Allright.....now, for the FAQ's.....
Thee are the most frequently asked questions that strangers and friends and others have asked me during this adventure -
- You rode THAT from Portland (most frequently asked by U.S. Customs agents)??????????
Yes, I did. Here's my passport.
- How many miles per gallon do you git on that thing?
Depends – If I'm on a mellow cruise on a back road doing 45 to 65 M.P.H., I get about 60 miles per gallon or so. If I'm going balls-out on an Interstate doing 65 to 75 M.P.H., it drops down to around fiddy miles per gallon.
- How fast can it go?
It can go around 75 M.P.H. - however, given that it's 22 years old and I've slammed almost 20,000 hard miles on it since I bought it less than two years ago, it's now pushing only 68 M.P.H. as its top speed, as the engine compression is fading due to the excessive beating I've placed on The Helix.....
- Where do you sleep? Do you camp out?
I really have zero room for camping gear (given all that I've brought with me), so I go to truck stops and, usually, at the front door, they'll have little magazine racks of free motel discount coupon magazines that'll give you shit like Knights Inn of Kokomo, Indiana for, like, $29.95 per night. So thass usually what I do. When I'm in a location where I have friends or family, I'll crash at their place, as you have seen most of them pictured on the blog.
- Whass up with the hair??
I just decided, after I resigned from my fulfilling and satisfying job and left for China and Vietnam on April 7th, that I'm not going to cut my hair until I get back home to Portlandia in the first week of August! Thass all.
- What pisses you off most during this whole adventure?
Six things, actually.
A) - If I hear someone say “Ora-gAAAAn” one more time, I swear, I'm gonna lose it.
B) - Ethanol-laced gasoline!
C) - People who WILL NOT negotiate on motel prices, even though it's a Wednesday Night and their Goddamm car park is DEAD EMPTY!
D) - Thee TOTAL lack of availability of Honda CN250/Helix parts at actual, official Honda Powersports dealers.
E) - Dunlop/Goodyear Tire Corporation.
F) - Wind and the lack of trees West of the 100th Meridian to shield me from said wind.
- Have you been pulled over by the police at all on this adventure?
Naw....Helix doesn't go fast enuff. And if I'm in a speed-limited area, I don't ride like an asshole.
- What was your (favourite/worst) place on this trip?
Thass not fair. I met A LOT of good people on this ride......and I really can't say that any one place was thee best part of the trip or thee worst part of the ride. The entire ride really opened my eyes. For example, as much as I criticise the people residing between Pennsylvania and Nevada about their social values and mores and their tendency to vote for people like Bush and Republicans in general.....
.....when the chips are down, THESE are the folks you'd really want in your corner. They are ALWAYS the first to offer assistance. A lot more so than people in so-called “progressive/blue” states. Plus, they're genuinely a lot of fun to hang out with.....
- Do you always wear a helmet?
Oh fuck YEAH!!! NO WAY do I ride without one, even in states where a helmet isn't required. Makes for reeeaaalllly bad helmet-hair when I'm done with the day's ride, though.......
- Did you run into any disasters/nightmares on this adventure?
Well....depends on what you exactly define as a disaster or a nightmare. Truthfully, I've been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay lucky on this ENTIRE ride. Seriously, I really, really have been!
I can't define losing my GPS unit in Delray Beach, Florida as a disaster/nightmare, as it can always be replaced. I also can't define frying the clutch on The Helix as a disaster/nightmare either. Simply because, again, I got very, very lucky that the clutch gave up the ghost in the suburbs of Denver, where I have several friends and wasn't gonna hafta drop $300-plus on staying at a motel for six days whilst the parts got shipped in and my skooter got repaired! Hitting a bird that flew into my windscreen sucked big time (for both, me and the bird), but it wasn't a disaster/nightmare either ('cept for the poor bird). But I still don't like to think about that.....
The only thing that comes close to being a disaster/nightmare was Pierre, South Dakota. Between almost dying on the road due to a defective tyre, the general attitude of the Honda/Yamaha/Sheep-Lemming dealer there, and the worst hailstorm I have EVER seen in my life.....well, that's about as close to a disaster/nightmare as I have come on this trip.
And that part really sucks, because the people of Pierre, South Dakota were nothing but exemplary folk!
It's just the way the dice rolled, I guess.....
OK, now....thee strangest question I've been asked on this trip.....
Crossing into Niagara Falls, Ontario, on my way to Lake Huron, I was asked the following by a Canadian Customs agent -
.....quote - unquote....
"So, where do you keep your concealed weapon?"
Now, this was a DDG (Drop Dead Gorgeous) Customs Inspectress asking me this. I had a LOT of answers rolling around in my mind.....but I finally settled with -
"Errrmmm....I generally don't carry firearms at all....much less when I'm crossing an International Border......."
She smiled and waived me through.
Was gonna ask forra fone number (something that I literally NEVER do).....but thought better of that idea....plus given my track record with Canadian women, well.......