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Discussion Starter #1
I have been on this trip for two months now and I post a blog at www.trippinwithrickclick.blogspot.com I would post it all here too, but I figure you can link to it. Just keeping one blog is nearly too much and I'd never get any riding done if I posted here, on avrider, thumpertalk and facebook. Comments are welcome, of course, and I hope to be able to ride with some of you along the Pacific coast.
 

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I made it to the east bay area where I can stop at a friend's in Lafayette and do some maintenance. My tires are about bald with the odometer showing 9700. I started out in June at 2600 miles. They did pretty well for being original equipment from 2003. I guess that cracked rubber just means the tires are hardened and last longer. I ordered stock tires from Motorcycle Superstore for $157 with free shipping. I've read the descriptions of changing tires with an unsettling dread, knowing I would be eventually faced with my own rubber/rim wrestling match one day. I have tire irons and a 12V pump. My first challenge will be getting the bike on some kind of support to give me access to remove the wheels. The best improvisation seems to be the milk crate with a couple guys helping lift it up. Or I suppose I could just lay it over on one side if I remove the battery first. The trip has been trouble free, just adding oil, filter and lubing the chain, but I have a laundry list of periodic maintenance items that go with the 10,000 mile mark and I'll be getting to them as I progress toward Los Angeles and Orange County seeing friends and family. I'm headed to warm weather for the winter and maybe go back to work for a few months as a dental tech in Palm Springs.
 

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I made it to the east bay area where I can stop at a friend's in Lafayette and do some maintenance. My tires are about bald with the odometer showing 9700. I started out in June at 2600 miles. They did pretty well for being original equipment from 2003. I guess that cracked rubber just means the tires are hardened and last longer. I ordered stock tires from Motorcycle Superstore for $157 with free shipping. I've read the descriptions of changing tires with an unsettling dread, knowing I would be eventually faced with my own rubber/rim wrestling match one day. I have tire irons and a 12V pump. My first challenge will be getting the bike on some kind of support to give me access to remove the wheels. The best improvisation seems to be the milk crate with a couple guys helping lift it up. Or I suppose I could just lay it over on one side if I remove the battery first. The trip has been trouble free, just adding oil, filter and lubing the chain, but I have a laundry list of periodic maintenance items that go with the 10,000 mile mark and I'll be getting to them as I progress toward Los Angeles and Orange County seeing friends and family. I'm headed to warm weather for the winter and maybe go back to work for a few months as a dental tech in Palm Springs.


I would like to know details about your route. From what I understand, TWs don't make good freeway bikes, especially when carrying extra gear.
 

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Hey, Rick. Where are you currently?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow! That would be great. I can continue letting my back heal. I expect the tires to arrive tomorrow since they are in San Pablo today. How can I reach you? my phone is (575) 571-2349.

Richard
 

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I'm in Lafayette until I get my tires mounted, then on down the coast and eventually to Palm Springs.
 

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Thanks to Ken, I now have my bike off the ground, back wheel off and a 6 inch C-clamp applied to the bead. That's where I left it as it got dark. I cranked on the clamp, tightening as much as I could and still it laughs at me. I'll see how it feels about it after being squeezed all night. Tomorrow I'll try the scissor jack between the car and the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Basically, I was hopping from one National Forest to another as I went north on the Western Slope of the Rockies on my way to Glacier Natl Park. I was able to stay in dispersed camping for free or a Forest Service camp ground for half the going rate with my Federal Senior Pass. My route was pretty directly from campsite to campsite, so you could piece together my route by stringing those locations together. I didn't do much dirt road riding, just what it took to get to a spot to camp. I feel every bit a novice when I'm on dirt/gravel/sand and proceed with great caution. I'd like to have posted the Google map for each day's journey. I want to start doing that soon. Always new things to learn...
 

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Post your progress southward as you go. In Cali at least, you're never too far from one of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
With much grunting, swearing, WD-40 and applying the C-clamp to the bead at all points of the tire/rim interface I have it off. Whew!
The front should be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yep, the front tire was half the effort taking off and putting on. I stuck my finger into the bearings, none of which turned smoothly and one is a little stiff. I'll need to go get new ones and I don't suppose it is a common size I can get at an auto parts store. Any suggestions? Meanwhile, the back tire waits to be mounted tomorrow, remaining unfettered and reclining on the rim. Tomorrow should be the final round of Man vs Rubber and I'll need to be part orangutan to finish.



"I love the smell of new rubber in the morning... The smell, you know that latex smell... Smells like, road adhesion."
 

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There's a King Bearing in Fairfield. I believe that's fairly close to where you are. Better bearings and much cheaper than Yamaha. Front and rear should run around 40 bucks. You may want to call them with the numbers off your old one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fairfield is a little far as I'll have no transportation tomorrow, thursday. So, I'll find the numbers and call Napa here on Diablo in Lafayette. I had not thought of finding a number on the bearings. This forum is the greatest.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I finished the tires this afternoon and will be leaving tomorrow morning for a visit with a cousin in Belmont and then to camp in the Natl Forest south of Montery. That sets me up for Big Sur on the weekend.
Great ride, but I'd rather do it during the week. Any one want to come along? How is camping along Big Sur. The state CGs are too expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
- Drizzly, misty Santa Cruz.

I ground to a stop three times today. It was just starting to mist when I left my cousin's house near Hwy 92 and continued to the coast at Half Moon Bay. That's a beautiful ride and I would have enjoyed it if the road were dry. I fought condensation and rain on my visor to the coast and on south. Feeling freaked by the rain and hoping to outrun it southward, I passed the last gas stations before Hwy 1 and thought those stations would be challenging to get to across congested traffic and through U-turns in the rain. I thought that surely there will be gas right on 1 and I could glide in on my right side. Hmmm. No gas. But wait, there is a distance sign... Davenport just 38 miles. Sure, I can do that. The adage for TW owners of never passing a chance to refuel whispering in the back of my mind, I continued and there ahead was Davenport. Whew. Or so I thought. There was no gas and I had another 11 miles to Santa Cruz. My trip meter was at 110. opps. I turned around and rode past all 8 buildings and parked to start asking people for gas. After the highway prospects were eliminated, I started up the residential street. The first house had a guy and his wife near their pickup and after discussing the options (none) he offered to siphon gas from his truck. He cut off a length of his garden hose and worked it into his tank. I found some empty drink cups, wiped them out and had the precious liquid in hand. He, however had gotten a more gas in his mouth than he intended and some in his eye as well. I felt so bad for him, especially remembering the swigs of gas I had as a teen. He came back out of the house with his eye and around it red and swollen. Well, just a little puffy. He clearly had gotten the worst of the transaction. He wouldn't take money or an invitation to lunch, just glad to help someone in need. Just then his mom pulled up, saying that there had been a head on collision on the way to Santa Cruz and the road would not be open for a couple hours. I had lunch and rode down to see if I could get through. Of course not. The LEO at an intersection was directing traffic through a detour and it would be an extra ten miles. But there was a town with gas in the hills through which the detour went, but I had to make several turns to get there. Naturally, I could only remember the first turn and couldn't stop to write anything down in the rain. Soon lost, I pressed on until the bike died and coast to a stop in a driveway. No one home there and I went back down the road to an intersection with a bank of rural mail boxes. The 4th person I asked offered to go home and fetch back a can of gas. As I was pouring it into my tank I asked "May I empty it?" "Sure, please do." There was nearly a gallon and I was so grateful. He gave me directions to the closest gas station and I was on my way after profuse thanks and good wishes. This new road was narrow, twisty, and oh so wet. After several stretches of signed one lane pavement, I was beginning to wonder if I would need to repeat my begging further down the road when suddenly I was on Hwy 9 and in Ben Lomand, going into a gas station. Now this seemed survivable after I had wiped clear my glasses and visor. Back out into the misting rain, I was soon passing Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park campground. I debated; push on or camp in the rain. Onward I went into Santa Cruz to find creeping traffic on Hwy 1. For the better part of an hour I crept along, thinking it would break soon and I could stay with my plan to camp south of Monterey if only I could out run the rain. Actually, I wasn't thinking clearly at that point. Traffic stretched on ahead disappearing into the rain. I saw a motel from the highway and gave in, getting off at the next ramp and checking in. 66 bucks, but I'm warm and dry. I'll find the Youth Hostel here in town and wait out this rain through the weekend. Monday will be good to ride Big Sur, dry and less people.
 

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- Drizzly, misty Santa Cruz.

I ground to a stop three times today. It was just starting to mist when I left my cousin's house near Hwy 92 and continued to the coast at Half Moon Bay. That's a beautiful ride and I would have enjoyed it if the road were dry. I fought condensation and rain on my visor to the coast and on south. Feeling freaked by the rain and hoping to outrun it southward, I passed the last gas stations before Hwy 1 and thought those stations would be challenging to get to across congested traffic and through U-turns in the rain. I thought that surely there will be gas right on 1 and I could glide in on my right side. Hmmm. No gas. But wait, there is a distance sign... Davenport just 38 miles. Sure, I can do that. The adage for TW owners of never passing a chance to refuel whispering in the back of my mind, I continued and there ahead was Davenport. Whew. Or so I thought. There was no gas and I had another 11 miles to Santa Cruz. My trip meter was at 110. opps. I turned around and rode past all 8 buildings and parked to start asking people for gas. After the highway prospects were eliminated, I started up the residential street. The first house had a guy and his wife near their pickup and after discussing the options (none) he offered to siphon gas from his truck. He cut off a length of his garden hose and worked it into his tank. I found some empty drink cups, wiped them out and had the precious liquid in hand. He, however had gotten a more gas in his mouth than he intended and some in his eye as well. I felt so bad for him, especially remembering the swigs of gas I had as a teen. He came back out of the house with his eye and around it red and swollen. Well, just a little puffy. He clearly had gotten the worst of the transaction. He wouldn't take money or an invitation to lunch, just glad to help someone in need. Just then his mom pulled up, saying that there had been a head on collision on the way to Santa Cruz and the road would not be open for a couple hours. I had lunch and rode down to see if I could get through. Of course not. The LEO at an intersection was directing traffic through a detour and it would be an extra ten miles. But there was a town with gas in the hills through which the detour went, but I had to make several turns to get there. Naturally, I could only remember the first turn and couldn't stop to write anything down in the rain. Soon lost, I pressed on until the bike died and coast to a stop in a driveway. No one home there and I went back down the road to an intersection with a bank of rural mail boxes. The 4th person I asked offered to go home and fetch back a can of gas. As I was pouring it into my tank I asked "May I empty it?" "Sure, please do." There was nearly a gallon and I was so grateful. He gave me directions to the closest gas station and I was on my way after profuse thanks and good wishes. This new road was narrow, twisty, and oh so wet. After several stretches of signed one lane pavement, I was beginning to wonder if I would need to repeat my begging further down the road when suddenly I was on Hwy 9 and in Ben Lomand, going into a gas station. Now this seemed survivable after I had wiped clear my glasses and visor. Back out into the misting rain, I was soon passing Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park campground. I debated; push on or camp in the rain. Onward I went into Santa Cruz to find creeping traffic on Hwy 1. For the better part of an hour I crept along, thinking it would break soon and I could stay with my plan to camp south of Monterey if only I could out run the rain. Actually, I wasn't thinking clearly at that point. Traffic stretched on ahead disappearing into the rain. I saw a motel from the highway and gave in, getting off at the next ramp and checking in. 66 bucks, but I'm warm and dry. I'll find the Youth Hostel here in town and wait out this rain through the weekend. Monday will be good to ride Big Sur, dry and less people.


Rick, where are you located today? (10/26/2010)

I'd like to contribute to your journey. I have a couple factory rear tires in my garage with about 90% tread left on them (replaced them with street tires) If you've got room to strap it on the back of your bike, your welcome to one of them for free!

I live in San Jose (about 22 miles from santa cruz)

Paying it forward...

Igofar
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Igofar, but I already have my new tires mounted and I'm pretty sure I won't want to pack a spare tire for the next 10,000 miles. I'm in Atascadero now and headed to Bakersfield tomorrow or Monday.



Saturday October 23rd Atascadero

After watching the TV weather report and verifying it on line, I decided to take the forecasters at their word and believe rain would hit the coast at 2 pm. I figured I could make it from Santa Cruz to Atascadero by then and left following the Google map route I had transcribed to note paper that was placed under a clear plastic panel on top of my tank bag to refer to while I was at stop lights. A couple turns into it and I was off track, so I made my way back to Hwy 1 which was a freeway at that point. Vroom. On down the coast past Monterey I stopped at the Safeway as I have on every other trip I’ve made though here. I sort of had a sense of home there, wherever home might be. I’ve been up and down Big Sur by car and by thumb at least 10 times and this is the first by motorcycle. I can recommend it highly and would like to do it again. The road was dry except for a few places in the shade where I was extra careful and the way it is banked on some of the curves, I could come closer than ever to being horizontal as I caromed through. This motorcycle riding thing is fun. On this trip through Big Sur I went faster than any previous time. Landmarks where I had stayed and hiked before clicked by quickly and soon I was near sea lions basking on the beach. It was easy to tell where they were by sense of smell as I rode past them. I stopped to eat at San Simeon with a watchful eye on the clouds to the west; it was 1:30 and I was expecting the rain to be on time. In fact, it did not rain at all until the evening in A-Town. I’m glad I didn’t stay in the motel believing that it would rain all weekend.
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Discussion Starter #19
I had a great ride on 58 from Santa Margarita to B-field yesterday. The rollercoaster going east out of Carrizo Plain was the most fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm riding from Bakersfield heading to Santa Monica with a campout in the Los Padres Natl Forest along State 33. I've been staying with people so long that I'm looking forward to riding and a night out.
 
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