Financial Suicide: A new life behind bars

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by stuntheavy, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Tejas
    Howdy!

    I had started a "Trip Planning" thread, but kind of fell off the bandwagon with it, so hopefully I can keep this a bit more up to date.

    First, I'm Chris. 25, originally from Maine, now living in Texas, and never had a true adventure. I'm a rider through and through, and have ridden just about every type of motorcycle, or offroad vehicle since I was 9. I rode MX for a while, and eventually traveled and paid the bills as part of a Sportbike Freestyle team (stunt riding).

    How did I get into the ADV scene you ask? Well, the following video explains it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=TXXW8G7PSQQ
    It's very long and boring, so here is the readers digest:
    I've always turned wrenches since I was young. Decided to go to school, was approached by BMW to go through their factory training, and eventually wound up in the dealership environment. Education: Check. Career: Check. (Or so I thought. For a multitude of reasons, and the pains of Big Business, I found myself as my own worst enemy. I refused to be a hack, and unfortunately it seems in this field, that type of behavior is handsomely rewarded.) I learned pride was more valuable to me than numbers in my bank account.

    I suppose the next step was settling down and starting a family. After a several year relationship turned south as I started to let myself believe the truths I had been denying, I suddenly found myself in a place I didn't want to be, doing something I wasn't proud to be doing for a profession and now to top it off, I've got a overpriced shiny rock that I no longer need. Ain't that a bitch...

    After feeling sorry for myself for a while, I was trying to find a way out of this funk that I was in. Somewhere along this time, I found ADVRIDER.com. That was it. It was time for a new chapter. Personal life was in a hell hole. Work had went to shit. Empty promises of change were getting old, and enough was enough. I put in my two weeks notice and things went as amicable as possible. The ring went back. Instantly, I found myself scouring craigslist. KLR. DR. DRZ. F800gs. Finally I settled on an XR650R. Beat the snot out of it as a supermoto for a few months.

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    Ran like a top, no issues, so the conversion began. Skiplate, stock wheels, stator upgrade, lighting upgrade, power outlet, heated grips, sahara tank, racks, bags, on and on. I bought all my riding gear used, from the fleamarket.

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    So where to? The TAT. Coming from a dirt background, it's the perfect homage to the 'roots' of my riding. Never used a GPS before, so I had better learn. And that's just the beginning...

    I won't be on the TAT until near the end of May, but I'll be leaving Houston, Texas around the next week or so. Where I'll go in the mean time, I have no idea. Probably somewhere between here and the east coast. Maybe I can find some free or cheap camping and bide my time in some neat places along the way.

    And then what? My budget is decent, so where to after that? North? Alaska? South? Mexico? Patagonia? I won't eat cow brain, so can I survive on papaya, bananas, and cervezas that long? Where will I end up when the bank account is empty? Who knows. That's the beauty of it. No job waiting for me. No kids and wife at home. Essentially, my life has all been sold off, and now fits on the back of my bike. Home is my bike. It's all gone. 10 years worth of stuff have been compressed into 2 panniers and a drybag. As scary as that is, it's a freeing feeling as well.

    Sometimes its just not about the goddamn money.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41rX5RCuabc&feature=youtu.be
    #1
  2. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #2
  3. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,440
    Location:
    limerick pa / waterville pa
    In for the ride!
    I hope you enjoy your self and some if that rubs off on us that can't break away!
    #3
  4. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
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    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Subacribed
    #4
  5. VanIsland Rider

    VanIsland Rider Intrepid Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    154
    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    Wishing you safety in your adventure and happiness in your new life.
    #5
  6. Treedguy

    Treedguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,387
    Location:
    NY Hell
    Don't turn back. I was on your path. Met a girl.
    Nuff said.
    #6
  7. ride4fun562

    ride4fun562 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    CA
    Finally someone does a ride on the xr650r, tuned in :thumb
    #7
  8. Unclescar

    Unclescar Refried Bean

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
    #8
  9. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,112
    Location:
    Sandia Mountains New Mexico
    +1
    :lurk:lurk:lurk

    Much older by half than you, similar kind of thing. Found ADV, bought a XR250, then flew to Virginia, bought a bike (never test rode it), packed it up with a ton of shit, rode to NM for the next 21 days. Camped behind churches and state parks. Learned to sort of ride. Half a year later, Baja ride. Now I dream of selling everything and go to Alaska, Russia, Mongolia, China, cross Europe and then head south. Spend the next few years finding my spot on the globe?

    Good luck, totally subscribed.

    OBTW, tried to buy a an XRL 650 in Ohio. The owner said he would sell it to me but didn't think the XR was a good bike to ride across the country. :evil

    I was forced to buy a Swiss Army knife bike - KLR. :lol3
    #9
  10. GotMojo?

    GotMojo? Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,109
    Location:
    Ohio
    There's plenty of good dual sport riding in the Smoky Mountains near where the TAT begins in TN. Hit up the area around Deals Gap (Tail Of The Dragon) and you will find tons of good dual sport routes.

    Good luck and have fun on this journey!
    #10
  11. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    974
    Subscribed! Congrats on having the guts to do it.
    #11
  12. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Alameda for now
    I'm in! Can't wait to read this one! Stay safe and if you end up in Tampa, let me know!
    #12
  13. Longbow

    Longbow Vroooom

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    294
    Location:
    Billings, Montana USA
    I'm in.
    Wishing you all the best in your new adventures.
    Be carefull out there.
    Longbow

    :lurk:lurk
    #13
  14. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,155
    Location:
    central komifornia
    Fellow xrr rider.If you make it to central california or want another rider to go into baja pm me.Best of luck on your travels.
    #14
  15. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,540
    Location:
    Northern VT
    Fuck yeah man, I'm in. All the best!
    #15
  16. junkyardroad

    junkyardroad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    194
    Location:
    Colorado
    Good for you, best of luck to you! I am on the precipice of the same situation, waiting for a severe injury to heal, 2 kids almost thru high school....


    I believe geographical change solves many problems.

    Post as often as you can. Keep your head up. Things may get worse still, but they WILL get
    The XR650l will be my ride, because that is what I have.
    #16
  17. Trl Rdr

    Trl Rdr Big Red Bird

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,064
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
    Subscribed.
    When I saw the pix of the SM I thought it was mine. Other than the modified air box cover and sliders on the forks, the wheels, seat, hand guards and graphics are the same!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2
    #17
  18. KLR 41B

    KLR 41B Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa
    I'm in, good luck to ya.
    #18
  19. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    Sep 8, 2007
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    Location:
    MCAS MIRAMAR
    #19
  20. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Tejas
    Thanks everyone for the interest, and replies. Half of my gear is items to document the trip (GoPro's, waterproof camera, waterproof harddrive, netbook), so hopefully ya'll enjoy coming along for the ride!

    Most folks I know think I've gone off the deep end. I think the most enjoyment I've had out of the planning process has been seeing the look on peoples faces. They'll ask "So where are you headed, where is the end?" A simple shrug and an "I dunno" throws people for a loop. "What do you mean you don't know?! You can't just leave, without knowing where you are going!"

    I'm not too crafty with the internet, so I don't have a blog setup. Here is a link to my SPOT. I believe this will update by itself, as I check in.

    http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0FMuQgXAK3jT5JxfVX0iuSkryYkc4Q5Ap

    Today was a fully loaded 160 mile test ride to see how things held up. I'm concerned about the subframe and racks, so I took the bike to Galveston to thrash around on the beach and bayous. Seemed to hold up just fine. I did learn some things though. First being, I don't think I'm going to be able to save my new tires for Mile 1 of the TAT. These off-road only tires on the bike are old, and one day of XRR punishment has the knobs trying to separate.

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    Ready for battle...
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    I stopped on the beach to try out the MSR Pocket Rocket in windy conditions. No bueno, so instead I sat down for a bit and watched some locals fish.
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    It went from a drizzle, to a solid rain, so I retreated beneath a highway to make a second attempt at getting the stove lit.

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    I finally found enough of a wind brake just near the columns, next to some lovely looking water. On the TAT, the dehydrated meals will only serve as "Emergency food" they are simply too expensive to eat every day. I learned I did not care much for this meal. I think anything with 'beef' will be too salty for my liking.
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    This little guy joined me for a snack... He blends in well.

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    All the houses on this end of the island are elevated to prevent flooding. Coming from Maine, it's quite odd seeing houses with lift kits.
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    The pier was quite slow today, presumably due to the weather, but there was no shortage of people playing in the surf, regardless.
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    All in all, it was a good test run, and it helped work some bugs out. I managed 42.1 mpg over the total 160mile journey. Much much better than I had expected!

    Things to redo before I leave:
    -take care of a leaky fork seal on the right side fork.
    -re-route the fuel line. A kink is starving the bike for fuel on occasion.
    - repack. The rain made me realize how foolish it is to have liners and such in with my clothes, which is in with my sleeping bag and pad, all residing in the drybag.
    -remove left side heating grip element and apply heatshrink over the bars themselves, to insulate. The unevenness is too much. My right hand will burn before my left warms up.
    #20