The fortress of solitude.

The fortress of solitude.

The Fortress of solitude

The Fortress of solitude

The fortress of solitude

The fortress of solitude

The fortress of Solitude - Map of my Journeys, Evgeni Malkin Jersey.

The fortress of Solitude - Map of my Journeys, Evgeni Malkin Jersey.

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This is my 2006 FLHXI Harley Street Glide. 120 Horsepower, 113 ft lbs of torque. I’m really proud and love this bike. I believe it came stock around 65-70 Horsepower, and the guy who built my engine tells me its the fastest harley he’s ever built, and he’s built them for years. Im not into the speed, but the power is nice pulling hills. Either way, I love it.

My goal is to get a second bike here in the next month or so from Pittsburgh and ride it back with my daughter Megan, along route 66. This blog is to document that and to maybe remember it and share it. I ride quite a lot, and my street glide is pretty unique to me in the fact that its almost double the horses of a stock harley, and its my first real harley after a couple different japanese cruisers. She’s like part of the family.

2006 Harley Davidson FLHXI Street Glide

I love riding. Ive not found another activity in life that I enjoy more. Its a stress reliever, its travel, its exposure to the elements. I love it. Love it when my wife and kids can go, so I’d like to get a full dresser to make alot of miles on this year. Riding it from Pittsburgh would be a good break in and a great ride. Im also looking forward to spending time with my oldest daughter on the trip. Its something not alot of people say theyve done: Ride a harley across America.

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Route 66 with Wendy

Posted in Family Rides by mrzip67

This weekend, it was just nice. All day friday I was kicking around thoughts of heading somewhere to get some ride time in, and around 3 on friday I came home, and asked if Wendy wanted to go. She did. Headed out around 3.

Wendy is a pro. Last year we loaded up and rode to Universal Studios on the bike in the heat of the summer, and she was a blast to take. Doesnt complain, and loves riding. I love the one on one time. I didnt have a ton of one on one trips with my Dad, and the one I did always meant alot to me. Its one of the reasons I bought the bike. I hope its a memory that means something to my girls. Not alot of 11 year olds can say theve ridden thousands of miles on a harley davidson and seeing their world. Thats my delusion anyway. We’ll see.

Wendy, at hoover Dam. Friday, May 16 2008

Made kingman before dark.

Wendy loves Hotels. She played her DS and even talked me into going swimming for a few. We crashed that night, and woke up to get some road behind us.

Kingman is a cool town to me for some reason. Its got alot of route 66 flavor, and its got all the modern conveniences. Plus its a gateway to alot of my favorite roads. to the east is Seligman, and a great old stretch of 66. the west is a great bike road through oatman, and california. I like to ride for kingman and decide which way Im going to go when Im at the intersection, and its usually always a great ride.

for the sake of time we went to oatman. Wendy had never seen it, and I thought she might like it. We headed out, and took the winding road up to oatman. There was a live wedding in the street, which was kind of cool to see. Ive seen a few gunfight shows, but not a wedding.

Oatman is one of the most unique towns, if not the most unique that I’ve ever seen. Around the turn of the century it was a booming mining town, and it still holds that feel. If it had a dirt street, I cant imagine a wild western town being much different. When the mines stopped producing, the miners left their burros and theyve thrived in the desert without any natural predators, and they still roam the streets.

Wendy found a ragged old cat, that apparantly liked to fight. His owner said he would leave for days and would come back all cut up, and would even take on coyotes and whoever crossed his path. Wendy made immediate friends. She has cat mojo. I even liked this cat.

Clark Gable and Carol lombard had their honeymoon at the oatman hotel. The hotel is a museum now, and we checked it out. Ive been to oatman a bunch, but that was the first time I’d been in the hotel. Theres even a tattoo shop there, but I didnt go in. Maybe I should check him out next time.

After about an hour of Oatman, we headed for the colorado river through Topock, then onto Needles. Wendy was beat. I made the mistake of not switching out a touring seat for my bike, and we both had a bad case of TB. We ate at dennys, and called Robyn to tell her we would head home. It was pretty hot, and Robyn and I had a Penguins NHL playoff game at 1pm, so I figured we’d head back. But I REALLY wanted to go to Amboy. Albert Okura had bought the town, and its one of my favorite spots on route 66, and a couple of weeks ago, they finally got the gas station open after a couple of years of work and about 750 grand. At the crossroads, I decided to spend another day, go to Amboy, and spend the night in Barstow.

Luckily, Ive got the best wife in the world. I called her and she got us a room in Barstow. We pulled in through record heat into Amboy and drank about a gallon of water and hung out for about an hour or so, resting our butts and hydrating up.

A tour bus overturned just east of ludlow, and eastbound highway was routed from I 40 down old 66. It was actually pretty cool to see Roy’s get so much business, and I couldnt help but thinking thats how it mustve been before it was bypassed in the early 70s. Even so, the one guy watching shop went out of his way to give Wendy a Roy’s T shirt for no charge, which I thought was really pretty cool. Ill always swing wide for Roys. Albert Okura paid 400k for the town. It’d be nice to have that kind of money, I’d like to own a town one day. Someday…..

We headed over to barstow, and just relaxed. Wendy was beat, and so was I. We woke up in the morning and made time to get back to st George, by 1pm, and made it. All in all, we’d rode 760 miles in less than 48 hours. Wendy is my riding buddy. I hope she had a good time. I know I did.

Ride Totals: 722 Miles, 4 States in 2 1/2 Days

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I went the greater part of my life without really knowing my brothers. I’d imagine that probably sounds wierd, but 10 years can be a big difference. I was 16 when I moved to St George, and our lives really never hooked up. We’ve all got our own lives, it just is what it is. So when Pat called me to hook up in Phoenix on an unusually warm indian kind of summer ride in phoenix, I was pretty pumped.

Head To Kingman – Thursday

Left around 3 to make it to kingman. Last time I rode to kingman in March, I froze my nuggets off. This time, the weather was just nice, and the ride went pretty fast. Made kingman by around 10. Grabbed some food, and hit the sack.

Head to Phoenix – Friday

They call it classic for a reason...woke up, fueled up and headed to phoenix. It was about 50 degrees when I left, but knew itd warm up heading south so I just made miles. The ride was awesome. Called Pat in Wickenburg, and by then it had warmed up to 70. Found the Hotel, and found pat working on his new bike about 10 blocks away. Pat bought a beautiful bike: an 08 limited edition 105th anniversary Heritage Softail Classic, and got his wife Staci a good looking matching sportie.

We didnt screw around too long, loaded up and headed out to Scottsdale. Hit up a couple harley shops, Went to a place out in cave creek that I’ve never been too, had a couple of greasy burgers and a few beers and shot the shit. Ended up at the pub next door to the hotel for a few single malts. So basically, 2 short harley diehards drinking scotch and riding alot. Easy peasy japanesy.

Side note: Registering your motorcycle in Arizona, especially Phoenix has HUGE advantages. FREEWAY ACTION SHOTS! How cool is that? The Great city of Phoenix took this nice shot of Pat, but for some reason I wasnt able to make the shot:

Big brother, watching my Big Brother....

Listen, can you hear Steppenwolf?

They emailed it to him for a small charge without even asking. Phoenix is good like that. Pffft.

Titan Missile Museum

Woke up, and hit another dealership on the way out of town heading to Tucson. Then it was open Road. We switched bikes and had my first shot and checking out a six speed transmission on Pat’s new ride. It was smooth. The whole bike was smooth. He had it set up just like he liked it, including a nav which came in pretty handy.

Looking down the siloOur first stop was pretty damn cool. The Titan missle Museum in Tucson. One of 3 left in the world (IIRC). We took the tour and I gotta say, was one of the cooler museums I’ve ever been in. The redundancy of the security, and a glimpse into cold war operations was really insightful. The 2 tour guides had actually worked at similar silos, and the tour was top Notch I thought. For 500 bucks you can spend the night there. I *WILL* do that before I die. I just need 500 bucks and robyn to go with me. The latter is gonna be tough…. (she’ll do it).

We then rode up to old Tucson. I gotta admit, I wasnt that prepared for it and missed more than I wished I had. We had an hour or so, since it was close to closing time, and I blew through it too fast. Pat is more of an old western afficinado and knew way more of the old movies that had been filmed there, and had been there a few times, but still, it was pretty cool. Knowing a few of the old movies that had been filmed there would have really been an experience. I need to watch a few more, and go back.

We headed back to our hotel in tucson, had a quick dinner and hit the sack.

Pima Air Museum – FridayN86488

Epic Day. I’ll admit it, I love museums. I almost dont even care what kind — some are obviously better than others, but this was one of the best also. Pima Air Museum. Spent about 3 1/2 hours there and definately another place to go back. I think they had every major period plane you could think of, including one JFK/LBJ’s Air force one, which was the last prop driven air force ones.

Today was a bit cooler, and some wind too. We bombed out after bumming some jumper cables from the staff and headed out to get back to Phoenix. Just outside of PHX you could see a storm brewing, so we opened up and stayed ahead of it and got back to phoenix with enough time to head to Harolds in cave creek to have some food, fix some server problems back home. The city of Phoenix also got another couple of good snapshots of pat and I riding in Loose formation:

Pat paid alot for these pictures, figured they should be at least shared with someone. Utah is like Argentina apparantly, if you can get back across the border theres no Extradition of convicts. Worked for butch and sundance anyway, untill they got shot.  They never sent me a fine.

2 days of hard riding, we got to the hotel and crashed.

Monday, March 3rd 2008

Pat had to get back to Salt Lake, and I had to get home so we parted ways after a good weekend of riding. I found out that Pat and I ride about the same way: we like historical stuff, we both get bored easy, and we both don’t mind alot of saddle time. The more actually, the better. It made for a great weekend, and screw the fact that he’s my brother, He’s just fun to ride with. We’re going to do more of this. Hopefully the dunn brothers section of this blog gets big.

I stopped several times to make sure shit was going well at the office, since I really should have been back to work. After that, I just opened it up and tried to make time

Theres a couple of standards i’ve always kind of measured rides by: 1) If the temp is under 90 degrees, the wind gets cooler. 2) If its over 90 degrees, the wind gets hotter, and 3) 55 degrees is the cutoff for long rides. This ride made me rethink that. 55 degrees is good for an hour, but after a few hours it starts to get colder and colder. I had every intention of getting back to St. George, but as I got closer and closer to Kingman, and weatherband radio was telling me that it was going to be 40 degrees with 30 mile an hour wind gusts, i decided to stay another night and head out in the morning. I hate riding at night anyway. I got a room at the holiday inn.

Tuesday, March 4th 2008

when the temp hit 50 outside around 9, I got the hell out of dodge. Don’t like being away from the office that long. The ride home was decent. Took the road behind vegas through Lake mead, overton and was home by around 3pm.

Total: 3 states, 4 days, 1,129 miles

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