The trip was awesome, the fall not so much.
This is a long ride report about some of the best roads in America, some of the nicest people and what can happen when you become one with a motorcycle and too comfortable on it.
The idea of riding a 24 year old motorcycle across the country started with the news that Paul Thorn was playing at the Bloomsburg Rally. My wife and I first saw him in Portland OR 2008, we loved his show and got his Mission Temple Fireworks Stand CD. That was also the year we were told my wife 46, a non smoker had stage 4 lung cancer.
Fast forward to 2010 and Paul Thorn is playing at the July Redmond Rally. In May it looked as though we would be able to make the short trip from Portland and started making plans, by June it was very questionable. Meloney died on July 5th. We held her memorial on the tenth, we used 3 of his songs (When The Long Road Ends, Things Left Undone, and Mission Temple Fireworks Stand) after the service while people were milling about trying to get to me and her family members that were there.
I decided it would be good for me to go see Paul in Redmond the following weekend. I had a chance to talk with him during his sound check, he was very gracious when I told him we used his music he seemed truly touched. That evening when he played his new song You’re Not The Only One I knew I’d made the right decision. When he played I’m Still Here I was glad it was dark and no one could see the tears flowing freely.
Fast forward again to a day in May while checking the MOA Forum I saw Paul was again playing at the International Rally only this time in Pennsylvania, I thought how cool would it be to make that trip as an anniversary celebration of Meloney’s life. She loved to ride and loved Paul’s music. I pretty much blew off the thought of it as my bikes needed work, and I hadn’t ridden since December (this fact may have been a factor in what came later).
I needed a break from work and my “new normal” routine single life, and the seed of attending the rally in PA just wouldn’t die. I knew there was no way for me to ride to and back from the rally as most of my vacation time was gone. Years ago I attended the Flagstaff AZ rally by buying a 87 K75T in Albuquerque NM, flying from Houston TX then riding to the rally with then girlfriend Meloney and meeting up with friends from west and central Texas, maybe I could find an affordable K75 on the east coast (I now live outside of Portland OR). A quick search for “K75T for sale” turned up a 1987 K75T with 47,000 miles on it, recent service, all OEM except seat, shock, & brake lines, at Max BMW in Troy NY. It had everything I wanted but it was Blue. BMW’s should be black, personal prejudice had to be set aside the more I read about this bike and studied the pictures. A plan was formulating. Buy the bike, go to the rally ride home, swap body parts with my high mileage Black 87 k75T then sell the blue one and still have two black K75T’s.
It was early June, I e-mailed Craig at Max, asked some questions, subsequently made an offer and it was accepted. OK this is real now, hmm.... not much time for planing.
When I showed up at the dealership just after 9 a.m. with my big green suitcase I thought Craig was going to fall off his chair laughing. I had shipped my stock trunk packed with tools, spare bulbs and bungies, but could not get all my riding gear camping equipment, clothes into an affordable box so I took a throw-away (worn out) suitcase packed with everything I needed and some I didn’t.
Craig’s first question was how did I expect to get that on the bike? My answer “just wait you’ll see”. I had an advantage in that I had packed everything I was taking onto my bike at home so I knew it all fit and exactly where it needed to go. The one thing I hadn’t planned on was the strap the held my 25 year old tank bag to the frame coming apart when I pulled it tight, glad I packed extra bungie chords. Craig came out to see my progress I think he was impressed, I gave him the flapper out of the gas tank saying you can keep this. Loosing that one Item makes gas fills easier and adds fuel capacity. It was now about 10:30, I was baked, Oregon weather had only hit 80 once and I had been packing in full sun and 90 degree temps after flying all night. Half hour until the crew from New Hamshire was due to arrive.
Weeks before I’d seen a posting on the forum about riders coming through, stopping at Max and then taking back roads all the way to the rally. With no gps and having flown all night I was happy to join their group and follow. After swapping posts over a couple of weeks they had established an eta that worked with my schedule. I sat and cooled down waiting for 11 then 11:15 hmmm....
I said I’ll give them until 11:45 then I’m going to have to go. At 11:45 gear on, bike started they pulled in, Two GS’s and a R100RS. It was lunch time for them, so off to the local diner with weak air conditioning we walked. After introductions we ordered and discussed the plan, follow the leader on the back roads hopefully shaded from the now full sun, it was 103 degrees as we left Troy NY. Five hours later after some very scenic roads and one covered bridge we were still two hours away from Bloomsburg, not wanting to be Mr Whiney Pants I just sucked it up every time we crossed a major highway or interstate. At our dinner stop I discovered there was an open bed in the dorm room that Richard had secured last minute and was sharing with two other friends from Iowa, Not wanting to set up camp in the dark and learning the dorm had AC I was in. This was the first of many blessings on this trip. I think it was 9 p.m. when we finally arrived at the campus. That was the longest 250 miles in my life. I didn’t want to ride for a couple of days after that, and I had real concerns for my comfort on the 3000 mile trip back across country.
Taking the shuttle from the dorm to the rally was the way to go, I only saw three affordable seat comfort options, I settled on the BikeCushion (BikeCushion.com) after much mental debate fine tuning and a long test ride, still not fully convinced, a 30 day money back guarantee was the deal closer, best decision ever.
During the test ride I tried out my iphone gps and discovered the ear buds didn’t provide the necessary volume for use on the way home. Maybe it was the heat but for some reason I had suddenly become direction-ally challenged-and now I needed a solution. Back to the vendors, where I purchased the Scala Rider Blue tooth unit. Expensive but worth every penny. The trick is to use safari find the address of the location you want add it to your contacts then from the ATT GPS APP search contacts for that address then route. Turn by turn directions that interrupt music or phone calls. Taking calls on the bike are you nuts? Well on the slab it was a nice break and everyone I talked to had the same reaction: you are riding right now? The sound was so clear they didn’t have a clue. Had I been listening to music or having a conversation I wouldn’t have ended my trip the way I did but I’m getting ahead of myself. Now having done more damage to my credit card than I wanted to I was set for the ride home.
I had borrowed my mothers ipad for the trip mainly for it’s mapping features, at 56 the iphone display is just not big enough to find some of those alternate routes, even wearing my reading glasses.
The route home changed several times in the planning stages, I finally setteled on a route that would have me slab it all the way to Des Moines Iowa where I would head north to visit a cousin I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. My slab plan worked like this. Be the second fastest on the road, go 5 over posted until someone passes you then let them get out a ways then hang with them, either their tail lights would alert me to LEO or they would be the one getting a ticket. The plan worked brilliantly. Leaving Bloomsburg with all the other BMW riders I quickly was following a car that was running 80. Soon after we were passed by a NY driver running 90. Approaching 130 miles on the trip meter I knew a gas stop was in my near future, fortunately Mr. 90 was taking the same exit and getting gas one aisle over. I ask how far west he was going and when he said Ohio I thought cool. I was back on the road before he was but figured he would pass me before too long. I was wrong at the top of the on ramp there was a Semi in the left lane with a pickup truck drafting him running 100 mph. They were about a quarter mile ahead of me by the time I got into the left lane to fall in behind with several other drivers doing the same. The parade thinned out as few people were comfortable with that speed, The K front was a tad shaky so I had to run 90-95 but was able to keep the Semi in sight and he was clearing a path through traffic but at those speeds I needed gas after 120 miles.
My first day goal was Buck Lake Ranch in Angola Indiana, 538 miles. This is a classic campground unchanged from the late 50’s with the addition of a permanent trailer community, some year rounders others just weekenders. Camping was advertised at $13 for the night, $15 was close enough to cover the state sales tax with no registration paperwork for a one night stay. This turned into one of the strangest evenings I had on this trip. After a golf cart tour of the campground I was taken back to my bike. Riding to a secluded camp site I hear yelling coming from a group of people, look over and some woman is screaming and pointing my direction, thinking my jacket is about to fall off the back of the bike where I had laid it (90+ degrees) for the short trip to my tent site I look back everything is O.K. hmm..... Set up tent head for the swimming hole. Walking to the beach of the small lake I’m greeted by the same woman in her own golf cart shouting that her passenger needs to go to the bathroom, wow. At the “beach” there are four Mennonite women watching their kids swim. With “Mennonite Surf Party” by Rev. Horton Heat playing in my head I enjoy the cool water, that is until the diapered kids get in the water, time to get out. Sitting in my lawn chair drying off I notice the names on the three small cabins by the lake. There is Capt’n Carl’s cabin, Tony’s cabin and then inexplicably Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I guess this place hasn’t changed much since the 50’s. I could have felt a little uncomfortable or at least self-conscious being half black but I noticed the Indiana state highway workers were way darker than I am (Oregon doesn’t get that much sun) so I am racially ambiguous which has always worked to my advantage in that people don’t pre-judge me based on appearance, the truly curious always ask, to others it doesn’t occur to them to ask because it doesn’t matter.
Dry now and temp dropping some I go back to change into dry clothes. Emerging from my tent in dry clothes here come two golf carts, it’s the loud lady and a friend. I’ll skip a lot of details here for the sake of making a really long story short. I’ve been talking to Mark (loud ladies husband) for several hours sharing stories, and light beer, we walk over to his trailer and out onto a short dock where he has a line in the water, we’ve got some action he say’s excitedly, get in the boat, untie that line, off we go to land whatever is on the other end of the line, turned out to be a two foot long Alligator Gar, it’s now midnight we are whispering on the lake and I say my time is up, I gotta go to bed.
I was up and out of there by 7:30. Back on the slab after refueling and getting caffeinated. Traffic moving at a more normal pace with intermittent construction, the day heats up fast when moving slowly through construction zones. At a random urban gas stop I was a bit concerned for my stuff being left unattended while I took and extended bathroom break. Shop keeper said not to worry but his windows were so covered with ad’s not sure how he could keep an eye on it. Sometimes traveling alone has it’s disadvantages. I made it to my cousins house in Madrid Iowa just after 5 pm a tad over 500 miles not bad. After a pleasant evening and too short a night it was off to Sioux City BMW to see if my high speed front end vibration could be repaired by balancing the front tire.
After explaining my situation to the tech he promptly agreed that wheel balance could be the issue and went to work, this gave me an opportunity to cool down as temp’s were back up into the 90’s. An uneventful day ended in Wall South Dakota at a “cheap motel” summer rates go way up the closer to National Parks you get.
Now time for some serious route planning. I90 to Ranchester would get me to SR 14 and Greybull, that route had some very twisty sections according to mapquest and at 445 miles would be my shortest day yet. The reality of this road was very little traffic, some sweepers, some tight uphill fun curves then back down through the canyon and tremendous views. Additionally it offered up the joy of OPEN RANGE with wandering sheep and cows. Now I was having fun, enough that I forgot about two and a half days on I90. I think it was just off of the I90 Renchester exit I saw one unique Air Head with a torpedo shaped home made trailer, the bike was supported by two ski poles deployed in such a way as to hold the bike straight. This highly modified (wood, bailing wire, fiberglass patches...) bike was parked in the shade and I could use a break. The first time I saw this bike was in Redmond OR. I didn’t have a chance to talk to the owner then, now I had to politely extricate myself from a conversation that could have gone on for a loooong time with bike owner a very nice man with a lot of stories to tell, but I still had miles to go.
I checked at the cheapest looking motel in Cody to find that a room for the night was $100+ unless I wanted a basement space for $80, no thanks National Forest here I come. After stopping at the Cody information center to inquire about National Forest camping (pit toilets, maybe maybe not running water). After hearing about recent bear activity the farther you got out of town and considering I wanted a shower and needed to do laundry National Forest (cheap camping) was out. There is a RV/campground just before leaving town and as luck would have it several camping sites available. I chose to go to the far end of the area and found a riverside shaded spot that was much nicer than the roadside camping Wing and HD riders had chosen. While unloading my bike I noticed the lack of tread on the center of my rear tire. Those high temps and high speeds had eaten the Metronic that I thought would have made the 3000 mile trek home. It was after 6pm so nothing to do but set up camp shower, get a good meal and rest. In the morning while doing my laundry and eating my granola I searched the web for the closest BMW dealer, short list, no tires in stock, however I did learn one invaluable bit of information, If you are willing to pay to have a tire shipped overnight $$$ you can get what you want. Sadly I wasn’t savvy enough to use the Yamaha dealer in town I went through Billings HD where I overpaid for the tire, full freight for shipping and shop time to have them mount it on the wheel. At least the overstuffed chairs were comfortable and the tea was free. The loud talking HD guy holding court outside the service area was amazed that it took less than five minutes to get the tire back on the bike and ready to roll. But I’ve gotten ahead of the story here. Laundry done it was 1:00 and I was headed to Red Lodge and the Beartooth Hwy.
Without the burden of saddle bags, trunk or duffel on the back seat I figured the road would be curvy enough that I really didn’t need to worry about lack of tread in the center of the tire as there was plenty on the sides. I was just down to the wear bars so no risk of cord showing any time soon. It was a longer trip than I thought, cooler than I wanted it to be but more spectacular than I had imagined. By the time I got to Red Lodge it was late enough that I chose a more direct route back to Cody, I really wanted to ride the road both ways but realized I was too tired and the hurdles of, wildlife, construction zones, and all those curves would have me out there on the edge far from home. Had dinner in Red Lodge took the still scenic shorter straighter route through Bearcreek to Belfry to 72/120 back to Cody. Another shower, organize gear for rapid departure and visit to Billings HD in the morning.
With the new tire on, back to I90 still not sure which direction I was going to take home but I did know Missoula was where I would need to make a decision. While eating my Taco John’s salad in Bozeman, I saw the road from Missola MT to Kooskia ID. It followed a river and we know how straight they are right? After checking online I found Kooskia offered little in the way of lodging, one bed and breakfast one motel and no camping. People who run bed and breakfasts know their area right? I call Welcome Home Bed & Breakfast to check on lodging, well it’s Kooskia days not a room to be found so I ask about camping, Carol says I’ll ask my husband. A quiet voice in my head said “camp in the backyard” she comes back to the phone, my husband say you can camp in the backyard. Yes! Tip here, small town Chamber of Commerce sites may provide all the info you need for last minute planning.
Finding my way through Missoula onto SR 12 could not have been accomplished without GPS, Construction detours and missing signs forced me to trust the little voice saying turn right here, oh there is the Hwy 12 sign halfway down the block after the turn. Once on 12 and away from populated area a there was a large yellow warning sign that said Winding Road Next 99 miles yee ha! Good rubber, recently resurfaced road with lots of traction and no loose gravel, enough miles on the rear tire that I didn’t have to worry about new tire slip and as it turned out very little traffic and no LEO. I had a blast, this is why I love k75t’s they run great in 3rd gear high rev-ing through the curves, comfortable riding position and just as aggressive as you want to be. On that road the bike and I merged into one being, I focused on being smooth through the curves just like Reg Pridmore taught me many years before. I kept a wide smile on my face for the length of that road. The bonus was being along the river and through the trees I had escaped the heat that was oppressive on I90. It was close to 6 when I arrived at the Bed and Breakfast in Kooskia. Very nice people, cluttered and messy for a B&B but hey I was sleeping outside with the chickens. Carol showed me the back yard and told me which area would be shady in the morning, then told me we won’t feed you or charge you. OK I can live with that. I was then given directions to the three restaurants downtown, all three blocks of it. I passed on the rowdy smoky Bar and Grill, skipped the empty Chinese place and chose the family style dinning establishment. Good choice, friendly service, salad bar included with the special of the evening Wild Mushroom Ravioli cooked with peppers onions and garlic, no sauce just red, yellow and green peppers with lots of butter and garlic. Strategically placed at the end of the salad bar was a rotating desert tower. The food was better than expected and deserts were made on site. Marion Berry Pie ala Mode that’s the ticket. I took some time to wander up and down main street all three blocks of it. Talked to the teens selling smoked salmon, the lady selling ribs out of a cooler, checked out the custom cars that were there for the parade and car show I would miss the following day. During Kooski days it is OK to drink on the street so I went to the grocery store and bought a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Wandered into a little store front flee market and skirted around a political discussion about the economy, the right to smoke in bars and the rich treating everyone else like serfs. At least it wasn’t the usual HD vs whatever you ride. Time to turn in, close to 10 pm starting to cool off, ought to sleep good tonight.
Well I was up before the chickens, packed and ready to leave after one cup of tea with only one tea bag not my usual two (first mistake). I thanked Carol and Greg and gave them a twenty even though they said no charge.
Leaving Kooskia you stay on 12 to Walla Walla WA. US-12 from Kooskia to Lewiston was pretty, some of it along the river. Almost no traffic as most people with good sense sleep in on Saturday unless of course they ride motorcycles and want to get home in order rescue their dog from the kennel. It was chilly and I was glad I had two long sleeve shirts on and the liner in my mesh jacket.
There is something about passing through small towns early in the morning, it’s like watching the world wake up. streets are generally empty, people wave, the old men crowd the tables at Mc Donalds drinking coffee and talking about the weather. I don’t remember which Mc D’s I stopped at for a bathroom break but the front counter was crowded so I skipped the tea I was thinking about (second mistake). I put my Turtle Fur neck wear on as I’d had a steady breeze down the front of my jacket for the last hour. Back on the bike my mind wandered, envisioning my triumph ride down my street, taking pictures of my newly acquired stock T with its modified sibling T’s, one with a fly screen and the other with it’s Parabellum fairing waiting at home in my garage.
The road from Lewiston to Waitesburg was not very interesting after the previous days curves, as I passed through Waitesburg that small voice piped up and said U-turn, go back to the coffee shop with the Cinnamon Roll sign in the window, my big voice said 22 miles to next gas stop, get caffeinated, gas, take a bathroom break and snack then (third mistake). Always listen to that quiet voice that whispers at odd times.
It was starting to warm up and I was finally warm, no more morning chill, just right. Traveling at 60 hoping for someone to come along and pass me I looked at the scenery, rolling hills of grain ready for harvest. Recalculating ETA hmmm.... what a straight road, sure am comfy on this seat, sure glad I bought this BikeCushion... did I just nod off?
Oh ****!!!!!! I just woke up and I’m on a loose gravel shoulder, look at the road, if I hit that lip at the edge it will pitch me off. Look at the ditch, tall grass, as we all know where you look is where you go. Toes up on the pegs, knees into the tank, death grip on the shaking bars. rolling off the throttle but not pulling in the clutch or breaking, mind is still trying to wake up. I can save this.......
Ohhh.... that hurts, ohhh ****! I’m laying in the ditch on my right side and my left knee, ankle and side really hurt. Laying in a semi fetal position I first check fingers, yep they work, open face shield, toes. yep they work. Someone is walking towards me. You OK? No was my answer, don’t move came the response, no worries was my answer. I unfastened my helmet chin strap, a mans voice says you want that off, yep, as I removed my helmet he placed my duffel bag under my head then stood with his back to the sun providing shade for me. A new person, female in firefighter gear comes up, wow that was fast. Don’t move were the instructions, where are you hurt? Spitting out dirt I tell her knee, ankle, side... did you loose consciousness? I don’t think so... More people show up. more questions, paramedics fitting me with a neck brace, dang that is uncomfortable. Officer on the scene, what happened? I fell asleep, woke up on the shoulder. How fast were you going? 55-60 I guess, thinking right... like the first thing I did when I woke up was look at my speedometer. They are bringing a back board, great. I see the bike for the first time as they stand it up in the ditch, ohh.... that WAS such a nice bike. Drivers License? Yes officer in the left side pocket of my tank bag, could some one bring me my phone (forth mistake, phone not in pocket it was charging in the tank bag) and wallet? My sunglasses? Your sunglasses are toast! I loved those glasses. Being rolled onto the backboard now. ugh... ummmm groan, uf da. In the ambulance, could someone bring my tank bag please. Scissor happy Para Medic eyeing my jacket. You don’t have to cut my jacket off, OK tough guy roll over and lets get one arm out, mission accomplished jacket off. Little did I know my jacket had a big hole torn in it just above the armor on the right elbow. We are rolling now, I tell the Para Medic I’m beginning to feel nauseous, his response, I don’t want to clean up a backboard. Zip, scissors running up the right sleeve of both shirts all the way to the shoulder, he then starts an I.V. below my wrist, I wanted to smack him, that was $50 worth of clothing he just cut for no reason. I immediately told him my brand new riding pants unzip to the hip, that accomplished he then proceeds to cut the left leg of my jeans off just below Daisy Duke length. What ever was in the I.V. settled my stomach and I start to relax for a moment. My mouth is still full of grit, I vaguely remember taking my turtle fur off when my helmet came off. Only scratch on me is my left knee just below the knee cap but it’s a pretty good rug burn. The twenty minute ride to Walla Walla was just enough time for me to realize the fix I was in. How am I going to get home, who to call first, what can they do but worry? Everything I needed was in my tank bag, phone. Ipad, chargers, paper work for the bike, wallet, insurance card, tee shirt, house keys.
The ER was bright and cold, I’ve spent enough time in hospitals with my wife that I knew they had warm blankets and ask for one right off. After vitals, were taken it was off for X-rays, the nursing staff was great, and transferred me to a gurney by lifting the sheets and sliding me over, X-ray the tech was alone and I had to get myself off the gurney onto the cold X-ray table it took a while moving very slowly inching my way over because my side hurt so much. X-ray esults one broken rib. ankle ok, knee ok but really swollen. The State Highway Patrol Officer shows up and gives me back my license. I thank him, he says little other than answering my question about where the bike is. An hour later after the doctors brief visit the nurse brought in a foam splint with velcro straps and crutches. After strapping me into this device he had me stand up and try the crutches, as soon as I put weight on my left leg I blacked out. Thank God the bed was right behind me and caught me mid back. Hmmm.... said the nurse I think we need another look at that leg. Off to the MRI machine. New finding, my tibia plateau was fractured but every fragment was in place nothing had moved.
During the down time between people checking on me I was going through my phone list deciding who to call. First choice no answer, second choice said let me shut down this fund raiser car wash and I’ll be on my way, anything you need? Where are you? How far is it? It’s good to have friends like that and they are precious.
Donny showed up four hours later just after the fellow that shaded me on the side of the road walked in to check on me. That almost brought me to tears. a total stranger cared enough to drive some distance from his home to make sure I was OK. He filled in some of the gaps in the time line and informed me that two ladies were driving the other direction and saw me headed toward the shoulder and made a U-turn in his driveway. He had heard an unusual engine sound and then saw the car make a u-turn so he walked out to the road and saw a cloud of dust in the ditch. He was the first person I saw, the women had called 911 and help was on the way. I later found out from the tow truck driver there was a big rock hidden in the tall grass in the ditch and my front tire glanced off of it and my case guard had caught it stopping the bike and pitching me through the windshield, at least that is the scenario I imagine based on bike and gear damage.
It’s been eight weeks, the insurance company totaled the bike and we finally came to an agreement on the bikes value last week but because I hadn’t transferred the title yet so they won’t cut a check but they did let me pick up the bike because as the adjuster said, of course you can pickup the bike you own it. I’m still scratching my head as to why the title is an issue if they agree the bike is mine. The only reason the NY title doesn’t have my name signed on it is there is a different form dealers use if the bike is going out of state. Oregon wants to see the bike and then takes four weeks to send a title. No telling when I will hear from the insurance company, I have had to hound them and do most of their work for them. I paid for the bike in full so there is no loan or lien, but I could use the money to buy the parts I need to repair the damage which is a bit more than the pictures reviled but I think I’ll still come out ahead and I couldn’t live with the thought of such a good running bike being parted out.
So what went wrong and what went right.
In the wrong category, cumulative sleep depravation, too many early mornings, I should have laid in the rack longer and just let my body rest even if my mind wouldn’t instead of getting up and out as soon as I first woke up. Not listening to the small voice. Not stopping for caffeine earlier and shorting myself first thing by not having my usual two tea bags in the first cup. Not recognizing fatigue as it crept up on me. I could have turned on the ipod, called someone, pulled over rested, pulled off one layer so I wasn’t as warm and relaxed. Not being fully awake I couldn’t tell you if I ever pulled in the clutch, or rolled off the throttle. my mind was moving in such slow motion I don’t know if I did. I was in a deep sleep and I think the drop from the road to the shoulder is what woke me up.
What went right. AGAT, the scrapes and scratches on my helmet speak volumes, even my sunglasses had scratches. The fact that I had no skin exposed (including my neck) saved me from skin abrasions other than the small “rug burn” on my knee. The armor in my jacket must have taken a big hit as my left forearm had a pretty nasty bruise and I had a couple of bruises on my side where there was no armor. Most jackets focus on the spine and center of your back which is good but I had bruising just above my hips so maybe a padded wide “belt” would have helped. Pants and boots did a good job of protecting those areas, my left foot was badly bruised in the arch. I think my toes and ankle were forced down and back possibly hyper-extended as I went forward off the bike. The case guard did it’s job. Only one broken turn signal, the left rear was turned 180 but didn’t break.
I’m sure the safety police can’t wait to comment on all the things I did wrong, or how irresponsible I was running at speeds above the posted limit. The sad truth is I was tired and didn’t recognize the signs, I was focused on how quickly I could get home and was pushing too hard. I should have had the cinnamon roll.
I hope this helps someone else who is considering taking a long trip after an extended riding layoff. If you can, build up longer rides gradually, and REST. I consider myself to be in relatively good shape with no health challenges which should be a consideration before deciding to go from local short tripper to cross country road warrior.
Five more weeks of no weight on my left leg, I have a removable brace, never need surgery, only missed one week of work. Got the bike started last week once we swapped out the center stand.
I now have a winter project that I didn’t want. I know enough about K75T’s for basic maintenance having bought my first one in 1986. I hope to have some help with fixing this one.
Detailing the damage is just depressing but it is all front end and left side. The right side case guard was pulled back and the rubber mounts were broken, I suspect from someone using it to tie the bike down.
Bottom line, I’m a walking (with crutches) miracle. I had a great trip that sadly became all about the fall.