Author Topic: My first cross country ride. Now with a video slideshow (finished up last page)  (Read 11359 times)

Offline jamiemac

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It all started some time ago. About 2 years, I guess. I made some friends on the internet, and We had such a good connection and a lot of laughs, this I started thinking it would be good to meet them.

Hurdle #1...I'm not a rich guy.

Hurdle #2...My health is the worst. I get sick at the drop of a hat, because My immune system is screwed up. I'm missing a lung that was lost to a blood clot 12 years ago, and My circulation is fubar from it.

Advantage #1...I'm retired, and have plenty of time. That is what I focused on. Focusing on what I can't do would have been easy.

I decided that the only way to meet My friends would be to combine an epic motorcycle ride, and get out there on the cheap, and see the country while I was at it. I entered the planning stage. At the time, it was My 47th year, and I planned My ride as a gift to Myself, when I turned 48, which would have been April of this year. Luckily, An old Army buddy called and asked if I could come to His Kid's Graduation in Grand Junction, CO on May 14. That saved My ass, because April would have been a disaster in the mountains of CO.

I started prepping the Connie about a year ago. I had Seth Laam build Me a seat.


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I got caught up on routine maintenance, and eventually bought My first set of PR3s.


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« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 03:06:05 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 09:23:46 pm »
When it comes down to it, I really have no business going on a 5000+ mile motorcycle trip by myself, so of course, I did it anyways. Here in Clarksville, Indiana, it's about 2200 miles, give or take, to LA, California, depending on the route. My target date of 10 May was rapidly approaching. Last thing to buy was a new 30* capable sleeping bag, because I know there would be some camping.

May 10 arrived, and I'm up bright...well, not so bright, cause it was raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock. Bike was already loaded up the previous night, so, I decided I'm going. Head out at about 7AM on 10 May, headed west on I-64 toward St Louis, from Clarksville. Making good time, even in the rain, and the PR3s are very confidence inspiring. First day is not really a ride, but a dash to make a destination. Find My KOA Campground in Missouri, just about 20 miles east of KC. It stopped raining about an hour before, so I decided to pitch a tent. Just so happened there was a fella there in a truck selling KC BBQ, and it was good!!

Got a good nights sleep, but I'm not a pup anymore and My back was tweakin a little after the night in the tent. Also, it takes Me forever to pack up My tent, and get My campsite broken down, cause I have to rest pretty often. So I'm mulling over not camping as much as I originally planned.

My next destination is Goodland, KS. I chose it because I figured it would be a good halfway point between Kansas City, and Grand Junction, CO where My Army bud, Jeff lives. The graduation I needed to attend was on the 14th of May. I made Goodland by about 6pm, with plenty of time to wind down, and wash the huge Kansas bugs off the bike. I stayed at a Super 8 for less than a hundred bucks. Rooms were clean, and the staff was friendly.

My campsite on My first night in Missouri, at the Kansas City east, KOA.


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The tasty KC BBQ truck...or should I say, trailer.


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« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 09:49:04 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 10:14:33 pm »
Up at around 7:00 am on 12 May. Uh oh. Scratchy throat seems to be setting in. Not good. I feel good otherwise, though, so I set out to head over the mountains on 70, and make it to Grand Junction before dark. The ride through Kansas was windy as hell. Maybe the dust had something in it. Who knows.

Jump onto I 70 west, and spool the Connie up to around 82 or 3 MPH, and set the cruise. Gas mileage takes a hit at that speed, but She eats up the miles. Listening to a Tom Clancy audiobook helps to relieve the Kansas boredom. Before You know it, I've blasted through H̶i̶p̶p̶i̶e̶t̶o̶w̶n̶  Denver. Still feeling a little off, but the sore throat is not any worse. 3 hours from Grand Junction.

I arrive at My buddy, Jeff's house around 6:00 pm. Not really great time, but not bad either. Lots of construction on I 70. I stay through the next day, and hit the Kid's Graduation on the 14th of May, and attend the after party...then it hits Me. I'm sick. Real sick. I can tell because of experience that my lung is filling with fluid. I always freak out a little inside, cause...well...that stuff almost kilt my old keister once. Luckily, Grand Junction has a pretty good VA hospital, so I rode over there, and gave the Doc a rundown on My medical history, and a short story about this epic bike ride. He didn't freak out on My, but I could tell He wasn't happy about this trip, or My newness to the high altitude.

The Doc gave Me a scrip of a Z-Pak of antibiotics, which didn't touch it, so I went back a few days later, after postponing My departure for several days, and they prescribed steroids, and a rescue inhaler. That seems to have done the trick, because I started feeling better after a couple of days. By the 20th I was ready to be back on the road. Not at My usual 50%, but close.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 04:52:19 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 02:06:51 pm »
I left Jeff, His Wife, and the Kids standing in the driveway, smiling and waving. Those kids sure grew up fast. I'll miss them.

I was in route to Torrey Utah. Some really good roads there, and a buddy with a cabin I could crash in for a couple of days. I didn't take many pictures in Torrey, because I'd been there so many times. I did however, shoot some video with My ContourRoam camera. I still have to edit that down to a reasonable length though. I think I have about 8 hours of HD video.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 09:54:46 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 02:18:13 pm »
Break time. Mac needs a nap. Still recovering.
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline ZG

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 03:29:13 pm »
 :thumbs: :popcorn:

Offline AZ-ZG

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 03:55:13 pm »
Nice, Mac!   :thumbs:

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!   :D
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Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 06:29:22 pm »
I make it to Torrey Utah around 3:00 PM. It's only about 250 miles from Grand Junction. It's a decently fun ride, even though I-70 is really crappy in Utah. The fun part is State Road 24 coming off I-70. It gets very twisty as it meanders through the canyons of Capital Reef National Park. I highly recommend this ride to anyone in the area. Lot's of sightseers, so no blasting the corners, but a moderate pace is really more prudent in this area anyways. Some of the roads drop off to a several hundred foot canyon. There are also some super long straight stretches, where You can see for miles, if someone should feel the need for speed....but that's not legal. LOL

I crashed at My buddy Scott's for the night in Torrey, and got up early the next morning and had a kickass breakfast in town. Then I washed the bugs off Connie at the local car wash. My aim was to take a short day ride over Boulder Mountain. A 9600 foot summit, and a great view.


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Boulder mountain is a lot of fun. Way more fun than the last time I was on it in a Jeep, while pulling a camper. WAY more! There are a lot of tar snakes though, so be careful. Also, at alpine elevations, You need to beware of ice in the shadows.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 09:57:50 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline jamiemac

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 09:32:38 pm »
The next morning, I bail on My buddy Scott, and load up the bike. Next stop, Vegas, for an early dinner, then on to LA. I should mention here, that as the trip continued, I got better at loading My bike. I had My Nelson Rigg 72 liter drybag completely full. My tent, sleeping bag, and mat, all strapped to the outside of the drybag. Various microfiber towels, and My hiking shoes on the outside with bungees for convenience. At this point in the trip, it was taking about an hour to load up the bike. I never got in any hurry.

Here is a shot of the Connie loaded up, somewhere in Missouri.


IMG_20130510_064252_831 - Copy

My route to LA took me through some awesome canyons to get to I-15, where the speed limit is 80MPH along a good portion, in Utah. It seemed like I was in Vegas in no time, as it really wasn't that far. Couple hundred miles, give or take.

I had Chow at The Hooters Restaurant in Hooters Casino, as there is a lady that works there, I talk to periodically. Alas, She had got off work about an hour before I arrived, and I had no plans to stay there, so I ate and hit the road to LA. I always enjoy Hooters though. The service is usually good, and who doesn't like pretty girls.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 10:00:57 pm by jamiemac »
2008 C14, Area-P carbon fiber, PCV, Rostra Cruise, LAAM leather seat, Optilux 1500 & MondoMoto MM10 lights, Cee Bailey windshield, BMC air filter, Warm & Safe dual dash mounted heat troller.

Offline Conrad

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 05:37:52 am »
Nice!    :thumbs:
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Offline Richard. Wales UK

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 06:26:34 am »
 :chugbeer: Nice trip

Offline ljcorby

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 08:56:38 am »
Very nice trip.  Wow I want to do that.  ;)
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Offline Rhino

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 09:05:41 am »
Excellent! I imagine it was pretty toasty in LV this time of year.

Offline Bryn

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 10:18:13 am »
Nice ride report..I really enjoy ride reports from 'over the pond' ..I suppose its the same for you guys... Europe is half a day away for me... half a world away for you   8)

Offline gPink

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Re: My first cross country ride, and how it turned out.
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 10:57:28 am »
Yeah but we can ride from the Atlantic to the Pacific in about 3000 miles, spend the same coin, speak the same language, and not have to show anybody our 'papers'. Oh, and we drive on the right side of the road.  ;)
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