Friday, February 28, 2014

Uvalde to Orange road day.

Feb 27th.   Long, cold, bumpy day.   386 miles through San Antonio and Houston, TX.

The weather channel was showing 45deg  when I started at 7:00 AM.    The good-old-boys at my first THAW stop said it was more like 31 overnight.    Overcast, cold and foggy, the first couple hours were pretty boring and chilling.  Put my rain gear over the top layer and that helped kill the chill.

Once the sun came out things picked up and I laied down some good miles.
San Antonio was easy.  Took a luch break about 1:15 and then headed into town...  Houston was somewhere between Chicago's spaghetti bowl and the Phily cross-town...    10E is boldly displayed on the concrete so I managed to stay in the correct lane, but at 75 and bumper to bumper there wasn't a lot of opportunity to have options.   That place must be a zoo during rush hour.

East of there things opened up and the traffic was light.    I wanted to make it at least a three-tank day (360 miles) and I ended at 386iles in Orange TX.  Non-descript little town but good for taking a quiet evening.  800+ to go to Cedar Key...   Will book that into two days.

I get out there on the road with hours at a time to think...   pondering stories of riding experiences and choices...   theories about how to handle wind and situations...   somehow I need a voice to text recorder that I can use while traveling...   Sitting at the keyboard composing just isn't the same.

Today topic thoughts included:

Why I like traveling solo.
Fighting cross-wind... (staying in the bubble)
Why wasn't there any discussion about the future at the Airhead Rally?
How do you follow a chronic-passer biker?  Or do you???

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exit Terlingua, interview Paul and Voni, out of gas and beyond.

Weekended in Terlingua and enjoyed every moment.    Sand, rivers, Big Bentd Natl Park and State Forest, Rio Grande, food, entertainment... all within a couple miles of the ghost town.

Will def come back here for winter this year.

Social centers are the Chili Pepper Cafe for breakfast/lunch.   Front Porch at the Ghost Town for happy hour and The Boat House for evening entertainment.

This guy is friend of Deb and Dan Dickie who has a CD up for a honkey tonk Grammy!   Great player and entertainer.

Preparing to leave...  Long story:  Road tire Conti was shot.  Lt Dan connected me to Ralph at CycleTek who had a Konte knobby that was overkill but the right size.   Bought that and then Roger checked his loft and had a Conti road tire with just a few miles on it.  We traded and some guys from IL (hosted by Jerry from CO) volunteered to do the tire install in the AM.  LINK TO PHOTO ALBUM <<<  Note the supervisors adding their recommendations.  

Heading north on 118 I was able to find and have morning tea with Payl and Voni Glaves.  Voni is a one-Million mile BMW rider and Paul has the one-Million Mile Mechanic award!   He may be the only one of those in existence...    They retired to this lovely valley in TX about 10 years ago and when they go for a ride "around the block" it's about 240 miles.    Their adobe home is quite eclectic and colorful, to say the least... 
 The bath is indoors, decorated with paintings and art from around the world.
   The shower is outdoors and truly unique!  Completely enclosed in wine bottle walls and a stone floor.   Years in the making!

Out of Gas...   no fun.   85 MPH my range dropped to 137 miles...   Langtry was 141 miles.   Thanks for a samaritan who hauled me to town and back.

View of the Pecos river just north of Langtry.   (before I ran out of gas...)

Rt 118 South of Alpine, TX.

Arriving after fuel stop, I took the one-mile side road to Langtry, TX.   Law west of the Pecos.   Pretty and untouches, this little town has a new museum and a feeling of wranglers and outlaws.  Def need to take this in...

Camping near Amistadt Lake and Judge Roy Bean (Langtry, TX) Holiday Travel RV Park

What a great place to find at the end of a road day.  Link to photo album <<<

I arrived after hours and Jimmy and his sister booked me right into a grassy tent site.   Beer, showers, fuel and food within walking distance.   Recommend highly!

BTW, bring your bass boat...   the lake is a beautiful blue over nearly white sands...   fishing is rumored to be challenging but the views of the Pecos River and the Rio Grande are lovely!

Tuesday woke to rain in the forecast.  Made it about 100 miles to Uvalde TX on wet roads and cooling temps.   Checking radar showed two days of rain ahead so checked in to Motel 6 for R&R and catching up on writing and pics.  

As long as I had to unload stuff I spread things out in the room and repacked.   A phone call from BMW in Walnut Creek offered me the 49 tooth rear sprocket (which they received to late to install when I was there) at wholesale + shipping.  I asked him to look up the load carrying capacity of my bike.   He found #400 as the rider/luggage limit.   That puts me (#175) with #225 for carry-on...   Even with all the canisters I have, and now a gallon fuel can, I'm under the limit!!  

Every time that I re-pack I move the items that never get touched to the left side panier (inconvenient to access) and move the heavy stuff to the side or front canisters.   Now to find a storage place for a 1.25 Gal gas can from Tractor Supply.   Lower is better.

More later.

Looks like another day of maintenance and Motel 6.  Not too fun, but improving the future rides.

Voni reminded me of a couple good networks for travelers.

LD Riders  Many tips there for travels, equipment, routes.  Doesn't look like a lot of members.

Horizons Unlimited.  World wide and def unlimited.   I haven't been to their rallies but need toget on the agenda.  Will try to make SC in Sept.

More to follow.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rain delay in Uvalde, TX

Looks like I can take a couple days to catch up on my blog...   Rain in the forecast from here East for the next two days.

Last night camped at Holiday Travel RV park near Lake A____  just west of Del Rio.  I have to recommend that place HIGHLY!    I pulled in after hours and Jimmy (young guy who is the owner) showed me right to a grassy spot with power and water, right near the shower house.   Gave me a great rate and a ride to the beer store!    Tough to beat.

Left there under gloomy skies heading to San Antonio.  Gloom became wet roads so I pulled up at Subway here to check the weather...   nothing fun in store so will park the ride until the sun comes in on Thursday.

Must check...   the last 1/4 mile I can feel a bump in a tire... nothing visible so will put it up on the center stand to investigate.  More to follow.

Later that day:   Tire is out of round like crazy...   We mounted it cold yesterday and one section of the bead didn't pop right.   About 4 miles out I heard it pop and it looked good then...   There aren't any flat spots of signs of odd wear, but I can feel it as it rolls...   Will make it to FL and then hit the recycle bin.  Problem solved.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2/18 AZ to NM

8 AM start, arrived Deming, AZ about 5 P.  Lovely ride.  Many curves.  Not too many towns.  Will post pics soon.   Tombstone was a landmark.  Bizby was restored copper mine town.  Lots of border patrol SUV's and a couple inspection points.  We went through one that was checking our lane on the final let up to Deming, NM.  Drug sniffing dogs and all...  The dude looked friendly.   asked, "Where were you born?"   I replid, "Waterloo, IA, Graduated Fr Leonard Wood, MO, 1971."   I passed.    More later.

To be discussed:
  • Traveling with a Passing Obsessed mc driver.
  • Talking to strangers and staying on schedule.
  • other as assigned.
Here's the TO-DATE map from Cupertino last Wednesday until this evening:


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2/14 misc

to be posted

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Journey is close.

Today I travel to Walnut Creek, CA to the BMW Dealer who has replacement chain and sprockets for my 650 Sertao.   Then on to Uncle Fred's place in Cupertino to visit he and Uncle Kenny for a couple days...

The trip East will start Wednesday about noon when I drive to Clovis to meet Randy Owens.  There should be three of us meeting there to again leave on Thursday to Death Valley and the Airhead Rally for the weekend.

When I am on the road my Spot II Tracker will be following me at

Weather looks to be in the 60's and dry... wish us luck!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Plans for BMW ADV Airhead Death Valley Rally 2014

GS Giant friend Randy Owens of Clovis, CA, recommended the Airhead rally as a launch for my travels to the East.   I spoke to organizer John Covington moments ago and he has 75 people RSVP already.

Will leave Uncle Fred's in Cupertino on Wednesday to Randy's place.  He and I will travel Thursday South and then over the mountains past Lake Isabella and on to DV.   Will report back with details as they evolve.

Then will head to TX per the map posted earlier, getting a one-day head start.  Everything is pending good weather, which looks positive for now.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Recommended Routes from members of the GS Giants

Here is map of first 4 days (estimated) four days toward FL.

Here are the suggestions coming in from members of the FB forum, GS Giants.

Talimena Scenic Dr, OK <<< Recommended by Keith Collins, Stephen Townsend, Ian Smeisser
Devil's Elbow, MO <<< Terry Geisler, Columbia, MO
Joshua Tree National Park, CA <<< Randy Owens, CA

Travis Leach LORMAN MS. Old country store. Mr D's famous fried chicken

Reminder:  Helite Air Bag Motorcycle Vests Save Lives!

Printable details at MY HELITE DETAIL PAGE <<<

Conversations on Winter travel plans: First response from Bob Falia - (CA to NJ failed at Thanksgiving.

This is from my good friend Bob Fallia who attempted CA to NJ over Thanksgiving week. Chedk his blog at BMW K 1600

Bob's comments:

I can't comment on your post to GS Giants; but, you know that I did this route and then some in December. My suggestions are 1) Go back and read my blog about my trip. That should convince you to wait until spring. If I can't convince you of that, I implore you to watch BOTH the local forecast and the national weather outlook. If there is a named storm coming through your route when you're going to be there, don't go. 3) Set your limits now. A nice minimum number to ride in is 38 degrees. Below that, you're looking at ice on bridges and shaded areas. Ice and bikes don't mix. The threat of ice should stop you. 4) I'm assuming you have full compliment of heated gear. If you don't, please immediately check yourself into the nearest mental institution. You're certifiably nuts. 5) Plan for several extra days of travel, on top of whatever rest breaks your planning. I needed an extra month or so to complete my trip when I had to leave the bike in Houston. Before that, I had a couple days of down time. 6) If you're thinking about camping, check yourself into the nearest mental institution. You're certifiably nuts. 7) The biggest difficulty on this route is from when you enter Arizona until you get to San Antonio. You will encounter lots of wind and precipitation while you are in the mountain. If you can't ride your bike on a 45 degree angle while the wind blows out of the North (or if that idea upsets you), wait until Spring. 8) Realize that if you're going to "try to make it" somewhere in bad weather, you could get stuck in between, and it could be MANY miles before the next exit, and many more miles before the next exit with vacancies, fuel, or food. If there's is snow on the ground, and the exit goes off uphill, you may not be able to get off at that exit, which means many more miles of traveling in really bad conditions. Maybe it's better to wait until spring. 9) Nexrad weather radar is an awesome thing. Without it, it's a crap shoot as to what's going to happen next. If you can find a place to strap a GPS with Nexrad weather on it, do it and eliminate the guess work. Another option is to just keep calling me. I'll tell you how horrible the weather is and that you should wait until spring. 10) When spring time comes, this route has much less wind, snow, ice, freezing rain and sleet. There are less pile ups with dead people lying around and not nearly as much difficulty finding shelter when they shut down the interstate (to clean up bodies) and everyone goes running for the nearest room. By the way, when they do this, it's best to have plenty of fuel in your tank. If you run out, the heated gear...that I know you're wearing...stops working and you simply freeze. The good news is that as your body shunts blood and warmth to your core, your legs will go numb and you will fall down. Someone will probably see that and put you in their warm vehicle until the ambulance comes. This is much less likely in the spring time. 11) 10 was such a nice round number; but, for good measure ... there is nothing happening in Daytona that is worth this ride in the Winter. It's better to wait it out in the warm air in CA and do Daytona when you find yourself in the local area and don't have to ride cross country for it.
Me: yes, I knew you started out on Rt 10. and I knew what you ran into... I figure if I give myself three weeks I should be able to find 7 decent travel days. Most of those areas have hit 60 lately... You don't think there will be good days? Wasn't figuring on lots of camping. Am looking for friends along the way. Have one in TX.
I think you can find 7 good riding days; but, at what expense? Most of my riding time was spent getting to Houston. Once I had good weather days, I flew through the remainder. In retrospect, I realized that I would NEVER have done the ride I did with a passenger on the back because it was not a risk I would be willing to expose another human being to. That and the continual pleas from family and friends to stop says something about the margins of safety I was operating in. Unless you have something to prove, I'd just wait. You have more warmth and sun there than you will on the ride you're considering. Besides, in the spring, you can catch the flowers blooming and I think the blue bonnets will be out in Texas. I'd wait.

17,000 on Heidenau TK60 front tire - Replace or Milk it for 3,000 mile road trip?

Great feedback and conversations from the GS Giants yesterday on my tire question.  Details follow:

Seperate topic: Front Heidenau... 17,000 miles and not bare... Do I replace it here in CA or milk it for 3,000 miles from here to FL?
Seperate topic:  Front Heidenau... 17,000 miles and not bare...  Do I replace it here in CA or milk it for 3,000 miles from here to FL?
Like ·  ·  · 21 hours ago