Day 15 & 16, Sat & Sun, August 9 & 10, 2008

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 15:

Well we are not off to a good start. Last night we were awakened to very loud thunderstorms, and this morning when we got up there were severe flash flood alerts for the entire stretch of Kansas that we planned to ride. We decided to suit up and gor for it anyway.

We find ourselves right now in Junction City, Kansas, only approx 140 miles from our starting point and maybe 60 miles from Topeka, Kansas. We stopped here for a quick brake from the tormenting rains and high gusts of wind (20mph +) we have been riding through for the past 2+ hours. As we started off again and headed up the on-ramp to the interstate a warning light on my display started reading that I had low rear tire pressure. While I believe that this is more than likely just a faulty sensor - due to all the water puddles we have been riding through - I rather play it safe and pulled back into Junction City and checked into a Best Western motel. We will wait it out for a few hours and see if there is a break in the weather, but in worst of cases we will just spend the night here. I hope that not to be the case, but we will see.

So I may now enjoy of the indoor heated pool they have here and then watch an in-room movie - what the heck - I am on vacation after all, right?  :o)

That's all at this time.

Update No. 2

Day 15 & 16.

Allow me to explain briefly why I have updated this entry to read "Day 15 & 16". If you have been following my entries from when we started you will have noted that we have always commenced and ended our rides on the same day. Well ...... this trip was an exception.

We started off our day (day 15) out of Hays, Kansas, at 9am CST. While we forgot to document Rusty odometer reading this morning mine (C14) read 8794 miles. We can do the math later and figure out Rusty's easily enough. Anyway, as I mentioned in my first update in this entry (see above) there were severe weather warnings posted for the entire route we planned to take (I-70). When we first got started there was a light rain, but with very strong winds. The winds were so strong that my right should started to bother me within 30 minutes of riding. Well after riding approximatelly one hour the rain became a heavy downpour. I am talking hard rain (drops the size of bowling balls) and flying at you vertical and horizontal. Wow, just thinking about it now - it was a pain to ride in that weather. Whenever we had to pass a tractor trailor (yes, we did that - you don't think that nasty weather was going to slow us down under 80mph, did you?) the force of the wind being pushed by the tractor plus the strong winds themselves pushed us from the inside part of our lane to the outside.

Well approximatelly two hours into the ride (142 miles to be exact) I decided to pull over in Junction City, Kansas, just for a break. As we exited the off ramp onto the local roads and into the gas station we found the roads under construction with lots of pot holes and non-asphalted sections; in addition the roads were flooded - I mean flooded !!!!  My tires hit several pot holes that I could not see, but nothing significant as far as I was concerned. After a fifteen minute break under the Shell covered section, which did no good because of the vertical rain, we opted to continue on and as I was going up the on-ramp a warning light on my bike started flashing and indicating that my rear tire pressure had dropped to 30 psi. Well it did not take more than about two seconds to tell Rusty that we were going nowhere until I had this warning resolved and/or the weather improved, so we backed up down the on-ramp and proceeded to the Best Western hotel where I got us a room.

I updated my blog, we checked our emails, and we ordered a large Pizza Hut pepperoni and cheese pizza (only $8.99 delievered - wow!). Anyway, I never made it into the pool as when I finally planned to do so it filled up with a couple of families and that did not look to appealing / relaxing any longer. I did manage to rest / nap for about three hours. At around 6pm I checked the weather radar and found that the storm had apparently moved south of I-70. I informed Rusty and we decided to make a go for it. So we used a $100 room for all of seven hours. Super - NOT !!!!

We departed the hotel at 7pm and upon checking my tire pressure it had now dropped to 28 psi. Super - NOT !!! "Here we go again" I thought. It is Sunday, and all bike stores are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Well we decided to ride the bike to the closest gas stations with a working air compressor and I filled my tire to 38 psi. The pressure held all the way to Topeka, where we stopped for dinner. We had experienced no rain so far, and just for precautionary measures we had our rain suits on - because you never know with Mother Nature.  We were now 7 hours behind schedule since we stayed in Junction City from 12pm till 7pm, so we decided to ride as long as we could, until one of us got tired. Our original plan was to make it all the way to Indiana before we had the mishap in Junction City.

Well the weather was fantastic. Very cool, overcast, but no rain. We crossed over into Missouri and next made it to St. Louis where we passed right by the Gateway Arch once again (see picture), we then entered Illinois, and then Indiana. All this time we were feeling wide awake and making stops only to fuel, consume caffeine and mark our territories (make manly deposits - u get it!). We stopped at 6am, now on the 16th, for breakfast about thirty miles out from Indianapolis; we had been riding for eleven consecutive hours. The sun was now starting to rise and we said "lets keep going", so we did.... all the way to Ashland, Ohio, where we ended this ride at 2pm EST at the Holiday Inn Express. Rusty is taking a well deserved nap, and I cleaned our bikes, checked my emails, am now updating this blog entry, and will next go jump in the indoor heated pool and jacuzzi (this time for sure).

We rode a grand total of ........ready for this ............ u ready  .......... here goes ........ 1043 miles. We rode ONE THOUSAND FORTY THREE miles in 29 hours (well, actually more like 19 hours if you deduct the 7 hour lay over in Junction City and all our stops / breaks). So there you have it.

Oh yeah I forgot to mention a little detail about riding at night in these areas. LOTS of wildlife. We counted at least a dozen of fresh dead deers on I-70 and one coyote (or a really large fox). My biggest fear riding all of last night was to have some dumb ass deer run out onto the road and then stop and then stare at me "Geeee look at those pretty hypnotic shiny thingies; what are they?"  KAAABBBLLLAAAMMMMM.  Anyway, I spotted only one dear that ran onto the road after I passed it, whereas Rusty saw quite a few more. I will simply end this by saying that we were very fortunate.

Our plan is now to get a good rest and depart tomorrow morning early (hopefully around 6am). We expect to be able to make it Madawaska, Maine, by 5pm if we encounter no major traffic delays or mechanical suprises. On that note, my rear tire maintains its pressure as I am riding, but when the bike is idle for long periods it looses some pressure. I have not been able to figure that out yet, but plan to just fill it up again tomorrow morning and keep riding. We intend to service both of our bikes in the Massachussetts area in the next couple of days so I will have it looked at then. From here we will ride North-North East to Syracuse, New York and then cross into Canada (past Toronto) and make our way past Montreal and Quebec into Maine. Well, that's the plan at this time.

Wish us luck in officially completing our Four Corners Tour tomorrow. But the adventure will not be over then. We still have to get home to Miami, and we hope to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Northern Pennsylvania all the way to southern North Carolina.

Bye for now.

Roads we travelled:,+ks&daddr=I-55+N%2FI-70+E+%4038.644940,+-90.128690+to:I-465+E%2FI-74+E%2FIN-37+N+%4039.698650,+-86.148770+to:I-270+N+%4040.080150,+-83.136680+to:40.828359,-82.331543+to:ashland,+oh&hl=en&geocode=3353364159350943615,38.644940,-90.128690%3B16001696062404097800,39.698650,-86.148770%3B10396154328064381917,40.080150,-83.136680&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=4&sz=10&via=1,2,3,4&sll=40.93219,-82.367249&sspn=0.49385,0.878906&ie=UTF8&z=10
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