Epic Road Trip! - Page 2 - ZX6R Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #16 of 20 Old 08-04-2016, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
MotoGP Champion
 
badgerninja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Madtown, WI
Posts: 4,544

I Ride: 1986 Nishiki, 2015 Yamaha R3
I got back this afternoon. Tired and sore. Writeup coming in parts...

Start ODO: 541
End ODO: 2814

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.- Chuck Yeager

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbowl
Go ride Badger for it's the only thing that'll make sense at times.

Last edited by badgerninja; 08-04-2016 at 10:27 PM.
badgerninja is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #17 of 20 Old 08-04-2016, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
MotoGP Champion
 
badgerninja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Madtown, WI
Posts: 4,544

I Ride: 1986 Nishiki, 2015 Yamaha R3
I feel that I have the time and the patience to only do this by breaking it down into parts.

Part One: Eastward- Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana

My original plan to leave at 'the crack of dawn' on Tuesday fell by the wayside, and I didn't find myself leaving Madison until past 2:30 PM (grad school all-nighter the previous night, plus pointless new show on Netflix kept me up a second night). I secured the pack using some bungee cords, met up Badgerina for coffee and solemn goodbyes, and set off east.



Sport-touring R3!

Since I started out so late, I thought I would camp at Pokagon State Park in Angola, Indiana, where the lady and I had spent a night before and for a camping newbie, this seemed ideal. The ride was going well, though I kept fretting about the stability of the pack behind me, and hoping that the R3 was happy 'cruising' above 9000 rpm. For some reason, my secondary helmet (a newer Bell RS1) that I chose instead of my older, more worn Bell Star, because it would be quieter, kept hurting the back of my neck, and the pain wouldn't subside all of my way east. I also noticed 'OIL' blinking on the dash, and considering I'd just changed it the night before, I was mostly certain that I'd messed something up, and that I was going to be found on the side of the highway with a horribly-seized R3. This feeling kept gnawing me in the head all day and the next. I kept stopping and periodically checking the oil level. With that, I finally began to get in the stride of the ride, or so I thought, until I hit Chi-town at rush-hour.



I had no idea what I was getting myself into in the Land of Lincoln


Sweet Home Chicago? I think not...


I literally (the way this word is supposed to be used) spent two hours going through Chicago, thanks to my impeccable planning skills. I have seen snails move at a faster pace than what I was doing through that mad melt of humanity and hot engine. I cursed myself, yelled inside my helmet at unseen and un-prayed gods, dropped innumerable unmouthables at the good people of Chicago and their pleasant town, and I was a broken, hot, stinky, tired man by the time I got out of there and trundled towards Indiana. My original plan of riding till Angola, IN now seemed extremely ambitious, and had to be curtailed. So I settled on another state park (Kankakee River State Park) that was about an hour out of my way. Or so I thought.

Apple Maps mysteriously led me, in the fast setting sun, to La Salle State Fish and Wildlife area, where I was flummoxed to find no signs of any campsites. Without getting shot mistaken for a juicy venison bit on a bike (I would have nibbled on Steve Jobs' neck in heck had I gotten shot that evening), I asked a kindly local for help, and he pointed me to Willow Slough that was further south. Alright, change in plans, and game on.



The mess I made of the route


After further bolstering of directions at a local gas station, I felt emboldened and left. It was now getting pitch dark and was getting hard to make out road signs. I kept seeing the gleaming eyes of a rodent from time to time, and kept puckering up when I saw the curious faces of deer along the side of the road. I went south on 41 and turned west on W 100N, which is arrow straight and scary at night. It was a gravelly bit of road with many houses, and each randomly placed streetlight tricking you into thinking that you were at the camp offices. A dark banner told me Willow Slough was close, so I kept going. I finally saw a bar, a Harley, and two dudes hanging out. I approached them and was welcomed by the aroma of a pungent light beer that these gentlemen seemed to wear like a thick shawl over them. I asked for camp directions and they kindly told me how to get there. Feeling excited, I obliged, and minutes later, I made it to the site, just off of JC Murphey Lake. The offices were closed, so I figured I'd tent up and pay in the morning before I left. Or so I thought...

Innuendo in Indiana

I wasn't alone at the campsite, and minutes after I'd disembarked, I was approached by another beer-aroma-for-shawl-wearing heavier-set man that kindly invited me to the fire that him and his buddy had made. I said I'd pop over after pitching my tent. I was honestly so tired that I crawled in after getting everything together, chatted with Badgerina, and decided to turn in. It was a little past midnight.

I had a few issues falling asleep. It was really hot and muggy in the tent, thanks to being brand new and a rain fly that wouldn't fold, and it got cramped in there once I decided to bring my gear in (leather jacket, helmet, gloves, water bottle, etc.). My biggest problem, however, were the two locals, whose mild campfire conversation was now getting very boisterous with quite a bit of 'rich language' thrown in. Yes, we were the only people in that park. I had worrying premonitions of 'squeal piggy, squeal', so I packed everything in a frenzy, hoping that I didn't miss anything in the night, got on the bike and rushed for freedom from being the unwilling recipient of potential unpleasant bondage acts.

Disclaimer: For my sake, and for the most of humanity, I'd like to think that the two guys were just nice people that didn't mean any harm. I wasn't approached a second time. I felt really unsafe and decided I'd rather take my chances back on the road, rather than in a cramped tent. I harbor no ill feelings towards the good people of Indiana (except for Mike Pence, maybe).

I got back on godforsaken 100N, and rode on for dear life. The air was now thick with dense fog, and the gravel had not disappeared in the previous hour. My visor was fogging up as well, and the kamikaze insects that had bravely laid down their lives on it, added to my visibility issues. To reiterate my brilliance in planning, I'd forgotten to pack my jacket liner, so now it was pretty chilly, too. Brilliant, badger!

I made it to I80, and at 1:30-ish AM, checked into a Days Inn in Portage, IN (I will not recommend this to anyone) that reeked of cigarette smoke and prostitution. I plugged my nose and turned in for the night, dispelling disappointment of the lack of a romantic moto-camping adventure with relief that I avoided getting violated.

Stay tuned to find out if badger makes it out of Indiana. What will happen to him in Ohio? Will he finally get to experience twisties in his beloved Pennsylvania (well, 'beloved' may be a strong word here)?
Scorpi0 likes this.

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.- Chuck Yeager

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbowl
Go ride Badger for it's the only thing that'll make sense at times.

Last edited by badgerninja; 08-05-2016 at 05:52 AM.
badgerninja is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 08-06-2016, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
MotoGP Champion
 
badgerninja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Madtown, WI
Posts: 4,544

I Ride: 1986 Nishiki, 2015 Yamaha R3
Part two- Eastward: Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania

I woke up at around 6 at the run-down Days Inn in Portage, IN, thanked the receptionist that my bike hadn't been vandalized by the stumbling clientele of the Denny's next door, and set off into the rising sun. It was a nice, crisp morning, and I didn't have much to complain about. I labored through Indiana and was patiently waiting for Ohio. Or so I thought...

Quite surprisingly, I saw a sign welcoming me to Michigan. 'Pure Michigan'. Like any other man, I have my prejudices, and the prospect of rolling through Michigan thrilled me a little more than going through Ohio (my prejudices influenced mostly by the existence of a certain ball-game team in the four-letter state, and their rabid fanbase). The drive through Michigan was pleasant, and I stopped for some coffee east of Kalamazoo in Marshall, MI. Shoutout to the cool peeps at Dark Horse Brewing, and their coffee house that's in its infancy.



Typical breakfast of badgers when they're on the move

I continued on, and kept wondering if I94 and I80 were the same, and if so, why that wasn't made more apparent on the interstate. I knew something was definitely off when I saw signs for Ann Arbor, MI. As tempted as I was to check out UM, I checked my maps and grudgingly turned south to Toledo, Ohio, scolding myself for not carrying a map or checking it often. My adventures seemed to amuse Badgerina somewhat.

Ornery in Ohio

The straightness of I80 through the four-letter state, and the multitudes of the box trucks that inhabit that highway got tiring fast. Light bike, short windscreen, 6-ft frame of mine and wind buffeting from the trucks gave me a mild dose of excruciating whiplash. After a while, I decided that I would holler at my friend Sean that lived in Pittsburgh to see if he wanted to hang out, and I could camp nearby in the area. Instead, he invited me and opened his house to me, for which I was very grateful.

Pennsylvania was, well, a charm! I loved the mountains, the crisp tarmac and the many flowing curves. I became the left-lane hogger and guided the R3 effortlessly, chomping down miles. I thought about taking pictures, but I was having so much fun that I didn't bother with it.

Curvy miles are the best sort of miles to devour.


I didn't wish I was on any other bike when I was powering through Pennsylvania. My butt had been having treasonous thoughts, contemplating sports tourers or even, gasp, cruisers! It is amazing what a nice bit of road and gorgeous weather can do for one's spirits.

I got lost a little more, found Sean's home and was glad to park the bike for the evening. Well, or so I thought...

You see, Sean is a friend I met through the ZX6R (forum member weaponzero)... he was a prior owner as well, and he then made the switch to an FZ-09 when they first came out, and had been the subject of much mockery on my behalf. Well, we swapped bikes to go out to dinner and I soon realized there are three kinds of torque. One, the harmless, even unnoticeable torque offered up by most commuter cars. Two, torque from everyday motorcycles such as SV 650s and R3s. And finally, torque from a monstrous triple. A half-hearted rip on the throttle will throw you off the bike, and I had visions of flying on the bike while barely hanging onto the throttle, ala Superman, so I concentrated harder and gripped the tank harder with my tired knees. They were complaining, but they also understood the gravity of the situation.

For dinner, I got to sample some of Pittsburgh's finest pizza, which is code for 40 parts oil and 60 parts solids. I slept well that night.

Next in the series: The final haul to New Jersey? Or will badger get lost yet again, and find himself deposited in Cuba?

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.- Chuck Yeager

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbowl
Go ride Badger for it's the only thing that'll make sense at times.

Last edited by badgerninja; 08-06-2016 at 06:49 AM.
badgerninja is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #19 of 20 Old 08-06-2016, 05:58 PM
Track Star
 
russperry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 568

I Ride: '06 ZX6R, '14 Ninja 1000, '08 FJR, '06 GSXR 600, '11 KTM 690 Enduro R
Nice story telling Badger. Glad to hear that "I think we got us a sow" or sounds of dueling banjos wasn't heard in Indiana!

'06 ZX6R, '08 FJR1300, '06 GSXR 600, '14 Ninja 1000, '11 KTM 690 Enduro

On the Ninja - Galfer rotors, '09 calipers, Brembo RCS M/C, Beet exhaust, Carrozzeria wheels, Ohlins damper, Sato rearsets, Healtech QuickshifterEasy
russperry is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 08-07-2016, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
MotoGP Champion
 
badgerninja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Madtown, WI
Posts: 4,544

I Ride: 1986 Nishiki, 2015 Yamaha R3
Quote:
Originally Posted by russperry View Post
Nice story telling Badger. Glad to hear that "I think we got us a sow" or sounds of dueling banjos wasn't heard in Indiana!
I'm so glad for that, too!

Part Three- Eastward: Touchdown!


I had been wrong. I didn't need to go through New York to get to New Jersey, but considering my impeccable map-reading skills, that should not have come as a surprise to anyone.

I woke up to a very humid morning and was faced with traffic jam- inhibted rush hour Pittsburgh traffic. An accident had clogged off the tunnel that Steve Jobs' maps had recommended, so I wandered around and sought help from a very helpful volunteer fireman to get onto another tunnel to take me out of the city. After I had merged well onto the turnpike to take me out, I got anxious for some coffee and got off into an exit, and promptly got lost in the countryside. I wandered around till I found some civilization, a Taco Bell with a restroom and a power outlet, and a decent breakfast. Meanwhile, I was realizing that the high humidity had been a harbinger of some thick grey clouds. I spent some time relocating my bearings trying to get onto the interstate.





PA backroads are really nice. Some just get Pennsylvania and me a room...


The Deluge

Once I set off after the little break, the rain started coming down lightly, at first, and pretty heavily soon after. It began to rain cats, dogs and wildebeest. I got very wet, and courtesy of the basic jeans and perforated leather jacket I was wearing, I got pretty cold as well. The service areas were spaced about 26 miles apart, and now it seemed to be a race between stops, because I certainly didn't want to spend another day out on the road. I really wanted to make it to my parents' that day, and I was still a good few hours away.

I stopped at service areas, changed into warmer jeans, sipped on some coffee, and waited to see if the rain quietened. When it didn't, I got impatient and sped off again. At one stop, a kind lady rolled down her window, ordered me to 'Hey! Be safe!', and left. It was nice to know that people cared. Others just looked at me as though I was some kind of lunatic.



Pretty soaking wet out there


I kept powering through. The rain soon died down, and the warm air felt nice and dried me out at 85 mph. When I finally decided to take a longer break to dry my feet out, I realized the rain was right on my tail, and I had to fly again. Overall, I didn't get much wet again, because the R3 turned out to be faster than the rain.

Despite the very wet tarmac and the cool conditions, I felt no issues with the stock rubber or the confidence-inspiring chassis. The bike handled the curves at speed with much aplomb.

More traffic, and then home

I hit Philadelphia, where thanks to the DNC (or otherwise, even) there was a huge traffic snarl. I had my first scare moment, when the car in front of me braked suddenly, and I had to get on my front brake on wet asphalt. I managed to stop, and felt glad that I didn't panic too much leading me to somersault over the car in front of me, and right through the rear window of the one in front of it. After what seemed like an eternity, I made it out of the traffic and into the Garden State. About 40 minutes away now.

I fueled one final time and checked to see my phone that my mom had called. I told her that I had a little surprise for her, gave Badgerina a call, and set off. Once I reached their place, I called my mom, talked for a few minutes while I sat out on their porch and finally knocked on the door to an unsuspecting sister and parents. They were mighty surprised (and happy) to see me!

Now for a few days of rain, relaxation, family time, and playing fetch with this guy... (before I do it all over again in the opposite direction)



Introducing Bucky... the dog that never tires

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.- Chuck Yeager

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbowl
Go ride Badger for it's the only thing that'll make sense at times.
badgerninja is offline  
Reply

  ZX6R Forum > ZX6R Forum > Ride Reports

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Track videos from Road Atlanta (Nov 8) mr5drums Videos 0 11-11-2014 03:04 PM
Pirelli Diablo to Pilot Road 3!!! Oh yea!! 08 Kawi6 The ZX6R 22 10-23-2012 05:18 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome