Breaking in a new bike… again

Another new bike… What kind of a crazy person trusts me with their brand new Tiger that only has 10 miles on it???

Jaime's Tiger

Jaime S. That’s who… She’s got some issues with her family, so she asked me to put the miles on it that it needs to get it’s first service done.  So I rode it around town for a couple of weeks, than I took it out for a short but brisk run to CO for the day.

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I love that Delorme.  I’ve only got to put another 40 miles on it before sat.  There are some things that she also needs put on the bike.  I’m going to do those for her with some help at the beginning of May.  Since she is going to be riding with me for a good bit of the trip to Alaska.  I want to make sure that she is good to go.

It was a really fun lil ride up to Antonito CO and over to Chama for lunch.  It was pretty cold over the passes, but the roads were in great shape.

The crew for the ride

CO has some interesting signs these days.

CO has some interesting signs these days.

Desert Daze

I had wanted to check this ride out last year, but I was back to riding much at that time.  Since I had just gotten cleared by the Doctors to get back on the bike only a week before.

So I made it a point to go this year.  I took the Husky and the Tiger with me, since I knew I wouldn’t be riding alone and that meant help picking the Tiger up if I was to fall over with it.  I took off and headed over to the Triangle T on Thursday, I had a spot for the Toy hauler reserved. I got there early to unload and set up.  I met a few of the others as they rolled it.  Of course, they are easy to spot, they all have bikes.  😀  Met a guy who rode in from Washington, who was really from Canada, long way to go, he was pretty entertaining.  As were a couple from TX.    It was a small rally so it didn’t take long for every one to show up that night.IMG_20160325_150717437

The “disorganizer” Raven was a hoot.  She was very hands off and the rides where really just suggestions on a map on the wall of the saloon.  I found a couple of guys to ride to Tombstone with the next day.  It’s funny how most guys just assume that you can’t really ride.  It was also funny who I wasn’t the one who drop my bike that day.  😀

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The next day was just wondering around trying to find a route, it was the most fun day of the three, but least productive for finding a route.  Each night was a campfire, with entering characters, and stories about the rides for the days.  I would go back again next year.  Only this time I would make sure to have a GPS that could do GPX tracks so I did not do so much back tracking. There is a lot of great stuff to see, there and it made me really want to do the AZBDR even more.

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North/South Challenge

I’m late with posting, as usual.  😛   It’s work’s fault.  It keeps getting in the way of my fun.

The first time in 9 years… yes, 9 years.  The last time the clubs got together to do this was the year I got race license, so I remember it well.   I know I keep saying that I’m not going to really race this year, but I had to go down for this event.  It was how I started  my racing career, it’s fitting that I take part in it this year.  As I’m not sure sure what the future holds for me with regards to racing.  I’m still having issue with my neck from the fission of the vertebrate in Nov 2014.  I still can’t turn my head as far to the right as I need to when I hang off the bike to the right, I still also don’t have the feeling back in the finger on my left hand.  It’s better for all of it, it’s just not back to where I really need it to be.  Time will tell.

There was a great turn out for the weekend. I was thrilled to see it.  I was really glad to see all the SMRI racers down at Arroyo for their first race weekend.  I’m hoping it means that a number of the ASMA racers will make the trip to Abq for the July round.  I did four races mostly just so I could get into the swing of things.  I hadn’t been on the bike since our last round in Oct.  That’s six months without being on the race bike, to jumping into the deep end of the pool.

Saturday I made sure I was ready to go for the first practice session since with the weather prediction for high winds and dust storms I was sure the day would get cut short.  I wasn’t wrong either.  However, the day was even shorter then I thought it might be due to a rider going down in the kink and the track having to close down while the ambulance transported them.  By the time the track when hot again. the winds were such that I just called it, and got undressed for the day.

Can I just reiterate now how much I LOVE having this toy hauler and how awesome it is to be able to get out of the wind and sand!!!!  Not to mention take a shower after having to stand out in that stuff talking to people.  It was great to have a place to sit around shot the breeze for a few hours, with people and watch movies before calling it a night.

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Racing the next day was great!  Everyone put on a great show, there wasn’t any undue drama, no one left in an ambulance.  In all I would call it a huge success.   I didn’t really have any races that would have to call out.  I was really pleased with how I rode.  I was thrill to have Mikey give me a tow in the first practice session and tell me latter he was impressed with my braking into the carousel turn.  I drop some time as the day went on, but could have drop even more with more practice time.  I didn’t win, but I wasn’t last either.  😀

 

New Racer School

First new racer school of the season was over the weekend.  Looks like we have 9 new novices right out of the gate.  I’m hoping we get at least that many more for the next school.  It’s good to see so many new novices.  We’ve got a number of racers returning this year that we haven’t seen at the track for a number of years.  It should make for some great races this year.

 

Well, Drat!!!!

I may have messed up all my plans for March and April, as well as my overnight test runs.  I went out on the dirt bike to get a lil two wheel therapy, and broke my right thumb.  Since it’s in three pieces, that are somewhat displaced from where they should be.  I’m guessing that the Doc is going to recommend pinning it.  CRAP!!!!

Still it won’t interfere with the Alaska trip so that is only good thing about this.  I’m working on the prep and planning still.

To Alaska… it’s about the journey not the destination Part II – More Prep & Planning

Packing list for AK

I’ve modified the list and pared it down some.  The goal is still to be under 50 lbs of gear and to make it all fit in the Panniers and one lg dry sack (for the tent/sleeping bag) across the passenger’s seat.  I’m taking my work laptop with me which is how I’m going to be able to add some extra days on to the trip.  I’ve got a friend staying at the house with the cat.  As she really can’t stay that long on her own, even with someone dropping by every few days.

Of course there are toiletries and clothes to consider like: pants, shorts, shirts, socks and such, but only 2 changes of clothes, I’ll have under armor on under the riding gear, it washes and drys easily.  Since I’m going to be on the bike almost every day and riding about 300-400 miles a day, not many changes of clothes are going to be needed.

Major changes to what I had been planning:  I bought a Delorme InReach Explorer so I could send and receive text msgs on the road.  I’ve also picked up a TomTom rider for GPS navigation instead of using my phone.  I’m also going to get a Sena BT comm system so I can yell at Jaime along the way.  😀  But mostly so I can listen to the nav system.

The thing I still need to work out is are the tires, like what to put on the bike and where I’ll want to change tires along the way.  I’m looking at TKC80 for the front and thinking of a longer wearing tire for the rear.  I’ll have to change it in either Anchorage or Fairbanks I’m still working that part out too.

The other thing I’m working on right now is how to pack everything.  I’ve been picking up parts of this as I go, this weekend I’m going to start packing the panniers and seeing how it all fits.  Once I’ve packed in the boxes a few times, I’ll start to take pictures of how it’s packed, and weigh everything.

 

To Alaska… it’s about the journey not the destination Part I – Prep / Planning

I’m committed to this trip now….  I went out and bought a bike just for this.  I picked up a brand new 2016 Triumph Tiger XCA just before Thanksgiving.

2016 Triumph Tiger xca

New Tigger

So far I’ve put just over 900 miles on it, not a lot at this point but given it’s winter here and there is snow on the ground it’s not too bad.  I am really loving the bike.  The Sprint was a nice bike, but this one is awesome!   So more about the bike!!!!

 

Specs:

Do these bags make my butt look big?

Do these bags make my butt look big?

Triumph Traction Control (TTC)
Switchable ABS High level front mudguard
WP 43mm USD forks with adjustable rebound and compression damping
Adjustable WP rear suspension
Radiator guard, Hazard Lights
Switchable riding modes: Road, Off-road and Rider
ABS with On /Off-Road / Off , TTC with On / Off-Road / Off, 4 Throttle Maps , Cruise control
Advanced Trip Computer
Aluminium sump guard & Engine protection bars
Hanguards
Centre Stand
Heated Grips & Heated Rider and Passenger Seats
Updated 650W Alternator complete with 3 auxiliary sockets
Aluminium panniers and top box
Fog Lamps

Our first dirt outing. <3

Our first dirt outing. <3

Even if the trip is months away, winter is a great time to start working things out.  I’m already planning things out for it.  It’s a long time to be on the road, it’s a great deal of miles to cover, especially alone.  Which it’s looking like I will be doing most of the trip on my own.  Jaime and I had started out planning this together, but she and I both have different things we want the trip to be about.  It’s looking like we will meet up in a couple spots rides some miles together and then go our separate ways.  What can I say we are both loners…

So far I’ve worked out a rough plan for the route.  The route for heading up to Deadhorse Alaska.
UP trip leg 1-Santa Fe, NM to Prudhoe Bay, AK s

This route would be roughly 4,839 miles.  I say roughly since I will likely stop and check out things along the way so I’ll be doing more miles then I list for each section.  This leg of the trip has me in Anchorage, so there will be trips around to see family and friends.  If time allows I’d like to do a side trip over Hatcher Pass.  Since I have some fond memmories of the place from High School.  Don’t ask… As I’d rather not incriminate myself.

Leg 2 with TOW-Prudhoe Bay, AK to Top of the World HwyThis next section is the start of the ride back to NM.  It’s one of the hard dates I have for the trip.  I really want to hit the Dust 2 Dawson weekend in Dawson city.  It’s close to the solstice day so there will be plenty of daylight to help tick off the miles I’ll need to cover.  It’s a huge party, I do love parties.  When I was up there a couple of years ago it was all everyone talked about doing.  So I decided to plan a trip around that event so I could join in the good times.  For what ever reason, google maps won’t let me map the return trip using the TOW (Top of the World Hwy)  So I had to plot the return trip out in two maps.  This leg is around 885 miles.

2016-01-06 Dawson, YT, Canada to Santa Fe, NM - Google Maps

This section of the trip is around 3605 miles.  That makes for a rough mileage total RT of 9330 give or take.  So I’ve got to work out at least one oil change in there, along with a tire swap in addition to general maintenance along the way.  Can’t ignore the chain….  I’m thinking that I’ll have roughly 30 days to do the trip.  Currently, I’m planning on camping more than 90% of the time.  It’ll be easier to find places to stop, since this is the height of tourist season, resorts, and motel/hotels are harder to find without planning and making reservations.  Something I hoping to be able to avoid.  It’s also cheaper on the pocket book.

 

Now if I can make things work out with my job…. I could be out for 40 days and than I’d have time to add in the Dempster Hwy…  Making the RT mileage ~10,250…. Hum…

Dempster Hw

Free All Girls Day!

Now I have never been able to pass up free track time. This one wasn’t any different.  Besides, it’s been a couple of years since I was down to Arroyo Seco.  I think the last time I was there it snowed…  There was no way I was going stay way from this event, the weather was going to be perfect.

I took Rachael down with me, she was the reason I taught the last New Racer school.  She wanted to get to another track and was thinking about sleeping in her car.  I figured there would be plenty of room in the trailer for both of us.  I just hadn’t planned on not being able to get into the track.  We had to camp outside the fence for the night… it made unloading the bikes undesirable.  We we improvised with how to sleep around the bikes.  The one down side to this trailer when you aren’t traveling alone.

The next morning we got in to the gate pretty early, the only ones who beat us in were the poor couple who had tried to sleep in a tent next to us that night.  They gave up at about 4 am and moved into the truck so they could warm up.  It was pretty cold that night, so I’m glad the bikes stayed in the trailer with us and the heat.

I spent the first 1/2 hour figuring out how to ride the 675 around the track figuring out where I wanted my lines.  It really came back quicker then that but heck I just wanted to stay out there for a while before I began to track people down to help them.

The first girl I started with is the one who went off the track in the first 10 minutes,  they got her back out there so I had her follow me around after I spent some time talking with her about how to think about riding at the track.  It is different then riding on the street, but it really does help you once you get back out on the streets.  I spent close to an hour with her.  By the time she had to go for the day she was back to grinning from ear to ear and excited about coming back out!  After that I just went out and rode around until I came across someone who I figured I could help in some manner.  I think by the end of the day I had managed to work with all but a couple of the ladies.

Overall, they were really happy to get the help and said for some reason it made more sense coming from me than it did when their boyfriend or spouse tried to get them to do the same things.  🙂  I am really hoping that I can make it to the one next year and help Roger grow the event a bit more.

 

 

Rubber Chicken Ride

Location:  T or C

Occasion:  why not?  Really, it was to support NMOHVA

Purpose:  Riding!!!

This was the first time I’ve gotten to attend one of NMOHA events.  I was supposed to attend last year, but it was right after my cervical fusion, so riding was out of the question.  There was Sipapu this year, but ended up having to work.  Since this time around I was fit and not working, I was going!!!  I was looking forward to doing some more riding on the Husky, since I hadn’t really been out on it since the end of July.

Lots of bikes.

Lots of bikes.

I had no idea until I arrived what the history around TorC was, I have to say I love the hot spring fed tubs in the rooms.

Now that's a tub!

Now that’s a tub!

I had given Brian over at Speedin Motorsports the Husky to lower the suspension on it.  Carrying around a step ladder to get on and off the bike wasn’t convenient.   He was able to get the forks shortened up but was shipped the wrong parts for the shock, so it still had the lowering link on it.  I can’t wait to get that off there and see just how much better the bike handles.     I met Brian in Cuba to pick up the bike, he and I had breakfast.  It was nice getting to chat with him, at the track he’s too busy to chat.  Once we move the bike from his truck to mine it was off to TorC.

The first night was just getting settled into the room, sitting around on the patio telling stories.  This group is really great at stories.

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Our first day of riding we did Palomas Gap, or at least I think we did…  We ended up back tracking so many times; I’m not sure where we were.   There was a section of the trail that had been completely washed out.  We spend a fair amount of time trying to find a way across the cut, but it was just too steep of a drop on both sides and too narrow to cross but wide enough that we weren’t going to just cross it.  So we back track some more to a road that took us out to the main road, after a side trip up to the top where the radio towers were.   We stopped at a gate, once most of us got though it GS noticed mikrow had a flat front tire.  So while we waited for the capt and selaznog,  Mik tried putting some air into the tire, it wasn’t holding so it was time for a trailside repair.  GS decided to go back to look for the other two, since they hadn’t shown up yet.  Never a good sign, bout the time Mik was half way done with his tire, the three showed up.  Selaznog had hit one of the banks wrong and hurt his shoulder, he and the capt kept heading back to the hotel so they could take him to the ER.

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Amazing views!!

Then back to the motel just in time for more stories, beer, and snacks before heading to dinner.  Turns out that selaznog had just sprain/separated his should a bit and was planning on riding the next day.  Hard core.

We timed dinner just right too.  Or at least I did.. J  I called the restaurant for a reservation; I figured with 10 of us we would need one.  We ended dinner with 16 at the table; the local ADVRider group is friendly and very social. Good thing we had all showered and cleaned up.  It was pretty cozy at the table.  The Latitude 33 restaurant was very great about us shuffling around all their tables and chairs.  The place was on the small side, but it was great food.

The second/last day we did Chloride Creek, I love water crossing since this was basically riding up a creek bed, there were loads of them.  It was really rocky and rough, but it was a great deal of fun.  There was one really tricky section, but it really wasn’t that bad.  Of course, the sections were they expected me to have issues I breezed through, but the ones they didn’t give second thought to are the ones I had issues with… typical.  I only had one tip over, as usual, it was a dozy.  I really need to get some tech spec for that bike.  I slipped going up a hill lost my balance for a second and rolled on the throttle a bit.  This caused the bike to stand straight up, I then tipped to one side, and the bike stayed up right but turned to the left.  This meant I was aim to go over the edge of the trail.  It was a nice lil 10 foot long down slope to some trees and a nice high drop off.  I saw the trees and the ledge, and decided it was much better to lock the front wheel and crash then to go down the slope, hit the tree, and possibly off the cliff.

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It was one of those falls that really hurt, even through the hard armor I was wearing.  DownHill was right behind me for the whole thing.  He said, when he saw me going toward the drop off,  he kept thinking … crash, crash… opps, well it was nice knowing her.  LOL.  It took a few minutes to get the bike back on the trail.  Then we had to straighten out my hand guards it was bent up at a strange angle.  Once that was done, I set off a head of the DH, Capt and selaznog .  I knew they’d catch up just fine, as I was going to be back to riding rather slow for a bit.   It took about another 15 min for us to catch up to GS and Mikrow.  Who instead of coming back to help, stopped and ate their lunch…

After that I’d like to say there wasn’t anything else, but that wasn’t the case.  Next time I’ve got to make sure I get the bike back with enough time to go over it.  We were heading up to a forest service lookout, my bike just died.  The Capt tried to kick start it, but no luck so we took the seat off to get at the battery to find out that the negative connection had come undone Capt to the rescue with a zip tie.  From here out there wasn’t an ything exciting except the great scenery.