Riding to GenCon 45

GenCon (aka Geneva Convention originally based out of Lake Geneva Wisconsin) is the yearly gaming convention currently located in Indianapolis Indiana. I’d planned on going this year but other events looked to cause me to cancel. As a result of the condo owners (a conglomerate) dragging their feet, I was able to attend. With joy, I got the bike packed up and headed out bright and early Tuesday morning.

This was to be a simple run with limited touring/seeing the sights. The sights I wanted to see were at the convention and it was a two day ride away. A simple run down 25 to 70 and then east until I got to Indianapolis. I was fortunate to share a room with a local gaming friend so didn’t have any accommodation issues plus a couple of other friends had backup space if need be.

I headed south catching 270 to connect with 70 and then east. My first stop was in Bennett Colorado where I took a break.

It was a tad early and the first day of heading out. Plus I had plenty of time to get to Indy. I expected to get there Wednesday at around 3pm or so.

Continuing on, I headed east and pulled in at Limon Colorado, again taking a break. I had my rain coat on as wind protection as the temps seemed to be in the 40’s. My thermometer on the bike seemed to be acting weird so it was likely a bit warmer than that. Still, the wind protection is helpful.

In looking to the east, I could see a cloud bank on the horizon running from north to south as far as the eye could see.

In Burlington, I pulled over for gas and to put my wet weather glove covers on. It even has a squeegee built in to the thumb. Good to have as it got a little wet. Not rainy but misty enough to condense water on my face shield. Most of the time I could look left and right so the water could roll off but occasionally I’d swipe it away.

I pulled in to a rest area just short of Colby Kansas, both to relieve myself and to take a break from the constant wind. In Kansas the wind blows from the south (mostly I guess) so there’s a constant fight and pull to the right which tuckers you out.

Pulled in to get gas in WaKeeney Kansas.

And a Taco Bell stop (bean burrito) in the wind in Hays Kansas.

Pulling in for gas at a Salida gas station. While there, I chatted with a big guy on a cruiser. We discussed how uncomfortable each bike was and tried to define what might cause it to be uncomfortable; knee issues on my bike (which I don’t have) or back issues on his (which I sort of have).

Past Salida, 70 turns into a Toll road. Not a horrible big deal though. I pulled in at the service area before getting to Kansas City to make sure I had a full tank. I didn’t want to be in KC looking for gas, especially as it was getting later and I’d probably have to deal with a little traffic.

Riding through Kansas City wasn’t too big a deal and going by the arch again was pretty cool. On the other side, I was getting a little bogged down in traffic. Since I’d passed the half way point before the service area, I was ahead of the game here. I was pulling off to get some gas and look for a room for the night. An American Inn was right there with a $39 room rate (which of course turned into $51). I pulled in and unpacked the bike for the night.

While I was removing the gear, I noticed:

I was a little frustrated as I expected the treads on either side would be a lot lower before I started showing cords. That’s a problem I have with the Metzler Z6 tires. These are Z8’s, the replacements and they are a bit better about the tread pattern but still, and as you can see, it snuck up on me. Unfortunately too, I started in on my anxiety attacks, partly due to past experience though. Generally when you get to this point, you’re limited to what’s available (if anything). When I was in Amarillo, I was only able to find a Sport tire (wears much faster). Same in Fairbanks and same in Rapid City. It seems that few dealerships actually stock a sport touring tire. So I was expecting to find either a Sport tire or no tire at all and have to wait for a replacement. Rita checked and found an old Suzuki dealer just a few miles away. I planned on sitting around until 9am tomorrow so I could call them to see what they had. I also checked the maps to find 4 or 5 other dealers in the area; not as close but still close enough for a short ride and repair.

I grabbed dinner and settled in for the night. By the way, unless you’re a smoker I’d stay away from the American Inn. Man, the non-smoking room reeked and there wasn’t one any better in the place.

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