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Arkansas: Squeaky's POV

Squeaky

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I hadn't been to "The Natural State" state since I had my SV back in 2004. I'd learned a lot about myself and my bike in those three long days of curvy, twisting miles and I had been looking forward to repeating the process with my VStrom since the day I brought it home.

I didn't want to be in unknown territory with one mirror, so I ran by David's place (Cagiva549) on my way out of town to pick up one of the mirrors he'd so graciously left for me.

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I met Roger "RSquared" near Tomball and we headed up to Arlington the long, scenic, warm-up-the-tires-and-bodies-before-the-trip kinda way.

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As was bound to happen, the GPS routed us onto an unpaved road. I decided we'd skip it and just wander north until the Quest picked us back up and helped us finish the route.

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There must be some horrible pollen counts up in this neck o' the woods - both Roger and I were having sinus issues. We decided to stop for a break. Dunno where.

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We split off once we reached Arlington - him for his daughter's place at UTA and me to Biwwy and Mel's house for an oil change, dinner, and a place to rest my head for the night.

Max and Shadow had the guard dog duties under control. Nobody messed with the loaded bikes through the night.

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I was too rushed getting rolling at Biwwy’s to take any pictures of my own. Oops.

We rolled out into the sun and dealt with traffic. Not too bad, but apparently my tailbag wasn’t secured well enough and Chris “Stinky93071” told me to pull over and fix it since it was covering my brake light. We managed to get it fixed and get caught back up with the group before the next stop. For gas. Wait, I… um… You guys were rushing me to get going so I forgot to look at my gas gauge!

I had to pull off again to grab a gallon and a half as quickly as possible then try to catch up yet again. We weren’t too far behind, but we were the last to pull in at the Sherman meet-up point.

We made small talk and worked out a few last-minute details, and then we were off as a group toward the Oklahoma line. This was my first visit to the state.

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People looking at bikes:

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Bikes looking at people:

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Jerry “QuickSilver” demonstrating the dance of the MC Gods for good weather. (It worked wonders!)

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I tried to get up alongside the group to take individual pics, but all I managed were a decent pic of Tim & Leia, a few half-shots, and mass confusion.

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I’m still working on getting better shots from the saddle, so be patient and eventually I’ll get there.

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I wasn’t taking a hand off the bars FOR ANYTHING while going through the scenic Talimena Skyway. The twists and turns got tighter and more technical as we passed through the hills and trees, crossing from Oklahoma into Arkansas. It smelled like nature.

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I could hear Elzi “TexasShadow” squealing with delight through the passes. “WEEEEEEEEE!”

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Melanie “WhiskeyGirl” (aka Peanut) was so cute and clever, she turned a leaf into a noisemaker while we waited for the remainder of the group.

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We got to the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge for their lunch buffet. The food was great and the deserts plentiful.

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Stinky convinced me to walk out onto the deck to get a picture. Scary stuff, but worth the pic. (Yeah, ok Chris – you were right. There, I said it.)

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Chris and Mel goofing around

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Biwwy getting in on the action

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She’s just so darn cute!

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Headed out after lunch in search of some pigs in them ‘thar hills

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Stopped one last time before the Ozarks for a “comfort break” at a roadside rest area



“Is it time to hit the twisties yet?”



Once through the twisty stuff (again, no chance for pics when I’m having that much fun!) we stopped for stickers and ice cream at the Turner Bend store.





The sun was beginning to find it’s resting place beyond the horizon, so we motored out of there and onto the campsite. We had to scurry to set up tents before dark, then decided to take a run down to the local Subway before they closed to get dinner. I rode on the back of the Strom with Stinky piloting up front – laughing the whole way while I cringed in terror from the sight of the cliffs by moonlight. If I had nails they would have needed to be surgically removed from his back after that!


(more to come...)
 

Squeaky

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I'll post all the veideo links at the end so you can watch in sequence.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
Location
Central Texas
Great pictures and videos, Rebecca. You have a steady hand and an eye for good shots.

What is the name of the tune 7 artist in the day1 vid?

That was a fun trip? Ready to go back.

:sun:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
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Central Texas
Sure, where's the trailer? :cool2:


It's rigged for only one bike at this time. However, the inside diminisions of the trailer are 7 X 12 (fender wells on the outside), so, it's certainly doable to rig it out for another bike. The only problem is that I don't have another bike with which to make accurate measurements for the wheel chock and the flush mount tie-down rings.:-(

This guy also makes for a good sleeper especially if caught out in the rain.

:sun:
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
1,210
Location
Cypress (NW Houston)


It's rigged for only one bike at this time. However, the inside diminisions of the trailer are 7 X 12 (fender wells on the outside), so, it's certainly doable to rig it out for another bike. The only problem is that I don't have another bike with which to make accurate measurements for the wheel chock and the flush mount tie-down rings.:-(

:sun:
That is obscene.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,843
Location
Arlington, TX
Trailering a bike, whatever.

Trailering a Goldwing? Obscene. They pull trailers, not sit in them. :eek2:

//All in good fun, really. I'm sure you had a GOOD excuse. :doh:
Trailers are crappy.... right up to the point where you wreck your bike and need a way to get it home. They are slightly less crappy at that point. (Don't ask how I know this.)

From now on I will be trailering my bike and enjoying the destination more. Not to mention I can now bring my BBQ and cook up some killer camp food.:eat:
 

Squeaky

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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
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Katy
Despite my deep love for the fine art of sleep, I was awake before my phone’s alarm could wake me. I was excited to get going – that’s the only explanation I can muster for being awake as the sun crawled back onto its perch.

I whipped up some breakfast – oatmeal for Donovan “txncdn”and myself, and Stinky opted for Ramen noodles.

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Don’t make fun of a man for eating Ramen for breakfast while he’s eating. Apparently soup coming up through your nose isn’t a pleasant experience.

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We unloaded everything but rain gear and electronic essentials and headed over to the hotel in town to meet the rest of the group. Biwwy and I had printed maps and routes… but we’d forgotten to label which was which and that part of the image had been cropped. Oops. I spent a few minutes deciphering what was what and handed out paper to anyone that wanted it.

The group I’d be in today consisted of 12 bikes with 13 riders. We’d attempt the ~297 mile route that hit the major sections of twisty Arkansas, but if the day got long we had places we could cut out sections.

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We wound our way to Jasper, only to discover we were too early for lunch to head straight to the Cliff House six miles up the road. Instead, the clerk inside the gas station recommended we do a loop of AR123 which would bring us back to the restaurant closer to noon. Sounds good!

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We all topped off the rolled out to meet some curves.

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I dropped back knowing that switchbacks were lying in wait. I tried to relax and just let my riding take over, but it was difficult. The scenic views are trumped in my head by the eerie thought of crashing and tumbling down a cliff. Having Stinky on the Chatterbox talking me through it sure helped… until he started singing to me!

We came around a set of curves and as I set up for the next one I was presented with a scene I dread. The bikes are all stopped, some have been parked, and someone is lying on the ground. My heartbeat races as I kill the bike and get it parked right where it is. It’s Biwwy.

He’s conscious and talking. I don’t see any blood. They’ve already got his helmet off and are keeping him still. Everything is a blur, but he is wimpering “something’s broken” as they try to see if his jacket will come off easily.

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Tim peers into the neck of Bill’s shirt and points out what appears to not belong. The bone is out of place, but it’s not coming through the skin. I had my first aid kit with us, but other than using the wrap to keep the arm still I’m not sure I could have done anything with it. I had some pain pills with me but I was told not to put anything in his stomach. I gave him some water out of my Camelbak to keep him comfortable, then we all just waited for EMS.

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The first responders from the local firehouse were most certainly volunteers. An old pickup truck with a hose reel in the bed rolled up to the scene and three or four guys in jeans and trucker hats attended to Bill. A few minutes later, an ambulance was up the hill and the process of getting Bill onto the backboard was initiated. The fear of neck and back injuries, combined with the pain of his shoulder, made it a difficult task.

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We shuffled Bill & Melanie’s bikes down the hill to the local school where Careflight had landed and was ready for transport to Washington Regional in Fayetteville. There wasn’t room for Mel in the helicopter, so Stinky and I would take her over to the hospital on the bikes.

But first – we must feed her. Melanie is an itty-bitty thing, but she needs to eat every few hours. We headed toward the Cliff House, since we were now arriving during lunch hours.

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Lots of discussion about what had just happened, weighing the risks we take against the pleasure these two-wheeled magic carpets bring us.

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After settling our tabs, Pacman agreed to lead anyone that wanted to follow him through the remainder of the ride. Thank you for stepping up Wayne!

It was a long ride to the hospital for the three of us. Stinky kept watch over Mel and I like he was herding sheep. We arrived and they let Mel back to see him; he’d finished the tests and was resting while the doctors worked out the terms of his release.

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Once a prescription had been written, Mel and I hopped on the Strom 2-up in search of a pharmacy and some food. After locating a Walgreens down the road a few miles, we dropped off the Rx and sat and had a good, girly talk. The whole accident experience can be a difficult one for a loved one and she was handling it like a champ.

We decided to ride through the Arby’s drive thru and got a real good laugh out of the guy at the window. These two crazy ladies are going to carry all that food back? You sure?

LOL

Sorry, I left the camera back at the hospital.

After Keith and Joyce came with the truck for Bill, Mel and I sat and ate for a minute to prepare for the long ride back. It would be dark soon, so it would be slow going and tedious.

I’m sure the roads would have been lots more fun if it wasn’t pitch black and filled with splattering bugs, but it was difficult not to curse the curves at this stage.

Once back at camp, we discovered the tent was already down and most of Bill & Mel’s stuff had been packed. We were now waiting for the bike to be brought back from Mt Judea and the trailer from Dallas to arrive for the swap.

Bill was getting cold, so we draped a sweatshirt over him.

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In an attempt to warm us all up while we waited, Stinky built a fire in the pit. He made too much noise trying to cut firewood, so we had to settle for scavenging. There are some creepy trails in the back of that KOA site…

We sat and played with the fire until Bill’s dad and friend arrived, then loaded the truck with all the gear. It’s amazing to think that all this fit on the bikes on the way up!

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When Keith and Wayne got back with the Strom, it stared at us sadly. It didn’t like being tied up like that. It’s a wild beast (and had demonstrated its untamed side earlier in the day) and wants to run free.

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We said goodnight and goodbye and headed off to sleep. This pair of five year olds was exhausted.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
Location
Central Texas
Despite my deep love for the fine art of sleep, I was awake before my phone’s alarm could wake me.
.
.
We said goodnight and goodbye and headed off to sleep. This pair of five year olds was exhausted.
Thanks, Rebecca. This is good. Now, what happened on Monday?

:sun:
 

Squeaky

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Katy
Day 4: Missouri or Bust

Stinky and I had stopped off for some food on our way back into camp the night before, so it was bacon and eggs for us! The camp stove fired up like a charm as if it hadn’t been sitting unused for the past year and as the bacon sizzled we got the gear packed up and readied the loaded down bikes.

Bike after bike (and Busa after Busa) came roaring around the curve adjacent to the campground. Stinky said we were right on a wonderfully curvy section of 187 and that he’d show me on our way out.

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We both had an extra day to play, so we decided to head up to Missouri to get on the ferry (and break her little wings) since Stinky hadn’t gone that far north on previous trips.

My Chatterbox was giving off a high-pitched squeal when I tried to talk, and then it would go dead. The battery indicator showed full life and it was plugged into the bike, but we couldn’t get it worked out. I opted for just music for the rest of the trip.

When we pulled off for our first gas stop of the day, the GPS froze. Great. I tried sticking a safety pin in the only hole that could possibly be a reset, but it did nothing. Um… Yeah, electronics hate me.

Stinky has a GPS, but he didn’t have any of the routes loaded because he relies on others and is a follower on the road. Well, I knew we wanted to get on a road that gets straight on the ferry so we did a search in his Mio and it found three or four choices. Peel sounded familiar. I sure hope I’m right.

We headed out, him leading and me bopping along to my music behind him. We weren’t taking a very fast pace, which was fine with me. Other than turning and heading south at some point, there was nothing planned for today.

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We got to the ferry just as they were loading up – we got lucky. The last time I was here I had to wait almost an hour for it to return from the far bank and get us.

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It was a quick ride, and we were on the other side and on our way within minutes. Since my GPS was still frozen, I don’t have a track map for this section but it was a blast! Rolling lefts and rights in sequence – the tire marks from the motards we’d seen on the ferry were still fresh on the pavement.

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We stopped for a late lunch at McDonalds and I made a call to Becca “RocketBunny” to see if she knew the secret to shutting the Quest down when the power button wasn’t working. She gave me the secret combination of buttons and it worked!

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The motard riders were across the street at the gas station getting “talked to” by local law enforcement.

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Someone is starting to look a little sleepy.

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Just for kicks, we asked the GPS how far we were from home. I was much farther than Stinky was, but we decided we weren’t done with the fun yet. We could still afford some wandering time to scope out the land.

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I guess the late start had us deceived, because it started getting chilly and the sun was beginning to set. We decided Hot Springs was a reasonable destination for the night.

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At the next gas stop, we decided that tired eyes and bouts of body-shaking sneezes would not allow us to get as far as Hot Springs. Let’s settle for Little Rock.

Nope, we never made it to Little Rock. We pulled off the highway near Conway, AR and found a listing for Economy Inn on the GPS. All we need is a place to lay our heads and a safe place to park the bikes.

I was tired and already dreaming of my head hitting the pillow. I misjudged the driveway to enter the parking lot for the motel and hit the curb head-on. I was up on my pegs to absorb the shock of what I estimated to be an inch between the street and the driveway. Instead the bike took the blow of a five inch curb. All I know is I head BAM – SCRAPE and I was laying on the ground on my right. I might have closed my eyes.

I got up and stood with my back to the bike with a grip on the bars and the rear rack. I lifted it a few inches and heard metal scraping. I’d never tried to pick the bike up when it was fully loaded before, and it being over farther than horizontal wasn’t helping. The front tire was up on the curb and the back was in the street. This was all happening in oncoming traffic.

Stinky asked if I was ok, and after nodding my head he proceeded to laugh his butt off while blocking traffic with his bike and unhooking himself from his gadgetry. Why does it seem like my close calls, near misses, and crashes all end with someone laughing at me? I guess it’s better than someone crying over me.

A couple in a pickup pulled over next to us and he hopped out, “Hey dude, hold on, I got ya”. I realized my hands were shaking so I stepped off the street and onto the curb to unhook my helmet and take my gloves off. “Oh, uh… I’m sorry ma’am” was all the poor guy could muster, then some grunting as he tried to pick up the big pig; “this thing’s heavier than it looks”. Stinky chimed in with his usual heckling self, “She’s a chick, she packs too much”.

I thanked them for their help and reassured them I was Ok. All I’d hurt was my pride.

I looked over the bike and was amazed at how little damage there was. We got the bikes parked next to the entrance where the clerk said they would be lit and on camera all night, then unloaded them and threw all the gear in the room. There was spilled fluid on a few parts of the under-belly, but everything looked to be intact and it was running. Whew. Biwwy would NOT have liked to drive out here with a trailer for another Stom!

We walked next door to the Waffle House and had a few laughs over some breakfast goodies. It was now past 11 and tomorrow was looking to be a long day with a lot of slabbed miles to get home.

(ok, only one day to go...)
 

pacman

Die with memories, not dreams.
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Too bad you didn't make Hot Springs. It's a neat little town.

Glad the spill didn't do any serious damage to you or machine.
 

Squeaky

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The next morning, I woke up and walked across to the Starbucks I’d spotted on our way in the night before. Hmm, could I have been dreaming of a white chocolate mocha when I bumped the curb? I sure hope not…

There was a bike parked in the lot, and its rider was inside reading the morning paper while sipping his morning nectar from a cardboard cup. I ordered up drinks and sweets for breakfast and brought them back to enjoy while photographing the damage in sunlight and loading the bike back up for the long ride home.

I wonder if having my bash plate installed would have helped get me over the bump or if it would have made me bottom out sooner?

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The lower point on the enginge guards

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The higher point on the guards. The weld Biwwy did for me at the Arlington Tech Day held. Awesome handiwork, Bill! (Yes, that’s rust. I never painted it. I’ll do it soon I promise.)

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This bike is tough. The brake pedal got pushed into the case cover and gouged it but it still works perfectly. I’m not going to try to bend it out unless it starts to interfere with something.

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Despite the stains on both blacktop and concrete, I was surprised to see my oil level still doing well. (And yes, it’s clean oil – changed it out in Arlington the night I got to Bill’s)

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We figured out it was mostly coolant and/or gas since we were close to full and my coolant reservoir was bone dry. We managed to get the bite valve of the camelbak down into the space to get it back up to a decent level. I’ll have to flush the system, which was needed since I’m due for a valve check/job.

The engine guard did it’s job, but it also got tweaked a bit. Sits closer to the plastic which probably means certain death to my side fairing the next time it goes down. I’ll see if Bill thinks it can be pulled.

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The heat guard is likely the cause of the damage to the concrete.

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The mounting bolt from the ammo cans pushed into the exhaust shield a bit, but shouldn’t have hit the exhaust itself. I don’t mind scars like this. I earned them.

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This tire has to get me home from Conway, AR.

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And now it looks like rain. Yippee. (can you sense the sarcasm?)

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Stop smiling. It’s not funny. Nice tank bag cover.

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Ok, maybe it’s a little bit funny.

By the time we got dried out from the short storm that drenched us, we were both getting hungry for lunch. We happened on a small town with nothing open on a Monday other than Pizza Hut – Prescott, AR.

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Bellies full and helmet belching under way, we were rolling through Texarkana and down 59. I would be on this until I was home, but Stinky had to head west. We stopped for gas and goodbyes in Marshall and he peeled off for I20 into Dallas.

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I continued down 59 and managed to fall in behind a truck and empty trailer that were going just a clip above the limit and would act as a deer and radar blocker. Not sure why, but he didn’t like that idea and deliberately tried push me off on another car. He got behind me for a while but after the car took its exit I slowed and got back behind the truck. I can’t help it if my low beams are bright – I can’t afford to hit a deer out here!

I stopped again in New Caney to stretch, top off the tank, and grab a coffee. I happened to catch an incoming call from my sister, so we spent a little while talking while I sat on the curb taking a good, long break. I love riding in small groups, but this is one of the big benefits of riding solo – stop when you want, where you want, and for however long you want. The only person you’re delaying getting home is you.

I hit some light showers on my way back into Houston and pulled up to the house shortly before midnight. I was tired, both mentally and physically. I took the tankbag off the bike and let the rest stay where it was for the night.

I don’t have an accurate account of the mileage because of my little GPS glitch, but hopefully Stinky will be able to pull some data out of the Mio for moi and I can get a grand total.
 

kurt

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Lago Vista, Texas
The next morning, I woke up and walked across to the Starbucks I’d spotted on our way in the night before. Hmm, could I have been dreaming of a white chocolate mocha when I bumped the curb? I sure hope not…

There was a bike parked in the lot, and its rider was inside reading the morning paper while sipping his morning nectar from a cardboard cup. I ordered up drinks and sweets for breakfast and brought them back to enjoy while photographing the damage in sunlight and loading the bike back up for the long ride home.

I wonder if having my bash plate installed would have helped get me over the bump or if it would have made me bottom out sooner?

155282449-M.jpg


155282484-M.jpg


The lower point on the enginge guards

155282486-M.jpg


The higher point on the guards. The weld Biwwy did for me at the Arlington Tech Day held. Awesome handiwork, Bill! (Yes, that’s rust. I never painted it. I’ll do it soon I promise.)

155282504-M.jpg


This bike is tough. The brake pedal got pushed into the case cover and gouged it but it still works perfectly. I’m not going to try to bend it out unless it starts to interfere with something.

155282519-M.jpg


Despite the stains on both blacktop and concrete, I was surprised to see my oil level still doing well. (And yes, it’s clean oil – changed it out in Arlington the night I got to Bill’s)

155282522-M.jpg


We figured out it was mostly coolant and/or gas since we were close to full and my coolant reservoir was bone dry. We managed to get the bite valve of the camelbak down into the space to get it back up to a decent level. I’ll have to flush the system, which was needed since I’m due for a valve check/job.

The engine guard did it’s job, but it also got tweaked a bit. Sits closer to the plastic which probably means certain death to my side fairing the next time it goes down. I’ll see if Bill thinks it can be pulled.

155282553-M.jpg


The heat guard is likely the cause of the damage to the concrete.

155282574-M.jpg


The mounting bolt from the ammo cans pushed into the exhaust shield a bit, but shouldn’t have hit the exhaust itself. I don’t mind scars like this. I earned them.

155282585-M.jpg


This tire has to get me home from Conway, AR.

155282618-M.jpg


And now it looks like rain. Yippee. (can you sense the sarcasm?)

155282627-M.jpg


Stop smiling. It’s not funny. Nice tank bag cover.

155282631-M.jpg


Ok, maybe it’s a little bit funny.

By the time we got dried out from the short storm that drenched us, we were both getting hungry for lunch. We happened on a small town with nothing open on a Monday other than Pizza Hut – Prescott, AR.

155281023-M.jpg


Bellies full and helmet belching under way, we were rolling through Texarkana and down 59. I would be on this until I was home, but Stinky had to head west. We stopped for gas and goodbyes in Marshall and he peeled off for I20 into Dallas.

156721428-M.jpg


I continued down 59 and managed to fall in behind a truck and empty trailer that were going just a clip above the limit and would act as a deer and radar blocker. Not sure why, but he didn’t like that idea and deliberately tried push me off on another car. He got behind me for a while but after the car took its exit I slowed and got back behind the truck. I can’t help it if my low beams are bright – I can’t afford to hit a deer out here!

I stopped again in New Caney to stretch, top off the tank, and grab a coffee. I happened to catch an incoming call from my sister, so we spent a little while talking while I sat on the curb taking a good, long break. I love riding in small groups, but this is one of the big benefits of riding solo – stop when you want, where you want, and for however long you want. The only person you’re delaying getting home is you.

I hit some light showers on my way back into Houston and pulled up to the house shortly before midnight. I was tired, both mentally and physically. I took the tankbag off the bike and let the rest stay where it was for the night.

I don’t have an accurate account of the mileage because of my little GPS glitch, but hopefully Stinky will be able to pull some data out of the Mio for moi and I can get a grand total.
Sigh... It was so pristine when she bought it....:rolleyes:

14258951-M.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
Location
Central Texas
The next morning, I woke up and walked across to the Starbucks I’d spotted on our way in the night before.

This bike is tough. The brake pedal got pushed into the case cover and gouged it but it still works perfectly. I’m not going to try to bend it out unless it starts to interfere with something.

155282519-M.jpg


I don’t have an accurate account of the mileage because of my little GPS glitch, but hopefully Stinky will be able to pull some data out of the Mio for moi and I can get a grand total.
:clap: Thank you, Rebecca, for the great story. You are quite the road warrior. A gal every guy motorcyclist dreams about. You are a gal who has rides her own bike and can tie her own shoes.:rider: :clap:

I am a little concerned about the break pedal, though. Make sure the breaks are fully releasing so the pads are not resting on the rotor when the breaks are not being applied.

:sun:
 

Squeaky

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1,314
Location
Brighton, CO
I just don't know how we're going to get all three of us on a bike at once... :trust:
LOL!!! You can ride with me... you can be MY second wife... and since my first wife don't ride, I have plenty of room :trust:

As usual, great write up and pics! :clap: Oh, I guess we are going to have to name you Tumblelina after you're curb deal :lol2:
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,843
Location
Arlington, TX
Not everyone's mom and dad will come get them when they have bike problems. Sounds like a good enough reason to have a trailer if ya ask me!
That's exactly why I'll be trailering from now on. But since we all know how reliable BMW's are I guess they don't really need to prepare for that kind of stuff......:rofl:
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
1,499
Location
Yoakum, Texas
Trailer's are for mutiple day rides in places that require travel on boring interstates for hundreds of miles just to get to the start point.

Trailer's are not for Pie Runs (where the destination IS the ride).

Trailer's are great when leaving after work and arriving very late.

Trailer's are best when the winds are howling and the sky is falling and the other riders are soaked to the skin and you're passing them by in the comfort of your truck (while eating Krispy Kreme donuts and listening to tunes on the radio)... :nana:
 
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