Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Took My RA For A Ride

I'd had all I could take at work, I had to have a week off and it had to be now. As meticulous as I am about maintenance on my bike and laying the routes out that I wanted to take, conversely I just haphazardly threw anything that got in my way into the dry bag about an hour before we left and strapped it on the bike. I'm on vacation!

We head up through the Ozark National Forest and ran across a guy from KC with a Husaberg 570 ... I was jealous. Soon we jumped back out onto asphalt and found some incredible roads through the mountains to ride. We passed by the old Vendor one room schoolhouse which has been taken over by trees and vegetation. There was also an old spring, still running, out behind the schoolhouse ... with snakes galore. We were there between 5-10 minutes and saw 3 good sized ones.

We left the school house and head out for the old Sylamore suspension bridge. It is one of two suspension bridges still left in Arkansas. I was a bit disappointed after seeing the Beaver suspension bridge first, much longer and in better condition. Still cool though and after shooting it from different angles, we rode across it. Then we were off for Yellville to get a hotel room and something to eat. First day mileage 303 miles.

The next morning we got up and headed out. We caught the ferry across Bull Shoals Lake and then rode up into Missouri. If you have the nerve to push it a little bit, the asphalt roads in this area rival a roller coaster. Spent most of the the day in the Mark Twain forest riding till we were whipped out. Second day mileage 140 miles. At this point I was hurting and started dreading the long ride home ... I knew it was going to be uncomfortable at best.

Day 3 we packed up and headed out of town toward St Joe. There is an awesome little smoke house there by the name of Coursey's. Greg bought a small bone in ham while I went for some thick sliced bacon. Next we finished our ride back via highway 123 through the Ozark National Forest. It's not for the timid, especially pushing a bike, but it's an absolute thrill ride! We found an old abandoned service station that we stopped and milled around at for a while. Once back down to Clarksville, it was pretty much uneventful ride back in to my house. Third day mileage was 219 miles. Little dawg was once again excited to see me arrive back home. She just can't contain herself some days. If I ever find a girl that gets so excited that she pees in the floor just from me walking in the door ... I'll marry her!  

The DOWN side of the trip is that I hurt badly and was pretty much incapacitated over the next 3 days. I did manage to mow the yard but could not trim it. I couldn't lift my right arm over waist high without extreme pain. It finally eased up the third day after returning. The UP side is I had a great time, saw a bridge I have been wanting to photograph for 3 years now and the bacon. I baked some in the oven the next day and if it tastes half as good as it smells ... well, lets just say I will be happy. After eating a couple slices for breakfast, I have to admit this is THE BEST bacon you can get anywhere. 

I still have 2 days left before returning to prison, aka work. I have logged, to date, 879 miles for my vacation week and am shooting for 1000. We have heavy rain forecast for the next 2 days so I'm not sure if I will get it or not, but I will do my best. Still, even at 879 miles for a week, thats not too bad for an old, fat, crippled guy!

Dirt roads that never end
Ran across a guy from KC with a Berg
The old Vendor school house
Spring out back that was running
Entrance to the school house
Sylamore Suspension bridge in north central Arkansas
Bridge from side
Bridge deck ... pick your line wisely if on a bike
My hand would barely reach halfway around the cable and
look at the size of the threads on the bolt for the cable tie
Sylamore creek that runs under the bridge
Bikes on the ferry
At the start of Glade Top Trail in Missouri
On the Glade Top Trail
Ft Douglas bridge
On the bank of the Big Piney
Abandoned service station 
Car rack outside the old service station


Anonymous said...

Awesome trip. Sorry to hear about the price the old body had to pay for the fun, but you would probably be in pain anyway so it might as well be hard earned fun. We just got back from DC and saw rolling thunder guys everywhere including watching hundreds of bikes riding through Arlington Cemetery in tribute. Saw literally thousands of motorcycles around the capital on Sunday. Glad that you are getting around.Enjoy the summer.

Terry said...

Phil, thats just part of who I am now ... I have to pay for having fun. If I hold my mileage to 150 a day I'm usually pretty good though. That would be pretty awesome to see the rolling thunder. I had a friend that rode with the Two Million Bikers to DC last year on 9/11. I saw some video clips and it was pretty amazing. Hows the KLR coming along?

Anonymous said...

Love the old bridge! I've done the ferry ride and rode up in the Mark Twain forest before, good ride up that way. Great picture of your bike on the river bank.


Anonymous said...

KLR still has Orig tires plus a set of almost new Michelin Sirac tires that I may put on since I am mostly street. I set the back preload up to 5 and it is much better, but still need to raise it back up closer to stock, maybe get some stiffer springs and replace that killer seat with something that I can afford. otherwise it is a blast to ride.
Thanks for asking.

Terry said...

Steve, the bridge was cool ... not many swinging bridges around any more. Agreed on the Mark Twain forest. I have raced several times at Chadwick up that way. That shot of my bike was purely accidental. I pulled underneath the bridge, parked and shot some of the bridge then turned around and snapped it. Didn't realize what I had til I downloaded the pics.

Phil, I'll be honest ... I had to look up the Sirac tires. Good looking tire! Let me know how they work when you get them changed out. I am 5'10" and just barely tip toe to touch the ground with stock links and a heavy spring on the shock. I have a Seat Concepts seat on mine and I love it. Glad to hear you're having a blast.

Anonymous said...

Hope you had a great week. Found out the scoot works lowering link is set to -1 inch so should be able to put the stock link back in and go for the low seat concepts kit, but wonder about my skill level on stretching on the new seat cover and foam. I wondered if you had any info on stiffening the front forks or a favorite forum that you visit, as there are many on the KLR. Can't seem to find your email. The zero gravity sport touring screen looks good too, but I always appreciate any help from an experienced dual sport type.


Terry said...

Phil, sounds good on going back to the stock links. As far as the Seat Concepts seat kit goes, I ordered the complete seat so in case I sold my bike (I did), I could just put the stock seat back on and keep it or sell it later. It was (I believe) $80 more but included a new seat base and was ready to put on as soon as you pull it out of the box. I went with the progressive fork springs only (pt#11-1506) and it firmed the front end up nicely. Click on the "View My Complete Profile" and it has my email link. I will be glad to help with what I can Phil.