Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cross Country Trip, Part 2

I bombed on through indiana & was really getting into a groove. I'd found my rythm. Got packing & unpacking the bike down pat. Setting up & breaking down the camping gear. Timing my gas stops with refilling my hydration pack, taking a leak & getting a snack. I also realized that being as comfortable as possible helped me put on a shitload of miles at a time. I mainly rode in a hoodie & jeans and only had to use my leather or riding suit a few times. I wore ear plugs because the wind & motor noise was really ringin' my bell after so many hours per day. Overall, I was feeling pretty damn excellent, physically and mentally about being on the road. I didnt even touch the bottle of advil i brought along.

good thing I found that rhythm because the middle of the county is quite lovely but a bit boring. indiana was cool, i took a break & walked around indiana state university's downtown area, ate some greek food and saw the A team van. I found a camp & got some rest. illinois was ok then I stopped in st louis missouri to see the big arch. FYI - its really fucking huge! i met a group of dudes on 'touring' bikes. they looked at me like i was bonkers when i told them i was riding cross country on a scrambler. i looked at their goldwings & road kings & could just not see myself sitting between all those hard cases & huge windshields. might as well take a minivan as far as im concerned. you know what i realized? any bike is a touring bike when you tour on it. my idea of a motorcycle is one where you feel the wind, you can see, hear & feel the motor, is something you can work on on the side of the road propped up on logs & rocks, with hand tools - no computers required and is something you can pick up on your own if it falls over. come see me when im 80 years old though, i will probably be riding a goldwing trike with a million lights and a roof on it - haha

so i charged on, just basically making as many miles as i could. I started to think that if i got to the southwestern states with plenty of time, i could really see the sights i was hoping to see and also probably have time to take a day off & hang with my friend amy in AZ for a day. so thats pretty much how it went down.

I had a bit of a fucked up time the one night in topeka kansas. it got dark before i could find the campground i was looking for, then of course I was about to run out of gas, then some insane thunderstorms started coming at me from the horizon. funny how all that shit always seems to happen at the same time for some reason - dark, out of gas, thunderstorms. its the ultimate biker triple threat. its also goddamn bullshit. well i managed to find fuel at this super sketchy spot, then i was trying to find a place to setup my tent on the side of the road but i ended up riding down these long dirt roads, only to find that they were peoples driveways, no good. i asked around in town where i could get a hotel because it was after 12 at this point & a dude said 'oh man, you do not want a hotel around here. get back on the highway & go about 25 more minutes & you'll be safe'. onward i rode & found a motel 6, with a lobby full of tweakers & hookers. the guy behind the desk was behind bulletproof glass & we had to talk through a tiny slot. i didnt even give a fuck at that point. just wanted a bed. the room actually wasnt bad. slept, took a hot shower & watched some wild hogs to get amped up for the road.

by this point, i jumped off of the rt 70/40 route i was riding and headed south on 56?, then took that to 50 & continued west. 50 was real cool. i actually enjoyed kansas quite a bit. its still a bit boring but everything just felt huge. the sky, the roads - everything. i just kept on rolling until i cleared out of kansas. the timeline thing was fucking with me a bit. being the end of spring, the days are already super long which is great for riding. i dont mind riding at night but hell, its easier to see animals & kooky ass drivers when the suns out. so here i would be, riding from around 7am til 9pm or so everyday so far, but figure that i crossed a time zone at some point and gained an hour. there were at least a couple days i spent around 15 or 16 hours on that bike & pushed over 650-700 miles. i was stoked on how fast i was making it across. shit, i felt good on the bike so why stop? the whole idea of this trip was to ride & i was determined to do a lot of it. so anyhow, i get to western ks & check my phone - 7:30pm, i get on & ride into colorado. rode for an hour. checked my phone again - 7:30. well goddamn! i just rode probably 70 miles in zero minutes! i told you triumphs were fucking fast! (to be continued...)

check part 1 for the link to all the photos.

Supa E

Ive had this carb on my ironhead since I got the bike 10 years ago and never laid a hand on it.I had a body rebuild kit sittin around and Im laid off this week so I figured it was as good a time as any.

SuccessI put the carb back on and started the bike up. It dropped into a nice mellow idle almost immediately which was the opposite of how it used to be. Needless to say I was excited. Its like ridin a different bike! Tore around town for a bit then hopped on the highway and tried to pass every car on the road, it was a blast. My last two days of my week off are looking good.

Sunday Cowtown

Went over the bridge to a small outdoor swap meet in Jersey. The Brain took this shot form his whip due to a flat he got the day before. Jersey Steve's Pan is nothing short of spectacular. My shithouse photos dont do it justice. Rad dude rad bike.

This guy was puttin it out there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cross Country Trip, Part 1

I left my house in NJ on the afternoon of June 3rd, a Thursday. I had no real plans other than to ride west until I got to LA & then to head south until I met my friends on the cliffs over the ocean in Mexico. I was traveling solo on my 06 Triumph & just planning on camping all the way across & hopefully making the born free show in LA on saturday the 12th. I was packing relatively light & had modded the bike a bit from my full time adventure-enduro job to my touring bike. I put less aggro tires on it, upped the front sprocket one tooth, put some bars on with more sweep to relax my shoulders a bit, added a rack for my camping gear & a better front brake.

I managed to make it all the way across PA the 1st night. The weather was good right up until I got to the fun twisty roads up & over the mountains just south of pittsburgh. Just as I started heading up the mountains it started pouring. No sweat - just tossed on my rain gear. Dual sport tires on freshly wet pavement through the twisties isnt really all that confidence inspiring so I took it easy. Once I got back down on the other side of the mountains, it cleared up & it was smooth sailing. I rode until sundown & setup camp at a campground where I was the only person actually camping. I rode in & it was nothing but huge RVs. Not one person outside, not one camp fire. All I could see was the glow of big flat panel TVs inside. FYI - thats not camping. Oh well, it was nice out & super quiet aside from the hum of all the generators. I took a hot shower & slept like a champion.

The next day I was shooting to ride through pickerington ohio to visit the AMA motorcycle hall of fame. What a super cool place. They have special covered parking and lockers for bikes & riders and they have an epic collection of world famous race winning bikes throughout history. It was really nicely laid out & had a cool write up about each bike & racer. Many of them even had the leathers the racers were wearing when they took the checkered flag. In the actual hall of fame, they have plaques of every member of the hall of fame & a big screen playing videos of the racers at their most glorious moments. I hate to admit it, but I got a little choked up. What a really rad experience. I sat there watching the videos & reading all the plaques, thinking about races Ive been to over the years, short track, hill climb, road racing, land speed racing at bonneville - just gave me chills man. super stoked on that place. Definitely check it out if youre ever passing through ohio.

After the rad AMA hall of fame, I bombed westward for a while again & made it to western indiana. I was mainly taking route 40 & 70 for a good mix of mileage & scenery. The folks at the campground in indiana were super cool. The guy who ran the place also rode & we bullshitted for a while sharing stories from the road. I managed to get another hot shower. My tent was about a half mile from the shower so I just jumped on my bike & rode up. I rode back in just my shorts so I managed to air dry. Felt pretty damn nice. Again, slept like a baby, loaded up at sunrise & hit the road again.... (to be continued)

Here is the link to the slideshow for anyone who wants to see all the pics from this trip and even a few videos...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cross Country Trip, Preface

OK OK - I know, I'm taking forever to post about my trip. I am truely sorry. Its just that spending 4400 miles solo on a bike & riding from sun up to sun down, day after day for two weeks just so happens to be pure fucking heaven. So once I got home, I had to soak the whole thing in for a bit, of course that was after I slept for 2 days, then had to catch up on household duties & all that. Then I was dealing with the fact that being away from technology for a relatively long time, made me feel pretty good. I started to think things like. 'hmm, ive been riding clear across states like ohio, indiana, illinois, missouri & so on at the rate of about 1-1.5 states per day.' then i would think, 'wow, how many hours do i spend sitting in one spot, staring at a screen, between work & all the other shit like the forums, blogs, facebook, etc?' then i basically concluded 'fucking shit dude - riding my motorcycle really makes me feel a hell of a lot better than fucking off on the internet.' haha - well hopefully most of the people who read this blog fully understand where im coming from. so, the shortened version of all that is - riding a lot made me want to avoid the computer at all costs when i got home.

well, i guess im finally getting over it. im uploading my 700 pics right now & will post a slideshow link. i will warn you though. since i was solo for most of my miles, most of the pics are of the passing landscape and shots of my bike in front of various stuff. i was of course a little disappointed showing off my pics when i got home because they just dont even begin to touch how amazing the places i rode were & just barely captured the atmosphere & feeling i was having. Since I spent most of the beginning of the trip on the bike - at least until i took a day off in AZ most of the pics I shot were just me pointing & shooting while i was hauling ass across our great country. There were some mind blowing spots i where i actually took pics that were actually aimed somewhat focused. Thankfully my little digital camera is pretty smart & does a lot of shit on its own to make my terrible skills semi-respectible.

So stay tuned folks, I will be posting up the details in installments in the near future. I can say for sure that it was the most epic time of my life. People need to do whatever it takes to get out there & see what this earth has to offer. I dig the hell out of seeing a real beautiful chopper or classic cycle for sure, but nothing has ever blown my mind like the things i saw that were not created by man. things that have been here long before & will be here long after man.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sunday Breakfast

The kid has been drivin me nuts asking to go for a ride. So the other morning we got up early did a couple laps around town (never got it out of third gear) then stopped at a diner and had breakfast. She was thrilled and thats all that matters.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

born winner

When we decided to do the Born Free gift certificate, all that I really cared about is that it didn't go to waste to someone that didn't give a fuck. Jason aka 'Whiskey Tango' got in touch shortly after he walked away a winner. It was no panhead but who doesn't want a free sack of cool shit from those sponsors. Once he decided on the 'Live the Life' book and a FOTS tee among other things I knew it was going to someone that was way above average in gentlemanly quality, refined taste and superior style. Then he sent me the picture of him on his pan and introduced me to my favorite blog this week.

Dude cant be all bad, his wife is part of a blog with enough vintage jugs to give the Born Loser spot a run for its money. Put on your sweatpants to make some room and check out Way Out- SS On Wheels. I'm just stoked that our contribution landed in some road worn hands. Dig it

Congratulations Jason, your stuff is on route...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some Born Free Photos

Max's knuck I was at the right place at the right time for this one....Sugar Bear rollin in.

Chopper Dave's super freak

Grant's Shovel

Jon Edward's Pan
I have more pictures to go through but these were just some personal highlights for me. It was rad to be able to look these bikes over in person.

Made it Back

We had a blast on the west coast. Born Free was amazing. Everyone we met was awesome, no disappointments or bad attitudes. Special thanks to Wil for his hospitality to complete strangers and Grant for listening to my drunk ramblings. If any of you guys are in Philly you got a place to stay no question.

This chick was all decked out.
We had a lot of time to kill in the airport.

die free too