Pulling into my garage after a successful two weeks out on the road, I patted sanDRina as I lubed up her chain and was pleased to see she made it through with no problems. Me, on the other hand came away with a sprained ankle, a minor hiccup in a truly enriching experience of traveling through beautiful remote lands.

Besides the fantastic time spent twistying up and down mountains and traversing deserts, I was thrilled to soak up all the historical artifacts of America's discovery of the West. Even with how well developed America is today, with interstates crisscrossing through remote lands, it's reassuring to know connections to the past are still strong if one ventures a few feet away from modern civilization.

I have to give big thanks to Mark Sampson for putting together the GPS route and pioneering the path for all us who have ridden the Continental Divide Ride. It truly is one of the great motorcycle rides in the world, taking you 2,000 miles from border to border, along the spine of America, bringing you in touch with beautiful natural environments where you can connect with your surroundings.

This ride was also a dry run before a bigger trip heading all the way south through the Americas. I had to make sure the bike would be a reliable and trustworthy companion, as she was. After my snafu up in Alaska last year, friends and strangers derided me for choosing a Suzuki DR650 for partaking in such trips and probably reveled in auDRey's demise. Against all their words, I picked an even older DR650 to show the trust I have in this motorcycle's design and I felt exonerated as I rolled up to my garage and turned off the key. sanDRina was setup very well by her previous owner and he was glad to know she would be riding to far away places.

I also tested new gear, such as my Catoma Twist tent, which worked flawlessly and met my requirements of being light-weight, easy to setup, free standing and providing shelter for all my belongings. My cold weather sleeping setup also got a check mark as I didn't shiver a single night through this trip, even though the temps dropped near freezing, unlike last year going to Alaska. The setup consists of my thin down sleeping bag, with a silk sleeping bag liner and an aluminum emergency blanket bag. I had to sleep with ear plugs in as it was quite noisy like a candy wrapper, but I was used to that from my previous trips.

My water filter, the LifeSaver bottle also worked great, filtering water from streams and questionable water sources, providing me adequate amounts of clean drinking water. I was glad to see that more ambitious cooking than simply heating up precooked food was possible and enjoyable.

Not on the test agenda, but glad I could accomplish it was being able to pick up my bike when she fell over. Weighing maybe close to 500 lbs loaded, it's good to know she can be roused up when she decides to take a nap.

With my injury, I guess I could say something always seems to go wrong on my trips, but that would be simply making a story out of unrelated incidents. I'm thankful it wasn't anything more serious and I attribute that to the safety gear of my torsion resistant and stiff motocross boots. They're bulky, but proved themselves valuable.

Of course, all my incidents are mistakes of my own doing, but hey, we're a fallible species and we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for all those mistakes made by our ancestors as they discovered different aspects of life. With every mistake comes a lesson to be learned and I learned to always respect tricky downhill sections and use the rear brake liberally :)

Earlier in the year, lying in bed, with metal staples holding together the wounds from my ACL reconstruction surgery, the image of riding my bike through pristine wilderness was a driving force in my recovery. As I moved from two crutches to a cane, I knew in a few months I would be heading west, to the mountains. When I took my first un-aided step, learning how to walk again, I could imagine hiking through trees to get a magnificent view from a cliff. And when I finally swung my leg over a motorcycle and twisted the throttle, I was once again connected to my two wheels of freedom.

Ride on.

Ride Report Index

1 comment:

  1. Just finished the report. Excellent job by you and Sandrina! Wishing you all the best for the big one in the next few months. Lets plan soon for you to swing through California.