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Thread: Crusty's Travels

  1. #451
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    Modifications & Magazines


    Iíve been looking at maps again and thinking about just how cold is the water of the Beaufort Sea in mid June? I could look it up, and probably will, but Iíd really like to experience the sensation on my feet. Thinking about that leads me to think about what changes I want to make to the Roadster before I make that trip. I want to change a couple of mounting points on the saddlebag mounting brackets, and also put a couple of additional braces on them. Then Iíd like to get them powder coated black. I also want to put an aircraft style gas cap (like my Buell Tubers had) on my gas tank. The stock gas cap makes a very loud clunk when I go over bumps, and it sounds like the front end is about to come off. I think Iíd like to put an older style (late 70s / early 80s) front fender on it, as well. I think that would be better in the rain than the current fender is. Fork gaiters to help protect the tubes would also be a good idea. There are thousands of miles of dirt road Iíll have to traverse. Maybe some sort of headlight protector, as well. I think Iíll leave the belt on. Converting to chain drive is an awful lot of work, and I really prefer the belt. Of course, if Iím sitting on the side of the Dempster Highway with a broken belt, Iíll be thinking that not converting to a chain was a stupid idea. Iíll definitely be giving that a lot of thought.

    I also should start hitting the gym. The bike isnít the only thing that needs modification to prepare for the trip. It wouldnít hurt if I were to lose a bit of the excess lard Iím carrying around. Oh joy. Planet Fitness, here I come. I know that once I start hitting the gym daily, Iíll get into it. The ride North might just be motivation enough to get me off my dead ass and get me started.

    Itís no secret that I find the Harley 750 Street Rod appealing. Iíve mentioned it in a few different Snippets. Iíve looked at the Flat Track race bikes, looked at the Street 750, and Iíve checked out the Street Rod at Harley Dealerships and I spoke at length with a Harley Representative when I went to the Springfield Mile during Labor Day weekend. Cycle World did a comparison with an FZ-07 Yamaha, and while the Yamaha won, the Street Rod was a close second.

    Mike in Georgia sent me a copy of Motorcycle Consumer News that did a review of the Street Rod. They had absolutely nothing good to say about it. They went after the bike like CNN goes after Donald Trump. Iím not going to say much about MCN, but they also said that the Buell Blast was a total piece of crap and a Suzuki Savage was a better beginnerís bike. Having had wives who owned both, and a step daughter who rode a Blast from Massachusetts to East Troy, WI, I have a very opposite opinion. Their review of the Street Rod was so biased, it pushes me toward the bike even more. Kind of the way Motorcyclist magazine pushed me toward Buells when a Honda employee was the Editor-in-Chief. I distrust all magazines, any more. I read a few, but I take everything they say with more than a grain of salt.

    Iím still thinking about a Street Rod.

    Well; time to get a start on the day.
    You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

  2. #452
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    The Roadster is (re)tired, and I'm tired, too. Arrivederci

  3. #453
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    Are you leaving us? I'll miss your posts if you do.
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  4. #454
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    My Camping Gear


    Itís a rainy day and Iím a bit reluctant to take the Roadster out. I just put a spit shine on it this weekend, and Iíd like it to stay clean for more than one day. That wonít happen; I have to go out and get some drugs. (No; not that kind. I need drugs for my stomach) I ran out, and if I donít go out today, I wonít be able to sleep tonight from all the heartburn and reflux. At any rate, I guess it might be a good idea to talk about the gear I used while tramping for a couple of years while I procrastinate.

    When I started out, I was using a 15 year old REI half dome tent. I bought it in 1999, just before I went to the May Springfield Mile. It served me well, so I figured Iíd continue using it. It lasted for the first couple of months, but while I was camped in the Indiana State Fairgrounds, an incredibly heavy thunderstorm came through and dropped something like 4 inches of rain. the storm woke me up; I could see the bolts of lightning through both the tent and rain fly. When I put my hand down, I discovered that there was two inches of water in the tent. After that, the tent had trouble keeping even the dew off me. To quote the doctor on Star Trek, ďItís dead, Jim.Ē

    I had decided that Mil Spec was probably the best way to go for a replacement, and I settled on a surplus USMC two man tent. That was quite possibly one of the smartest decisions Iíve ever made. It is very well made and itís durable. Itís heavier than most 2 man tents, but the Roadster didnít notice the extra pound or two. This tent was designed to last in combat conditions and it flat works. If it ever dies, Iíll get another one just like it. Itís that good. It was made by Diamond Brand, which is Eureka, and it even has a USMC logo printed on the inside of the door.

    Susan in Colorado gave me a very warm sleeping bag. I have no idea what brand it is, but itís a warm bag. My feeling about bags is that if a bag is too warm, I can always open it to cool off. But if a bag isnít warm enough, Iíll have a truly miserable night. I had started out with an old Marlboro (cigarettes) Zero bag. I got all my friends who smoked Marlboros to save their empty packs for me, and when I had enough, I sent them in and got the bag. It had a zipper that loved to snag and it was a pain in the ass to use on a nightly basis. Of course, it was something like 25 years old, but still, it sucked. When I got to Montrose, Susan had a bag that she felt she would never use again, so she gave it to me. Itís a good bag. Itís warm, even in freezing temperatures (literally) and the zipper works smoothly.


    For a sleeping pad, I got an REI 3 1/2Ē thick self inflating pad. Itís like a very thick Thermarest pad. It works really well and has proven to be really durable. It keeps me off the ground and offers a good bit of comfort. In my younger days, I just slept on the ground; now, Iím an old fart and a bit of comfort is a good thing.

    I donít do much cooking when Iím on the road, but I do like my coffee in the morning. I got an Etekcity camping stove that screws onto a short bottle of gas for something like seven bucks from Amazon, and a Stanley stainless steel 28 Oz. pot with a lid and fold up handle from Walmart. It comes with two cups that nest inside, and the folded up stove fits in the top cup. The stove is a cheap piece of crap, but it never let me down. While I wanted to get a Jet Boil setup, I never got around to it.

    I have to say that when I was planning to hit the road, I got a lot of really good advice from the people over at Moto Campers.com. They were a great help in my choice of gear. I didnít always get the specific items they recommended, but my gear choices were made on a much more informed basis; as well as a very thin wallet. Those folks love camping, and they know what works and why. Dusty Boots especially gave a lot of good tips and ideas.

    That gear is enough to give me a warm and dry place to sleep, and a cup of hot coffee in the morning. When I head North for the Beaufort Sea, Iíll be carrying it with me. Well, maybe I'll have a better stove; we'll see.

    Now, if only I could find a decent coffee creamer to go with the Folgers Instant coffee...

  5. #455
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    Buellvemberfest 2017



    I’m home. It was a wonderful weekend. I ate too much and rode too fast and hung out with some crazy (but really cool) people and helped build campfires that were too big and too hot. I even managed to get lost on the way home.

    I arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up the tent fairly close to the Lodge. I knew there was going to be a campfire, so I set the tent up a ways off from the fire ring. I like my tent a lot and would really be bummed out if sparks from the fire burned holes in it, or even set it on fire. I’ve been wanting to sleep in my tent for a while and Buellvemberfest seemed like the perfect opportunity. I was a bit slow in getting the tent set up. After not using it for over a year, I had to think a bit about what I was doing. It wasn’t reflexive. One of the air valves on my sleeping pad didn’t want to close and it took me a while to get it shut. It’s been getting more and more difficult over the past while, but now it was almost impossible to get it shut. I think I’d better get a new pad before I head for the Arctic on my next Great Ride. At any rate, I really enjoyed sleeping in the tent again for the weekend.

    Froggy arrived about a half hour after me. He was staying in a cabin. Once he got settled in and unloaded his bike, we decided to head over to Jim’s Smokin’ Que for dinner. At first, I thought that eating BBQ three days in a row might be too much, but then I figured that I wouldn’t be back for a long while, so I might as well get my fill. I had different items each time I went, and I don’t feel I ate there too much. In fact, I’d probably go back this week if I was in the area. I do feel that I ate too much, but that’s because the portions were so large and the food was so good I couldn’t stop. For the record, I had a Pulled Pork sandwich with Baked Beans on Thursday, a 1/2 rack of ribs with Baked Beans and Peanut Butter Pie on Friday and a Brisket sandwich with (what else?) beans on Saturday. All of it was superb.

    People (besides me and Froggy) started showing up late Friday morning. Matthew said he hadn’t eaten anything yet and he was hungry, so we rode over Wolf Pen Gap to get lunch. After lunch, we all rode over Blood Mountain. We then split up. Mike headed towards Dahlonega, Matt and Froggy went that away and I rode over the Construction Area on Rt. 60 back to TWoS. I can’t remember the name of the guy on the Suzuki who was with us, but he had someplace to be, as well. When I got back to the Lodge, OurDee and Squids were there. and we shot the breeze for a while before dinner.

    Friday night, we built a fire. It took quite a bit of work to get it going. We tried everything we could think of, but the wood just didn’t want to burn. We used paper, we shaved pieces off the chunks of wood to create kindling, Brad even threw a whole roll of paper towels in the fire ring and lit it. The fire would light for a couple of minutes, then die down. Finally, Brad kept spraying carb cleaner on the flames and when the can ran out, he started spraying Brake cleaner. I cut an empty Pepsi bottle in half and used the two halves to hold Gasoline. That was the final trick that got the wood burning. I decided that on Saturday, I’d buy a bottle of Charcoal lighter fluid so that it would be easier to get the fire started.

    Also on Friday night, Mike arrived in his truck hauling a bike with a flat tire on a trailer. Eric was on his way to the rally when he got a flat. He called Mike who rescued him. We all reacted like Badwebbers, and soon tire plugs and compressors were out and people were working to plug the holes and air up the tire. OurDee plugged two holes, but there was a gash that was too big for the plugs, so we left the bike on the trailer for the night and Saturday morning, Mike drove Eric and the bike to a shop in Blairsville that had a tire.

    The rest of us headed out to ride some of the local roads. We stopped for a short rest at one point, and Mike and Eric joined us and we rode over some wonderful roads through really beautiful country. One thing that I really got a kick out of was that out of 9 bikes, eight were different marques. we had one each, Moto Guzzi, Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, EBR, BMW, Harley-Davidson and two Buells. We rode around until lunch time, then wound up at Jims. After lunch, we split up again. I saw Brad and RD pull into a Family Dollar store and remembered that I wanted to get lighter fluid, so I pulled in, too. It started pouring rain around the middle of the afternoon. I was at the lodge, but a large group had gone on a Crooked Road Liquor Run, and they got soaked.

    After dinner, we built a fire. It took about 3/4 of the bottle of lighter fluid to get the fire going, but once it did, it burned hotly. Hot enough, in fact to have the steel fire ring glowing orange. We burned something like 10 wheelbarrows of wood. It was a BIG fire. Matthew took some pictures and even some video of the fire with his phone. I’m hoping that the picture of the fire ring with the logo of TWoS came out and that he posts it on Badweb.

    Sunday morning, the fog was really thick. You couldn’t see for more than a couple of hundred feet. I waited until almost 11:00 before I decided to risk it, and headed out. To my surprise,I rode out of the fog in a mile or so, and had a clear ride until I got back to Cincinnati. The clear, sunny day didn’t prevent me from taking a wrong turn and seeing a sign that said Welcome To North Carolina. I was stopped on the side of the road looking at my map when a local couple stopped and told me how to get back on course. Then, when I took the turn off that said, Rt. 68 North, I found it put me onto Rt. 68 South, so I had to make a U-turn. I think it was all a plot to keep me in Georgia.

    At any rate, I found the rain when I got close to the Ohio River, but it was light, and I made it home without incident.

    Buellvemberfest what just what the doctor ordered for me. Great People, a Great campground, wonderful food and phenomenal roads make for a very revitalizing and enjoyable experience.

  6. #456
    BigBob's Avatar
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    Re: Crusty's Travels

    Sounds like a nice trip.
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