Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why not run.....Day 4

The run out of Alpine was kind of nice this morning. It was real damn cold though. When I left this morning, it was about 30 and it did not warm up until I got into San Angelo at 1:30. I had every piece of thermal gear on that I brought. AND I WAS STILL COLD! I managed to make the whole run in 2 stops, Ft. Stockton and Big Lake.

I don't know exactly what the problem is, but my starter has stopped working. It looks like I will be on the kick-starter for a while, at least until I get home and figure out what is going on. I have a feeling it is the cold jamming up the starter relay, or the switch got dirty. When I hit the button, there is no draw on the lights. That makes me think it is not the battery.

As far as the ride goes, the scenery is pretty, there is a very pretty desolation out here with the mountains and the mesas in the background. The loop that I made up through the davis mountains kind of rocked. The elevation is only about 6000ft, but it started making the bike run funny and use more gas than I am used to. Had a bit of a thought I was gonna run out of gas scare up in the mountains. Now I know that I can go right at 160 miles before hitting my reserve. I also discovered that I have right at 1.5 gallons of reserve. I ended up putting about 4 gallons of gas in my 5.8 gallon tank. All things considered, I really was not in danger of running out of gas. That is just the first time I have hit reserve in the middle of the desrt. about a mile after I hit reserve, I saw a sign that said I had 10 miles to go to Ft Davis. That was the most desolate 10 miles I have ever ridden in my life. When you hit reserve, you become very aware of how barren the landscape is........

On the whole, I have to say that this run has been work. Lots of work. Between the cold and the long stretches of straight empty highways, it has been eating my brain away very slowly. I am having a great deal of fun, but it has been an exercise in endurance. The days have not been very long, but they have not been easy miles, especially on the Ural. I am glad I am on it due to the whole kick starter availability, but the speed limit is around 75 to 80 the whole way. That beast is a beating at those speeds. In the summer or spring, I really want to do this run again with the R90. That will be a whole bucket of go-fast.

Here is the shot I got from the top of the mountain:

I managed to get the camera working on the way out of Alpine this morning. The angle really sucks due to the key cover on the headlight, but it is not as bad as it could be. The sound is horrid. Now I know why people put sound tracks on their videos. Since the road is pretty much straight, there is not much variation. The road is also kind of bumpy so there is an odd vibration. I don't know if I could sit and watch the video all the way through, but it is kind of interesting just in terms of scenery. I cut some of the interesting scenes together and put them up. Just kill the sound unless you find the sound of a riding lawnmower exciting.

I am going to try to get some more video on the way home tomorrow, and that will clear up the key cover a bit (no promises though). I only got a couple of pictures from the top of the Davis Mountains, here is a pretty good one.

Here is today's route:

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Oh well, time for sleeping.



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why not run.....Day 3

I should actually be calling this the "Building Good Road Kharma" run. On day 2, I had lunch with a nice gentleman who is retired 1st Cav. His son is a chopper pilot with the 1st also. He was riding his Electra-Glide from El Paso to spend New Years with his son before he is deployed. He was a very nice guy, kind of made me wish I had brought Gary along with me on this one. Yesterday afternoon, I me two guys in the lobby who were trying to get a room at the hotel. They needed two beds, but all that was left was one. I went ahead and swapped with them since I had two beds. Went out for a beer with them in the evening. One was the CTO for a startup tech company in scottsdale, and the other was a partner in a capital investment company in London. Turns out that he stores a bike in LA and flies in twice a year for road trips. They were making a big loop through the Marfa area before heading back.

Today I made the big loop through the Davis mountains. I am kind of pissed that the video camera crapped out on me. I ended up getting NO VIDEO of the twisting road through the mountains. It was kind of a spooky ride I have to admit. 100 miles from nowhere, and very high stakes curves. I gotta do it again...... I saw the spot where you stop to see the Marfa lights. I was actually tempted to head back out there after dark, but we are supposed to drop to about 25 degrees tonight, and I don't want to be out in the desert in the dark for that much fun. Oh well. It looks like I am going to make the run back to San Angelo in the morning. I think I may detour through the hill country on the way back just for the hell of it. It will add about 2 hours to the ride but it will knock about 50 miles off the's all about the twisty crazyness up there. I actually just want to see if I can get some video that is not just long and straight. The only part about this run that is getting on my nerves is the 120 mile stretch of long straight road that just goes on for-freakin'-ever.

Here is the map for today:

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Why not run.....Day 1/2

Day 1 started off late due to the rain in Austin. I got out around 11:00. Unfortunately, I still got trapped in the rain from Georgetown to Llano. I could make a list of things I would rather do than ride in the cold and rain, but I don't have that much storage space here. By the time I made it into San Angelo, there was only sleep on my mind. The first leg is actually kind of nice. There is some pretty scenery. I am going to stop on my way back through and take some pictures. The run down to Alpine was interesting. Not bad, just interesting. After you get out of San Angelo, the speed limit goes up to about 80. That got kind of interesting on the Ural. It has a documented top speed of 81MPH, and the fastest I have ever been on it is 83 with the new gears. It was actually kind of creepy running in the long straight flat with the throttle at the stop, and the bike is slowing down on slight grades.

Here is the map for the day. I will get some pictures up tomorrow. The only place that I could find wireless in town is a McDonalds. The coffee shop should be open tomorrow.....hopefully. I am also going to try to shoot some video on the ride up in the mountains.

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