7/15/09, Pinetop, Az
Even after a hard night of partying, we woke up early & got ready for the ride home. We loaded both hondas into Tim's truck, got some coffee, & headed out.
The final group picture.
Since i was riding home alone, i decided to just take the pavement & not go the route i had planned. It would have been more off road & through unknown parts, some creek crossings, & through the rugged rim canyons. I'll take it another time when there are other riders.
But the ride along 260 is still very scenic. The first part is over 8k' & was chilly in my mesh jacket.
When i started down the hill into the payson area, the weather warmed considerably. The road was wide & easy, & there was not too much traffic. When i stopped & filled up, i had gotten 62 mpg in the drz.. not bad, but all the riding from the previous day had been real easy, & the first part of this day was mostly 50-60 mph.
As i headed down into the verde valley, it got downright hot. This was another 100*+ day, & it was midday. I got off of 260 & cut across fr618 toward sedona.
It was a hot, dusty road, but no one else was out. I cleared the dirt road, crossed I-17 & continued toward sedona. Here's the last bit of road into my home town.
I put a little over 500 miles on my bike. I did have a mishap on the first day. When turning around looking for a shortcut to pavement, i dropped my bike in the ruts on the rim road. The shift lever re-injured the jb weld patch job on my case & oil began dripping out. I thought about fixing it, but the drip was slow, so i just bought another quart of oil & watched the level. I put about 1/2 qt in on the day 2 ride, then the other half on the ride home. But it was nothing compared to Tom's gruesome crash.
I think looking back, it was too long of a ride for Tom (& me for that matter) to ride off road. We took too few breaks, only had a snack, & probably didn't drink enough (except for the margaritas, later!). Tom is a very capable rider, & could ride that section 50 times with no problem. It was just a perfect storm & a moments lapse. But it does show how attentive we have to be when riding. He was lucky it wasn't worse. There is little room for error when riding like we do.. especially when there are long sections where disaster is lurking. Perhaps had we stopped for a short break when we got into the rutted road, we might have been fresher & not had the lapse. It's hard to second guess after the fact, but it is good to learn from our mistakes & know our limitations.
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