No whining! The purpose of this trip is to enjoy motorcycling the US while seeing old friends, making new old friends, and accomplishing a whole bunch of mostly crazy goals.
  • Oct14

    This Is The End...Really

    October 14 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    The time has come. I got back from Odessa today and have decided to officially end my 2022 Motorcycle Adventure. What a ride!!!

    From my first post on 13 February, here is what I challenged myself to accomplish in 2022 and how I did:
    ✅ Enjoy the ride!
    ✅ No whining.
    ✅ No crashing.
    ✅ Visit as many friends as I can and make new friends along the way.
    ✅ Complete Harley's Georgia and South Carolina 50 Rides 1 Nation Challenge (#47 and #48 of the 50).
    ✅ Complete Harley's 10 Rides for 2022.
    ✅ Visit all 50 locations in the 2022 Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas.
    ☹️ Visit at least 502 Harley dealerships. My official count for HOG's Dealership Challenge is 420. Another 14 visited but photos weren't accepted.
    ✅ Complete Iron Butt Association's National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award Silver.
    ☹️ Attend all of Harley's Touring Rallies. I could not make the Grand Museum rally because of the Hoka Hey.
    ✅ Complete the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in the allotted time.
    ✅ Get amazing tan lines from my gloves.
    ----------

    Here are a few nuggets from this year's riding:

    - Meeting up with friends and making new friends at touring rallies is terrific ❤️. Catching up with old friends, if only for a cup of coffee ☕ or a hug 🫂, is totally worth the stop.

    - Watching sunrise 🌄 and sunset 🌇 while riding the bike is one of my favorite things to do.

    - You don't need as much stuff as you think you do. But always, always have duct tape, painters tape, and electrical tape.

    - Now everyone in every state hangs out in the left lane 🖕.

    - I'm no longer anxious about sleeping on the ground next to my bike, with or without a tent...or sleeping bag...or pillow...🤣.

    - I won't live long enough see all the natural beauty in this world or even in just one state...okay, maybe in Rhode Island...but I'm going to see as much of it as I can for as long as I can. And you're all welcome to join me!

    VROOM VROOM UNTIL NEXT TIME!!!

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    Here's some statistics:

    - TOTAL TRIP MILEAGE: 61556.8
    -- Today's mileage: 396.5 (total 26436.1 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    -- Annual Mileage [so far]: 64,407 (142,620 14 Oct - 78,213 1 Jan)

    - 217 days on the road and all but a handful on the bike. Yes, that's an average of over 28 miles EVERY DAY.

    - $19,478.74 spent at 23 HDs on bike maintenance, not including cost of four tows (5 rear flats and 1 dead battery; I rode on 2 of the flats)

    ----------

    So long, and thanks for all the fish! ✌️
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    Traveler

    you're doing it right. Hand Salute

    10/20/22Reply
     
  • Oct13

    🤬Hope Your Day Was Better Than Mine

    October 13 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 70 °F

    Despite 188 miles on my trip meter, I finished the day only 37 miles (and $350 poorer) from where I started.

    - 138433 odometer: Warhawk HD in Monroe, LA, changes my belt and pulley. I pick the bike up with the truck/trailer on Wednesday, 28 Sep.

    - 138803 (<370 miles later): The first day I ride after the belt change, Sunday, 2 Oct, I discover a slow/small leak in outer primary cover. I can't call Monroe until they open Tuesday, 4 Oct.

    - Tuesday, 4 Oct, I begin another leg of my trip. When I speak to Monroe, they say the leak can wait until my next service.

    - 139750 (1,317 miles after belt change): Wednesday, 5 Oct, Legacy HD in Odessa, TX, fixes the leak in the primary cover. They notice a lot of black oil slung underneath and dripping off the bike. Despite the noticeable leak being that fresh oil clear gold color, they don't delve any deeper than the outer primary. They do the five-mile test ride; no leak. They clean the bike and I'm off. Monroe pays $150 to fix the leak.

    - 141588 (1,838 miles after Odessa work): Sunday, 9 Oct, I notice a lot of black oil slung underneath and dripping off the bike, exactly the same as before. I can't call Odessa until they open Tuesday, 11 Oct.

    - Wednesday, 12 Oct, I ride the 400+ miles to Odessa.

    - 142049: Thursday, 13 Oct, Odessa pulls the primary apart again. The leak is from the INNER primary, specifically the main shaft seal. According to the tech, Don--who wanted to go into the inner primary the first time he worked on it, but Ty said not to--the seal shows damage from installation, which would have happened when Monroe changed the belt. Don fixes it, rides it 15 miles, and says it's good to go.

    Odessa management claims the bike left clean without a leak and that the leak is new because the bike is so old and because I rode so many miles since they worked on it. Monroe says they didn't touch the main shaft seal, but after speaking to another Odessa tech, Monroe admits they had to in order to change the belt. Despite that admission, Monroe refuses to admit they damaged it during the repair. Only because they tore it apart before, Odessa agrees to halve the hours (from 4 to 2 @ $100/hr), leaving me with the $350 bill.

    To top it all off, 50 miles after I leave Odessa, I stop at a gas station specifically to check under the primary...and find fresh fluid. I ride 50 miles back to Odessa. Don rechecks everything, thoroughly cleans it, does another 15-mile ride, and swears it's not leaking.

    My ass hurts.

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 188.0 [not all me though] (total 26039.6 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 0 (total 420)
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    Traveler

    bummer 😞

    10/14/22Reply
     
  • Oct12

    Back In Odessa

    October 12 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    I'm back in Odessa, Texas, to let Legacy HD fix the leak they fixed last week. 420 miles on I-20. Joy. I decided to stay at the same hotel I stayed at last week. It's a dump, but it's a clean dump. Plus it has a lounge, which is where I'm sitting right now.

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 433.7 (total 25851.6 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 0 (total 420)
    Read more

  • Oct9

    Seeing a Friend & Repeat Problems

    October 9 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 66 °F

    I spent a couple of hours seeing a dear friend in Austin, then made my way home. Unfortunately, my heated grips aren't working...again...and the leak I had under my crank case is back. Guess I'll be going back to Odessa so Legacy HD can fix what they fixed a few days ago. 😭

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 291.9 (total 25417.9 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 4 (total 420* total updated to reflect official count of HOG Dealership Challenge)
    Read more

  • Oct8

    MCGTTX MISSION COMPLETE!

    October 8 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    Aaaahhhh. Last night was very nice, but the luxury must have made me lazy because I couldn't get moving this morning. I finally drug myself out of bed and walked to a local breakfast joint. Everything in this part of Texas is in Spanish with some English and even some Spanglish. But it's no different than any other border area where cultures, customs, and language meld together, such as in Europe.

    I finally rolled out of the hotel at 11:00. By the time I got to South Padre Island, I was hungry again, so I had a lovely meal at a place right on the water. There was even a band playing.

    It was much easier to leave the island than getting there because of all the holiday traffic. From there I made it to Corpus Christi and Victoria before hitting Austin. I used points again to stay in a hotel I stayed in last year. Winning again!

    Even though all the food was delicious and the sunset was stunning tonight, the best part.of today was completing the Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas! Two years in a row! Yippee!! 👏🥳😁

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 522.5 (total 25126.0 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 4 (total 415)

    MCGTTX Stops: 5 (total 50 of 50 😁) MISSION COMPLETE!!
    Read more

  • Oct7

    Rain Delay

    October 7 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 81 °F

    Last night I pitched my tent next to the bike under cover at the HD. At 04:00, it began to rain. "No problem," I thought, and I turned over to go back to sleep. Then I got water in my face. Turns out, the top of the "cover" wasn't solid, so I began packing up hoping it would stay a sprinkle until I could get to the gas station. I got lucky and was only slightly damp by the time I made it to real cover.

    The storm was moving slowly northeast, so I waited until after 09:00 to let it get well in front of me. Despite going under the speed limit and hanging.out at a Whataburger for a two-hour lunch, I caught the rain, so I decided to call it a day by cashing in some hotel points.

    I found a great historic hotel in old downtown McAllen (the one near Brownsville, not Dallas). They even let me park on the sidewalk by the front walk!

    Now I'm having a Netflix night and staying dry. Winning!

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 159.5 😭 (total 24603.5 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 1 (total 412)
    MCGTTX Stops: 0 (total 45 of 50)
    Read more

  • Oct6

    Huge Day of Beauty & History, Old & New

    October 6 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

    Foggy morning from Odessa...

    to Marfa (Marfa Lights 🛸, Marfa Burritos 🤤)...

    past Fort Leaton (since 1683!)...

    through Big Bend Ranch State Park (TX 170 awesome road vroom vroom 🎢)...

    into Big Bend National Park (boring if you don't go to Chisos Basin and surrounding area)...

    past Langtry (Judge Roy Bean named it after his crush Lily Langtry)...

    towards Camp Wood (sunset on TX337, one-third of Twisted Sisters [https://www.ridetexas.com/])...

    to Leakey (Bent Rim Grill, whose owner just died)...

    then Uvalde (Robb Elementary School shooting)...

    to Laredo (I'm camped in the HD parking lot).

    Huuuge day!

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 863.8 😁 (total 24444.0 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 1 (total 411)
    MCGTTX Stops: 4 (total 45 of 50)
    Read more

    That is a huge day! I love Big Bend! [Ryan Ryan]

    10/8/22Reply
    Traveler

    Little bit of both. ......Then WOW, hard earned miles

    10/9/22Reply
     
  • Oct5

    Another Afternoon At Service

    October 5 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    I actually had a decent rest last night in my tent at the Shell station. I woke at 06:00, got some coffee and breakfast, packed up, and rolled by 07:00.

    Watching the sunrise while riding a motorcycle has become one of the most enjoyable part of my days. Sunsets on the warm beach with a cold beer are better, but I digress 😉.

    Anyway, I checked off three more MCGTTX stops before heading to the Odessa HD, where I hoped to have my 140,000-mile service done and get a leak fixed. Long story short: They were able to fix me today. Yippee! Also, the dealership in Monroe, LA, who recently replaced my belt and pulley paid $150 to fix the leak that was coming from the crankcase. Yippee again!

    After a free Chick-fil-A salad, five hours of waiting, and $500 out of my own pocket, I had Willie back and decently cleaned. But when I went outside, the sky was rolling with clouds. Instead of riding in the rain while both the sun and the temperature dropped, I decided to grab a hotel for the night. Luckily, I found a Travelodge for barely over $50. Yippee! Pretty good day.

    Oh! And I got to see the new Low Rider ST El Diablo in person today! There are only 1500 😱. The photos don't do it justice. Absolutely gorgeous!!!! I ❤️❤️❤️❤️ this bike!!!

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 365.2 (total 23580.2 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 1 (total 410)
    MCGTTX Stops: 3 (total 41 of 50)
    Read more

    Traveler

    Wow, that is nice. & real purdy

    10/9/22Reply
     
  • Oct4

    Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas

    October 4 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 68 °F

    Today I began a route in Texas to pick up the remaining MCGTTX stops and dealership photos. I didn't leave the barn until 09:00 this morning, so it's been a long day. Now, I've pitched my tent at a Shell station and hope to get some rest.

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 616.3 (total 23215.0 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 7 (total 409)
    MCGTTX Stops: 11 (total 38 of 50)
    Read more

  • Oct2

    Not Quite The End After All

    October 2 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    Well, my last post was a touch premature on the The End bit. After over a week off the bike and doing a whole bunch of adulting stuff, today I got back on the road to hit some dealerships and grab a few Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas pics. Even on a Saturday, Dallas traffic is abominable, but I survived.

    So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

    Today's mileage: 370.1 (total 22598.7 + 10552.0 Hoka Hey + 24568.7 pre-Hoka Hey)
    HD Dealerships: 4 (total 402)
    MCGTTX Stops: 3 (total 27 of 50)
    Read more