Planning Progress

by on Apr.02, 2014, under Motorcycle, Personal

I’ve been working diligently finding dead end roads and quiet corners of the world for me to sleep at night. I don’t have enough yet to feel I have options and backups in case of locked gates or new developments that aren’t shown in Google maps but I’m getting close. I still don’t have my new front tire but I contacted the dealer and they told me it should be shipped this week. If I don’t see anything soon I’m going to have to amend my order and remove the item that is holding everything up.

As for the bike, tonight I’m hoping to give it a once over and take it out for a spin. The weather is a beautiful high of +7C so I shouldn’t have much concern in the way if ice on the roads. I also need to swing by the motorcycle dealership and pick up some fresh oil and filters to do my spring oil change.

Once my new tires arrive and I get them mounted and balanced I’ll be only days away from hitting the road on my first big adventure of the year.

I’m so excited !

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Packing Light For Motorcycle Travel

by on Apr.01, 2014, under Motorcycle, Travel

Packing for motorcyclesOne of the hardest parts of packing for a motorcycle trip is choosing what to leave behind. Sometimes to keep my motorcycle extra light for offroad travel I even leave my tent at home.

But where you do you sleep if not in a hotel? Under a tarp!

Since I ride a small 250cc motorcycle I need to be selective about what I bring camping. I don’t have the luxury of a trunk and to keep my bike from tipping over backwards I need to keep the weight down. There are some essentials that are needed such as tools and a spare tubes. I still need a sleeping bag to keep warm and some sort of shelter to keep the rain off but instead of a tent I opt for a camping hammock or a bivy bag and a tarp.

My clothes are worn for several days, the only person who can smell me is me, and I wash them in the sink when possible. I have my phone for a camera, the kindle app to read book with, a folding tooth brush and a mini tube of tooth paste. Other than that I have my passport and wallet and not much else. Any food I need I can buy on the way and I’ll end up eating more than my share of granola bars.

In the end things are simpler this way. Less to go wrong, and less weight on the bike. I still sleep warm and toasty at night and the bike gets better fuel economy from the lack of weight and wind resistance.

Keep it light and enjoy the ride.

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Dead Ends and Forest Roads

by on Mar.31, 2014, under Motorcycle, Travel

Tail Of the Dragon Map

Surprisingly there isn’t much open in the way of camping facilities before the May long weekend so calling ahead, making reservation, or even planning on where you are going to sleep in a given night is difficult. I want to do this trip on the cheap so renting hotels is out for sure (unless I’m soaked or frozen), and even paying to stay at a camp ground is more than I really want to be paying. So what does that leave me? Not much. Basically, I’m on the hunt, with the help of Google Maps, for dead end roads, forest roads, BLM land, and small clearing where I may be able to pull off the road enough to setup my tent and go unnoticed. I don’t need much, no roaring camp fire, no access to a lake. Just enough clear flat land to be able to setup my tent and sleep for the night.

I have read of other motorcycle travelers take this approach with great success and in order to share in their success I am doing everything I can to plan ahead. All the potential points I find online are getting mapped and programmed into my GPS, that way I can just search for the nearest pre-scouted campsite and head there to check it out. In order to keep my probably of remaining undiscovered high I’ll probably have to pre-scout a site then return after dinner as the sun is setting to setup my tent and sleep for the night. Once it’s dark I’m all but invisible. Then in the morning get up with the sun, pack, and hit the road!

While I always have the backup plan of sleeping in a motel I’ve been looking at www.airbnb.com for interesting places in small towns where I could rent a bed for the night. Either way I have lots of redundancy for my sleeping needs.

And if the weather is nice I can always cowboy camp under the stars!

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Trip Planning

by on Mar.28, 2014, under Motorcycle, Travel

The gears are turning in my head as plans are made and vacation is booked. Georgia may seem like a long way to go and a strange destination for travel but it’s not necessarily about the destination and more about the journey.

Along my route I have several things to look forward to including The Blue Ride Parkway, The Snake, and The Tail of the Dragon. There will also be many interesting lands to travel through with their own sights and sounds and I’ll also need to find somewhere to camp every night in order to do this trip on a budget.

While this isn’t an around the world trip this will be the farthest I’ve been from home on my motorcycle so there is some excitement and some nerves. I’m doing my best to load my GPS full of interesting waypoints, quiet roads, campgrounds that are open early in the season and anything else that my be of interest or aid along my route.

In a way the rain outside today is good as it’s the first real signs of spring that we’ve had after this winter of polar vortexes and weeks of bone chilling cold. I need the snow to melt and the temperatures to warm if I have any chance of pulling off this trip. It may be warm down south but if there’s still Ice on the roads here the trip will be a no-go.

In addition to the usual planning and research I need to get some general maintenance done on my motorcycle. It needs some new tires to be installed and balanced as well as an oil change and a general once over after a long winter of snoozing in a heated garage. I tested it out the other day and the bike started fine and seems as eager as I am to get out there and explore the world around us.

Wish me luck!

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New Adventures to be had

by on Feb.27, 2014, under Motorcycle, News, Personal

After lots of changes in my personal life and an obscenely cold winter things are finally starting to warm up and I’m getting excited to get out there and explore new places this summer. With my position at work I’m able to work a compressed schedule and have every other weekend as a 3 day long weekend allowing me to go farther and see more without having to take vacation days. I’ve been pouring over Google maps looking for new places to visit and exciting new routes to visit places that I’d like to go to again. I have little winter maintenance to do on my motorcycle other that wiring up my new GPS unit and putting on some new rubber. That process should start as the temperatures in the garage climb and funds allow me to buy some new tires.

This year I’m hoping to do a “Big Trip” somewhere. I haven’t decided between East or West coast or heading south to do the Blue Ridge parkway and the Tail of the Dragon. I am even considering attending some Horizon’s Unlimited meetings as far away as Colorado!  I’ve also been thinking about hiking either the Long Trail or the Rideau Trail which will get me in the woods for between 1 and 4 weeks.

Either way there are adventures to be had and I’m going to have them. See you out there !

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