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A passion for motorcycling, a passion for each other …

We finally got out on a ride together

Vicky ocean and bike

 

 

Last weekend we finally got out on a ride together. First trip on the new BMW GSA, two up and loaded.  The bike worked flawlessly. It carries the two of us very well, I don’t even notice the weight the passenger or panniers. We used a BMW GS on our south America trip last year, so wasn’t too new to either of us. Vicky cannot ride solo yet due to her knee  injury now more than 3 months out. But I can say she is making progress. She worked all last week. Can walk way better than me. Just doesn’t feel safe on her own bike yet. It was hard enough to get her on the back of the big new BMW GSA for this trip. I think I have lost her trust in me for safety after my near fatal crash. I personally know the only reason I crashed was my fault of racing on a mountain road with uncontrolled traffic. Totally my fault, hopefully will not be so stupid again. And I have completely wrecked my left knee for punishment. I can ride however. It will be a bit before I can ride dirt. I have trouble standing and am in a lot of pain all the time. But hey at least I am on the bike. Making progress everyday.

Our little ride last weekend was 450 miles. Saturday road to the coast for some Ocean therapy, always good. Had coffee at our favorite spot in Sausilito, CA then rode over the golden gate bridge. Temperature was cool 60’s with mist and a little fog. Nice compared to over a 100 degrees here in Sacramento, CA. After crossing the golden gate bridge we took the first right onto the scenic coast road, past Baker Beach, China Beach, then past the VA Hospital I use to work at. From there we stayed on the coast road, past the Seal Rock Inn, great hotel with restaurant. I lived there for several years part time while working at the VA. Highly recommend this for a hotel on the coast and still in the city. Runs about $200 a night, requires a reservation, and on weekends they want you to stay two nights. Great parking under the building that is free. All in all cheaper than staying downtown. Quite and Romantic with view of ocean from many of the rooms.

Vicky-Saulito.jpg

From here it was past the cliff house restaurant and the San Francisco Beach. You can alway find a place to park at this beach because is is almost always cold and windy. From it you stay right on highway 1 to Pacifica. Rockaway beach is just south of Pacifica and we have stayed there at least 3 times, different hotel each time, good food and good view. You can often get a room without a reservation on www.hotels.com for $150. No complaints from any of these. Less than 20 miles from San Francisco and much cheaper with a better view.

Our goal for the first night was Monterey or at least close to there. South of Pacifica the coast gets good. From Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz it’s the closest thing to Big Sur Coast scenery you are gonna get. We got a bit tired and started looking for a hotel on www.hotels.com. We found a nice hotel on the beach in Marina which is just 5 miles north of Monterary. Lovely hotel for about $150 with an extra large hot tub.  Off to dinner for Mexican food and a Margarita.

Vicky coffee monteray

Sunday morning we went for Coffee in a real cup in Monteray and then the lovely coast of Pacific Grove. The coast from Monteray Pacific grove is the closest thing you are going to get to getting the ride 18 mile drive in Pebble Beach which is off limits to motorcycles.

After this is was a bee line for home.

We left the cool coast of northern California and return to the inland 100 degree heat of Sacramento.

The BMW 1200 GSA loves to eat up the miles on just about any road. Much better on the freeway than my KTM 1190r but I am sure will be a bit tougher to handle on rough dirt, sand and mud. That will have to be another ride and another day.

Good to be back not he bike.

Hope to get Vicky on her own bike soon but until then we can ride two up and have some fun. BMW GSA 1200

The next weekend ride will East instead of West over the mountain passes before the snow closes them for the year.  Usually we would have been riding over them all summer, we missed that fun this year due to injuries.

I am thinking Virginia City Nevada a fun old Silver town near Reno.

New 2017 BMW GS adventure replaces KTM 1190 in our fleet.

I totaled my 2014 KTM 1190r with only 35,000 miles on it, but repairs for parts alone added up to over $5000 and then the labor and time. I gave up on it. Yes sad I don’t quit very often. Actually I have a tattoo on my left arm that reads “QINAO” “quitting is not an option”.  I sold the carcass of a great bike for $750.  I only lost about $18,000 on that deal. Really with 35,000 miles on her she was probably only worth $9000. You know we tend to love our motorcycles and think they are worth more than they are.  It’s called Love

So I needed a replacement. Should I buy a new KTM 1090 for $16,000 or replace the KTM of our fleet with a new 2017 BMW GSA for $24,000?  Vicky and I rented a BMW GS in South America and it carried us both very well on the gravel roads of Chile and Argentina. I find it feels like a Land Rover with two wheels.

Yesterday we took the plunge and bought the BMW GS Adventure

I bought a red one to match Vicky’s BMW GS 700

Continue reading “New 2017 BMW GS adventure replaces KTM 1190 in our fleet.”

Leatt Knee Brace Protection for Motorcycling

Today it has been exactly 5 weeks since I collided with a truck in Colorado and really our last blog post on our site. I think it’s about time to start writing and that means start riding motorcycles again.  I am changing how I ride beginning with the addition of more protective gear.  Today I want to tell you about the Leatt Knee Brace Protection for motorcycle riders.

I road my KTM 690 about 100 miles yesterday, all pavement but still fun twisty mountain roads. This is only 4 weeks after fracturing my left radius (wrist) and left tibia/fibula (knee) and tearing most of the ligaments that hold my knee together off the tibia. How could I ride? Two things: 1- the bones are healing nicely, 2- I bought a exoskeleton brace that hold my knee very stable but allows movement needed to ride a motorcycle. Most motocross riders wear a knee brace and if I would have been wearing one I might not have such severe injuries.

So time for a product review.

Continue reading “Leatt Knee Brace Protection for Motorcycling”

Truck-Motorcycle Collide on Continental Divide Day 4

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Continental Divide Curvy Road
Continental Divide Curvy Road

 

This ended up being a more exciting day than I had planned. I hit a large truck on a gravel road blind turn at high speed.  Much of the Continental Divide Route is desolate with miles and miles of gravel roads.  But, on this one blind curve, there it was right in my path, moving toward me at 40 mph. No time to react.  I collided broadside of my motorcycle on the left,  hit the truck bumper and I went down.

I spent some time in the ER with a fracture of the left tibia and a left wrist fracture.  Because this time I was wearing all the gear I survived.  Klim Badlands Pro and Arai X-D4 — worth every penny.

This signaled the end of the ride for Jon Baker.  Vicky drove to El Norte CO to pick up Jon from the Windsor Hotel.  The motorcycle was taken by support truck to Gunnison Motorsports for evaluation.  What a great shop!!  These guys are awesome.

Gunnison Motorsports
Gunnison Motorsports

They determined the KTM 1190 is a total loss and cannot be repaired.  The frame and both forks were broken. The radiator was fractured.  Gunnison unpacked Vicky’s truck, loaded the KTM for us, and then re-packed the truck. Our truck bed required some modification to hook up the tie downs.  These guys just took care of it for us, fixing our truck bed.  All we can say is WOW!.  If you need help in Colorado go see Gunnison Motorsports.

 

We set out for the journey home.  Two on crutches, helping each other.  Both very sad to not be riding.  On the way home the highways were full of them!  It seemed like thousands of adventure riders out in this beautiful country.  We can’t wait to heal up and hit the road again.

Aspen lined trails, Continental Divide

But before the collision, the ride was awesome. Please watch the attached video clip to see some of the scenery and guys on motorcycles having fun–right up to the crash.  Of course the GoPro was turned off at the time of the crash.

Guys Havin’ Fun Continental Divide Day 4

Click Here for Youtube Video Day 4 Continental Divide

 

Some impassable mud on the route in northern New Mexico but nothing that a little scenic asphalt can not cure.

Got a Rocky Mountain high at 12,000!feet elevation.

 

Movie was made on my iPhone so not my best work.

 

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Jon is broken

Yesterday at about 415 pm I was coming down a gravel a little too fast and meet a pipeline workers truck on a blind turn.  It did no go well for me or my bike
I was hit broad side on my left side. This has fractured left tibia and I have a left wrist fracture.  I am now in extreme pain and basically nonfunctional. 

The turn was wild and I came into it a bit too fast. Both me and the truck meet in the middle of the road. The truck won the battle.


I believe I owe my life to my Aria helmet and Klim badlands pro suit.  No head or neck injury and no chest or abdominal injury

The truck driver was nice enough to give me a ride to the Del Norte hospital where I thought I got good care.

I’m out of the continental divide ride for this year

Vicky my lovely wife is driving out to take me home

The bike 2014 KTM 1190 r adventure is broken. Frame bent radiator broke front wheel bent and a list of injurys.

I’ll be shipping the bike back to Sacramento and see if MPC KTM can repaire it.
Well things change

The bike is broken beyond repair.  Frame is broken. Both forks broken many more things. It is now a parts bike. Sad.


Vicky is driving me back in the truck and we decided to bring the broken bike with us.


We are a site when we get out of the truck both of us on crutches.   I know people are thinking I crashed the bike with her on the back.  Not true.

We need a photo of the two crippled couple.

Problem Solving yields safe riding on the Continental Divide Day 3

Continental Divide day 3 began with problem solving for Randy.  He discovered a nail in his rear tire on his Suzuki 650 V Strom. Luckily for him and all of us, he has tubeless tires. He was able to fix it easily with a plug. The tire held up fine for the 195 miles of very rough terrain today.

Nail Discovered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a breakfast burrito and coffee we were off out of Grants New Mexico. We rode about 18 miles of pavement before hitting the wet mountain roads.

Steve checks the mud.

Thundershowers can change these roads within minutes from fun to impossible. Continue reading “Problem Solving yields safe riding on the Continental Divide Day 3”

Day 2 Motorcycling Continental Divide

It was as a very long hard day, 263 miles of dirt, sand, rocks, and mud.  Thunderstorms and rain showers mixed with dirt to give the greatest challenge of the day —- slippery mud.

Randy on a 650 v strom picked up so much mud his front wheel wouldn’t turn. With Steve’s help we cleaned out the fender then put a bungee cord around his front tire to clean out the mud with each turn.  Fantastic problem solving Steve! It worked!!

V Strom Wheel Locked With Mud
V Strom Wheel Locked With Mud

The water crossing was crazy deep.  Take a look, can’t see the bottom.  Most of us tried to go around it.  And yes, almost all of us took a mud bath. Sorry, no photos of the mud bath!

Motorcycle Water Crossing GCD, NM
Water Crossing Continental Divide Trail New Mexico

New Mexico is vastly empty yet very scenic. The air is clean and when it’s not raining, the sky is deep blue.

Motorcycle Scenes -- Church --Continental Divide, New Mexico
Motorcycle Scenes — Church –Continental Divide, New Mexico

Tonight we stay in Grant New Mexico in a cheap hotel on the historic Route 66.

Motorcycle Route 66, Grant, New Mexico
Motorcycle Route 66, Grant, New Mexico

All riders made it to Grants safe and sound.  Stay tuned for day 3….

Drone enhances Motorcycle Scenes along California Coast — Sea Lions

We love motorcycling California’s coast for many reasons.  The scenic beauty is among the best in the world and the ride is thrilling with endless hills and curves.  Wildlife such as sea gulls, whales, dolphins, and shark often appear, bringing astonishment and joy to the motorcycle ride.

To expand our view and capture the thrills of our discoveries Jon purchased a drone and frequently practices his flying skills.  Last weekend we drove along Pacific Coast Highway south of Fort Bragg.  We stopped frequently and took out the drone. Jon flew the drone along the shore to examine coves, driftwood huts, and the debris along the ocean shoreline.

We were surprised by a glimpse of sea lions resting along the shore.  At first glance I thought I saw a large pile of driftwood washed up on the beach.  As the drone approached the large pile of driftwood, the wood began to move.  When the drone lost altitude and got closer to the shore, we discovered it was not driftwood at all!  I was amazed at the variety of their color and skin patterns. It was a quick look because as soon as we realized what was on the shore, we quickly flew the drone away from the colony to avoid disturbing their peace.

Take a look and enjoy!

Sea Lion Colony. posted by Jon Baker on YouTube

Motorcycle the Great Continental Divide

Jon Baker departed this morning with much excitement as he begins his three week motorcycle adventure of the Great Continental Divide (GCD).

KTM 1190 outfitted with Soft Luggage for Continental Divide
KTM 1190 packed light with soft luggage

Jon is riding with GPSKevin Adventures for 13 days, 2700 miles of dirt from Mexico to Canada.  Today Jon left his home in Fair Oaks, CA.  He will be joined by part of the team as they head for California’s beautiful mountain passes before turning south.  Jon plans to complete 400 miles today stopping near San Bernardino to visit his old pal James Ball this evening. Tomorrow he heads on to New Mexico toward the start point for the GCD journey.  Jon is on his KTM 1190 looking to increase his skills for maneuvering this large beast on rough terrain along this 2700 mile dirt journey. He is packed with soft luggage and minimal gear to keep light and nimble for the most difficult parts of the off-road trails.

GPS Kevin Adventures Continental Divide Sacramento Team
Sacramento Team for Great Continental Divide

Stay tuned as we share photos, video, and stories from his daily adventure.

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