United States
Saco

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    • Day 107

      Bakersfield

      November 17, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

      No one we talked to recommended Bakersfield ("the armpit of California") as a destination, but we had decided we were done with the mountain pass route and there isn't really anywhere to camp in the Central Valley so we found another gracious Warmshowers host to put us up for the night in the booming metropolis. Mick and Emily were in the midst of a major renovation, but welcomed us into their home and provided us with enlightening conversations about health care and education in the US.Read more

    • Vegas Wouldn't Let Me Leave

      May 29, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

      With only 300 miles to ride today, I didn't have to leave early, so I didn't pack last night. I had parked the bike in the parking garage area so it would be in the shade and less likely for a homeless guy to pee on it. When I went to bring it across the street to load it, the battery was sluggish to get going. Well, he's been sitting for almost three days. No problem. I rolled him right up on the sidewalk, got loaded, and pulled back into the parking garage to check out at 09:00.

      When I got back to the bike, he wouldn't start. Dead battery 😭. So I unloaded everything, took off all of my gear, dumped everything with the bellhop, and took the bus to Las Vegas HD. I got there right at 10:00 when they opened, and they could fix it, but didn't have anyone to tow. So, I got back on the bus, called Harley Roadside Assistance, and got back to hotel about 15 minutes before the truck showed up. The two guys (one training) were great and let me ride with them back to LVHD.

      They knew I was trying to get out of town, so they replaced the battery pretty quick. I was back to Circus Circus, loaded up, and ready to roll at 14:30. The only good thing about it was had I left at 09:30, I would've hit a really bad traffic jam on I-15 through the mountains. As it happened, traffic was smooth sailing all the way.

      Vegas tried to keep me from leaving, but Cali didn't seem to want me there because by the time I got to Barstow, the winds were an average or 40 mph with gusts up to 50 😱. Plus, I was in the Mojave Desert, which made the wind like sandpaper at times. I made it 35 miles past Barstow and pulled down an exit ramp shoulder, where I was going to put the bike on the jiffy stand to check my phone for a place to rest/shelter. But the wind was blowing so hard that although I got stopped, I didn't dare take my hands off the bars or my feet off the ground, not even to put down the stand.

      So I took off, got back on CA-58, put my hazards on, and tried to keep it between the lines. Only a few miles later, there was a sign for a Pilot, so I exited, but couldn't see which way to turn because of the sand. I guessed left and got lucky.

      By now it was about 17:30, so I ate a sandwich in the attached Subway while I checked the weather. The winds weren't going to let up significantly until 22:00, and I wasn't about to wait that long to go just another 100 miles. At 18:00, I was nodding bye to another biker I chatted with briefly and getting back on 58.

      Sixty miles later, I was getting really tired and now really cold. I hit Tehachapi, climbing to around 4,000 feet and the temperature dropped quickly. My crappy GPS weather app said it was 59°F, but it felt a lot colder. I considered stopping to put on more layers when I realized I wasn't leaning sideways any more. The cold distracted me from the wind, which began to diminish as I continued through the pass. By the time I had dropped down into the green, lush valley, the wind was gone and I was warm again.

      I just made it to the Bakersfield hotel and am beat. Early night tonight.

      Oh yeah, I rolled over 100,000 miles on Willie yesterday, but didn't get a picture until later 😭. Stupid wind.

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

      Day 79 mileage: 317.4 (total 19146.0)
      HD Dealerships: 0 (total 186)
      National Parks: 0 (total 35 in 18 states)
      10 Rides for 2022: 0 (total 5 of 10)
      MCGTTX Stops: 0 (total 23 of 50)
      Read more

    • Big Trees HOG Touring Rally Day 1

      May 31, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

      This morning was an early one. I had to have the bike across the street to the dealership for service at 08:30, but I was up when the sun woke me at 05:30 🥱.

      While waiting on the bike, I helped the Rally Coordinator Bill and the Regional Manager Chris set up their registration booth, chatted with some friends, and reconnected with Leann who has been in Santa Barbara. The bike and I were back at the hotel by 12:30.

      My roommate Donna arrived at 16:00, and we walked to the dealership for dinner at 17:00. We just got back from a fun time at the first day of the Big Trees HOG Touring Rally. Leann even won a big rally banner! Now, it's pack up and get ready to roll in the morning. Yippee!!

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

      Day 81 mileage: 6.6 (total 19160.6)
      HD Dealerships: 1 (total 187)
      National Parks: 0 (total 35 in 18 states)
      10 Rides for 2022: 0 (total 5 of 10)
      MCGTTX Stops: 0 (total 23 of 50)
      Read more

    • Adulting Day

      May 30, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      Today was adulting. I don't like these days, but they must be done, whether at home or on the road. After breakfast, I went to a laundromat to do laundry because the hotel's washer is kaput. They didn't have a bathroom, so I had to change out of my dirty clothes into my swim shorts and OCP uniform shirt right there. Oh well. It wasn't the first time I've changed clothes in public. Probably not the last either 🤣.

      I spent the rest of the day organizing photos, working with the GPS, repairing my tank bag, and cleaning my helmet. After yesterday's dust storm, I could taste the dirt when I put my visor down this morning, so I took out all the pads, dunked them in soapy water, rinsed them until the water wasn't colored any more 🤢, and hung them off the shower curtain rod to dry. The little hair dryer really impressed me by running on high for over 4 hours until I turned it off. Because of it, the pads will be dry by morning now. Rock on, little dryer.

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

      Day 80 mileage: 8 (total 19154.0)
      HD Dealerships: 0 (total 186)
      National Parks: 0 (total 35 in 18 states)
      10 Rides for 2022: 0 (total 5 of 10)
      MCGTTX Stops: 0 (total 23 of 50)
      Read more

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