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Dave - IF we ever get together in person again, remind me and I'll tell you a story about two guys hunting my farm w/out permission, back around '83.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,302 ·
i spoke with a friend early this week who owns the family farm down the county, all posted, but an ugly trespassing problem. he has game cameras out, can see the people on the camera card when he sticks the card in the card reader, but it's not real time. i suggested that he get a couple cellular type cameras with the solar charger, put them on his phone plan, add a sim card for connection, then he gets real time notification on his cell phone complete with video. now he could go over to the farm with the sheriff right behind him, catch 'em in the act. that setup costs about 300 bucks each, i'm betting he has at least two ordered already.

continuing very mild weather, i think i'll ride again tomorrow to close out the year.
 

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foggy morning, but weather was supposed to clear by 10AM, what the heck, let's go, and i was on the bike headed southeast. there was a big problem with that southeast thing, i ran into more fog, then mist that was so heavy that it was rain without the raindrops. i got down to the end of the road, as far south as you can get in the county, and found two duck hunter vehicles blocking the road while they tried to load their boat on a trailer. there was no actual boat landing here, but you can make do with a small lightweight boat. no problem, i wasn't in a big hurry, and they drove off with a friendly wave.

the soupy conditions limited photo ops, i wanted to get a photo of the very distant historic lighthouse, no luck, couldn't see it. the lighthouse and lighthouse keepers cottage used to be surrounded by dry land when built, now the cottage is gone, and the lighthouse itself is a mile offshore. Europeans were here in the 16th and 17th centuries, there must have been twice the land along the Chesapeake as now found in 2021. much, if not all the shoal water here was dry land as recently as 100 years ago.

in the early 20th century, you would have seen a big hotel, steamboat wharf, piers, and warehouses in the background of the photo. the remnants are erased so completely that you would never know anything was ever there. if looking for artifacts, like old bottles, you don't search next to the salt marsh, you look offshore on a low tide.

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time to turn this show around and head west, there must be sun somewhere, and after a long run on pavement, i was back on gravel. there had been a big rain two days earlier, so i was hoping that the roads hadn't been all chewed up by hunter vehicles. i found the roads in ok shape, but now very slick in sections, pig poop type mud an top. all along these roads you find standing water, mini mud pits. you'd think those hunters would want to keep their trucks out of them, nope, just the opposite. the guys want their trucks to be covered with mud top to bottom, front to back, it's some type of manly man cred thing for the hunt camp and Kwik Mart. the trucks look a little strange when they have to run the window wash and wipers.

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officially the proper colors for posting land in Virginia are aluminum and purple, but that doesn't work very well when there are big hunt clubs clustered in the same area, they all want their own colors. if paint works, then signs plus paint must work mo' betta'. the signs are nailed to the trees, it's probably too time consuming to take them down, so why bother. there's a lot of fresh paint everywhere you go.

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i finally found someone who uses the same signs i do, heavy duty plastic, they survive everything except gunfire.

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i came across the monument to Snappin' Turtle, sadly, it looked like it had been run over with a bushhog. i happened on these crosses almost ten years ago, a memorial to a long time hunt club member who had passed on, no more huntin', card playin', or bourbon drinkin' for him. in a way it was touching that the boys would put it together and place it out in front of their camp along an old gravel road.

this it what is left, i'd like to see someone in the club come along and pick up the pieces

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the small signs originally looked like this. i read the obit, he was very proud of his membership in this hunt club, i think the members have to be descendants of the founders one way or another.

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i'm really starting to think that these guys are getting carried away with the paint, this must be a reminder not to jump off the bridge into the creek, which happens to run through their lease.

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notice that this is another cross plank bridge, the difference is that this one has a posted 35 ton weight limit. huh, 35 tons crossing this bridge all day every day would put the bridge in the water, not over it.

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the low areas along the roads all had sketchy sections, no real surprise there, but i was surprised to find greasy roads on high ground too, keeps ya on your toes.

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i turned onto a road i hadn't used before, it had a county road sign, showed a little hunter traffic, but nowhere near the same as the other roads i had been on, why not? there wasn't a "No Outlet" or "Road Ends in X Miles" sign, i figured it must go through. only a quarter mile in i found two hunter trucks blocking the road. normally i would have stopped to ask them about the road, but their facial expressions made that gambit unlikely. the road had been dressed with 68 stone, then 57 stone, then #3 stone, then no stone at all. county road or not, it was obviously not intended for through traffic, i needed to turn around. if it was dry and i had someone with me, i would have given it a try, maybe it did come out somewhere. mark it down for another day.

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a little tricky, but got the bike turned around, then dismounted for a photo or two, and a break...i'd been in the saddle for hours. i could see those hunters back down the road next to their trucks, not that they were lined up in a row watching me, oh boy, i had to squeeze past those trucks on the way out. i did have my hole card in play, a 3XL Klim with three added layers underneath, freakin' huge through the shoulders, and it just screams "Hey y'all, don't be foolin' with me." my XO laughs every damn time i put on that gear.

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i got past the those faces showing the uglies, no problem, then more miles of greasy roads to pavement eventually. i wasn't exactly sure where i was, but i figured north and east would do the trick, and away i went. if observant, one thing that stands out is the number of long abandoned houses along these roads. not as noticeable in the summer months with trees leafed out, many are buried back in the woods. in the winter months it's hard to keep track of how many you come across, dozens for sure, but it wouldn't take long to get into the hundreds. vacant for ages, some have mature 100+ year old trees blocking access, those trees were not there at all when the house was occupied.

the temperature was dropping and the time was late, i had to get serious about running through the gears, still had miles to go. one last stop, i couldn't resist, this building was no longer in use, and became a stark image framed by low sun.

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New Years eve, 224 miles on the day, and i had been gifted some 1792...figured i might do a little taste test.
 

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New Years eve, 224 miles on the day, and i had been gifted some 1792...figured i might do a little taste test.
Good whisky after a good ride....


(y)(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,305 ·
Good whisky after a good ride....


(y)(y)
there's one and only one factor that makes this 1792 good whiskey, it was free...actually, any whiskey tastes good as opposed to no whiskey.

glad i rode yesterday, now it's 70F but rain for the whole weekend, and OMG, slow flurries Monday. the word "snow" freaks out everyone around here, there will be a big run on the grocery stores tomorrow, like it's the apocalypse, or somethin'. i blame the whole thing on the Canuckistanians, they sent those snow flakes down here, just trying to make trouble again. anyone have Trudeau's cell, i'm gonna call, give the dude hell.
 

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Rained all day yesterday, so I had my first ride of '22 starting at 0630 today, when it was 36F.

VERY glad that my heated jacket liner turned ON at that time, because it didn't later, to finish the ride at 1000.

I got a 'FREE' bottle of TWO STARS bourbon (from that old gent who's pulled by some caribou) Christmas AM, and had my first taste of it that evening. Fine tasting stuff, so I "get" where you're coming from.

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,307 ·
...I got a 'FREE' bottle of TWO STARS bourbon (from that old gent who's pulled by some caribou) Christmas AM, and had my first taste of it that evening. Fine tasting stuff, so I "get" where you're coming from.
a good policy to follow is to post first, then get into the bourbon later. that way you'll surely recall that you are no longer in Bring Cash, but in Arizona, where those cervids are called reindeer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,308 ·
First off, i needed fuel. I put the bike away on New Years eve without topping off the tank, I just didn't feel like stopping on the inbound leg, it had been cool trending to cold all day, and i was anxious to get home, dinner was waiting. The quik mart wasn't far up the road, no sweat getting there, the gauge showed at half. y'all need to pick your spot when you pull up to the pump islands around here, no telling what might be on the ground around the islands. identify anything you would find objectionable to run the bike through, or step in or on yourself, don't worry you'll find examples of everything eventually. today the last remaining pump had a puddle right where i needed to park the bike and dismount, what the heck is that stuff? recon, back pedal, got the bike close to the pump when i decided it was coffee, nobody took the opportunity to pee while hiding behind the car door...no joke, there are no public restrooms here.

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the place was busy, the locals filling up before the next price increase, gas had gone up 70 cents in the past week alone, diesel right up there too. this area is commuter country, most people driving to Richmond or Hampton Roads for work, could be 100-150 miles per day, there are no local jobs that pay anything. some pain ahead for those folks. in my travels today, i would see $4.20 gas and $5.10 diesel, those numbers might look like a bargain real soon. the impact of fuel prices might be starting already, there wasn't much traffic for this mild weather spring weekend.

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as i was getting back on the highway, i was thinking about how good it felt to be back on the bike after two months, and that's when i shifted into second and got right on it up to redline, heysoos crisco, i was doing 80, full flight, better back down, and i ran through the rest of the gears close to legal limits. when you stuff 11,000 rpm through a Leo Vince, it doesn't even sound like an IC engine any more. the sound is just a completely wild and outrageous scream, entirely other worldly, what's not to love?...makes your freakin' brain vibrate, might get you some of that TBI, so use discretion.

today's ride was intended to be paved roads, but i was traveling in the direction of some of my gravel roads which would be a cross country shortcut to more pavement. first stop was an old river landing that had been in use since the colonial era. the rivers in eastern Virginia were the highways up until the 1930's when roads got some attention, then after War 2, when all the ex-mil trucks became available for civilian use, guys were driving the same trucks they did in theater.

looking down the Piankatank River, the dark thing out in the river is a duck blind which sits just offshore of an old time river cottage development, the residents must love the location during the season when the boys start blasting away. slightly downriver to the right of the blind is the sunken hull of a wooden sailing ship, the ribs are visible on a very low tide, plenty of people have run their boats into that wreck, even after the buoys were set to mark it. at one time, these Virginia counties along the Chesapeake comprised the ship building center of the eastern seaboard, the timber was here, and so were the ships carpenters. many of the rivers in eastern Virginia took their names from the tribes that had lived here for thousands of years, maybe 12,000 years according to some recent archeological work.

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the landings always had a general store/post office, and besides their own merchandise for sale, they coordinated the shipping activities going both directions. a four square building still stands here, not the original, this one dating to the late 1800's. the early vessels came upriver under sail, then steam, then motor, either gas or diesel. the steamships serving the entire area, stopping at all the landings, quit running in the late 1930's, that era was finished. several hurricanes came up the coast in that decade and washed away many of the huge wharves that served these ships, most were never repaired or replaced.

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now heading west to my cut through gravel roads, i was curious as what kind of shape they'd be in, hunter traffic had chewed them up in December. Starting out i immediately found that there had been some grading and top dressing activity recently, everything looking good. not far in i came up on the huge horse facility that had gone in over the last two years way out in the woods. when i say huge, i couldn't get it all into one photo frame even from a distance, somebody had spent money in the 7 figure range to get it built. now there would be pressure to pave some of the gravel access roads around it, good for them, not so good for me.

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i could sail right along on the gravel, but watchful for patches of gate spread 57 stone, they were everywhere, some a hundred yards, some half a mile, and no telling how deep until you were in the marbles.

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c'mon now, do ya really want to point that bike down this road. someone had tried to steal the sign, it was bent around where it was bolted to the post.

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i rode up on a brand new clear cut, all the work had been done on this very large acreage in the last 60 days, it hadn't even been started the last time i went by in December. pretty impressive production, and you can see that all the slash was recovered and chipped. no seed trees were left, and that means that the land will be planted with hybrid loblolly pine seedlings. the hybrids seem like they grow as fast as corn, you won't be able to see bare ground after a couple months. getting a clear cut planted is a tough assignment, nobody wants the backbreaking work, especially in the summer months when the heat index can easily hit 120 for days on end.

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note the 2" plus cut done by the rotary disc feller, those things ain't what you would call toys.

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off the gravel, now pavement over to another paved connection road that would take me into town for a snack and a drink. lucky i came this way, now y'all know where to get your salt fish breakfast. fair warning, salt fish is very much an acquired taste, and your initial experience should not be among polite company...you'll have a barely restrained urge to spit it out, plate, table, floor, ground, anywhere available, you just want that crap outta your mouth. go ahead, give it a try, it tastes like nasty fishy smell cardboard that has been sitting in brine for 10 years. put it this way, you get your recommended maximum annual dietary salt intake in the first two chewy bites. the hardware stores here used to have barrels of salt fish right next to the register, gnaw on one of them things while you shopped, good gracious, forget about kissing your sweetheart for at least two weeks. i did a little better with the salt cured country ham that has a long tradition around here, but only because it could be sliced translucent thin, coupled with home made biscuits, and chased with bourbon. after you drank enough bourbon, ya kinda forgot about the salt.

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on into town, NNB in Tappahannock is apparently the RTE destination on Sundays for all the cool kids, must have been 50-75 bikes in the lot, both coming and going. this is a boutique burger joint, good food, ok pricing, and attracts people from all over. i stopped here last year and burned through one of their giant 2500 calorie desserts while the owner looked on from an adjacent table. he must have been impressed, he offered me one of their mugs complete with logo, and was very surprised when i turned him down..."Sorry, i'm supposed to be on a strict diet, and my XO is bound to ask me details about how i got it", he laughed at that one.

one Hardley dude waiting in line to order was wearing a 4XL T-shirt that read FUCK BIDEN...the T was pretty snug on him, he looked like a walkin' talkin' billboard. when i said "I like your shirt" he didn't reply other than a little growl like he was clearing his throat, but the look said "Fuck you too, ya little pissant". anyone wanting to step up and take an Iphone photo of this guy, be my guest, those shirts are probably flying off the shelf though. i did have several good photos from that establishment, but accidentally deleted them last night.

Now i was headed up to the Potomac River the back way, there's a tavern up there i had been to several times, they have good cheeseburgers that cost half of what they cost at NNB, but are way more than half as good. i distinctly remember them opening for the season on March 1st, and that's when i heard a heckler from way on up there in the cheap seats yell "You cain't remember nuthin', turn around ya dummy, go home." i didn't listen, enjoyed a very nice back roads route, rolled into the parking lot, the joint was closed, reopens in April whatever.

many are unaware, but the Maryland state line is at the Virginia shoreline, not the middle of the river, so this tavern was purposely built out over the water. you would dine, drink, gamble, and partake of other activities which were not legal in Virginia. the place has always done a good business, the owner prints his own money and takes it straight to the bank. a good friend lives five counties south, and in his younger days he and his buddies would make the run up and back, drinking on the way up, while they were at the river, and all the way back too. he claims that it's a miracle that he survived those days, i'd have to agree, there are plenty of twisting roads between points A and B. Note the sign...

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The Potomac is a wide river at this location, the Maryland shore is faint in the mist. the colonists back in the 1600s claimed you could walk across the river on the backs of the fish found here, so they promptly rigged up seines and started netting them. the unit of measure was the barrel, and the success of your operation depended on the amount of fresh fish you could turn into barrels of...salt fish. everyone did it, even George Washington, who had some lucrative fishing grounds.

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i was nosing around looking the place over, it is very exposed to big seas, and evidence of repairs is everywhere. everything was going well until i inspected the rip rap shore line, and what i found there sent me headed back to the bike, let's get south, once again dinner is waiting. nope, i didn't dial 911, i figured some guy got himself into a bit of trouble while searching for the car keys he dropped in there. i've got a pair of shoes that look to be identical, so if i ever need a replacement right shoe, at least i know where to find one, the owner probably won't mind.

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Discussion Starter · #2,309 ·
the V649 is under cover in the shop while i get a different type of project out of the way, literally, that project is sitting in the bike work bay.



a former client asked me to convert an antique 4 poster bed which came from the family homestead into a bench with a display shelf underneath for old stoneware. good client, what the heck, i'll give it a shot, and i left with a 5' tall 4 poster, headboard, footboard, side rails and slats...let the fun begin. i'm not a furniture guy, never messed with this type of thing.

the seat of the new bench had to be the center section of the headboard, it's mortised to the posts, had to cut it out. the footboard center becomes the back of the bench, so that gets left in place. the heavy mortised cross pieces also stay, they're needed for strength in the new bench, but the lower section from the former headboard is now the valance on the front of the bench so it got trimmed to match the curves of the headboard center, now the seat on the bench.

all 4 posts had to be cut down, first cutting off the finials, then shortening the posts to the correct height. the posts are turned above the base, still assembled in pairs, and had to be jigged up and run through the saw station for precise and square cuts. gives me a freakin' headache, you're chopping up a piece of irreplaceable antique furniture, make a mistake, you're screwed.

cut it all up, sized, edged, reassembled into a standard configuration bench using all the parts i was given, 18x18xlength. slicing turned post sections to size is not for the faint of heart, they're easy to damage.



blending the color on 5 different woods.



the headboard section, now bench surface, still needs a little attention, then it gets secured in place and the bench goes out the door. the piece is backed with 7mm lauan for strength.



bike is back on the gravel this weekend.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2,311 ·
finally got the client's antique bed-to-bench project completed and out of the shop. tricky little job, i had to cut up the headboard and footboard with the tall corner posts still attached. mess up the cuts, you're screwed, no replacing a one of a kind antique. the owner wanted to pay me more than the original agreed upon price, but a deal is a deal, and i stuck with my quote. very good client, i might have done it as a favor, but they threw some bucks at me. frankly, i'm glad it's gone.



good timing, i'm going to pack up the bike and head out to West Virginia, it's the start of the gravel runner season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,312 ·
out runnin' around in the woods, i'd been off the bike a little longer than expected, missed a weekly ride that keeps both myself and bike in at least some tune for the West Virginia riding season. my roads were dry and fast, except for more short sections of deep 57 stone. slow down for those, then dial it back up, the ptwin will throw rocks into the trees though 4th gear, not that this old man would do anything so foolish on a beautiful spring day.

i keep an eye on the zoomed gps screen, so many of the curves are blind and you roll up on them fast when on the gas. i want a little reminder of what the road looks like on the other side. you're right, that is a zip tie on there, i broke a weld somehow and haven't had time to fix it...it's on the list, a long list.

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so much flat land around here, drainage is notoriously poor, then there are beavers complicating the situation. i think it accurate to say that beavers don't get live trapped by a land owner, they get shot before they can back up much water. it's surprising how fast they can chew up trees and make themselves unwelcome.

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daffodils used to be big business in eastern Virginia, an early spring cash crop for farm families, and they were shipped to the big cities in the north. in fallow overgrown fields that haven't been sprayed with Roundup, you can still see acres of daffodils poking through grass and brush, all in straight rows. the seeds from these flowers ended up everywhere, and up until recently, the highway shoulders and ditches would be a sea of yellow and white in the spring. DOT regs said don't pick flowers in the right-of-way, but that edict was both ignored and unenforced, everyone drove around with scissors handy, clip 'em clean off.

taking a little break during the ride, roadway shoulder a mess of brush and vines...daffodils way out here, survivors from a different age.

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Discussion Starter · #2,313 ·
This is a short story.

I went on a trip, the bike broke, I returned home.

Pre broke bike fillup, and five minutes later the other kind of adventure started.



There were a few laughs mixed in with all the cussin', especially since this was the very same place where I saw three guys drink up a 12-pack of beer while they put gas in their junk pickup. Those who have read the Kwikmart Khronicles might remember that episode.

JB was found at the read out on every pump, he's a popular guy in West Virginia, an energy producing state.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2,315 ·
Just curious what energy. Thermal coal?
thermal coal, met coal, gas, oil, refineries, pipelines, you name it. there's such a demand for coal that they can't mine it fast enough, no miners, can't hire anyone to expand production. coal prices are up about 300% over the last year, with foreign buyers grabbing all they can even as the US shutters their coal fired plants. a lot of West Virginia coal goes by rail to Hampton Roads on the James River where it gets loaded on bulk carriers. the coal port is right next to I464, there are mountains of coal ready to load.

the Euro Zone countries are supposed to be so green, but they import US coal. Germany still uses lignite for power generation, brown coal, one step up from peat...ya think that burns nice and clean?
 

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the Euro Zone countries are supposed to be so green, but they import US coal
I was just over there. Very dissapointing how far they are behind in any kind of clean energy. Totally unprepared to battle Putins energy squeeze or stop supporting the Saudis. Fossil fuels are geopolitical and that's my beef. My relative there in Germany has a car that runs on butane/ or petrol from the factory OEM .Germany doesnt believe in nuclear. Home solar doesn't have smart metering either so solar kinda useless so they use it just to pre-warm their hot water. This upcoming winter will be interesting..
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,317 ·
every time i talk about West Virginia coal, i think about gypsy camping off the bike next to the train tracks out there. when the coal trains started running, the ground shook like an earthquake tremor, did i mention the horn? from the tracks to the tent, the blast was elemental in nature, a lightening strike with accompanying thunder would be in the same volume category, except you don't get hit by lightening in your tent every 30 minutes...all-night-long. it was laughable, completely nuts. i think that coal was headed to Poland.

you're out adventuring, ya want to talk with someone with perspective on the state of the world, meet a coal miner, let him talk. use caution with your own words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,318 ·
out in West Virginia to ride for a few days, across one mountain top, through the valley, then across the next mountain. very few people on these little used gravel roads, two trucks, three dirt bikes, and one adventure bike were all i saw in a couple hundred miles of gravel. i crossed a some MABDR roads and saw bike tracks, but no bikes.

based camped, i'm enjoying running the gravel roads without the added weight of panniers and duffel. the big suspension V649 remains an excellent choice for this type of riding since the bike can handle some very rough roads, and does the transit miles on curvy mountain pavement real well too.



out there on the mountain with a big KTM and another modified Versys that is still running the OEM suspension.



sometimes the mountains in the Blue Ridge really do look sorta blue in the distance.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2,320 · (Edited)
TRIP REPORT

30 miles into a 200 mile day ride, flat rear tire. nothing showing on the outside, but the tube takes no air, kinda feels like it's destroyed in there. tubeless tires with tubes on spokes...soon to be tubeless tires on sealed spokes, ain't foolin' with this no mo'. i have a new front tire, and ordered a new rear when i got home. gorgeous riding day, if only. i gotta say, if you're going to break down, do it at a 7-Eleven on Sunday, every one is loaded with bike dudes, at least around here. when i got back with the trailer, a bunch of riders came by to see what was going on, and also helped me load it up. many questions about the bike, "I ain't never seen one like that, what is it?"

trailer queen




flat as a freakin' pancake. these Shinkos have a stiff sidewall, and i probably rode 3 miles on a flat tire. no option, the road i was on had no shoulder, no place to park the bike, and no place to recover it. 7-Eleven was lookin' good when i limped in there. if i was in BFE, i would be carrying a spare tube and do a roadside repair. i wasn't in BFE, get the damn trailer, pull it apart in the shop.

 
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