Monday, August 30, 2010

Milwaukee to Chicago.

Day 16
91 miles.

Well rested and ready to see my Chicago friends I boogied on out of Milwaukee. I was planning on taking the scenic route along the Lake, but missed the turn and ended up on the freeway. Oh well. Got to Colleen's house, just as she was getting home from her weekend road trip to Buffalo. We went downtown and to the Art Institute Museum and saw the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit. It was so amazing. Did some touristy stuff, saw the Bean, the Al Bundy fountain, and went swimming. Met up with the Peddy Cash dudes and ate dinner. I'm gonna stay here for a few more days and then off to Cincinnati on Thursday. Chicago is rad.

Bug Report:
Not worth it, I went 91 miles.


Segway crew.

The Bean.

We and the Bean.

Cool Hand Durk.


Lake Michigan.

Curt and Chris. 2 thumbs up.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sioux Falls to Milwaukee.

Day 14 and 15
584 miles.

I really hate riding on the Interstates. I checked out a map and saw that there was a highway that went through Iowa and directly into Milwaukee. I was hoping that by taking that route it would be less windy, less cars and semis, and a little less stressful.
2 hours go by and I still haven't gone 100 miles. It's just as windy, instead of semis there are old people in town cars and huge farm equipment that keep trying to run me off the road, and it smells like pig shit every 5 miles. I make an executive decision to get the hell out of Iowa and deal with I-90. I'm cruising down the road doing about 75 and pass a sheriff, he immediately turns around and pulls me over. I try to explain my situation, I'm hungry, tired, and just went 150 miles out of my way and only gained about 70 east. He doesn't buy it and tells me he clocked me at 79 in 55 zone. Shit, thought it was a 65 zone. I know there's no way of getting out of this one, but I ask anyway, he reduces it to 70. The ticket is for $173. I continue on and not even a quarter mile down the road is the Minnesota state border! Fuck, I should have made a run to it, ha. This day is getting worse and worse.
I finally get on I-90. It's not as bad as the day before and it's a lot nicer scenery. Lots of corn and silos.
I made it to Milwaukee in about 12 hours, with my detour through Iowa. I met up with The Cranks and went out that night with them. I won some money playing dice and slept in Dez's garage.
I decided to rest a day and hang out in Milwaukee. Dez showed me around the city and I changed the oil on my bike. Just a nice relaxing day after 2 gnarly days.

Bug Report:
10- definitely the most I've gotten. Colorful and juicy. Wahoooooooo!!!!!

Iowa. I wish you liked me.

2 minutes before my ticket.

Minnesota. 2 minutes after my ticket.


Mile 485.8



Phone from car.

Breakfast in Milwaukee.

The Bronze Fonz. Milwaukee.

Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Badlands to Sioux Falls.

Day 13
322 miles.

Trust your gut. I had nice, dead battery waiting for me when I woke up. I tried to bump start it, but it was a gravel road, so the back tire just skid. A couple from Belgium that were on their way to Burning Man gave me jump start. I was planning on taking Highway 44, but with this battery issue I was nervous about taking such a desolate road, so I opted for I-90.
I-90 sucks. It's the flattest, straightest, and windiest road I've been on. The wind was about 40mph from the south and I was heading directly east. I had to lean into the wind just to go straight. Passing the semi trucks was the worst. The turbulence coming off the back was insane and as soon as you get next to the trailer the wind is relatively calm. You pick up a ton of speed because of the lack of resistance and then shoot past the cab and into the blowing wind again. It feels like you're going to blow off the road. It's similar to shooting out off a barrel in the ocean, just not fun. I was getting really frazzled, tired, and sore. My gas mileage was also extremely affected, I normally get around 45mpg, with the wind I was getting 26-27mpg!
I got into Sioux Falls and met up with Brandon from the Buffalo Boys. We took a look at my battery and realized all the water and acid had totally evaporated in the heat. I bought a new battery and Brandon showed me around Sioux Falls. I saw the Falls, the slaughterhouse/pig stockyards, downtown, and Wal-Mart. That night we went out to a bar that has a karaoke contest and Brandon is in the running to win. I sang my usuals; Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams, War Pigs by Sabbath, Man I Feel Like a Women by Shania Twain, Believe by Cher, and Everybody by BSB (he didn't have I Want it That Way). It was a good night for a really shitty day.
I also reached the 3,000 mile mark of my trip today!!!

Bug Report:
7.5- even though it was windy I was still able to catch some tasty ones.


Buffalo by my campsite.

The Sioux Falls Falls.



New battery!


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bearlodge Mountains to The Badlands.

Day 12
335 miles.

A lot of stuff goes through your head when your riding, especially this long. You think about pretty much everything; friends, family, past relationships, stuff you did in the past, stuff you want to do in the future, what you should cook for dinner, etc... Many of these things come up time and time again, you try to think what went wrong, why was that so good, what it? One of the many things that I can't help but tank about is my grandfather. He died before I was born, long before, sometime in the early '60's. From what I can remember my mother telling me, he was getting ready to do a motorcycle trip on his Indian from Denver to Mexico. He slid out, hit his head, went into a coma for several months, and then passed away. He was also a very skilled mechanic and builder, he built a ferris wheel from scrap metal while he and my grandmother were living in Hawaii after the war. I can't help but wonder what he'd think of my trip; would he think I was a pussy for having rear suspension, a Japanese bike, wearing proper safety gear or would he be stoked and tell me stories of his motorcycling days. I like to think the he'd get a kick out of it.
I left my awesome campsite and headed towards Sturgis. I really didn't have a desire to go there, but figured since I was near I might as well wee what all the fuss is about. I rolled into town around 9:30 and it was pretty quiet. A few fat bikers walking around in orange t-shirts and their fat wives by their side is all I really saw. Then I saw signs for the Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, I had to got there. They had a really nice collection of bikes up into the late '70's, they even had a Honda Hobbit moped, although the seat was ripped.
I left Sturgis as fast as I could, I didn't want any of it to wear off on me a nd headed towards Deadwood to eat breakfast. It's a very watered down, tourist friendly type Western town, complete with casinos offering cheap buffets and big winnings. I had a nice meal, used the Internet and got outta there and headed towards Mt. Rushmore.
I saw the Presidents and then headed towards Crazy Horse. PI didn't go up close, but I viewed it from the road. There was a sign at the entrance the said, "Never forget your dreams". I like that. I continued on and road through Custer State Park, it was a lush oasis between the dry Black Hills and the dry and barren Plains.
I got out onto the Plains and it immediately felt like I was riding through an oven. I was drinking water constantly and sweating like a pig. At the gas station my brother Erik called, it was great to talk to him and it took my mind off the heat.
I was now headed towards the Badlands, i now knew why it was named so. It was pushing nearly 105 degrees and it was almost 5pm, I charged on and got to the ranger station and asked them where the free campground was. He pointed it out and warned me that the bison liked to graze through there in the morning. I cruised through the park and then headed up to Wall, to check out Wall Drug.
I ate an overpriced beef dinner there, bought a few postcards, took a few photos and filled up on their famous ice water. I must've lost track of time 'cause when I got to my bike the sun was almost down and I still had to ride 18 miles to the campground, 12 of which were on a dirtroad. I boogied out of there, not before my bike gave me trouble starting. It sounds like the battery is starting to die, I hope it doesn't leave me stranded at the campground. I got to the dirt road right at the "magic hour" and everything looked amazing. I made it to the campground just as the last bit of light was leaving the sky. I set up camp in the dark and watched the full moon rise over the hills. Another night with no rain fly, just me, the stars, and the mosquitos outside.

Bug Report:

Good morning South Dakota.

A sweet lawn mower.

Indian Chief.

Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

Imperial boardtrack racer (notice the pedals!)

The infamous Black Shadow.

BSA Starlite. Super cute.

Honda PA50, with a duct taped seat.

RIP Great One.

Triumh Tina.

Cool Matchless with a really cool sidecar.

Norton single.

The bike that destroyed the British.

Kenny Roberts' 250.

Sears Allstate with Puch engine.

Some Texas oil barren's bike.

Senator Dave Zien's bike, look him up.

Lead, SD.

Trout Haven.

Hilter Smokey.

Mt. Rushmore.

Mt. Rushmore.



More tourists.

"Never forget your dreams".

Interior, SD.

Badlands, SD.

Badlands, SD.

Style. Class. Comfort.

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