All that is needed to get back home.

Total miles: 275 miles
Estimated travel: 4:15 hours

[ Sunday - August 23, 2009 ]

It was simple enough to wake up, pack it all up, and head home.  Since Bishop is in the 3-4K altitude range, we need to inflate our tires.  Attempts to go at it by hand with a bicycle pump end quickly after about 10 pumps.  There's just too much volume in a motorbike's tires for the hand pump to truly be effective.  So we opted to ride down the street and pull into the nearest gas station.

We pull into a Chevron at the southern edge of Bishop.  At least the air is free here unlike in LA.  You have to pay to inflate your tires in Southern California.  Talk about making a buck at every opportunity.  Darn!  It's a funky air hose tip and it doesn't work for motorbikes.  Nice try.  We go further south with slightly deflated tires until we spot the next available gas station.

It's Sunday so we're expecting the worse in terms of traffic.  Undoubtedly everybody, their mother, dog, cat, cow, pig, etc. is heading towards Southern California.  Just as anticipated we're stuck in traffic with the worst of LA drivers.  You name it, tailgating, speeding, cutting off, etc..  At last, another Chevron in Independence.  Finally, this one has a flex hose instead of that funky hard adapter.  Now we can get down to business.  35 rear, 32 front.  Nu does 42 rear, 33 front.  For some reason, his rear TKC80 can handle higher pressure than my 150/70-17.  Oh well, it is what it is.  Back on the road.  This is much better.  Now we should be able to handle higher speeds.

Once more another down pour drenches us right at the southern edge of Olancha.  It seems like we're blessed to experience all types of weather conditions on this trip.  Extreme heat (107F), pissing down cats and dogs, and the extreme high desert winds.  If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not.  I like riding in the rain, and I'm getting very comfortable on the 8GS even in high wind conditions.

Partly through the trip home, Nu notices his XD-3 visor is shaking pretty violently.  Upon closer inspection, he's lost one of the two screws, on one side of the helmet.  Looking a little further, he notices he's missing his laminar lip on the windshield.  The crash at the beginning of the trail in Mammoth yesterday must have thrown the winglet flying off in a direction.  That explains why he's getting so much helmet vibration that eventually cause the visor screw to work itself loose.  Poor guy, nothing is going right for him this trip.  In the end he had to take the visor off and use the goggles and face shield for the rest of the trip home.

No trouble on the rest of the way home.  We waved numerous cagers to pass us as we're taking our sweet time enjoying this life.  However, there is one incidence that was rather comical.  The stretch of the 395 Hwy between Kramer junction and Adelanto is basically a no passing zone.  A 25 miles stretch of no pass zone.  A pain for some.  We're indifferent about the zone as we're enjoying ourselves plodding along.  Somewhere in the scheme of things we picked up a CHP on our six.  The speed limit is 65 MPH, but we've settled on 60 MPH as it makes our trip much more manageable and safer due to the windy conditions.  Since we're perfectly legal and in order, there is nothing much the CHP can do or want to do to us.  Chances are he probably didn't have much else to do anyway.  So what did he do?  He just sat back and relaxed.  After all, the posted speed limit is the maximum and not the minimum.  Nu and I were wondering whether the CHP was going to break the law and pass us in a no pass zone.  Nope, he didn't do it.  He only passed us once the Hwy opened up.  As for the chain of cars behind him, they weren't going to complain about a CHP going slow.  In fact, they gave him a wide birth.  As for us, we didn't care that he was behind us.  If needed, he can turn his sirens on and we would have pulled over for him to pass.  Too funny.  Cagers... Angles by day, devils by night.

We both make it back home in relatively good time.

Subsequent days had us analyzing what went wrong this year and why we couldn't make it in a far as we did last year on the same trail.  The answer comes down to weight.  We were carrying too much.  Adding myself, the bike's weight, and the equipment weight has the bike coming out to almost 700 lbs.  Wow!  Too heavy.  We definitely need to trim the fat next year.  I'm surprise I didn't go down more often.  A testiment to the 8GS's capabilities.

Day 1 - Marathon riding
Day 2 - Gasoline and Pumice (Respect the Pumice!  Respect it!)

Written on:  September 16, 2009
Last modified:  September 16, 2009