The planning thread for this ride is http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/tat-sept-2017-fly-and-drive-on-250-rally.1242543. Depending on when you consider my ride to have started, it may have started in that thread, but as it's definitely started now I'm riding the bike, I'll carry on from here. Friday 1st On Friday morning I loaded the bike up and started out along the Interstate for a motel near Savannah. As the bike was pretty weighed down and only had around 90 miles on it, it was pretty sluggish (I didn't want to push it at all either) holding around 60mph. The route was very simple, I-4 and then I-95 via Daytona Beach and Jacksonville. I will miss the wetland nature reserve outside my motel. I've never done 250 miles on a motorbike and been overtaken by every single vehicle on the road (apart from one labouring lorry doing 50mph - I celebrated after that breathtaking manoeuvre). Not exactly pleasant riding, particularly given the size of the some of the enormous lorries, car transporters and oil tankers. Even half of the ordinary cars that roar by are colossal pick-up trucks with head-high bonnets. Occasionally, I felt a little envious of the occupants bathed in the cool of their AC and sheltered from the wind behind their blacked out windows. But, hang on, if I wanted to be comfortable, I could have stayed at home. I stopped a lot at various service stations. Sometimes I pretended the bike needed fuel, when actually it was just me that needed a drink and a rest. I arrived on the outskirts of Savannah tired, but happy that the bike had done a decent stretch of road and nothing had fallen off or been a major pain (well there was one thing, but the seat is new and it should soften up a bit). Saturday 2nd Leaving the motel on Saturday morning, I made a short detour to a Bass Pro shop (with a gigantic amount of stock on the shop floor - I'm going to run out of adjectives for 'big' on this trip) to buy a Garmin InReach. With the loaded bike outside in the car park it was a case of getting in and out as quick as possible, as I didn't want anyone to make off with all of my possessions on this side of the Atlantic. Fortunately, there were some young scouts fundraising by selling popcorn outside the shop. I'm sure one of them would have taken on anyone trying to nick my stuff to get a new badge. To make this a proper 'coast to coast' I'd also resolved the night before to do the extra 50 miles there and back to the beach at Toynbee island. I sat on the beach for a few minutes trying to take it in, but the heat and humidity prevented anything particularly meaningful coming to mind. Rather than dwelling, I hopped back on the bike and set off West, looking forward to what might happen between here and the Pacific. After around 20 miles on IS-16 of the total 220 miles to the night's stop I decided I'd had enough of the motorway and came off at a tiny exit near Metter and onto route 23 (I went through Twin City, Summertown, Midville, Louisville, Wren, Athens and Jefferson). Almost immediately, I remembered why I'm doing this trip. The 55mph road had nearly no traffic, and wound it's way up and down over gentle wooded hills. I was free to enjoy testing the Rally's handlebars on 'bends' and practice some counter steering. I could even smell the pine trees that surrounded the pretty little towns with their generously proportioned houses. As a bonus, the temperatures had dropped into the mid twenties and the humidity was no longer running down the inside of my eyeballs. I find the layout of towns in the US one of the most striking differentiators from the Europe. From one point of view, there is staggering waste of space. An average house will have the same footprint as a stately home in the UK, but there will only be a single story (stairs are expensive and inconvenient, so why bother?). The plot of land the house is built on will then have space for another 10 stately homes around it. The end result is that you need a car to drive to your neighbours house and a golf cart to get around your own (another reason for not having stairs). In the UK, boundary disputes over a few centimetres are common (a dispute over a full meter could result in test missile launches and retaliatory tweets). Here, with so much land available, no one even bothers to put up a fence up. It all makes perfect sense, it's just so alien to what you'd find in the UK (and obviously large US cities). I got to my overnight stop a little later than planned at 8 o'clock, just as it was starting to get dark. It wasn't dark enough to see the Rally's headlights on the road (it was just dark enough for them to cause reflective road signs to shine a little), so that will have to wait for another day when I've really mucked up the route planning and timings. On arrival I was pleased to see my Enduristar trail stand was waiting behind the receptionists desk. After a few initial difficulties, Steve did a great job to get it to me at the right time/place Sunday 4th A slow day today. I'm only around 50 miles from the start of the TAT, and the idea is to have a few days at this motel getting the bike as off-road ready as I can. Some parts that I've taken off the bike and other bits and bobs I knew I'd only need for the first week need to be got rid of. I've also got some more items coming from Amazon tomorrow (Ogio flight vest with drinking bladder, second pair of gloves, a lifestraw and some goggle quickstraps). The first stage of the trip was getting to Orlando, the second stage was getting the bike ready for the road. This stage is getting the bike ready for off-road. The final stage will be getting everything set up for camping. To give you an idea of how much stuff I've had to research (both whether the item is any good in itself and whether it works with other items) I was going to list the stuff I'd bought. It's easier to list the items (excluding the camping stuff - even most of that is new - and underwear/base layers) that are on me or the bike that aren't new: ROK straps MRA screen Helmet camera Neck tubes Ear plugs Backup phone (primary phone for GPS is new) Even my passport was new, as the previous one had less than 6 months remaining on it I fitted a few more bits to the bike, but I think I'm going to have a problem with the hand guards and riser. I don't think they'll work together and I'm not sure the riser is going to work with the cable lengths as they stand. I also need to organise a first oil and filter change for the bike, but I'm not hopeful of getting that done until Tuesday as tomorrow is Labor day in the US.