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Thread: Not another Brit touring the Colonies.

  1. #1
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    Not another Brit touring the Colonies.

    Hi Folks,

    A few of you know i've started a 3 month tour of Western USA, Canada and Alaska, but for this that don't, i'll be duplicating my travels and prevails from Advrider on here. I'm not an experienced trip blogger, and I don't now how often i'll be able to update this thread, due to camping and power requirements, but i'll try and let you know what i'm up to as much as I can.

    I'm not an expert in writing about my travels, and i'll try not to follow in Mike O's footsteps too much, avoiding too many photo's of bridges and barns.

    So here we go, copied and pasted over...

    Hi All

    I've already met a few of you in my first couple of days in the USA, but for those of you that are in the dark about me, i'm going to begin here...

    I have always wanted to visit the USA and Canada, but due to joining the Fire & Rescue Service, over here in the UK, at an early age, my holiday/vacation time has been very restricted by having to work shifts, with very little in the way of time off sufficient to do a long trip.

    Why not take shorter trips? I hear you say. Well, i'm on the tall side and don't fit in economy seats on aeroplanes, and have never earnt the money it takes to fly in the more expensive, roomy, seats. I have travelled though, just on our European continent and around the UK. I've been active in the GS Community since 2000 and still ride the venerable 1150 Adventure.

    So, moving on. Although the Fire Service prevented me from doing a big trip, I did have the advantage of going early, which meant that i'd also retire early. So I put a 25 year savings plan in place and have bided my time since, waiting for this time to come, and here I am, at 51, ready to ride!

    This is me and the next three months of my life are in that bag. My home, my bed, my kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe are all in there.



    Although i've had to wait for this big ride, i've not really researched it, and have kept myself busy. Hiking, Biking, Kayaking, Caving and Mountain biking have been to the forefront of my life. The was until Christmas last year, when a friend of mine, Martk Barrington, asked if I was interested in riding Alaska. I idd a little research and the beginnings of a big trip were born.

    This is Mark, just gathering our stuff together before heading over to London for our flights.



    I found this website and started plotting a route to see how long we needed to get around. We may not complete the whole route, we just needed an idea of where and how long. Mark slightly complicated things, as he also wanted to incorporate a Canadian coast to coast run as part of his trip. However, i've tried to make the whole trip as flexible as possible, so i've arranged to get some mountain biking in during my first couple of weeks in the USA and will be meeting Mark later this month, where we'll be heading North, to Alaska!



    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

  2. #2
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    Paul BHT needs to create you a topic title, doesn't he
    JohnnyBoxer



    So many roads...........So little time......

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    Now, before I continue, I have read the guidelines of the big trip reports, and I know I am doing my first two weeks, here in the US, in a hire car, but that's purely been to facilitate my mountain biking. So please bear with me, i'll post a little on my first two weeks, but will get going once my GS ships in a week Sunday and the ride begins.

    Some of you may remember, I did enquire if someone could offer me some storage space for my mountain bike in San Francisco, whilst I was away on the GS. I did receive a helpful response, but the chap who offered to help is very busy, so I thought it best not to trouble him and, rather fortunately, got in touch with a terrific guy named Brent, who lives in Alameda and he's been an immense help, making my first, nervous, day in the USA a good one. When you're travelling on your own, I find it both exciting and nerve wracking, so to see a friendly face when you arrive, makes a massive distance.

    My new Chum.



    Brent's an Aussie, who's been on many bike adventures and has some interesting bikes in his garage, mostly under wraps.



    But there were one or two in view...








    Brent's a really nice chap and has some equally lovely friends, one of whom put me up for the night in their home. Honestly, the generosity and hospitality i've received, as a complete stranger to them, has both surprised and humbled me. Thank you guys.

    My bed for the first night, complete with some company that kept dabbing me in the face at 0400 in the morning. :hmmmmm



    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Bon Voyage, MMM
    JohnnyBoxer



    So many roads...........So little time......

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    Great stuff Rich; your friend has a very nice, dove framed Rocket 3, by the way. Hope you have a great time; and all worth the planning. All the best, enjoy.

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    I left Brent, after a breakfast coffee and muffin, which took a while as Alameda was gearing up for it's annual 4th July Parade. I was early and was heading for Reno, so only saw a little of what was going on. The Americans appear to really go for it when celebrating the 04th July and it's a big, colourful experience.











    And then it was off to Reno, where Autolycos had invited me in for a slow cooked brisket. Armed with some warm beer, I duly arrived and was warmly welcomed into his home, where he had some neighbours round. I did try to get a reasonable selfie in, but there was a water mister going on and the bright sun meant i couldn't see the screen.
    We all had a great time, with me being the butt of all the jokes , it being the 04th of July, but I heroically took it all on the chin and gave as much back. After that, we were then invited down to their friends, further down in the valley, as they'd cooked far too much BBQ. Many thanks for all your hospitality folks, it was only a one night stopover, but it was great!



    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    05th July and I had a big day, heading over to Midway, as I was stopping off with Flashmo, his super wife Julie and the very friendly, Tiberius. I'll have to leave you guessing on Tiberius, as I doesn't appear I got a photo. After a long day, driving through the Nevada and Utah desserts, I made it to Midway and found myself in an oasis of a valley, surrounded by mountains and followed Waze to me destination for the night. Jason's place is up on the hill, looking over the valley and is in an amazing spot. The BBQ was in warm up mode and we had a super supper of chicken, corn and salad, which all went down rather nicely.
    I must say, i've not known what to expect from the tent space thread, but it's very quickly become a big part of the early part of my trip. I didn't expect to be staying over with Advrider people, but i'm so glad I have, as it's really become something special and i'm meeting and making many new friends.

    The view form the barn.

    url=https://postimg.org/image/m203k3soj/][/url]

    My lovely hosts



    and just around the corner was this view...



    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Great stuff, Reno is my old stomping ground better than LV.
    Your US time suits my late night routine.

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    Safe travels Richard, have a great time 🍺🍺🍺

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    Well folks, I was in Denver, stopping over with a fellow Advrider for a couple of nights. Arrived armed with cool beer this time, only to find out my hosts are teetotal!
    I was given the royal treatment again, we chatted bikes, gear and other stuff and had a super meal in the evening. The next day I headed up to Guerrilla Gravity, the guys who made my mountain bike and it's a great little Aladdin's Cave of a workshop. My hosts were off on a weekend camping trail riding adventure and left me in charge for the night and then I moseyed my way north, via Apex Trail Park and on into the mountains for my next night's stop-over.

    Genius at work...



    and another.



    Marvels of engineering.



    The team.



    My hosts in Denver ride proper bikes!



    Chris showed me these soft panniers and they are the mutts nuts. If I ever need some new panniers, i'd probably buy these.



    Chris & Stacie, top couple.



    Then it was up not the mountains, for a bit of cooler air and a ride.

    I met Eric, the local Ranger at Apex and he was interested in my bike. Being a similar height he was having the same problems finding something he fitted. I sent him out for a little spin and he was well chuffed, even more so when I told him the company was local!

    [/url]

    Another mug shot.

    [/url]

    I got a photo of the lovely flowers today.

    [/url]

    My mountain hosts, Vic & Hannah. They're soon off to Alaska, to finish off a ride they started a while back, but Vic came off and banged himself up pretty badly and now it's time to get back there. It's even possible we may pass on the road. They've got this super cabin in the mountains and i'm sat here, typing this and finding it a struggle to move on.

    [/url]


    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Your selfies don`t make you look any more handsome do they? Thank heavens for your hosts!
    Seriously, have a great time, and we might still meet up in Alaska after all.
    Here`s watching.
    Brian
    to hide a leaf first find a forest

    http://www.visitguernsey.com

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    Met this lovely old boy at Vic and Hannahs



    Who had this whipper snapper for company



    Along with his adventure bikes, Vic has a few other rattly, old, noisy, Italian steeds in his garage.



    The proud owner



    Look, I fit. maybe i'll buy one!




    Short and sweet today as I dd a couple of rides on my mountain bike, then headed into Boulder to meet up with Zigy. He's an Italian born American and thoroughly nice chap. He's also a mine of information, due to being a seasoned two wheeled traveller, and has imparted some useful travel info for our Alaksa trip and my NZ one next year. I really liked Zigy's home, comfy, stylish, homely and interesting, but the bears in the back garden take some getting used to. We went to one of Boulders craft breweries for supper and went to look for some Buffalo roaming in Z's jeep.

    The man himself. Apologies for the crap photo Z, i'll be reading your taking pictures guide.



    An early wander in Boulder.... very nice.



    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Following a couple of days of 'tech' problems.... I have camera charging and laptop charging issues along with my phone not accepting text messages and telling me I have signal when in actual fact I don't. How we all got around before these little devices is rather quite amazing as it's like having your hands hoped off when they don't function.

    Anyhow, a few pictures to catch up as i'm now in Lodi, have a super, well travelled, friendly host, wifi and power!

    I headed down to Salida, from Zigy's in Boulder, to meet up with Robert (Blues Bob) and his lovely wife Scarlett. I must have picked the back way into Salida as the bit I rode through was rather run down and decrepit looking. However, I was given a full tour later that evening and the old town is really nice. It's different to Boulder, but equally as nice in it's own way.

    The timing of my stay allowed me to meet up with Bob's breakfast club, who are all a great bunch of guys. Surprisingly, not one of them was native born in Salida, all having moved there.



    Then, the reason for my travels through...The Monarch Crest!



    Big views on this trail, 42 miles and over 12000ft.













    My super hosts, Bob & Scarlett



    The other good timing of my visit was that I was able to attend a post ride Margherita Restaurant night with some more of their friends. 2 for 1 on the margarita's and a superb pizza saw the evening off nicely.









    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Due to my Tech problems needing resolving, I was away late so decided to head for Gunnison and heads up the 401 Loop out of Crested Butte. Took a couple of photo's as I had a brief spell of reasonable weather before the rain came down. Typical of it to rain, as i'd camped.:permazot

    However, the late start to summer meant the flowers were out all over the place, putting on a great show.









    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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    Leaving Gunnison, I was headed back over Utah and Nevada on HW50, known as The Lonliest Road, to Ely, the most remote town in the lower 48. Raebear lives in Ely. He's nurse at the local hospital and was on call, so beer for Ray! I took him out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and we had a great meal, and Ray offered some history on the town of Ely.
    Back in the day, it was a very prosperous town, due to having the world's largest open cast copper mine and on site smelter. Unfortunately, for the town, the thicko greenies campaigned to get the smelter close due to pollution. So, the ore is now mined, trucked to the coast, then shipped to China and smelted in a plant that's nowhere near as clean and efficient as the one they closed. How the hell that's supposed to be environmentally friendly, with all those trucking/ and shipping miles added on is beyond me. Blooming Greenies... shoot em! :jack

    On the way there, I stopped at Grand Junction for my first diner experience, where these lovely ladies served me a tradition breakfast with grits, followed by a stack of blueberry pancakes.



    Due to Ray being on call and on shift, I didn't get an opportunity to grab a photo of us, so this chap will have to stand in his place.



    Most of Utah and Nevada look like this, which isn't my cup of tea, but even so, HW50's a much nicer trip than I80.





    Plenty of this salty stuff too.



    There's loads of lovely old trucks in the US. On leaving Ely, I spotted this one.

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    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

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