I have no idea what I'm doing.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by pne, May 26, 2013.

  1. pne

    pne Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    960
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    First I will start this ride report with a photo I had hung on my wall at work. If there was a theme to this trip I believe it sums it up quite well.

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    So onto the back story. I'm 25 years old, graduated with a degree in materials engineering (don't ask me what that is), and experiencing what some of my coworkers call a "quarter life crisis". They also referred to it with a few other colorful terms IE you're fucking crazy!! but we won't go there. After 3 years or so of working my ass off in the oil patch and on my way to a career of moving dirt for a living, I decided I had enough, was unhappy, learning nothing new, and hating my life. So I quit my job and decided to take time off to travel, grow wise, and empty my proverbial cup of water or whatever it is that one does on a long motorcycle ride.

    I've never done anything like this before in my life. My longest ride ever was 10 days of backroad blasting in BC, credit card camping for the entirety of it. But like the donkey, I can at least get my pants on by myself. The rest should fall into place naturally right?

    So onto the route. I would love to ride Africa on some big cool adventure thing with hard cases, but cutting my teeth first on a smaller ride makes a bit more sense. Besides, I've always subscribed to picking the lowest hanging fruit first, so I decided explore a bit of my neighborhood to the south, the USA. At this point I don't really know how long this ride will last, or which routes best to take. So I have a few major must-see stops planned, and a rough idea of the first half of my route. I figure just like that scene in Forest Gump, I'll be riding along one day and just say "well, I'm tired. I think I'll go home now." The goal is to stay in as few hotels as possible (lonely and expensive), and to take in as much of the USA as possible, before the snow forces me back into hibernation. I'm trying to spend as little as possible on places to sleep, so I can spend that money on gas and food instead. Mostly I'll be camping, couch surfing, using the tentspace thread, and hosteling. I really hate the idea of hotel/motels, so those will be for desperate times only. The big things on my bucket list are riding the PCH, wandering in Yosemite and Death Valley, doing a bunch of mountain passes in CO, and seeing what it's like in Texas and New Orleans. Beyond that, I'll pretty much go where I please. Most of all I just want to have a great adventure.

    I've only been to the states 3 times in total. The first and most memorable was when I was 17 years old. A friend and I scraped together every penny we had to buy a crappy used oldsmobile, which we drove down the west coast and lived out of for a month. I remember the look of disgust when we crossed back into Canada, when the border guard asked us if we had anything to declare. No sir. Open your trunk. Then watching my rearview mirror as he lifted the lid to find pack upon pack of cup ramen and all our dirty underwear. :lol3

    This time will hopefully be a little different. For one, I am packing much less clean underwear. Other than that, I have no idea if this is what one brings to live on the road. Some of the stuff is a no brainer. Heated gear, rain suit, camera, maps, etc. Some of it I think I'll end up using once and tossing, like the shovel I brought to bury my poop, and hopefully the toliet paper.

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    #1
  2. pne

    pne Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    960
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Next up is the bike. The problem with me is I don't have so much as a taste in bikes, rather when something new catches my eye, I spend hours pouring over every spec and review to convince myself I HAVE to buy it and my current ride is a busted old piece of junk.

    This one I learned to ride on:

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    This one scared the bejesus out of me:

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    This one frustrated the crap out of me:

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    SV650 -> R1 -> wr250x -> ktm superduke

    Figure that one out. All I know is last year as I tried to squeeze a little more than 70mph out of the lil 250 on a mountain pass, and she refused, I yelled out loud in my helmet, "THAT'S IT! The honeymoon is over! You are getting listed the second we get home." I really thought this bike would be a do-all for me, track days, commuting, I even had a set of dirt wheels and knobbies for trail riding. Well don't stone me wr250r/x fans but it did all of those horribly besides lane splitting and hopping the occasional sidewalk/stairs.

    2 days after it sold, I came across the superduke ad, did the homer simpson Ooooo!! And it was in my garage. Of course then I realized what a huge mistake trying to tour on this thing was. Since it's an obscure bike, nobody carries luggage racks for it. The exhaust just wants to melt any kind of bag you put on it. Doing something simple like an oil change is like pulling teeth, why this thing needs a dry sump and several oil screens I do not understand. I really hope this thing doesn't break down on the road, because I've never seen a naked bike that needed so many panels to come off for any work to be done. Feck it, whatever. At least it looks cool.

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    #2
  3. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    886
    Location:
    So Cal
    :ear :lurk
    #3
  4. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Dualsporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,010
    Location:
    Californicator
    Hey, run what ya brung! It's not the bike, its the ride itself. Get out there, take lots of pics and enjoy every minute of it. I wish I could go do it again, I so miss being out touring!
    Luck!
    #4
  5. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    347

    Gotta be one of the best motorcycle pics I've ever seen... love that! That one right there needs to be published Bro... share the luv ;)

    Cheers
    #5
  6. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #6
  7. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    936
    Location:
    Ontario, CANADA
    It really doesn't matter what you are riding, the mere fact that you are out there is what counts. Safe ride. :clap
    #7
  8. KayAitch

    KayAitch Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    95
    I just subbed. I have a deep feeling you won't let me down. :D
    #8
  9. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I've owned a lot of motorcycles and found that each one was a compromise in some aspect. Have fun on your journey.
    #9
  10. sk8rdi16

    sk8rdi16 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Biloxi, MS
    Sounds like fun to me! Hit me up when you get to New Orleans. I'm about an hour east and have plenty of place for you to crash!
    #10
  11. kenbob

    kenbob Gnarly GnOOb

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Beverly Hills, Mt -swimmin pools,movie stars
    This photo , looks like it was taken at the Weeping Wall , in Glacier Natl Park, Mt ???





    #11
  12. pne

    pne Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    960
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Yep that's right.

    Day 1: off to a rough start, with the bags packed and the bike ready to go, I'm gearing up when the zipper of my a stars boot comes apart in my hands. I decide to quickly spray my work boots with silicone protectant and head out. It was a beautiful day out which lasted until I got out of town. Then the skies opened up and didn't let up for the rest of the day. A good time to discover my rain gear leaks and so do the boots. After awhile I felt the dreaded wet crotch, but there was no place to pull over. 15 minutes later and I'm soaked to the bone. The rain pants were as good as a seive so I had no choice but to stuff a garbage bag and a microfiber towel down my pants and continue on. Luckily my testicles had receded somewhere into my lower intestines so there was lots of room. My heated jacket controller also shit it's pants and at this point I had enough. I pulled over at a campsite for cover and to warm up.
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    Luckily there was a shelter and a bit of dry wood someone set aside, so I started a fire in the stove.
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    An hour later it finally slows to a drizzle and I had back out. Next is riding through jasper national park, no fun when you're still wet. I stopped long enough to warm up and snap a few shots, but got out of there quick as I could.

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    Finally rolled into golden 6 hours behind schedule and losing sunlight fast. So I wussed out and got a hotel room to dry my gear and a cold beer that sums up my day.

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    #12
  13. camgregus

    camgregus riding gently now

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,010
    Location:
    on the banks of the mighty mississippi, AR side
    :lurk
    #13
  14. Mighty Kentor

    Mighty Kentor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Mission, BC
    Hey pne, great start to your ride! I'm looking forward to meeting you tonight. If you get to my house before I do, don't set up your tent.
    #14
  15. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    698
    Location:
    where elephants roam
    Mmmmmmmmmmm Beer! from Fernie no les.

    Great start on the reporting!
    #15
  16. thedrewski86

    thedrewski86 too few miles

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Hammond
    I'm in. :lurk
    I hear ya too. I'm 26 and have been at the same civil engineering firm for 6 years. I have no idea what I even want to do anymore but deep down I think we all know it involves two wheels and a road. If you make it out towards Chicago you have a free place to stay as long as you want. Free beer too, I have a 2 barrel brewery in the basement.
    #16
  17. DonVulpes

    DonVulpes Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics, UK
    Someone with less prep than me...excellent :) :lurk
    #17
  18. Pac_Man

    Pac_Man Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Mission, British Columbia
    I might join you guys tonight!!!
    #18
  19. moto rrad

    moto rrad ADV n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    German land
    i like it, im in! :freaky
    #19
  20. GtiKyle

    GtiKyle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    This looks rewarding, but daunting on that bike. Please keep us updated on how it treats you. Good luck!
    #20