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Old 08-15-2011, 05:56 PM   #286
ridingAK
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I'm 5'3" and have a 2006 BMW F650gs. I was barely even able to reach with tippy toes with the stock seat, but between lowering links (kouba) and a custom lowered seat (Rich's), the bike fits me like a glove. This spring I did a month long solo trip and am eyeing a trip South of the boarder in the not too distant future. I have ridden the bike from Prudhoe Bay to Gulfport, MS on dirt, mud, gravel, back roads, and Interstate. It handles it all. My only wish is for a little more power on the long Interstate days.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:10 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by DantesDame View Post
I would recommend something, but I have a 35" inseam and short riders tend to hate me
Oh, we hate you anyway, not just because of the inseam.

ridingAK, that ride sounds so much fun! I agree that it could have a little more "ooph" on the all day interstate rides...but what fun are those, anyway, right? Did you do a ride report here on ADV?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:53 PM   #288
CanadaCarrie
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Mmm the deliberations...

Ladies,

Thanks so much for your input! Surprised myself and sat on two F650 GS bikes today and was able to almost flat foot in flip flops so with my riding boots I am sure it will be fine. Whoops - first hurdle, done. Second hurdle - the reality of owning the bike (you all have settled those concerns!) Second hurdle - sticker shock, still working on that one. I am about 3 days away from purchasing... gotta give myself some time to make sure it is not an "impulse" buy.

Now, Jen you have introduced the Suzuki DR 650 concept because of the ease on the pocket book. Mmmm. Thanks a hell of alot (insert charcastic laugh here). I will make some calls tomorrow. Funny that you are from Vancouver as I grew up in Deep Cove (North Van) and will be in Whistler in 3 weeks.

Leads me to my next question... in chatting with a friend tonight (male with 20+ years ADV riding experience) he was very supportive and VERY cautionary when I threw out my thought of actually riding it (the almost new to me F650 GS) solo to BC in 3 weeks from Park City, UT. He knows I am just getting comfortable in traffic and such with my TTR225 and pointed out the addition of a heavier bike, loaded bike, fatigue, etc. He was making complete sense and being very kind while not trying to scare me.

Am I nuts in considering riding it to Canada? I am starting to think if nothing else it is a VERY BOLD thought.

Cheers, Carrie
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:41 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCarrie View Post
Leads me to my next question... in chatting with a friend tonight (male with 20+ years ADV riding experience) he was very supportive and VERY cautionary when I threw out my thought of actually riding it (the almost new to me F650 GS) solo to BC in 3 weeks from Park City, UT. He knows I am just getting comfortable in traffic and such with my TTR225 and pointed out the addition of a heavier bike, loaded bike, fatigue, etc. He was making complete sense and being very kind while not trying to scare me.

Am I nuts in considering riding it to Canada? I am starting to think if nothing else it is a VERY BOLD thought.

Cheers, Carrie
You shouldn't let others sway you one way or another. My best advice is: Do whatever you feel comfortable doing. If thinking about riding solo somewhere on a new bike fills you with excitement, go with it. If it fills you with apprehension, don't do it. Heavy bike, loaded bike, fatigue, etc. are not reasons to NOT ride. If they make you THINK, then think about it - but don't base a decision on that. Base your decision on what you KNOW about yourself and your confidence level.
Make it based upon how YOU feel, what YOU think and what YOU want.

There's a ride report around here somewhere of a girl buying her first bike, learning to ride it while traveling down to Mexico all by herself. I should dig it up for you.... she did great and had a blast.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCarrie View Post
Ladies,
Leads me to my next question... in chatting with a friend tonight (male with 20+ years ADV riding experience) he was very supportive and VERY cautionary when I threw out my thought of actually riding it (the almost new to me F650 GS) solo to BC in 3 weeks from Park City, UT. He knows I am just getting comfortable in traffic and such with my TTR225 and pointed out the addition of a heavier bike, loaded bike, fatigue, etc. He was making complete sense and being very kind while not trying to scare me.

Am I nuts in considering riding it to Canada? I am starting to think if nothing else it is a VERY BOLD thought.

Cheers, Carrie
Nuts? Probably.
Should you do it anyway? YES!

It is good of your friend to caution you, but there is no good reason for you not to go.
Traffic? Stay out of cities. There are some excellent routes between Utah and Whistler that will keep you on the more interesting/less trafficked roads. Central Oregon is wonderfully empty, central Washington is beautiful, and crossing at some place like Osoyoos is perfect (although the Nighthawk crossing is my favorite)
Fatigue? Wear earplugs!!! Really. They can be off-the-shelf plugs, but wear them. It is amazing how much less fatigued you'll feel after a long day in the saddle. In addition, take many breaks and keep yourself hydrated. The west is a dry place. Consider using a camelback to make it easier to take a sip of water frequently rather than just guzzling a couple of liters at every stop.
Heavy bike? You really shouldn't notice this while you're under way. Just be sure to put your feet down when coming to a stop In fact, the "heavier bike" will handle a lot better at speeds than what you're used to and will probably be a lot easier to ride

If you're concerned about being alone and out of cellphone range, consider getting a SPOT locator. This can help make you feel comfortable knowing that you have a sure-fire way of contacting help, as well as a way of reassuring your friends/family that you're ok.

I don't know if you're buying used or new, but tell the seller that the bike needs to be "long distance" trip ready, so that the tires, oil, etc, are all ready to go for you


This is a (rough) route I might suggest:


View Larger Map

(dunno why the map won't map won't load in properly, but the link works)
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:48 AM   #291
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Long Distance

Hey Ladies,

Just dropped in to this thread. Advice to Carrie is helping me, too. I've had my 650GS single (Love it!) for about a year, but will be heading out cross-country (NY to UT) soon for my first big miles trip. I haven't been riding since Dec after an injury, but will be back on next week. So, only three weeks to prep myself, bike is ready.

I'm thinking one way to get ready is practice runs. Longer mile days out, adding gear and miles each time until 'fully loaded' and see how it feels. What else would help get ready for the miles?

I'm a little nervous, but so looking forward to the trip that I can't wait. Good luck, Carrie!

Thanks,
Dawn
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #292
CanadaCarrie
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Update!

Hi ladies,

The big update is that I pick up the bike tomorrow or Friday!

A friend and her husband along with a cute boy from CO have been invaluable in the coaching/recommendations process along with all YOUR comments. Also a plug for BMW Motorcycles of Utah, Sandy location for answering so many of my newbie questions.

The bike = F650GS, 2003, 14,000 miles, yellow, new tires/chain & sprockets, trunk, heated grips... for $3,675.

Now lots of riding to be had! I am sure I will be back on this forum looking for more WOMAN'S advice VERY soon. Will post a picture once I am connected with the bike.

Dawn - I see you are coming out to UT? If you need a pillow I am in Park City, UT. I will be travelling but back Sept 20... we can go for some local rides with the lads and lassies of the ADV community here if you want. PM if you make it this way.

Cheers, Carrie
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #293
Cuttle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opaque_machete View Post
+100 My problem isn't the clothing, however, it's the boots! I have to have a somewhat wide boot in a size 6, but the only boots that they make for women are too slender for my feet. A man's boot is a great fit, but they don't sell them small enough. My favorites are the Thor 50/50s, but I have to stuff them in order to get them to fit. They are a couple sizes too big, but work great on and off the bike. I sent Thor a little note asking them to please consider making the EXACT same boot in women's sizes. No changes. I feel your pain with the differences between men's and women's clothing. It makes no sense to me. I finally ordered a pair of the women's Tour Master Venture Air pants, but I haven't received them yet. Anyone have a pair of these and can comment?

Marjorie
I may have a pair of new goretex boots size 6 that fit you (leftover stock from our old shop), it's a German company and cut wider than Italian boots. Let me take a look tonight, and please send me a pm in case I forget .
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:48 AM   #294
katego
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I'm getting excited... now I get to join in on the fun.....

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I have some friends starting north from Sante Fe on 9/16. Here's a link to their route planned so far.....

http://bootstrap.net/wp/2011/07/18/r...route-day-one/
http://bootstrap.net/wp/2011/07/21/rockies-run-day-2/

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Old 09-02-2011, 07:22 AM   #295
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Boots! Pants!

+1 on this!

I can't find ANY boots that accommodate my big ol' fat calves.

I have those pants and they're okay. I like my Tourmaster Flex pants better -- they are a little saggy looking in the butt (never thought I'd say that about MY clothes!), but they are roomy where they need to be and work well in the summer AND winter. The waterproof layer might work in regular rain; I don't know. The first opportunity I had to try out that feature was a monsoon-like rain/hailstorm and they didn't keep me dry. Since then, I've carried rain pants with me. Putting on an inner layer in the rain is pretty inconvenient.



Quote:
Originally Posted by opaque_machete View Post
+100 My problem isn't the clothing, however, it's the boots! I have to have a somewhat wide boot in a size 6, but the only boots that they make for women are too slender for my feet. A man's boot is a great fit, but they don't sell them small enough. My favorites are the Thor 50/50s, but I have to stuff them in order to get them to fit. They are a couple sizes too big, but work great on and off the bike. I sent Thor a little note asking them to please consider making the EXACT same boot in women's sizes. No changes. I feel your pain with the differences between men's and women's clothing. It makes no sense to me. I finally ordered a pair of the women's Tour Master Venture Air pants, but I haven't received them yet. Anyone have a pair of these and can comment?

Marjorie
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:34 AM   #296
TraumaQueen
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Tips from the road

I posted this elsewhere, but wanted to share with you ladies too:

Lessons learned
I just did my first solo trip.

MN > ND > MT > ID > WA > ID > WY > NE > CO > NM > TX > OK > KS > MO > IA > MN

Here are some things I learned.

1) Know when to turn around.

The thing at the end of a dirt/gravel becomes proportionally less interesting with each mile over 5 one has to ride on touring tires. Double this level of disappointment if you are riding fully loaded with your gear.

Example: Toadstool Park in Nebraska: two hours of my life that I want back

2) Other ADVers are a great resource for things to see on the road.

Example: Daggy sent me to Carhenge, also in Nebraska. It was very, very cool.



3) Don't be afraid of the dark.

One night I rode toward what I initially thought was a small airport south of Colorado Springs. Then I thought it might be a big airport. But the lights were all red and blinking in unison, and when the road took me right into the midst of them, I knew it sure wasn't an airport.

I got to watch a nearly full moon rise over an eerily silent wind farm. The red lights, 400 feet in the air, were all around me and I heard coyotes calling to each other. It was a spectacularly comfortable and awesome evening.



By day, the wind farm would have been cool. At night, it seemed magical.

4) Be creative.

Sure, stuff is designed to be used in a certain way, but that doesn't mean you can't make it work even better for you in a pinch.

Example: Hotel-size soaps are great for traveling, but a plastic soap box is way too big for one. Fold a panty liner (business side toward the bar) over the wet soap to save it for its next use. It peels right off and keeps from getting your other stuff all soapy.

Example: Hauling a Camelbak around turned out to be a very good idea, but the pack itself was often in the way. I ended up mailing the backpack part home after pulling the bladder out, filling it with ice, and dropping it in the back protector pocket of my Olympia jacket. It kept me cool, was nice and soft to lean back on, and fit perfectly with the foam insert in place.

Bonus tip: Blow the warm water back into the bladder in between drinks and you won't get a first mouthful of hot water.

Example: A camping hammock doubles nicely as a sleeping bag liner.

5. People are strange. Bikers are stranger - but not strangers.

Example: A woman I had just met -- literally 15 minutes before -- loaned me an evap vest for the remainder of my trip. I was astonished at her generosity and trust. But we're all family, no matter what we ride, right?




I'm certain there is so much wisdom out there. After all, like I said, this was my first solo trip.

Anyone else want to share tips and tricks?

I'd like to know how to get by on packing less clothing...
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:09 PM   #297
katego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraumaQueen View Post
I posted this elsewhere, but wanted to share with you ladies too:

Anyone else want to share tips and tricks?

I'd like to know how to get by on packing less clothing...
Love your blog TQ!

For clothing, Sounds weird, but I always pack a skirt. You can pull the skirt on over your riding pants to change out of them.
Then trade socks and boots for sandals and you don't look too weird. ;).

I'm getting ready for a big trip. Usually I ride solo and this will be the first multi-day group trip that I've been on. Will see how that goes...

-k
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:05 PM   #298
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Clothing

I've done a couple 2400 miles trips (New England, Nova Scotia, PEI & this year the Blue Ridge Parkway and back) and pack just 4 or 5 changes of cloths, planning a laundry stop when the clean cloths run out. Other ideas - snack size zip lock bag for the wet soap or use the liquid camping soap. I use a sandwich bag over my GPS in the rain since it is not waterproof. I also pack my Kindle as it takes up less space than actual books and was great for a mid-afternoon hydration break in a cool spot. Have a great time!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:44 PM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraumaQueen View Post
+1 on this!

I can't find ANY boots that accommodate my big ol' fat calves.

I have those pants and they're okay. I like my Tourmaster Flex pants better -- they are a little saggy looking in the butt (never thought I'd say that about MY clothes!), but they are roomy where they need to be and work well in the summer AND winter. The waterproof layer might work in regular rain; I don't know. The first opportunity I had to try out that feature was a monsoon-like rain/hailstorm and they didn't keep me dry. Since then, I've carried rain pants with me. Putting on an inner layer in the rain is pretty inconvenient.
Got the Venture Air Pants, too small around the waist. I had to send them back and keep the men's pants that I have. Oh well. As for boots, I ordered a youth size 5 in Vega MX boots. They fit in the length, but they bit into my inner ankles and didn't quite go around my calves. I'm sending them back. I also ordered a pair of the Thor Quadrants (in pale blue/white, of course) and they fit, for the most part. They were just a smidge small. My oldest daughter, who has voiced interest over the past year or so in motorcycles, has decided that they fit her perfectly and is refusing to let me exchange them. Oh well, I just went ahead and ordered a size bigger. I'm hoping they'll fit like a glove. I too have decided to just go with a rain suit. Cheaper and less of a hassle.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:27 PM   #300
CanadaCarrie
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Looking for boots...

Hi ladies,

OK this might sound silly but has anyone stumbled across 'nice' boots. Now, I say this with a qualification as I commute and am a bit of a girly girl so it would be great to have some tall boots that look decent but still offer protection... so I can get where I need to go, stuff the full zip pants & jacket into a tank bag and off I go looking like I just got out of car instead of slightly disheveled and practical. My commute is short but I would rather be protected regardless of a 10 minute commute or a 1 hour commute.

Any thoughts? Laughter is also appreciated as so far my search has been fruitless and I am getting a little tired of changing my shoes in the parking lot on my way to a meeting (tehe, got busted by a client the other day). Luckily when I blushed and schrugged my shoulders he laughed as he used to ride as a young man.

Maybe I should design a pair? Am I the only female rider wanting to be a touch more lady like out there? I doubt it. Tehe.

Cheers, Carrie
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