Quitting the Job for the TAT!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swifter78261, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. swifter78261

    swifter78261 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Ladies, Babies, Mama's and Papa's!

    I turned in my notice last month and am leaving my job in the edge-of-your-seat world of insurance to ride the TAT. My target start date is May 15.

    I know, you wish you were me. Its cool, I get it. Wish you could come with me, too. But since you can't be me, and you can't come with me (which you actually can if you let me know you want to), I thought I'd give you an on-going trip report as I go. I also started a blog for those non-adv people out there that gives a little back story and a little more depth about the whole process too. I encourage you to check it out (don't worry, I'm not making money in any way off traffic), could be entertaining. Seriously, someone dies in it.. then gets resurrected! www.thetransamerican.com

    Anyway, to fill you in - I'm 25 years old and have been working in the fascinating world of WORKERS COMP INSURANCE for the last two years since college. If you're not asleep yet, you can perk up, cuz the Good News is that i'm quitting it all and moving from Atlanta to the West Coast for something new. What exactly? Dunno. But I decided I had to get there in outrageous style. TAT, obviously.

    So I bought a stock 2009 KLR.

    [​IMG]

    So I had to go about the business of installing all the standards - SW Motech crash bars and racks, bark busters, battery tender, etc.

    [​IMG]

    It was a lot more of an involved process than I thought it would be. I pretty much had to skeletonize the bike to get everything on. I'm no mechanic by any means, but I can use a wrench.. only took me 8 hours.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also decided to take off the green decals, which I always thought were hideous. The results look pretty awesome. And mean.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to go with Dunlop D606's for tires and Seahorse 720 cases for luggage. Both are in my garage, waiting for me to get a break from work to put them on. I'll put up some pics when I get em up.

    Ordered the maps from Sam, too. They're pretty intimidating in their detail. I'm glad to have them, but I've got quite a headache ahead of me with getting all the tracks in my GPS. Speaking of which...

    [​IMG]

    Decided to go with a pretty basic (read: affordable) Garmin eTrex 20. Color screen, holds waypoints, combined with a smartphone - all I need. In other luggage stuff, I bought a cheap Overboard dry bag to hold my camping gear (camping as much as I can... on the funemployment budget) that will ride on top over the back and got a $40 tank bag from Wallyworld that actually got some decent reviews. I'm easy to please.

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, my start date is May 15. As this whole adventure gets off the ground, i'll keep posting pics and do my best to get updates to you here when I'm on the road as much as possible.

    Lemme know what you think, honey's n sonny's! All feedback is welcome!
    #1
  2. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,101
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    Skeletonize....i like it. And i like it without the green and white stripes too.I will be following along.Where/Whats the little route holder from?
    #2
  3. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    Sometimes here, sometimes there
    Extra air filter oiled and ready in a ziplock. 8, 10, 12mm sockets..allen key and air pump to change front tire when you get a flat. Folding mirrors might be more of a luxury but nice to have when you fall. You are going for the right reasons-do you have a cheapo digital camera so we can live vicariously thru you on the trip? Water. You got the best maps.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=848449 for ideas

    Have fun!
    #3
  4. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :lurk
    #4
  5. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,027
    Location:
    Shasta County,Calif
    I'm in!!
    #5
  6. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    MA
    Before you quit, get a disability policy - it's like workers comp for having fun & unemployed.
    Have a great time!
    #6
  7. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,248
    Location:
    Hamilton NJ.
    Headed for wherever, Sounds like a great freekin (non) plan! Hell Yeah, I'm in! :clap
    #7
  8. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,457
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    May 15th departure date..well your aren't planning on doing the Colorado passes then are you..unless your planning some LONG layovers along the way.
    #8
  9. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,027
    Location:
    Shasta County,Calif
    That's true,I think it just snowed in Denver,this will test his open schedule,or perhaps a more southerly route?
    #9
  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,014
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    Subscribed.
    Keep us posted.
    #10
  11. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    way back up in the woods among the evergreens
    Heads up...
    I bought that Overboard bag. It is NOT waterproof. It can leak at the zipper and seams. Get some seam sealer for the seams.
    #11
  12. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,027
    Location:
    Shasta County,Calif
    Or do as I,large garbage bags as liners,all stays dry.
    #12
  13. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,770
    Location:
    CO.
    You NEED a custom seat, believe me.:lol3 Also bar back/risers. Enjoy
    #13
  14. swifter78261

    swifter78261 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey thanks guys. That was fast! I'm getting loaded for bear and anxious to start this whole thing, and your feedback is only pumping up my need for speed and dirt!

    @Norton - wish it was in my budget for a new seat...I'm open for taking donations! I can repay you in high fives and a can of West Coast sand. But really.. i'm gonna have an ass of iron after this. I'll continue to give full and complete status reports on the state of my butt cheek's nerve endings.

    @cyberdyke and @8lives - thanks for the heads up on the Overboard bag. I figured I probably couldnt completely trust the salesmanship on their website. I'll be using trash bags as liners for sure now!

    @One Less Harley - my May 15 departure date is flixible.. I gotsta get my wisdom teeth pulled (and whoever called them wisdom teeth to begin with? They should be called Torture Teeth) between my last day of work on May 3 and the start of my trip.. so I see that day getting pushed back a bit. I also have friends in both Joplin, MO and Dillon, CO that I'm going to stay with and abuse their hot water bill for a few days. I had a buddy who did the CO portion on the same timetable as I've got without too much of an issue. If I see a little snow, no big deal. Have to leave when I have to leave.. couldn't take the job anymore!

    @Roadapple - thanks for the gear list, man! Duly noted! As for camera and on the road posts - i'll have my iPhone and iPad with me to connect me with civilization. I don't know how/if the mechanics of posting updates and pictures here work on a mobile device on the fly, which is why I started my little blog (and as an outlet of a little more pathos), which I do have the ability to update. I will absolutely be posting as many pictures as possible as I go tho!

    @advNZer - the little roll map holder is the one Sam recommends on his TAT map site. http://www.transamtrail.com/purchase/ .. i have no idea how this plastic amounts to 30 bucks, but whatevs. Good to have.

    Keep it comin' philly's 'n Willies! All advice/encouragement/high fives/haikus/hollas accepted with pleasure. Keep it comin' with them positive waves! Say something righteous and hopeful to me!
    #14
  15. Cyclenaut

    Cyclenaut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Desert S.W.
    Your roll chart holder looks like the one I used to do the TAT last year. Mine was from Moose Racing and was complete crap. All plastic, the spindles broke almost immediately rendering it useless. MSR makes a much more robust version with large aluminum knobs for about $30. Save yourself ALOT of frustration...my two cents...have a safe ride
    #15
  16. westcoasttrekker

    westcoasttrekker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    131
    Location:
    Stanwood, Wa.
    • You quit your job to ride.
    • You don't have a plan when you arrive in California.
    • You have a sense of humor.
    I'm in.
    #16
  17. AtlantaViking

    AtlantaViking Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    Hey before you hit the road...er trail, you should come by and ride with the locals at the Beave next weekend and test out yer skills and gear before you get to the middle of nowhere and get into that 'oh %$^#" moment.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=852498

    Of course, completely understand if you can't so happy trails to ya! Oh and I'm subscribing:clap.
    #17
  18. swifter78261

    swifter78261 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    @cyclenaut - I needed you when I was buying that roll chart thing. That suck and thanks for the heads up.

    @AtlantaViking - thanks for the invite man! I don't think i'll be able to make it up to NC this weekend, but I do plan on taking it up the mountains to rattle the nuts and bolts before I hit the TAT.

    @westcoasttrekker and everyone else- QUIT YOUR JOB AND FOLLOW ME!
    #18
  19. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,439
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Swifter,

    For the seat, try looking at the flea market on here or over at klr650.net or klrworld.com forum Plenty for sale at reasonable price. Personally, I'd stick with stock seat if you are planning to do around 200 miles a day with many stops for photo then you will do just fine. If you decide to keep the KLR after you have reach the final destination then you can explore the option of upgrading at later time which is what I would do!

    I had only two weeks of preparing before I left for TAT and managed to do the whole trip for under $1,400. I got few pointers but then I wouldn't want to spoil your trip.. if you stumble into some issue during the trip, don't be afraid to ask on here or PM me. Good luck! :thumb
    #19
  20. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I did the TAT 3 years ago. My advice, skip Tennessee. I customized my moose rollchart holder with aluminum spindles and knobs I made. Otherwise it would have sucked. The passes in Colorado will not be passable in May, I did them last august and still hit some snow at the top. Enjoy it, make sure your Doohickey is done, keep an eye on your oil level, keep people informed of where you are.

    Have fun, I know I did.
    #20