Around the States in 60 Days....ish.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bambooda, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Toronto
    Hello big wide world! This is my first riding adventure, and I have to say, I’m a bit nervous!

    About me:

    I’m Chelsey (@IronBack) and I’ve been a passenger for many years now, but recently decided this was the year to get my own license. I’ve recently completed my practical experience for my CA, CPA accounting designation, and I took some time off work to plan an adventure! I’m a travel enthusiast, but I’ve never done a motorcycle trip before.

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    Step 1: License. I've gone trail riding before on my TTR125, but have never had my license. I got my M1 in April, and was able to find a decent insurance plan that would insure me as an M1 driver. This was critical to get as much experience as possible on the road before heading out on any trips! I got my M2 in June and crossed this off the list.

    Step 2: Motorcycle. I’m quite small (life of a female rider) and as I’m a new driver I wasn’t comfortable getting anything too big to handle. I settled on an XT250 which I think was a great choice and I got a great deal as well! Her name is Xena.

    Step 3: Adventure Time! After much deliberation, a route has been materialized. The trip will be around 2 months, starting from Toronto. The plan is to head West from Toronto across the States towards Wyoming/Idaho, South towards Utah/Colorado, swing back West towards California and drive down the coast, and start working East through the Southern States (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana). The ride home is very up in the air as it will be dependent on how much time there is left over. The route is centered on State Parks and nature, and will likely spend a lot of time in Utah/Colorado/California. The accommodations will be a mixture of camping and tent space, and the roads will be a plethora of back roads as my bike is small and I’d like to avoid interstates. More to see that way anyways! The trip has been mapped using furkot.com which is a great website for customizing your trip based on miles/day, gas stops, average daily riding, avoiding highways, etc… and is the basis for the route. You can export to your GPS as well (routes and tracks) which is a great feature!

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    I’m definitely nervous but very excited for what is in store! Hope you all come along and enjoy the ride with me. :D

    Oh, by the way, this is Jeff. He’s coming too.

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    #1
    HunRider, GutsyGibbon, Foiler and 8 others like this.
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    :lurk
    #2
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  3. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Toronto
    Hey, I'm Jeff!
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    I'm an avid motorcyclist and have been riding for the past 9 years. Over the years I've owned 9 bikes, most of them either dirt bikes or dual sports. Some of them really "crappy" :D. They've all been a blast to own. When I wasn't ripping around getting lost somewhere in the country side, I was either fixing them or trying to figure out ways to make them better. I've developed a passion for working on bikes and there's not much I enjoy more than spending time in the garage tinkering with things. Naturally, I now have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In the last 2 years I've begun racing Enduros on my EXC 200 and have really enjoyed the competitive nature of the rides. However, I think my favourite riding is still getting together with friends and simply adventuring in the wilderness up north. This will now be my second long distance trip, my first being 7 weeks to Alaska and back (First trip: Mechanical Engineer on a mission, Toronto to Alaska and back!)
    . Ever since then I've had the itch to do another one and figured it was time to see the States! Here we go again!!!!!

    Now, if we could only find a place for all this stuff on the bikes…

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    #3
  4. ThePackTrack

    ThePackTrack Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    He's handy to have around, pretty good at fixing things!!
    #4
  5. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Toronto
    Jeff: Holy smokes!!!! It turns out all the gear fits!!!
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    We got everything packed on the bike and still have some spare room in Chelsey's duffel bag! Woohoo!

    Before leaving, my dad insisted my windshield had too many bugs on it and felt the need to remove some of them. I feel his effort will soon be proven futile. I guess it's the thought that counts, right?? While my dad was scrubbing away, my brother performed a ceremonial blessing of the bikes with the Canadian Nectar: Tim Hortons coffee.

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    And with the Spirit of Canada strong on our bikes... We're Off!!! :ricky:ricky
    #5
  6. migilito

    migilito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    s-cal
    I had an XT250, really good bike. You will have zero issues with it. Once you load it up get it to cruising speed and decide IF you need to change the front sprocket. Look into a throttle lock. And remember, in the southern Calif area, folks are really stupid drivers!!!
    #6
    german996 likes this.
  7. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,803
    Location:
    Great White North
    Cheering you two on from TDot

    DW
    #7
  8. Passerbyer

    Passerbyer WeiJay

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    If time permits and weather, you should try to hit up blue ridge park near Asheville on the way back to Tdot.

    I rode down skyline dr and blue ridge after I left Toronto and it was quite spectacular.

    Good luck and have fun!
    #8
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  9. torch

    torch Solo Trecker

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    south west michigan
    So Jeff and Chelsey are hanging out with wife and I and Zak for the night. Great guests and Zak really enjoys the attention.
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    #9
    blessedfarmer likes this.
  10. kc9rzj

    kc9rzj n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3
    When you get to California, I would suggest taking the Pacific Coast Highway, I lived out near there for a while. I never did get to go all the way down it, but what I saw was absolutely amazing. It is known as one of the most beautiful drives in America. Also, I was looking at the days where you will be, we may be in Utah around Moab at the same time. Would be great to meet up. I am doing a solo trip to Nevada (Burning Man) next week.
    #10
    Foiler and flyingbluecamper like this.
  11. jwc

    jwc Ready to go

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    :lurk Looks like fun
    #11
  12. finewayne

    finewayne Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    58
    nice trip, looks so much fun

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    #12
  13. dano619

    dano619 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    :lurk
    #13
  14. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Toronto
    Jeff here:

    I was wondering how far we would make it before pulling out tools...

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    A day and a half into the ride and something just didn't feel right. Here I am driving down the road thinking to myself "Maybe I'm just psyching myself out and the bike is just a bit wobbly from all the gear... Nope, something's definitely weird; It's feels like I'm riding a bike made of wet spaghetti...". As the day went on, I noticed when braking that the handle bars would jitter like crazy if I hit any bumps: "Could it be?!?! Did my steering come loose?!?!?!" Sure enough, by the end of the day if I tapped my brakes in a rhythmic fashion while moving I could get the whole front end to 'click' forward and backwards.

    "SO YOU'RE TELLING ME, I'VE HAD THE BIKE FOR 3.5 YRS AND BEFORE THE TRIP I CHANGED THE FORK OIL, THE FRONT BRAKE PADS, TIRE AND TUBES AND NEVER, ONCE, NOTICED A DARN THING FUNNY WITH THE FRONT END. BUT NOW, NOW IS WHEN IT DECIDES TO GO HAYWIRE ON ME..."

    I guess that's Murphy's Law eh? :lol3

    Fortunately, we landed with wonderful tent space hosts, @torch and his wife, who were just as enthusiastic towards getting my bike fixed as myself. We had that sucker propped up on a 5 gal bucket and the bars off in no time to get access to the steering bolts. Chelsey, of course, was our bucket spotter and ensured the bucket made it to the right spot while Torch and I lifted the bike. She was also an excellent pitch control; just had her lean on the back when we needed a little extra height on the front.
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    Turns out all we had to do was snug things up. With a flathead, a hammer, and a couple gentle taps, I slightly tightened the adjuster bolt. After that, Torch even drove me to the hardware store to pick up a 27mm socket. We got the stem nut cranked on and she feels good as new!

    Bonus: Here's another picture of their super cute dog.
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    Here's to hoping that the tool roll will be tucked away for a little while longer! For some reason I have my doubts...
    #14
  15. rebelmark

    rebelmark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Tag'd
    #15
  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    26,559
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Don't miss Big Sur... you're close to alot of G1s but are missing them.
    #16
  17. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    1,544
    Location:
    Los Banos CA
    I'm pretty sure Big Sur is on fire at the moment
    #17
  18. Mr. Bagel

    Mr. Bagel Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    15
    Jeff on his way.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. torch

    torch Solo Trecker

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    south west michigan
    OK!
    Chelsey and Jeff ignored the flash flood warnings and left about 9:00 in a light drizzle.

    Zak says don't forget ATGATT!
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    Posing with ginger in drive.

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    Jeff leads out.

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    And Chelsey is right behind.

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    Thanks for stopping by as our first tent space visitors and have a great trip.
    Bill & Ginger.
    #19
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  20. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Toronto
    Chelsey: Yeah that sounds cool we'll have to keep in touch! Jeff was thinking of doing the White Rim trail by himself (a little too advanced for me) so might be good to have someone to go with.
    #20