What a two days 8-8 & 8-9-17

Day eight and what a day. I got up before 5 and went to the local Internet cafe where being the first one there I inadvertently sat at the locals table. The owner came out and introduced himself and it turned out he was a Harley rider, so we had things to talk about. Bill came in later and we all chatted up the locals as we had breakfast sandwiches and a latte.

The Internet Cafe

We went back to the motel where Bill and Dan were discussing the problem of Dan’s loose foot peg. A problem that was due to striped out bolts. We went to a local ATV dealer and he sent us to the local fixer upper guy located on a back road in Lake City. They concluded welding the foot peg on was the solution and after $20.00 changed hands we were off to attempt the 3rd leg of the COBDR trail.

The fix.

This route was mostly secondary roads from Lake City until we crossed US 50 and got on 887 and then 763 to Pitkin. The roads became narrow with many elevation changes. The road also contained many large stones in their base that were protruding up and making the roads much rougher. After Pitkin we ended up in the town of Tin Cup where we stopped to discuss our route. Cottonwood pass, a normal part of the route, was closed for construction. Bill suggested taking 267, the Tin Cup pass road which we did.

The Tin Cup Store.

This route started out with the normal stones and protruding rocks as we had seen coming to Tin Cup.

The road to Mirror Lake.

Once at Mirror Lake the road hugged the shore and we drove through a portion of the lake and the river feeding it on our way up. Starting at the lake the rocks got bigger, the road rougher and more difficult. We all were doing well until about a mile from the top Bill D dropped his bike and we all stopped to help. This happened a couple of more times and on the second to the last fall a rock took out the kick stand position switch. After we all worked on it Dan and Bill concocted a fix that eliminated the switch and we were off

Switch fix.

. 100 yard later on a very difficult portion which included a rock ledge, the rivulet running down the road and rocks. Bill D stopped at the bottom to asses his line choice and then started up.

The Fatal turn.
Inspecting the final damage.

Part of the way up Bill D was going over a portion of the rock ledge and due to a combination of things the front of the bike jumped up and when the rear wheel hit the whole bike was in the air. It landed on the right side taking a direct hit of a rock on the cylinder valve cover guarding. It pushed the guarding into the valve cover punching a hole in it, cracking the leading edge where it sealed to the cylinder head distorting the cover so it wouldn’t seal. It also sheared off one of the valve cover bolts, located on the opposite side of the cover. Oil started leaking and Bill D’s bike was now out of commission.
The bike was parked in the middle of the trail. There was room for vehicles to pass on the other side so we packed it in and started to set up a camp for the night.

Our Camp site at 11,800 feet.

We all broke out our tents and sleeping bags in a small flat and grassy spot covered in cow manure. Each of us picked a spot and put up our tents. We were above the tree line at about 11,800’ and knew it would be a cold night.

My home for the night.

My new tent went up very well considering I have only put it up one time and that was a test setup in the yard at home. Bill D’s tent went up well too. Bill and Dan were old hands at this and were starting to cook as we finished setting up our tents. Thanks to Dan and Bill we all had a hot meal and I provided some whiskey for all.
The sky was now completely cloud covered and it got completely dark. We heard thunder and then it started to hail and rain. We all took to our tents for the night and individually contemplated what our next move would be.
In the morning when we got up it was 30 degrees and the rain had frozen to our tents. Dan and Bill decided to continue on there way. Bill D attempted to take the broken cover off and decided to just put it back together, park the bike off the trail and find an extraction service to come and get it. We all helped reposition the bike and I rode it down to a spot out of the way of the trail traffic. Bill D and I waited until the sun came over the mountains and melted the ice on our tents, then we toweled them off as best we could and broke camp.

Dan & Bill

Bill and Dan loaded there bikes and with about a ½ mile to the pass summit started up the trail after we said our goodbye’s and parted ways. I loaded my bike and prepared to start over the top myself. Bill D was going to walk with a bag, his helmet, his camera and his camel Back filled with water to the top of the summit and catch a ride with an ATV or Jeep down to St. Elmo. When I got in contact with him later I found out he got a ride to the top and another ride down the other side to St. Elmo. He never had to walk. When Bill D got to St. Elmo he went to the General store, borrowed a sat. phone, contacted a company to extract his bike, then called to leave me a message while I was in Pitkin.
I made 2 attempts to head to the top and fell over both times. Bill D and I talked and decided he would still continue to St. Elmo and I would go back down to Tin Cup and take the long way around to meet him. Our plan was for me to get to Buena Vista, get a room, and either rent a car or unload my bike and come to St. Elmo to pick him up and we would work it out from there.
As I ascended the mountain back to Tin Cup my rear shock blew out and I was now riding a pogo stick. I changed my routing and as soon as I could, which was the town of Pitkin, I was going to stay on all paved roads as best I could. I drove toward Buena Vista with the back of my cycle pogosticking all the way due to the blown shock.

The extraction 1
The extraction 2
The extraction 3
The damage

Bill D called me while I was in Pitkin and said he was going to ride up to the bike with the tow vehicle operator. Later on Bill D found out he was going to be able to be dropped off in Buena Vista by the driver and I would not have to come and get him in St. Elmo. I also called Pauline while I was in Pitkin and had her contact Mary to tell her that Bill D was alright and give her an update on what was going on.
When I got to Buena Vista I quickly reserved a room and unloaded my bike with the idea of going to St. Elmo and picking up Bill D. Before I left to pick up Bill D I got a voicemail saying the driver would drop him off at the motel. I texted all the information to Bill’s phone as to the name and location of the Motel and the room Number We affectionately call Bill D’s flip phone Flipper.
I then headed downtown to the Lariat Bar and Grill and started making calls and planed to work on the blog post. After trying to make a few calls from inside that failed, I moved outside to the sidewalk seating and started calling about getting my bike repaired and acquiring a rental car for both of us.
After getting as far with this as I could without discussing things with Bill D, I ordered a beer and started working on the blog. I’d been working about an hour when two people walking up from behind me were talkingp about riding with Rich. I turned around and there was Dan and Bill. They had just come into town and were after something to eat. They sat down with me and we discussed what had transpired today. I told them where things stood with Bill D and I as far as we knew concerning our bikes and they said they were continuing on with the COBDR tomorrow.
I went back to the motel and fell into a dead sleep. Bill D arrived at about 10pm and when he came into the room I was sound asleep with the remote in my hand. He took it away and I never woke up or heard a thing.
Tomorrow we will figure out where we are with the bikes and carry on. What a two days!

Day 6 It’s 8-6-17

It’s Saturday and we are up at 6 preparing for our first day on the BDR trail. I had done a chain service the night before and all that we had to do now was load the bikes, gas up and hit the trail. I had found a Starbucks in the grocery across the street and had my morning fix of a Latte.
We headed out to Dolores where we will pick up the trail. Getting to Dolores was about 18 miles of road and when we got to Dolores there was about 6 more miles of road to where the trail really begins. Bill and had decided to forgo going to the Four Corner which is the official start of the BDR Trail. To start the trail at the Four Corner would require us to travel 40 miles of paved road from our motel in Cortez to the Four Corners and then turn around come back through Cortez, a total of about 106 miles of pavement driving. 106 miles of pavement to say we started at the Four Corners. We opted to head to the trail. We had plenty of pavement already and the trail was waiting.
We entered the trail aware that there could be mud as it has been raining on and of for here for days. The trail started out as a wet grass two track climbed up a slippery rock trail and then headed through woods where the footing was clay based. We soon found some rutted pot holes and thanks to the modern communications technology we possessed I could listen to Bill grunting and swearing as he navigated the mud holes and to soon experience a fall. I soon dropped into a rut in one of the pot holes, came to a stop and fell over. What fun we were having now.

We came out of this portion of the trail and onto a sandy gravel and a mix of county road numbers. These roads were not much more then a two track but had no mud holes or ruts. We came to a paved road and started out in what we thought was the right direction, we soon found we were heading back to Dolores turned around and headed the other direction. Before we turned around I demonstrated to Bill how good the Heidenau front tire held by driving off into the shallow ditch and when I turned back to the road and was going up a slight embankment the front tire held on while the back tire tried to pass the front tire, and was successful. I was on my ass with the greatest injury being to my pride. I jumped up and asked Bill why he wasn’t over helping me pick up my bike. It’s a good thing we are traveling together as neither one of us could pick up our bikes alone if their all the way over.

The ditch where it happened.

We guessed we were on the right path as the map of the trail lacked much detail that would be helpful. The road numbers on the map often did not match the road name numbers and information coming up on my GPS. After determining we were on the correct route we headed to the Groundhog Reservoir where we stopped at a little campground store for a coffee and to figure out where to go from there.

We meet Dan and Bill at the Groundhog Reservoir.

We met two guys, one from Colorado Springs, formerly from Alaska and his riding partner Dan who was from Alaska and had ridden down from there for this ride. We headed out towards Telluride, our destination for the day and where we would get a motel.
The gravel road narrowed and soon had no gravel. We turned and headed north and climbed up the mountains on stone covered roads going through meadows and woods where we reached an elevation of over 11,000’. We stopped often at the places where roads crossed to all get together and figure out if we were on the correct route.
After a number of miles we made the final decent to gravel then paved roads. The rain had been on and off all afternoon and now it started to just rain as we got on State Road 145 for the final leg into Telluride. In addition the temperature dropped into the low 50’s and we were happy to be getting to our motel.
Our motel was an older place called the Victorian Inn just off downtown and within easy walking distance of food and drink. The team of Bill and Dan parked on main street and went in search of a Micro brew.

The Victorian in Telluride.

We checked in about 4:00 and Dan texted me his location and after unloading, drying off and changing cloths we headed down for a beer and food at the Smugglers Brewpub. Good food, good meals and some time to plan our routing. We agreed on riding together again the next day and after a few beers and some map software downloading to cell phones we headed back to the motel.

New riding friends.

Hopefully the mapping software Bill downloaded will ease the task of figuring out where the hell we are all the time. Tomorrow we will only go 67 miles but we will cross multiple high crossings on our way to Lake City, Co.

Day 5 it’s 8-5-17

My bike on US 550

This morning was no different then the previous 4 mornings. I woke up early and walked down to the local coffee shop for the Latte I have been missing so far on this trip. I arrived a little before 6 and found out that they open at 7. I sat in there outdoor seating which consisted of 2 chairs and a table facing US 50 and worked at finishing the blog for the previous 2 days. I was pretty much complete with my catching up on the blog posts when they opened the doors.
I ordered the 20 oz. latte and I must have looked cold after sitting outside for an hour in shorts and a t-shirt with the temperature being 57 degrees, he put 4 shots in my latte. I’m warm and awake now.
After Bill proof read the blog posts and complaining that he was slowed by the beer he had last night. Bill was claiming that to much beer affected his sleep and thus the proof reading was hindered, I’m not sure.
After talking to some people staying at the hotel and listening to the stories of people with tire problems and of there not knowing how to patch tires we made a decision. We went to the auto parts store, purchased some tire patches and some green slim for emergency repairs. Bill and I both know how to remove tires and we had the tools with us to do it. We were only carrying plugs prior to this. Now, we are feeling a little better prepared for our adventure.
Like the day before we took off heading West on US 50 toward Montrose. There we would turn South and take US 550 referred to as the Million dollar highway to Durango. Montrose looked like a thriving and modestly more upscale place. We drove past New microbreweries, many restaurants and new stores along the entire route we took through town.
US 550 the Million Dollar Highway, was not a disappointment. Though the travel was slow and we were on 2 lane road the scenery was spectacular. We passed ski areas, old mines and we traveled over one 11,000 foot pass and 3 that were well over 10,000 feet. The towns along the way were full of people enjoying the outdoor activities at hand.

Old mine breaker building

We stopped in Silverton at the Harley store to pick up a chip and had a great conversation with the guy running the store. A rider, he lived in the hill country of West Texas and came to Silverton for the summers. After our conversation with him about riding the Texas hill country I think a trip there may be in order one of these winters.

The streets of Silverton, CO

We finished our traveling South on US 550 at Durango then turned and headed West for the last 49 mile to or destination for this day Cortez. We are staying at a Super 8 motel in town and after starting our trail adventure at the four corners tomorrow we will again pass through Cortes on our way to Telluride. We will spend our first night after first day on the trail in Telluride. Not an inexpensive place to stay. The cheapest places we could find online start at $139.00 per night and some are listed at over $900.00 per night.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is iffy but were up for this and ready to ride the first leg of the COBDR (Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route)

Day 4 8-4-17

Up at 4:30 again, this time in Lamar, Colorado. I guess that I slept an extra hour because we changed time zones. My first project of the day was to change the way I had things arranged on my bike. This always seems to be a work in progress.
After Bill’s morning swim we packed up the bikes, fueled them up and were on our way to the mountains. The scenery in eastern Colorado did not change much from that of Kansas. The temperature was in the upper 60’s and again made for very comfortable riding.
At the motel we zeroed out odometers to check Bill’s cycle odometer against the GPS odometer. After 100 miles on the GPS odometer, Bill’s cycle odometer read 97, 3% slow.
We stopped in Pueblo for a snack and water then headed for the mountains. The temperature increased dramatically from the 60’s of our morning ride to the mid 80’s.

Heading to the Gorge from Pueblo.

We stopped at Royal Gorge and first viewed the suspension bridge from a high point down river to the South. The bridge goes across the gorge and over the Arkansas River at 933’. We then drove to the bridge entrance and looked at the offerings. With a $23.00 ticket you can take a tram ride over the gorge and return on foot over the bridge or ride the tram back. They also offered, for $50.00, a zip line ride from one side of the gorge to the other. We just looked, took pictures and I bought a hat to replace the one I had lost on this trip. I need another hat to go with the pile I have at home.

The bridge over 900 feet up from the river.
The bridge over 900″ above the train below.

We rode on into the mountains and decided to spend the night in Salida, Colorado. We found a motel called The Great Western Colorado Lodge. It was close to a microbrew that served no food, but did have a food truck located outside. It would work for us, so we checked into what was almost the last room available and headed out for a beer and food.

Soalbrew in Salida, CO.

The beer offerings at Soulcraft Brewing were plentiful and good. The Mexican food from the food truck was great. I ordered nachos that were not your typical offering and Bill ordered a chicken burrito. Both were excellent.

The food truck at Soulbrew.

We headed to the room after planning our trip towards the Four Corners and reserved a room in Cortez for Saturday night. We will start on the BDR (Backcountry Discovery Routes) trail tomorrow.

Day 3 8-3-17

We left Iola, Kansas about 8:00 and headed west on US 54 towards Wichita. The morning was great with the temp’s running about 70 in the morning. The day was a continuation of yesterday, going through prairie and farm land and intermittently passing through small towns.
After about 150 miles we reached Wichita. Unfortunately the route we picked seemed to catch most of the road construction. Compared to the smaller towns we have been going through Wichita appeared to be booming. I think we drove by every mall, car dealer, box store and Walmart in the town. I’m not kidding, on this route and we passed at least 3 Walmarts. It felt good when we exited the crowded city and continued on our way West.
After some time on US 54 we took US 400 and drove to where it merged with US 50 at Dodge city. Dodge city is much smaller then Wichita but still a bigger town for West Kansas and worked hard to display it’s old west history.
US 550 took us to Garden City, Kansas where I failed to see the garden part of the town’s name. Coming into town we passed a large rail yard where they were unloading wind generators parts. I spent too much time observing this operation and all the towers, blades and generator units stored in the yard and missed the sign for the US 50 bypass. As a result, we ended up going through Garden City on the business route.

As we continued our journey, we came to a small town where someone displayed his “Iron art” along the road for ¼ mile. Political statements clearly were his specialty.

He loves political figures
The artist is taken with Nazi symbols.

Not much farther and we reached Lamar, Colorado and a Holiday Inn which became our home for the night. I was checking my bikes odometer against the GPS mileage data and the difference in 400 miles was 7.6 mile. My cycle speedometer and odometer was a little less then 2% fast. Last year my Harley checked out at about 5% fast. We will check Bill’s tomorrow so we will have something to argue about as usual.

When we got to our room we decided to attempt linking our headset intercoms using the factory provided instructions. Cardo could have written the instructions using Chinese symbols and it would have made just about as much sense as these instructions. We turned to U tube for the answer and were successful in finding a video showing the process. We are now able to insult each other and argue while we drive. This will afford us more opportunities to be distracted and miss road signs and turns as we continue on our journey. As if we’re not distracted enough as we drive.

Off to the mountains tomorrow.

Our first day on the road 8-1-17

I woke early as usual and our plan was to meet at Bill’s at 9:00 am. This should be simple but as I was finishing my packing I found out that I had forgotten to pick up a prescription I had called in so off I went to the pharmacy. Round trip is about 50 minutes. When I got back home I started to pack the bike and discovered that 2 of the straps I fabricated for tying down the load were too short. Now I am repacking and switching the straps around. Finally I competed the loading and was ready to leave. I got to Bill’s at 9:45, late and flustered but ready to go.

We took all secondary roads South to Indiana and as time went on I was able to relax more and start to enjoy the riding. It always takes me time to get to the point where I can get relaxed and am able to just cruise and enjoy.

In Indiana we went through Amish and Mennonite country with an abundance of beautiful farms and small business. We rode past many small businesses that appeared to be dedicated to furniture, outdoor chairs, cabinet making, the building of buggies and buggie repair.  Buggies were in abundance and worked as mobile road blocks a number of times. This was a nice area to go through and help us start to relax.

Just North of Wabash Indiana we ran into road work and turned West. We continued going either West or South until Lafayette, Indiana, and made the mistake of driving into town, another hour of my life wasted. After Lafayette the roads became less crowded and the distance between towns increased making for more relaxed riding.

We ended up running through rain as we approached Lincoln, Illinois, but all in all we were pretty lucky with the rain. We drove past many showers that were either North or South of us as we headed West,  lucky enough to miss them.

Our home for the night was a Holiday Inn Express with a Mexican restaurant next door. After settling in we went over to the restaurant. We ordered a couple of Negra Modelo beers and started to get settled into a routine familiar to us from our previous trips. Ride, room, food & Beer, rest, then start it all over again tomorrow.

Camping Gear & the Route

Camping gear.

Last year for our trip to Alaska I purchased a sleeping bag with an air pad that fit into a pocket on the bottom of the bag and would not slide out from under you. This setup was just in case we were unable to get to a motel and had to camp as our last option. We did not have any other equipment for camping such as foo, stove, pans etc. Bill did purchase a 3 man tent that we would both fit in if necessary. But the idea of sleeping in the same tent with Bill considering the way I sleep was probably not a good idea. I tend to thrash around at night. I worried I would start thrashing and then not sleep myself worrying about wrecking Bills sleep. This year I bought a tent for myself.
Again the search for the best value in a tent balancing price, weight and features against price. I ended up with what I think is a pretty good 2 man tent. I bought a Sierra Designs flash 2 person tent, about 2 pounds heavier then the lightest version of this tent and more then $100.00 cheaper. This will work if necessary.
I did a practice setup of the tent and it went together pretty much as advertised and was easy to set up, take down and repack. Again, this will work if needed.
Camping is the backup for our sleeping plans and there is a much better chance this might be necessay then on our other trips. I think our backup is a good idea.

The Route.

This is the first year we have ever taken a trip where we have no firm route planed and no reservations made anywhere except in West Yellowstone where we will stay with my wife’s cousin and her husband. With West Yellowstone being almost directly under the path of the eclipse the rooms anywhere near the date of the eclipse are in the many hundreds.
As to the rest of our route we will head South and work our way West and South to route US 50 or US 54 and follow it to Colorado and into the mountains.
Bill is in charge of the Backcountry Discovery Route portion of the trip. We are suppose to be able to download the route to our GPS’s but as of this writing we have not been successful. Maybe Bill can find a teenager to show us how to do the map install.
Just a small update 12 hours prior to departure. A friend who is much more computer savvy then I am come over and he was unable to load the map. He did not have much time to devote to this project and said we will figure it out upon our return for future map loading. Its old school paper maps for now along with the Garmen Zumo 595

Clothing and ?

As we were planning this trip I came to the conclusion that the current riding wear I have may not be what we need for this type of adventure. To the internet we go to start researching the items we will need. Our goal of staying warm, cool, dry, generally comfortable and protected as best we can be from possible damage to my old body from age and skill related riding problems. The coat was first and after much deliberation as to how accomplish being both warm when needed and well ventilated in warmer situations then add to that trying to staying dry in a rain.
My first attempt was a Olympia multi layered coat with many pockets, a rain layer, a layer for warmth, a hydration system, impact protection in the elbows and back and was hi visibility. When I received this coat I tried it on and became suddenly aware that this coat choice may have tried to cover to many bases. I packed it up and sent it back.
My second coat purchase was again an Olympia with impact protection, Hi visibility, waterproofing included in the outer layer with large venting and a liner for warmth if necessary. This coat better fit my needs and I kept it. It was long enough for me as I don’t like short jacket style outerwear and this coat was more comfortable then my first purchase. I also don’t have to stop to add a rain layer with this coat, a big plus to me.
Now the riding pants. I need to accomplish many of the same things as the coat did. I went with a tough pant with knee and hip protection and has large vents in the legs. They will provide rain protection to a limited extent in light rain situations bun I will now I have to stop to put on the rain protection layer for extended or heavy rain situations. The good news is that I can put this layer on over my boot and pants, quick and not too difficult.
Gloves for the trail and road use was another item we had to figure out. I went away from the made for motorcycle industry offerings and chose an oil field work glove called Kongs. They provide knuckle and back of the hand protection, are curved to fit the grips are decently vented and have good gripping material on the palms and fingers. The three additional things about these gloves I like, they come in a 3X that fits my large hands, are only about $20.00 and are Hi visibility. These should work.

Now that I have spent a fair sum on riding gear I still haven’t covered my feet. I found my old motocross boots from circa 1981 and cleaned them, added new waterproofing and tried them out, they fit and worked well. Now I have Hi – Tec coat and pants and oil field work gloves to go with my old school motocross boots. It works for me.

I will give you updates as to how wise a choice I made with the boots and all the gear.

What about tires?

The trip to Colorado and beyond will take us into terrain that is not really compatable for stock tires. We looked at multiple tire options to use on our bikes. The major consideration was where we were going on this trip. We decided that a 50/50 or a 40/60 tire would be best suited for our needs, instead of the 90/10 tires that came on our bikes.
We looked at the Michelin Anakee Wild, the Continental AKC 80, the Heidenau K 60 Scout and the Kenda Big Block. Wear was also a concern for us, as well as increased off road traction. These two concerns seem to trade off with each other. After a long deliberation and much internet time looking at video reviews and reading the comments and thoughts of other riders we both chose the Heidenau K 60 scout.
Our trip from Michigan to the Southwest corner of Colorado will be on all secondary roads and some expressway. Our travels following the BDR route through Colorado the Wyoming will be mostly trails, gravel roads, fire lanes etc. Then back to mostly pavement as we aim for West Yellowstone, Montana. There we will meet up with our wives to view the eclipse and travel the area for a few days. Then back on the road home, where we will try to add more gravel and trails as we travel through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
We estimate 5000 miles on this trip and it should be a good test for these tires which will see maybe 30% off pavement use, we shall see. I’m looking forward to this ride and the new adventure of mixed riding, on and off the pavement.
We looked to our local cycle parts dealer for the tires we wanted and he could not access the Heidenau’s tires, so we purchased them on line. When Bill took his wheels and tires to the same dealer that could not provide us with the tires he charged $70.00 to mount the 2 tires. Bill stopped by my place and we decided to purchase a tire changer and away we went.
We purchased a Harbor Freight unit that did not quite meet our needs, so we began modifications to the unit and purchased a No Mar tire changing bar to help protect our rims. I proceeded to take another educational journey into the work of tire changing with a machine. I have changed a number of motorcycle tires in the past from my dirt bike days and have used spoons, and had to deal with tubes and wheel locks. Now we are tubeless and have anodized, painted or chromed rims. We would prefer not to scratch them. I made poly inserts for the tire clamp part of the changer and after my first attempt at tire removal I had to go back and run screws into the poly blocks to secure them to there sockets in the changing unit. Having now secured holding the rim I mounted the changer on a heavy plywood covered pallet and went to work. The unit was not that stable and moved around way too much for me. But for right now I am living with it and will modify it when I return from this trip.
I used my fancy new changing bar on the front tire and after a U Tube video on the use of the bar, I started getting the hang of using it, the front tire was done. Now the back tire. The old tire came off in good order but while trying to put the new rear tire on, the pallet that the changer was mounted to, seemed to be spinning at the same rate of rotation as my attempt to rotate the mounting bar on the machine. To finish mounting the tire, I reverted back to spoons. All is OK and we are off to balance the wheels.
We have also purchased a static tire balancer which I will now attempt to use to balance my tires. The front tire balanced was balanced with the weights from the factory left in place. The rear was out of balance so I removed the factory weights and rebalanced the wheel adding weight in a different location then the stock weights. The balancing went well and after the test ride it seemed like I had not made anything worse, so the tires are done.
Upon my return I will make modifications to the changer and find a way to better secure it so that the skid the changer is mounted on does not turn as fast I’m tuning the tire changing bar.

First Post 7-23-17

Its been a long time since Bill and I last posted to this blog.  Many changes have taken place in the way we look at motorcycle travel and the best way to enhance our travel adventures. With our being unable to travel to the Artic Circle using the haul road to Prudhue Bay on last years trip to Alaska we discussed changes.  We were unable to use the haul road due to rain and road conditions. Our bikes were both road bikes and the road to the Artic Circle and Prudhoe Bay was gravel and the road conditions on the road were soft, due to road work, and muddy due to all the rain. We started talking Adventure Bikes and a new type of riding with new route choices available to us on Adventure Bikes. Through the fall we read and looked at bikes in the Adventure bike category. The question was what size bike would fit our need and which brand would best fit our individual requirements.

In November I was on line looking at cycle’s at an auction site and found new KTM 1290 Adventure up for auction from a dealership, I placed a bid and went to $14,500 in my bidding, I lost the bike. The next week while again on the auction site I saw the same bike come up again, this time I only went to $14,000 and won the bidding. I arranged to pickup the cycle at a location in far Western Illinois and with the help of my very happy and supportive wife was now on my way to retrieve my purchase.

Now the pressure was on Bill. Bill has a strong brand loyalty and leaned strongly towards the BMW line. The only thing I thought would sway Bill from the BMW was his conservative nature when it comes to spending money. But sure enough after much consternation, hand wringing, mental self torture, deliberation and then rationalization, Bill overcame his conservative impulses and did what was obvious to me he would do all along, he bought the BMW. Anyone who knows me understands that I will not make an issue of the LARGE price difference in our purchases.

Bill’s purchase was a new BMW 1200 GSA adventure bike, I had purchased a new KTM 1290 Super adventure. We again have different bikes and we can take turns picking at each other over our choices. I will mention I paid far less, not a dig, just a fact. Again, I would never dig at him about the money difference.

Our choice for a trip this year is from our homes in Belding and Lowell, Michigan to the 4 corners and then travel the BCR route through Colorado. This route runs from the Southwest corner of the state up to the Wyoming border near Steamboat Springs traveling over many high country passes and into old mining towns etc. BDR’s web page and this route and others can be seen at ridebdr.com.

We have taken a couple of trips into the woods in Northern Michigan to test our bikes, tires and our diminishing off road skills. As I write this we are both gearing up for the inaugural trip to the high country of Colorado and are both excited and apprehensive about our chosen route. The excitement comes from our wanting to see this beautiful part of the USA, our apprehension comes from hoping the riding skills of a 65 and a 66 year old rider are up to the task.

We look forward to blogging about our trip and loading pictures for anyone looking to enjoy.