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Old 07-12-2004, 07:50 PM   #1
RydTher
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10,000 miles in 25 days

This past June was a busy one, riding wise, for me. I had a rally, family reunion and national meet that I planned to attend.

Day 1 – 4 Cal24 Rally - June 11th

To start with, I participated in my first Motorcycle Rally, the Cal24, on the 12-13th.
The Rally started and ended in Dunnigan Ca, and was 1000 (or so) miles in 24 hours, broken up into 5 legs with bonus opportunities in each leg. The idea, basically, is to earn points in each leg, ride the leg in the allotted time, and have fun.

Unfortunately, I did not officially finish the Rally. I was not as well prepped for it as I would have liked to be, and started falling asleep on the bike. Dozing off mid-turn I decided would be a “Bad Thing” I took a break that ended up pushing me past the time limit. I did return to the start/stop point, only 30 minutes past the deadline. I enjoyed it, and will try one again sometime, next time with better preparation.

Day 5 – Saddle Sore attempt. June 15th Starting mileage 17,803

My initial plan was to immediately head to my family reunion right after the Rally, which also started on the 12th, and was being held in Missouri on Table Rock Lake (near Branson). Only 1900 miles away. Problem was that my tires, which I felt had more than enough life prior to the Rally, got pretty torn up. So instead of heading out immediately after the Rally, I stayed an extra day and got new tires installed, further delaying my arriving at my reunion.

My intention was to attempt a Saddle Sore 1000 and Bun Burner 1500 on the way to my reunion. I was a bit better prepared for this one and successfully completed them both! (subject to official verification)

Part of a Iron Butt attempt is deciding on a ‘good’ route. Unfortunately I was more interested in getting to the end point than I was in the actual route. I found myself going through the Mojave Desert in late morning early afternoon! Fortunately I had a Camel Back and was able to stay hydrated. It was still a bit uncomfortable for awhile.
I also conducted my first ever “super squidly” maneuver. I was on Hwy40, and overtaking two semis, both in the #2 lane. I was just about to pass the truck in the back when it merged into my lane and slowly started to pass the one ahead of it.
I don’t know that the driver of the one rig was playing games, but it sure seemed that way at the time.
Slightly miffed, I rolled off the throttle, but was still overtaking. Being rather warm at that point, a little pissed off, etc, I split the two semis, probably going about 70mph.
I realized as I was just about to pass both cabs, (by this point the trucks were about side-by-side) that what I was doing was really quite stupid, but kept going anyway.

The rest of the desert crossing was basically uneventful. My original target stop for the Saddle Sore was Tucumcari, NM, approx 1200 miles away, with a back-up stop in Albuquerque, NM a little over 1000 miles away. I started feeling it nearing Albuquerque, so I decided to call it quits and get a hotel for the night. Luckily the night manger at the hotel agreed to witness the time/mileage etc.

The first days route
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:56 PM   #2
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Day 6 – The Bun Burner part


From Albuquerque, I head out and stopped in Tucumcari, NM for gas and breakfast. From Tucumcari I encountered some pretty good winds across the high prairie that makes up that part of the country. Now I, and I am sure many of you, have ridden in cross winds before. It is annoying, but usually doesn’t last all that long. Well not in the high prairie.

Try something on the order of 300 miles of steady, and sometimes STRONG side winds. Add to that overtaking and passing many semi’s and RV’s that create their own unique buffeting. Gets rather tiring after awhile. At one point I was hugging the line dividing the two lanes and felt a punch of wind. Now, I am a rather large guy, on a rather large bike, loaded with travel needs. Also, most highway lanes are something on the order of 12’ wide, if not wider.
I suddenly found myself on the left side of the inside fog line. That was more than a little exciting, let me tell you. It was warm as well, but tolerable. No where near as un-fun as the Desert areas of southern California and Arizona.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, and really kind if a blur, until I was about 30 minutes from the end. At this point I was about 1600 miles into the BunBurner, and should have just gotten a sign-off and be done with it.
However, I had made arrangements to meet a buddy in Ponca City, OK for witnessing the mileage etc. About 5 miles from the end I ran out of gas. DOH! I had thought I was approaching my start time, and wanted to make it. Turns out I had plenty of time.
I gave my buddy a call, and he was able to bring me a little gas, enough to get me to the nearest gas station.
Finished a 1650 mile BunBurner in exactly, to the minute, 36 hours!
Starting receipt, 6:48am PST Tues. Ending receipt, 20:48 CST Wed.
Chatted with Rick (Cossi from Sport-Touring.net) for a bit and got a hotel for the night. Slept really well, let me say.

Day 2s route
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:59 PM   #3
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Day 7 – To the Family Reunion

Not much to report hear, since it was ‘just get there” type of day. Started the day by getting lunch with my buddy Rick (since I only had 300 miles to do today, I started out late)
Did get rained on for a little bit, but hardly enough to even mention. Took me longer to put the raincovers on the softbags than the time I actually got rained on.
Headed into the Table Rock area, I took Missouri highways 90 and 76. 76 is worth talking about. Even though much of it goes through a National Forest, and therefore has a low speed limit, it was still a fun road. Would have been more fun had the nimrod in the Suburban I got stuck behind would have done the neighborly thing and let me go past, but noooo. 76 had pretty decent road conditions and winds in and around one of the many Mark Twain Forests in Missouri. Dang near any forest in the area is labeled “Mark Twain National Forest”
Large parts of southern Missouri have national forests all with the same name.
Anyway, arrived at my reunion just in time for dinner. Good timing, eh? Nothing to report here as I am the only rider in my entire family.

This days route
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:01 PM   #4
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Day 8 and 9

Nothing here, stayed off the bike to rest my ass and visited with the family.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:09 PM   #5
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Day 10

Next goal on the list of things to do is the ST.Net National meet in Eureka Springs, only an hour or two away, but not scheduled to start for a 4 days. What to do? Well decided that The Dragon/Deals Gap might be worth checking out, as well as the Great Smokey Mountains national park, Cherohala Parkway, Blueridge Parkway, and surrounding areas.
So off to Knoxville I go.
Not much worth writing about here either, again, just a “get there” type of day. 675 miles or so.
Got a hotel at a Hampton Inn which advertised wireless high speed internet access. As I had not checked email or the boards for a few days, I decided I would like to, and therefore needed (wanted) high speed access. Got checked in around midnight, and asked for a room with parking right out front, since I was on a bike etc. Turns out the parking was 6 or seven doors down. Mistake 1 – not having them change that right then. Got off loaded, Tank bag, seat bag, two side cases and the top case. Showered, etc. Mistake 2, then tried the internet. Well, it turned out to be slower than the slowest dial up. So that didn’t work. Only bring it up to urge others to not use Hampton Inn. Screw em. I expressed my dissatisfaction, but both the night and day manger didn’t seem at all concerned about it. Should have checked out when I discovered it didn’t actually work, but by that time I was much too pooped.


pretty boring so far, eh? Not many pics up to now, actually none, and few for the entire trip. shrug

todays route
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:23 PM   #6
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Day 11 – Great Smokey Mountains



Visited the Great Smokey Mountains. What an amazing part of the country. Hwy 441 cuts through the park, and is the main access to the park. There is one section of the hwy that goes through a complete 360 degree turn. There is a road sign that indicates that, and I wanted to get a pic of it, but (naturally) a SUV was parked in the way. Damn things.
Also rode part of the Blueridge Parkway. This road travels nearly 500 miles from just outside the Great Smokey Mountains and goes through to Virginia. Beautiful territory, but a national park, and speed is limited to 45mph. Sigh.


Had the fortune to get behind two Hardly’s. Was sometimes entertaining watching the rider of the one in front weave all over the road, seemingly not able to hold a steady line through rather gentle curves and banked road surface. Stopped being entertaining when the two passed a half dozen pull off areas to let faster traffic by. Finally I stopped for a pic or two and a break of my own. When I started out again, the two Harleys I was behind had stopped at the next pull out. Assholes. Saw them, and they started laughing when I came in to view. It started raining soon after for a short while. Hah, jokes on them. I had my ‘Stich, they were helmet less and wearing tshirts and one had shorts on. Rained hard for a bit, too.
Only a couple pics. Too busy riding.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:28 PM   #7
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Day 12 Deals Gap

Well, time to head out for the National Meet, but had time, so decided to “slay” the Dragon. Been through this area last year, albeit in a truck rather than on a bike. This time I went north – south. The Tennessee side is in much better shape road surface wise.
The Dragon is certainly an entertaining road, but not one I would travel 2500 miles for solely. Since I had two reasons for being in the general area, it was worth it.
Hwy129 is rather tight with many many turns. Because I would guess the many accidents, the speed limit is rather low, but that’s ok. Only one pucker factor moment and that was another rider who passed not only me, but the truck ahead of me, and two Goldwings ahead of the truck. So if the fucktard from Florida riding two up in the bright red ST1100 happens to be reading this, you sir are a fuckhead.
Got to the store at the Gap and stopped for some water, and to check out the sights. Chatted with another FJR owner that happened to be there, the first I had seen all trip so far, and took a pic or two. To my shame, realized after I left, that I failed to get a pic of the tree of shame. :bash
From the Dragon I went down into Robbinsville and headed West on the Cherohala Parkway. Great road, better in many ways than the Dragon, but no sooner than I turned onto and headed up it, it climbs to over 5000 feet rather quickly, it started to rain. I figured that the rain would stop eventually, and I was right. When I eventually got to the other side, it stopped raining. :bash

From there continued on to my planned stop for the night, Memphis. Arrived in Memphis about midnight. Since the next day was a weekday, I decided to get to the Western side before finding a hotel, didn’t want to deal with commute traffic. That was a mistake. All the hotels I checked were booked. So, I continued on into Arkansas, finally finding place a couple hours later. Sigh

The Honda Hoot was just a day away, that explains the large number of 'Wings at the store.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:30 PM   #8
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more tomorrow, but some have mentioned wanting to hear details, so this is a start
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Old 07-12-2004, 09:03 PM   #9
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... That is a ridiculous number of goldwings
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:11 PM   #10
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Wow that's an incredible ride. Lucked out not real bad incounters with weather. Time of year for southern thunderstorms, flashfloods and hail.
Did those winds pick up dust, grit and pelt the bike and visor. Like riding through a sand blaster. Recall there is some phenominal winds through those areas at times. Barely can stand and looking 'where's the tornado'
How was overall do ability of a ride like that ? Was it easy or difficult to be in a routine. Ride all day find lodging at end of day. Checking in to motels late at night. Even camping national forest or KOA type stuff.
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Old 07-13-2004, 09:11 AM   #11
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Nice! Thanks Bill, I've been looking forward to hearing about yer trip. You make it all sound so peaceful and easy... "Day 1: rode a gillion miles and made it home for dinner."

A very impressive journey, you've got balls for attempting something like that, and impressive strength to pull it off. Thanks for writing it up!
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Old 07-13-2004, 03:47 PM   #12
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Worth the wait! Thanks Bill.
Crosswinds suck if you are in a hurry.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:19 PM   #13
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blast from the past.

realized I never finished this, due to my bike being fucked over for 9+ weeks, dealing with that frustration didnt really put me in writing frame of mind, then more of lifes hurdles, and it stopped being a priority.
What the hell, lets continue...

Day 13, on the way to Eureka Springs

So, got a hotel in Forest City Ark about 2am. Only room left was a smoking room, but I was too tired to worry about it. Off loaded, showered and checked the weather for tomorrow.
uh-oh
Huge rain storm headed East, weather man claimed the largest for the year to date, and I was going to have to ride through it, the storm front went from border to border North/south, no way to go around it.
Finally leave the hotel around 10am, gray skys and slight rain just starting. Not too rushed, only need about 290 miles today, so just gonna cruise.
About an hour into the day, I begin to hit the front of the storm. I dont know how many here have experienced a mid-western storm, but nothing here on the coast compares. At one point visibility was down the maybe 100ft. This is when I decided that maybe pulling off for a few minutes would be a "good idea"

Well, I was between towns, and there really wasnt many opportunities, so I pulled off under an over pass, which of course was just that, and not an exit so I couldnt get off the highway. Wind was so strong that I was still being rained on while 'under cover' Second problem is that there was not much of a shoulder, so I was a bit closer to the traffic that I would have liked. Stayed there for about 10 minutes, no real let up in the rain, so decided to press on.
Road through the torrential downpour for about and hour, and about the time I get to Little Rock, the storm and I part ways. Finally!
I wear an Aerostich, and since the day was warm, albeit wet, I didnt fully fasten the collar before leaving. Since it was so warm I didnt feel the rain soaking through my open suit, until I stretched a bit. Discovered that my suit does indeed suffer the wet crotch problem some have with one piece Roadcrafters. that I hadnt fully sealed the collar might have had something to do with that. :shrug

Stop in Russellville for lunch, and because I was told that route 7 north was a good way to get to Eureaka Springs.
Route 7 north starts out quite boring, but gets better once you reach the Ozark National Forest. Quite nice scenery. Roads at times are entertaining as well. Not well travelled so few tourists to worry about, and the road surface is in decent shape.
Nothing more to report here, really, Get to Eureka Springs and check in for the Sport-Touring.net national Meet and meet with the others.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:40 PM   #14
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Day 14, Ride around Eureka Springs

So, new day, no where to go, but enjoy the local roads. Some of which are really really nice. In general I learned that road conditions outside California are much better.
Day started out with a breakfast at a local buffet type place. Handy when you suddenly drop 20 some hungry motorcyclists into a tourist town.
Get back to the base of operations, gear up and head to the gas station.
After getting gas, and while standing behind my bike, gloving up, I look at my tire and notice a nail! Fuck. Tire still holding air so I ride back to the hotel, and begin to deal with this. turns out of course its penetrated the tire, and when I pulled if free, out came the air. Well I was prepared for this and had a tire plug kit, one that was highly recommended by various high mileage riders. Turns out another rider also had a nail so we had a tire patch party. Get the tires patched, filled up an then we are on our way.

Teamed up with another FJR rider and one on a Sv650. Talking with locals etc, we were told of a number of places to check, adn out we went. Pretty fun day, huge mix of road types. Long fast sweepers, too bad for the poor SV650 when teamed with 2 FJR1300s , but when the road got tighter, I was slowly dropping back. Both of the other riders were admitedly better than me, but I was never more than a minute behind them when stopping to regroup.
We stopped here and there took pics (which I need to find ) and had a great time enjoying the local roads.
headed back to Eureka Springs, we were coming down a decline adn I feel the back end start to get "loose", Uh Oh, tire going flat. Hmm...
Luckily there was a gas station at the bottom of the hill, and when I pulled in, got off and kicked the tire, yep - flat. Crap.
Pull out the plug gear, and look for a new nail or whatever. Hmm....nothing new. Check the original hole and the plug is gone. The prop slipped right into the tire. Double Hmmm....
Replug the tire and filled up and off we go. This should have been a message to me, but I just figured I did something wrong plugging it. :shrug
Get back to the hotel and head out to dinner.
Here is where I preformed my first, and only, Super Squid imitation. The was a well recommended BBQ place about a mile away in town, but it was hot a bit muggy and I didnt feel like walking that far after spending the better part of the day riding sometimes hard around unfamiliar roads. Another rider, also on a FJR, but not the same as I spent the day with, was also thinking of heading over with his GF riding pillion. Arkansas is not a helmet required state, so I ended up riding a mile through town, in shorts, Tevas and no helmet/gloves. Keep in mind the speed limit is 25 through this area, and its not as bad as it seems. Still really stupid, but I figured, if I am gonna squid it, do it 100%
Good ribs too.

Get back to the hotel and normal group ride shennanigans ensue. Talked bikes, roads, etc etc
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:05 PM   #15
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Day 15, Eureka Springs to Tulsa OK, by way of Springfield Missouri

So, time to checkout and head off. Again get breakfast, this time with yet anohter FJR owner, and a few others, talk about routes home etc. One of the group was another Californian who was on his own 30 day or so roadtrip. I had been to some of the places he was headed to, so told him what I knew etc. and then back to the hotel to leave.

Get packed say my good bys to new friends and head out. As well as being a motorcylcist, I also like to fish. one of the best sporting goods stores is Outdoor World/Bass Pro Shops in Springfield Missouri, so I decided to go there on my way to visit yet more family in OK.
Headed north into Mark Twain Ntnl Forest. I dig forests, I can spend days among the tress. The scenery, being quite different than I am used to in California made this an easy day. Sometimes its enough to look at the sights.

About a mile outside of Springfield I again feel the back end get loose. WTF? At first I thought it might just be rain grooves as this section of the highway was grooved. But soon it became apparent that no, going flat. Crap.
next exit there is a large gas station/truck stop/car and Semi wash station. Pull into the station and park in the shade by the quick mart there. Start off with some water as its quite warm and humid. strip off ths suit and tackle the flat again. Yep, same hole, no new nails. Well, hmmmmm .... Get it plugged and look for the air hose. Now this station is quite large, covers easily 2-3 acres with assorted service station needs. 3 pump islands, 4 semitruck pump stations and a car wash. So I naturally figured that there would be ample air for tires. Finally find out that the air hoses are next to the carwash building, 200 YARDS AWAY.
Now ordinarilly, this wouldnt be a problem, but I am half way through my trip, bike weighs 625lbs with no luggage, and I have my bike failry loaded down, all on a completely flat rear tire. I am not pleased. So, Put on my Aerostich, did I mention this is mid June in the midwest? Think Hot Muggy, and I am in a full suit. I start to push my bike over to the pumps. Now, had my luck held out, the path would have been a straight flat shot across the hundreds of feet of black asphalt (getting the picture yet? ) but no. Sections were not flat, ridges between paved sections, dodging trucks etc. Finally I wise up and remember I do have 1300ccs of engine here, so I fire up the bike, and slowly let it pull itself across the lot, wth me guiding it.

Yeah I am dense sometimes.

Get to the airpumps only to discover that they are the ones designed for semi truck tires and ahve the long chrome extension. So I wrestle with that for atime, and finally get the tire filled up.

Head over the the Bass Pro Shops and look around awhile. one may wonder why I would go to the trouble, well most if not all Bass Pro shops also have large Aquariums and this one also has a small museum of early sports gear, so it was something worth checking out.

Possibly being a little too trusting, after lucking into a parking spot close to the doors, I stripped off the suit and boots, threw on my sandals and left the suit, helmet and boots sitting on/near the bike. I would never consider doing that in California, but it worked out.

Got back on the bike and headed out to Tulsa, to visit more family.

AGAIN, the plug failed near Joplin Miss. Pulled off, and was wondering what the heck I was gonna do. Across from the gas station was a small hole in the wall repair shop, but the mechanic/owner was about to leave. Asked him if he had patch kits, and he did, and he got me patched. Over paid him, cause he was headed out to pick up his kids, but was nice enough to help me out. (that patch eventually held for 1000 miles before I replaced the tire)

Finally arrived in Tulsa, and stayed with my Uncle/Aunt and visited with my 3 cousins.

edits for spelling. Eye kan speel reel gud sumtimes
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