That was a long ride! I think I racked up 1800 km, 1000 yesterday alone. Some things I learned:
1) zigzag roads in the foothills are awesome. But be prepared for people to speed up when they see a motorcycle trying to pass them. You commonly have to surprise them with the pass attempt or they will try to thwart you.
2) mountain cycling is great, but the engine starts sounding a little weird near the top altitude going through passes. Then it starts sounding normal again on the other side.
3) nearly all other weird sounds come from the headlight can. That's my next project LOL
4) 38T sprocket is THE ONLY WAY to do this (even fully loaded, and with a windshield on, my bike wanted to drift towards 140 for cruising...had to keep an eye on that)
5) The passenger foot pegs can help you go another 50 km to the next stop before you @$$ falls off.
6) The hospitality of other bikers is rather amazing when they can identify with you
7) A tall thin 8L jerry can (actually holds 11 L) fits perfectly in a padded backpack which can then be strapped to the sissy bar and makes a great backrest AND nearly doubles your range.
7) Don't skimp on tires and the cost of installation. Either learn how to do it yourself, or spend the dollars on what a proper professional wants to get it done right. I had new tires put on my bike in May, by a backyard mechanic. He seemed legit, and only wanted $80 for both tires. Then, during this weekend, while doing 140 my back tire gave out. Luckily a) I was able to control the bike (fully loaded, at that speed) without dropping or flipping the bike, b) this happened literally next to a store called "Redneck Superstore". This was in a backwoods secondary highway 30 km from anything else. My tire flats right next to this store. Amazing. Now, they don't typically work on road bikes; more ATVs, dirtbikes etc. And, they didn't have a tube to fit my bike. But, the owner and his friend were there. His friend (and employee), hopped on his cycle and drove 45 minutes to get a tube from a dealership with a tube (and then another 45 minutes back). He brought it back and the owner and his kids showed me how to change a tire, and all the intricacies of doing it right. When they got my tire off, the backyard mechanic who did my tires allowed the tube to be fully twisted twice (of course it would have to be twice, as the tube fully twisted clockwise, then on the other side of the tube would have to fully twist back again in order to avoid breaking the laws of physics). Further, there were rust spots on many areas of the rim inside which were sharp enough to puncture a tube. They ground off the rust, properly set the tube, and got me back on my way. They couldn't balance the tire for me as they didn't have the proper equipment there, but I will worry about that next week. And, now my back tire has a straight valve which makes it hard to check the pressure or inflate; but that was the available tube.
Glad I had the trip, glad I had the experience, glad I took the course (otherwise I might be dead now), glad I lucked out to blow a tire next to these wonderfully accommodating people (did I mention the owner was going to be late to his house party as he was helping me). Just great!
Edited by cyanide, 10 July 2017 - 12:23 PM.