SPEED FIRST - SAFETY SECOND

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Up Nort

Cruised out of Colorado in the late afternoon Sunday with a storm on my tail, but I out-ran the son of a bitch and made it to Lincoln for the night.

Got on the road after check-out on Monday with clouds in the sky and made my way through Des Moines when the sky opened up. Made it to Cedar Rapids and hit 151 North towards Madison. There are parts of this highway where all around you, all you see is corn. As far as the eye can see, a sea of corn fields rolling up and down the horizon. Pulled into Madison after dark, got some food at Culver's(Double Butterburger Deluxe - so damn good) and rolled into my sister's place to crash for the next couple nights.

Finally got to meet my sister's fiance, just days before their wedding, and hit some breweries(Ale Asylum) wile we were out on the town. Great beer with even better alc. %.

Rode back to Stevens Point today, meeting my old man half way, getting some lunch and rolling back into town with him. Rode across the Wisconsin River, seeing some kids fishing down on the sand-bar, cooler full of beer I'm sure and a bucket of bait. Also rolled by a crop-duster flying low right next to the highway, shit you just don't see on most trips.

Nothing like being back in Wisconsin... Cheap food/beer($1 bottles), stiff drinks($3 for triples), bloody marys with beef sticks, lumberjack-style restaurants, and coming from elevation - the beer goes down like water. Ordered a round for me and the boys tonight, four drinks - $7. This weekend is gonna be a blur...

Let the good times begin-

The Pioneer Restaurant, Westfield, Wisconsin

Rusty's BackWater Saloon, Stevens Point, Wisconsin - best bloodys around and probably my favorite bar in central Wisconsin. You feel as though you should have just come from gutting a deer when you walk into this joint - with blood still on your hands and forearms.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ReBornFree3

Follow with me as I ride across the States back to Wisco, then on to Pennsylvania for the Gypsy Run - gonna be posting along the way...

In the meantime, here's video from the months, days, and hours leading up to Born Free 3. Both of us working on our builds, with parts of our ride out to Southern California for BF3.

Unfortunately, even with all of the work, Rich didn't get his bike done. So, since I was already re-building my chop, we put mine in the builder's circle instead. Got the chop put back together on the 19th of June, then took off on it for the coast three days later...

Here I go again-

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Cracks

June 30th
It wasn't raining when I woke up and I didn't get a drop on me all day. After talking to friends in Helena and realizing how much time I had, I decided to cut my trip a little short. Instead of heading up the Washington coast to Olympic National Park(where it was raining), I crossed the state heading NorthEast for Coeur d' Alene. Olympic was a big reason for doing the Coast, but having a extra day in case of weather or a break-down was what I needed. My friends in Helena bought me tickets to an outdoor music fest going on the next night, so I hauled ass towards Montana knowing what was in store for me.

Here I am crossing the state of Washington at around 100mph most of the day, beautiful weather, with the bike running great. I'm 70 miles West of Spokane when I set my hand down on my gas tank... and it moves. I looked down and thought "well that ain't right", got to my next stop at Ritzville and checked it out. Cracks.

I had what seemed to be cracks in my front tank mounts, and my rubber isolators were shot. It looked as though it was only in the bondo, but I wasn't sure. With no rubber separating the mounts and mounting bolt, they were rattling against each other. I got on the horn to Rich and started planning out where I could make it for the night without doing any more damage. Rich and I talked it over and came to a temporary fix. With night creeping in fast, I un-bolted my front tank mounts, stuffed a couple shop-rags between my tunnel and back-bone and taped my tank down to the frame. I brought a bunch of electrical tape with on this trip, so I taped the fuck out of it. No rattling, no more cracking, and I was back on the road.

I called my friends in Helena, Leny and Murna, and told them the news. Now, these are some of our good friends from Sturgis, almost family. They weren't gonna take no for an answer, so they forced me to allow them to come meet me and help get me to Helena in one piece. I agreed, even though I probably could have rolled all of the way back to denver with the way I had it set up at this point. But, even though I said that I was pretty sure I could make it, they assured me that they were going to see to it that I definitely made it to their place the following day. I told them I'd call them when I stopped for the night and we'd figure something out.

I made it to Spokane with no problem, then on to Coeur d' Alene for the night. Gave Murna a call and planned out the next day. Leny was already passed out and was planning on getting up at the crack of dawn to come save the day - we call Leny Captain Marvelous, for obvious reasons. I passed out that night around 1 a.m. only to be awakened by a phone call from Leny at 3:30a.m.... Mr. Marvelous was on his way...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oregon Coastline

June 29th
I got out of Crescent City later than expected, up the coast with somewhat clear skies... to begin with.

Construction seemed to slow me down every time I felt like I was getting away from traffic. Luckily, being on a bike, I rode the shoulder to get to the front of the line every time. The cars didn't seem to mind and there was an oversized load slowing everyone down at each construction stop. This semi stayed with me all morning. I'd get ahead of him, hit a cool spot to stop, and sure enough, he'd come trucking along past me. He was probably just as sick of seeing me tear by him as I was of him putting past every time I took a break.

I got to Meyers Creek Beach when I hit another construction zone. I stopped, walked around, took some photos, and got back on the bike before they let traffic roll through the zone. The ride was slow, but I was in no hurry. I figured if I could do the entire Oregon Coastline up to Washington, it would be a good day. Until I got about a mile up the road. Rain started falling. I was winding up and down the PCH, around the bends with cliffs just feet away and I couldn't see a damn thing out of my goggles. It got to the point where I thought I was gonna have to stop and wait it out or throw in the towel and call it a day. Stopped in Gold Beach to make a decision and check the weather ahead.

Like always, I said fuck it and kept rolling forward. The rain was off and on for the rest of the day, mostly on. All I have to say, Metzelers dominate the road in wet conditions.

Like the day before, the last fifty miles of my day was the most enjoyable. Twisty two-lane roads through farmland and tall hills, it felt like I was in SouthWestern Wisconsin. Passing was sort of sketchy, but made things a little more dangerous, in turn, more fun...

By the time I got to Tillamook, I was forced to get a motel due to how wet I was. Wet and hungry, I ordered some food from a chinese joint next to my motel and watched some tube before passing out. Wettest day of my trip and I was roadworn, I passed out easily.




Meyers Creek Beach - Pistol River State Park... weather started turning to shit

These pictures do these rocks no justice. In the pictures, you can see people standing down near them. These things were huge and all along the Coast, pretty cool.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Girls of Sturgis

Almost all of the girls we met out there were in town from Minneapolis working the Rally. Minnesota girls are hard to beat, cross over to Wisconsin and it's like night and day. Between the bike wash girls, bartenders, and Cougars out roaming around - things didn't pan out the way we thought they were going to, but a guy's gotta try right.








Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Northern Cali Coast

June 28th
I woke in the morning at Kirk and Lisa's to the sound of rain. It was early, so I fell back a sleep and hoped to wait it out the easy way, only to wake up to it again. Kirk and Lisa took off for work and left me to make whatever decision I felt necessary. They offered to let me wait it out as long as I needed, but a little rain never killed me before, so I got on the road with no destination but North.

Almost as soon as I got on the road, it started coming down on me. I'd ride through twenty minutes of rain, then it would clear up for a short while, only to start misting or raining again. This is how my day went, off and on the entire 300+ miles. This stretch of highway is known as The Redwood Highway, for how wet I was all day, it was well worth it.

As I rode through the rain and towering trees heading North, I thought I was roughing it. Until, I saw a kid on a long-board skating through the hills on the 101. Skate boarding, wet as hell and moving about 2mph. I could only laugh. This highway is also used heavily by bicyclists. With the fog, I was lucky not to run one of them off of the road.

Some of the roads off of this highway are built around, and through the trees. The Avenue of the Giants is one such road. Massive trees along a thirty mile route looping off of highway 101. I did the whole goofy ass tourist deal and rode through one, just cuz. This ride was the best of my entire trip by far.

The last 50 miles heading up to Crescent City was something I'll never forget. I had goose-bumps when I finally stopped for the night, not knowing what to say, I called my dad and attempted to tell him what I had just experienced. This day was probably the best I've had on two wheels. The fog was thick and my visiblity was pretty non-existent through parts of the ride, but I used the tail-lights of cars in front of me for guidance when my goggles refused to clear from the mist.





Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wyoming Thunderstorms

As I posted before, we got stalled on our way up to Sturgis by a huge storm. Well, here it is. Five miles before the Wyoming state line on I-25 we hit a wall of black sky. Pulled over right before getting dumped on and watched it roll by.

For three years in a row, I've hit heavy rain near this exact spot. Storms passing through here are never pretty...



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cali Coast - 2nd Stretch

June 27th
This day was gonna be the shortest of my entire trip, as I had it sort of planned. I was heading up to Novato from Big Sur to stay with our good friends Kirk and Lisa Taylor of Custom Design Studios. So, I took my time getting going in the morning, packed the bike up at my campsite, and rolled down the road to a restaurant called Ripplewood. Ate some good food, got a bunch of water in me, and drank about ten cups of coffee. By far, the best service I had all trip long.


The road leading out of the Campground





No parking, any time



Wired, I was out the door and up the coast. I made my way up past the lighthouses and cliffs towards San Fran hitting cool little towns like Carmel. Got to Half Moon Bay when the temperature started dropping, fast. Thick fog was coming in to the North so I cut inland on a really cool highway, 92. A two-laner that winds through the hills and trees before it hits highway 280. Headed up 280 into San Fran, onto 19th Ave., through the City. From the small part of San Fran that I got to see, it's one of the coolest cities I've been through. Really hilly and the whole time I felt like I was in a park, with trees everywhere. From 19th, I got onto highway 1 before going across the Golden Gate Bridge in the densest fog I've ever been through. I could hardly see ten feet in front of me.

Rolled across the bridge and the air cleared up. Got up to Kirk and Lisa's shortly after that, got cleaned up, and hung with them for the night. Kirk and Lisa are great people, if you ever get a chance to meet them, do it. Kirk is a very talented painter and the both of them are about as cool as it comes, so is their dog Duke. Ate some good food and watched a movie with them before calling it a night.

The next couple days called for rain, I was about to get wet...

Kirk and Lisa, with their bike "The Dirty Boot"


Check his work out at:
http://www.customdesignstudios.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thanks -

Just wanted to thank everyone who follows the blog and enjoys what I'm putting out there. I've gotten a lot of good feedback and I appreciate it.

If you don't own a bike yet, I'm hoping to help change that.



Just got back from a week on the road, such a great trip, but I'm burnt out... Pics to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

RoadWorn

Took off a week ago for Sturgis from Colorado with my brother benny and my friend Kurt, crazy motherfucker might as well be called my brother. Stopped roughly a half a mile away from a huge storm right before hitting Cheyenne. Kept creeping closer and closer until we came around the bend and saw wet pavement up ahead of us. Threw on some rain gear and noticed the storm was heading directly east, we were south of it. So, we sat on the side of I-25 and watched it roll by, for over an hour until it passed for good.

Heading up a backroad out of Guernsey, WY, rippin down this stretch as usual. On most occasions riding down this road you don't see many other people. My brother and I opened it up side by side, only to slam on the brakes before getting passed by a cop. We were still rolling pretty fast when he came by us, flipped his lights and pulled to the far shoulder of the road. Being new to riding, my buddy Kurt had fallen back just far enough to keep the cop from pulling a u-turn immediately. Don't know what the hell was going on, so we sped up once we were out of sight and he never came looking for us.

Heading east into Lusk, WY, storms were straight ahead. Luckily, they were past Lusk when we pulled into town and turned to head north. On our next stretch up to Newcastle the storms were off to our right for the 80 mile ride. Nice light show for a straight stretch of highway in the dark. A red moon to our left, deer everywhere, and lightening sparking up the storm clouds off to our right.

The hills welcomed us with darkness and patches of dense fog. Even the smell of the black hills makes me smile. Made it to the campsite late and passed out.

Heading back to Colorado tomorrow, barring any crazy weather that may or may not hit the area. Been device free all week, no reception and my phone likes to die quickly - its been great.

At Newcastle, right before entering the hills...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Rocks Amphitheater

A Perfect Circle, Red Rocks, Tomorrow
Riding to Sturgis on Wednesday for a week of good riding and good friends...

One side of the outside of the venue, the other side is similar - a huge rock structure towering up, with the seating and stage in between the two. Hands down, best venue I've ever been to.


The inside, with Denver in the background



This video just rocks, some dude drumming to the song Pet.


Swayin' to the rhythm of the new world order and
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
The boogeymen are coming
The boogeymen are coming
Keep your head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums