Hard at Work

Gene and Norm take advatage of some free WiFi while the bike is worked on.

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Mechanical Issues

Our first breakdown on the way to the grand canyon. Andrew lost a gasket. Tim the toolman is trying to fix it.

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Gas

Mike A only has a little tank.

Where is Paxton NE

Who would have ever thought we would be in Paxton NE

The end of the third day found us in Paxton NE, after leaving Iowa City for our second full day of riding. The day was sunny and bright and the tempurature just kept getting hotter – 36 C when we pulled in at 9 pm tonight.

The winds were pretty tough to deal with,.. today. There was a lot of lane closures which means that you not only are dealing gusty cross winds that throwing the bikes across the lanes but also a lot of buffetting wind from trucks coming at your in the on-coming lanes. Everyone had to focused but in true ’never say die fashion’ the last 2 hours of riding turned out to the best of the evening.

Norm, Gene and Tim headed to sort out the hotel while Mike, Andrew, Tim and I sprinted the last couple hours from Kearney NE to Paxton NE. Cold beer and a couple of phone calls back home and we are good for the night.

Tomorrow we see the rockies and Pikes Peak,.. really looking forward for the climb. I think we are heading out very early tomorrow morning.

 

 

The Riders

After the welcome at Tory’s school, we all headed back to the Girard Family Farm for a feast, fire and libations. Family, friends and well wishers came out to celebrate the start of the ride. Our charity broke the $11,000 mark with more to come as we ride. Chris made his trademark bonfire and Frank had cigars for everyone. The farmstead had sleeping room fore everyone. We got up and had a picture of the riders, just before we set off.

Three states in one day

On the second day of our ride we crossed three state lines. Michigan, Illinois and stopped the night in Iowa City. 8 1/2 hours in the saddle. All is well. Mike A is grinning ear to ear.

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Winter’s Over, Bikes on the Road

The amazing weather over the last two weeks has all the gang itching the get their bikes on the road.

Tim and his new FJR dropped by last weekend. It’s a beautiful bike (even though it’s not a BMW). He is busy repacking bearings and attaching toys.

Mike A got back from a business road trip and ran over to liberate his bike from storage. I popped a new battery into my GT and took her for a little sprint. The carb needs adjusting, but she is still a pleasure to ride. Probably a little early for Peter to get the “couch on wheels” out of protective storage, but I’m sure he’ll be dusting it off and rearranging the throw pillows soon.

We are busy planning a shakedown ride on April 13. We are also planning a sprint to Quebec City to work in the pant seat. Sunshine and the asphalt are calling.

Mountains

photo credit Frank Kovalchek

The next big issue to arise out of the route planning was the mountains. We were going to have to go through them to get to San Diego. Mike A had planned for a southerly mountain pass, hoping to avoid the questionable weather that crossing further north might entail. But mountains mean altitude. Carburetors don’t work so well at higher altitudes (or so Mike A said). Thus we had to make a further requirement on the bikes. Fuel injection was going to be required to ensure safe passage through the mountains.

Welcome to No Balls to Blue Balls

Mike trying out a ride at the show

This is a blog by two Mikes, planning their cross country motorcycle trip to San Diego, California. We’ll be publishing our story here; why we are riding, how we selected our rides, our plans and our goals. Hope you enjoy. Drop us a line.