Ground Zero: The Wrong Way






We called it the Wrong Way because it wasn't the most straightforward route. The idea was solid and it worked out great. We took as much of old Route 66 and other two-lane highways all the way to Lake Abiquiu, about 100 miles north of Albequerque, New Mexico. It was a little over 900 miles to get there, and less than 50 of that on highway 40. We hopped on the freeways for the ride back. Thanks to Joel to for planning the route out. Coach rode with us out to the lake and then headed south to El Paso to deliver the Sporty he was riding. Here's the basic breakdown:

Tuesday night, Temecula to Joshua Tree campground.

Wednesday, Joshua Tree to Flagstaff KOA campground.

Thursday, Flagstaff to some damn where on an Indian reservation. Camped in dirt lot next to gas station.

Friday, somewhere east of Crown Point to the Lake.

Saturday, Lake Abiquiu to Albuquerque.

Sunday, Albuquerque to Kingman.

Monday, Kingman to Home.

I have to say, my bike did remarkably well. The only thing that fell off on the first leg was a water bottle. On the way out of Albuquerque it started to cut out over rough surfaces on the freeway. A little inspection under an overpass revealed the battery box/oil tank mount was broken. We strapped it up with a ratchet tie-down and tightened up the loose wire on the positive side. A quick fix that got us down the road. Then in the hottest part of the day after changing Chris' tire out to that dirt bike 21" knobbie back in Blythe, the El Cheapo just shut off. A road-side inspection showed that power was getting to the coil and the ignition module. No way to test how much, but the headlight and tailight came on so I figured the battery was OK. (I later turned just the tailight on and the battery completely ran out of juice in about two minutes.) I pushed it across the I-10 at the request of Captian Obvious from the CHP ("not a good place or time of day to break down you know...") and called AAA. A new battery was about 60 miles in either direction (if I could find one on a Monday) and at the time I thought it was the ignition module giving out from the heat anyway. I made contact with AAA and Joel and Chris motored on down the road. I had some water, a couple cigars and a new issue of Cycle World and a little whisky left. I strung up the old poncho and made a hooch to get out of the sun. About an hour into this mini vacation the weather I had been watching on the western front moved in. Sweet! It was well over 100 out so some light rain cooled things down and the lightning was a great show. It also allowed me to drain water from the hood of the poncho and completely top off my water bottle. Survivor man on the damn freeway! What the hell is this world coming to when grown men are camping on the side of a major freeway for three hours and not a soul stops? I didn't really need anything, but I still expected a good samaritan or two. The light rain gave way to a rather wild downpour complete with enough wind to break one of the bungees and wreck my so far dry lean-to. I disassembled the rest of it, tied everything to my backpack so it wouldn't blow away and just sat it out wearing the poncho. A while later the AAA dude finally pulled up, we loaded that bike right as the trailing edge of the storm blew past. McGoo met me with the team van in Indio and I drove home looking like a drowned rat. Awesome good times! Thanks Trent for giving us such a good excuse to ride and to the guys I went with, thanks for the patience and your tenacity, this was not an easy ride by any standards but it sure was a great time.

There are a little over 100 photos on the flickr page and I'm working on stitching some riding video together that shows Trent riding the Knuck in the woods.

What next?

The Hooch; before