Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trip's Eve

This is my last post before leaving town.  I think I've done all that I can do to be ready.

The final drive fluid change was done on Friday, making the bike 100% ready to roll.  The only other things I've done to the bike were to put the sheepskin seat cover on the seat; it helps keep me from slipping forward, and it makes the seat a bit cooler.  And I installed some soft foam grip covers on the handgrips.  They remove vibration and are a little cooler.  I can't think of anything more to do to the bike.

I've packed my clothes and have the left side case full of clean clothes.  I have found that I like to put each type of clothing (socks, short sleeved shirts, undies, etc.) in ziploc bags to make it easier to find them.  The bags also keep some of the odor of dirty clothes away from clean ones.  I pretty much exclusively use convertible pants, the kind that zip off at the knees.  They have extra pockets and can be worn short or long.  They will be short while on the bike, unless we find cool somewhere along the way.  I bought 2 new polyester short sleeved shirts for the trip; they help wick moisture away from the body--no cotton while riding.  Same with undies and socks.

I'll be wearing my Olympia Phantom mesh one-piece riding suit most of the time.  It's the coolest thing I have, and will work well with the Sahara vest.  Hopefully I'll get enough air flow to stay safe, temperature-wise.  We'll stop for breaks and hydration as needed.

Electronics are ready to be packed on the bike.  Charging the Kindle, but the computer is ready to go.  Extra batteries for the phone and camera (yes, I'm anal).  New batteries for the Spot locator.  Maps to help us plan some of the routes.

Meds and personal gear.  I counted out 24 days of each of my meds and put them in ziploc bags marked "AM" and "PM", so I can take them when I should.

Bumblebee, a lightweight jacket, and a sweatshirt are packed in a watertight bag placed on the passenger seat of the bike.  I hope we need them somewhere along the way.

We're moteling this trip, so no packing of tent and other paraphernalia needed to camp.  If we were traveling later in the year, I'd been up for camping, but I'm expecting it to be too hot to camp.  After a hard day's riding, I need cool and a bed in which I can rest.  Maybe next time...

Who would think a 3 week trip takes so much planning and preparation?  It seems that there's a thousand little details that have to be handled to be fully prepared for 3 weeks.  Getting the bike ready is the biggie, but the packing and details of going all have to be handled as well.

Route--I don't know.  I think it makes sense to leave Gary's home and head south on I-85 to Atlanta.  Then take I-20 towards San Antonio.  Probably stay on the Interstates all day on day 1 and most, if not all of day 2.   The sequence of travels is different from what was planned last year.  We're now planning to go to the Texas hill country (near and just west of the Austin/San Antonio area of Texas.  Then on west to Carlsbad Caverns.  Although I was there in May, they are so spectacular that I'm looking forward to doing them again. Then west to San Diego.  Ride the good roads in southern California en route to San Francisco.  Then head west towards home, with a stop in Denver and, finally, ending up in Indianapolis for the Moto GP race the last weekend in August.

We have an offer of a guide and a place to stay while doing the Texas hill country.  A guy from a forum I belong to made the offer, and we intend to take him up on it.  He'll know the roads and the places, so it will be a great way to see the area.  We also have an offer to stay a night with a friend in Denver, so we plan to do that on the way back east.

So, I'll be leaving home tomorrow and end up at Gary's for the night.  I'm hoping we're headed southwest by 8am on Tuesday.


  1. I've looked at the weather forecast. Looks like you will be riding into extreme heat. Drink lots of water, stop often, be safe and have a good time :)

  2. I bet the freeways are easy but boring. I will be glad for you when you get on the by-ways and can see the fields, forests and lakes and ponds. bon voyage...bibby