raffle and gave out a bunch of prizes.

    After the raffle a band came on stage. They played a great set to a mostly-empty patio.


    To their credit, they played as if it were a full house.

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

    Jun 3, 2007
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    Thanks for the update Jamie.
    I'm enjoying keeping up with your "backyard travels" almost as much as the Cuba and Mexico reports. Fun stuff!

    You know, it's going to take me a little while to get used to seeing an HD presence ............ at a dual sport/adventure bike function. :lol3
    But the more the merrier!
  3. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

    Sep 29, 2008
    High Point, NC
    Jamie, back in the '70s when I was competing in enduros, we used to use a bit a safety wire to make sure those master link clips wouldn't be expelled. You may wish to do that.

    liv2day, RozzyCat, DC950 and 10 others like this.
  4. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

    Jan 3, 2011
    "This event was “sponsored by ADVrider,” and I expected to see some big-wigs from here show up."

    Jamie, you are the big-wig from ADVrider!
    GringoRider, Mofrid, red bud and 18 others like this.
  5. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

    Oct 23, 2012
    Madison, WI
    Oh yeah, PA. When we lived there, we concluded it was impossible to legally buy three 6-packs in one purchase. Cases at the beer store (not to be confused with the liquor store; that's separate), and you could buy a maximum of two 6-packs at a bar, but not three. And many many restaurants had no liquor license, but rather you brought your own and paid a corking fee. Go figure. Is this still the case? My experience was 2007-2009.
    From page 119, where you said Clear Creek must have been aawesome before the casinos opened. Yeah, it was. I rode it numerous times in 1976 on my R75/5, and it was there I learned that the kickstand ground first on the left, and the underside of the brake pedal first on the right. Very little traffic during the week.
    I also rode it over Rollins pass that year, on the road (old rail roadbed) that was corrugated from the ties having been removed. Wooden bridges over gaps. small tunnels to go through. I understand it hasn't been passable since around 1980 or so.
  6. falcofred

    falcofred aka Beer Scout Supporter

    Nov 30, 2008
    Extreme N.E. Tennessee = Motorcycle Nirvana
    'Was' as in past tense :lol3
    red bud likes this.
  7. olderigetfasteriam

    olderigetfasteriam Long timer

    Jun 19, 2011
    My thought as well!
  8. CaptGS

    CaptGS '16 R1200GSA

    Sep 14, 2014
    Los Banos, CA
    View attachment 3089862

    Back at Buffalo Chip, they held a daily wrap-up including an acknowledgement from the organizers that breakfast was not planned out well. A few riders went up on stage to tell stories about the day’s ride. Lots of tales about taking big bikes through some rough terrain. They held a raffle and gave out a bunch of prizes.

    After the raffle a band came on stage. They played a great set to a mostly-empty patio.

    View attachment 3089865

    To their credit, they played as if it were a full house.[/QUOTE]

    I was there too and this first ADV gathering was a bummer in all honesty. For the most popular class of biking activity in recent years I was thinking that ADV Touring event will be filled with vendors or at least Revzilla will bring tons of stuff for people to try on the spot and buy it. But instead most response I got was "we can order that for you"... Well I could do that while sitting in my home too. I didn't come to Sturgis from San Jose CA area to order stuff online. Thanks to Sheena from Revzilla I was able to attend for two days of the event while I was passing thru Sturgis at the time this event was going on. But honestly NorCal BMW club's local Mariposa rally had over 300 bikes with almost 500 people and more vendors and choices of ADV Touring bike accessories even for a local rally level.
    I hope in 2022 this event will be better planned and hopefully will be located to a little closer to CA where the majority of the ADV touring market is based at.
    I don't know if doing this event too close to traditional Sturgis rally did effect any of the attendance numbers negatively but again after all it was a sad scene to see a band is playing to 15 people at a gathering which supposed to be the National ADV Rally...
  9. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    July 17, 2021

    Day 3, ADV Fest.


    On Saturday morning my camp neighbor Eddie asked me if I wanted to join him and a couple others on a group ride. I had--as usual--planned to make a solo ride today. My first response was to say no… but then I reconsidered.

    After breakfast, we suited up and rode out. There were five of us to start. I got 80% of us in this selfie shot. Here is L-R, me, Kenny, Albert, and Eddie. Kevin didn’t make it into the shot.


    We followed Rever’s Needles Loop, an “easy” C-route. Early on, we made a stop because of a disagreement in which way to go. Somebody’s GPS was pointing us to the left, everyone else’s pointed right. I didn’t partake in the discussion. I wandered off for photos.


    This stop lasted 40 minutes. I didn’t get mad or impatient, but this is one of those group-ride dynamics which I haven’t had to experience in quite some time.

    Eddie and Kevin had been leading most of the way. Our next stop was at Pactola Lake, a busy, scenic reservoir.


    Oh, there’s Albert and Kevin.


    Until now, the route was on smooth pavement, mostly free of traffic. Kevin was leading, and I watched him go past a turn onto a rough two-track. We stopped and waited; he made a U-turn and came back. A few hundred yards down the road was a steep, rocky climb. We stopped to regroup at the top.


    We waited for Albert for a while, and then a couple other riders showed up. The first on an Africa Twin, then a BMW GS, and then a Honda Grom!


    The guys told us that they saw Albert turning back. He didn’t want to attempt the hill climb. Since we had no cell service, there was no way to contact him.

    We continued on. I left first and stopped to get a couple of action shots.

    Kevin on his Super Tenere:


    Kenny on his 1250GS:


    When I met Kenny for the first time, I had a hard time placing his accent. Was he British or Australian? No… Irish? Definitely not. I figured he was from somewhere in northern Europe and came to the US quite a while ago. And then he told me he was from Rhode Island. He sounds like Bob Vila.

    Eddie on his V-Strom 650.


    And that MFin Grom! I later learned the rider’s name is Keith and I sent him the photos I took of him.


    At Custer State Park, we had to pay $20 entry--each--to two women who were probably sick and tired of hearing complaints all day about $20 entry for each bike. They were not friendly and made a couple of unprofessional comments to us, and to the car next to us.

    We didn’t stop too much for photos in the park, but I have to admit that it was almost worth $20, traffic notwithstanding. The road twisted and turned around itself, and went through several tiny tunnels.


    We stopped at a scenic overlook.


    Eddie didn’t get the parking memo.

    A little while later along a gravel road, I saw Eddie hit the brakes and pull to the side. The I looked to the right.


    The group bunched up for photos.


    A few miles away, we saw a lineup of cars along the gravel road, and then saw the herd of bison in the meadow.


    Here we met up with Albert again, though Kevin called it a day and headed back to Sturgis on his own.


    The remaining four of us stopped in Keystone for a 5pm lunch. We waited out an afternoon rainstorm, and then got on the road.


    Me, Eddie, Albert, and Kenny.

    And arrived back to Buffalo Chip the back way.


    I picked up some beer and ice at the nearby gas station and we stayed up late trading more travel stories.

  10. y2blade

    y2blade Long timer

    May 23, 2005
    @Jamie Z that Grom :cool:

    And how cool to see all the Bison
  11. Air Force Vet

    Air Force Vet Been here awhile

    Feb 9, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hey Jamie, was great to meet you at the fest! Keep up the great ride report and give a yell if you ever come through New Mexico!
    Andyota and Jamie Z like this.
  12. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

    Aug 18, 2004
    Western Orygun
    This stop lasted 40 minutes. I didn’t get mad or impatient, but this is one of those group-ride dynamics which I haven’t had to experience in quite some time.

    Jaime, you are very tactful!
  13. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Apr 15, 2012
    West Central Indiana
    Great thread!
    Was just in the area a couple of weeks ago.
    Sorry they were snarky at the Custer State Park gate.

    When we were there for a few days and went in a and out of the park several times (the $20 pass is good for 7 days) I told my wife "these ladies sure are sweethearts to be so nice while working out here in the hot sun day after day."

    Wife replied: "it's just been super hot a few days, give it a couple of weeks..."

    Guess she's right. Sometimes

    Anyway, it seemed to me like the best $20 I spent the entire trip.

    I also found the folks in Spearfish (also spent a few days there) to be super nice. Great Faces! To borrow part of a phrase.

    Keep up the great updates and stay safe (and hydrated)

    DC950, Mark Thom and Golden955 like this.
  14. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile

    Jul 28, 2016
    To put I'd mildly.

    I've tried, really tried the group ride thing. Anywhere from an afternoon to a long weekend. I just prefer my schedule, my pace, my preferences. Me, me, me. As a dad of two older teens and a husband, most of my days are centered around others. But when I hop on the bike it's the me show 24/7.
  15. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

    Jul 20, 2007
    jaw ja
    i enjoy both worlds,

    i even enjoy when we miss a turn and wind up somewhere we weren't going (it's a good thing because sometimes when that happens i'm in the front)

    tho i do pass a few roads that i say, i'm coming back by myself and check that road out

    then say it again, next time we pass it :lol3
  16. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

    Nov 27, 2012
    Ashland, Oregon
    Love those MF'ers on Groms and Monkeys!!

    Good Honda peeps.
    orv, jdfog2, Carl_Mega and 1 other person like this.
  17. y2blade

    y2blade Long timer

    May 23, 2005
    You meet the nicest people on a Honda
  18. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

    Apr 9, 2012
    Regarding Canada and Alaska, September is not too late. In fact north of 60 gets much more tolerable after the first killing frost has alleviated the mosquito problem. Skeeters are so annoying I would consider June and September to be prime riding time. There is plenty of good weather left but an ever increasing probability of bad weather days, really bad weather days. If you were to show up at, let's say Chief Mt border crossing, 9 August, you could have five or six weeks before re-entering southern BC. But I can imagine your not wanting to go north just to be rushed to return southward.

    In BC, I've had good riding weather into November but those days have to be well chosen. And they're short days too.

    So, Alaska could be feasible this year, Alaska and western Canada may be a bit rushed in what's left of this summer. You gotta do this the Jamie Z way.
    Jamie Z likes this.
  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Mar 11, 2008
    You might want to consider the smoke situation as it is horrible right now and doesnt look to get much better
  20. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    July 18, 2021

    Day 4, ADV Fest.


    The last day of the rally, a few last-minute things I wanted to do.

    I once again woke up early and sat with Kevin and Eddie before breakfast.


    After breakfast I had a couple of hours to kill, so I sat at a shaded picnic table to catch up on my ride report. That finished, I rode my bike across the parking lot to the Givi tent, one of the few vendors at the event. I wanted to talk to the guy about the trouble I was having with my case.

    I didn’t expect he’d be able to do anything for me, but I figured he could give me a phone number or email address to someone who could. Surprisingly, he asked me to take the case off my bike so he could have a better look.

    First thing he asked me if I crashed my bike. I told him I hadn’t; in fact the only time the bike has been down on that side was a zero-speed drop in the sand in Baja. He said it looked like the case had a hard impact and twisted the lid. He pointed to a scuff in the aluminum.


    As he said, it’s almost impossible to bend or break the plastic body of the case, that is the side that attaches to the bike. The side that *isn’t* the lid. He got on his computer to look up prices for a replacement lid.

    Meanwhile I had a better look at the case. To my eye, it’s definitely the body that’s damaged. The hinge is twisted out of alignment. I called him over to have a look. He asked me again, “Are you sure you never crashed the bike?” As we looked closer, we could see that the whole bottom rear portion of the case is buckled.

    The Givi representative told me it would take a tremendous impact to damage it like that. His theory was that someone must have run into my bike when it was parked. Unfortunately there was nothing he could do for me. He said the best solution is a new case.

    Back at camp, I tried to get a couple pictures of the damage. It’s hard to see.


    I suited up and rode over to the Harley Pan America off-road demo location. It’s a course set out in a grassy field. The Harley ambassador went over the rules with me. Keep it under 25mph. If I drop the bike, the test ride is over. Because the course is a bit hard to see, he rode a lap so I could see the route.


    Then it was my turn. As I said a couple days back, I made a quick video which won’t be ready for a few days, so I’ll save my comments about the bike until then.

    Already it was hot out. When I got back, Justin--the Harley guy--offered me a cold bottle of water, and we talked for a while. The test ride wore me out.


    A little story about Justin. Yesterday when I was on the ride with the other guys, I listened to podcasts, as I usually do. One podcast I subscribe to is Adventure Rider Radio, and the episode was about a guy who rode a KTM through South America. His story was notable because he was originally from Minnesota, then moved to Colorado. He broke his leg in a skiing accident and during his two-year recovery became inspired by Long Way Round. At the end of the episode, the host Jim said that he is now working for Harley Davidson giving demo rides on the Pan America.

    After my test ride, I got on the Custer loop, one of the easy C-routes designed for this event by Rever. Just a couple miles from Buffalo Chip, I ran into a locked gate.


    This is odd because the surface looked like it hadn’t been driven on in quite a while… in any case, I had to go back out to the main road through Sturgis to continue the route. On the way I passed the Harley dealership. Why not?


    The Custer loop follows some of the same roads as yesterday’s Needles loop, but that’s ok. They’re great roads.

    I rode past Crazy Horse.


    I came here more than 25 years ago when I lived in Minnesota. It looked exactly the same. It’s been under construction since 1948.

    The route turned off onto a two-track.


    And then some mud.


    And another gate. Gah!


    But this one wasn’t locked. It simply had a sign asking you to keep the gate closed.

    During my time in South Dakota, I’ve seen a lot of tree damage.


    Later, John in Spearfish told me that they’ve had a couple of bad tornadoes over the past few years.

    There were a few things to see along the way.


    At the very moment I took this picture I had an epiphany. I figured out what happened to my Givi case. I went back to my bike. Sure enough, the exhaust is pointing right at the warped part of the box. In my defense, after I installed the luggage, I took a couple of test rides and stopped a few times and felt the bottom of the right-side case, and it was never very warm. I guess in certain situations, hot weather, high-speed riding, low-speed tracks, the exhaust must get hot enough to melt the plastic.

    And the route crossed into Wind Cave National Park.


    I visited this park in 2015, I think.

    Today my path took me into the back country. I didn’t see another vehicle the whole time.


    And a spectacular view of the prairie.


    I stayed here for almost half an hour.

    From here the route started heading back toward Buffalo Chip, across this wooden bridge.


    And past Stockade Lake.


    From here I cut the route short. There were large storm clouds ahead of me and I rode through a brief heavy downpour. I stopped in Rapid City where I removed my rain gear and picked up some fast food for dinner.

    Though this was Sunday evening and the ADV Fest ended today, a few of us asked if we could camp an additional night, and they were cool with that.

    roadcapDen, jon_l, liv2day and 52 others like this.