Days 10 & 11

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Made it into West Virginia yesterday morning and hit upon some spectacular views – I’d forgotten how beautiful this state really is. Here’s a set from early in the day:

and a nice shot of the bike with the country in the background,

I followed Rt 7 West for a solid portion of the day and then after a pretty violent lightning storm I grabbed 20 South because there was a sign noting a decent sized city about 40 miles south, by that point I’d done twice the distance as any other day so far. The thing was that Rt 20 had some pretty rough roads and there were a number of times when the Ural was launched into the air for brief thrilling moments. I think the last time it happened the weight of the bike landing on the pavement blew the rear tube.

Lost the ability to make forward progress in a tiny town called Folsom – which would be here:

The yellow X is where the bike stopped and the circled building which was right behind where I was temporarily stranded (just 2 hours or so) which I think was either a railroad depot or a school – but honestly I have no idea. Looked like a neat building, thought about exploring but couldn’t leave the bike unattended and had to wait for the tow truck.

That would be Evans Towing & Recovery – 24/7 service and strongly recommended to anyone who winds up broken down near Lexington W Virginia. Also, for the sake of tradition, the views from my stranded bike:

and on the flatbed where I ended up:

The options were this one or a Super 8 – and I’ve had bad luck with Super 8s.

Couldn’t get the tire/tube taken care of today but I did get it off the bike, fun work in 80 degree sun. The hardest part was getting the bike on the center stand with the flat rear tire – propped the rear wheel up on the toolkit to get some inches under the stand and then put everything I had into rocking it onto the stand.

As is my tradition I’m carrying enough tools to pull the bike completely apart – including a not so small set of Craftsman wrenches, two of each size of course.

The tires getting a bit worn down the center, not 100% sure that the motorcycle shop will be willing to replace just the tube, I think the wear is pretty close to where they’ll say no – but could let it pass. Worst case, I’ll get a new duel sport tire, that way I won’t need to replace the front tire too.

and one of my favorite views of the bike,

One of the bike shop’s is apparently just a 16 minute walk from here, so I’m thinking I might make a couple shoulder straps from Gorilla tape and carry the wheel to the shop like a backpack in the morning when they open. The theory is that if I come in on foot with an out of state license and a wheel strapped to my back they might just be motivated enough to help me get things taken care of straight away – which would be excellent because its supposed to rain again around 3pm tomorrow and I want to have the bike back together before that happens!

Then I’ll kill one more night here and head out on Sunday – going to start working my way north and head for Youngstown.

I’ll post more tomorrow after I’ve (hopefully) gotten the bike back together. Right now I’m going to go outside and smoke a mixture of pipe tobacco & pot rather than take a couple oxy and then I’m going to come back up here and pass out. Gotta be up early tomorrow, want to be at that bike shop when they open at 9am.

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