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Thread: The Big Ride III

  1. #1
    AdminiSTrator Mellow's Avatar
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    The Big Ride III

    Preface:
    Rick and I have ridden together almost since I started riding back in 2000. He got me into camping and that has expanded my touring fun exponentially. A few years later we added Steve to the mix and did The Big Ride and then a couple years later Khris as well and did the 4 States, 4 Fools trip aka The Big Ride II. Khris couldn’t make this one as he moved to CA and busy becoming a pilot so it was back to the 3 Stooges for this ride.

    However, a late addition to the trip is Andrew aka Trosty from the UK. He’s been living in the states for about a year and was between jobs. Instead of staying home crying about not being employed, he decided to go to the Sturgis MC Rally and when I mentioned our routes he was intrigued... So, I invited him, we’ll see if he’s all that interested after a couple more days.

    The purpose of this ride are 3 fold: 1) Attend the MotoCampers event, 2) Scope out campgrounds for future MotoCamper or ST-Owners/NT-Owners events and 3) Have a blast.

    DAY 1 (8/1 - Thursday) - Get to Eureka Springs (Kettle Campground)

    Joe and Andrew:
    Pretty easy ride for us, just 400-ish miles. We stopped about half way to meet my parents so I could give my mom some spices from Dallas that she can't easily get in that part of OK, well, and to see mom again.



    Andrew and I hit the AR sign on the way:




    Rick:

    Rick had about 600+ miles to Eureka Springs. Oddly enough, he had the longest to get there and was the 1st to arrive - if you know Rick, that's not really a surprise.

    Even his dog wanted to come along:



    Here's Rick grabbing the AR sign on his way:



    Steve:

    Well, Steve is a lawyer so it took him the longest time to go the shortest distance - this wouldn't be the 1st time we picked on him.

    At the Campground:

    Rick was having a strange issue with his boot - it was leaking oil:



    So, we found a loose bolt on his GS and I just happened to have the right hex key that would fit it, all good for the bike with 180,000+ miles on it.



    This wasn't the only technical issue we had to deal with on this trip - Andrew was having a problem with his gloves, gladly, we figured that one out.



    Dinner was courtesy of Subway - for which I think Steve is sick of by now:


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  3. #2
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    DAY 2 (8/2 - Friday) - Eureka Springs to Interlochen, MI (Cycle Moore Campground)

    Andrew’s previous long-day was 570 miles, we chuckled and said we’ll beat that today.



    He only slept about an hour due to the tree frogs or crickets or whatever was making the noise in the area, he also had a 1" self-inflating mattress that was not helping but he was up and bright-eyed with the rest of us and we headed out.

    The Missouri sign:



    I stated previously, this is deer country so we need to take it easy - I may have fibbed a little.



    We stopped after a tank of gas for breakfast at McDonald's and Andrew walked over to the nearby Walmart to get a better air mattress.



    ... then, back on the road.



    We had to make some time so it was interstate at this point for a while - St Louis is always 'interesting' to get through.



    Here's the Illinois sign, not real easy to pull over for a pic.



    At the ½ way point we had a gas/rest stop and as we were leaving Andrew got rear-ended by at 15 year old kid. The kid saw Rick and myself pull out together, then when Steve pulled out he was thinking Andrew would go as well and moved forward but Andrew was waiting on the traffic for a better space to pull into. The small SUV tagged his left saddlebag and caused the handlebars to turn so the bike tipped over on the right side. Andrew landed on his right elbow - ATGATT - and it was swollen but the armor made it so he could continue his ride albeit in discomfort.



    Steve, being a Lawyer, had to document the ‘incident’.







    Apparently, it's illegal in IL to have a British Accent or as the police officer stated 'You aren't from around here are you?"



    Steve - again - trying to reenact the incident in case it needed to go to court.





    "No Officer, you say it Toe-mah-toe, not tomato"



    "oooh... that tickles".



    Andrew did great!.. He was disappointed as most of us would be but it didn't let it spoil his riding plans.

    Always inspirational to pass by this:



    We couldn't find a good Indiana sign so stopped at a rest stop and we also wanted to see how Andrew was doing.



    Indiana was a really nice state to ride through - it was strange but looked like everyone mowed their lawns on the same day for several cities. Do they have a state-wide lawn mowing day?

    It was late when we hit the Michigan sign.



    We hit a nice thunderstorm cell just about 100 miles out from the campground and I found out that the Bell Photochromaic shield which automatically darkens and lightens with light levels but not great when it rains is 0% useful when it rains and is dark out. I had to pull over and told Rick I'd just set up my tent right there in a field be cause it was too dangerous to ride with that shield in those conditions - I've ridden in many similar conditions with other faceshields and never had issues. He had the bright idea to switch helmets with me. His bike shield has a flip to it so he can open the helmet shield up a bit and peek through it to see whereas I would get pelted with rain and my eyeglasses would be an issue then. It was enough to get us past the storm and back on our way - 1st thing to order is a regular dark shield - oh, yeah the clear shield was at home sitting in the garage - I didn't think I needed it.. LOL

    I think our miles for the day was 1,037 so Andrew now has a new big-day and the following day was a rest day.

    Also, we found out today Steve's CB does not transmit but he can at least hear Rick and I.

  4. #3
    fnmag's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    Good report. Waiting on the next installations. "Oh no, not subway again!"
    Jim

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    One Track Mind dduelin's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    Great photos and commentary. Glad to see the Wee eating the miles under you.


    Dave

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  6. #5
    Site Supporter Gerhard's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    Looks like you had a great time even with the little accident, glad he wasn't hurt too badly.

    Gerhard
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    Quote Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
    Great photos and commentary. Glad to see the Wee eating the miles under you.
    The Wee impressed me A LOT on this trip...

  8. #7
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    DAY 3 (8/3 - Saturday) - Hang Out at the MotoCampers.com North Woods Camp Out III (Cycle Moore Campground)

    This was a rest day and reserved for being at the event and just taking it easy.

    The event was great with lots of folks I've met in the past and many more new friends we got to meet.









    We decided to take Steve's bike apart while we had the chance and see if his transmit issues were due to a loose connector. He kept saying we were messing with him the whole time. A little history - on our 1st Big Ride he had a handheld CB he threw together at the last minute and it kept having issues so he wadded it up and tossed it in his saddlebag after day 1. On the 2nd Big Ride we messed with him on the 1st day 'til the 1st gas stop pretending we didn't' hear him when we could, and he had just gotten a new J&M CB installed... LOL So, he probably still things we're messing with him.





    Well, as you can see in this picture, Steve got me back at the very last moment - it still hurts - that's okay though, his CB still didn't work LOL.


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    Re: The Big Ride III

    DAY 4 (8/4 - Sunday) - Interlochen, MI to to Buffalo River SP

    Today was going to be a grind to just get across the country toward the best riding of the trip in Montana.



    We left around 8am and came across a draw bridge on our way towards the Mackinac bridge.



    The Mackinac Bridge was very cool.









    Just after the bridge, we stopped at the Country Girl Diner





    The lady that runs the place was hilarious. Andrew asked what could we have and she said "anything you want'. Then, gave him 'the look' when he asked for beans and A1 steak sauce with his breakfast. The rest of us just shut up and ordered what was on the menu.



    The Wisconsin sign:



    and Minnesota:



    We stayed at Buffalo River State Park just before the North Dakota border.



    Just under 800 miles for this leg and Steve's CB still isn't transmitting. He's also reporting some crackling - so he's wrapping it around his camelbak straps to get a better connection.

  10. #9
    My 03 1100P at Big Bend gmast1100's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    My guess for the little bridge up b/4 you got to Big Mac, was in Charlevoix, MI??? Been across it many times. Still trying to figure out where the Country Girl Diner is??
    Last edited by gmast1100; 08-12-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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  11. #10
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    Re: The Big Ride III

    Nice ride report, happy faces having fun except for the accident it looks like a great ride. I am curious about the CB, I have a J&M that works great. Being a bit of a radio kind of guy I wonder why so many install a fiberglass antenna ? A stainless steel transmits and receives waaaay better and easier to adjust SWR.
    You only live once, but if ya do it right, once is enough

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