My trek began on Tuesday night, taking the red-eye from L.A. to Pittsburgh where I met Mike who came to greet me at the airport at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday. How is that for selflessness?
We went to early breakfast and met John who sold me the bike.
Time to inspect the bike, transfer the content of my carry-on luggage to the RKA bags on the LT, then a trip to the local UPS to ship my luggage containing the 2 open-faced helmet that came with the bike back to L.A.
Time to plug in the Gerbing gear and say good bye to my new friend Mike.
After 70 miles I got cold as I realized that the Gerbing were not heating and my jeans needed to be tucked inside my Alpine Star boots (California boy me...!
First stop to fix that and find out that the front powerlet is not live. No problem, I'll just plug into the rear powerlet and onward to West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. Arriving after dark in Chattanooga I called Brett who came to get me and lead the way to his very nice house. The weather, albeit cold in some places with snow on the side of the road, was quite nice and I truly enjoyed the Gerbing heated gear. -A big thank you to Jeff for the loan-
A warm place to stay the night and friendly conversation may be a rider's best reward. That was just a 600 plus miles day.
After a solid breakfast Brett sent me on my way to Dallas, about 800 miles away. I was to arrive around 7:00-7:30 alas I got stuck in a tornado warning and torrential rain in jackson, Mississippi, with sirens and all... I waited over an hour for the brunt of it to pass. I called Kathy who looked up the weather online for me and found that the system was very wide but only about 5 miles long. So I got on the road again in the rain and the rain eased up a bit after 5 miles, and completely stopped after another 20 miles. Unfortunately that delayed me enough to miss the "meet and Greet" evening in Dallas. Bo rode 30 miles to the periphery of Dallas to lead the way to his beautiful home where we had a bite to eat before heating the sack. I was able to use my laptop and wireless connection to make a new contact, Lynn in Odessa, TX.
Sorry Les not to have been able to connect with you in Fort Worth... as you can see my schedule was a bit erratic, but I wanted to thank you for the offer as well.
Bo bought me breakfast at La Madeleine and I was on my way West.
Heavy winds and warm sun most of the day until Midland where i connected with Lynn who took me to a great BBQ place right off the freeway.
Man, these truckers sure know to eat well!
I kept on riding past El Paso but had to give up shortly after the border to new Mexico in Las Cruces because I forgot how lame the stock low beam is on the bike (I added low beam HID on my 99). Guess what my next upgrade will be!!! Found myself a Motel 6, ordered a pizza and went to bed.
More winds and dust storms in New mexico, and Arizona. Brown skies and lousy visibility for a while. It had not rained in Phoenix is 140 days... until I got in the state! I hit some heavy rain all the way to California, then things got a little better until I reached Indio. Very heavy rain!!! Then past Palms Springs traffic slowed down to a crawl... Snow and slush on the road!!!
I felt my rear slip a few times, but things got a little more dense when my front started to slide a little too. I had to be careful and stay where cars had driven and chased the slush to avoid trouble. My greatest concern was that if traffic stopped altogether and I had to put my foot down I would land on slush and lose my vertical...! Fortunately cars kept moving albeit at a very slow pace. I could see several inches od snow on the roof tops just to the side of the freeway where I-10 and CA-60 meet.
After that the rest of the way was a pice of cake and I got home at 8:00 where kathy had a warm bath and a bottle of French Champagne (I know it is redundant...!
) waiting for me.
I also noticed about 80 miles from home that my stock low beam was burnt!!!
Thank goodness for the PIAAs under the cowl I was able to keep going.
According to the odometer I rode a little over 2500 miles in 4 days.
I got saddle sore on the second day, but learned to live with it.
I also learned a great deal about the right gear (for me at least), and i was very impressed with the LT.
Would I do it again? You betcha!!!!
I only wish I had more time to spend with my new friends, see a little more scenery, and take a few pictures!