TRO

Your Sport Touring Motorbike Fix

Desert Air MotelSep 27, 2023Transcript1 CommentShare

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Lodgery

Robin and Brian target unbiked worries, hotel hunting and anti-lock heated grips. Music by Otis McDonald. Download our feed here.

Transcript

As legible as we are intelligible ...

Robin: How are you feeling? What's

Brian: good. I'm feeling good. Did, uh, did some great writing last weekend. Uh, and last night, yesterday, I thought maybe I had COVID, but I don't. And, uh, you know, basically I just had allergies. I got a snoot full of something from a cornfield or something and had, had the sniffles for about 12 hours and I'm fine now, so yay.

Robin: I can relate. Did it cause low

Brian: energy? Well, you're either high energy or no energy. So

Robin: yeah, pretty much. Okay. Here's some good news. Maggie's bike is back. 100%. Excellent. Or back to where it was 100%. We found the culprit or yeah, we, she and I found the culprit. I would turn the handlebars and I would hear it spool up. There's a little piece of plastic that you can separate that isolates a bunch of wires. just below the neck at the ignition switch.

Brian: Yes.

Robin: Either this is a Triumph thing or, I don't know. It was, she bought that bike brand new, but there was a tiny zip tie that had creased wires into an S to a metal bracket piece of like a little outlet in there and compressed it all down. So I undid that. And then, tell me, what is that plastic wire jacket tubing called? It's a, uh, sort of a, uh, it looks like you can compress

Brian: it. It's called sleeving. Yeah. Yeah. And I've, I've found, I found similar wiring, wrong numbers in, in all kinds of bikes. So

Robin: sure. Like from

Brian: the manufacturer. Yeah. Like eventually 30 years, 10 years, 5 years, whatever that eventually. It just fails and you got to wiggle and paw at it until you find something.

Robin: Yes. Spin around, look at the sky, look down quick. Yeah. Well, we got it running and it's reliable now. So I got some sleeving for it. I wrapped the sleeving in the, uh, what did you call it? Anorexium tape, whatever the stuff is

Brian: that amalgamating tape,

Robin: amalgamating tape. Yeah. I got some amalgamating tape and wrapped that around the sleeving and wrapped that also around the plastic outlet below the ignition switch so that everything's nicely held in place. And it has not failed us since. Beautiful. Immediately after that, got the chain adjusted, bike's ready. Well, she's got her bike back. We're super stoked. Uh, real quick. Yes, sir. This is my get it right. Shout out to the people up in Idaho real quick. This is a shout out to Jake Grumpy, Donut, Fry, Booty, and Marsha. There. That's the whole crew. Hope y'all are doing well. Colorado's treating us reasonably okay. I'll get into the negatives and the positives as we go. Also, you and I have discussed Headphones while riding. Yes. Tom Burns reached out to let us know that plug phones have instantiated some betterment in that they now have the outer ear rubber that compresses down and slips into the outside of your ear sort of for better fit. And I thought that was pretty cool. So I'm going to check that out. I'm also excited that. Yeah, I got a new attire hugger, got a tail tidy for the beamer, ordered some new headlights and I'm going to get to get that paint job because boom, my debts are paid, life's good. Sweet. Your turn, ping pong,

Brian: right back at ya. I'm working on scheduling, uh. Working on figuring out a ride in, uh, October in Kentucky is this tradition, the crawl, the crawl, the dates are up in the air, uh, for some personal medical things that are going on. Uh, but once we get that scheduled and figured out, it's on like donkey Kong. This is the, yeah, and. It's going to be a good one. I've done some, uh, done some scouting. I need to get down there and do some more scouting. It's like for basically for my house, it's two hours to Florence, Kentucky. I mean, that's ridiculous. I can go down there in a day, right around, drag my butt back home, you know, in dark. And yeah, so I need to, I need to get down there some more.

Robin: That sounds rocking, man. I like that you put need to, need to, must go make sure. Must. I will re scout those roads. I just got it twice. Last week, that's a, that's not a bad place

Brian: to be in. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Like I was down, I got the Southern Indiana when scouted out. So your triple sevens people are all handled. But yeah, I want to, I want to, Oh, for this year's crawl. I want to, I want to mix it up a

Robin: little. Did you say that you, I know you, you checked out the big 400. You didn't check out the route that we just came up with. Did you? With all the stuff that we were looking at, like what,

Brian: uh, right. You remember? No, I didn't. No, I haven't been into Kentucky yet this year. So, or this fall. Oh, so that would be cool. Yes. So yeah, I wanted to check out some of that stuff and, uh. Mix things up a little. Anyway, uh, got a bunch of, got a bunch of work. I'm, I'm in the middle of on my GS and my old, uh, 83 GS 850 Suzuki. Um, and hopefully maybe blue, the, the old, the old blue, uh, well, I don't know the old blue something it's old and it's blue. Mostly and, uh, it needs some love and it needs some, uh, spark plug wires and stuff. And the exhaust, I had to, had to booger wheel the exhaust back together in the spring and I need to do a better job with gaskets. And anyway, should have that done this weekend. Do you weld? I have a, no, I'm a crappy welder and I have a crappy welder. So I have a crappy Harbor Freight welder. I traded some dude with some saddlebags for. And so by some miracle, I was able to actually patch up this like corrosion hole in my exhaust system. But when I reinstalled it, you know, sometimes it's about 50, 50, whether all the gaskets are going to seal when you reinstall a 40 year old exhaust. So. And I got the wrong side of the odds. So I got to, I have to do it again and replace a few very expensive gaskets and, uh, anyway, should be

Robin: good. It confuses me how, when you see a welder bring out the grinder, that that's some kind of like mark of shame. Like they have to hang their head low when a grinder comes out. Like the weld didn't go the way they wanted. So now the grinder's out and that means they did a bad job. I don't, I don't understand that. I'm just, you know, just get the bike gun. I want to go ride. Give me the bike. Yeah. Um, yeah. There are no updates, revisits, announcements, corrections, et cetera. There's none of that. Uh, I feel like I had thought of some this afternoon, but then it all got away from me. I watched our entire RV. So that's, that's a gig.

Brian: Some exercise.

Robin: Yeah. Yeah. That should be its own workout. But, uh, I do see some of the new things that Brian is feeding into the outline that we're working on. And I think that all of our listeners out there, if we can land these things, you're in for a real treat. You're in for a real treat. So we'll, we'll hopefully have some new, interesting things to deliver because it needs to

Brian: happen. Right? Yeah, we have some. We have some ideas for talking to writers that I don't think anyone's ever talked to.

Robin: I got a couple of mine I think you'll like quite a bit. They're actually fellow podcast hosts if I can, if I can get the guy. Which that will bring us to stuff our listeners have asked or might

Brian: ask. All right, uh, this is actually one, I'm going to pick one that someone actually listened and someone actually asked, believe it or not, from our very own Dale Dunn. Man myth legend. The man, the myth, the legend, the brown streak, the brown streak, the brown streak on the old GS 1000, it's a brown GS 1000 and

Robin: I was trying to rhyme something with root beer, but you really. You just threw down the gauntlet, like, nope.

Brian: Yeah. Go on. Okay. Anyway, one of the questions you asked is something that affects all of us. And it's basically coping with the unbiked, the people you get who don't get it. Uh, the people in your life who like, I don't know why you fool around with those dangerous devil machines for, you know, that kind of thing. Um, I mean, I could do, I could do a hunk. I could do like an hour I could do, you know, but. Um, you really have to think about, you know, what, what, what do you tell people that just don't get why you're passionate about riding motorcycles? Why don't you just take the car? I mean, you're going a long way. How do you guys get along without air conditioning? That's weird. Or like me, you've broken your leg three times. Why are you still riding motorcycles? And I always tell people I'm just not that bright, you know? Um, I guess I'm just stupid. I don't know.

Robin: That's a great response. Whatever gets you out of the conversation

Brian: is the way I look at it. Yeah, the conversations never go anywhere. That's one way to put it.

Robin: If it becomes a last word freak situation where they constantly say, I, I just don't get it. And then they walk away. They have to have that last bit of just doesn't make any sense to be stuff

Brian: going on. Right. Yeah. Must have a death wish. I don't know. Um, what I can say is that the people that are closest to me that know me, the best are, they get it, they, I mean, they don't get it for themselves, but they get that it's right for me. They get, they see the passion that I have to see the happiness that motorcycling brings me, uh, and they understand what a part of me it is. And. So, so the people I care about get it, or at least get why I get it. And, and, and it's not a problem. So like my wife, uh, you know, I was in the hospital, broken leg, number three. And someone said, Hey, are you still, are you going to let them keep riding? And she said the most beautiful thing. She said, I don't want to be around them if he can't ride motorcycles. No, we, you know, we don't decide things for each other that way. And. You know, that's the way she feels me, you know, my sister, my mom, you know, uh, my, you know, everybody in my life, you know, gets it. My boss, like he worries, yes, but he gets it. And so it's, uh, and so the people who don't get it, you know, is it really worth having a conversation? Like you said, just, uh, say, yeah, I must be dumb. And leave.

Robin: That's your way of doing it. I just get out of it quick, you know, like, why do you do that? It, you know, the whole motorcycles are dangerous thing. My usual out is just, yeah, you're right. Yep. Good chat. Hey, that was really amazing. Anyhow, I got to get back to what I was doing. Anybody that knows me knows better than to challenge my desire to ride.

Brian: You know what I mean? Yeah. Same here. Yeah. It's just not, yeah, it's just part of me. And. Has been for a long time. Um, I do think, um, one thing that really helped my wife was meeting a lot of the people and hanging out with a lot of the people I ride with and she's grew to understand that we put a lot of value on skill and we're not out there just trying to outdo each other. We're not racing. Uh, we're not. You know, we're trying, we're not trying to see who's got the biggest, fuzziest, you know, uh, genitalia we're trying to see, we're trying to all have a good time and be safe and have a, you know, and really scratch that lean angle, that's that kind of thing. And so we're, we're talking about. And things like, you know, when we're just naturally talking about technique, we're talking about things. We saw she started to really get it a lot more. Once she hung around with you and with other people that I ride with, like, oh, okay, this is this is, you know, they're, they're, they're striving for a high level of skill. They're striving for a high level of safety. Everybody here has got a helmet on. Everybody's wearing all the gear. You know, nobody's doing anything stupid. You know, there's no. Thank you. Wheatley's that she saw, um, you know, there's, there's, so, so seeing, you know, seeing that it's, you know, nobody's, nobody's. Drinking beer while at lunch, that kind of stuff. So she sees there's a certain mindset and she feels a lot, feels a lot better about like, Oh, okay. I kind of get this a little more. You're not just going out there and throwing yourselves around corners without any idea of what you're doing. You're going out there throwing yourselves around corners with some idea of what you're doing. And that makes a difference. I think when

Robin: a person asks us the questions about writing and it doesn't come off as judgmental or presuming that they're going to exit the conversation with a victory in they're not safe. When a perfect stranger knows how to ask the question and you can actually delve into a real answer, that can be very enlightening for the non writer. And you just sort of said it. Our writing. Circles, plural, and however they blend into one another at any given writing, gathering every person there is both asking questions and delivering answers. And that form of communication is being interwoven throughout the entire experience. There's a lot of stuff that we once knew that we might've focused on something else, and we have to return to, so I gotta ask that again to get an answer out of it, and then, we're all sort of keeping each other in line. With what is and is not good for finding the thrills we're after. We want to feel the thrill of the ride. And for us, it's not necessarily about that sunset or any of that, but it's more about how can we self assess and develop among our peers? And continue to enjoy what we do and attain that fun, awesome hang time and writing experience that we're always after. Yeah.

Brian: What you're talking about is shared values. We all have a similar set of values and we're there, we're there to, we're there to have a good time. And with, and so there ends up being a lot of things in common. And this is, and this goes back to something else with when, when people. First, buy a motorcycle or think about it. Uh, there is a process where you have to find your tribe. And so, um, and it's like anything else that is difficult and takes skill and, and is, can be dangerous and things like that. Um, you can find a lot of tribes that will not do you any good. You'll, you can find a tribe that likes to hang around in taverns and then ride 5 miles to the next one. And then you've, you've done 30 miles for the day and you're drunk. Um, you can find that tribe. You can find, you can find, uh, You can find, you know, I've, I've, I've fallen in accidentally with the off road tribe who doesn't respect anybody's property. They just ride wherever the hell they want. And I'm like, okay, this is not my tribe. So yeah, you have to find your trial. You have to find, you know, and that's, I mean, hopefully the tribe of people listening to this kind of get that because sport touring people, we call it sport touring, which is as good a name as any, but, but that kind of tribe that really values skill that values. You know, getting those thrills, but also values being responsible, returning home, you know, not screwing up yourself or your machine, that kind of thing. And, uh, you know, like I, I showed up at a Suzuki GS vintage rally and absolutely everybody there had on a helmet. Absolutely. Everybody there had gear on. Nobody even talked about it. It was just like, Oh, okay. I found a tribe here that I can get along with. Um, so that's part of it too. But yeah, it's, uh, explaining to the people that don't get it. You can do some. And then there are times you just can't and, or you just had to hear their story about uncle who, you know, got drunk and borrowed his brother's Harley and, you know, killed, you know, you have to listen to the story and go, okay, you know, uh, but once people understand there's a lot of things you can control for, you know, if you're sober, if you're licensed, if you're trained, if you're geared up, if your bike's in good shape, you know, you're, you're way ahead of like 99 percent of people out there. So.

Robin: Well stated. And I'm looking at the outline here. Do I see that Brian's first track day?

Brian: Yeah. Um, one of Dale's suggestions was Brian's first track day. Here's my confession. I have never been to a track day. You're going to love it. I have never done a track day and people have called me a liar. When I say that it's like, no, I've never done a track day. So

Robin: it's very different riding on the street than it is riding at the race. So it's a completely different environment. I want to say all together, but there's only two of us to say it again together. So nevermind. We won't do the airplane thing. Is that airplane? That's airplane, right? Yeah. I highly recommend Motovid and I highly recommend you enjoy Road America or Blackhawk or go to Gingerman. Any one of those would be fantastic. A very controlled environment that you're not racing. It's not a race day. It's not a race day. So.

Brian: Is it a race day? Robin? No, it is not. So, so anyway, yeah. Dale and, and, and Neil and, and you and, and other people I ride with who, you know, uh, have given me all kinds of crap for not ever showing up at a track day yet. And I just need to get over my crap and I just need to do it. So I will, I will do a track day as early as I can in 2024. I don't, I think we're kind of out of time this year unless I go to like Florida or something. There's a really good track day that a lot of friends have gone to at, uh, Blackhawk and, um, it may be the one you're talking about. And I've, I've been to Gingerman as a race mechanic, uh, for a friend of mine, basically getting, yeah. Basically patching his bike back together when the idiot stuffs it. But anyway, he was, he had

Robin: trouble. I love gingerman. That's a great track.

Brian: Yeah. So yeah, I'm, I'm in, I'm doing it. I'm doing it in 24. So, uh, when I do it, then we will cover that for the podcast. It'll be, it'll be baby's very first track day. And I'm sure I'll be in the, uh, I'll be in the slow ass novice group and all that. Right. Anyway. Yeah. They, everybody goes into novice group. I know. Everybody goes to the novice group,

Robin: yes, but you do get to... Oftentimes they're organized in a way where you can choose your lane. Are you feeling slow this round, which can be a lot of fun. Are you feeling fast this round? You line up there and they assign the next control rider. This brings us to, now, normally we've still got a lot of work to do on one particular section of trip sevens. Excellent. Once I'm in Texas and I'm kicking back and I know I've got three months in one location, we will beat the daylights out of the Virginia, North Carolina situation. We'll call it that. Okay. But this round for Maptastic Mayhem, rather than us finding unique ways to describe what we're routing and where we're going and maps in Northeast and West of that, and if you look at this town and numbers, let's talk about something that I need help with. One on one therapy session with you, Mr. Ringer. All right. All right. And that is lodging.

Brian: You have some feelings. I, I logged onto Facebook for the first time in three months and, and, and notice that you had some feelings that you needed to bring out.

Robin: I don't even know where to begin with that, but I'm not going to, my review of this particular address is all over. Google. It's all over Yelp. It's all over this and that. And I have a rule. I do have a bit of a rule. It's like, if I'm gonna be that guy that is like, just slaughtering any location, I then challenge myself to write three positive reviews of places I've been. So like a three to one ratio of this place rocks, you know, Jonathan Creek Inn in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Beautiful place to stay just lovely. There's a couple other places in

Brian: Maggie Valley that are really good. Yeah, and, and the good reviews really for the, like these small businesses, the good reviews and the good ratings and the details really, really help them. So it's very, I mean, the corporate stuff, who cares, but the, the, the places, the restaurants and hotels and so forth that are run by individuals and small businesses, it really does help. So.

Robin: I won't risk the threat of mentioning all of the wonderful, beautiful hotels we've stayed at on Trip 7s, and there have been some duds too, that, you know, scouting is scouting. But the, I won't risk the safety of that tour with the different locations we'll actually be staying at. Every now and then I'll try to tangle a little web together. I will say the Jonathan Creek Inn and Maggie Valley My goodness. That's just a beautiful, beautiful place. Get yourself a room on the Creek side, go sit on the patio by yourself with a book. Listen to the water rumbling by that is gold, but this location, I'm going to flat out tell you, I will never stay at extended stay America ever again. The advertising was nonsense. You see that it accepts this, that they offer that, that you get free yada, and it's conveniently located next to blah. And then when you show up, they don't quite understand why you expected those things. They don't do that. And there's an extra fee for the feature that wasn't included when you were booked and you can't get your money back. There are plenty of security cameras inside. But there are none in their parking lot, and while they're explaining to you the things and the this and the blop, they're handing you a black and white, it may as well be white tracks on black piece of paper, you know, just Satan's contract. And you sign this thing, and that is how they say, we only accept responsibility for the things that happen inside, in pedestrian walkways. Our parking lot is off limits. They set you on the fourth floor so that they can make sure that whoever is living, and I do mean permanent residents, living on the first or second floor. What did I say in my review? Something about bleach and blood stained marijuana on every floor. They get you on a high enough floor that the people living downstairs can get to your vehicle, break into it at 9 AM, set the alarm off, and they steal your shit, and then, yeah. That's what happens. So that is a live rant. How does a person who finds that perfect road avoid the Airbnb that is a pile of hay in the top of a barn next

Brian: to the cow? I have a very unusual solution, but I'll, I'll, I'll share it.

Robin: Please be elaborate. Please be ornate. Please take on the details and tell me what is the secret to finding good lodging during your sport touring travels at TRO. Bike.

Brian: Tactic one is really simple and boring stick with certain chains that, you know, do a good job. I, you know, like, um, And they're going to be they're going to cost you more money But it's going to be you're going to have a nice boring night and that's kind of what you want sometimes So a holiday in express um um A fairmont in You know any of the hilton's stuff like that. I mean, that's the boring answer But it's also true. You're like, there are certain chains that, you know, they have standards and they do stick to them and they do a good job. And then underneath that, you have changed like the one you mentioned. And motel

Robin: six extended stay America.

Brian: Yeah. That can like, there's basically a certain level of you pays your money and he takes your chances. You, you get like. When you go to a Baymont, for example, you know that is that something like 30 percent of the stuff is going to be broken, but you save some. They're cheap and they're cheap and you'll probably get a bed. Um, and. You know, there's some in that tier where you take your chances a little bit, you know, so, like, there are places that we've gone in and my wife, like, immediately yanks the covers off, starts looking for bed bugs, and if there aren't any, we're like, all right, this is good enough, fine. So, so my secret. That's a good answer. Yeah, that's one good. So the unexpected one, which is more interesting, but I have found works really well. Basically, you need a place to take a shower to clean your filthy carcass and you need a place to lay your clean carcass down for the evening and then wake up again and leave. So you don't need much unless you're, you know, Folks like us don't need much. So what, what I've found consistently works very well is to go kind of look around in the older part of the town. Like you're not going to find these on the internet. Usually they can be look around in the older part of town. What you want to find is an older hotel. It's one of those old motor court style hotels. A good example is the Rosemount in Bedford, Indiana. Oh yeah. Um, okay.

Robin: Now, if you talk to a local there, they'll have one thing to say. But our experience has been nothing but good.

Brian: So what you want to find in these places and then what you want to look for is like, it'll be kind of broken down. It'll be kind of old and that's fine. What you want to look for is someone like, are there, look for flowers. If there are flowers, someone cares. Someone's paying attention. This is someone's home. They're paying attention to it. They're taking care of it. Are they sweeping the sidewalks? Uh, is the grass mowed? You know, are they, is it, if it's run down, but they're taking care of it, you're like, okay. Yeah. This is a place that someone lives, and they're going to take care of it, and it's going to be clean. It might not be anything else, but it will be clean. And they'll keep it safe because it's their home. But it'll be bleach clean. Right. So then, so look around, you know, make sure, okay, this seems like it'll work. And then go inside. And there'll be a little office and if you smell like curry, you're home, that's what you want. You want someone, you want someone from India or somewhere in the Far East, whatever, uh, because they're the, basically the family is probably living in the building. So they're going to make sure it's safe. They're going to make sure it's clean. Now, the curtains might be from 1962. The towels might be leftovers from a holiday in from 1980. Um, But it'll be fine. You'll have a place to sleep. You'll have a place to clean off and you'll be safe and you'll be fine and it'll be really cheap. Uh, and so the other hint about that is see how much room is open your wallet and, uh, and there's, there's these things you can get still from ATMs are called. It's called dollar. It's called cash. So yes. Pay in cash, you'll get a great rate and you'll, you'll get a warm welcome and you'll get a, you'll get a room that is ridiculously clean. Uh, you won't get curtains that are that match. You won't get, uh, you know, the carpet will be kind of worn out. Uh, the sheets might be have holes in them, you know, but everything will be very clean and very taken care of. And that's what you want. That's my unusual hint, but it's always worked. That's a great answer. Yeah. I got a room in Canada for 25 one night for, and as a, as actually a guy, it was a Sikh, it was a guy in a turban. And so this guy had a whole comedy act. Like it was a whole, anyway, it was great. And it was 25 American cash. And, and like you could like, you know, the carpet was like almost worn out, but everything was ridiculously clean and we had a comfortable night and we took off the next morning and it was great. So that's awesome. I like that quite. It has never failed. Quite a bit. I was

Robin: trying to find a way to fit some wording in there to flip this negative connotation around as well and talk about some of those beautiful little mom pop places where not only are they loved and maintained, and yeah, there are flowers, they do take pride in, Being here and doing what they do and receiving people who need a place to rest their, their weary minds for the night, you know, but then there are those that really do stand out where they have not only locked it down. They are a destination, which we don't talk about a lot when we're talking about riding, but when you arrive and there's just a lot of luxury and comfort for a reasonable sum, I think that some of the places we stay. Along a tour, like sevens or our new Mexico tour or the sisters tour. Some of those locations are let's call it locally lavish. So these places are loved beyond, like it is not all their home. They take, they take even greater pride in it. They show some craftsmanship and that kind of stuff. They're a little harder to find, but reading the reviews and knowing which ones are actual. Yeah, it's, it appears to be that there's a lot of reviews that are just entered multiple times by different IP addresses that are the general manager of that particular establishment. Yeah. Extended stay America, Loveland. So,

Brian: you know, like. And you want to look for some variety and you want to look for some specifics, you know, because you're also any place, like I've been in beautiful places where some squeaker was mad because their cell phone didn't work, you know, or something stupid. Like, that's not what, you know,

Robin: they didn't take a sawzall to their truck's lock and then steal their GPS unit. You know what I mean?

Brian: Yeah, yeah, nothing like that. But yeah, so yeah, filtering, you know, you have to kind of use your user human filter that everybody has now. And, but look for variety, look for specifics, you know, like, Oh, I had a great night, right. You know, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. You know, look for little touches like that, that people have. Um, and I've, I've, I've found myself getting very choosy about. Breakfast, like there are places where I'll, yeah, I'll go ahead and I'll go ahead and tuck into the, the breakfast. But, uh, there are other times I've been in places that are nice and I go down and I look at breakfast. I'm like, eh, no, we'll, we'll, we'll go. We'll hit, we'll hit the local waffle home, you know, or something. If the eggs

Robin: look like they're full of Barbie microplastics. Yeah. Bacon looks like it's hot off the Easy Bake Oven. Yeah. Maybe question whether or not you'd rather go someplace that actually makes a breakfast. You know what I mean? Yeah. Contrary to our mutual friend's opinion. It's not going to be a waffle house or a anything of that nature. This place is

Brian: scary. Yeah. That's the point of going to a waffle house. It's scared the hell out of it. You live. It's thrilling the fear, the fear. And honestly, there've been times when I've been like, okay, we're not going to, we're not going to sit down for an hour and jack around over breakfast. We're going to, we're going to grab like a, like in, in, in pretty much any small town, the, the, the, um, The gas station is actually going to have decent breakfast sandwiches. Just grab it and get and grab and go. You know, we covered

Robin: that high and low in our first or either our first or second episode. Don't eat the afternoon breakfast sandwich. And if you're among the farms, you're fine. But then there are going to be some opportunities where, you know, we don't really like to drag breakfast out, but there are gonna be some chances you get where you sit down and you're like, no, no, no, no, this is a thing. The general public doesn't know about it. You're going to want to have this thing and you subtract a day off your life and enjoy the hell out of it along the ride.

Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you're, you know, grandma's grill or something, then, you know, take, take your time. Enjoy. Is there anything more that you want to add to that? There's not. Okay. Well, then I have

Robin: absolutely no smooth way to transition into what is Brian's tiny, tasty tool tips.

Brian: They're tiny. They're tasty. They're tips for tools. Branding, you know, branding.

Robin: TRO.

Brian: Bike. TRO. Bike. I'm going to, uh, hit a couple of things here that are related. Uh, one is not really a tool unless you're the tool. Robin, you're the tool. All right.

Robin: Can you highlight what we're discussing? So I can pretend like I know what I'm talking about.

Brian: Like pretend this is off the, off the dome. It's not written down anywhere. We're just making this up anyway. Um, this is a tool tip where you're the tool. So. Listen up anyway, this is an easy way to learn how to learn how to pick up one end of the bike by levering it against the kickstand. And what I mean is put the bike on the kickstand, put your put yourself, you're the tool kind of on the forward end of the bike. Grab one of the grab, uh, grab the left hand grip and then reach across the back of the bike, grab something over there, luggage rack or whatever. And then if you lean back, so basically you angle, you kind of transfer your weight 45 degrees to the left in the front. And you pull on the other side of the bike, the rear tire will come off the ground with ridiculous ease. It's very easy. And when I demonstrate this for people. And you can turn the bike around. Yeah, you can do that too. Yeah, that's, that's, that's level two. Um, and you can do, anyway. People are routinely astonished when they see this. I'm like, no, it's really you can hold this with one hand. And and so that's a great way to, uh, for example, you know, like, I can hold up someone's bike for him that way, or they can, uh, and they can, uh, quickly, you know, clean and lube the chain. Uh, and you can do the same thing. You, you go to the back of the bike and you kind of grab on somewhere up ahead, and Uh, you grab onto the handlebar at the front, and then you, you put, you put yourself behind the kickstand and then you can pull the front wheel off the off the ground real easily the same way. So this is it's a skill. You really should learn. It's pretty easy to do. Um, second related thing is, uh, just hit YouTube and look for some videos and learn how to pick up your bike by yourself. Um, when you're out on the road. Stuff happens, you know, people knock things over in parking lots. Sometimes nobody knows what happened. Um, stupid little draw, you know, it can,

Robin: it's not always malicious.

Brian: Yeah. And, and the way to make it worse is to get pissed off, to get angry. To, to bend down from the hips and yank the bike back up on its wheels, you know, doing your Hulk thing because you're mad and then blow out your spine. I mean, don't, you know, that's, and now you've got two dislocated shoulders. Yeah. Two discs. Your arms are dragging on the ground. You're, you're vertebrae are hanging out, you know, you're bleeding all over the place. You're not going to have any fun, but at

Robin: least I'm riding,

Brian: you know, at least I'm riding. So. There are some different techniques. Uh, I think the main thing, I mean, there are different ways to teach this, but the, there are some good videos on YouTube to kind of show you how to do this. Look for dual sport videos because dropping your bike is part of dual sport riding, and so there's some good tips for ways to do that in different terrain without injuring yourself. Like, like one way I've seen and, and used is to, you basically lay down on your belly and you put your chest up against the bike and you push, like you crawl, like you're some kind of worm, creature, lateral motion. Yeah, lateral motion, you know, and, and eventually, you know, you can, it, it, it shocks people, but yeah, so you need to be able to lift your bike. You need to be able to pick it up. Even if you're not going off road, stuff happens, uh, and learn the right technique before you need it. I

Robin: had a stop and flop in Leakey, Texas. This is the only time that my Beamer has. Been on its side since I've owned it. There's a street. It's like the main street in leaky Texas is it's like made of glass. I've talked about this on the podcast before. It's smooth as a bowling ball and it's like glazed powdered sugar dust all over it. And I've got my route telling me where to go. And I know this about this road, but I hadn't been there in a minute. So I go to, I see that it's time for me to make my right. I'm like, Oh, there it is. And I turn my handlebars and the bike continued just going straight. I like, well, that's not good. And I start to make the turn. And of course I just continue to follow through the motions. I, you know, like you said, keep flying a plane. I'm just like, well, make the, no, it just, it just didn't work out. It just didn't work out. I was going maybe five miles an hour. I was quite frankly going five miles an hour, but it gave out and, uh, the bike ended up on its side. So by the way, of course, after this instance, I clearly, I removed the crash bars cause it looks cooler. So that joke a million times too. But, uh, so I got some crash bars for sale, but so there are two guys over at the gas station. They do the, the running over, right? Couple of Harley

Brian: riders come running over. Yeah, their arms. And yeah, yeah. Yeah. Oh, we

Robin: will help and whatever. That was kind. I do appreciate it. That's a nice gesture, rider to rider, but I think they were stunned at how kind of calm I was because it's just like, all right, well, the bike's on the side and I'm not going to need help getting this thing up. My way was, okay, first turn the dang thing off. So it was on the right side. I flipped up the. Side stand and got enough of my leg leveraged underneath to gently hold the front brake push forward Kind of wanted to slide that concerned me a little bit But I managed to get up and then just gently place it on its left Give it a good once over and off I went, you know, but calm calm for these kind of situations.

Brian: Yeah, no hulking No, I agree. Yeah, no look Yeah

Robin: And you're right there. So there's so many great techniques to do it So long as you're lifting with your legs and so long as you're using leverage, you will get that bike up with gentle pushing and, and slow concentrated force, not the

Brian: bad kind. Yeah, I'll just mention very quickly two related things. Um, crash bars, I think are kind of needed on a bike when that goes places. Um, you know, some people, they don't look cool. Some people take them off because they don't look cool. Um, but I, I make sure every bike I have has them because, you know, say some, you know, somebody bumps into a hotel parking lot, it falls over and you don't find it until the next morning, you know, there's a hole in the engine or the radiator is all jacked up, which happens with a lot of, a lot of bikes are not. Tolerant of a drop, uh, BMWs kind of are actually, uh, and in some ways, surprisingly, yeah, surprisingly. Um, I just think there, I just think you have to think about that stuff and things like bar in protectors, maybe something like that, or at least like, like the little engine guards that poke out their little pucks on the side. Those can, those can help that kind of thing.

Robin: That's what I was thinking. I'd like to get is just the track knobs that stick out.

Brian: You know what I mean? Not like, not like if you're going to low side at 80 miles an hour, it's going to protect it. But, you know, if it's the kind of thing, if it falls over in a waffle house parking lot with everybody watching, you know, then you, then you're not going to leave a puddle. Uh, and the 2nd thing is, uh, I usually carry, uh, unless I've got hand guards on, like my KLR has hand guards. So it's been through some brutal stuff, uh, without bending the levers. So I don't carry them really. But like my Yamaha and my GS, I carry a spare levers under the seat. So they're kind of bundled together and you can get like janky, crappy levers off of eBay or something like that. All you need is something to get you home and, or like get, get OEM levers from somebody who installed like janky eBay levers, you know, something like that. Um, put them under there, make sure they don't rattle and beat around and they're not going to corrode too bad or anything like that, but they're good to have. And they can save a trip, you know? I mean, if you're going to go. You know, a hundred miles from home and 200 miles, 600 miles from home. Something to think about, something to have.

Robin: This brings up two products. I'll definitely mention. One is the snap Jack. You were talking about lifting up the, uh, sideand. Yeah. And if you're alone and. You're needing to lube the chain, the snapjack. I think there's two versions of it now, but we talk about it. If you go to TRO dot bike and search for snapjack, read about that. It's a great little product to keep on you. And the other thing is when you're talking about it, you don't even necessarily need to have levers. You can have those plastic caps that go over them, but I don't remember what they're called. We use them with trainer bikes for MSF courses. They've been dropped too many times where the lever breaks off.

Brian: Oh, okay. You know what I mean? Oh, to keep it, keep like at the end of the lever breaks off because most OEM levers have a little weak spot, so it pops off. So yeah. And that's sharp though. You want to cover it with something. Okay. That makes sense. The thing you cover it

Robin: with is a fake lever made of plastic.

Brian: I don't even know what those are called. Yeah, the, uh, yeah. And dual sport bikes, you, you need to have hand guards. Um, you're going, you're going to drop it. So just get some, you know, get some guards on there and it'll keep all that stuff from, uh, it gets expensive if you have to replace that stuff or boxing

Robin: mitts, just right, right. And boxing bets. We have to give the world a heads up. There podcast and it's called. The Chronicles of Wire. We'll see what happens with this. It's new. Brian's done a lot of work here. We'll figure it out, but listen for that in coming episodes. It is time for reheated, rehashed, tasty leftovers served hot and

Brian: crusty. In this segment, we'll read an excerpt from one of Brian and Robin's past TRO blog articles on sport touring motorcycles, and discuss, does it hold up? Do Brian and Robin disagree? Can we get a fight going? What would we say differently, or what would we add? And today's reading is from Ten Commandments for the Sport, Touring, and Ride Leader. It's an article I wrote back in 2019, and it still holds up. And today we shall read from the scriptures of Commandments 7 and 8, because they're both kind of, uh, Commandments 7 and 8 are kind of short, and they're kind of, uh, to the point. So I don't think they actually have much argument about it. Commandments 7. Thou shalt stop about every 90 minutes. Now, this is just a rule of thumb that works for most groups, but as a ride leader, I've found that stops every 60 to 75 miles work best. With dual sport rides, this can be as few as 25 to 40 miles. If you've all agreed to just grind through an unpleasant slice of slab, this can go as high as 120 miles or more, depending on gas tank and bladder capacity. Older or newer riders might prefer to stop every hour. Afternoon stops often end up closer together as riders get tired. So a nice long, brisk day would be one or two morning stops, lunch, then two or three stops in the afternoon. Depending on the twistology factor and the length of the day, that's anywhere from 150 to 300 twisty miles in a route. More if you're traveling and significant slabs of interstate are on the menu. Now I know Robin has a modification of that where, and it's a great one, where the first stop of each day Oh

Robin: man, you're saying that now, but I was ready to

Brian: argue. You're wrong. You're wrong.

Robin: I

Brian: am right and you are wrong. Tell me how I'm wrong, Robin. I don't think you are.

Robin: I do a specific ratio set. And you know the part where it's a 30 30. So when I have people follow me on a tour, the first 30 minutes or 30 miles, stop. Because we all drink coffee and it's a poison. Caffeine is a poison. The caffeine will stick around, but your body is trying to get rid of the rest of the water. And so you need to stop. I've seen things with riders who needed to stop and when I did not know any better. So 30, 30 for the first one, and then 60 miles, 60 minutes for the second one. Now this assumes that, you know, like I was interrupting Brian before, while he was reading from the article, this is a sport touring site. We are looking for twisty roads, curves, you know, we want a dreidel. Awesomes and routes that are entertaining and it's 60 miles of that. You start thinking, let's just take five. And I do mean five, not 20, right? Take five, stretch the legs, breathe, take a leak. If you gotta do what you gotta do and then get back to it. So 30, 30 for the first run, 60, 60 for the next one, you start talking about 90. I start talking about, I'm going to pull away and I'll catch up to you in a bit.

Brian: Yeah, it might be a little much. Yeah. Yeah. If you want to see

Robin: me completely take the longest break you've ever seen, tell me about the slab ride you want to take into the sunset, just so you can cover four states in a day and I'll say, I'm going to take a long break and I'll meet you back here, you guys get started and I'll be right here when we all convene at this same location.

Brian: One thing I found is that if, for those, I agree, having a short stop more often is often a better tactic, and if you can manage to do those, like, not at a gas station, I don't know what it is about gas station. I've never seen any dancing girls. I've never seen any, anything fascinating at a gas station ever, but they're like glue traps. I so wish

Robin: they would do that. Loves, are you listening?

Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Loves need some dancing girls. I mean, gas stations are like glue traps. You know, if you're, you're. You're stuck there for a while, you know, so, um, yeah, stop in the middle of nowhere. Like even just like a bridge over like a little Creek somewhere will offer enough cover for, for at least the mail writers to take care of some business. Um,

Robin: that may be play that may have some play in there as you know, you end up with people who need different facilities, but I agree with you. It's like. You can stop at the gas station and do a splash and dash and then go stop beyond it by a couple of miles and find something way better than that parking lot.

Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. If you make it clear, we're going to do a splash and go. Don't take your helmet off. You know, yeah, it depends on where you are. So anyway. All right. Uh, that was a short one. Commandment 8 is a big one, so let's, we'll start on this. Commandment 8, Thou shalt observe the state of thy flock. When you arrive at a stop sign or pull out the helmets at a gas station or rib joint, what you want to see is a state of attentive bliss. Seal clapping, glove high fives, happy incoherent babbling, Robin, and similar expressions of joy are great. Frowns, red eyes, shaking hands, anger, thousand yard stares, and cornstalks caught in the frame are danger signs that need to be addressed immediately. So at stops, uh, ride leaders, and everyone really, should quickly and quietly check in with each rider. Mention the probable time to lunch at the hotel. Make sure they're safe and happy. Ask riders you know well to keep an eye on things, too. And also be aware of the heat, cold rain also add to the emotional load and mental load and stress. Each writer feels and adjust your plans as needed. Um, now we don't talk about feelings, I know, but we're going to emotional danger. Signs include mistakes. Uh, you can't spot writing errors from up front unless things really go wrong and it creates a mushroom cloud, but there are still signs, maybe a writer who. Maybe a rider who suddenly slows way down, somebody keeps looking at or fiddling with their bike, or they look shy, isolated, or even angry, is starting to make mistakes and needs to take a break. Often riders who have scared themselves will say things like, Man, I almost lost it back there. Or start asking how far more often if they're getting tired. Pay attention to other riders. Oftentimes a rider having trouble has a buddy who hangs back with them. And sometimes other riders will express concern. Um. The next one is harshing the mellow you want to mellow. You know, if someone is getting upset or mad at you at other writers as a giant red flag, it's time to stop immediately and address the situation. Even if it gets personal, bear in mind that anger is often how fear is expressed. It's the thing dudes do, you know? Most often, anger or other negative vibes stem from a writer who's in way over their head in some way. They're trying too hard to keep up, or maybe they're tired, or hungry, or lost. You know, maybe they just need to know where they are. So watch for changes in mood, isolation, shaking hands, loud complaining, and similar signs of emotional distress. Then roll out your portable couch and how do you feel? Want to talk about it? Um, the other thing to watch for is fatigue. Watch for signs of exhaustion like helmet down on the tank at stops, red baggy eyes, or flopping onto the grass at filthy gas stations. That's just ew. Sometimes it's a side effect of strong beverages the night before or they had trouble sleeping. So time for a rest and some hydration and maybe some caffeine if that's what they need. Uh, last one is discomfort. If you start seeing squirming and stretching at stop signs, riders standing up to ease their aching buns, or they're doing pee pee dances, it's time for a stop. Watch for signs of increasing discomfort as the day wears on, and try to space stops a little closer together, uh, in the afternoons. Man.

Robin: This touches on, there's

Brian: a lot, a lot. It is a lot. Have you, let me ask you this. I've had people get angry at me for the route and I'm sure I think maybe you have too, and it's not really anger. It's, it's fear. You have to talk about it. You know, you have to do, you have to change something.

Robin: Yeah. If the route has a writer adjusting and governing their own risk. Assessment, like the risks they're willing to take on, it just interferes with whatever frustrations they've already have going on. I can definitely think of a writer on a TRO tour. And just by saying that any writer who's ever gone on a TRO tour right now, I was thinking he's talking about me, but this very particular character is resistant to new knowledge. They're a good writer, but they are. resistant to adding tools to their arsenal and feel that riding with the right people without learning to understand whatever those tools may be, just the doing will make them better. But anybody who is worth their weight on a bike knows that there have to be some things to focus on to make you that better rider. Some understanding of why you're practicing something different than before. And not that a tour is the right environment to do that at all anyhow. But when the resistance to new understanding is coupled with more of the same for extended periods of time, and this person is perhaps less rested than the lot, it's, it's a lot, you know. This can actually feed into a frenzy of discomfort for the entire group as they're going along. Yeah. The hardest part about what I'm describing to you is that this writer, we want them there. Everybody likes this person, but we also want them to heed our suggestion. Like you're, you've been talking about a track day and I'm like, Brian, you gotta do this. It will give you so many things to think about. Outside of the track, not, not things that you're going to do on the streets that are just ludicrously stupid because they make us all look bad because you did it at a racetrack. But you get a chance to test some theories in a way where you've got all the runoff and things like that. So, in this particular case I'm describing, yeah, they started to get upset once we would all convene. If you've got an issue, flash your lights. If you've got an issue, make some noise, raise a hand. If I've seen that same thousand yard stare that was induced from the evening before on the fourth day, it's hard to tell whether or not there's something wrong or if there's just something wrong. So to try to figure that out, weighing it against the stoicism of somebody's personality, that can be extremely difficult to do. It is very touchy. It affects all around you. So this strain, this tension, it can actually influence the writing of the people who are trying to keep everybody else in the flock organized. It's a tough thing to know when it's that, that you identified. I hear you, man, you're nailing it, but, uh, whittle it down, man, the version that you're describing. Is a lot easier to manage because you can probably start to see it coming than those who are perhaps more introverted. Let's call it that. Be an independent thinker and know when it's time to tell the ride leader, Hey, I've got a thing that takes a brutal amount of confidence and

Brian: humility. Yeah. And I've had people get into trouble and even seen crashes happen because someone didn't want to. Didn't want to stop, you know, didn't want to stop, you know, it's like, and, uh, when they should have or, you know, and fix, you know, and fix a problem with their, you know, their gear or their britches or their, you know, their bike, uh, things like that. So, yeah, I, you know, the more I ride, the more I ride with other people, I really, it's a little rolling community and you really have to take care of each other and that's. That's really, that's difficult for everybody. Um, but it's something you have to think about and be mindful of. Yeah. Let's flip this coin. All right.

Robin: Our own Tim Clark is on his way here to lead a rally ride of varying rider types, a plethora. I am one of the people on this ride that may have to say, Hey man, you know what? Today I'm going to do an out and back. Because the low temperature at the campsite tonight is 38 degrees, which I mean, we talked about it while he was here. Like, you know, just let it, Hey, go enjoy the time. Go do the camping. If I see it starting to approach the 35 mark, I'm going to start to reassess like, is there a chance of snow? Do I really want this? And I've got to decide for myself if I'm going to do that and it's going to upset him if I don't. Now, there is a reversal, you know, what do you do, what's your take

Brian: on that? So what you're saying is if you, if you, if you gut it out, if you stay with it and you're up all night, freezing your butt off and you're miserable all night, you're miserable all day. The next day, he's going to be unhappy. You know, he's not, he doesn't want that for you. Well.

Robin: No, I think he's going to be unhappy if I don't do that. That's what I'm saying. If I don't ride to the campsite, freeze my ass all night, ride back the next day. What'll happen is if I do that, then the next day I won't ride. I'll be like, well, I got to get over that. I'm going to sleep that crap off. You know, I've got icicles and bear snot in my still open wound in my arm. You know, it's going to give me a day.

Brian: Yeah, it's a tough call. Yeah, but you got to do what's right for you. And the other thing, it's like writing, you know, maybe, maybe there's something you can learn from how to, how to stay warm and, and, and make friends with the bears and things like that. Uh,

Robin: I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the ride. It's going to be

Brian: good. I know this. I've spent a lot of time in cold weather, backpacking and things like that. And 1 of the hardest things to learn when you're sleeping at cold temperatures is just don't panic. If your feet, if your feet get cold, if you start getting cold while you're sleeping, your body panics. Absolutely. Like, Oh, my God, we're going to die. And you kind of need to, like, um, you know, you kind of need to be able to, to, to tamp that down, um, somewhat. And it takes practice. Um. Yeah. Yeah. So maybe that's something you can learn, or maybe you're like, you know, for my own safety, I'm going to do what I need to do. And, and y'all can go say hi to Yogi for me, you know?

Robin: When you host next week with Travis don't listen to him. Yes, I do camp. Yes, I grew up camping Yes, I camped a lot. We when we rode to Portland and back way back in 2015 I kind of like was you know, we did a couple of KOA's and then the weather was just too rough was like no screw this man. Let's go at the time They were still hojos, but whatever back. That's that's it. Hey, I did I do my first call back I did my first call back lodging. Did you catch

Brian: back to lodging? Excellent. I'm so happy. I'm happy for you Robin

Robin: How about we get into tales from planet that guy, because Brian, we've all been that guy. We've all written with that guy. Let's talk about that guy,

Brian: Brian. Let's talk about not that guy, but those guys. Let's talk about those guys who stayed up late. Yeah, we totally don't. We're totally, we're totally off the dome. We're not working for notes at all here. Are we?

Robin: My mouth is shut. That is hilarious.

Brian: Go on. All right. Those guys who the night before a ride in Wisconsin in October, uh, stayed up late till about 1. 30 in the morning installing heated grips because you got to have heated grips if you're heading into Wisconsin in October, right? And about noon the next day, Found out that the heated grips were wired to the brake light and not a switched positive. So that means the grips would occasionally get warm while the brake was on. It stops like at a stop light And then the warmth would That's brilliant, man, and we figured this out. I mean, we, because I'm guilty. I'm, I'm one of that. I'm that guy. And I, I'm probably more responsible because I'm the one who knew how to install them or I thought I did. Um, so, yeah, so in a gas station. We, you know, we took apart the bike. We got the heated grips hooked up to the correct wire, which was right next to the brake light wire. And, and, and, and all was well, well done, sir. That was me. I was that guy. I was that guy. I was 1 of those guys. I mean. I can't blame, I can't blame Tim. He may be, he knows, but yeah, the whole next day it's like, man, these, my hands are freezing. These aren't working very well. I was like, yeah, they don't work. Well, you know, it's cold. That's kind of normal. They're not, it's not like it's going to blast you with heat. Um, so I just discounted it until finally we looked and yeah, so perfect. So don't modify your wiring the day before ride with something that affects, uh, safety, just a little. And don't be that guy.

Robin: So next episode, we'll start with the three poops as Brian uses the poop emojis to bookmark where we're at. Three poops will be next to two headed coin, and we'll pick it up next time on TRO. Bike, Radio TRO, TheRidingObsession. com,

Brian: NetOrg.

Robin: Bike.

Brian: Get us out of here, Brian. That's our episode for this round, so tune in next time for more discussion on all things specific to sport touring or universal to motorcycling as a whole. For Radio TRO, I'm Brian Ringer. And I'm Robert Dean. Safe travels, everyone.

The Gist

Step right up for your obscure motorcycle references and basic two wheel banter! We kick things off by resolving electrical issues on a Triumph 675 Street Triple R. We then delve into safety measures in our typical vague manner, leaving you (the listener) to decipher what standards should be met.

Our second act blends cultural commentary and sarcasm in overly ornate detail. Topics range from vintage Suzuki GS rallies to scouting for safe lodging. A cryptic "One Man Caravan" reference adds a bit of enigmatic charm for your abstract amusement.

Eventually, we visit more profound topics like engine guards and stamina levels during a lengthy ride. Notes about overcoming adversity and gaining rider confidence wrap it up tidy. Whether you're enlightened or mildly amused is entirely subjective but at the very least, it's great listening material for the commute!

Kit We're "Blatantly Pushing You To Buy"

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kbutler6il says:

I really enjoyed this. Thanks, guys.

- Kevin B. in Deerfield, IL

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