Guest Post – Europe 2014: Day 7 – Prague to Wemding


We left Prague around 9:30am towards Germany. Traffic was reasonably light and before long we were in the rural countryside.

Around 11:30am we had a slight setback. We were riding down a gentle hill at about 70kph/45mph (for reference the speed limit was 90kph/55mph) and without any warning at all the bike popped out from under us and we slid to a stop on the tarmac. As I was sliding I could see the bike sliding on its left side ahead of me until it reached the grassy shoulder where the wheels caught and the bike flipped over onto its right side.

We both got straight up to our feet and looked at each other, completely perplexed and somewhat shocked. After determining that nothing hurt, we realised with relief that neither of us were injured and our gear had taken the brunt of the fall. I had slid on my left side and Zev had slid on his bottom, dragging his left arm.

A few seconds later a young chap came along and stopped to help us put the bike upright and then carried on his way. I noticed there was oil all over the engine and tyres and realised we had ridden onto an unnoticed slick of tarry oil. From the direction we were travelling, the angle of the sun made it blend into the road, looking like just another patched area of tarmac.

I called 112 (emergency line) and explained what happened and they sent out the police. Meanwhile I took photographs of the area and the damaged parts of the bike. I called my insurer and went through the details. Continue reading

Day 27 – Looking for Grizzly’s


Arrived home June 14th, 2014 – these are catch up posts. Day 27 was June 12th.

After spending time in South Dakota and Wyoming I have a whole new appreciation for this region.  Although much of the states can appear to be “flat” everything this time around for me, verses in 2010 when I rode x country had a beauty to it.

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Day 19 – West Point, NY to Geneva, NY


Tracking web site click here 2014 X Country Solo Trip

After being caught in another storm, love riding in the Spring I arrived at the Westpoint Motel. A bit of a dump in some regards, like the bathroom was gross, I did not trust the linens that kind of stuff…it did get me out of the rain. I was greeted by a man behind the desk that needs to get a new job!

I spent most of the night texting home about my Beagle Cruizer who was hospitalized for not eating for days, lethargy and just overall not feeling well. I have since found out he has been diagnosed with A-Typical Addison’s Disease at the rip age of 10. Perhaps me leaving, all the change in his life as well has brought on this disease that was probably dormant waiting to rear its head. Continue reading

Day 18 – Service, Storm and Sick Dog


Day 18 of my X Country trip was spent mainly at MAX BMW in Brookfield, CT.  I needed a 20,000 KM service but decided to wait until I get home to have the valves inspected on my bike.

Cool dealer, they have loads of classic bikes on the show room floor as well as all the new models.

The service included, air filter, oil filter and oil change, top up fluids, inspection.  The Master Tech found my output Shaft Seal to be leaking oil and was replaced under warranty.  I got new front and rear brake pads, a new DID gold chain and sprockets.  Mainly preventive measures I am taking.  My tires, chain and pads all had some life left in them but I still have over 4000 miles to go.  I adjusted the ergo’s of my handle bars a bit and with Dan we tilted them back in my risers just a touch to make my reach a little closer.  Felt good afterwards when I was riding. Continue reading

KLIM Altitude Pants Review


I initially reviewed this new KLIM suit when I first got it back in April. Now that I have well over 8000 KM’s in it or 5000 miles I have some more impressions. I will try to stick with the facts of my experience with this suit and cut to the chase. These impressions I will send to KLIM. I have all ready been in touch with them regarding the staining issue.

Second up the PANTS detailed Review!

Jacket review click here

Temperature range I have ridden in has been below freezing and as high as 35 C or 95 F. Been in piss pouring rain for hours, hail, high winds and HOT weather/cold weather patterns. Longest day riding in the suit 12 hours.

Please remember this is my subjective review and experience. Not everyone will agree with me nor will you have the same riding circumstances. We all have different shapes and sizes.

 My measurements: neck-14.5 inches. Across the bust line-41 inches. Shoulders-18 inches. I have a 30.5 inch in seam. I wear a 12 in pants and between a medium/large jacket in general. I weigh 162 pounds….and loosing I have an athletic build.

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KLIM Altitude Suit 2nd Impressions/Review


I initially reviewed this new KLIM suit when I first got it back in April. Now that I have well over 8000 KM’s in it or 5000 miles I have some more impressions. I will try to stick with the facts of my experience with this suit and cut to the chase. These impressions I will send to KLIM. I have all ready been in touch with them regarding the staining issue.

First UP the JACKET detailed Review!

Temperature range I have ridden in has been below freezing and as high as 35 C or 95 F. Been in piss pouring rain for hours, hail, high winds and HOT weather/cold weather patterns. Longest day riding in the suit 12 hours.

Please remember this is my subjective review and experience. Not everyone will agree with me nor will you have the same riding circumstances. We all have different shapes and sizes.

My measurements: neck-14.5 inches. Across the bust line-41 inches. Shoulders-18 inches. I have a 30.5 inch in seam. I wear a 12 in pants and between a medium/large jacket in general. I weigh 162 pounds….and loosing I have an athletic build.

“A true woman’s fully functional feature rich jacket tailored to fit the female form promises to break new ground in women’s motorcycle apparel. From concept to completion, this garment was specifically designed to fit”

 

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West to East Complete, well almost


First half of my trip mileage = Maple Ridge, BC to Long Island, New York is 7145 KM’s or 4,439 Miles. Gas mileage due to the x and head winds heading east was not that great. 5.1 L/100 Km’s. A little over 300 Km’s per tank.

Heading west I should get much better mileage. What a journey thus far…and really appreciate all the comments, emails, messages etc. Monday, June 2nd starts my journey home, but first I need to go more east to Montauk Point, Long Island.

One of the best investments I have made for the trip was my head lamp protector I got from AltRider. But any would do. After all the hail I have been through there is no doubt my head light would have been damaged if not for this farkle.

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Day 12 con’t and Day 13 – Revzilla & Coming Home



After I left a really sunny, HOT Washington DC, I went north to Philly. Still warm all the way up until about 120 KM’s outside Philadelphia. I noticed the temperature dropping from 35, 30, 20, 15, 12 C. I saw the skies darken which can only mean one thing…another Spring Storm. I sort of knew this. Been texting a good friend of mine who lives in Philly and he said it was cool and raining.

I pulled over at a gas station to close all my vents, put on my heated liner, warmer gloves and I was really thankful I did. This is what I rode through for about an hour.

Another hail storm with huge dumps of rain at times. I was warm and comfy though on the bike and at this point doesn’t phase me the hail I mean anymore.
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Day 11 – “I’m sorry I did not mean to hit your bike”


Day 11 = 571 Km’s – Matthews, NC – Wiliamsburg, VA

Got your attention didn’t I? I stop at McD’s for wifi, bathroom breaks etc. Yesterday I actually got a quarter pounder, some calories, fat and food. Still feel as though I am not eating enough but seems like I am always snacking.

I leave the parking the lot and I am at a stop sign. Near the border of NC & VA. I’m waiting for traffic to make a left turn and I am watching this dude in his car, sitting really low in his seat texting on his phone. I watch in my side view mirrors as he starts to roll closer to me. I have a firm foot on my rear brake but not my front YET.

He eventually taps my rear wheel, my bike lunges, I grab a full front brake, jam on my rear, wobble but some how don’t fall. Put my kickstand down, get off my bike and say to the dude, “what the hell?”. He said, “oh dude I am sorry I did not mean to hit your bike, you ok?” I said “get off your damn phone that could have been a disaster” and walked away. No damage to my bike or me which is the good news.

I pulled over to the other side of the road to regroup and off I went.

**Message to all that are inviting me to friend them on FB. I try to keep my personal page personal. Why not LIKE my FB page at Leslie’s Motorcycle Adventure click here because I post a lot throughout the day not on a post like this and then after the trip you can always dislike it or carry on? Just a thought.**

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Day 10 – Quick update


I was able to take two nights off and use a day to replenish some items I needed for the trip back , like get a new camping stove.  I broke my other one days ago.

Now I can get back to at least boiling water when I want and need to. Continue reading

It’s Harder Than You Think Yet Easier


Day 8-635.4 KM’s
Day 9-739.6 Km’s

I have arrived on the east coast of the USA in North Carolina yesterday, May 25th. Took me 9 days to get here with a lot of boring pavement riding

yet I was not really bored. Continue reading

Day 6 & 7 – Gratitude and A bit of a Set Back



Day 6 – 742.2 KM’s. Day 7 – 560 KM’s.

Yesterday seems to be a blur to be honest. Even today because I am thinking too much. I supposed every ride report has a theme and this one seems to be amnesia. Continue reading

Day 5 – I don’t like being a Carnivore


761.2 KM’s

I have to say this…after riding today and seeing so MANY cattle pens where I know they are being raised just for their meat, I hate the fact I like meat. I am not a left-wing nut about being vegetarian or anything but when I see hundreds if not thousands of cows living like this is kills me.

I Love all animals and wild life….not sure why I eat them?OK, that was my rant for the day.

I left Casper, Wyoming at about 0700 only to be warned of the impending dome I might face out of the roads today in all directions. One thing for sure you can see where to ride or not because you can see the weather ahead clearly.

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Day 3 – X Winds, Hail & GHOST Rider (711.4 KM’s)


I need to start off by saying thank you to all the PM’s, emails and messages in general to the many out there that think I am “brave” for telling my story and going out on my own. It is what it is….I speak my mind and always have, perhaps too much. But in the end I am not alone going through a devastating and blind sided separation. Seems this happens all too often in my books.I listened to the audio version of “Ghost Rider”, by Neil Peart and narrated by BrianSutherlan. I am on Chapter 4. It was so cool to listen to his take not only on his losses but his trip up the Dempster. He kept a great journal one that I would never be able to do and the details, oh the details remind me of my own trip and feelings in 2011.I will listen to the rest tomorrow and have to say all those who recommended this book to me I thank you! Now on to today’s report.

It’s funny no one has asked how my ass is doing on the BMW OEM low seat? Well, it’s working out just fine actually. The sheep pad helps but I bet I could be doing this without it. For some reason I have grown accustomed to it.

In 2010 I rode the Going to the Sun Road through Glacier National park. It took us over 4 hours to ride the 48-50 mile road. The traffic and construction in early July 2010 was insane. Well worth it. Was a nice day but 4 hours???

Today it was closed and closed until late June.

Today started out sunny and no wind until I got through the mountains. Again in 2010 I remember what it was like to ride through Montana and Wyoming. HOLY cross winds. But for the beginning of today I saw this…

It drizzled a bit but I have to be honest it was nothing compared to later in the day. The KLIM Altitude suit being Gore Tex is handling all this rain no problem. The only issue I have is the light colour. It’s showing up everything and something weird is happening to the leather on the pants. I took some pics but perhaps I will take better ones at another time. But here are the ones from today.

both pants legs have these marks or stains? Dunno. I will see what happens when I wash them eventually. Other than the dirt and I have always had an issue with the collar. hey need to make it about 2 cm wider for heated liners. I can not zip up the jacket with my liner in to make it really water tight.

My bike turned 15,000 today. I think yesterday it was 14,000?

it was still really nice out after I got through the park. Had to take this photo op shot with a back ground like that? It’s really beautiful here, even the plains did not bore me this time. In 2010 they seem to be annoying a bit, but this time around being with me?

I like the rolling hills and the surprise curve in the road. Soothing I guess as I listened to Ghost Rider.

Not sure if anyone out there who rides long distances have ever thought about audio books. If you haven’t highly recommend getting some on your phone, use the Audible App and you are good to go.

My SPOT has died by this point. I called SPOT and they said it must be defective using so many batteries. Doesn’t really matter I know it’s defective because now it won’t boot on. It DEAD.

I am going to go to Cabelas here in Billings tomorrow and see about getting a Gen 3 Spot. The next time I can set it up online and call SPOT to activate the new device when I get one, tracking will be back on. I like to have it for me and my family.

The Spring time weather out here is definitely not boring. One minute you have sun and warmth, the next it drops 10 degrees C and it’s thundering out, lightning and hailing with down pours.

Doesn’t look that bad but when I turned a bend in the road I hit a black wall of hail. About 2 hours outside Billings, MT.

I love cargo trains when riding. We have them back in Vancouver but while riding out in the middle of no where…these things are so cool.

So, I have to admit…riding solo can be scary at times. If you are reading this post to this point I will confess it is taking a little more time getting used to being on my own. Like parking. I have almost dumped the bike more times than I care to admit because I never judge parking surfaces well. Cheryl did. I find myself at times looking in the rear view mirrors only to see no one is back there. Scary to me since I always had a back.

I respect solo riders a whole lot more now. We are on our own for sure. But on the other hand I am liking my own pace and not even really having anyone to talk to but strangers.

I have to give kudos to Shoei helmets. I love this new RF1200 but I have always LOVED how easy it is to take the shield off these helmets to get a good cleaning of the mechanisms and the shield itself. Brilliant.

This 2013 Beemer is making a really decent touring bike. I like it!

Navigating for me is new. I never had a GPS on my bike until last year. Maybe that was a foreshadow because something prompted me to get one and learn how to use it. Coming in handy I have to say. I am using a Montana 600.

When I got to a road construction area that says wait until your pilot car arrives, this can mean minutes or hours. I waited an hour. So, listened to my book and watched cows graze. A little annoying because I lost an hour yesterday time wise due to Mountain time and today due to waiting.

Started out sunny and cool while waiting but look what happened.

It was kind of funny. I was loving the gravel and dirt and was cruising right along while the cars and trucks behind me seemed more tentative. it was slippery but I have done the Dempster and Dalton in the piss down rain and this was nothing but maybe 10 KM’s long?

There is where the cross winds almost blew me off my bike a few times. I trust my bike and trust me to relax in such powerful gusts. Felt like a football player leaning into the wind to keep myself low. My body actually aches from today. The wind for me acts like I am a punching bag. Truthfully? I rather ride in crappy rainy weather than HIGH cross winds. it made for a great work out.

The another storm came up. In Montana you can see for miles so you can also see your destiny. I watched the skies and pulled over at a gas station to get my heated gear on. The temperature was about 18 C then dropped to 6. I spoke to an army young man moving to Texas from Fairbanks who said he heard it’s really bad going the direction we were heading. Well? it was…huge hail, wind, thunder, lightning, pouring rain that bounced off the road up my pants leg. Also, it rained so hard that it was bouncing off my bike up my helmet until I put my chin down.

The hail hurt my hands through my gloves and to kicker was the wind challenge as well. This lasted for about an hour. KLIM gear kept me dry as a bone as well as my Gore Tex KLIM gloves.

Gas station where I changed.

Came out of it and again nothing but blue skies but windy.

I did not take pictures in the middle of the storm…I thought that would be just dumb if I did. I needed both hands on the handle bar. Wyoming is having funnel clouds and also bad storms. So, what lies ahead?

I decided to head to Billings, instead of Buffalo, WY due to time. After 711 KM’s and the cross winds I was done. So, stopped in Billings which is sort of good. I am going to go to Cabelas outdoor store tomorrow and see about getting that new Gen 3 SPOT. Maybe I can have tracking back up sooner than later if they have one in stock. They open at 0900 so my start time will be later than I want.

That is Billings down below and the weather was perfect. I got another KOA cabin for the price of a tent site. It pays to show up late and a little off-season.

As the diabetic that I am it’s important I check my sugars at times. Mine seems to be doing OK except yesterday I dropped to 3.6. Hypoglycemic which is not good but today I was better.

I am paying more attention to my diabetes than any other trip. I need to so I can stay alert. I have no one telling me I am acting weirdly.

And finally a nice sunset to end the day. Oh, and some really really ANNOYING loud young man who just went to bed, made for a great day. Which is actually what I had a great day. One thing I hope this distraction of a trip does some healing so when I go back I am not a complete disaster as I was before I left. I need to be able to be functioning again on a more consistent basis. That is my wish for this trip. Safety, enjoyment and finding myself somewhat whole again.

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