~Spencer, IN to ~San Jose, CA in three days

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by maddmechanic, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    Just did it over Memorial Day weekend, wouldn't really recommend it, especially during non-stop thunderstorms on I-70 through Colorado and Utah.<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont 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mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> Ok, so here’s my first ride report. I travel for work, so my stuff gets spread out. I’m in CA now, and my bike was still in IN, so I flew back there and rode it out here over Memorial Day, basically to save $800 on shipping. I flew back Thr-21-May, installed my new chain, sprockets, changed the oil, and did a few other bits, and started riding on Sat-23. My plans changed a bit on the way, and unfortunately I’m having issues connecting my Streetpilot to my laptop, again… But this is pretty darn close. I have a feeling this will come out like a bad, babbling short story, so if you have any questions, just ask. I don’t know that I would read a post this long- <o:p> </o:p>
    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=IN-43%2FIN-67%2FUS-231&daddr=635+W+Diamond+Drive,+Salina,+KS%E2%80%8E+to:375+E+1620,+Salina,+UT+to:39.04052,-113.856812+to:190+E+El+Camino+Real,+Mountain+View,+CA+94040&geocode=FQAtWAIdtFnU-g%3B%3B%3B%3B&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=2&mrsp=3&sz=8&via=3&sll=38.419166,-112.999878&sspn=2.00554,3.90564&ie=UTF8&ll=38.419166,-112.999878&spn=2.00554,3.90564&output=embed" frameborder="0" height="350" scrolling="no" width="425"></iframe>
    <small>View Larger Map</small>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have an ’03 DL 1000 with CR high bars and TKC80s. I loaded the GIVI side bags and a black duffle bag on the rear deck across the side bags, with a piece of 1x1-5/8 unistrut (b-line, same difference) screwed to the holes threaded holes for my now broken top case. It worked pretty well too, but I had already dropped the front about ¼” to get rid of the headshake when I put the TKC80s on it, and with all the crap on the back (~130lb or so), I had to max out the rear shock, and lower the front another ~ 1/8”. I loaded up my all my stuff planning to sleep in my quick pitch two-man tent on the way (2007 Northface Tephra 22), but like I said, my plans changed a bit on the way… Along with the tent I had my sleeping bag, pad, Katadyn water bottles, and some other stuff, as well as a backpack full of stuff too.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So, I finish the maintenance on the bike, load it up, and head for I-70 around 10 AM, nothing like leaving 4 hours later than planned. The weather was perfect though, not sure but felt like high 70s low 80s. I-70 was clear too, until I hit St. Louis, MO, and it just about stopped there, but I’m guessing that was due to the ball game that was just filling up when I got there. Three older dudes on dressers were ahead of me and one waved me up, said they were going for some food and invited me, so, I followed them to… some place near the stadium. Can anyone help me with this? Some popular place with an outdoor bar and seating (well, it has a roof over it, but no walls) Three of us had jambalaya and one had red beans and rice… anyway.. The one guy gave me this patch (unfortunate spelling error…), then back on the road.
    <o:p> </o:p>

    Note: If you’re piling a bunch of stuff on the back of your bike for a long trip, and you never have before, take it out locally and get it up to whatever speed you’ll see on your trip. The extra weight on the back might give you some headshake, and you might have to crank up the rear and drop the front to compensate.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    IN was uneventful, as was IL. MO was except for the traffic near Busch Stadium and the unexpected invitation for food at the cajun place. Perfect weather, light traffic, cruising at 75 or so the whole way, but man when I hit KS, holy crap. That is the most boring state I have ever driven/ridden through, no kidding. It reminded me of Delaware only greener, and windier. I was pretty much laying down on my bike doing 80~85 through KS, and about 120 on the shoulder pass the A-HOLE truck driver that decided he should ‘pass’ everyone UP HILL (small as it was) in the left lane. Must have been geriatric day because there were about 15 cars all doing ~50, and the posted limit is 75! Yeh, no. I really don’t have patience for that in the middle of nowhere on a flat wide 75 mph highway with a shoulder that’s 10 feet wide. I don’t make a habit of this, but damn man. So… on through the ripping winds to some rest stop around midnight. In the trash went my MRI windscreen, literally. I wanted to stick it somewhere on the bike, but had no room. It was modified long ago, and I should have left it back in the damn garage, horrible wind off that thing. I thought I grab an hour on one of the picnic tables, but there were some mighty strange noises going on…. So back on the road, and I ended up in Salina, KS, where the fog had gotten so thick I could see about 20 feet down the highway. I really couldn’t see jack, so there was no chance of finding a spot to pitch the tent, unfortunately. I’m a little… foggy.. here, because I really can’t remember what the heck I did, but I’m pretty sure I checked into the Motel 6 sometime around midnight, which is really odd, because I could have sworn it was 3 AM when I left the rest stop. Hm.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Back on the road around noon Sunday, and finish KS, on into CO. What a difference. Let’s see, there was some rain, some sideways rain, some –heavy- rain, some 30mph winds, some –heavy- -heavy- rain, 5 minutes of sunshine…. The whole damn way. So I’m on 70 in CO and it starts to pour, just as traffic gets heavy and bunches up. My very first test of the TKC80’s wet braking ability. The test failed. I flopped it on its left side and fumbled about a bit on the road. I’ve been down before, but never in water like that. I usually hop to my feet (yes, often enough that there is a usual) before I stop sliding, it’s just reaction. This time? This time I think the woman behind me about had a heart attack, and some impatient A HOLE in a silver 4 runner decided to weave through every other car that was stopped and about ran me over. Pick up the bike, turn it around, start it up, ride away and wave to the people…. No damage, just tweaked bars, so I had to pull over under the cover of a closed gas station to loosen the superbrace and triple clamp. A few wiggles of the bars and it was all straight again.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This happened due to a combination of simultaneously occurring events. All at once it got dark, it got windy, it got –really-wet, all the traffic stopped, and I used more brake than the TKC80’s could handle, or did I? After the trip was over I found I have a wee right fork seal leak too. Oiled pads and water go great together, makes them nice and grabby.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Note: Before a long ride, check your chain and sprockets, lube your chain, check your tires, change your oil, check the engine for any oil leaks, and check the damn fork seals. I didn’t. Also check the fasteners on the foot controls, rear pegs, and exhaust. I lost a left rear peg bolt somewhere in UT.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    On through CO on 70, through the Rockies, and I’m freezing my ! off because of my new jacket. It’s really good except for one major flaw, ZERO ‘gasket’ around the neck. The stinkin’ thing is actually baggy about the neck, so it’s like a giant vent you can’t close. A few gas stops, a few moments of sunshine, but mostly flash flood –type thunderstorms that made cars pull over. Not me though! No time for that!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have to tell you, do, ride through the Rockies on I-70, just not during thunderstorms. They are magnificent. I’m really not impressed by anything, but when I came out the other end of the tunnel (one of them) I actually gasped a tiny bit. It was pretty amazing to see them for the first time. Straight ahead was a huge snow capped mountain with the sun illuminating the entire thing, to the right, same thing, only black clouds, rain, and lightning, and to the left I swear it looked like it was snowing up there. It was something to see. Then, more thunderstorms.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Finally done with CO and on to UT. Utah is pretty interesting too, many different shapes and colors, and, non-stop thunderstorms. So, I’m laying down on my strom, trying to get to the blue sky before the storm catches up with me, and I hit ~90 and get headshake, but not tankslapper headshake, fore and aft motion of the fork. What the? Well whatever, it’s controllable and the storm is catching up, so I’m crankin on the throttle on the deserted interstate. Again, I’m cold and wet, so I exit 70 at Green River where there are a bunch of camping spots, pay kind, and sneak on up over here and pitch my tent kind. Nope. Cold, wet, and flooded camp grounds, and every hotel was full, and there’s about 10 of them right there. Damn, damn, damn. Back onto 70, with zero traffic, and unfortunately zero road markings due to the new paving that’s not finished.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Note: When you’re cold, wet, and tired, and on a stretch of interstate you’ve never been on before, road markings are very, very important. When it’s pitch black ‘cept for you bikes headlights, and you just want to go to sleep, it is –really- hard to find the road when there is no paint on it.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Finally make it to Salina, UT 200 miles after Green River, and grab a room at the not-so-super 8. I’m guessing it’s around midnight again, and at this point I’m wet and numb. Crank the heat, throw my wet stuff on it, and take a nice looong hot shower. Out the door at 10AM on Monday.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I finish I-70 and jump on 50 through Nevada, and, stinkin' rain! Ok, this was only briefly, but I’m telling you it was cold and super windy for most of NV, but there is some cool scenery through that state too, unfortunately I was just transporting my bike, and not really enjoying the ride and taking pictures. NV was pretty uneventful except for one of the hairpins in the mountains where I hit a tiny bit of sand and thought I might be giving the twinduros a downhill test. Ride ride ride and I take 50 to 80 around Fernley, and soon I’m in Tahoe, with rain, and wind. This stretch of 80 has got to be the worst highway in the country. No joke. Its concrete that’s literally beat to pieces, up, down, winding, some sections are smooth, and some have some wonderful rain grooves cut in them. I’m wondering why there is not a single vehicle in the left lane, so I move on over and whooooooa. I had to stand up it was so bad. I did that just long enough to pass the swerving cars, and rig, and got back over. Wasn’t long before I smelled that sweet smell of burning brakes, and come around the next curve to see a rig that’s about to lose his trailer. The trailer brakes are pumping smoke like a house fire; luckily he got it stopped in one of the runaway truck areas.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Note: Check your brakes before you ride 2400 miles, especially if there’s any chance they have oil or grease on them. It only takes a few minutes to pull them and look at the pad surface, and about half a second to drop it in the rain.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My last gas stop was a 7-Eleven in Rocklin, CA, then 80 to 680, along the Bay around 8 or 9 PM. More wind, more water (mist form this time), more bad highway… Not terrible though. I passed two KTM Adventures on 680 (this is Memorial Day now) with ADV stickers on their side cases. I guess they’re too cool to wave to another rider. I stopped at my Jeep that I left parked at work, and as I’m pulling in the work lot, I hear my chain growling at me. Forgot to mention I was lubing my chain at every fill up, then every other fill up when I noticed it was still a little wet when I forgot to do it once, but, I ran out of lube. I had to do the last 400~500 miles without lubing it, and maintaining ~80+ for ~700 miles a day is pretty hard on the chain.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Note: Install a Scott Oiler or take a full can of chain lube. Mine wasn’t new when I left. If you’re just blasting down the highway nonstop, I recommend lubing at least every 300 miles. It only took about 400~500 to make mine growl, and it was new when I left. Also, check you chain tension when you lube it.
    Mine was good until the last 500 mile stretch. When I checked it at work on Tuesday it had stretched a bit, still it was still rideable. After lubing it and adjusting it, most of the growl went away, but it’s still tighter than I’d like it to be.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So, let’s see-
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Before you go on a long trip-
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Load it up and get it up to speed on local roads, lower the front and raise the rear as necessary to get rid of any headshake caused by the extra weight on the back.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    If your chain is questionable or high mileage, replace it. Install a Scott Oiler or take a full can of chain lube. I think a new 8 oz can would probably be good for 2400 miles.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Check your tires, brake pad surfaces (not just thickness, pull them off and look for oil or grease), and your fork seals.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Do not wear a new glove brand you’ve never worn before. Yeh, no kidding. What the hell was I thinking? Blisters however, can be prevented after they start by smacking them as hard as you possibly can. If your new gloves left your hands sore and starting to form blisters, smack them together as hard as you can a few times. Yes, it should hurt, a lot, but you won’t get blisters.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Wear waterproof everything, with armor. Be sure your jacket seals around your neck, if not, get dickie or collar, or both. A loose neck on the jacket also ads to wind noise, and a collar all but eliminates it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Riding out west, there are some long stretches of road without any gas stations. I remember two somewhere in UT or NV where it was over 100 miles between stations. I think one was 108 and one was 120something. Be sure you fill up when you need to.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Take a mirrored visor for the glaring sun, and a clear visor for nighttime.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Drink plenty of fluids. Gatorade is not that great any more, it’s got tons of sugar. Water is better. I drank nothing but Gatorade for the first few hundred and my pee was yellow. Yellow pee = dehydrated, clear pee = hydrated. If you pee yellow in the desert, drink a quart of water before you get back on the bike. You could be getting light-headed pretty soon if you don’t.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Heated grips are good, heated gear is way better. If you have it, you’ll be glad. I don’t, but it’s on my list now.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My TKC80s lasted the trip, but the rear is shot. (no surprise) The front is still ~80%, and the rear is just about a slick down the middle. Oh, and they suck in heavy rain on paved road.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Cortech Adrenaline gloves are not so great. They’re cut for a flat hand, not a curved hand, I don’t care what they say. They bunch very badly. I tried to salvage my new gloves by inserting some Dr. Scholl’s heal pads into the palms. The adhesive backed ones. It was tricky, but they’re in there now. We’ll see if that works at all. So far just two short rides like that, and they actually feel pretty nice.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fieldsheer Aquatour jacket has ZERO neck gasket. It might be fine for commuting to work, or riding around town, but it sucks for 1500 miles of wind and rain. The sleeves are also too short. They need to be about 3” longer for me, but I do have a 36” sleeve.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fieldsheer Mercury pants are nice. Could be about 3” longer too, but they’re probably fine with riding boots. I wear my waterproof, steeltoe, sidezip Bates. Walking in riding boots sucks.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Scorpion EXO-400 was nice, I’ve had that a while now.


    I want to do this again, back to my 'home' in PA, and take two weeks to do it.:norton
    hmm.. still having picture issues, so the few I have will follow...
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #1
  2. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    Gas and Gatorade-

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    #2
  3. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    Some of the brief blue sky after Kansas-

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    #3
  4. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    Not terrible, considering it's a ~500 lb bike with 165 lb rider, and another 130 lb of crap on it, doing 80+ 800 miles at a time. It's pretty much shot after 2500 miles though-

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    #4
  5. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    ..would have been far worse without the Hepco Becker crash bars, as it is, it's pretty much nothing.

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    #5
  6. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    I'm still using this one-

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    #6
  7. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    so here it is.. This is from one of the guys I ate with in St. Louis. Unfortunate spelling error...

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    #7
  8. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    not sure exactly where this was-

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    #8
  9. maddmechanic

    maddmechanic i ride too fast and crash

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Wherever I'm working
    ...on the sidecase. Surprisingly, it didn't break, or open. I have had it pop open before.
    Note the missing rear peg bolt. It fell out somewhere in Utah. So if any of you find my peg bolt, could ya mail it to me?
    Oh, and I HATE the gold chain, but it was the only one I could get in less than two weeks at the time.

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    #9