2013 - Eastern TAT - Old Dawgs, New Tricks

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jsherman, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Jsherman

    Jsherman Adventurer

    Aug 28, 2012
    A couple of items of note for the trip:

    1. We had intended on camping more - in the end, we camped once and stayed in hotels for the remainder of the trip

    2. We utilized SENA SM5's for communications across the three riders. Because we used the cheaper models, we could only communicate between two riders at any one time. Switching was pretty easy and the third rider was able to interrupt conversations by notifying the person they wanted to speak with through initiating a call. Overall, huge benefit.

    3. We had two Garmin Montanas with us - both were loaded with ROUTES built off of the TRACKS created by Sam (purchased off the tat site). I spent MANY hours building these routes, but this was HUGELY beneficial as no one had to deal with TAT rolls and the GPS would literally tell us exactly where our next turn was and how long until the next one. Luigi, who is totally non-technical and had never used a GPS was able to use my GPS TAT routes to lead on multiple days. They were that easy...

    I am considering sending my routes to Sam - so they can be sent out instead of the gps tracks...we'll see.

    More to come...I've been processing video and prepping images all day.

    Stats for the overall trip:
    1,878 Miles (this includes the route back from the end of Arkansas to Tellico Plains, TN)

    Six total days of travel - five for the TAT and one for the ride back to Tellico Plains
    Moving Average = 43.2 MPH
    Overall Average = 28.2 MPH
  2. Jsherman

    Jsherman Adventurer

    Aug 28, 2012
    TAT 2013 - Day 1 - August 3, 2013

    Official start and man were we hyped. Woke up at the lodge at Tellico and got the bikes ready (ok, we had them ready the night before). Pulled them out of the garage and got breakfast.

    We've never done this before - so while excited, I also had some feelings of not knowing what to expect. Anxious is probably the best description.

    The day started with the following statement:
    "First one down in the water, buys the beer for the night"

    Deal. Knowing we had creek crossing number 4 (where someone ALWAYS goes down) - we were all armed with cash in pocket to buy the beer - yet all hoping that it was going to be Luigi down first (except Luigi - he was hoping it'd be me).

    With beer on my mind, we started. (this is a picture of some of the winnings - yes, someone went down on number four)

    Breakfast - thanks to the lodge at Tellico for a great spread!

    Bikes all queued up - Five Star making sure his gear was secure.

    Breakfast complete and one last photo (prior to any breakage or injuries) - everyone/thing real nice and clean

    Quick video of the start of the TAT here in TN. Just to give everyone an idea what it looks like prior to the water. A day one report usually contains the water crossings and pictures.

    <IFRAME height=480 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/c2o-lBERy6I?rel=0" width=640 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    Ok, I Know, you only care about one thing...WHO is going to buy the beer? I went across #4 first, it was challenging, bumpy, and wet. But, I made it. We were told multiple times, go LEFT by many people (even the guy at Motorcycle outfitters). Before I went in, I could see in the water a clear path. But, I recognized that there is protruding bed rock on both the LEFT and the RIGHT side of the narrow path.

    The predictions are:
    Luigi = 2 votes
    YoungBull = 1 vote

    I took the middle.
    Luigi decided he was going to go trout fishing upstream...high centered himself on the bed rock.
    Five Star decided he was tired and wanted to take a break in the middle of the stream. resting nicely on the right side of the bed rock.

    <IFRAME height=480 src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-BWapFmSAQw?rel=0" frameBorder=0 width=640 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    Luigi is the buyer of the beer!


    A little ways after the water crossings, we take a break. The two old guys were helping each other - with what, I wasn't sure and I didn't want to ask.

    Soon after, it was lunch time.

    Luigi is unhappy in this picture, maybe a little wet in the drawers?

    More riding - and we stop at a cemetery for another break. I am a big fan of old cemeteries, especially if they date to the 1800's. This met all my demands.


    While the two old guys fooled around with their depends - I was checking out the dates of the stones.

    Eventually, it was near the end of the day and we started searching for a place to stay. Hotel tonight - first day on the road and not a campsite for miles. This picture is me appeasing Five Star by looking at his maps - the whole time, knowing that I could just ask my GPS "where is a hotel".


    We decide on a hotel in Alabama (due south of current location).

    1. Many miles of paved Tennessee back roads. Very few, unpaved.
    2. Total miles per GPS is 331 - not sure of accuracy.
    3. Moving Average - 35.4
    4. Max Speed - 78.1 (um, probably wasn't legal)
    5. Wife and family members LOVE having access to our SPOT for real time updates. When we did the final spot checkin at the hotel in Athens, Alabama - they called and named the hotel. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.
    6. Animals -
    a. Deer – many many many deer. Pretty sure I chased two for a quarter mile<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    b. Goats<o:p></o:p>
    c. Raccoons<o:p></o:p>
    d. Turkey<o:p></o:p>
    e. Rabbits<o:p></o:p>
    f. Dogs (Luigi was chased by at least half-dozen dogs)<o:p></o:p>
    g. Cows<o:p></o:p>
    h. Llama<o:p></o:p>
    i. Cats<o:p></o:p>
    j. Donkeys (at least a dozen or more in one field)<o:p></o:p>
    k. Sheep<o:p></o:p>
    l. Mouse<o:p></o:p>
    m. Opossum<o:p></o:p>

    Overall, it was a great first day. I'm very happy the three of us are working as a team and all of our gear and bikes are performing as expected.

    More to come!