July 09, 2013


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 3 - 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride

Monday - July 8, 2013

Departure Location / Time: Douthot State Park - near Covington Virginia

Weather: No Rain! High of 92

Total Miles Traveled: 308


Details to come shortly.... Battery is running low on laptop...  JE


2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Day 3 Monday - July 8, 2013  Departure Location / Time:  Weather:  Total Miles Traveled:

Link for real-time GPS Tracking of Trip.  |  Link to Joe Morris' Blog


Related Post:


[fblike style="standard" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"]

[fbshare type="button"]

July 08, 2013


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 2 - 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride

Sunday - July 7, 2013

Departure Location / Time: Bristol, TN / 8:30AM

Weather: High Humidity Low 70's in the AM - Turned to Rain for rest of the day.

Total Miles Traveled: 258


Day 2 started off with some outstanding fire roads with a few of them narrowing down to a wide single track trail. We were quickly reminded that these massive bikes that are loaded down with gear don't shine in the tight technical, slick rock trails. They love the big wide gravel roads but when the roads narrows you have to pay extra attention to every rock, pot hole and rut.




The weather was very kind to us in the morning but that only lasted until about 1PM. The rain moved in and stayed with us until dusk. We took retreat at Dairy Queen/Gas Station and enjoyed a not-so-healthy lunch. After lunch we switch from trail to street to try and make up some time.


Love must be in the air today because I witnessed a couple small dogs getting friendly and two donkeys doing the same. The love quickly passed as Joe's KTM decided it didn't want to stay running when he put it in gear. Luck was on our side. Across the road from our breakdown was an auto repair shop, 460 Auto Repair.

P1020855 P1020857 P1020859 P1020858

The folks there were so nice to let us come in out of the rain and work on Joe's bike. We diagnosed it to be a faulty kickstand switch. Dan used his phone to research a solution while Joe and I hacked on the wire harness. Turns out we needed a magnet to mount to the sensor. Who packs a magnet in their tool kit? Not us. Turns out the folks at 460 Auto Repair had a small rare earth magnet that fixed the problem! They refused to take any payment for their help so we settled on some of Kate's homemade chocolate chip cookies.

We continued northeast and found a cool little campsite near Covington, Virginia (possibly West Virginia) I really haven't kept up with where we are. I'm focused on following the little blue arrow on the Garmin. That's all for now.... Time to ride.

P1020860 P1020866



Link for real-time GPS Tracking of Trip.  |  Link to Joe Morris' Blog


July 07, 2013


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 1 - 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride

Saturday - July 6, 2013

Departure Location / Time: Dan's Cabin in Suches, GA @ 9:15AM

Weather: 70 and Rain

Total Miles Traveled: 313

Trip Odometer: 841

Today's launch was greeted by heavy N. Georgia rain and dense fog.  There's something about starting a big trip in crappy weather that pushes a rider to make a choice.  Option A - bitch and moan  Option B - embrace it and push on.  Luckily our group chose Option B.  We did get a good laugh when we all got suited up and Dan's KTM 990 wouldn't start.  Nothing a quick hook-up of Joe's SAE jumper cable didn't fix.  We plugged it into Dan's Powerlet Adapter and the SAE Battery Tender plug on my Super Tenere. (Joe is an electrical wizard and his skills come in very handy) Without this jumper cable we would have been delayed a good 30 minutes getting to the battery on the KTM.  Thanks Joe!

[caption id="attachment_3148" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Dan's Cabin 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Dan's Cabin[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3146" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - N. Georgia Fog Machine N. Georgia Fog Machine[/caption]


We traveled on 90% 2-lane twisty backroads today.  5% interstate and 5% dirt roads.  At one stop, I told Joe that he set the bar high with the quality of  the tarmac roads and I was would be disappointed if the rest of the trip wasn't as good.  We were on some roads today that would give the Dragon a run for it's money.  Average rain fall must be way up this year because several of our planned routes were blocked by this....

[caption id="attachment_3152" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride - Small Creek Crossing Small Creek Crossing[/caption]


We got on the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 15 miles and went through Maggie Valley, NC.  (shout out to my Spyder friends who were just there).  In fact, I saw state signs for Georgia, N. Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia - not bad for one day.   There were no issues today except for my allergies.  The flow from my nose made the inside of my Shoei looking like war zone of slime.

We arrived at the Courtyard Marriott around 5:30 and found Justin waiting for us on his fancy new BMW GS.  We all had a great dinner at Outback and quickly discovered that Justin is going to fit in great to our little group.  Welcome aboard Justin!

[caption id="attachment_3156" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Justin Mills on his high tech BMW. Justin Mills on his high tech BMW.[/caption]

Today the Boeing 777 crash landed at SFO.  Very scary stuff. I am consciously aware of the risk associated with a trip like this but at least I have some control of the risk dial.  Sometimes we turn it up but we turn it down as well.  The folks on that plane didn't have any risk dials to turn.

I'm looking forward to the rest of this Epic Ride.  Feel free to post comments or ask questions on the blog.  Thanks for reading.  JE



Link for real-time GPS Tracking of Trip.  |  Link to Joe Morris' Blog


Related Post:


[fblike style="standard" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"]

[fbshare type="button"]

July 05, 2013


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 0 - 2013 Appalachian Trail-ish Epic Ride

Thursday - July 4, 2013

Departure Location: Orlando, FL  6:30PM

Weather:  77 and heavy rain

Total Miles Traveled: 250

I was really dreading the "slab" ride from Orlando to Suches, GA.  I love pretty much everything about riding motorcycles except long, straight-line routes of mind-numbing tarmac.  Without shipping the bike or taking they truck, there aren't any options except I-75.

My lovely wife - Kate - encouraged me to take off a night early (maybe she was ready to get rid of me...)  So I took off and made it to Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL by 10:30PM.  It was good practice setting up my tent in the dark.  It took about 20mins, hopefully I can shorten this down.  The cafe was closed but lucky more me Kate baked some cookies for the guys.  Sorry guys, we are now one bag short.

suwannee music park - camp site


Friday - July 5, 2013

Departure Location / Time: Live Oak, FL  8:15AM

Elevation: Sea Level (ish)

Weather:  72-80 and overcast, slight rain

Total Miles Traveled: 350

[caption id="attachment_3143" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Great people and great energy at Suwannee Music Park.  Great people and great energy at Suwannee Music Park.[/caption]

I broke camp around 7:30 and was on the road by 8:15.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any coffee packed.  No rain the whole day and no interstate drama.  Hwy 60 from Dahlonega, GA into Suches, GA made all the Slab boredom fade from my memory.  Why can't we have these twisties in Florida?

Link for real-time GPS Tracking of Trip.  |  Link to Joe Morris' Blog


Related Post:


[fblike style="standard" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"]

[fbshare type="button"]



June 11, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 10 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Monday - June 4, 2012 @ 9:15AM
Location: Dodge City, KS
Elevation: 2550
Temp: 85
Planned Miles: ?
Total Miles Completed: 507

- We stayed at the Gunsmoke campground last night in Dodge City, KS. We all got very poor sleep b/c we were on the corner of two major highways. Lot of semi's and a major intersections equals - you guessed it - Jake Brakes! As a bonus Amtrak had their tracks strategically placed as close as possible to the Gunsmoke Campround. It's unnerving to be yanked from your sleep by the sounds of an Amtrak train coming through your tent. I couldn't believe how well the REI tent held up after having not one but three locomotives run through it last night. :)

- The poor sleeping conditions caused Dan to wake up grumpy. This was the first time on the trip he wasn't his happy self. I don't blame him...

- The ride started out and remained very boring on our journey through eastern Kansas. The excitement of the day came when we hit Wichita. Dan was almost runover by an Dodge Carvan with a Earnhart #8 Fear This sticker in the window. The female driver didn't seem to care she had almost killed of my best friends.

- Great lunch at the Servateria in Pratt, KS. The bib-overall wearing locals were very curious about our gear, bikes, and trip. I ate way too much.

- Joplin, Missouri. Very humbling to see the devastation from the Tornado last year. Reconstruction was underway but the town was still in disrepair.

- Roads into Eureka Springs, AR were great. Van called me as we were getting gas. It was pretty cool b/c I was sending him a text as he called. Very cool but weird; this trip has been full of moments like this. He recommended Ermilio's Italian Restaurant in Eureka. We did get odd looks from our fellow diners who were dressed in their business and evening attire. My dusty First Gear jacket stood out amongst the sport coats and dresses. We voted it the best meal of the trip.

- We left Ermilios at dusk in search of a campsite on the Buffalo River. This was our last chance of the trip to setup camp before dark and we missed it again. However we were rewarded with an amazing sunset. The clouds from a major thunderstorm were forming to our West and enhanced the diminishing light of the setting sun. The road to the east was filled with what must have been a Harvest moon. It was the biggest moon I have ever seen. It engulfed the skyline and appeared to be so close you could touch it. Amazing….

- The roads into Ponca, AR would have been great during the day - Turn after turn after turn. We arrived at campsite around 10:30PM. 30 minutes after quite time. We wanted to make sure grumpy had a good night of rest so we setup next to the tree line so Dan could string his bed for the night.

- No Jake Brake or Amtrak's this night - only crickets and birds.













June 06, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 9 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Sunday - June 3, 2012 @ 11:00AM

Location: Lakewood, CO
Elevation: 5450
Temp: 86
Planned Miles: **
Total Miles Completed: 438

- The group was unusually somber today. It could have been from a few different factors including the reality that we were leaving the mountains and had 3 days of flatland to ride, we realized we were on the downhill side of this trip and all of our real world lives would be back sooner than later, or it just could have been that we tried to drink all of Denver's finest barley and hops the day before. I believe it was a combination of all three.

- We left the Denver metro and headed towards Sedalia, CO to pickup the Rampart Range Rd south. Turns out this is a huge OHV area and there was a Dirtbike Poker Run going on as we came through. This meant the dirt road was full of car and truck traffic which slowed our normal bonzai pace. The single track followed the dirt road and was tempting the offroad spirit in me. This would be a great place to setup basecamp and enjoy all the great trails over a long weekend!

- I used the Garmin and set it to shortest distance setting and let it route us East. It took us through more farm land with endless dirtroads. I don't think the rest of the group enjoyed the gravel surface as much as I did.

- We had a late and well needed lunch in a little town in Southeast Colorado. Authentic Mexican....yummy. The downside was it took over 2 hours for the heavy stomach load to settle down.

- By the time we got to Dodge City, KS we pretty much toast. We made a quick pitstop and voted to camp b/c the temps were coming down. The closest place was the Gunsmoke Campground and RV park. This was going to be a mistake....

- After we checked in and paid our $40 I headed to the nearest gas station to get a rewards for our long day. To my dismay the beer cooler was locked. WTF. It's Sunday in the Bible Belt which means no beer for us sinners. :) I opted for 2 liters of water and bag of Oreo Double Stuff cookies.












June 03, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 8 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Saturday - June 12, 2012 @ 10:00AM

Location: Lakewood, CO
Elevation: 5450
Temp: 85
Planned Miles: Zero :-(
Total Miles Completed: Zero

- Racing, Racing, Racing!

- More details to come....We are trying to remember how to repack our bikes after taking a day off. Here are some pics from yesterday to hold you over.













June 02, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 7 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Friday - June 1, 2012 @ 11:00AM

Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Elevation: 6700
Temp: 65
Planned Miles: Not Sure?
Total Miles Completed: 305

- We got a slow start this morning. It was a little hard to get out of those big comfy beds at the hotel. Once we finally rolled outside, we discovered Lane a had a flat on the KLR. Turns out it was a split in the seam of his tube. That's a first for me. No puncture, just a split seam.

- We were so close to Wyoming we felt it would be a disservice to not go there. The road going north out of Steamboat followed a river for 30+ miles. It is the same route of the upcoming Steamboat Marathon. Lots of curves and beautiful ranches.

- We grabbed a Forest Service road that show to take us across the stateline and intersect with Hwy 70 in Wyoming. It was nice a smooth going for about 20 miles and then it got interesting.

- The off-road stripes were definitely earned today. The trail slowing narrowed and got more and more technical. We were lured in to keep on going - one challenge after another...and another...and another. No one in the group wanted to back track. It was a fight to make it out and I'm sorry to say Wyoming won. We finally had to turn around after we found a giant tree across the trail with no way around.

The trail wouldn't have been too bad on a true dirt bike but we are riding 600+ lbs beast with 1/2 worn-out dualsport tires. Everyone took a soil sample today except Lane. I normally would be upset that the Super Tenere got scratched up but I feel more like they are battle scars. A right of Adventure Riding Passage if you will. Don't cry when you see the pics. All of the scars can be repaired. :)

- Once we finally made it out of the woods, I finally had to plug my rear tire. It was went from losing 15lbs a day to 15lbs in 15 mins. Lane said I need to vulcanize the plug by getting the tire hot. Luckily we were treated to 25 miles of twisties to get it very warm. :-) I still cannot believe this bike can play in the dirt and carve the asphalt like it does.

- We came south out of Wyoming and went through Winter Park and down into our new home for the next two days - Lakewood, CO. I'm actually looking forward to taking a break from the bike tomorrow. It's time to see some Motocross!




















June 01, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 6 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Thursday - May 31, 2012 @ 7:30AM

Location: Marshall Pass, Colorado
Elevation: 10300
Temp: Cold - 27
Planned Miles: ? Wyoming Maybe
Total Miles: 281

- I'm typing this at our campsite at Marshall Pass - 6:45AM now. I was up before sunrise. brrr. was it cold. The rest of the crew is just now getting up. A bunny just hopped by about 4 feet from my chair and the birds are singing their morning songs. The sun is in front of me and is slowly burning the chill away. The numb fingers are hard to ignore but surrounding beauty dominates my thoughts.

- We had a 2nd night of Coleman Meal in a bag. Man, those things are good after a hard day of riding. The JetBoil stove is probably my favorite piece of gear. It boils water in under 2 minutes!
I have to go for now b/c the iPad battery is down to 1% and I think my left pinky just fell off.


- Boreas Pass into Breckenridge was beautiful.

- Today will be know from here on as The Creek Crossing Day. It was marked on our route as Deep Water. I didn't think much of it and took off for the deep section to spicy things up. I knew I was in for a challenge when the water came over the front wheel. No big deal, just gas it.... wait why is the bike cutting out? Did I already suck water in the intake? No, dummy you didn't turn traction control off. Luckily I had enough momentum to get out of the hole and to dry land. Surely Dan will see how deep it was and take a different route. I was shocked to see he followed me straight through the deep spot. Unfortunately, his trip through wasn't as smooth. It took all four of us to pull him out and then we had to tip the 990 on it's tail to drain the water out of the pipes. The group rejoices when the big 990 fires up. It was shooting water 6 ft long out of the twin pipes. I regret not getting footage of the water evacuation it was quite a spectacle.

Now it's Joe's turn to forge the crossing but there is one problem..... He left his key on to come help Dan and his, already weak battery, was now dead. Thanks to some quick thinking from Lane we used the SAE power wire from my mini air compressor and charged the KTM from the Yamaha. This would have made for a good Yamaha commercial. After 5 minutes of charging the KTM fired to life.

I will try to post the video of the crossing. Be warned, there could be some adult language. :)

- Because it was getting late we cut out 40 miles of trail and slabbed it into Steamboat. My boots were full of cold creek water and I was ready for a shower. We grabbed a room at the Fairfield Inn. Oh yes, I almost forgot... I lost one of my shoes on the route. After we checked in to the hotel I rode over to Sports Authority in search of a Size 11 Brooks running shoe. I got a funny look when I asked for the left one only.

- We grabbed the free city bus for a quick ride to downtown in search of some good food and beverages. It felt good to let the dirty bikes rest for a little. We had an outstanding mexican dinner at the Rio Grande.

















June 01, 2012

1 Comment

Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 5 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Wednesday - May 30, 2012 @ 7:30AM

Location: Heron Lake State Park, NM
Elevation: ***
Temp: Cold - 32
Planned Miles: ??
Total Miles: 254

- We had lunch in Del Norte, Co at very cool little hippy cafe - Peace of Art Cafe & Organic Peddler. The proprietor, Kim and her husband were super nice. www.organicpeddler.com

- The Super T loves smooth dirt roads. It's eats them up like a fat kid eats cake. 80mph+ = no problem. The ABS linked brakes are magical is this environment. Grab a handful of front, it engages the rear and the bike squats down and sets up for corners like a champ. If you grab a little too much, the ABS kicks in and does it's job. I stopped even using the rear brake on it's own. The ABS is too sensitive when it's rear brake only. I also found that I like to run it in Touring mode with Traction Control off when blasting the gravel roads.

- The front compression is too stiff from the factory. I backed it off 7 clicks and the it worked much better over the rocks and washboard roads.

- We hit snow today. At the top of one pass their was only a small trail around the snow drift. I'm pretty sure their wasn't enough room for anything larger than an ATV.

- We did several passes including Stunner Pass, Alamosa Canyon, Boreas Pass, and Marshall Pass. We stopped at Tomichi Creek Trading Post for bike and people fuel for the night. The owner is a motorcyclist and had some cool decals that I put on the Super T.

- The sun was dropping fast and we needed to find a good camp spot. We topped Marshall Pass and there was a perfect spot. We didn't think too much about being at over 11,000 ft elevation. We were in for a VERY cold night. We cooked more freezed dried dinners and roasted marshmallows over our first campfire. Joe also rigged up a bear bag where stored all our food for the night. We got a good laugh when we realized we only made a nice piñata for the four-legged locals.










May 30, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 4 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Tuesday - May 29, 2012 @ 8:00AM

Location: Springer Lake, NM
Elevation: 6900
Temp: 65
Planned Miles: ?
84 miles off road
257 total miles

- cool temps in morning. Great roads into Taos.
- dan's left pannier fell off. Lane stopped and moved it to the side of road. Luckily it still worked.
- I got a walkin appt at the eye doc. Small case of conjuctivities from the dry air and wind. I was back at Walmart before guys finished sliming tires. :)
- walmart is Taos is no good. Poor management.
- I took the lead and managed to get us lost on forest service roads and private property. 40 miles of great double track
- I punctured rear tire. I little slime fixed it up in about 10 mins.
- realized lane's KLR handled like a tank with 300lbs of crap over rear axle. We move shared the load across the other 3 bikes and stiffened the rear shock. Big improvement.
- Joe was the first to take a soil sample. It was low speed and harmless. I asked if I could take a picture. He agreed. :)
- Stopped at dusk in heron lake state park new Mexico. Awesome campsite with a view of the lake. Everyone got in a shower. We needed it!
- dinner was I the form of freeze dried pouches and were actually darn good

PS: I really miss my girls, Avery and Kate. I hope that can enjoy this type of experience down the road.












May 29, 2012


Liked this post? Tell your friends!

Day 3 - Rocky Mountain Campout

Monday Memorial Day - May 28, 2012 @ 9am

Location: Tulsa, OK
Elevation: 300 ft
Temp: 92
Planned Miles: Taos, NM 600ish

I'm quickly realizing there is not much time for writing. We spend all day riding. What's up with that? :). I think I will have move to daily highlights and fill in the details later.

- long and hot day through OK. Pretty sure I was blacked out most of the day.
- hit dirt for about 15 miles today. Broke up the monotony. I'm itching for the mtns.
- no drama until the western edge of OK panhandle. We stop for gas an my left eye was VERY inflamed. Dr Dan took over and taped it shut. After about an hour. It got a little better. We hit the road again and I kept it shut for the next 140 miles. One-eyed through the desert as the sun is setting is not ideal.
- lucked onto a great campsite on the edge of springer lake in NM.