Monthly Archives: September 2014

YEEEEEEFUCKINHAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

I did it.

Survived another summer exile in the Arkansas of the Northwest and am soon to be blasting, well puttering- it is an old Subaru, back west across the desert to Bend.

While the fire season was dismal here the time spent was not a total loss. I picked up Thumper, something I’ve been desiring for nearly a decade, and managed to get in some fun/challenging rides to maintain sanity.

Having spent the bulk of the past 25 years as something of a vagabond, picking up, packing up and heading out is fairly routine. Still rather surprising how uncomfortable it can be when it seems I have ‘too much stuff’ to pack. Half a poorly packed soob is hardly hoarding, but my brain can’t help but look at half of that shit and try and find a way to ditch it. Being down to essentials and gear, there really isn’t much to ditch. Goddamn brain.

I’ve got to commit to a place to call home. This yo-yo shit has been old for a while, but has been maintained through financial necessity. Hard to pass on a gig that will put $30k in your pocket for 3 1/2 months work while you’re in school. Well, that was last year, not so hot this season. Bend may well be the place again. Despite it’s horrifying growth and severe Californification there is still much of the old Bend there if you know where to look. Not to mention a horde of friends.

Time to finish packing, turn in all my shit and get my performance eval then hit the road. Should be there by 9 pm. Hot damn!

And next week I get to do the drive all over again to get Thumper home.

 

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The wind, it BLOWS

 

 

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Holy shitballs! Decided to get in some ‘mellow’ highway time to build up for the big ride home to Oregon in a couple weeks and maybe get in a little freeway action. Silly me forgot the forecast from yesterday mentioned something about wind. As in lots.

So for 234 miles down hwy 20 from Bellevue to Mountain Home, I-84 from there to Twin Falls (icky) and back up 75 it was 20-35 mph head, side, quarter and tail wind. Zero let up in 4 hours. Feel like a wrestled a 400 pound midget covered in Rotella. Many folks in forums had mentioned the KLR front fender being a goddamn sail and I disagree. It’s a sheet of plywood. Fucking parasails envy the ability of that piece of shit to catch the wind.

As if being battered by the wind itself, not to mention wash and debris from semis-its harvest time here in hillbilly heaven and I got blasted by 90mph corn silage and hay a number of times, the goddamn front tire was twitching like a crack whore waiting for a fix.

Thanks the non existent gods a package arrived soon after my return:

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Shiny new $9 Acerbis Supermoto front fender. Took it out in the wind tunnel masquerading as a highway and while I got beat up by the wind, the front end was solid.

 

It’s been farkeled to the point of satisfaction. For now. Check out the LEDs

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And here’s one for my Canadians

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‘When the hell are you gonna stop writing about your damn bike and get on with something else?’

Eventually. Got some stuff in the pipeline, but being brain dead I felt in the perfect condition to blab about KLRs.

 

Goddamn white people

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Goddamn, that was fun!

Read this much or talk to me for very long and you’ll find me enraptured with my new love: Thumper, the KLR. Each ride is a boundary pusher/skill builder and it is just as fun as ice climbing minus the cold. Till winter, that is. Dammit, now I want to think about the awesomeness that is ice climbing.

My first real trail ride on the thing was up a canyon here in the Wood River Valley named Slaughterhouse. How comforting. I ate shit a couple times and had a very frustrating time of it. Falling over in a DEEP rut on the downhill side then having to muscle a 375# bike back on its feet up a 45°+ sidehill sucked donkey balls. Then not being able to get back on it and having to feather the clutch and gas while shoving the thing uphill to a flatish spot was no confidence builder.

Since that day 2000 miles of mostly dirt have been added to the odometer and today was the day to head back up and try her again.

Slaughter House

At the top!

Ironically, I hit a rock about 5 feet from where I went down last time, but just laid it down on the uphill side, tipped it back up and rode it all the way out.

 

Somewhere in the ride I slammed a rock with my tool tube ripping the expanded metal it was attached to and almost tearing the thing off. Went from fan to “fuck that” in one ride. They are great on dirt roads and pavement, but I’m after some rougher stuff on occasion and don’t want to lose the thing, and all my tools, or wreck because the fucker came apart and back into the bike.

Not Good

Not Good

Tomorrow, big desert ride.

10 days and a wake-up till I’m back in the homeland. Gotta make the best of the remaining Ideeho time.

 

Check out the Moto Map link on the right side for a GIS map of this, and other, rides and if you ever want a GPX/KML of a ride to check out yerself, just let me know.

A small favor to ask….

No, I don’t need a date to the prom, new widgets for further farlking of the KLR or bail money.

I’ve got this friend named Dave who just got home from the hospital after, in a matter of a few days, having chest pains, going to the ER, getting diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer, getting a ball cut out and going through a few rounds of chemo.

Needless to say, it’s been a tad fucked for Dave as of late. Read about it from his perspective here on his blog.

Despite the good recent changes to the healthcare system have afforded most folks, Dave in in a deep hole funds wise because of this and could use a few ducats.

 

Yes, I’m begging for money on another’s behalf because if you knew him, you’d do the same. There is a GoFundMe page set up for this fine fellow and it would be a most gracious gift to give.

 

Whether you read this because I badgered you into it, cane upon it by accident, are a KLR aficionado fully farkled with a few extra dollars in yer pocket or just a friend heading out to get a mocha frappachino with extra caramel and whipped cream, make a one day exemption and throw $5 at Dave and spend the rest of the day floating on the good karma pink cloud.

 

THANKS!

2 Weeks and a wakeup!

Should the gods lose interest in my torment, the above noted time frame shall see me ripping balls out in Mighty Whitey:

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the fuck out of Ideeho and back to Bend, OR – home sweet home! 3 summers in and I have yet to find a reason to refer to Idaho as anything other than The Arkansas of the NW. A (typically) well paying gig keeps me returning to fund the school adventure, but a toll is taken. The shit fire season and isolation from friends for the summer has only been tempered by having the KLR to fuck with constantly. That thing is tip top.

I realize I have it pretty good and am seeking no sympathy, but must vent my frustration so as not to get all super cranky and inflict my Cunty Old Man on the co-workers.

One more go may be necessary at this gig depending how funding goes over the school year. Ugh, that’s depressing, yet, oddly enticing.

Suffering is an art form, especially the self inflicted variety.

On the plus side, I get to go to Hummer training today. No, not that kind, I could probably figure that out on my own. No, the BLM has engines, ginormous pieces of shit, built on the Hummer platform and specialty training is necessary to operate them. The bonus being it may allow me to have my own engine with only one crew member should I return next season. Poor fucker…

While some may disparage being 43, owning little more than will fit in a ‘97 Soob, being single with no breedings, and basically doing whatever the hell I wish, I must say it is a dandy way to experience life. The single thing can be a bummer at times, but we’ll let that resolve itself in its own time.

A shout out to friend Dave in the hospital recovering from getting a ball cut out and chemo for other parts of his body the cancer spread to. Glad you caught it and your crankiness shall remain with us.

Putting it, and myself, to the test.

Well, that was a ball. And educational. What more could you ask for, really?

About 11AM on Labor Day I got an idea to maybe get a ride in even though I was going to give the new paint job a day to cure. Fuck that. If (when, actually) it gets goobered I can always buy another $4 can of Krylon.

Pulled out the trusty Gazetteer with the words of the guy I bought the bike from ringing in my ears, “There are bunch of sweet dirt roads between here and Stanley we ride all the time.”  After about 5 minutes of lookin’ at squiggles the plan was set: 2-3 day power ride through the backwoods of central Ideeho. Within an hour all the kit was packed, the tank topped off and my ass was the fuck out of town. My only other plan for the holiday weekend was playing Russian Roulette so there wasn’t much to lose. Goddamn slow assed fire season.

Anywhoo, I blew the fuck out, headed west towards my beloved Oregon, but alas not to it, hit Fairfield and got going north.

SIDE NOTE: I’m using my spectacular GIS skills to develop a map of all my treks on here. Not sure how that will look in the end, but a number of possible platforms are being tested. Google earth sucks for sharing. Just sayin’.

Got headed up into the boonies when the shitstorm of bubba weekend warriors ending their last breedling infested summer hoorah came flooding past. Sorry no photos, I was trying not to get run over by a fleet of Ford F-350 Diesel warrior wagons towing any number of a wide variety of trailers. In the matter of 3 miles 70-80 rigs passed by. Then, nothing.

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Smooth riding, with the occasional passer by, in to my lovely, and quite deserted, camping spot.

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Full on minimalist goodness. A few goodies will be added, but the kit list as it is is pretty solid.

Got up, made some coffee, did some stretching then headed out to Featherville, a tiny little berg hidden in the woods. Pat, hubby of Cindie of Cindie’s Featherville Cafe:

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whipped up some mean grub and kept the coffee going. Met a couple from Taos, NM who were doing a new this year 500 mile dirt road bicycle loop out of Ketchum. Turns out the dude had gotten an ‘05 KLR the around the same time I did, but only put 100 miles on it so far.

After all the gabbing and eating it was off to Atlanta. No, not that one, there is a tiny little former mining town full of gruff hillbillies and cranky old people in a cool basin in the Idaho boonies.

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The ‘road’ there had seen better days. I’m a mtn bike guy so I’m used to being able to throw some body English at my bike to get it to go where I wish in the funkiness, not so with a 425# KLR. You can do a bit, but that fucker wanted to run down the steep heavily rutted and rocky stuff. Got in some valuable learnin’ AND a good workout. After about 2 minutes in Atlanta it was time for a swim in the cold assed Middle fork of the Boise river.

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SOOOOOOOCOLD!!!!!!!! Balls instantly went up into my guts in rebellion to such harsh treatment, but it was nice to get the dust off and splash around a bit.

Made a wrong turn somewhere as a major road was fuckered to the point of closure and came out of the woods 25 miles north of Idaho city instead of 2. Got to ride down the pass through fresh chip sealing. After having spent the AM washing around on freshly graded roads. Ugh.

Kicked it in IC fro a bit, had a dude ask if I had stolen the bike as he had seen someone else on a similar one. I ignored the question then he proceeded to tell me about his KLR. I think the pope probably had one of these things.

Hitting the pavement felt really sweet once I got through chip seal part 2 and ripped down the pass to Lowman. Was thinking about camping out another night on the Boise side of things, but also wanted to see if  I could do a big power push all the way back. Got to the edge of the Stanley basin and decided there was no turning back.

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I’ve been on a number of fires near Stanley and even in the summer that place is fucking wicked cold. Wasn’t in the mood to try and not freeze my ass off even with my rather high zoot gear collection. Pushed all the way through, over Galena Summit and down into Ketchum to Lefty’s for some much needed hot wings than finished up the trip back to Bellevue.

Lessons learned? I’m pretty well dialed on gear, need more shitty terrain time to hone the skills, Kenda K270 tires rail on the dirt and pavement-ignore the naysayers, passing on this pig is an art, KLR headlights suck ass-problem solved:

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Got me a couple LED lights, and an LED taillight, from superbrightleds.com.

Most importantly: I love to ride this thing. Really a whole lot. Many adventures are yet to come.