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Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Ride Home

Today 7/26/2013 I ride home, 401 miles from Grants pass OR to Livermore California.,  have a hard time sleeping in, my mind thinking about the hot weather to come.
Im on the Bike at 5:30 looking for an open gas station and find one at the entrance to the freeway.

I make a stop at the Vista Point overlooking Mt Shasta, its an overcast day and the mountain is in a haze, just behind me a late model Honda Goldwing pulls in with Jay on board, Jay is just finishing up a ride himself and is headed back to the San Jose Area.
Jay's Story is A grand adventure of his own, he was out to fulfill a childhood dream and MUST do bucket list item, I loved his story, to make it short and sweet, as a child he like many of us read the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884,as a young man he always wanted to build a raft just like Huckleberry Finn,(lashing together what he could find on the shore line, and sail/paddle it across a lake for adventure and fun, well this week He did just that. With the knowledge this adventure might look a little strange among the ski boats fishing boats and party platforms, he continued his adventure with determination and his trusty Dog, he also had his ridding buddy and daughter there to witness the event along with the lake ranger who paid him a visit mid way across the lake.

With a Raft made from driftwood and a sail crafted from the bottom of a discarded tent Jay made his way across the lake and with the grace of the wind sailed back again, and upon his return was greeted by more than 30 people including the Ranger all cheering him on! Great Job Jay!
Oh and what did the Ranger say to Jay halfway across the lake, well after a short discussion that started with what the heck are you doing, he said "Power On"

Im really curious whats next on Jays list of adventures?>! Power on Jay...

First stop after 200 miles is Breakfast in Red bluff, Just 201 miles to go, but 76 miles later I feel spent and I pull into a rest stop and rest a bit, text my brother, poor cold water over my head and push on.

I'm 45 miles from home and I pull in for my last gas stop and a conversation with Beverly, from Redding, its Hot and she has some advice from the Hot Rider (temperature not my good looks)
She and her husband both ride Yamahas and they hate the heat so they got mesh jackets and Cool vests, the vests are soaked in water once on they keep you cool as you ride for about 2 hours....I could use on of those right about now!

I'm back on the road for one last push and I pull into my home town, its a little strange to be home after so long, but just like that, the trip is over......

Time to clean up the bike and stash the gear for the next adventure! Colorado and the Rockys?

Notes:

Motorcycles - I saw lots of motorcycles, the largest number by far is the BMW, next Harley davidson, then Kawasaki and Suzuki, with Yamaha rounding out the top Five.

Gear - all the gear worked out well, I used everything I brought, with the exception of two Video cameras (I sent these back with the family from Anchorage) all the photos were taken with my i-Phone 5. I also added a new coffee pot to my gear in anchourage (thank you Tim, he had this with him on the trip up and gave it to me for the trip down) its an AeroPress, along with some fresh Kaladi Brothers Coffee I had the best cup of coffee each and every day of the trip! http://www.kaladi.com there coffee is excelent.

The AreoPress coffee maker is a lot like a French Press but without the mess or broken glass, I highly recommend one for your gear. its clean because it uses a small filter and when your done making your cup of coffee, you open the end with the filter and tap on the plunger end (opposite side) and out pops the filter and old coffee in one solid puck, done!
 
Best Places to see:
Sea to Sky Highway
Stewart Cassiar Highway
Top of the world highway
Drive to Homer Alaska
Northern Rocky Mountains
The Last 100 miles in to Hope BC and Hells Gate area.

Misconceptions - the Stewart Cassiar Highway was in much better shape than the Alaska Highway, in all I ran in to about 1 mile of dirt road on the Stewart Cassiar and about 50 to 100 miles of dirt on the Alaska highway, also I ran in to many more potholes and accidents caused by rough roads on the Alaska highway.

Tires:
The Stock tire for the V Strom 650 is the Bridgestone Trail Wing it did an excellent job on the trip, I have also used this tire in dry off road conditions and they did an excellent job.

On the way back I had a set of Shinko Trail Master tires installed and, how do I put this? they are a Dangerous tire, Please do not use these tires, hear is why:
1) Negatively affect steering: feels like the tire is flat (I stopped many times to check for proper inflation 31 front 37 rear, extra pressure as recommended for the load )
2) loss of control: many bridges in BC are made of a metal surface, like a grate you can see through. The first bridge of this type I hit with the new tires sent me sliding from side to side, and the bars swinging back and forth, it was the first close call I had with crashing the bike. I crossed the same bridge with the Bridgestones just a week before and I did not even notice a change in traction. (this happened at each metal bridge crossing I had, I still shake a little thinking about it.
3) Poor and unpredictable traction: The tires also slip wildly on tar stips and the slightest sign of mud or gravel dry or wet.. I had so many close calls with these tires I really can not count the times I though I might crash. I will replace the tires before riding again.

This was an amazing trip, and has me wanting more, getting up and not having a great ride planned for the day, has me Planning my next adventure.....

So many places to see, so little time!