VOG Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love reading the threads started by those of you going on epic rides across the country. So finally I get my chance to join you in posting about my epic ride. Here's the plan: It's going to suck. I'm leaving the mountains, and heading for Kansas of all places, for some business and a wedding.

If you're still reading at this point, sit back and enjoy the ride, in essentially a straight line, with virtually no elevation change. I'll try to keep it as entertaining as I can.

Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Cloud

Ready to roll out with Mt. Herman in the background.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,971 Posts
I love reading the threads started by those of you going on epic rides across the country. So finally I get my chance to join you in posting about my epic ride. Here's the plan: It's going to suck. I'm leaving the mountains, and heading for Kansas of all places, for some business and a wedding.

If you're still reading at this point, sit back and enjoy the ride, in essentially a straight line, with virtually no elevation change. I'll try to keep it as entertaining as I can.

View attachment 360793
Ready to roll out with Mt. Herman in the background.
Best of luck and the search for a winding road is on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I made this trip a couple of years ago, I took I-70 and hammered it out in one day. Basically spent 10 hours leaning into the wind at about a 30 degree angle. Not real fun.

This time I zigzagged south and east through Colorado until I hit 96 (thanks, Lou!) Stopped for gas and a sandwich in Sheridan Lake just before the Kansas border.

Cloud Sky Automotive tire Asphalt Road surface


Once I got into Kansas I was not surprised to find the roads were straight and flat. Still, this is some really beautiful country, with fields of milo stretching to the horizon and endless blue sky.

Tire Wheel Cloud Sky Vehicle


Called it a day stopping in La Crosse, a few miles north of 96. Sadly, the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum was closed.

Sky Plant Cloud Tree Wood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,719 Posts
Back in August I rode out to Littleton. Took 36 across Missouri and Kansas and in Colorado to hit I70. Some interesting abandoned buildings along the way. It really wasn't the 2 lane blacktop I had hoped for.

If you have the time and are able to, hit the Motorcycle Museum in St Francis, Kansas. A few blocks North of US36 a bit West of Kansas 27. Nice place with some nice older bikes. Home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,656 Posts
Hope your bike has a sound system, besides what comes out of the tailpipes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
As I cross the Great Plains I am always struck by the vastness. My thoughts wander to those who first encounterd them and the way they must have felt. Leaving the mountains and heading into that great high prairie and grasslands that expand to the horizon and beyond like an ocean. To those accustomed to the eastern woodlands, or western mountains it must have seemed like another world. I think about the months it would have taken to cross on horseback or wagon, and the hardships endured by those that did. I love to watch the clouds form and build, or the endless blue sky. It is not a place I would choose to live, but I enjoy my trips west across it to the mountains, and the return trips across to my eastern home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alas, the stereo turns out to be pointless, @1stVictory. The wind picked up to normal Kansas standards on Day 2, so I wouldn't have been able to hear music anyway. Fortunately, I had the voices in my head to keep me company on the ride.

The awesome roads continued, heading east on Rt. 4 out of La Crosse. At Lindsborg I jogged south a bit to Smoky Valley Road, a narrow but very scenic ribbon of blacktop through rolling farmland. I was really enjoying it until I came upon a "Road Closed Ahead" sign. Not wanting to backtrack, I decided to chance it.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Road surface Asphalt


The detour took me on some decent gravel roads for a couple of miles. A little dust won't hurt anything.

Sky Plant Cloud Road surface Natural landscape


I approached the second "Road Closed Ahead" sign with more confidence. Sure, I'll wind up on dirt for another couple of miles. But this time there was no official detour. I had my choice of left or right, both dirt. I chose left, and found myself on what became, at times, smooth dirt, deep gravel, and two-track farm road with occasional mud. Definitely not what I signed up for, but there was some pretty cool scenery along the way.

Cloud Sky Plant Natural landscape Tree


After all of that, I somehow wound up back on Rt. 4. Go figure.

The remainder of the ride into Lawrence was uneventful. There will be no pictures of the wedding reception, however. Suffice it to say a good time was had by all, much alcohol was consumed, and my liver hates me. I'll take a short break to dig through the remaining pictures and post the next day's adventure shortly.

Cheers! :beer8:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Day 3 sucked, so there are no pictures.

It started with a short ride with a friend of mine who is just beginning to ride. That part didn't suck. But the wind was already terrible, and strong storms were forecast for later in the day. Dark clouds were building, giving the feel of riding into Mordor. I had to cut the ride short and start heading north and west to get to another friend's house in Clyde before Armageddon.

On US24 heading toward Manhattan, I fell in behind a Street Glide and two softtails. One had a really douchey 2-into-1 exhaust with an incredibly obnoxious rattle. He made it worse going through every small town by dropping down into first gear just to wind it up and shake windows. I'm sure the townsfolk loved him. Oh wait, loud pipes save lives.

They eventually peeled off, and I continued on to Clay Center, then north on Rt. 15 and west on 9 into Clyde. The wind became terrifying and I wondered if I was going to scrape the boards just leaning into it. When a truck passed going the other way, a wall of wind would hit like a hammer, sending a shudder through both me and the bike. Again, no stereo on the planet would have helped.

Ironically, as soon as the Vic was stowed safely in my friend's garage, the wind stopped and the sun came out. Catastrophic storms they had been calling for never materialized and it turned into an awesome day. Thank God for happy endings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are several places here in Kansas that you can still see the wagon ruts made on the Oregon and Sante Fe Trails.
I saw a couple signs for these, but didin't know what they were. Cruising along and seeing, "Oregon Trail Ruts -->" didn't inspire me to pull over.

I also forgot to mention the one redeeming moment from Day 3: Only in Kansas does one have to pull over and wait for a roof to pass...
Plant Sky Wheel Cloud Tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Continuing the journey, I rolled out of Clyde and started heading for home. First stop was just down Rt. 9 a bit in Concordia, for gas. This was on the wall of a building across the street.

Sky Building Plant Tree Road surface


From there I continued west on 9 which eventually meets up with US 24 a little east of Cawker City, my next stopping point. Who can possibly pass up a visit to the World's Largest Ball of Twine? This day it was even decorated for Halloween.

Smile Eye Wood Emoticon Automotive design


Across the street was this beautifully restored gas station, and nearby were a row of antique tractors, hopefully waiting to be restored. Check out the cool, OSHA-approved, belt-driven cross-cut saw mounted to the front of the Farmall.

Gas pump Sky Gasoline Filling station Gas
Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Tractor


The rest of the day was pretty uneventful as I cruised west along US 24. The wind was mercifully calm, the roads smooth, and the sun soothing. All of which made me a bit sleepy so I stopped for the night in Colby.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top