|10-27-2010, 09:35 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Summer Trip Report (Loooonnnggg)
It all started when Kaptian Amerika came up from San Diego for the Run 21 Run in Oregon in late July. I rode down to meet him there along with several members of this website and we had a great weekend. From there he rode back up with me to my house and we put both bikes in the garage and pretty much stripped them down and got them ready for our long summer trip.
6930 miles is what I logged on my bike with 13 states and over 6 weeks of adventure. What a trip it was, we battled thunderstorms, breakdowns, heat, bugs and everything else on this journey. But the trip was so memorable and will provide many stories around the camp fire! I spent about $2000 on this long trip and had so much fun!
After Curtis (Kaptian Amerkia) got here we pulled my tank that wasn’t yet completed from my modification of expanding it when I went to Palm Springs earlier in the year where my brother and I had split it and widened it to a 5 gl tank. Curtis and I had bought all the material and prepped the tank for painting. We actually built a paint booth in my garage complete with vacuum and extra lights just for this. Tank came out great.
We also pulled my starter that was going on 4 yrs old and with the additional starter I had purchased on eBay rebuilt one from both parts. We completely sealed all the drainage holes with JB Weld and replaced all the o-rings with larger ones to prevent anything from getting in and built one healthy starter based on Curtis experiences with his. I’m very satisfied with the results and my starter really cranks over the motor now. Here are a few pictures of the process of re-building it.
Thursday morning on the 5th of August we headed out to Missoula, MT for the Testical Festival and got in late at night to hook up with Highrisk and his wife Deener (both members here). One good thing about arriving late was the gates were now closed and we didn’t have to pay the entrance fee. We partied the night away after setting up our tents and during the night decided to take off the next morning for Sturgis. We had originally planned to stay two nights here but changed our minds. The ride out was great with the ride over the Cascade Mountians and the Rockies through Washington, Idaho and into Montana and just over 600 miles. Getting up in the morning we packed up camp and headed out. Highrisk and Deener headed out also but they went a different route enjoying the backcountry.
We get on I-90 and head east and pass through Butte where we stopped for breakfast then pushed on to Billings, MT where we spent the night. The weather had warmed up so our leather jackets got strapped to the handlebars and we enjoyed the summer heat except for the occasional thunder shower that actually made it more enjoyable with the refreshing rain. On the way we discovered that Kaptain America’s rear exhaust pipe had broken so we had to do some patch work in Billings before we headed on to Sturgis. We wrapped it with exhaust tape then clamped on some straps and wrapped it again. It was gone by the time we got to Sturgis so he had to look for some new pipes.
His pipe has broken in two just above the transmission probably due to it falling on its side while in my garage the week before when we propped it up and his air-ride has settled down and tipped it over. We get it wrapped up with some exhaust wrap and stints and hope for the best trying to make it to Sturgis. The road is hot now as we fly through the rest of Montana and into Wyoming into South Dakota. We make several stops for beverages and the occasional puff on the pipe!!!! As Kaptian Amerika says in the “Easyrider” movie “it gives you a whole new outlook on the day”!!
Upon arriving in Sturgis we head out to the Buffalo Chip and find our friends of the Cyclefish website and get our camp set up. We soon hook up with Chihuahuadog and his two companions that rode up from Mexico and Bubblehead and several others. We line all of our bikes up along the road showing all that this is the Big Dog site to stay at. This is Saturday and we enjoy the festivities till we hook up for our Big Dog Biker Group Ride on Tuesday. We also meet Hoat and some others from this site.
Tuesday morning we head out to Deadwood and meet up at the Saloon #10 with all the BDB members for our group ride out to Hill City. We got to meet many members we’ve seen in the past years and many new members here. It was a great social meeting and we had a lot of fun. I finally got to meet up with Terri of Thunder Roads magazine in Oklahoma and many others.
Our ride out to Hill City was great with about 40 Big Dogs and some others on HD’s and other bikes. One of the low spots was seeing a biker killed on the road that must of happened just minutes prior to our passing him by.
Once we got to Hill City we get all the bikes lined up in front of the Luncheon area that Dakotabos sets up for us and take a bunch of pictures. Then we round everyone up and Bubblehead passes out coins to some of those that we highlight. Who came the furthest, newest and oldest BD, foreign visitors and such. Was a great time and our 3rd BDB ride at this event.
And yes it's true!!!!! I ran out of gas as we got into hill city. You can see the small gas can I got from Hoat in front of me in the group picture. So much for building a larger tank.
Our hosts Ralph and Sandy that put this event on for us with Tim, me and Mike
Usually I get to Sturgis on Saturday and leave by Thursday but this year I stayed till Sunday morning. All because the Doobie Bros were playing on Saturday and I last saw them in Sturgis back in 1990 or the last time they played here. So this was the longest I had every stayed here or at the Buffalo Chip.
In the meantime others had left for home. Bubblehead and Chihuahuadog had to go and get back home and others did the same. Come Sunday morning it was just Kaptian Amerika and I and a few others so we pack up our gear and head out for Wichita, KS.
We did get down to the BDM truck and had some service completed on our bikes. I lost a tank mount bolt and got a replacement and Chihuahuadog and his buddies got some stuff done on there bikes. I met up with John Nasi and Shane the mechanic.
I did get to meet up with my favorite bartender. I've been chasing this lady around for several years now. She always works One Eyed Jacks in Sturgis and Froggy's in Daytona. Many of you have posted pics of her here also. I get my picture with here everytime I see her. This is Kalifornia Kali. Sadly she says she is retiring this year from working these events.
So come Sunday morning we're packed up and we made good time and only had one issue. We were on Hwy 81 (if I remember right) and it’s a two lane and we come up on a group of about 7 HD’s all pulling trailers. On a long stretch of highway that drops through a valley Curtis pulls out and opens it up to pass this long group. Keeping up with that big 124 cu in motor of his is a trip! As I get near the front of this group I look down and I’m passing 115 mph and all of a sudden my bike shuts down with the loudest backfire I have ever heard. I’m near the front of the group now but with this much speed on I was able to continue the pass even with a dead motor. As soon as I get ahead of the lead guy I pull over to the side of the road and the group goes by. Curtis is now way down the hwy and I soon see him pull over and come back. He gets off his bike and asks what happened and I tell him it just died on me. He goes to take a leak and I check the bike over and don’t see anything wrong with it so I turn the key on and hit the start button and she fires right up like nothing happened!!! Curtis and I just shake our heads. He says he saw a 125 mph on his speedo when we passed them so we were really flying down the road. We get back on our bikes and continue down the road to our next fuel stop and guess who we see? The large group of bikes that we had just passed. So I went over to them and apologized for passing them and then pulling over right in front of them. They comment that they heard my bike backfire and wondered what had happened. I would find out later what caused my bike to shutdown but for now it was running great and we continued with our ride.
We get into Grand Island, Nebraska and find a KOA and pull in to set up camp at about midnight. What a ride it had been, the bugs were so think here that we had to pull over many times to clean our glasses so we could see. One stop was in Broken Arrow, NE where we pulled in after sunset and after being beat up with the rough road I put my leg down and got a nice burn off my pipes. Funny I didn’t even feel it at the time but it was pretty bad and hurt for the next several days. Curtis runs out of gas also.
We get up the next morning and hit the road again. We get back on the freeway and make good time into Wichita. But not with out a stop to freshen up!! Warning here: Don't let Curtis drink Tequila!
We easily find the BD factory and pull in front and park the bikes. As we walk inside this guy is coming down the stairs to meet us and I finally meet Bob Lockwood. He had heard us coming and came down to greet us. He gives us a tour of the place and sets us up with a meeting with Sheldon Coleman who owns the company. We haven’t found a place to stay yet so he offers to put us up at his house. This is great and after they close up he escorts us out to his house. His wife is really kool and they make us a great dinner. We sit up late into the morning talking and drinking and it has started raining and this really caused us problems. Bob lives out in the country and off about a mile of dirt road, the rain had flooded it out preventing Curtis and I from riding out of there. The BDM factory had us scheduled to put our bikes on the rack and give them a thorough check up and we were unable to get there now. So we end up staying an additional day hoping that the road would dry up some. We ate some great steaks and corn on the cob and had a great time. Bob and his wife really took care of us.
The next morning Bob drives out to check the road and comes back to report that we could probably make it out but we had three large puddles to get through. So we load up and get moving. The first two puddles were fairly easy to navigate but the last one was a lake and the mud really gave me a problem. But Curtis makes it through so I start and get into the middle of it and my front tire gets bogged down and I have to put my feet down right into the deep part of the mud pit. Soaked my socks but I made it out of there. Finally we get on to paved road and ride into town and get to the factory.
We pull up to the building on the side and the guys wheel our bikes in after we unloaded them and get them up on the rack. Later we head down to the Pump House Pub for some drinks and snacks with Jason our very own Olmster.
Pretty soon they have them apart and give them a good check up. Olmster brought out his laptop and plugged it into my EHC and did a diagnostics check. This was pretty kool as I had no idea what information it contained but it was able to tell my by date and time and mileage when and why my bike had shut down earlier. Seems I had a massive ignition shutdown so must have been my key fob and the winds at 120 mph that had tripped the ignition switch causing my bike to shut down. Curtis bike ends up staying on the rack as they try to fix his air-ride that is leaking and his side cover and build him a custom exhaust bracket that came out real nice. We end up meeting Ann Dixon who had worked there for years and always taken good care of me. She offered to put us up for the night and we end up staying there two days. Later we learn that maybe it was Sheldon Coleman that told them to give us priority service and boy did they take care of us.
We end up partying with Anne and she calls in Richard Romano that also used to work at BDM. We go out for dinner and drinks and have a great time. I haven’t seen Richard since Sturgis 08.
The next day we get a surprise visit from one of our special forum members. Biker Babe shows up so I show her around the factory and then take her in to meet Sheldon Coleman. Not sure but I’ve been on this website since the beginning and I don’t think anyone has ever gotten their picture taken with Sheldon, I could be wrong. We take some pictures and then when our bikes are ready to go the three of us ride out to our favorite painter’s house. We go see Ed or you all know him as airbrush-ed. We get to see his shop and some of the art work he is doing and are fascinated with what he can do.
After that we head back to the factory and hook up with Jason (Olmster) and after they close up shop we go to eat at the Pump House which was a nice place. From there we head back to Anne’s house then say good bye to Biker Babe as she has to drive back to Tulsa. Great times in Wichita.
Why does DragginDH (Tonya) and Biker Babe always pick on my Teva's???
The next morning we head to Oklahoma City to see Curtis Mom who is staying at her sisters there. Boy was it a hot ride, we stopped many times just to soak our neck coolers which worked out real good. They take us all out to dinner later that day and we have a great time. It’s hot during the day now and very humid. Our bikes get soaked that night as a rain shower passes through. No room in the garage. The humid heat is really taking a toll on me, been a long time since I experience this type of heat.
After a couple days we get packed up again and make our way to Dallas, TX where we will hook up with rufroggy and his wife Rhonda. They are a great couple and they took care of me when I was last in Dallas a couple years prior coming back from Daytona. They have a pool in the back yard and invite some girls over and we party through the night.
But before we get there we have problems on the road. We are in some small town outside Gainesville, TX when Curtis’s bike shuts down. I was in the lead and didn’t even notice him missing behind me so I cross over the highway and head back and fine him on the side of the road. His bike had shut down electrically and after pulling his seat and removing my “Battery Bug” from my bike we find his battery is dead. It’s hotter than hell here now and there is no shade anywhere to hide under. We pull his battery and after he checks out his GPS for auto shops determines there is an auto store in the town we had just left. I unload my bike to make room for his battery and he heads back into town on my bike to get a new battery. In the meantime I’m stuck out here on the side of the road in this heat suffering. The humidity is bad and the temp had to be well over 100 degrees so I find the only shade I can and hunker down under his forks between the frame and front end. The asphalt is so hot it burns my ass so I go back to my bag that we pulled off my bike and get a pair of jeans to shield the hot road from my butt. I was there for about an hour before Curtis makes it back and we soon get the battery back in and hook it up and find out the bike wants to start. The key isn’t even in the ignition. By the time we get the connections back off the battery the lug has melted, there was about a 30 second delay after we hooked it up. So now we pull his side covers and find that his ignition module that had caused him earlier problems was relocated back to it’s original position. Curtis had drilled out the battery box and moved it forward so it wouldn’t rub against the electrical harness. Well after the factory had moved it back to its original position it had rubbed through the harness and caused the short. Seems it blew out his EHC causing the bike to want to start when we hook up the battery. So, he moves the ignition module forward again and fixes the wires and I pull out my spare EHC out of my bag and we get it all back together there on the side of the road and finally get the bike running again. It starts right up and by now we are drenched with sweat and dehydrated real bad so we return to the town we just came out of and get lots of water and something to eat. Its sunset now and getting dark and we still have many miles to go. After getting much needed water and a couple drinks and something to eat we hit the road again. We are flying down the highway and trying to make up time and we get into Caleste, TX and we get pulled over by the local police. They tagged us for doing 62 in a 40. Swear we didn’t see any signs but what do you do. They gave Curtis the ticket and ignored me even though we were riding side by side! After the cop leaves we get our gear back on and go to leave and Curtis bike’s air-ride won’t pump up. We pull our gear off again and check his bike out and low and behold his air-ride shock is dangling under his frame. The bolt had sheared off and it was dragging. Coming into town with him in front of me I saw when it happened. I saw a shower of sparks come out from under his bike and just assumed it was the rough road and he had bottomed out the frame. So we sit there and try to figure out what we are going to do and I pull my tool bag and he pulls his out and we decide to just wire up the shock and try to make it into Tyler, TX where we would be staying with his dad. It was still 80 miles or so and it turned out to be a harsh ride for him but we finally made it to our destination about 1215 in the morning.
Funny that his dad lives in a gated community and when we pulled off the highway into this place there are five guards at the gate. As we pull up to the guard shack they have all scurried into the shack and seemed to be real afraid of us! The one guard peeks through the window and asks us what he can do for us and Curtis tells him we are here to see his folks and the guard calls his dad and he comes out to the guard shack to meet us. Those guards sure were afraid of our loud bikes though. You have to experience it to see how funny it all was. His dad escorts us to our temporary place we are staying and we call it a night after a very long day of troubles.
Oh and I hit a racoon here and it sure made a mess out of the underside of my bike and my tool back that hangs between the frame rails!
The next morning we call a local shop and get Curtis bike over there. We are about a 120 miles east of Dallas. During this whole time Biker Babe and Fairless (Lena) have been keeping tabs on us and helping out all they can. Curtis’ brother has a trailer and we get the bike to the shop and they pull the rear end off and fix the broken bolt stud that has to be tapped out. In the meantime Lena is shipping the parts overnight from Stokers and helping us out all she can. We end up staying here for three nights getting the bike fixed.
Just so happens this is a dry county. I’m pissed cause I don’t have anything to drink and you have to go a long way to get something, we are out in the boonies! But they do have private clubs and Curtis brother takes us out to a place called the Pirates Cove. Humm, I like pirates so this place becomes our hangout for a couple nights. Not a great place but it was happening and boy was it and adventure. Almost got shot in this place as some fat ass with a shirt 2 size too small got into a scuffle with Curtis’ brother and almost caused a bad scene. But before it got out of hand Curtis comes in and throws his brother in the truck and we get the hell out of there. The fat ass guy was packing as it could easily be seen on his rear hip. Funny these fat ass guys that can’t stand up for themselves have to pack some heat to make them be a man!
We finally go to pick up Curtis’ bike and get on I-20 and head into Dallas. We find rufroggys home and meet up with them and settle in for a couple days. If you ever get to Dallas you have to look up Chris and Rhonda, they are great hosts and they have a beautiful home with a pool in the backyard. Our trip here was most memorable as we really had a great time.
The next day we get up and after breakfast we head into town to Stokers and Amy (the service manager) get’s Curtis’ bike up on the lift immediately. She has talked to the factory in Wichita and they are sending parts and working to get his bike ready to continue our long trip.
In the meantime I run in and go see Lena (Fairless) and get a big hug. We meet up with Rick Fairless and get a great tour of the facility and he shows us his latest project a very nice bagger that has a 152 cu in motor in it. Notice the fairing on this bike, it's of Hershal Walkers BD bagger which he wrecked!
We head over to the Ice House and grab a drink and Amy comes in and says they will have to keep Curtis bike over night. I tell her it’s his only transportation and ask if maybe they have some loaner bike that Curtis can use till his bike is done. She says lets go talk to Rick. We go walk over to his office and I explain our situation to him and he says let me see what I can do. A little later we are in the Ice House again and one of the salesmen comes in and walks up to Curtis and says are you the guy that needs a ride? He’s says yes and the guy hands him the keys to an almost brand new Ultra-Glide. He says I don’t know who you are but you must be someone really important!!!!
He has wheels again and we head back to Chris and Rhonda’s house for the night. Some girls are called over and we party late into the evening.
It takes a couple days to get the parts down from Wichita and fix the bike. They replaced the EHC, Ignition, headlamp and some other things and got it running good for us. We spend 3 or 4 days in Dallas and I can’t remember how long exactly!! Finally it’s time to go so we pack up again and head down to Stokers and have lunch with Lena, she has been a great host and it didn’t cost a thing. We had a great time and I just want to go back. We say goodbye to Chris and Rhonda and all the folks at Stokers and hit the road again. We still have many miles to go so we better get on the road.
Many members on this site have warned up about the highway patrol between Dallas and El Paso so we try to keep the speed down but damn at 70 mph it just seems like we are not getting anywhere so it isn’t long and we are back up to 95-100 mph making our way across western Texas. We see many Troopers along the freeway but we luckily don’t get stopped. We fight some of the strongest winds of the trip and it makes life miserable. I get hit in the nose with something, could have been a big bug or a rock I just don’t know. We get to our next gas stop and I pull my gear off and when I remove my facemask the blood from my wound has stuck to the facemask and rips off all the skin on my nose. I’m bleeding all down the front of my face now. Curtis pulls out his first aid kit and bandages me up; luckily he has a butterfly bandage that works great across my nose. Whatever hit me sure busted me up good.
We make our way in to New Mexico before we pull over for the night at a KOA campground. This place was covered in grass hoppers. They were so thick that even the entrance ramps to the freeway were covered like a carpet on the pavement. We settle in for a good night’s sleep and prepare for our final ride into Palm Springs.
Next morning we are on the road and battling heat and bugs. My nose is sore and my ass is worn out from the last few weeks in the saddle but we continue on. I take some great video of us as we make our way west. We keep the speed up and are soon pulling into Palm Springs right at sunset. The sun in our eyes was horrible but the scenery was beautiful. We finally get to our exit and Curtis is in the inside lane of the 4 lane freeway and I’m still in the #2 lane. I miss the sign for our turn off and at the last moment see it and swing across the two other lanes in heavy traffic for the exit and I miss it!!! I end up flying across the medium between the freeway and the exit through the sand and dirt. I swear I went right through the two posts that hold up the next road sign. I bounce all over the place and it knocks me around pretty good but I get on the exit ramp and continue on, all this at about 80 mph! Curtis is right behind me and can’t believe what I just did. Could have been much worse I guess but after 6 weeks on the road and being tired and beat up I did a foolish move but survived it.
We pull into my brother’s driveway and its all dark and no one comes to the door. So we ride down to the Spa which is a local hangout of his and he hasn’t been in. I call him and he doesn’t answer the phone. Curtis thinks we may have pulled into the wrong address so after a couple drinks we go back and attempt to find it again. This time my brother opens the door and welcomes us. He says he came out the first time we arrived but we were already pulling away. Damn brothers.
Hanging out at my brother Jerry's house is hard!!! My niece Kayla is a doll!
We have a great time here for a few days waiting on our next adventure up to the Kern River Run north of Bakersfield. Curtis rides home to San Diego to see his wife and returns a couple days later and I just hang out at my brother’s pool.
Soon Kaptian Amerika returns and spends the night before we head out the next day. The ride up is eventful in that for the last few weeks we haven’t worn a jacket but getting over the San Bernardino Mountains was very cold. We pull over for gas and dress up with some warmer clothing after grabbing some hot coffee. About noon we are pulling into Kern River and we gas up and stop in a local place for some lunch. We meet Wendy who owns this place and right off the three of us hit it off like we’ve been friends for a long time. Not only was the food great but the service was spectacular. Another biker pulls in and we welcome him to our table and have another drink. Soon it’s time to leave and we head north to the campground. As we get near we pass it up and have to turn around. Curtis and I wheel our bikes around but the new guy on the Harley while backing his bike up in the road rolls it into the ditch. Amateur riders at their best here!!!! We get turned around and pull into the camp site and all they all crowd around checking out our loaded down choppers. We find a place along the river bank and get our tents set up. The next two days are X-rated so I will stop here!!!!
Come Sunday morning it’s time to pack up and head home. Almost 7 weeks on the road and now Kaptian Amerika and I have to go our separate ways. For you that don’t know Curtis and I have been friends now for about 7 or 8 years. We first met at a dealer Casino ride back in 03. I had recently bought my 03 Mastiff and he had an 03 Chopper. At one of the stops in a casino I see this big ass guy and being me I walk up to his and tell him “you are one big MF”. He just grins and we’ve been best friends since. Then he was 370 lbs and doing all those muscle shows and commercials for those protein drinks. He was Mr Hollywood!
Anyway, we ride out of Kern River and cross over the mountain on a real windy road. Must have been hundreds of switchbacks, seems all we were doing was weaving back and forth though the curves for hours scrapping our pegs and frame though all the curves. Finally we get far enough west and meet up with I-5. This is where he will go south and I will head north. We gas up and grab a couple of cokes from the soda fountain and take them outside and spike them with some bourbon and talk about our long trip. Soon it’s time to get back on the road and we load up and put our gear bacl on and crank up the music in our MP3’s after a big hug and we go our separate ways. I can’t begin to tell you what an adventure it was over the last 6 weeks of being on the road together. He has a couple hundred miles to go to get home and I have a two day trip up the coast to Washington. I roar out of there like there is now tomorrow and head north. 1200 miles to go before I get home but boy has it been an adventure!
I posted about 400 pictures in our gallery here:
Message - Big Dog Biker Gallery
And put another 270 or so on Webshots:
Summer Run pictures from summer fun photos on webshots
And not to forget my video I make showing our ride through Texas, NM and into Kalifonia at 95 mph!!!
2005 Big Dog Chopper
Rode hard and put away wet
RATT Bike = "Rode All The Time"
Last edited by Raywood; 10-28-2010 at 04:14 AM.
|10-27-2010, 09:48 PM||#2 (permalink)|
MISS YA BRO!!!!
CHIHUASBIGDOG........ SON OF MAYHEM !!!
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!
|10-27-2010, 10:11 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Riding in the Cold & Wet
Good Friends, Good times and great adventure!
These hounds sure go the distance.
Hope to ride with you on your next putt!
Sterling Custom Seats http://sterlingsca.com/
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May your life be as exciting as you pretend it is on Facebook.
Before you judge someone.. know who you are judging..
|10-27-2010, 10:33 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Thanks for sharing....great story and pics
If I had a tail..... it would be wagging
|10-27-2010, 11:31 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Member #: 35
Join Date: Apr 2007
My Bike(s): 2006 Chopper & 2010 Street Glide & 2012 Polaris Assault
Rep Power: 7
So when are you starting your book????
"The Adventures of Raywood, The Last American Outlaw"
|10-28-2010, 12:04 AM||#14 (permalink)|
Great Job Ray.
You guys must have had a blast!
|10-28-2010, 12:09 AM||#15 (permalink)|
So very cool !! ...It really is all about memories ..and you and Curtis made many on that trip !! Always a great read Thanks ...for sharing!
Everything's Better When Wet!