I had a very productive day yesterday that went a long way toward prepping for my trip. 1st stop was to meet up with David Peterson at Best Rest Products I picked up a cool camp chair, some tire repair goodies plus he rebuilt my Cycle Pump and air gauge. Thanks David, your pump has saved me in the back country more than once, it’s awesome! Next stop was to see Darryl and Sandra VanNieuweuhuise’s great crew at Cyclops Adventure Sports / I had the 3000 lumen light bar custom installed by Greg. The attention to detail and overall level of customer service is outstanding! The lights are truly amazing! Lastly, I dropped the bike off at Jeff’s in Issaquah so he can get a closer look to see where I have a small oil leak. It might be a knick in the valve cover gasket from the last valve check or I may have just over filled the oil at the last change. Jeff is a great mechanic and will figure it out. He assured me it’s nothing too serious but wants to double check it before the trip. Thanks Jeff!
Fast approaching 2 weeks out, still a bunch of stuff to figure out with the bike and even more to do around the house.
I replaced the 1 gallon rotopax for a pelican case bolted down for my tools. The tire and first aid kits will go in boxes under the Altrider tail rack.
I had a dilemma earlier this week about what to wear, armored shirt under a jersey and separate rain gear OR be a “Cordura Cowboy”😏 in neck to ankle Klim gear.
After consulting Instructor Chet from PSSOR, and reading up on the Iron Butt website about keeping cool in the heat, I decided on the LD Comfort base layers under my Klim gear. The Thor armored shirt ,jerseys and Klim Dakar pants plus the ICON PDX rain gear will be mailed home to South Louisiana just in case I want to wear that through the Deep South, it will keep my options open.
All of that together reduced my packing enough to get rid of the orange Dry Spec bag. So it will just be the panniers, tank bag and Mosko Moto backcountry duffle. YAY!!
Chris Dantzischer and the great guys in the PNWSTOG are getting together to buy me lunch(or breakfast) while I’m out on the road through a Go Fund Me page. If you’d like to donate, click here -> https://www.gofundme.com/2hn3fux8 I’ll let everyone know on here and the Facebook blog when I’m having a meal courtesy of my friends. This is an extremely generous thing to do for me!! THANKS!!
My shakedown ride is planned for May 6-8. 1st stop is Hoquium Wa, the HQ of LD Comfort. Most, if not all, of the Iron butt association swear by this stuff to stay comfortable and cool plus the factory is so close. Then on to Knappa, Oregon to swap out tank bags and give my PIAA lights to soon to be now dad again….. Josh. I’ll be trying out his Yamaha factory bag, it’s a little bigger than the Giant Loop Fandango I have now. I’m hoping to get my phone, camera and iPad mini comfortably in there and stay secure and dry. All while still comfortable to stand up. We shall see.
Then through the GPNF, Trout Lake, Glenwood and Yakima to see my daughter at CWU in Ellensberg. I’ll be camping next to the Yakima river along Canyon Rd. Here -> http://www.yakimarv.com/index.html. Anyone want to joine me for some or all of the ride?
I also have a Delorme “InReach” activated, there will be almost daily posts on here and the Facebook Personal Blog here ->https://www.facebook.com/Ténéré-Across-the-USA-489762241216087/?ref=bookmarks
I hope the people that follow my journey can find me when I’m in their area so they can join me for a ride.
Before I geaux, I do have to give a huge thank you to the PR team at Yamaha USA for the box of goodies for my trip!
T – 1 month
Welcome to my 1st trip blog! 1 month out and it’s time to start planning, packing, re-planning and re-packing.
This is the luggage I have to work with. It’s two 37 liter Trax panniers that I’ve had since my KLR days back in 2009, one 38 liter Dry Spec Rigid waterproof dry bag, one 4o liter Mosko Moto Backcountry duffle and a Giant Loop Fandango tank bag. I’m hoping to reduce my load enough to not need the orange Dry spec bag. When it’s all loaded on the bike, having two bags on the tail rack and back seat is a bit much.What to bring is always a compromise. I know if I had a smaller tent and didn’t need a C-PAP or do I really need a second pair of riding pants and my utilikilt? I have a month to figure it all out. What would you pack for six months with 160 Liters of storage space?
In helping to reduce what goes in the luggage, I’m modifying my bike to fit more on the bike. I have the Altrider luggage rack system on the tail and space where the back seat used to be. Using spacers available from Altrider to raise the tail rack an inch or so, it adds a little bit more storage space. It also evens out the level of the tail rack and top of the Rotopax one gal fuel can. There should be enough room under the tail rack for some tools and/or air pump or 1st aid kit. Every little bit helps.
One of my homemade add-ons is a piece of ply wood and carpet that covers the lock on the Rotopax fuel can. It helps prevent wear on the bottom of my luggage. The carpet gets used as a table when in camp.
The tent I’ll be using is the Redverz Solo Expedition tent. I already have the older Series II Expedition so I know what to expect, Redverz makes amazing tents! As mentioned earlier, everything is a compromise. A smaller one-, two- or even three- person tent will pack much easier and weigh a lot less but after a long day on the bike, it’s very nice to get the Redverz up and be able to stand and move around in your tent to get in and out of your motorcycle gear…..especially in the rain! It takes me no more time to set up the Redverz as it does my 3 person backpacking tent, all you need is relatively soft ground for the tent pegs as it’s not a free-standing tent. The tent is big enough to get me and the bike inside, if I need to, but I can rarely see a situation where that needs to happen. The designer, Kevin Muggleton thought up the idea for the tent while in Africa as a photographer for the National Geographic when gear was stollen off his bike while camping in the bush. I surely hope I’m not in that same situation on this trip.
I know my pack and set up will change several times between now and departure. By posting this now and getting it out there, it will open up discussion for ideas of better ways to pack. I rely on others that have “been there and done that” for guidance. I know I’m not the first one to do this and I’m also very aware that there is no “right way” to get it done. My journey starts now!