Howdy All, I will leave the IMWA ( Ural ) headquarters building in Redmond Washington before noon on June 27th 2008, with luck I will return home by the middle of September 2008 after driving a new 2008 Ural "Gear-Up" around the entire USA. I am starting the ride report now so you can see some of the planning and work that has gone into getting this ride on the road. As with all trips it starts with an idea, I have always wanted to do a round-a-bout tour of the USA but simply couldn't afford it. However I figured that if I talked to the folks at IMWA and convinced them what a great promotional deal this type of trip would be perhaps they would lend a hand. I told you folks long ago I was a world class bullshitter. And so after a lot of arm twisting, smiling and just being a pest they probably in an effort to get rid of my arse for a few months consented to provide me with a brand new out of the crate Ural Gear-Up, on which to make this journey. When I say brand new in the crate, I am not kidding, here are just a few of the photos I took while the Master Ural mechanic Sergey assembled and then test rode the new rig. The complete sequence of assembly photos can be seen at my Smugmug web page. Unloading the crate from the warehouse. Opening the crate. Random photos of the assembly in the order needed to build the rig. Sergey gives the new rig his approval. A VERY HAPPY Mr. Cob, as he sits on and then rides the new rig for the first time. Some random photos taken during my rides to put the necessary break-in miles on the rig before it receives its first service. On one of these rides I was accompanied by fellow Uralista "Rapid Rider" Ken. I met Ken at the Honda shop were we had a great breakfast. We rode to Fort Cassy, to look at the gun mounts that were to protect the Seattle area if it had been attacked during WW2. We rode by the Whidby Island Navel Air Station. Here are some photos of the map I am using to plan the trip. Some of the folks I will be staying with I have not yet added to the map, some of the tags now on the map are of folks who only if time permits will I have the chance to visit with. There is a very slim chance that I will venture into the inner States it all depends on how much time I have and how much interest is generated at the trip progresses. You will notice that the northern most States have very FEW tags on them, either no body lives up there or nobody wants me to visit. I guess I'll have to do a lot of camping while crossing that part of the country. The full map. The Nor-Wet. The lower left coast. The Southwest. The Southeast. The Northeast. The Midwest. The Northern Rocky's. I am now figuring out what to take as far as clothing and gear, I will be traveling though the heat and humidity of the southwest and southeast and by the time I get home probably through some COLD windy and snowy areas of the high Rocky Mountain West. So I will be packing for all types of weather just in case I run into something nasty along the way. The new rig right now is at IMWA headquarters where it is being setup to my specifications for the long journey, it will have an extra gas can mounted on either side of the rear of the hack, it will have a storage container mounted on the outside-front of the hack where I will keep all of the nasty weather gear close at hand in case of need. The rig will also be setup with a very nice tank bag made especialy for the Ural. I will update this ride report next Monday evening when I get home after taking delivery of the new rig, then I will post photos of the rig ready to tour. I will update the ride report while on the road as I have time and on-line access when I visit with the kind folks who have offered their hospitality to me. I know for a fact that I am going to run out of space on my Smugmug account while on this trip, keep this in mind if the photos don't show up. I don't have much bandwidth so sometimes when I post a lot of photos and a lot of folks look at them it over loads the account, this has happened in the past when I have done a photo loaded ride report and belive me this one is going to be LOADED with photos. First, I want to thank IMWA for their generous support of this my latest madcap Adv-Ride, Ilya, Madina, Thank you I can't put into words how much this means to me and how proud I am that you have entrusted me with this new rig. Second, I want to thank all of the kind and generous folks on the "Soviet Steeds", "Russian Iron" and "Adv-Rider" lists who have invited me into their homes. There is no way I could have afforded to do a trip like this eating at restaurants and staying in motels for over two months. Without the hospitality of the folks on these Internet lists this trip could never have happened. I have been the recipient of the generosity of the Adv-Rider list "Inmates" on many occasions, everything from a lap top computer, to speakers, and cordless drills but the thing dearest to my heart was little "Rusty" the Adv-Weiner dog who was taken from us by a car when he ran out into the street. For all of these things I am grateful but they pale in light of you folks welcoming me into your homes. Thank you, I hope to do you all proud as I wander around the USA for the next couple of months.