Trip in the USA - mokusbajusz' Tale - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #21 of 65 Old 09-03-2007, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Budapest, Hungary
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Day #10 Tuesday, July 3rd

This morning I woke up like a new man, recharged and full with desire to act.
Being so before everything else we had a first class breakfast á la G.





He knew what he put in the pan, maybe that's why he rather chose this...





The Crazy Kings Breakfast Band




The bikes were waiting in the garage to be wrenching on them.





Mat's CBR has some aftermarket controller for its tail lamp that makes it possible to eliminate the use of separate rear signal lamps. But Mat had always problems with it (didn't work properly) and I tried to repair it. We bought a cheap multimeter at Lowe's with G and I checked the bike.



Finally I found the problem: contact failure with the front left signal lamp socket. In order to access it you need to take off the whole front fairing.


After this...





...G's Triumph needed some paint job.




Chain maintenance on Scott's Vee using MonkeyStick ®





In the meantime Jeff has arrived, so we went for a ride.




At the View Point of the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
Good weather, better scenery, best friends





Finally I got used to the CBR. The trick is that you need to rev her.
Around 8000 RPM it's noisy.
But fast.





After we arrived back from the riding the Wrenching Day continued.

Dan noticed that I was on his mudflap when riding around Ceasars Head and other twisty roads in the mountains so he decided to add some "HP" to his PC-III equipped coffee grinder. Or there is a computer controlled vibrator mounted on the battery, who knows?

We also replaced the front brake pads on the Blue Thunder.





Scott planned to stay in the area having a few days of touring, so we replaced the brake and clutch fluids on his Vee. We almost finished the job when MonkeyGrass let fall the very last screw of the fluid container. Everybody were searching for it in the fairing but of course we didn't find it. We shook and lean the bike but didn't succeed, so we disassembled her completely: tank, fairings. I finally found that f...n' little gizmo on the left side of the front cylinder jammed behind a tube. The 20 minutes job took 2 hours for 4 people...





But at least we could VERY easily access the air filter to clean.




10 PM. Jobs done. Everything is quiet.
All the helmets have a souvenir on their backsides from Deal's Gap.




PS: In the evening we watched a movie The Ghostrider.
Ughhh, never ever again! It has a very high ranking on my worst movie ever list.

Balázs

DL650 K6 matt black
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Last edited by mokusbajusz; 09-03-2007 at 05:22 AM.
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post #22 of 65 Old 09-03-2007, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Day #11 Wednesday, July 4rd

Dan and Scott left for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we agreed to meet afternoon at Dan's home. I had time to check ticket prices from Charlotte to Las Vegas, the next possible destination on my trip. G helped me to calculate costs. They were high. Last time when I checked the prices (2 months ago at home) they were much lower! The 3-4 days Vegas-round would have cost me around 1K. It was a pain 'cause I didn't organize my trip further and I didn't want to eat up all Dan's time and disturb his family life. Long story short I contacted PonchoV, my last chance if his invitation is still valid.

I loaded the Jeep and at 2 PM said goodbye to G. Here I'd like to thank for his friendly host. I felt very good in his house in a very funny company. Of course his dogs liked me as well.

The road back to Charlotte was quite boring, and there was enough time left to make a little detour so I visit the Kings Mountain National Military Park.





I arrived there 4:40 PM very close to their closing time so I could only took some pics outside and bought an American Flag.
I felt like the title says of this table.




Suddenly I encountered a big traffic jam on I-85.




There was an accident involving 4 cars.




ATTGATT á la chopper rider




Being in the US I got more and more the feeling that there is nothing that cannot be solved using Duct Tape. :rolleyes:





I arrived to MonkeyGrass at 6:20 PM. He was already home and we went together with Carla to a 4th of July party provided by one of Dan's friend.
There was a lot to drink and eat including home-made BBQ and a BIG 2 hours long firework!




I met with Jonathan there who has a 500 BHP Mustang with customizable color gauges and a mother in law whose roots are Hungarian.


After the party I checked my mailbox and PMs from the Stromtrooper forum, and PonchoV replied that he waits for me! Hurray I'm OK for the rest of the tour and I can even see Florida the eighth state I visited!
I purchased online the flight tickets to Jacksonville immediately.

That day was the crown on the "mountain-part" of my trip.:-D

Balázs

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post #23 of 65 Old 09-03-2007, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Day #12 Thursday, July 5th

I woke up at 8 AM and got some breakfast.
There was a short letter from Carla on the keyboard for me. She really touched my heart with it in a good way. Thank you Carla for your friendly hospitality!

While MonkeyGrass was still in bed I lubed the hinges of the garage door (it jarred so much that disturbed me :-D) and checked the weather report on the TV: 125+F in Nevada. Poor tourists in Las Vegas! :mrgreen:

I packed my luggage and Dan took me to the airport and we said goodbye.
I was a bit sad 'cause Dan and his family were so friendly and kind with me I felt extremely good with them!

But 5 days still left and new adventures waited for me!

The first was the check-in at CLT.
I gave my printed e-ticket and booking confirmation to a lady at the counter of Delta. She started to play on her keyboard and slowly shook her head. After a few minutes she gave my docs back and said she cannot see my booking in the system and suggested to call the customer support of Expedia.com. I called the given phone number but there was only an answering machine on the other end of the line and due to the noisy airport I hardly understand what "he" said. I called the number several times whereupon I realized that I must reply orally instead of pushing a button on my cell phone. Hi tech. Finally I could reach an operator. She was very nice but I really didn't understand what she said so I asked her to stop speaking to me and put my phone to the representative at the Delta counter to discuss my problem each other. That way worked! Ughh it was a PITA but finally they figured out that the reason why the Delta officer didn't find the reference number was that it was issued by US Airways the second airlines on the stopover flight.

Despite of above the flight was short and uneventful unlike the 2nd check-in at Atlanta. :-D
I had about 40 minutes till the connection flight took off, so I was just lurking on the airport. Then I went to our gate and saw that there is a 15 minutes delay. Ok, nothing uncommon. But half an hour later they adjusted the initial 15 minutes to 30. And so on. When they reached the 60 minutes limit I called PonchoV (Wolfgang) to inform him. Long story short I called Wolfgang 2 or 3 times when finally they found an other aircraft for us.

About 7 PM I arrived to Jacksonville, Florida.
Man there was very warm and humid there. When I first got out from the air-conditioned building I almost couldn't breath! Quickly smoked a cigar.

Wolfgang warned me before, that I shouldn't wear any funny clothes nor a cap for first time when meeting with his dog 'cause his dachshund cannot stand those type of guys. Nor me, so that was not an issue, but I wanted to match the criteria and took off my Stromtrooper cap (thanks MightyShep) when Wolfgang arrived and picked me up with his pick-up (nice play with words ).
Wolfgang knows his dog very well, he was everything but friendly for first time, but later... You will see.

My first impression about PonchoV was that he is a very ballsy guy. He is skinny but sturdy. I imagined as he commanded his squad. I felt like Ben Stiller when met with Robert De Niro in the movie Meet the Parents :-D.
But it took only a few hours to know a bit deeper each other and in the end of my treating there we understood each other from half-words and from that point I would say we became friends. He is a very interesting person! I could tell a story only about him, but after all this is a ride report.

His wife Carol and their friend Judy was waiting for me with a fantastic dinner. I don't remember what was it but tasted very good! Likewise the dessert and the beer. :-D





We were chatting and laughing a lot. All of them were very curious about me and my country.

I also met with Coco and Carson, two friendly Labradors.

Balázs

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Last edited by mokusbajusz; 09-03-2007 at 11:20 AM.
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post #24 of 65 Old 09-03-2007, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Day #13 Friday, July 6th

Now I'm in trouble!

You should know that during my travel every day I put notes in my diary, even more, I asked my actual host to help to file what happened to us on a certain day.
But that kind of recording is missing about my Florida days. The reason is that we chatted and drunk all the time evenings with Wolfgang.
BTW isn't it interesting that when 2 (or more) stromer come together in a garage the time becomes a non-existing thing? I mean usually at 10 I'm in bed here. During my trip there I was in bed very rarely earlier than 1-2 AM.

So I will add later what I forget now.


For Friday Wolfgang planned a ride to St. Augustine to play tourist, but before that we went for lunch. His cousin (I guess), Marianne (spelling?) is a member of an exclusive club in Orange Park and she invited us.




She is a VERY nice person! We met with her several times while I was in Jacksonville.

PonchoV and I at the frontyard of the club.




After the lunch we rode to St. Augustine to see the Castillo (Fort Mose) from outside...




...and from inside




It's unbelievable that the whole building is made of coquina:




More pics I've made on the Fort you can see here.


Along the way back the weather turned to be a little windy and rainy around 6 PM but later I noticed that this is usual in Florida.




After we arrived we had an awesome dinner with Carol and Judy.
When the ladies went to sleep Wolfgang trained me how to drink rum.




I usually don't drink at all. However when it comes to alcohol I use to drink dry white vine. But man that rum was fine! We executed the half of it that night.
SECoda likes this.

Balázs

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DL 650 info
EX-President VSCH

Last edited by mokusbajusz; 09-03-2007 at 05:43 PM.
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post #25 of 65 Old 09-03-2007, 07:16 PM
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I've enjoyed your travelouge. Thanks to all of you guys that helped make that happen. I live about 2 hours south of Gainesville and had been on a Roy Ride the day before. My apologies for missing the Sunday trip. They FLA guys say you're a wonderful fellow. Come back in February or March next time :-)

Rod
07 Vee
Riverview, FL
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post #26 of 65 Old 09-05-2007, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Day #14 Saturday, July 7th

Today we relaxed, at least didn't ride.

Wolfgang showed me his "empire" (he's got a really large site), the stones he collected from various places and some of his inventions. I have no business to share info about them here, but believe me that guy has other than just air in his head.

All of a sudden Carol called him, telling that she found a good deal on a M/C lift.
We jumped in the truck and drove to the backdoor of the shop. I wanted to help loading that monster (the lift was quite heavy) to the pickup but the warehouse guys said NO! They explained me the reason: if something bad (injury) would have happened to me during loading that would cost for them a lot.


Now a note:
I experienced everywhere in the USA that one of your most important thing is your health and your life. I mean you don't worry about your job, you don't really care about your goods, you lend your bikes or your car, you think positive all the times.
We are much more material. This might be due to the different standard of living, and our way more different mentality which comes from our past: if we wanted to buy something expensive (a flat, a house, a car, an ipod, a TV, etc, whatever) we first started to gather the necessary money and only when we got it then we went to buy. You call your bank and ask if you can afford (or even simply skip this step) and if so you go and buy it immediately. We fear that if we cannot sink a loan the bank will take away the whole thing even if we already payed it partly.

On the other hand you enjoy the life with those goods when it's time to enjoy but we just dream about it, and as time goes by we are getting old and it will be too late to enjoy when finally we would be able to. Maybe most of what you "own" is not paid 100% but one can say: who cares? Most of what we have is already paid fully and we say: that's mine, I can do whatever I want with it: take it or sell it. We feel safe so.

Similar with the old things. For example I recently bought a new monitor. The old still works fine, just smaller and older design. I did not throw the old one away, but took it on the shelf. I very well know that I will never use it anymore, but I simply cannot put it in the waste basket. I will most probably wait ten years when due to the changed PC standards it will be absolutely unusable and perhaps then I will give it away to somebody.

The other interesting thing for me is your willingness to move. I cannot imagine that before my retirement I'll move to another city. You move states-wide without any problem. We stay in our mother-town on unemployment benefit rather than move to another place where there is a job for us. And this is not laziness, we are bound to the soil.

Maybe I'm wrong, above is just an impression.

OK, back to the lift.

In order to put it in Wolfgang's garage there was necessary to lean it up making some free place. Carol was the project leader. Before everything else all of us put a face mask against dust (another example to above comments on health), but to be honest I hated it. It was hot out, even hotter inside the container-garage, the humidity was high and I sweated and couldn't breath even though W turned on a gigantic (100+ cm diameter!) fan. So time to time I went out for a cigarette. lol
We removed a few tons of bric-a-brac and put them in an other container, Wolfgang has a lot of them to store unnecessary things that have been left there by his friends. Among others I found at least 3 lawnmovers, a hydraulic woodcutter (?), a stage to work on walls of a house, trailers, garden tools, etc. even a complete motorcycle!

The next step was the measurement to figure out where to put the lift and how will it fit when the 2 bikes parked in. Doing so we could then rearrange the fixtures. At that point Judy and the dogs also joined. Carol backed the pickup as close as possible to the garage door and we unloaded the lift (still in crane). I was happy not carrying it a yard long. Did I mention that it was heavy?
While Carol read the instructions and tried to understand it (wasn't the best manual btw) I assembled the lift with W and Judy. Dogs looked at us very adeptly as well.

I told you that dogs like me.





We are ready! It took only a few hours (including 10 minutes for the lift assembly).
The happy Lift-Gang:




PonchoV was very happy as well, he tested the "result" immediately.






Look at the big fan in the background.




This is how W lubes the chain on his 08 KLR:






At the end of that day we didn't need any sleeping pills yet we "finished" Captain Morgan.
Wolfgang (the dachshund) was also tired, he seems to feel comfortable in my bed.


Balázs

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DL 650 info
EX-President VSCH

Last edited by mokusbajusz; 09-17-2007 at 03:46 PM.
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post #27 of 65 Old 09-05-2007, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Day #15 Sunday, July 8th

Sunday we went for a ride with some Florida Troopers. I took Wolfgang's DL650 while he rode his KLR. We woke up early and around 6:40 AM we headed to Gainesville together with Magblast.

Coco has also helped a lot to load the bikes




Meet in Gainesville with the group at 9 AM (Winnie, Ken (toycloser), Roy (flrdr), Rick I don't remember the rest of the names, HELP!). We hardly found the parking lot at Bakery Mill (near I-75 and SR 26), actually we were getting lost so we were late by 1 hour.
We took some donuts and had a coffee then the fun begun.
The trip was led by Roy on a Kawi Concours.




I don't know the exact route but it was fantastic. The countryside in Florida is simply wonderful. The ranches and farms are beautifully tidied and maintained. I bet even the hair of the horses and cows are combed.
BTW there were a lot of cows everywhere so I had to "work" hard.


12:30 PM
Meet with JRShaw in Mt. Dora. He brought a turn signal lamp for PonchoV that we replaced right there.




Had a lunch in an Italian Ristorante.
Some of us was not served. Not me. I couldn't eat all that huge pizza!




No, I was not drunk, that's sunburn, and is a result of my laziness not using a protection cream.

After the lunch we headed to somewhere to meet with Fl_Strom. He is a very friendly fellow (the largest speck on the pic :-D ).





On the highest hill (?) of Florida





When high isn't high enough...




...and low isn't low enough




That was my longest ride in the USA approximately 450 miles, but interestingly in spite of the hot weather it wasn't too tiring.
The roads were perfect, the scenery wonderful and the fellows very kind.
Next time we have to focus on more chatting. That was the only thing I missed. Thank you all to let me join, a recollection for my old days!

Wolfgang showed us how capable the new KLR is when ridden by somebody who CAN ride.

Balázs

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post #28 of 65 Old 09-06-2007, 06:38 AM
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WOW, that is one great report. So very glad you had so much fun and met so many great folks.

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post #29 of 65 Old 09-27-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Great story and pictures balasz, So many of them remind me of those great mountain rides. And G's scary one. So glad to have met you here, hope to see you again. J.R.
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post #30 of 65 Old 09-30-2007, 12:02 PM
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What a great adventure!
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