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Tom and Jamie's Excellent (motorcycle) Adventure

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, it is certainly not skiing, but it is a trip.  I figured I'd share with anyone who cared to listen. th_dunno-1[1].gif


On July 16 we left California for Pittsburgh. We have hopes of traveling further while here visiting family, but this is the trip report of the eastbound adventure.  This trip also takes us to the gathering in Salida where we got to meet many forum friends for the first time.

July 16 and I'm ready to go

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Jamie, uh, not so much.

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Our goal for the day is Cedar City Utah, so I need to adjust to Jamie's pace. He is riding a naked 1993 Sportster 3200 miles one-way. The bike is modified by boring the cylinders to 1200 ccs and the gearing is increased to international so, it does move down the road reasonably well. Unfortunately there is the problem that comes with a 3.1 gallon gas tank, so the first gas stop is in Pollock Pines.

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...but pretty soon we are headed down to Carson City on Hwy 50.

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I wait in Fallon as Jamie gets fuel again.

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If you ever have a chance to be at Middlegate Station NV at lunchtime, the small bar and restaruant is something you definitely need to fit on the agenda. Great people who have been there forever, and good food.

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A brief stop to pay homage to the old shoe tree.

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A new one has started at the same site. It turns out the old tree was cut down by a jealous man who couldn't handle his estranged wife's fondness of the tree.

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The rest of the day was a slog across Nevada with gas stops in every town. There are rumors one bike may have reached the upper 120s MPH, but it was pointless as it merely resulted in a wait...

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The shadows grew longer, and night fell about an hour before arriving in Cedar City. Night riding was much easier with the Clearwater Krista lights and HIDs blazing. Jamie earned his new nickname as we entered the agricultural valleys of Utah and encountered clouds of hatching insects. We have radio communications, and I told Jamie the bugs were like snow on the windshield. The reply back was "I am the Bugman".

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More to come


post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 

After taking a swim and then eating and drinking at a Chili's Restaurant in Cedar City, we headed back to the hotel to retire at midnight. Needless to say, that did not lend itself to an early start for our next destination at Mesa Verde, CO. We were going to get there the long way. This is where the disadvantage of a small tank really took its toll.

Sunday found us leaving Cedar City at 10:30 after a final stop at the Ace Hardware. Considering the long day ahead, it was a slow start, but we found some great small roads out of town including 14 to Mormon Creek (N-064) to 143, 148 and US 189 to overlooks of Zion, and the entrance to Bryce Canyon. Zion overlook:

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We did not visit Bryce this time. Too little time, too many tourists. The area along Hwy 12 outside of Bryce offered up pretty good scenery anyway.

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And the roads through Escalante were excellent with short-radius predictable twists through the Grand Staircase.

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We filled up again in Teesdale on Hwy 24 just west of Capitol Reef NP, not knowing that would be the last gas we would see for 174 miles.

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Hwy 24 gives way to Hwy 95 south and soon we find ourselves in Glen Canyon approaching the only bridge crossing of the colorado River for 300 miles in any direction.

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Scattered thunderstorms threatened, but only delivered brief relief from the 100+ degree heat in the Canyon.

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Crossing the Colorado over Lake Powell.

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Jamie made it 153 miles before fuel and reserve ran out on his Sportster. I continued 17 miles into Blanding, UT and bought a gallon fuel cell and brought back the life-giving nectar to extract him from this wall of rock that provided shade while he waited. Traveling solo, I made good time. ;)

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With the late start and delay for fuel, we finally arrived in Cortez, Colorado at about 9:00 PM and ate at the brew pub before heading up into Mesa Verde NP to spend the night at the Farview Lodge. Driving the dark national park road late at night revealed the value of the Clearwater Krista lights that laid down a wall of light that made the switchbacks, sharp turns and restless deer emerge from the darkness and made the ride a lot more fun.

The morning would see us launch early for Durango, Silverton, Monarch Pass and on to Salida. Our shortest ride day.


post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Finally, it was time to set off for the CCGII gathering.  Kind of like an Epicski Gathering, but motorcycles.  Before owning the FJR I had a Suzuki C90.  This is a gathering of a group of forum members that own the C90 and LC1500 motorcycles, and a good group of people...kind of like here.  The day we met in Salida, we started from Mesa Verde

and traveled through Durango

Over some epic passes in Colorado

The greeting party in Salida

General gathering activities that evening

Ron's famous "Cobra" bike

Tfee "fixing" things.  (turns out to be a really nice guy, in a grumpy old man forum persona LOL)

Jamie with the Harley dudes he helped.

The ride out 50 along the Arkansas River

Where we split from the group, everyone stopped to say goodbye

Even Victor

Anyone who tells you a small naked bike without a windshield can't be ridden across the country, needs to talk to this guy.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

After splitting from the gathering group, we headed east on Hwy 50


And soon left the cool air of Colorado behind.

With temps over 100 degrees in eastern Colorado, we would soak our shirts and ride to cool off.

And on into KANSAS.  More of the same..

As Jamie ran low on fuel again, we turned toward where we heard there was a station, only to stopped by a freight train that stopped and blocked our path.  So, with the extra gallon on board, we just turned around and headed back to Hwy 50 to the next town.  No problem, and we made it.  In spite of the delays, I have acquired a lot of respect for this guy keeping up the ride.

We rode pretty late into the night and spent the night in Emporia KS.  Got a swim, and late dinner.

The next morning, we had a look at Jamie's nearly bald rear tire and decided that the best opportunity to get it changed out would be in Olathe KS.  We were able to pull into Rawhide Harley in Olathe where they only charged $10/tire for mounting, including removing the wheels from the bike.  An amazing deal! 

Although I'll admit that by now, my patience with these huge delays was wearing a  bit thin...

But I did buy a Harley T-shirt.  LOL.

We did not hit the road again until about 1:30 or 2:00 PM and moved toward St. Louis in the sultry humid heat.  Hwy 50 was getting a bit more interesting with nice sweeping turns and more trees in Missouri. 

By now it was 7:30 in the evening, and I figured if we didn't eat now, we never would.  Great luck in finding this place near Six Flags.  An award winning rib joint:

We stayed in a hotel that was probably one of the worst I have ever been in.  Called a Days Inn near Six Flags for a reservation.  When we arrived the signs indicated it was a Motel 6 or Americas Best Value Lodge.  Seems every franchise is trying to disassociate from this flea-bag, so being too tired to fight it, we grabbed a quick sleep and got going at 6:00 AM.  Our best start ever.  (Did I mention Jamie is not much of a morning person?).

We rode to Montrose IL, a tiny town east of Effinham on U.S. 40 and had a great breakfast at a small cafe. These ladies fixed us a proper breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash browns, mixed with a good deal of hospitality.

Now it was time to slog across I-70 through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We exited on US 22 towards Cadiz, Stubenville and Pittsburgh.  A great road that winds out of Coshocton through the hills of southeast Ohio, and eventually turns into a lightly travelled 4-lane to cross the Ohio River at Steubenville to Weirton, WVA.  Shortly later, we arrived in Pittsburgh.

Since my wife had just arrived by plane, I split to join them for dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery.  After a 700 mile hot day on the bike, with no shower.... Well, at least they were glad to see me, if not smell me. 

The ride will continue soon.  We are visiting friends and family for a few days before resuming the ride.  Thanks for reading.

post #5 of 22

Damn Cirque...going on a M/C trip with a guy on a HD.....


Kinda like taking a ski trip with a boarder  nonono2.gif


Awe hell, you could have some fun anyway..........

post #6 of 22

93 sportster, no fairings, jamie's one tuff sob.



post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Jimmy, where you at? 


I agree, with you.  My feelings have moved from skepticism to respect for Jamie as a rider.  There are better tools for the job, but he is sticking with it.

post #8 of 22

Still in Wheeling til Thursday. You?

post #9 of 22

Nice TR!

Thanks for sharin'


post #10 of 22

Hey Tom, nice TR. Give me a shout out if you're headed up to Slippery Rock to the North Country Brewery. I'll meet you there and buy a round. I'm free for most of the next few weeks. Just as an aside, 2 of my good buddies made a cross country trip on 2 Suzuki T500s back in the '70s but they were in their 20s. From Pittsburgh to the Northwest then down to San Fran and back on a 2 cylinder 2 stroke is still a fete. I hope you're enjoying our little heat wave here. Just drink more beer.biggrin.gif Maybe we can get together with jimmy maybe at the Penn Brewery on the Northside. JohnL was threatening to come up from DC to catch a game at PNC Park but I think that fizzled. Besides Bucco tickets are getting scarce since the Pirates have discovered how to win again.

post #11 of 22
I saw you said you have hopes of traveling further, would that be farther east from Pittsburgh? If you do end up heading east from Pittsburgh you could be in my area around lunch time....
post #12 of 22

I'm thinking it's a good thing that the Bugman at ;east had a fullface helmet. That would've really sucked if he had been keeping it real with a do-rag and glasses.

post #13 of 22

Sounds like you're getting your 'dining recommendations' from www.roadfood.com, and some of the pics would make for a nice TR on there, too.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

I passed by the brewery yesterday.  Could meet you there easily.  Give me a call or text at nine one six nine three nine four four four four.

post #15 of 22



You guys ROCK!

post #16 of 22

Wow, that looks like quite the adventure!  Touring the west looks like what I always though motorcycles were intended for.

post #17 of 22

Great! Thanks for sharing!

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

We're back on the road.  Today we headed West from Pittsburgh and took US30 and some assorted unnammed roads to Wooster, OH then picked up US250 to Norwalk, OH.  I changed the engine oil and we headed north to Bay City MI.  Notes:  Harvey's in Bay City has good cold beer and a great Sirloin steak.

post #19 of 22
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

We're back on the road.  Today we headed West from Pittsburgh and took US30 and some assorted unnammed roads to Wooster, OH then picked up US250 to Norwalk, OH.  I changed the engine oil and we headed north to Bay City MI.  Notes:  Harvey's in Bay City has good cold beer and a great Sirloin steak.

Bummer.  Had you turned South and gotten close to us (just south of Cincinnati), Uncle Louie and I smoked a roast beef and rack o'ribs this week.  Good eats, I promise!  Maybe next time!

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Had I but known!  Things are good in the North and the lower humidity and heat are nice benefits. 


Return trip 110.JPG

post #21 of 22

Nice seeing in Slippery Rock. Have a fun safe ride home.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  Really enjoyed meeting your family and sharing a couple beers at the North Country. 


We are in Sheridan WY tonight moving towards the Beartooth Hwy and Yellowstone tomorrow.

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