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Old 12-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #16
sgio OP
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Wrapping it Up

This was my longest trip so far and my first try at moto camping. 2010 miles for me over 6 days of riding. I would have preferred to have a bit more time for the travel segments of the trip. I know I passed up some great riding to get where I needed to be. It wasn't possible on this trip, but that's what the next trip down is for! As a bonus, I added some more maps to the posts for the weekend to show our routes around the area.

Based on what I learned from my first trip ( http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=819732 ), I needed to do something to ease my butt pain and to stop my hands from going numb. I made a few changes to help out with these issues.

For my butt, I bought an Air Hawk. This was an expensive item at $199 and I was concerned it would be money wasted. I can say that it helped me stay in the saddle for a little longer. It didn't deliver all day or even day comfort though. Without it, I would start wanting to get off the bike in 30 45 minutes and with it, I could go over an hour but not 2 hours certainly. It did allow me to find out that my knees start to hurt as well after an hour. For long distances, I will continue to use it, but for normal riding or on the twisties, it gets stored away. I guess I am happy that it helped, but for the cost, I am somewhat disappointed. Everyone's butt is different. YMMV

For my hands, I bought Grip Puppies. These are foam sleeves that slip over the stock grips. I really like these. I have big hands and the larger diameter grips are more comfortable. I also used new gloves on this trip and I think those helped. In any case, I had no hand problems this trip.

All the camping gear I have is leftover from family camping trips. Tents were set up in the back yard, but both were too big to pack into the saddle bags. Same for our old Coleman sleeping bags. So I needed a tent and a sleeping bag. I am not a big fan of buying cheap gear, but I blew my budget on new moto pants, gloves and the Air Hawk. So cheap it was. I found this tent on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o05_s00_i00

The tent worked well. It stayed waterproof during the rain we had and had sufficient room for me and my gear. The vestibule was good for muddy boots. I figured if I got through this trip, it was worth the money I spent. I will use it again on a similar trip.

I bought a sleeping bag and air mattress at Walmart. Again, I knew this wasn't the best gear. The air mattress never held air for more than a few hours, so it wasn't worth the money or the space it took up. The sleeping bag was chosen to be able to fit it in the trunk. With the colder than expected temps I had on this trip, this bag didn't cut it. It would be fine in warmer temps. The stuff sack it came with had a seem start to tear when I packed up. I am sure that can be sewed up.

Thanks for following along! Writing this has allowed me to enjoy the trip all over again and has me psyched for next year's riding season!
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #17
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Nice writeup. Next time skip 81 and take a little extra time wandering through WV. Getting the Dragon can be every bit as much fun as being there although WV roads aren't really all that much fun in bad weather.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:03 PM   #18
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Thanks Ride! I plan to make another trip down and take some more time to explore WV and the BRP.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:09 AM   #19
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It'll add an extra day to the trip but well worth it.
Have a look at 16 south of Tazewell VA on the map. 30 great miles right there and nobody is on that road. 20 through WV is really nice also but it seems like I take a different road through that state every time and they're all good.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:24 AM   #20
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I am curious about the st1300. i have done the similar route to the dragon a few times ,the snake once on my 05 fz1 from boston few times. the 500 miles on a fz1 are killer being 6 3,250

alot of places to ride down there for sure. i typically do 3k in 7 days and that is hectic as hell.

the rt16 ride4321 speaks is too tight even for a fz1. it will be a blast on a smaller or lighter bike. i got worn down after 4 hrs on that.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #21
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Interesting.

Enjoyed the report, tho without pix. Any you apparently posted have disappeared!

Couple tips for you - not that I know it all, either...

I have "dry bags"- originally intended for canoe or water camping/travel. I carry my sleeping bag in one (and a self "inflatable" Therma Rest pillow) i typically pack this outside my saddle bags. SeaLine is a good proven brand of dry bag. I also have a duffel-sized dry bag that, if need be. will hold my tent, my Therma Rest pad, and my GF's sleeping bag. Anything you want to remain absolutely dry, pack into a dry bag! In my mind, bedding is tops on this list.

speaking of bedding...

I have a down bag that's "rated" @ 35 degrees. Any colder than that, and A: I am [probably] NOT out camping on a bike, and B: I have a much warmer bag anyway. Down's plus side: light weight, packs small, stuffs well. Negative side: if it gets wet you are fucked. Down will NOT activate to keep you warm when wet, as it acts on trapping body heat in "pockets" of air within the feathers. Synthetic fills WILL keep you warm no matter if they are wet or dry, but you sacrifice space AND often, weight. For a sleeping pad, I have a BIG (20X72) Therma-Rest self inflating pad, I open it up (valve) and let it "self" inflate, then I blow into it to pump it. this pig inflates to two inches thick! It rolls down to ABOUT 6-7 inches X 20. I mentioned my Therma Rest pillow. I have the small sized version, It packs down to about 10 X 4, or 5 inches. I keep it in my dry bag with my sleeping bag. It ROCKS. Therma Rest makes smaller pads, such as "half" length pads that don't inflate as thick. i never once had an air mattress, but I imagine they are fail- friendly, and weigh a LOT. Why fuck around? Be certain, be comfortable. You wanna ride 500 miles and have a shitty sleep? Me neither. Fuck me man, I don't want to ride TEN miles and have a shitty sleep.

Tents: There are, literally, hundreds, maybe thousands of tent options, and if you search this, or any other forum, you'll find endless threads with endless opinions. Pick one that you think suits your needs, and use that tent. You might find that many of us own multiple tents, depending on what we are doing and with whom we are doing it (Wife, GF, SWMBO ...BOYfriend??? ) In my mind, and for my money, I'll take a good tent over a cheap one every time. Again, the options and opinions are staggering. Go with what you know/want/can afford.

I also have a tarp like thing called a Parawing. I'll take it along to insure dry or shaded camp space. It's fucking HUGE and it weighs a ton- but there have been times where it really made a difference for me- like 8 days on the Isle of Man in the middle of a 25 day long rain storm... but never mind that. BUT that is most definitely a personal choice. A plain ol tarp is also good for the same purpose, IF you can rig it. That, of course, required (at the least), rope, bungees, and trees OR (at the most) all manner of poles, stakes, and hardware- as well as rope, bungees, and/or trees! The 'Wing has it all and is free standing. OK, so Parawings aren't made/sold anymore. Kelty has a similar product that is smaller/lighter... also free standing. Whatever.

I am not afraid to pack all kinds of shit on my bike- and I WILL strap stuff to the seat behind me, AND on top of my saddle bags if I need to. I have recently found ROK Straps, which are REALLY handy for this purpose.
http://www.rokstraps.com/

As for the dragon, yeah, I rode it once. I had a great time, and we were there on a cloudy, rainy Tuesday in October- so there was barely anyone else there besides us. Would I ride it again? Yeah maybe some day. Why not? Except maybe that there are thousand of miles of similar roads in NC, TN, WVA, VA, & PA. None of which feature catchy names or mad quantities of idiots... And yeah I saw the Cherahola Skyway's clouds/rain/fog, too! It was still a fun ride, tho- and i DID enjoy The Dragon- that whole day was great, even if it was cold and wet. I mean, hey- I have never had a bad day on a motorcycle.

Lastly, to [perhaps over] state the REALLY obvious... when ever possible, allow MORE TIME for your trips... I know, I know- Time is the one commodity that we ALL wish we had more of. But that one itsy-bitsy thing will make SO much more difference- more than any one other thing- in ANY motorcycle trip you may take in the future. Time allows you to stay off major freeways or interstate highways, will let you explore the US highways and back roads. In turn, doing that will have you taking more pix, and meeting more interesting people, eating at better mom & pop restaurants, and finding better campgrounds and motels. Cuz the good shit ain't found along the Interstate corridors- well, not very often, anyway. I recently decided I didn't have to hurry home (to PA from NC) and wound up having a magical ride, nearly all by my self- on the BRP/Skyline Drive!



One other thing. When you finally get an iPhone (or "smart" phone- you KNOW you want one) use THAT for your pix. I use mine for darn near everything- in fact I read a RR from a guy who traveled thousands of miles using his iPhone as his only "tool"- for music, navigation, maps, & Internet. He uploaded the 50.00 Garmin APP which is stored in the phone's memory and doesn't need signal to operate. The iPhone takes reasonably decent pix (I mean YOU still have to "aim" it) and they are easily uploaded into hosting apps like photobucket- for easy peasy sharing. The above pic was taken with my phone on that November BRP run, cropped and slightly enhanced, in Instagram.

Cheers man.
Keep the shiny side up.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:04 AM   #22
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Thumb Nice Report

Hey ricochetrider,
Excellent report! No photos of food or the ADV salute, but no worries! I think you really captured the essence of the ride and your personal observations contributed to making it a good read. Glad your buddy was only nipped by the Dragon, and lived to slay another day! Looking forward to your next report.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:53 AM   #23
ricochetrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Hey ricochetrider,
Excellent report! No photos of food or the ADV salute, but no worries! I think you really captured the essence of the ride and your personal observations contributed to making it a good read. Glad your buddy was only nipped by the Dragon, and lived to slay another day! Looking forward to your next report.
ummm... dood...
NOT my RR, just inserted some commentary.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #24
sgio OP
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Hey ricochetrider. Thanks for reading and for all the great tips. I agree completely on the time deal. It would be better to take more time or go on a shorter trip next time.

I am not sure what the deal is with the pictures, since I can still see them. Is anyone else having issues?

satz - ST1300 was great for this trip. It handled the twisty roads great. It really handles well and feels much lighter than it is once you are moving. Long periods in the saddle are just a problem for me whether its a bike, car or plane, Its worse on the bike because I can't move around much to relieve knee of butt ache. Thanks for reading!

Hey Blader54. Thanks for reading, I am glad you enjoyed it.

ride4321, thanks for reading, I have read several of your reports and enjoyed them. I see you are in Binghamton, not far away from me here in Horseheads.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #25
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Photos are fine on my iSomething.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #26
ride4321
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Originally Posted by sgio View Post

ride4321, thanks for reading, I have read several of your reports and enjoyed them. I see you are in Binghamton, not far away from me here in Horseheads.
Maybe we'll run into each other some day. I'm heading back down to NC/TN around the end of April. Think I'm going to look around for a piece of property or a house while I'm there.
WV is not that far away, you can always make a long weekend trip down there and have a blast just finding new roads.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:54 PM   #27
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Enjoyed this read.
I can feel the cold and the miles of interstate
and I still want to be there.
I am a big fan of West Va riding. Twisties and dirt and
camping. I also want to ride some upstate NY but
It takes more than 2 days.
The thing about I-81 is the speed.
It will get you there fast.
You wanted to get home fast
after all.
Thanks bro.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:47 PM   #28
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Thanks Vinbowie. Glad you enjoyed the report!
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