|05-06-2013, 11:10 AM||#1|
Joined: May 2013
LostJim Gets Lost - Solo Tour de USA on a Scrambler
Monday, May 6th, 2013
It has been four years since I've been on a motorcycle. Deployment cycles, financial restrictions, and a less-than-accommodating wife kept the garage empty of fun toys.
Four months ago I was sitting in the Middle East on my fifth deployment, my chain of command asking me to "volunteer" for number six this fall... my wife (err, soon to be ex) dropped the D-Bomb on me, and I had all but forgotten why I joined the Navy almost ten years ago.
I'm 28 years old, but the man I saw in the mirror looked older; tired and worn. Lost. I didn't recognize who I saw, didn't know who I was, but determined to find myself again.
I had a chunk of change sitting in my savings account. Scrimped and saved while on deployment. It was going to be a remodeled bathroom or some nonsense; God, I was a chump. When I am 80 years old, will I wish I had a sweet bathroom or had made incredible memories exploring?
The next day I called my local Triumph Dealer and put a deposit down on a brand new, Matte Grey Scrambler. It's the bike I wanted for a few years; I don't care that it's not really suited for ADV Riding... I may not be the most comfortable dude on the road, but I'll be one of the coolest (Okay, "look" the coolest)
I started planning.. planning far too much. It helped me get through a rough time. I can't explain the helpless feeling you get when someone you love decides to leave you; 5,000 miles away, helpless and confused. The self-pity and loathing lasted about a week, until I realized I could do all the things I never could when married (I guess I chose poorly.. any of you guys with supportive wives, be sure to PM me with some tips to make sure I pick a better one next time.. lol)
I returned to the States last week, picked up my bike, told the Chain of Command I was taking 30 days of leave, and took all of that planning and tossed it out the window. I'm going on an adventure, on my terms.. I'm going to be unapologetic, selfish. I'll ride as far as a I want, sleep when I want, camp when I want, stay at a hotel when it suits me, linger about, and maybe even find some pretty women to flirt with.
I just clocked 200 miles on the bike today.. this bike is incredible, or at least it suits me perfectly. I must look like an idiot around town; I just can't seem to scrape the shit-eating grin off my face as soon as I drop it in gear. I'll take a couple short/day trips over the next two weeks to get my ass in shape, test out my bungee-cord luggage system, and see if I can handle 400 miles/day without a windscreen.
I hope that out there I can find myself, remember why I joined the Navy, begin to heal wounds, and start over again. I love my Country and I wouldn't take back a single minute of my Enlistment.. but 3 1/2 years worth of deployments, personal sacrifices, a failed marriage, and nothing but bad news on the TV (making you think the sacrifices don't make much of a difference) has resulted in me wondering where to go next.
I will say this.. There may be no answers; but if there are, I'm sure I will find them out there. Or at least have a good time looking.
For those nerds out there (like me) who do like to hear about trip/bike planning/prep, here you go:
2013 Triumph Scrambler:
- Arrow Exhaust (Black Ceramic Coating)
- TKC 80 Tires (Because they look bad ass, and I might spend some time exploring National Forest Roads.. but mostly because they look bad-ass)
- Wolfman Tank Bag
- Waterproof Duffle Bag (Canoeing style) bungeed to the seat
That's it.. if I can't fit in the tank bag, duffle, or in my pocket, it's just not important enough to bring along. (Though, if I were riding overseas I'd have some panniers).
- Leave the Hampton Roads, VA area on May 16th.
- See a friend graduate from college in the DC Area
- Go west to Colorado (see my folks)
- Go south to Texas (catch up with some old buddies)
- Go east until I hit an ocean (I've never been to the Gulf Coast.. so a day or two in New Orleans is highly probable)
- Go north (hugging the coast) until I start recognizing where I am
I have not yet decided if I will bring any electronics along with me on the trip. I will be taking a journal, and a camera.. so the ride report will be detailed. No promises for updates on the road; but we'll see. I will post a complete "Gear List" as I figure out what I want to pack.. I'll post some pics in the near future as well.
Please post responses in any color other than red. I will post my updates in Red Font.. I love you guys, but when I read an old Ride Reports, the actual report can get lost.
|05-06-2013, 12:12 PM||#5|
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Northwest Oklahoma
Im in , be safe, by the way that bike is friggin awesome!!!!!!
"I feel like a mosquito in a nudist camp, I know what I gotta do, I'm just not quite sure where to get started"!!
|05-06-2013, 03:06 PM||#6|
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Thanks for your
Sorry about your relationship, I have been on that road not too long ago.
Take it slow so you can enjoy your trip. Be safe and looking forward to your RR.
|05-06-2013, 03:26 PM||#7|
The Energizer Bunny
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: marietta, ga.
Welcome home/enjoy the hell out of your trip. Let us know where you are/sure a few of us would like to buy you a beer.
ride till you can't.
Boxer Cup Replika/red-white-blue
|05-06-2013, 03:33 PM||#8|
Joined: Mar 2013
|05-06-2013, 05:17 PM||#9|
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
Don't underestimate the value of a really sweet bathroom remodel ............................. JUST KIDDING!
Ride safe, have fun and enjoy your time "away from it all".
Good luck, Rob
Formerly known as: Routt County Rob
|05-07-2013, 04:07 AM||#12|
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: north florida
welcome to the club shipmate! after 3 divorces myself...never mind, i'll buy you a beer...now, hit the road!
2012 VSTROM ADV 650
US NAVY RETIRED
|05-07-2013, 05:09 AM||#13|
Chronic High Fiver
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Alameda for now
I'm in.....just be safe! You have lots of friends on here to help find whatever you're looking for. But whatever happens, maybe just the ride will be what you're looking for!
"A straight road never made a skilled rider"
'13 Tiger 800 Roadie
|05-07-2013, 05:36 AM||#15|
Joined: May 2010
Location: seal beach, ca.
Thank you for your service!
Winston Churchill said..."If you're going through hell, keep going".
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