Two wheels and a motor ... or mobile life

Lunch Stop

Just back from attending the BMW MOA (Motorcycle Owners of America) event in Billings, Montana. We visited the Little Bighorn battlefield and Yellowstone NP along the way.

A few pictures.

And, facts about the trip:

  • highest point 10,891 ft.
  • 12 times over 8,000 ft.
  • 4 times over 9,000 ft.
  • 3,970 total miles -- 1,551 going, 743 local loops, 1,675 returning

This year my ride to STAR (June 21 - July 1, 2012) was a staged affair. Participants, all desiring to ride together, were coming from widely dispersed starting points. So rather than collect everyone at one starting point, we developed a plan for each rider to "join in" along the way.

My trip began from home in Paso Robles where my son Bryan and his friend Jessica Zi Denes had arrived the night before. With great excitement we were up early and off on our two bikes to Tina's Place, a favorite local eatery located on motorcycle friendly Hwy 58, where we join with member Les Katz from Arroyo Grande.

KTM on the Bradshaw Trail
KTM on the Bradshaw Trail

Bfrank and I spent a week chasing dirt roads and trails in south eastern California and western Arizona. We saw some beautiful sights on a number of old 49er trails and stagecoach routes—including the Bradshaw Trail. Pima Air Museum and the Davis-Monthan aircraft boneyard were calling us and so we spent a day touring air history.

This was a mostly camping outing, which provided schedule flexibility. We could stay anyplace that was convenient. Days were comfortable and sunny (65-70 deg F) but the nights were cold (35 deg F). Cold nights are no problem in the tent hugged by a warm sleeping bag, but a killer getting out in the morning.

I did experience one rear flat from a 3 inch nail. It ripped a 2 inch cut in the tube. Thus my road tube replacement skills were tested once again (see Baja 2010 ... Fall This Time). The only problem was a very stiff walled Dunlop 908 on the rear wheel. After much tugging, and some choice words, off it came. Pop in the replacement tube and we were off. Next day, a brief Cycle Gear stop ensured we had a fresh spare tube.

Thursday a sizable storm moved down from the north into central Arizona. We raced south and west to get away, with considerable success after suffering one day of 40+ mph consistent wind but no rain. After a short visit into northern Baja Mexico, we were back in San Diego with a list of newly discovered roads for the next trip.

Here are a few more photos from the trip. And a route map.

Here's my take for a fun route to the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) Sport Touring Association Rendezvous (STAR) event (Avon, Colorado June 24th to 28th, 2012).

A group is forming up to ride together after meeting in Tonopah, NV on Thursday night 6/21.

Kids on the Bike in San Ignacio

Another in the long string of annual Baja rides. But, this time in the Fall for a change.

A helpful bunch of kids (no, really, helpful!) cleaned the dust off my bike while I lazily watched from the comfort of a bench under the shade trees on the town square in San Ignacio. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon. They earned ice creams for all.

This became "my trip", but not in the usual good way. Flats. I'm an expert now. Starting around day three, I achieved the distinction of averaging three flats a day for the remainder of the trip.

Ugg! Not another flat!

We used up every tube all five of us carried then worked our way through Nate's patches (by the way, I owe you a few Nate). Fronts, backs, they all went flat. On the last day I finally found the issue, both tires had cracked on the interior surface. The result was tube pinching on each revolution as the cracks opened and closed. Mefo tires will no longer be on my prep list for a Baja trip! I've taken that firm off my Christmas card list.

Every Baja bike trip is great no matter what happens and this was no different. Click here for all the trip pictures (of flat tire repairs!).