Fri 21st Aug
We woke up at 7.30am as we wanted to get an early start, well I did anyway, and just as we’d finished packing up and were about to head up the slope I spotted another biker on the bridge giving us a wave. I rode straight up to meet him, with a plume of smoke following me, and discovered that his name was John and that he was also riding the TAT.
It was quite funny as he initially thought that my bike was a 2-stroke (it really was that bad) but I soon explained that it was just a very f*cked 4-stroke. It was great to meet him, and we enjoyed a good natter for 20 minutes or so before he went off on his way. He was on a Triumph Tiger so was riding the TAT at a slightly faster pace than us (quite an understatement); where we had guessed that it would take us about 2 months to complete, he had allowed himself 2 weeks!
The day started off with gravel and dirt roads through the forest, and with overcast skies and the shade of the trees it was a pleasantly cool temperature, around 20C. It even started raining at one point, but not enough to stop us carrying on with the ride. The gravel got fairly deep in places, at least for our little skinny tyres, but before we knew it we’d wobbled our way in to the town of Lincoln where we stopped for lunch.
The scenery after lunch consisted of trees and lots of farmland filled with grazing cattle, which either stood and stared at us or got up and ran away, which appeared to be a very exhausting and lumbering procedure.
Just as I was happy with my bike running a little less like a bag of shit, the bloody thing decided to die again. ‘Seriously?!’ I thought. It seemed far too soon for the spark plug to be clogged up again, despite the impressive amount of smoke coming out from my machine, and we soon discovered that it was in fact due to a blown fuse from a dangling wire shorting out. A simple fix, and we were soon off on our way again. My bike ran like a dog for the remainder of the afternoon, repeatedly dying up hill and forcing me to be in the lowest gear possible, otherwise it would lose all power and stop completely. Obviously jealous from all the attention that my bike had been getting, Ed’s bike then decided to do the dying by getting something stuck in the main jet.
Luckily Ed’s carb is much easier to get to than mine, and after 15 minutes of poking around he managed to clear the blockage and we were off on our way again.
Fortunately it was only another 14 miles to Salina, our destination for the day, where we found a state park to camp in and got some food from the store to cook. We got back to the campground in the dark, and found what we thought to be the perfect place to pitch our tent.