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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Wiener Patrol, Sep 23, 2020.
Subbed. Lovely time of year to be starting a trip.
I can't wait to see more!
I’m convinced that any bike can be an adventure as long as you accept its capabilities.
The Cub only has a one gallon tank, so a lot of my planning has been around fuel stops. I have a small MSR bottle for a backup supply, but I saw the funnel at Walmart. It makes filling the bottle up a breeze. It’s sold for that DEF fluid the diesel guys use, but I don’t know why they need it.
The early C-100's have 0.8 gallon tanks, even moreso why I carry a 1 gallon reserve.
Day 2. Chicago Bang Bang. West Allis to Fair Oaks, IN. (Hint. This is wrong). I grew up in the Chicago area and lived there until I was 26. I lived there again from 2001 to 2010, so I know the area and its traffic. Time of day, construction and dumb luck all play their part. Most map apps start with a path through the city down the Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways. Running the Cub down those would be so epic and so wrong. In a car, I always consider it, but it’s rare for it to be a good choice. The most common way past Chicago is via the Tri-State (I-294). The Tri-state is posted at 55mph, but it’s usually 80mph bumper to bumper until you slam to a halt at its too frequent bottlenecks. Semis clog the right three lanes and the Cub would never survive. The last option is via a couple of surface street routes which run down the western suburbs. It’s a trade off between shorter distance/higher congestion versus further out, greater milage/faster roads. Roughly speaking, the choices are down Manheim (US45), IL 59 or IL 47. Other options exist, but incorporate high speed expressway sections not suitable for the Cub. I’ve chosen the more inside route starting down 59 with a transition to Mannheim and with a zig zag into Indiana and to Fair Oaks for the night.
By changing my departure to adjust to the weather window, I was going to pass Chicago on a Saturday. That did help with traffic and made it a lot easier to get through the industrial parks around O’Hare. I left West Allis at 7:40.
The roads were empty and I quickly made my way out of the suburbs into the Wisconsin countryside. The conditions were warm and cloudy, so I was comfortable in my windbreaker, air jacket with a tee shirt and henley underneath, and with my revit sand gloves. Before I knew it, the Cub was no longer an adventure virgin as we crossed into Illinois.
The headwinds began to increase and would become a factor throughout the day. Often I would need full throttle just to maintain 45 mph. In that respect, the suburban sprawl was a bit of relief with its lower speed limits. I didn’t really take any photos, in part because this was all old familiar territory, and in part because the sprawl looks pretty much the same everywhere. I guess I could have detoured to one of the more notable tourist destinations for the obligatory photo, but I had a moment of enlightenment during lunch. I’ve managed to live in 5 different major metros across this country, and it’s not the sites that are first in my memories. It’s the food. There is always at least one dish that I will forever associate with a particular place. For me and Chicago it’s a particular pizza joint, Italian beef sandwiches and bohemian food. The bohemian food is the hardest to find outside of this area, so that was my lunch choice.
The Westchester Inn.
My ethnic makeup is European mongrel, but I do have a pair of great grandparents who were Czech, and I lived in neighborhoods with large Czech populations, so this is total comfort food for me.
I ordered my favorite. Breaded pork tenderloin with dumplings.
It came with liver dumpling soup.
And a cheese kolache for dessert.
The rest of the ride through Illinois was uneventful, but it did remind me of one feature of the area unknown to many non-residents, being the numerous and sometimes large forest preserves. Several of these are in the southwest portion of the county and were a treat after miles of strip centers. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo.
Crossing into Indiana was a dissapointment because there was no sign for a photo opp. This had to do.
Indiana quickly transformed into these farm fields on an industrial scale.
It was nearing 3:00 my time as I entered Fair Oaks, as I had not yet taken the time change to Eastern into account.
I’ve heard it described as Disneyland for dairy farming. It combines a museum with various play activities and a retail store where they feature their cheeses an ice cream. A great place to take kids or get that dairy fix. They also have a restaurant and hotel. The main building.
This is the point where a couple of overused sayings showed their usefulness. No plan survives first contact with the enemy. The others are not appropriate for a family friendly site. I had not made a reservation at the hotel counting on a lack of travel due to covid, my original midweek arrival and my highest elite member status with this chain. Needless to say the place was packed. Weddings, a youth soccer tournament and farm event had packed the place with undistanced hordes. Maybe the sell out did me a favor, but I needed a plan B and I needed it fast. I called my wife who was supposed to meet me there and quickly decided to make the 160 mile run to my son’s house. I had maybe 3 hours before sunset and began my race to Indy.
The hotel in farm theme.
I didn’t get any photos of this portion of the ride, but I arrived at 8:10 local after over 11 hours of travel time and 330 total miles covered for the day. I’m going to spend time with the granddaughters and get the Cub serviced on Thursday. Maybe I’ll post some of the data about the trip so far if I get some time to crunch the numbers. At least now I know the practical travel limits of both me and the cub and can adjust the remainder of the trip accordingly.
You must be new around these parts....
Enjoying the report and looking forward to more.
Ahhhhhhh, Deep breaths.....
A rainy day today, so I’ll try to get some local photos with the Cub tomorrow.
Data from Sturgeon Bay to Indy:
Started with a full tank. Eight gas stops. 490.6 miles to date
Added 4.525 gallons. Total cost. $13.06. Ave. price/gal. $2.89. I used premium all summer because it was a non-ethanol blend. All of the refueling so far has been ethanol blended, but I stuck with the premium. I’m about 1/3 of the way through the trip, and if the fuel usage is consistent, my total fuel cost should only be around $40. If anything, it’s skewed high by the Chicago area prices.
3611 total miles on the odometer. The rear tire held up well. I’m sure I could finish the trip with them, but I’m going to go ahead and put on the new Michelins.
I'm still learning the Grom. I had two bars gone on the gauge out of six. I topped up for $1.65 (at 90.9¢/L). That was for way over 100 km (62 miles). At this rate, my total running errands around the city through the entire summer could cost close to $20. The thing evidently runs on air.
Small bikes rock
As I get older, my bikes get smaller.
Doing a trip of this length on a 125cc bike is Epic and I will be following along!
i cannot even believe that i might have missed this
waiting for my Trail 125 (coming in November... i hope)
THIS is epic.... what you are doing here
and, the way you have spent time documenting it for us
thanks SO SO much for sharing this with us
It's a mindset that "some" do not understand... I have taken my Honda Monkey along the PCH, in the SoCal deserts, up to the mountains of Idaho... all the while sportin' a big grin on my face at 45-50 mph...
Enjoying the time relaxing before the next leg. New tires scheduled for Thursday and it looks like good weather to leave here on Saturday. In the meantime, I did a short local ride around Carmel.
Fountain in their municipal area.
City center shopping and residences.
City Performing Arts center
The city loves roundabouts. They’ve put them everywhere, which is unusual for the USA. They’ve also placed art in the center at a significant and somewhat controversial cost.
Tomorrow I think I might go downtown and out to the Speedway.
That bike still looks too damn clean. Needs more bug splat.....
So you’re averaging a dismal, pisspoor, gawd awful, crappy 108 MPG.
And a fantabulous, stupendous, heart warming little over 1/2 gallon per fuel stop.
In! I love the bike...it is fantastic. They did a nice job. I rode a 50cc back in 1967
dosnt go fast enough ?
The bugs were real light until Indiana, and even those seemed fewer due to their drought. Those big, fat hard ones in Oklahoma and Texas will make up for it, I’m sure.
Bug close up