“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” - Solo X Country 2014

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by soph9, May 3, 2014.

  1. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider Supporter

    Joined:
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    riding during Covid
    :wave Safe travels to you!

    I say it often. "life does not always go as planned". New chapter of life for you!
    #61
  2. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Hi Mark and you would know. Thanks. Curve balls are hard to swallow. Glad you are back and speaking. Should get you up here in BC to talk.


    If you see typos it's my phones fault!
    #62
  3. TAMPAJIM

    TAMPAJIM Been here awhile

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    Central Florida
    subscribed. You always do a super job on your travel narratives Leslie :clap
    #63
  4. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    I am making progress in packing. I know doesn't seem to be such a huge task and it's not when all you have to do is focus on a trip. I look forward to the end of this week..many issues will have at least some answers, again personally and then I can figure out what I am coming back too. In the meanwhile after today I will just not care about the personal and focus on myself being fortunate to explore the great continent of North America yet again in 2014.

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    I love the lids on Jesse Luggage it actually is very useful to hold "stuff" and adds to the capacity of my little 8 inch panniers. I am not taking as many tools as we used to as dual riders, Cheryl and me.

    I am being honest when I say I doubt very much I will be changing a flat K60 on the side of the road myself. I will bring tire supplies just in case someone would want to help me or I will just call roadside assistance. I have BMW as well as BCAA.

    What sort of sucks is I have to bring at least one set of "nice" clothes but my dry bag can fit them. Might need to find an iron :D

    I have the BMW OEM low seat on my bike. The F8 is a tall bike as many are aware. Although I find it way more comfy than the regular height plank OEM seat, I am not taking any chances with my butt. Adding a sheep pad I got back in 2010 can only at least help. It did when we rode X Country in 2010 and other trips.

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    One thing while I am going through what I call my own "hell"...it is amazing to see and hear all the support that's out there for myself. Including this RR, my blog, other social media but also right next door. I have befriended 3 incredible women in my neighborhood and although I am not overly spiritual or religious they gave me the gift of Saint Christopher last night so I am protected and being watched throughout my trip.

    Also, they included Amethyst charms, three of them..one for each friend and a butterfly. All about new beginnings. I LOVE it and will carry it with me. Maybe not around my neck all the time but on the bike in the tank bag at least.

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    4 days left and off I go. Have some running around to do for last minute items and bring my journal up to date. I have many names in my journal, many people to try and hook up with throughout the trip. I hope to meet some at least but we all know how routes take on their own life. Not only because the GPS has a mind of its own but because who knows what the weather will do etc.

    I will try and stay away from interstates of course but will jump on one or two to make up time if needed. I am not afraid to admit I use cabins and motels for shelter if the weather sucks instead of camping. I am not that hard core and probably ride like most ADV riders which is to explore, take pictures, meet people, eat GREAT breakfasts, LOVE breakfast over any other meal and just take in the environment and scenery.

    Riding a bike to me is the best way to see the world. My father is very funny....he wants me to ride the NY and stay with my parents while he ships my bike back. He was the man who introduced me to two wheels at the ripe age of 2 1/2 years old. First a bike and at age 4 my first little Honda 50cc motorcycle. But he really does not get traveling so far despite how many trips I take. He means well, love him for that but again politely declined his offer.
    #64
  5. duffs

    duffs I have a beard

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    It’s funny you say this - I have one wrapped around the GPS holder on my bike, and one sewn in a hidden pocket of my jacket (came from the manufacturer like that!). Religious/spiritual or otherwise, a good omen is exactly that.
    #65
  6. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Agree!


    If you see typos it's my phones fault!
    #66
  7. BordenBmw

    BordenBmw TheFrenchRider

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    Grid Roads, Saskatchewan Canada
    Been carrying Saint Christopher for over 20 years. Not sure if it work but the last 20+ year has been safe riding. But I know that I would be really upset if I even lost it.

    #67
  8. 70East

    70East Been here awhile

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    Location:
    NOVA, not by choice.
    Good luck on your journey. One thing about life it's always changing.

    I'm not a religious person myself. But my dad gave me his Saint Christopher medal when I was a kid. One he had as a kid. When I shipped off to basic training 21 years ago, somehow it found its way into my pocket. When we got our dog tags I put it on there, been there ever since. Hard life it's had. But I retire in 15 days, I hope it keeps working.
    #68
  9. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    I have heard many times that riding today's bikes are way too technological and we as riders bring too many gadgets. I guess it's partly true in some sense but I also believe as an ADV rider (all rides are an ADV to the rider BTW), that we can choose how we want to travel at all times.

    I mean isn't that the beauty of taking a trip in any shape of form as you will and make it what you want? Some like single cylinder engines with no techno gadgets, to get away from the crazy world we live in....solitude. I can find solitude even riding with others on my bike. To me there is no real argument to judge or be judge how one defines an adventure. I say do whatever you want as long as you come back in one piece.

    On this trip being SOLO, I am more confident that using my SPOT Connect is a great way for my family/friends and the public to keep an eye on me. I will have tracking set up and with this little device I can send a LIVE text message at the end of the day to say where I am and all is OK up to ten emails.

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    My bikes dash board looks like a 747 jet. Well, not really but it looks like a a lot of stuff is going on there...

    My SPOT has it's own cradle, facing up for the satellite signal and so I can see if the batteries need to be changing. Half the time when SPOT does not work it is my error. Batteries dead or I forget to reconnect the Bluetooth. This works with a subscription you pay annually and can add extras like text message bundle, emergency assistance coverage etc. Not totally cheap but in the bigger picture for me some peace of mind.

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    Right next to the SPOT cradle I have a mount for a Contour camera. I have two, the Contour +, so if I want to add an external mic I can and the Contour Roam 2. Very simple device, on/off and totally waterproof without a housing. Contour went out of business but I hear they are back with new owners, see here. Above my gauges you can see where I place my GPS. For me it is the perfect location to see the route.


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    Even have a mount that I can move around the bike and one on my helmet. I don't record everything and often stow the ram mounts away while riding but it's nice to have to option the take videos or stills while riding to capture
    what I see as the rider.

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    I suck at video editing even though I try so that deters me a bit from taking too much video recordings but I am sure I will have some from this trip.

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    I use the BMW stock canbus plug to power my iPhone. That's about all it can do on my 2013 BMW F800GS. I used to be able to use this plug to power my tire pump but no longer. So, it's permanently used as my iPhone cable plug which I run into my tank bag.

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    You can get any cable from POWERLET you need and it really comes in handy.

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    I added another plug from POWERLET on the other side of the ignition and this one can indeed power my tire pump with no issues and I use this to plug in my inverter just in case I have no access to electricity to recharge my essential batteries, like for a camera or my intercom head set.

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    All my electronics are hooked up to a PDM60 which you can't see because it's tucked away under my faux tank. Just a fancy fuze block without using any fuses. Click the PDM60 link and you can read all about this device. It's pretty cool.

    Because when I travel long distance I usually run into a lot of rain and cool weather especially over night I always bring my heated liner and gloves just in case. My plug for this gear just lays outside my seat all year long for easy access. If I do not have to use the gear great but I hate being cold even if it's for a few hours in the morning while riding. I have turned into a spoiled wimp having heated gear that anything below 10 degrees C, 50 F I use heat. :D

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    I installed a tool tube behind my Jesse pannier non can side yesterday. I will use this for my MSR fuel bottle which is for my camping stove. I like this idea, some on my FB page reminded me of this option when I was trying to figure out what to do with the bottle. Cheryl was the one that would carry this fuel in her TT holder. So, for $20 I zipped tie it to the frame and it seems secure. I can always adjust it on the road.

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    I have a glove fetish and always take too many on trips...even in this pic I may change a few but I never can decide and they don't take up too much room. I think one might start to think I am a KLIM freak :norton but i do like their gear and I am really looking forward to wearing the New Altitude for this trip.

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    As far as cameras? I have a Panasonic waterproof point and shoot

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    I use to take pictures on the fly. I am used to riding with Cheryl and she never would really want to stop. I compensated by getting used to left handed shots from the bike. I may still do this just to keep up with time but will stop and "smell the roses" if I see something really interesting. If I need more zoom I will use this...

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    As well as my iPhone. Too many gadgets so far? Too many cameras? :1drink

    I also bring my laptop. Changing my oil today and adjusting my chain. The bike has a little over 13,000 KM's on it so all fluids and bike itself should be okay. I put new brake pads on about 2,000 KM's back. That's it for maintenance and prep for this trip. Someone asked about the tools I am taking. I will post a pic of the tool kit...still wondering exactly what I will take.

    I am not a mechanic but can do some roadside fixes. In the end any real issues I run into I always have my phone.

    [​IMG]

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    I decided to go on this trip in February after my heart was torn a part when my partner/wife left me on January 30th. I see this trip not just about getting away to think and heal but I am really trying to just view this as another "normal" trip to explore and have a great time. 3 days to go.
    #69
  10. keiPHadventure

    keiPHadventure Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Manila, Philippines
    Glad I caught this RR in time! I'm subscribed. :)

    Sorry about your marriage. I know you'll feel much better after this trip. Take care! We await eagerly for your reports. :)

    BTW, I love the windscreen on your GS. What brand is that?
    #70
  11. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Glad you subscribed...the shield is a Mirage 2 click here to see...local guy near me Ian makes them and sells them all over the world...
    #71
  12. TourinD&S

    TourinD&S Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
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    20
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Hi Leslie, I am looking forward to reading about your solo trip here and on your blog. I know it will be healing and transforming at the same time.

    I am Lynne @ curvyroads on WordPress, just to tie things together. :wink:

    Just a suggestion if you are going to be in central North Carolina to visit family in Charlotte: consider visiting Western North Carolina as it is covered up with fabulous riding. I wrote about a short weekend trip http://http://curvyroads.info/2014/05/01/a-brief-respite-from-the-routine/ which will just give you a taste of what's available. Anywhere within 100 miles around Asheville, NC, or near the Blue Ridge Parkway http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/ you will find fabulous riding. Also between Western NC into Eastern TN is the Cherohala Skyway http://www.cherohala.org/ and North GA has great riding too. If you need a tour guide within 200 miles of North Georgia, give me a shout!

    Oh and I must say hello to George (duffs)! :D After being so impressed with the logo he created for you, I reached out to him and he has come up with some very cool ideas for a logo for my blog too. Yay George!
    #72
  13. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    I want to try and fit extra roads in just a matter of time. When you bring family into the trip they want you to stay longer than you can. Love the links and thanks. I really want to ride the tail of the dragon and the snake 😉

    Glad George is helping you out. Special guy that George is!


    If you see typos it's my phones fault!
    #73
  14. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Stony Brook. NY
    I got lucky and was able to get my bike inspected, oil changed to semi-synthetic, new oil filter and chain adjusted @

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    This is a local shop that can work on most bikes including BMW'S. Which is great because they fit me in and are way cheaper than the dealer. The guys even fixed my top box. Was missing a spacer and would rattle like crazy. A recent find of mine. Box is secured and going no where...no charge even though they had to take the mount a part.

    I did not get the techs names but they were very helpful and the young man who worked on my bike said when I left..."that's a NICE bike". So, love the fact they will work on my bike and even will do major work...all certified and approved. A Universal shop near my house and I did not know this until yesterday.:clap

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    I need a lift like this in my garage. Now that there is only one bike I think that I will place this on my own wish list.:D

    It was in the 90's F today...30 C. Helmet vents really well and so does my jacket. my bike turned 13,300 KM's today

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    which will be most likely my starting mileage on Saturday. Bike checked out really well as it should and I feel so much better I had a pro take a look before I left. 3 days left....
    #74
  15. msprygada

    msprygada Adventurer

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    Bay City, MI
    Hell no. If you like your gadgets, take them. They can be fun to use and play with. I like gadgets and love to take them on vacation. My gal cannot understand when we rent a cabin on the lake that one of my must haves is Internet. This is my "reading for fun" time. I can read more ride reports and such that I don't have time for during normal life.

    Enjoy your trip and be safe out there. Just waiting for the trip to start. We expect a good RR.
    #75
  16. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    agree about gadgets and trip begins very soon...
    #76
  17. 4NoNo

    4NoNo Adventurer

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    North Liberty, IA
    Sorry to hear about your hardship. I hope your journey on the road brings a twinkle to your heart again.
    #77
  18. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Just ahead of a flat line.
    Make sure your heated gear is functional thru the heart of the continent
    #78
  19. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Functions now so let's hope if and when needed everything works well.


    If you see typos it's my phones fault!
    #79
  20. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Thanks I like that a twinkle to your heart! Nice.


    If you see typos it's my phones fault!
    #80