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BeniciaRT_GT's Big Ass 3 Year Ride Tale (warning LONG and lots of pics)


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Since this is my 1000th post, I thought I’d go over my short tenure here. Also, on my new theme since I lost my job a month ago, I’m going to take time to get a life!!! I really was consumed with work for the last 3 ½ years, though it wouldn’t seem like it by this tale, but these were the only time off I took. I am many ride tales behind that I felt I should write, so I am trying to make up for it here. This will be fun for me to do, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I’m going to enjoy writing it…


I apologize if I might have pirated a picture from someone else since some of these are old enough that I don’t know where I got them anymore.



I hope I can convey with this tale how much this board has changed my life in a positive way. On many different rides with this group I have heard many people either agree with me when I bring it up, or bring it up before I do. For me, it opened my eyes to several things:


The first, and I feel most important, is this board helped restore my sometimes wavering faith in people. This is an incredibly diverse cross section of people brought together by motorcycles, and specifically the RT “style” of bike. However, after couple of gatherings, I came to realize how many of these people would do just about anything for others. It seemed to be a really large group of all “good” people. I had found a home. I wish I could remember who said it, but I’ve heard the story from our fearless leader Leslie about someone saying “I finally found where the mother ship dropped off my people.”



It also opened my eyes to a whole new world of a different way of riding motorcycles.


Now before I bought my ‘00 RT, I thought I understood what sport touring was. I didn’t. I never really thought I’d be able to get even slightly “sporty” on something that could tour like these modern monsters can. If you had told me I would cross the entire country on a whim, ride more than a 1000 miles in a day, and especially across the country in less than 50 hours four years ago; I would have been sure to let you know you were completely out of your mind. However since buying the RT, I have crossed the United States every year beginning in 2004. And it looks like I’ll be able to make it 4 years in a row this year.


I have been riding most of my adult life with a brief hiatus. In my teens I cut me teeth on little two strokes: 250 and a 350. In college I bought a CB 450. I bought a GPz 550 when I first moved out to Ca. in Jan. 1989. I purchased my Ducati Paso at the end of 1990 (a still new 1988 model) and rode with a group of sport bike folks, mostly from work. Being young and stupid, (all of us at that time) this is when I learned about the art of dragging knees. I had a freak accident in 1996 (tibia plateau fracture, in my townhouse parking lot!)





Although I didn’t drop the bike or put a scratch on it, the “accident” put me completely out of commission for about 7 months. Another several months of physical rehab, and I was able to walk around and go back to work. It was another year before I could sit with me knee bent for any length of time, so no riding for a while longer. The bike sat a lot. I went to dayshift (I had been working graveyards for 10 years) and could no longer find an available vanpool, so I went in search of a good commuter bike. Around 2000, a shiny used Harley Sportster 1200 Custom caught my wallet and my eye. At 50 mpg, and the narrowest damn profile I’ve ever seen, it was perfect for cutting though the heavy SF Bay Area traffic. I did get involved in a couple of local H.O.G. chapters and went on quite a few rides. Although fun, it in no way satisfied my need for speed.










I thought maybe I should look at a sport tourer. I looked around a good bit, mostly at sportier bikes, but when a workmate made me take his RT for a week, I was hooked. I found this board and joined. I lurked for a while, but learned so much about the RT; I decided with this kind of maintenance support system, I couldn’t go wrong with an RT. It took several months to find the right bike, but after a great price on a great bike, I was “IN.”


My first ride with the group was one of Steve’s1150plus50 infamous “in search of” (seafood) rides to Monterey and overnighting in Morro Bay. Not a real long ride for me from here, but it was my first in a serious downpour. I rode down with Peter (Algover) from the Bay Area and we all had a great meal. Then people started getting up and wandering out to the parking lot. But as we stood around, people just started mounting up and leaving alone or in pairs or small groups and even alone!? “What the heck kind of group ride is this?” I thought to myself. Having been on a few Harley rides over the last few years, this seemed almost rude. I actually felt kind of excluded. Everyone was very friendly at dinner, but I wondered if I had made a bad impression? I was a little rougher looking back then, but dang!






For reference, this was my perception of a group ride:









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So I rode down to the hotel in the rain, where I found most folks out in the parking lot. I felt out the group, and of course everyone was super friendly. I finally “got” how it worked. Everyone goes to the meeting places, but you ride there on your own. That makes it easy to literally “Ride your own ride.” One trip like that and I knew I liked that way of riding “together” a LOT better as soon as I understood what was going on! I got to hang out with some fun people and was hooked right away. Having coffee and pie with Bad Adam (pre-Dad Adam days) was an experience not to be easily forgotten!


So I left thinking “That was fun! More please!!!


Now at this point, 200 miles one way had seemed to be a long day in my mind, but I felt like that really wasn’t much on “Tippy” so I knew I would be doing a much longer trip soon. The board help a lot here too, as I found out all the money I saved on maintaining Tippy, I ended up spending on making her more comfortable for me with farkles.


I had never owned a bike with luggage and never even so much as planned an overnight trip but this really struck a chord with me. (I did go to Reno to camp for a weekend off the Harley for the Air Races.)


Death Valley Daze 2004 was up next and I couldn’t wait. Although I ended up staying in the wrong hotel up the hill from everyone else, I once again met some great folks, watched how much of a family these people seemed to be.


And I got to meet Gleno.


This DVD was his wheelie incident: destroying his GSXR.








It was interesting to watch everyone show “the love” to Gleno and for that matter, everyone else there, including the nOOb.



From Dante’s view:







The folks that could stick around for Sunday brunch:





There was more “group” riding and the wide open desert roads introduced me to the high speed aspect of touring.








Now Death Valley is still technically a day ride away for me, so my next trip was to be my first real motorcycle trip. Torrey!!!


I posted when I was thinking of leaving, and planned on taking two days each way. Tom (Boney) let me know his schedule matched up with mine, so we planned on making the trip together. I’m not sure he was too impressed with my state of preparation when he came over to finalize the details of the trip the day before we left:




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However, I got the bike back together in plenty of time the day before and we left on time. Another stroke of great luck had blessed me again. We became great riding partners. Our riding styles and ways of reacting on the road were a great match, and so many more road trips together were to come. I think a couple of Torreys later; Leslie started referring to him as my “Road Wife.”


Tom has a better, more detailed ride tale on his site:







We had a great time on the way out:

We tore the hell out of the town of Ely, Nevada.


We found some great home cooking in Delta, Utah. Now a required stop whenever I take 50:






We arrived in time for the pool gathering:






Tom and I also made a day trip to Moab…






And hit the Burr Trail:






Tom got all “Artsy” on the Burr Trail:







Tom planned a great route for the trip home and I saw some things I really never knew about:






Next up?



My first UnRally. I was like a 6 year old on Christmas Eve as the time drew near for Cody, Wyoming! This would be my first trip that involved multiple days just to get where you planned to go riding!!! (Torrey was really just two “half day” rides) Although it was over 100 degrees for 7 out of the 9 days I was on the road, Tippy and I did very well. It was a trip that absolutely changed my life. I had a feeling before, but after that kind of ride, I knew seeing the U.S. like this was what I wanted to do a lot more of! Not only was this area beautiful, but I got to meet so many more members, and every single one was just as nice as the next!


What an area to ride!!!















We rode Bear’s Tooth Pass and the Chief Joseph Highway
































After that ride we ate in Red Lodge:




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One of the nights there, several of us hung out at the hotel across the street after the campers went to bed. I had met Killer at the spring Torrey, but after hanging out with him in Cody, I really had to wonder just how disturbed he really was:






When it was time to leave, I headed over to Glacier National Park which is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I was so impressed I’ve been there 3 times now!



















I was now fully hooked!!!


Fall Torrey was next on the trip list. Tom planned on going, but he had other ideas of how to get there. He was buying Marty Hill’s F650GS and decided he would ride it from Atlanta instead of shipping it. I thought about it for a few days and then asked Tom if he would like some company for the trip back. He was all for it, so I decided to fulfill a childhood fantasy and ride across the U.S. on a motorcycle. The plan was to meet Tom at Marty’s house and ride back via the fall Torrey get together.


So I packed up the bike and set off to Ga.






I’m from south Ga. so I planned on surprising my Dad for a couple of days before heading back.



I saw some interesting things along the way.











I tried staying off the freeways for most of the trip and tried to take lots of pictures:










Staying off the freeways was fun, as was stopping to smell the roses, but it took a lot longer to get miles behind me. Since I was running out of time to hang with Dad before leaving Atlanta, I ended up back on freeways and actually did my first Iron Butt ride. However, I didn’t know much at all about documented rides and I hadn’t planned it out anyway. I did a BBG (about a 1600 mile day) I couldn’t believe I could do that, but Tippy deserved all the credit for it…



Mission accomplished:






Off to Atlanta a few days later to meet Tom and start our trip back. We were planning on a mix of camping and hotels for the trip back.


Tom has a great detailed ride with map on his site:




Our first night was in Arkansas:








We found a great spot in Colorado to bed down:






Also along the way, unknown to us at the time, we took pictures of each other that would become avatars for each of us:









By then, Killer, seen here in case you don’t recognize him:




had moved to Torrey and had rainbows right in his yard:






And he had a house warming party:







On this trip, I discovered Sweeper Madness and fell in love!!!





The final leg home was cold and windy as hell. But still a good trip!!


I think we are heading into trouble…those mountains were clear last night!



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DVD 2005 was a little embarrassing. My tires still had a good 2-3 weeks of commute tread on them (1000-1500 miles or better) but I didn’t trust them to last a round trip to Death Valley. The speeds down there don’t help! I also was past due for a bit of service so:





I drove a car!


This was a DVD for the books! Mark Davis (StrechMark) was out this way for work, so he rented a Harley and came and played with us. We basically had our own hotel and casino and drank them slap out of Arrogant Bastard Ale.


Spring Torrey was interesting. Normal fun, but Killer gave us “the Local’s tour” and I got to see one of the things I’ve been trying hard to find for 20 years:






A Bald Eagle!


Another building block was built for me by Tom. He suggested Torrey should be a one day trip. Now that may be a “Paperbutt” ride to some, but an 800+ mile day seemed pretty daunting. I wanted to go to the UnRally in Virginia, and Tom said he could go but wanted to do an Iron Butt along the way. This would be our practice run. We planned on a Saddle Sore and Bun Burner to Virginia, so this would be the test for how tough that entry level ride would be. It went quite well!!!


The next big ride would be another cross country run. Off to the UnRally in Staunton, Va. With no storms brewing on the northern route, we set off on Saddle Sore/Bun Burner ride attempt.





















Although we ran into some serious construction issues we made it to Fargo, North Dakota with plenty of time to spare!


Now the problems began for us on the way into ND. Tom’s clutch started slipping.

We were actually feeling pretty good, so we went out and took a look:




Even in the dark, we figured out the problem: oil in the dry clutch space. We decided we could make it, so a night on the town was in order!



We called the BMW place in Va. and they kind of blew us off, since we told them we were only in Fargo. However once we got there, they gave Tom the VIP/stranded rider treatment. Tom didn’t have a bike for the actual Rally, although Kirsten (KT’s Ridin) let him borrow hers for a ride!


We now had time to explore at least a little so we made sure to stop by here:





And toured a little here:





Upon arrival at the dealer in Va. our diagnosis had been correct; His rear seal had given up and was oil soaking the clutch, and Hammersly fixed it right up…


Tom had to ride “beotch” to get back to the camp ground and later that week back to pick up his steed. So he had a little fun with the camera:










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I got to meet a whole new gang of great folks from here and Spike was introduced to my warped sense of humor and I earned my first (of three so far!!!) screen name below my regular name.


In other words, my “member” was taken away in Va.



“Balls” was now my nickname:





I showed spike mine:








but only gave him a starter kit. I wonder if they have grown?









It was a most incredible time but all things must end I guess, so we went and picked up Tom’s bike and headed west.


We went through St. Louis:






And rode through one of the nastiest things either of us had ever seen in Kansas. I can’t describe how hard it was raining and how strong the wind was blowing. What ever it was, it had an eye, because we got though, saw sun for about 10 minutes, and then got back in, but this time the wind was from 180 degrees the other way. This picture was much later, and we thought it was a light mist compared to our ordeal:




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Anyway we arrived home and I got ready to head for Fall Torrey.


I guess I felt I knew my way around at this point, because I can’t find a single picture from the event. I think that is when I took the car to Torrey. My wife really isn’t interested/comfortable riding with me, and hardly ever takes any time off for herself, (that is how I get away with taking these trips!) so I talked her into a little vacation. Off to Torrey we went. She got to meet many of you troublemakers and really understood why these places and people are so important to me. Utah is an amazing place!!! Plus, they will let ANYONE live there!







The pictures get slightly repetitive so I’ll spare you from more Torrey pictures from Fall ‘05.


The Gunnison UnRally was recent enough that most people should have it fresh in their mind.


However, I do have to mention the most amazing trip I’ve taken to date!


I refer to it as the “Ultimate Motorcycle Trip.” Whip, Killer, and Chris Olsen invited me to take a trip to Yellowstone-Glacier-and points unknown last summer.


The company was amazing as most of you already know, and it was an amazing trip. If you hadn’t already noticed a common thread with all these rides: I had to be somewhere in a short time. On this trip, after the first few days, we didn’t have to be anywhere at any time! It was just a meander this way or that way Adult Attention Deficit Disorder driven trip…


Most of that has been also documented recently, so I won’t show a bunch of pictures of that either, but that was amazing!






And there may have been some hamming for the camera whilst hooning and being general hooligans on Lolo Pass:





And there may have been some incriminating pictures of whip taken:





For that and my 2006 cross country trip, I was on my new K1200GT, which I swear BMW got inside my mind and then built just for me. It is almost the perfect bike for me. I can scare myself silly on sweeper madness while never dragging any hard parts, and still do a 50CC (coast to coast in less than 50 hours.) You can’t get much more diverse than that!


I’m guessing you see a pattern at this point? I’ve been so lucky that I haven’t missed a DVD, an UnRally, or a Torrey since I joined!!! This year’s Un was iffy, but I think I’m going to be able to come play with you east coast folks.



I am amazed if you really got to this part, the end! I wrote this over many-many days and even I struggled with finishing it, but I hope you enjoyed my little ride tale!


ride well and answer me this please:






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Great tale/I had forgotten meeting you at Steve's trip to moss landing. See you at torrey. By the way, do you have the oil slick? Tom can't find it. wave.gif

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That was fun, Richard. It was great meeting you at some of these events as well.


So here's proof what going from a Harley:




to a BMW will do to your soul:




Looking forward to the next 'thousand' posts.


Mike O

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This, my friend, has yet again captured the heart and soul of several things; you, what the ride is about, this board, its membership.


More than worthy a ride tale you have spun!


I am a little concerned over your "third iteration" of yourself though!!





God only knows what will come next!!!



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Great job thumbsup.gif


It has been my pleasure to ride with ya.


Now who's the guy with the Beck bottles...I don't drink beer...and I don't sleep on the ground.confused.gif



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Les is more
I wish I could remember who said it, but I’ve heard the story from our fearless leader Leslie about someone saying “I finally found where the mother ship dropped off my people.”


Uh...I said it, actually. tongue.gif


It's been a wonderful ride so far, my friend. See you soon, but not soon enough.

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Richard, this is a ride tale in the truest, purest form.


A great read, particularly for someone like me who's still a noob in these parts and wasn't around to see the beginnings unfold.


Thanks for posting this. Looking forward to seeing you again.



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Great job thumbsup.gif


It has been my pleasure to ride with ya.


Now who's the guy with the Beck bottles...I don't drink beer...and I don't sleep on the ground.confused.gif




That's your story Whip, stick to it blush.gif



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So here's proof what going from a Harley:

to a BMW will do to your soul:


Mike O


Not quite, there is more to that story, but I sometimes miss that hair...


Some poor youngin' with Lukemia has gray hair now though. lmao.gif

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Very nicely done, young man.


Even if you did leave me out. bncry.gif


Although you were a huge part of a once in a lifetime event, Here and here, it was recent enough that I didn't feel like I should ramble on about it...


However, if it wasn't for that lovely family of yours, I'm sure I would have found a way to embarrass you too! blush.gif

There are way too many people that have helped me here and been part of that "faith in people" restoration to mention in one story. (not that you are one of them blush.gif )

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Now, that is one heck of a ride story!! Well done!! Have never seen anybody age so quickly in such a short time thumbsup.gif





Ouch!!! blush.giflmao.gif


That's not gonna buff out!

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You are going to pay and pay and pay for that! blush.gif


A guy does one Al Bundy impression...


I "owe" you a lot more than that mister!!!

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Since I was the one responsible for that infamous photo of you (sorry that it has been so horribly abused by Richard), please let me try to make it up to you by posting the one I took of him on that very same night. Yeah, Richard, you've tried to defend yourself before ("uh, I was just reading a map, in the dark, with no lights, uh, really"), so don't bother to try again.





Great tale, Richard. I'm glad to have been on several of the rides with you. The DVD when Redline gear oil was bubbling out of your RT, a few Torreys, the Cody Unrally (see above photo), lunch in Red Lodge and the ride there and back, your first ride through Glacier Park, and last, but not least, a great ride through western Colorado with you, Dick, Greg, and Whip. Looking forward to many more rides with you in the future.

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I'm stuck in UT on a flight delay with no motorcycle. Sooo close to Torrey yet so far...


So this post was total therapy for me. Ahhhh...

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I'm thinking it wasn't Beck's beer that landed him on the floor..... What was it you guys pounded down between the motel and the Snake River Brew Pub in Jackson? grin.gif


I remember having a few beers with you in the little brewpub in Gunnison, trying to rehydrate after your speed run to Moab. What was it, 100*F that day? Gawd!


And by the way, that's an outstanding picture of Killer! Are you selling copies? I need one for my Wall of Fame!


So how come no photos of the Tetons or our high-speed run up Teton Pass last Summer, Richard? I'd post one but Whip has this thing about stale pictures... That was a blast - we ran HARD up Teton Pass, stopped and got the evil eye a few minutes later from a Sherrif... I think we got called in but we were stopped and being responsible tourists by the time he drove by. thumbsup.gif Timing is everything!


Cheers, see ya in Torrey???



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..... Have never seen anybody age so quickly in such a short time thumbsup.gif



.... and so well.


Very nice tale, Richard. thumbsup.gif

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Good stuff Richard thumbsup.gif


Hope you got as many miles out of your tires as words out of your experiences grin.gif


Some beautiful images too!......(With a few exceptions that is tongue.gif)

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Fantastic Story and beautiful pictures of places I hope to see someday! clap.gif This site is amazing and I can't believe the stuff I have learned about the bike and a group of great folks!

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Fantastic Story and beautiful pictures of places I hope to see someday! clap.gif This site is amazing and I can't believe the stuff I have learned about the bike and a group of great folks!


+ 1 !!!

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This was a great post. You are an excellent writer, and I loved the pix, esp. Glacier. This NP holds a special place in my heart. I proposed to Jennifer on the "Going to the Sun" highway a few years ago.


Thanks for bringing it back, my friend.


Steve in So Cal

ps-where to next?

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Great tale Richard.

It was a realy pleasure to be involved in watching your 50cc become a reality.


I am looking forward to completing one myself (maybe this year if I can find the time away from the wine shop) and your pictures have reawakened my wanderlust to see the west via motorcycle. For that, I both thank and curse you! wave.gif

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Hey Rich,


I am dissapointed you didn't at least mention blitzing Highway 50 and not being able to set the electronic cruise control over 120! I guess that means no one is going to mistake you for a low flying Cruise Missile!





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Hey, I had a tibial plateau fracture. My knee looks like yours...


When it happened, the doctor thought I had sprained it. He was yanking on my leg to straighten it out and I was begging him to stop.... LOL.



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  • 1 year later...

Bravo!!! Great tale Richard!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


So glad I got to meet you and Jacqueline at the '07 UnRally!




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