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.
My route is all over the place in some regards and in others I am going in the obvious southeast direction towards my first real destination of North Carolina to see my brother and his family.
Took a little detour before meeting Troy for lunch in Seward, Iowa to see a lake. Again amnesia as to what park this was but it was supposed to be a lake??? I do remember riding on dirt and fresh gravel that took me by surprise. Almost dumped my bike because I was trying to see where the lake was and not looking where I wanted to go.
On that note. I have dumped my bike. Just remembered. I pulled over yesterday to take a look at one of those cattle pens…the one with hundreds of cattle hanging out together? And went to the shoulder and it sloped. Yep, down she went. Did not take a picture even though I had to wait 1/2 for a truck to pass and have a guy help me pick the bike up.
It was sort of in a ditch. Right side pannier a little scratched but the luggage frame seems to be pushed in a bit and the right bag is higher than the left. Crash bar is pushed in as well. The weight of this bike loaded obviously added to the carnage. Well, not carnage but damage. I will take pics tomorrow since I revealed my first solo dump and instead of taking off the left side luggage etc, I just sat there and waited.
Nothing against this part of the country and I know I am missing dirt roads but not a whole lot is capturing my eye to shoot. I am part to blame because of my agenda to get to the east. Timing heading this way is important but once I get to NY I can gauge what I can deviate and see on the way home. I am part to blame because I feel different on this ride than any other ride.
My front tire with 17,000 KM’s.
I will hit 18,000 tomorrow.
I am not sure these will last until Ontario. My mileage is higher than anticipated and I think by the time I get to Ontario for my service I will have close 24,000 KM’s on them.
In this neck of the woods many little towns show their patriotism and I have to say I like it.
I think another reason for my failure to take creative pics is because this area reminds me of the valley right near my house. Again, please no one take offense I am not criticizing the states of Iowa and now Illinois, just saying it looks like the Fraser Valley where I live.
Yesterday was the first day it was NICE all day, sunny, no WIND, warm, even HOT at times and I got to camp. But for lunch I was invited to meet Troy who is on this forum and rides a brand new 650 ADV V Strom. Really nice guy, we had a bite to eat and chatted about life, riding, the forum in the brief but quality time we got to meet one another. I have to say even though we all “know” one another virtually it sure is nice to put a face and voice to the user names.
Hate this pic of me I look tired and worn but Troy looks good! In any case who cares right? Thanks TROY! I owe you a lunch next time I am through your way or you come my way.
I have been telling people I want to ride and meet other ADV folks and if I am in your direction, perhaps send me a message and I can send you my cell. I get TM for free in the States. Just like I did today, met Jim and his wife Val. I wasn’t planning on riding to Peoria but he got in touch with me via FB messaging and we exchanged TM just in time for me to circle around and make the short 200 plus KM ride to say hello. I forgot to take his picture and his wife. But he took mine…and once again nice lunch, nice exchange of stories and meeting online folks. Always a good thing.
Anyone interested on how the KLIM new Altitude suit is doing I will be writing a detailed review soon. I have enough seat time and weather to review it in a little more detail than my initial thoughts. I have to say it does vent well and if it gets hotter, consistently over 90F I will try it with my cooling vests.
The leather is indeed wearing off on the panels by the knees. I am sure Klim will not like to hear this but it does make the suit look pretty used after only a short time.
Last night camp site was actually a perfect setting…over looking a meadow with a little pond to my left. I arrived late after 7 PM. Had to set up for my first time and try to eat. My stove is broken. Will search for another soon because I had to eat snacks.
There was a bathroom at the site and my selfie of course to entertain myself. I guess this is what one does at times when traveling solo? I was too tired to do anything like read or write other than watch the fire burn.
My time on the bike have been long days. Not stopping other than to eat and pee. Before I lose any readers or someone feels so inclined to send me a PM, I have to just say this ride is about me figuring out what I need to do to feel better about my personal situation.
I am learning how to travel alone which BTW is a lot of work especially adding camping to the mix. But I am liking it so far. I am pretty psyched I have made it through the weather and figuring out all that goes with a trip like this. Staying on pavement saves time but also is a bit safer for my first time out.
HUGE space for one now but again have to say I don’t mind it. Lot’s of room for gear to come in and stay dry from the morning drenching dew.
Went to see Gina’s BMW Motorcycles in Iowa City. I actually cleaned my chain in their parking lot, said hello and left. Nice little dealer loaded with good stuff. And they have a female owner, Service manager and part/apparel manager. Very cool although I did not meet any of them while there.
Before I met Jim for lunch in Peoria, I was in this what I thought was a quaint little town.
But I got a weird vibe here. Plus, I did not like all the attention my bike was getting from questionable guys. So, I was happy to bolt out of this cute riverside park to head to Jim. You know you just get that gut instincts that something is not right about some people you meet. I had that about the 10 guys who tried talking to me.
Took a few shots here because it was still a very tranquil spot.
That’s it for now. Heading towards to home stretch to NC tomorrow. It’s the USA long weekend and I will try to stay away from major roads and big ass RV’s. I want to go by Nashville though and see if the Tail of the Dragon is too crowded to ride. I can take it from Asheville, on the TN and NC border down to my brothers. But I could not pick a worse weekend to try to ride this road. Again I will play it by ear and if you are following on the SPOT you will see when I do too.
The new Gen3 SPOT seems to be working well and I have not had to change any batteries for over 30 hours of use.