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Thread: Cross one off of my bucket list

  1. #1
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Cross one off of my bucket list

    Since moving to Wallowa County 5 years ago, I have had a dream of riding a motorcycle across Wallowa Lake. This was a "bucket list" kind of dream, meaning that it was something that I eventually wanted to do before leaving this life, but not something that actually needed to happen. It has taken 5 years to complete for a couple of reasons. 1st: Wallowa Lake does not freeze over every winter. 2nd: I needed a bike and tires capable of riding on a frozen lake. 3rd: convincing my wife that I wasn't going to die in my attempt. So, this year all requirements came together, quite literally in a perfect storm of ice, motorcycle, and an understanding wife.
    I suppose the pictures tell the tell better than my rambling:
    lake start.jpg
    From the top of the boat ramp prior to riding onto the lake. The empty 30 gallon barrel was there to float the bike should it go for a swim. My life jacket was in case I accidentally went for a swim.
    TW on lake.jpg
    Me doing a trial run before going the 6 miles down and back to the other end. The shore behind me is not the far end, just the West side of the lake. Fog rolled in before I did my actual across-lake run, so pictures didn't show anything.
    tw up ramp.jpg
    Pulling the kids up the frozen boat ramp after giving them a sled ride around on the lake.
    rear studded.jpg
    Minimal hex-head screw studs in rear and front tires.
    front studded.jpg
    In the end, it was a successful ride and now I can move on to the other two items on my bucket list. Although, I'm only in my mid-30s, so maybe I shouldn't be in any rush.
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain yawp View Post
    Since moving to Wallowa County 5 years ago, I have had a dream of riding a motorcycle across Wallowa Lake. This was a "bucket list" kind of dream, meaning that it was something that I eventually wanted to do before leaving this life, but not something that actually needed to happen. It has taken 5 years to complete for a couple of reasons. 1st: Wallowa Lake does not freeze over every winter. 2nd: I needed a bike and tires capable of riding on a frozen lake. 3rd: convincing my wife that I wasn't going to die in my attempt. So, this year all requirements came together, quite literally in a perfect storm of ice, motorcycle, and an understanding wife.
    I suppose the pictures tell the tell better than my rambling:
    lake start.jpg
    From the top of the boat ramp prior to riding onto the lake. The empty 30 gallon barrel was there to float the bike should it go for a swim. My life jacket was in case I accidentally went for a swim.
    TW on lake.jpg
    Me doing a trial run before going the 6 miles down and back to the other end. The shore behind me is not the far end, just the West side of the lake. Fog rolled in before I did my actual across-lake run, so pictures didn't show anything.
    tw up ramp.jpg
    Pulling the kids up the frozen boat ramp after giving them a sled ride around on the lake.
    rear studded.jpg
    Minimal hex-head screw studs in rear and front tires.
    front studded.jpg
    In the end, it was a successful ride and now I can move on to the other two items on my bucket list. Although, I'm only in my mid-30s, so maybe I shouldn't be in any rush.
    Thanks for reading.
    admiral, Tweaker, Rider21 and 2 others like this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    Enjoyed the photos and text!
    Easily removable tire studs - how was the riding without them?
    I've ridden on ice in a New Jersey winter (Honda CB160, while stationed at McGuire AF
    Street tires were fine, if carefully about acceleration, turning and braking.
    Easier (for me) to ride a motorcycle on ice than a bicycle
    Only dropped it once, due to throttle cable freezing during early morning hours in a snow storm...key under tank, no kill switch and no positive return cable.

    So, what are the other two items on your bucket list?

    Don't leave them for too late in life (if worth doing).

    I was surprised when I lived to be 30
    Last edited by SportsterDoc; 01-19-2017 at 11:11 PM.
    Tweaker likes this.

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Great story!
    Like the obviously well thought out provisions for emergency floatation too. lake start.jpg
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  6. #5
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Nice when someone else appreciates the weird things we do on TWs.
    SportsterDoc, the stock tires were terrible in snow before studding. I looked at the the rear after attempting to ride in 6 inches of powder and it was completely packed full of snow between the lugs, which reminded me of when as a teenager we would buy tractor tubes and over-inflate then to take sledding. With the studs, traction on hard pack snow and ice is great, as long as I go straight or do not lean the bike in turns (= very slow turning). If the front tire gets in even an inch of loose snow, it still wants to wash out and go all over the place, for example if I ride under a place on the road where an overhanging tree has dropped a little snow. That made me pucker a few times while riding the 10 miles to the lake from my house. The rear seems to do great in powder now even with the minimal studs, for a motorcycle that is.
    littletommy, ejfranz and admiral like this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that wearing a life jacket (correctly called a PFD) in the winter, is a surprisingly great way to add extra cold weather insulation. At least to the chest and back areas that it covers.
    And for my other two bucket list items:
    2: Go wild hog hunting, probably in Texas.
    3: Bow fish (archery) an alligator.
    Now if I can somehow incorporate my TW into both of those, I would die an even happier man (in a long time hopefully). I suppose I have more simple tastes than someone who wants to see Italy or something boring like that.

  8. #7
    Senior Member vanillagorilla1's Avatar
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    Great adventure. Also there you have it. The rack holds a freakin drum.
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  9. #8
    Member Blockhead's Avatar
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    Really cool stuff...thanks for the story and pics!
    littletommy and admiral like this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member pred's Avatar
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    I thought it was a whisky bottle?
    ~ ~ ~
    Nice to see the dream realized !
    If I were there I would have gone with you !.
    Thank you for sharing !
    And watch those gators.

  11. #10
    Senior Member stagewex's Avatar
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    Outstanding.
    The empty (for flotation) tank and PFD show you may have too much common sense to own a TW

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