Monthly Archives: June 2017

Willy Nelson

As Bruce Buffer would say, “IT’S TIME!!!!!!!!!”

After a couple months of contemplation and a few weeks of actual planning and prep the big North American moto haul shall be underway in a couple hours. Crap is packed, loose routes and sights to see roughly laid out, and maintenance on Thumper is done.

Current set up is on the left, the old is right. Ditching the cargo boxes that almost destroyed my leg in a crash near the Salton Sea has saved a ton of weight and the current set up better distributes the load for off pavement riding. The packing is a little trickier and won’t be sorted till after a few days on the road, but the reduction in weight and increase in maneuverability are worth it.

This first week will see me heading up through eastern Oregon and Washington to land in Revelstoke BC in time for Canada Day, July 1. It all gets a little fuzzy from there. Next week it’ll be more clear.

Not much more to add. I’ll try and post here weekly and on Instagram as often as possible (@kpicard44). Feel free to shout out if I’m in your area and you want to grab a cup of coffee or just shoot the shit.

I hope to see many of you out there on the road adventuring and exploring on your own.

Smooches!

Advertisements

Getting it All Sorted Out

Yep, wasn’t fucking around about a big summer ride.

Launch date is June 23/4 with a tentative return date of 24/5 August for a memorial on the Oregon coast. 2 solid months on the road with the mighty KLR from Bend to East back to Bend via Canada. Possible longer depending on variables.

Being a West-side lifer, I consider anything east of the Rockies as ‘back east’. This perturbs the fine folk of the Mid West, but they call it flyover country for a reason. I’m hoping to see some sweet sights and meet folks that can alter that view. This will be a new terrain heavy trip and the potential for finding cool new sights/places is one of the prime motivators for the trip. Spent a lot of my younger years covering similar ground.

Today’s fun involved cleaning, reassembling and installing the carb back into Thumper. Got it out, disassembled and soaking in Pine Sol yesterday and can now add total carb tear-down and rebuild to the skills list. The best part being the bike running much better after the install and no extra parts. Never want extra parts.

This is going to be a little scattered, by the way. If you hadn’t noticed.

One of the main benefits of riding a bike around is the people you get to meet. Spent an hour and a half total in 3 separate conversations started solely because of the bike. If you’re in Bend, or plan to visit, hit up a new and cool little coffee stand behind The Gear Peddler  at 2nd and Greenwood. The owner saw the bike and we ended up chatting for an hour, he’s a damn nice guy, uses coffee from Strictly Organic, a local roaster owned by friends of mine and is just getting going so sling the guy some cash for sweet assed coffee.

Another gent who had just picked up a 2001 KLR was at Giant Loop checking out luggage options when I rolled by and had plenty questions about how to get the most out of the beast.

Preparations for the trip go well: got the carb and front brake caliper rebuilt, new coolant, tightened up all the loose shit, new plug, rejiggered the tool kit so it doesn’t weigh so much, got the luggage all figured and a loose itinerary set. Looks like I picked the perfect time to visit friends in Revelstoke as we’ll be going skydiving July 1, Canada Day. Basically 4th of July for Canada. Never done it, have always wanted to and the scenery is going to be the shit.

Goddamn, this is going to be so much fun. The common refrain I hear upon telling folks my plans is “Wish I could take a bunch of time off to do something like that, BUT………”. Fuck but in the butt. You are worm food in the end, figure a way to get the fuck out of Dodge and fulfill some of those, “Gee, wouldn’t it be cool to………..” things. Security is nice and all, but it demands a lot in exchange. A piece of your soul for starters. Some give off and attitude of serving a higher purpose due to having kids and such to sacrifice such adventures for. Your kid will get more out of seeing you provide for them and incorporate following your desires over whining about having to give it all up to be a “responsible” parent.

It’s been a struggle of sorts since leaving wildland fire after so long to find something to fill the role held for so long by that occupation. The friends made and challenges faced are hard to find in this Nerfed world, but the moto world is a decent substitute. Cool eclectic folks, fear of dying, exploring little tread lands – all similar. Not having to shit in Porta Potties all summer is a bonus, too.

Well, time to wrap this scattershot blob of words up. Going to see Tool in Boise this Sunday which is gonna fucking rock, then 3 days to finalize trip efforts.

Please feel free to shout out if you wanna meet up while I’m on the road or even ride along while on your own adventure for a bit. I’ll be out there for at least 2 months so plenty time to sip coffee and BS.

See ya.

 

A New Adventure on the Horizon

Howdy!

Well, that last trip really got the travel bug fired up and thankfully I don’t have much in the way of obligations holding me back. Thus, on or around the 24th of June I’ll be heading out on a 10k+ 6-8 week dual sport moto adventure across Canada and the US.

This isn’t going to be a pavement haul across the continent and back, it’s a full on dirt road/tiny 2 track back road adventure that includes, so far, Exploration of the eastern Washington scablands, Canada Day spent in Revelstoke with friends, a run up to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories with friend B-Rad from last summer’s Oregon Big Desert Blast, bopping back and forth across the border in the Great Lakes region to see folks and hit sweet little rides, surviving the eastern seaboard, a run down the Blueridge Parkway, The Missouri River Breaks, Dakota badlands, Colorado for friends  and some high elevation riding, back to Arizona to buy Tom Kenopka breakfast, LA for friends and to finally check of the home of many of my favorite comedians, The Comedy Store finished up with a run up coast on the 1/101 (hopefully the Big Sur slide will be cleared by then) back to PDX, then home to Bend. Going to try and hit parts of the TAT while I’m at it. Then there is the eclipse to plan a remote viewing spot for.

You, dear reader, are a crucial part of this adventure! I’d love to hear about rides, meetups, cool little trails/roads that I can try and join in while on the road. Please share some of your experience and ride along if you wish.

I’d be very grateful if you could share this with rider and non-rider friends alike to get a little following going. Places to camp, including backyards, would be great to hear about as well.

There are a few companies that have provided a little support and they include:

Giant Loop Moto of Bend, OR. Harold and Ingrid helped set me up with some sweet soft luggage at a discount and I will be reviewing it as part of the trip.

Next Adventure in Portland, OR was the first job I got upon moving there the first time way back in 1999. It has since grown into the largest independent outdoor gear store in Oregon, if not the Pacific Northwest. Deek and Brian offer a unique workplace that has become refuge to many disheartened former REI employees, high level adventurers and gear junkies alike. They offered camping gear and a little cash for motorcycle specific needs. I’ll be posting on their blog, reviewing gear and doing and in-store presentation after I return.

Xero Shoes of Broomfield, CO. I used to make my own huaraches out of pig leather that were OK, then I found Xeros and am on my second pair after nearly wearing a hole through the soles of my first. Great small company with excellent products for minimalist footwear fans or those wanting compact, light durable camping footwear. They offered their affiliate program by which if you go to their site by my link and buy something, I get 10% of that purchase.

Being transparent is very important to me, hence the above info. If you are a regular reader you know I’ll be doing honest gear reviews and have no problem calling dodgy gear out.

I’ll be hauling a few stickers and such to events to give out from each company and will happily let folks check out the gear I’m using to get a first hand look.

So there you have it, a summer full of adventure hopefully augmented by you folks.

The countdown begins, 18 days till launch!

A Few Addenda

After scoping out the last post a few times some holes made themselves apparent. Hence, this post.

Having taken so many cool photos along the way that I’d like to share there is an album below with a ton of decent to sweet images.

Also, I made hay about the concert in Bisbee I went to, but didn’t put any links up for you to check out the badass musings of Mishka Shubaly. If you’ve ever had your ass kicked by life, you’ll love his songs. And, no Mishka, I’m not doing this because you flipped me shit on Twitter, I want folks to hear this stuff. The duet with Chad Shank at the show was one of the best concert moments I’ve experienced.

https://soundcloud.com/mishka-shubaly/02-dont-cut-yr-hair

https://soundcloud.com/mishka-shubaly/01-the-only-one-drinking

Check ’em out and share this stuff.

Of all the experiences encompassing the trip it was meeting folks along the way that made it special. Folks seem to be very divided and stuck in echo chambers of their own world view, yet feel perfectly qualified to dismiss and disparage others based solely on not being part of their particular bubble.

This is backwards horseshit and utterly unsustainable if we wish to eventually come together as a human community and get some adult shit done. Problems aren’t solved by vilifying complete strangers and shrieking at them.

While I’m sure a good number of the people I met and chatted with have differing political, religious, and social ideals, that didn’t stop us from having excellent conversations.

Nationalism and fascism have been tried before, totalitarianism and communism have been tried before. They all failed quickly and miserably, but not after destroying vast swaths of humanity. Be a fucking adult and try something new, reach out to the ‘other’. Don’t talk, listen. Share your life, not your ideals and make an effort to see how many commonalities you share with random people. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.