Originally Posted by LWRider
"People do put to much emphasis on having just the right bike. Personally, I place much more importance on where I ride. I'd much rather ride a beat up old Honda 350 on a scenic, twisty road..."
How true. I wrote a blog entry a long time ago about that. So many have to wait for the perfect bike, and all the perfect gear that the whole thing becomes about the gear and not the ride. I say fine, if I had the money I'd have a Tiger adventure bike, Aerostitch leather suit, boots made to exactly fit my feet, full face Arai helmet, etc. etc. But when I started riding all I could afford was gas and some rudimentary gear (read cheap jacket and a second-hand pair of boots). And yes, I even rode all the was from Florida to Michigan and back in plain old blue jeans!!!
And that was on a 40 year old CB350!!
But the thing is, I went; I didn't wait until I could afford the "right stuff." And I had a blast.
And this: "A regular Air mattress is comfortable but takes up a lot of room. Any suggestions?" I would love to hear some cheap (yep, I'mm still cheap) and portable solutions. So far I have just slept on the ground, and nowdays state parks have gravel camp sites!
Sound like you had a great time and didn't get caught up in all the "stuff."
You are absolutely right and good on you for taking that long trip on an old 350 while wearing blue jeans.
As for having the right stuff, I actually had some pretty good riding gear although I didn't spend that much on it. Nowadays you can get fairly good riding gear pretty cheap if you look around. My gear:
Fieldshear mesh jacket and pants. I got them from Comp. ACC. for around $150 on closeout.
Fulmer modular helmet with internal sunshade: $100 (retail $150)
Yoshimura Gloves: around $30 on closeout
LL Bean goretex hiking boots that I bought around 10 years ago
Motoboss Cooling vest: $10 on closeout
My camping gear:
Tent from Wally World: $25
Field & Stream self inflating ground pad: around $60-70
Sleeping bag: $25
Camping pillow: around $10-15
Originally Posted by jeff_connors
I have slept on the ground a lot (former military). That is not the way to go. Even more important-it's a safety issue. You want a good night's rest so you are not falling asleep at the bar's (I have and it scares the wit's out of me---among other things!) They have self-inflating foam mattresses now. They are expensive and I never used one so don't know how well they work or how small they fold up. If you carry a small compressor with you, a regular air mattress can be pumped up quickly and they are extremely comfortable. Sleeping on air is 'more better'...in my opin...than any foam. Foam is hard--better than gravel or the ground but still hard. I have old military air mattresses which are built well and are not heavy or take up much room when deflated and rolled up. My 2 cents.
I have a regular air mattress which I use when camping out of my truck. It is much more comfortable but also takes up much more space. Add in the required air compressor and it takes up a significant amount of space. This is not such a big deal when on a bigger bike with more luggage space but I wanted to be able to fit all my camping gear in the bag on my rear seat. I do have one of the self inflating ground ads but 1" is just not thick enough. It would be nice if there was something thicker that 1" but less bulky than a typical 6"+ air mattress.