This blog will involve a bit of trial and error. This is my first attempt at a blog like this.
18 years ago I bought a 1992 BMW K100RS to take on an epic trip. Duncan, Leonard and I traveled by motorcycle from Washington, DC to British Columbia and points north via San Diego where we picked up a fourth member, Dave.
Ever since that trip I have been saying I would like to go on a long cross country sport touring and camping trip. Unfortunately, life and circumstances got in the way and I was never able to take the time to do a trip of the magnitude. With the resolution of some nearly life long challenges, I am now, at least for the moment, free to try.
So I have decided to go ahead and do it. I'm now 42. Being a Douglas Adams fan, it just seems appropriate. If not now, then when?
Trips like this involve alot of planning and there's a great deal of figuring out how to pack a bike; what goes where. Once you leave there's little chance to re-arrange things. Again, since it's been so long I thought it prudent to do a warm up trip where I can test out all my gear and get back into the swing of things. What better place to go than my favorite road in Tennessee? ;)
I have reservations at the Deals Gap Resort for three days next week. Good fortune is enabling my two closest friends, Duncan and Bruce, to join me. Duncan will be riding his K1300S. Bruce is flying in from Los Alamos and will be riding my "guest bike", also known as "Ian's bike".
As I've been distracted by other projects, notably running DTLink Software and trying to fix my boat after a 3 year hiatus from boating, time to get everything in order has grown a bit tight. We're leaving for the gap on Saturday and now it's already the end of Tuesday.
These two trips are going to be more challenging than trips I've taken in the past primarily because I now have a very restrictive diet. I discovered a few years ago that I don't handle sugar, starch or lactose well, so I'll end up having to take more food and snacks with me than in previous trips. Beyond that, as I alluded to above, I injured my back and it continues to give me trouble sporadically. I'm doing significantly better than I was largely thanks for my good friend and chiropractor Dr. Donna Carr. I don't know what I would have done with out her.
Duncan and I are both running out of cargo space, so the two of us headed up to Bobs BMW today to check out some rear seat luggage. I ended up getting a 50L monstrosity that I can pack most of Europe into.
The rest of the day has been spent getting my gear together and trying to figure out once again what the best way to arrange it on the bike. It's not enough to have it just fit, it's advantageous to also organize it by frequency of use. For instance, the kick stand is on the left, so if you have to grab something in a hurry, for example a rain suit, it's a better idea to pack it in the right saddle back because it's easier and quicker to open when the bike is on the side stand. Items that you need while you're riding need to go in the tank bag. GPS goes on top. Maps, camera, etc go in the top compartment. Items that you only use when camping can be stored elsewhere.
When it comes to packing a bike I like to keep it as clean as possible. It's a personal preference, but I can't stand having everything bungied on in a homeless disorganized fashion.
So needless to say, it's a bit time consuming.