“Fancy” rides the TAT – Post grad school decompression trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by trikepilot, May 19, 2016.

  1. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

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    So... another TAT trip report….. :snore

    Some background…. At 40 years old and after close to 20 years as a professional outdoor adventure sports photographer, I grew weary of the industry’s ever diminishing regard for compensating creative content providers and a growing disregard for intellectual property rights. I could have muddled on through, but it would have not been the healthy choice for my sanity. So at the urging of several good friends, I made a radical pivot into the health care world – and I became a cardiac ICU nurse. This pathway organically led to anesthesia school and now I am a newly minted CRNA. So after damn near 6 years of school and training… I am ready for phase two of my working life. But the credentialing phase at my new job takes forever and a day so I have a month-plus off to try to do the TAT. I figure I may never get this much time off again, so I am giving it a shot to complete one of my dream routes!

    Since this link is gonna be shared with a wider swath of my non ADVrider inmate friends… let me first digress into a brief description of the TAT – aka The Transamerica Trail. The TAT is around 5000 miles of dirt and gravel that crosses the US with maybe 80% or more of it off pavement. It is NOT the quick way across the US, but then again… that is the entire goal here – enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination. Many thanks to Sam Carrero for envisioning the TAT and to all the others that have contributed to its creation and ongoing evolution.

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    And something a bit more precise from my Garmin Basecamp…

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    Do you see any obvious contradictions? Like… how can a trail be in any way confused with being “Transamerica” when it starts near the TN/NC border? So to make this “official” I will be starting in the Outer Banks of NC at the Wright Bros memorial. I have nearly 400hrs as a pilot and the Wright Bros Memorial at Kitty Hawk has been on my hitlist forever. So I will be tacking on the NC TAT trail below as proposed by GPSKevin (who has his own version of the TAT) and then will jump onto Sam’s TAT at Andrews, NC. I will have both sets of tracks with me on the journey and will likely end up using some combo of the two.

    [​IMG]

    I will be riding solo for most of the TAT but have some buddies lined up to join me for some sections. And it appears from the roll-call thread here at ADV (http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/tat-2016-roll-call.1145162/) that there will be others to potentially overlap with.

    I am riding Fancy, my 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere, on this trip. Her name? Well… I originally had a KLR (didn’t we all?) and was looking to upgrade to a WeeStrom when I came across the Tenere. I bought my Tenere used in Richmond and trailered her home. A few days later when I showed up to ride with the regular crew, my buddy Dave looked her up and down and snarked – “well.. ain’t she fancy?” The name stuck. And I rather like it as it kinda belies the public perception of the Tenere. I have taken a decidedly different direction with my Tenere than most riders who turn it into a very plush two up touring bike with capable gravel skills. I stripped her of all fluff and superfluous components and farkles, armored her up with some Rumbux, slapped on some super aggressive Mitas knobbies, and she has morphed into what a handful of us over at the Super Tenere forum refer to as TBDBITW (the biggest dirtbike in the world – props to Snakebitten for the moniker!). And since then, I have become somewhat notorious for not being shy about sticking Fancy’s nose where she probably has no business going.

    [​IMG]

    I hope to have the time, energy, and wireless access to update this trip report at least every 2-3 days with some of what has been going on. A larger and more in-depth trip summary with video will have to wait till after the trip is over. I will have a satellite tracker with me where you can follow along in my progress at the link in my signature on all my posts (see below).

    More to come. Departure date is less than two weeks away…
    #1
  2. wncrider

    wncrider nOOb in post count only

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    Hey Trikepiot - Remember me and our short meeting and ride (me on my WR) for me to check out Fancy? Congratulations on finishing school. Quite an accomplishment!

    I still intend to move to the ST but an unfortunate knee surgery has sidelined me for a few months. But now that I have to ride vicariously through ADVrider ride reports for a bit, I will just add yours to the list to check in on! Good luck and hope we can ride the STs together this fall, although you will have to wait for my slow ass! :lol3
    #2
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  3. Spongex

    Spongex Adventurer

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    Look forward to reading it. Wish I could get enough time off to do it in one shot.
    #3
  4. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

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    Indeed. Sorry to hear about the knee. Hope recovery is progressing well. Use the ST as motivation to kick ass in therapy so you are back to 100%. Glad you'll be on board for this adventure.

    I love your profile pic. Spent 6 awesome seasons as a climbing guide at Seneca Rocks back in the mid 1990s. Such a special place...
    #4
  5. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have tried them all ... and I arrived at the Mitas e09 Dakar as my rear tire of choice 24/7 for Fancy. It hooks up in everything I have encountered, sheds mud well, and gets more miles than the TKC, Big Block, or Karoo. I am still running a Heidenau Scout up front as I cannot find a reason not to - it just lasts and lasts while performing well.

    Call Dave at Motorace in MA and order up a set. You can get them from big online retailers like Revzilla, but Motorace were the first to bring the Mitas line to the US so I have stuck with them. The price is the same.
    #5
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  6. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

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    Some vids of Fancy out in her element in WV over the past few years riding with some great local friends - Gary & Jim. I am looking forward to riding stuff like this pretty much every day for a month straight.



    #6
  7. Indianhead

    Indianhead Adventurer

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    Looking forward to your updates. I retired from the Army five years ago, so I can relate to mid-life transitions. A fellow retiree and I are only just now getting prepped for the trip next year. It would've been a great trip for that terminal leave period, but a few years down the road we've managed to carve out the vacation time try it in one go.

    We are in southeastern NC, so we'll dip out toe in the Atlantic at Carolina Beach. That way we can add SC to the route list.

    Good luck!
    #7
  8. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I'm in. I'm looking forward to reliving it vicariously through your reports. Good luck on your final preparations! There's nothing like the feeling of all that anticipation and planning coming to the point where you're pushing out the bike to actually leave on the ride.
    #8
  9. Tragic Overlander

    Tragic Overlander Adventurer

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    Hi trikepilot,
    Good luck with your ride. I will be following along with great interest:clap Hopefully you can give me some pointers for the western half when I resume my TAT trip in July:freaky Great videos btw.

    Dave
    #9
  10. debaisley

    debaisley Long timer

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    I'm following your report, I plan on riding my Super T on the TAT next year.
    #10
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  11. Ed_in_miami

    Ed_in_miami Cubicle Traveler

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    Cool. Looking forward to further updates and seeing how Fancy will hold up.
    Take care!
    Ed
    #11
  12. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate Supporter

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    I'm in! Good luck! I've learned a lot in both prep and daily operations from the PittsDriver RR... HERE. If you can make it through most of that, you'll find some other links too!
    #12
  13. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    :lurk
    #13
  14. ae5x

    ae5x Adventurer

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    Starting my solo western TAT ride in a few weeks so I'll be reading your report with extra attention! Looking forward to your report/photos - enjoy!
    #14
  15. Dirt_Dad

    Dirt_Dad Been here awhile

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    I do wish I could be joining you, my friend. Sorry it can't happen this time. I wish you a safe journey and look forward to hearing about the adventures I know you will encounter. Be safe, and come back in one piece.
    #15
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  16. Brick1946

    Brick1946 Adventurer

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    Most excellent!


    Let's Ride!
    Brick
    #16
  17. FBR

    FBR Been here awhile

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    Nice videos. 99% of the TAT will be easier riding than what you tackled in your videos. Have a great/safe ride!
    #17
  18. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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    Just found your link to this over on the Tenere site.
    I'll be following along even if you didn't come to see me at the Romney Rally.:lol3
    #18
  19. Lollipop

    Lollipop Gator Bait

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    I'm in. While I'm to old and broken up to ride anything but gravel roads, I do enjoy RR's off road, especially on the Super T. Be safe and have fun.
    #19
  20. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks to all the advice that you posted here at the forum - much of it was a help as I made my plans.

    DD - no worries. We will ride more often in VA & WV now that I am much closer to your neck of the woods. Let's look at some summer plans for the little bikes around the NRG.

    We'll see... I have been riding Fancy hard in really bad terrain alot over the past few years in an effort to prove to myself that taking the big bike will work. I am not naive so I know that the extra size will be handful in certain conditions, but that for most of the TAT - the extra comfort and capability will be nice. My regular riding partners did the TAT three years ago and often while out in the WV backcountry, we'll tackle some difficult terrain and they will tell me that I wont see anything that tough on the TAT. So I think I am ready, but there is only one way to find out!!

    Eemsreno - it killed me to miss that rally this year but I had to take boards on the Weds morning after that weekend. Going up there would not have been a good decision considering what I had on my plate. But I will be there next year and am actually thinking of convening a TBDBITW sub-rally before or after the Romney event down at the New River Gorge where there is no shortage of trouble to get into. If you get a wild hair... come meet me for some of the TAT!!!
    #20