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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rtwdoug, May 7, 2009.
Yeah...There's enough "extra" stuff there already
Merhaba, Dough !
I'm lacking adjectives to comment your report. Your one hell of a guy.
Please keep us posted on an eventual meeting in Bulgaria, maybe some of the boys from Ankara can make it.
Had a nice time in Bulgaria in 1999; in my spare time I was the driver of a local pop band - they had no money for transport; gave me a bit more insight than the usual expat experience.
keep going and have fun
What an epic story Doug. I have completely fried my eyeballs staring at the screen for so long. It was well worth the future cataracts or macular degeneration or whatever comes of it. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your story and I only found it a few days ago so lots of pressure to get it all done. :eek1 When we are doing something like your ride is when we feel most alive. Again, congratulations and thanks for the inspiration.
05 R1200 GS
2- 94 TW200
Gone 72 sportster
69 Yammy 650
Outstanding picture. For sure front page material.
Sorry to bother you again, Doug
OK; I know the world can be small, but
I think you know this place
seems we have the same hangout in Skopje; been there twice last year. Later on I'm normally in the Saloon; my friend Charlie is riding whith the Moonriders; guy on the right is my little brother; hope I can go there again sooner than later
Dude! YOu just gotta have them reprint your RR as is... That would be Sah-weet!!!
Yo Doug, I'm riding backwards in your tracks.I passed this bar today on my way out of Austin. I'd already stopped for gas and was wearing too many layers to deal with stopping again. I'd been stuck in Eureaks for an extra night cause after the snowstorm I'd been through to get there I just didn't want to go back in the cold so soon.
I'm doing a live kinda RR . Check out Skeedadle to Seattle.
Looks like the Custom Pub in Skopje. I've known those guys for years. All the US chopper posters & stickers in the bar.... guess where they came from
Were having the HU meet in July, 2nd weekend. Havent decided on when to do an ADV meet yet.
I'll probably be coming thru Turkey in late august or so, wanna go check out the middle east. All the places that will let me in, anyhow....
Merhaba again !
Yes, it's the Pub. I like Skopje (and Belgrade - there I was in the "wild" years- 99/2000 )
It's the people that make a place.
If you come to Ankara, your welcome to stay over. Garage and a few tools available.
But normaly we are not exactly on the way to anywhere.
2nd Week of July; let's see.
all the best
+ 1 !!!!
I read this from start to finish over the past week. Thanks for sharing your adventure. this is the only way for some of us to experience all the countries you visited. Thanks again, ride safe.
Hey man, sick bike and cool ride. What seat did you use?
Yeah....that might finish up giving an entirely different connotation to "the wrong way round"......:huh
i'm kinda at a loss for words doug. 95 pages of just fantastic and inspiring ride reporting. i consider it a really unselfish and, again, inspiring act on your part to put up such an extensive RR. i don't know how you afford the trips and bikes, but you should really consider authoring travel books to help fund the trips.
and god, japan has one helluva bike scene going on.
This is my first post. Just had to say thanks. Sent a PayPal to the kids.
Doug, any final pics from Green River to Alabama? It can't end in Utah!
Come on Doug, those of us who don't live in the States would love to see the last part of the journey. (I think I'm having withdrawals from reading this thread everyday that you were on it)
sorry for not finishing this sooner....
I got up early in Green River to hit the road & try to get going before the storm moved in, & headed east. I made it about 20 miles before the rain hit, and it was a
cold rain. Snow may have been better! It rained for about 100 miles, until I passed thru Grand Junction, and I could see the end of the storm & sunlight ahead.
It was still cold, but dry. And very windy, as I was ahead of the storm front now. Luckily the wind was from the west, so I didnt have to fight the side gusts
I stopped in Montrose, as I have a friend there named Damon who I lost touch with several years ago, and I was hoping to find him. He rode a panhead also, & I
knew he'd like to see mine. I stopped by the local HD shop to get some oil, & asked if the guy knew him. I was told he was rearended by some woman in a SUV &
killed a couple years ago. That put a sad touch on the day, as I was really hoping to see him, he was a nice guy. Of course the bitch that killed him was never
charged, even tho he was sitting at a redlight when it happened. Our justice system at work.
The guy at the shop told me Monarch Pass was getting snow & may be closed, but he looked at the pass-cam on the internet, & it showed the pass to still be
clear, & suggested I haul ass, or I'll have to go far south to take another pass to go east. So I hauled ass.
The road passed a huge lake, that was a valley, and it got narrow at the east end & went into a small canyon. The wind there was intense. Finally as I got thru the
canyon it got a bit milder, & I started heading up the pass.
By the time I got to 9000 feet, the bike was starting to feel it. When I got close to the top, I was in 2nd gear, & the bike wasnt having much fun.
I think I can
I think I can
finally, the top. 11,000 feet! Cold, Windy, & spitting snow. theres a store at the top, so I stopped for coffee & give the old bitch a break. When I got ready to leave,
she didnt want to start. still a bit winded I guess. Finally got going & headed down the eastern slope.
The wind died down, & by the time I hit the bottom, it wasnt as cold. I stopped by Royal Gorge to see it again, I was going to go out on the worlds highest bridge
(they claim) & get a pic, but they wanted 14.00, and I was too cheap to pay it. It was starting to get dark, anyhow. I met a few guys on KLR's who were exploring
colorado, & talked to them for a bit, then headed to Canyon City to find a room. I saw a sign on the American Motoel for 33.00, so I stopped. Of course it was run
by an old Polish woman, but I was just glad it wasnt run by Achbar or Hadjii. I sorta freaked her out when I found out her hometown & told her I had been there.
Most Americans couldnt find Poland on a map :)
The wind started to catch up to me, & during the nite it got REAL bad. The next morning, the bike cover had taken off during the night (luckily the bike was still
there) I was hoping to find it stuck to a fence pole somewhere in Kansas, but never saw it again.
I saw on the news that the pass I had crossed was closed due to snow, also the pass to the north was closed, & western Colorado was getting hammered, &
heading my way.
Time to hit the road! I dont know if it was the cold or the pan is just getting tired, but it gets harder & harder to start in the mornings. It finally gave in tho, & off we
I headed east all day with a tailwind. No bad weather, but it was cold. Crossing Kansas was as exciting as always. I did stop in Dodge City, to see the old west
part of town, but it has gotten so touristy I didnt stay. I spent the night near Wichita, I'm tired of being cold! I should have had my friend Chris send my electric
jacket out to Seattle, but I wasnt expecting it to get so cold so fast. The next day was more of the same. cold & windy, but dry, & I got to St Louis.
I left early the next morning (after getting the bike to start) & headed to my friends wedding in IL, they still didnt know I was coming. My friend Mike met up with
me on his Kawasaki police bike (with a nice cozy windshield... what a wimp. I was jealous)
We got to my friend Jon's house in Marshall, then we all headed over to the wedding. It was held outside, & the weather was pretty good, at least no rain.
Bob & Darlene were very surprised, in fact Darlene was so shocked, when she saw me, she came running across the yard screaming. She is a little bigger than I
am, & I was thinking maybe I should run before she tackled me! hahaha
Of course as her family had no idea who I was, they were all staring & wondering what was up. It was a bit funny.
The wedding was nice, & of course they had a party afterwards. I didnt stay real late, as I still had a long ride the next day. my last day on the road.
I have been looking forward to & dreading this day the whole trip. Unless you have been gone from home for months, you probably wouldnt understand. I missed
being at home, but I love travelling.
but it IS getting pretty damn cold out!
The next morning, I got ready to leave, but I guess the bike wasnt. It didnt want to start. I kicked for 10 minutes. cussed it in a dozen languages. nothing. not even
a fart. points, plugs, ok. was getting gas, just didnt wanna start. This bitch better not lay down this close to home! it was dripping gas out of the manifold, & Mike
said the o-ring seals probably needed replaced, but I figured it was running yesterday, it should run today.
I told it I was ashamed of it, as the Indian didnt lay down like this, & I guess harleys are just inferior bikes.
that did it
I hit the road heading south. 400 miles from home. one cylinder started cutting out. It would run good for a few miles, then would cut out again. I finally got tired
of it, and pulled into a walmart parking lot to replace the o-rings, as Mike had jinxed it by talking about it. If he had never said anything, it would have been fine.
I pulled the manifold, and both orings were hard, bbq'd, and broken in half. hmmmmm I guess these should have been replaced sooner?
I put a new set on, & hit the road again. the bike wouldnt idle now, as I had it idled down so low, as it had been sucking air, and now it wasnt. but ran ok when I
left. for about 5 miles, then started cutting out again. son of a bitch!
I pulled over & looked at everything. One of the plug wires had been rubbing against a fin on the head, & had rubbed thru the insulation.
OK! easy fix! reroute the wire, & off again. 10 miles later, it starts cutting out again. dammit!
Come to find out, that at speed, the distributor is so worn out, that it sorta lifts up & moves around, cutting off one cylinder. So I tie it down with a bungee cord &
try that. Fixed! no more problems!I got about 1/2 way thru Kentucky when it started to rain. Cold rain. I was about 270 miles from home. I thought about getting a
room, & put off getting home for a day, but figured I'd get thru it. I was wrong. It rained the rest of the way home. I was miserable, but determined. My friend Paul
had come up for the wedding, & he followed behind me in a pickup, so I felt a little safer in nashville traffic, as I couldnt see very good.
I finally got to huntsville an hour after dark. I stopped at my local bar to say hi, and I was told later that I looked like hell. Wet, dirty, covered in wet road grime,
dripping water all over the floor, but I had made it! After a couple cups of coffee, I felt almost human, even tho I barely looked it. I wish I had a pic of me then.
Finally, I got home. the cat was bitching at me, wondering where the hell I had been. I peeled off the wet clothes, & crawled into bed.
With a map of course, as I have to start thinking of where to go next.......