Monday, January 30, 2012

BBFO 2012 - Day 4

The temperature this morning was at least 10 degrees warmer in Campwood compared to Alpine yesterday. I opted not to put on so much cold gear and figured I'd be fine with just my Gerbing gear as a liner under my Olympia 1-pc suite. I wasn't even going to plug in. So after enjoying breakfast across the street with everyone, we packed our bikes and I left with the group heading north.

We left Campwood via FM 337. As it was still early we kept the pace moderate just in case there were any deer out for a morning stroll. After we passed through Leakey I decided to move up 1 position behind the leader to better enjoy the pace through the twisties. In Medina we turned North onto Hwy 16 toward Kerrville. I absolutely love this road as it has lots of tight curves where the GS just rocks!

Once in Kerrville the group of 5 bikes gathered back up and we continued north to Fredericksburg. The only problem with Hwy 16 between Kerrville and Fredericksburg is that it's a 2 lane road. So when you get stuck behind a slow moving truck you are sort of stuck there until they turn or you get into town. We were far enough back in the line of vehicles we really didn't have a choice but to sit back and enjoy the scenery at a speed of 55mph. Once we arrived in Fredericksburg we turned east onto Hwy 290 and headed out of town with a fuel stop at the Shell at the corner of FM1623.

I opted to plug in my electrics at this point. The temperature had stayed around 50 degrees which made it a little cold when riding down the road at 70 mph. Once back on the road I was nice and cozy with just a little bit of juice flowing into my Gerbings. The ride on 290 over to Austin was uneventful although the closer we got to town, the more I had to contend with traffic. In Austin we headed south on Hwy 71 to Bastrop. There I waived goodbye to 3 riders of the group. The 2 of us who were left stayed on 71 heading south toward Columbus.

At LaGrange, Jeff pointed his old airhead toward the gas station and we waived good bye to each other. I was now back to riding solo, just me and my thoughts and the occasional car on the road. I picked up I-10E at Columbus and "slabbed it" over to Sealy where I took Hwy 36 just as I had done on Friday morning. Getting home via Hwy 36 isn't the quickest way but it avoids miles of suburbia and soccer moms so it's worth an extra few miles.

When I rolled up into my driveway I was glad to be home but I was a little sad to see the end of the trip. Over the course of the 4 days I added 1607 miles to the odometer which now reads 98,011. I'm really happy with the seat adjustments I made a few weeks ago. I don't get the same pain from pressure points that I used to get. I still get some back pain but I expect that to diminish over the next month as my workouts at the gym strengthen those muscles.

I had 3 technical difficulties on this trip. First was the broken right hand mirror. It didn't happen on the trip but 2 days before when I was moving the bike around in the garage. I just didn't find out about the problem until I left the driveway and it fell off. Oooops! The second issue was a carry over from my last trip. I'm having all sorts of problems with the XM radio audio from my Garmin going through the J&M CB. I think it's some broken solder joints inside the J&M so I'll have to take that apart to investigate. And there's the fact that I need to replace the Zumo integrator module for the J&M which is going to run me about $400. Yikes!  The last problem happened on Saturday morning at breakfast. I broke the key of my Givi topcase. Luckily it broke inside the lock so I was able to stick the nub of the key into the lock and turn it. I've got spare keys so it won't take long to disassemble the lock and get the broken key out.

I've got 59 days until I ride in the April Fools 30 hour rally on March 31 and 191 days until the Butt Lite 6IX. The GS needs some attention before I make my next LD ride but overall it's doing well and should serve me nicely as my rally bike for this year after I add the auxiliary fuel cell to raise my fuel volume to 11.5 gallons.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

BBFO 2012 - Day 3

This morning we enjoyed breakfast at Magoo's again. We started a little earlier as everyone seemed to be ready before 8am yesterday. My breakfast was a breakfast taco with 2 eggs, bacon and cheese. Definitely a hearty meal to start the day.

The plan today was to head east and end up in the Hill Country for the night in Campwood, Texas. We left Alpine via Hwy 90. The first stop was in Sanderson to allow people to fill up. Then it was on to Langtry to visit the Judge Roy Bean museum. We then continued east to Comstock for lunch and another fill up for some of the bikes. I had not filled up the bike all morning long and I didn't plan to until we got to Rocksprings. This is one of the benefits of having the GS Adventure tank on a regular GS. After lunch at the grill next door to the gas pumps we headed north on FM 163. We stopped in Juno at the deserted resort to kick tires and tell lies for a few minutes. Then continued on up the road to Hwy 189.  Hwy 189 ended at US 277 where we turned south to go down to Hwy 55. From there it was an easy ride into Rocksprings where I topped off the tank at the Shell station.

Most of the riders wanted to head on to the motel in Campwood which was about 25 miles down the road. I wasn't quite ready to call it a day just yet so another rider and I went north on 377 to Hwy 41 East over to FM 335. When I  turned south on 335 I found a wonderfully fresh paved road to enjoy. We set a modest pace and enjoyed the sweepers of 335. Before I knew it we had chewed up the 20+ miles of pavement and found ourselves just a few miles outside of Campwood on Hwy 377.

We rolled into town and pulled into the parking lot to see the other guys just getting into their rooms. Apparently they stayed at the gas stop longer than I expected. Because we certainly weren't going that fast on our little detour down FM 335. I checked into my room and unloaded the bike. Another wonderful day of riding had come to an end. I traveled 333 miles today over an 8 hour period. It was a very relaxed pace today and allowed me lots of time to think about changes I wanted to do to my bike in it's preparations for the big mileage days to come later this year and next.

Tomorrow evening I'll be at home and this year's BBFO trip will be over. Weather has been absolutely wondeful on this trip with lows in the high 20's and highs in the low 70's. Perfect for a winter trip in Texas.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

BBFO 2012 - Day 2

Today started off at McGoo's for breakfast. It was convenient and close to the hotel. Service was good and reasonably quick for a party of our size.

Then we headed down to Study Butte to allow a few riders to top off their tanks before riding the river road (FM 170). I followed Chuck and Mike at a modestly spirited pace. Most of the group stopped off at the fort just outside Presidio but I kept going.

I topped off my fuel tank in Presidio and continued on FM 170, I want to go to Candeleria which is as the north end of the road. The ride was pleasant although not as exciting as the stretch from Study Butte to Presidio. When I got to the end of the road, I looked around, wondered why anyone would live out there and then turned around. In Ruidosa I decided to head towards Marfa via a gravel country road called Pinto Canyon Road. It was a 20 mile stretch of rough gravel with some great scenic views. I wouldn't recommend it on a touring bike but for moderate dual sports it's definitely something you should check out. Of course if you think your Goldwing is a dual sport by all means go check it out.

When I finally reached pavement again I found myself on FM 2810 which I followed into Marfa. There I picked up Hwy 17 toward Ft. Davis. About 4 miles south of Ft. Davis there's a road going toward Valentine, I think it's FM 166. It's part of the Ft. Davis loop. I  turned on it and followed it around for 75 miles to get into Ft. Davis. Just remember to always take the road to the right and follow the signs toward Fort Davis. The first mileage sign to Ft. Davis is about 25 miles into the loop. The ride was scenic and there was snow on the ground as I got into the Ft. Davis mountains near the observatory. Some other riders told me there was actually snow on the roadway at the observatory but I didn't ride up to check it out.

Once back in Ft. Davis it was a short 23 mile ride down Hwy 118 into Alpine. I filled up the gas tank near the hotel and then parked the bike for the day. I rode about 350 miles today and got to see all the sites that I wanted to see. The gravel road was an extra treat.

Tomorrow we are heading back to the Hill Country. I was sort of looking forward to visiting Big Bend National Park but knew I was going to sacrifice my time in the park in the interest of the others so I'll come back and ride that another time. We'll either stay in Camp Wood or Rockspring tomorrow night and then ride home on Monday.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

BBFO 2012 - Day 1

Happy new year. It's been several months since I posted anything on this blog. I've been riding my motorcycle but haven't taken any real trips since the summer.

Last month I did get some exciting news related to my enjoyment of motorcycling. I have been picked to complete in the 2013 Iron Butt Rally. So now the preparation begins. I'm entered in the April Fools 30hr rally to be held at the end of March and then the Butt Lite  6 day rally in August. I'd like to get a new K1600GT as my rally bike but for now it's not in the budget. Hopefully that will change as the year progresses.

Now how about the current trip I'm on? I left my driveway at 9:30 and was finally on the road by 9:45 after filling up the gas tank. It was a quick ride down Hwy 59 and then over to Hwy 36 via Spur 10. Traffic was almost non-existent so I was able to move down the road easily.

In Sealy I turned onto I-10 West and remained on the super slab until I got past Ft. Stockton. I made 2 gas stops along the way, the first was in Kerville. Since it was around lunch time I stayed there a little longer and enjoyed part of a Cliff bar. Total stop time was 10 minutes. The next stop was in Ozona and it was just a quick gas and go. I was back on the road in 3 minutes. With a full tank of gas, I knew I could take advantage of the higher posted speed limits out west so I cranked up the throttle.

Once past Ft. Stockton I took exit 248 south onto Hwy 67 down to Hwy 90 and then into Alpine where the motel is. After stopping to top off my tank for tomorrow I arrived at the motel by 5:30. So it was 8 hours drive way to drive way and 560 miles.

Tomorrow we'll be heading down to ride the river road (FM 170) and other roads as time permits.