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Old 08-08-2010, 05:19 AM   #1
TavisB OP
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TavisB's (unsolo) 2010 TAT Ride Report (w/HD video)

I did blog this ride from the road (as did Exile), so if you followed there you will see most of the same pictures. I'm going to try to make this ride report neater and more organized, plus I'll be adding the video I shot with my GoPro HD helmet cam. I'm going to do one post per day of the trip, and I'll have to space out my posting a bit as it takes me a while to edit the video.

Background:

In a way, I started planning this trip about four years ago. I was originally intending to drive my Mustang out west and back. Then I got back into motorcycles, and started planning a fun route to take my sport bike on. About two years ago, I stumbled on to a Trans-America Trail ride report on advrider.com, and I knew that this would be the perfect trip for me. I started planning, bought maps and charts, and spent about 6 months plugging away at my computer to get everything into the GPS receiver. I got my TAT bike, a 2002 DR-Z400S, in September and began working on getting it and myself ready for some long off-road miles. In the months before departure, I started talking to a few other advriders and decided to ride with them instead of going solo. I am glad I did.

I have a fairly extensive thread in the Americas section of Trip Planning, if anyone wants details on the preparations.





My overall route from my SPOT




http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=6238
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TavisB screwed with this post 09-19-2010 at 11:57 AM Reason: Added to title.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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Jellico - 7/5/2010

On July 4th I loaded all of my stuff into my pickup and drove from Pittsburgh, Pa to my parents house in Morgan County, Ohio. I visited my family for the rest of the day and tried to get some sleep. The next day I transferred everything over to my Dad's pickup, and we headed for Jellico.

It took a little longer than we thought it would to get down there so I missed dinner with my new riding partners (Mike, Ryan and Paul), who I hadn't met yet. As I was starting to unload in the parking lot of the motel Ryan came by and told me where everyone else was. I finished unloading, said goodbye to my Dad, and headed over to the Mexican restaurant to meet Mike and Paul.

We chatted for a bit and made some plans for the next morning and then headed back for the motel. I tried to stop for some fast food at the Hardees and was accosted by some wacked out, half naked, meth head. I think he wanted me to give him money, but I couldn't understand a damn thing the dude was saying, so I took off on the bike and went to Wendy's.

I got back to the motel and was settling in for the night, when (I believe it was) Ben rolled up on his DR. He told me that Chris and himself were at a campground nearby and were also running the TAT. Maybe we'd see each other on the trail tomorrow.

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TavisB
On July 4th I loaded all of my stuff into my pickup and drove from Pittsburgh, Pa to my parents house in Morgan County, Ohio. I visited my family for the rest of the day and tried to get some sleep. The next day I transferred everything over to my Dad's pickup, and we headed for Jellico.

It took a little longer than we thought it would to get down there so I missed dinner with my new riding partners (Mike, Ryan and Paul), who I hadn't met yet. As I was starting to unload in the parking lot of the motel Ryan came by and told me where everyone else was. I finished unloading, said goodbye to my Dad, and headed over to the Mexican restaurant to meet Mike and Paul.

We chatted for a bit and made some plans for the next morning and then headed back for the motel. I tried to stop for some fast food at the Hardees and was accosted by some wacked out, half naked, meth head. I think he wanted me to give him money, but I couldn't understand a damn thing the dude was saying, so I took off on the bike and went to Wendy's.

I got back to the motel and was settling in for the night, when (I believe it was) Ben rolled up on his DR. He told me that Chris and himself were at a campground nearby and were also running the TAT. Maybe we'd see each other on the trail tomorrow.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:51 AM   #4
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Day 1 - 7/6/2010

We loaded up and got moving around 7 am. I had slept about an hour the night before, I was so excited to start. At the gas station we met the two other riders, Ben and Chris. We ended up riding with them most of the day. The roads we were on today were a mix of pavement and gravel. There was some freshly laid gravel that was very challenging to ride. It was like a deep talcum powder with rocks mixed in. The dust was so bad I would have to wipe the screen of my GPS about every 30 seconds or I couldn’t see where we were (I was doing this subconsciously by the middle of the trip). We had our first reroute of the trip, due to a closed/gated bridge. We tried to get through, but this one required a reroute. We had two riders go down in the gravel today. One sustained an injury, Paul. He seemed ok at first, but his leg started swelling up pretty good. He decided to leave the group to go have it checked out. We hoped he would be able to rejoin us, but it didn't heal up fast enough for him to continue. We reached our campground at 6:30 pm, 220 miles from Jellico. I went to bed hot, tired, dusty and smelly, but excited to do it again the next morning.





Even though the bridge was closed at the other end, it was fun to try to get across.


Riding an old railroad.




Day 1 Video:





I'm going to ask for some constructive criticism on this video :). I'm going to wait for some feedback before I do the video(s) for day 2. Not all the footage is super exciting (this is a marathon ride not a sprint :p) but I want them to represent a sampling of the conditions and terrain that is encountered on the TAT. So, after watching this first video, should I include music or leave the audio as is? I used the waterproof cover on the GoPro the whole trip so the audio is kinda crappy, if I hadn't the camera would have surely been ruined. Any other suggestions?
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:03 AM   #5
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The video looks very good.. more installments would be appreciated
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:22 AM   #6
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Tell it, and edit it, your way. I'm along for the ride.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
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Travis the video is fine. I just got home yesterday from the TAT myself. I only went as far as Buena Vista CO but had a blast. I've been following Exile's thread as one of the guys I met up with in CO is a friend of their parents. Small world.

Bring it on. I am subscribed.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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Leave the music and editing for when you get home. Then you can add what applies to create a full length epic journey movie! Enjoy the ride but keep the report and pics coming.
Ride Safe............
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoBoss
Leave the music and editing for when you get home. Then you can add what applies to create a full length epic journey movie! Enjoy the ride but keep the report and pics coming.
Ride Safe............
I'm back home, but I may do that eventually :)
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TavisB screwed with this post 08-08-2010 at 08:00 PM
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:17 AM   #10
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Trav,

glad your back and in one piece! Can you Pm me your Youtube account name so I can see your vids, I have to watch via my phone with m.Youtube.com, can't see video in a web page.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:14 AM   #11
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TavisB,

So far so great.

The TAT is on my list. I figure I need to rent a U-Haul to get the bike to TN and then ride back west. A riding buddy or two would be good, too.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:41 AM   #12
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Looking forward for the pics. One thing I am trying with my helmet cam is different positions for the shot. Maybe looking backward at the bike behind you, or something of that nature...
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventurecycle
Looking forward for the pics. One thing I am trying with my helmet cam is different positions for the shot. Maybe looking backward at the bike behind you, or something of that nature...
That would be awesome. I couldn't pull that off on this trip. We were pretty much always on the move, I would fall behind the group sometimes just trying to make sure I turned the power on or hit the record button. I bought another small camera and made a velcro mount for it on the back of my topbox for recording behind me, and also had another RAM mount so that I could shoot different angles with my Canon, but I never had time to play around with that stuff. Maybe on my next solo ride :).
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:59 AM   #14
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Yea, I have a Contour HD and actually never tried it either. I always want to, but always think about it after I start moving.... You need to talk your riding buddies into getting a cam also!
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TavisB
On July 4th I loaded all of my stuff into my pickup and drove from Pittsburgh, Pa to my parents house in Morgan County, Ohio.
Wow, someone from Morgan County. I was born in Marietta but my dad and his family are from Morgan County. My grandparents and uncle lived their until they passed about 10 years ago. I love visiting the area because it is like going back in time.
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