Big Fat TAT Sandwich on a BDR Roll a.k.a. 2021 U.S. Dirty Dirty Ride

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Ikeya-Seki, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Big Fat TAT Sandwich on a BDR Roll
    a.k.a. 2021 U.S. Dirty Dirty Ride


    So this is it. I am committed now - I’m all in. Barring a zombie covid apocalypse or some other unforeseen catastrophe, I’ll be setting out just after the 4th of July for an estimated 17,000 - 20,000 mile, 100 day plus backroad ride across the United States.

    The idea is to ride from my home in costal New Hampshire to the top of the North East Backcountry Discovery Route (NEBDR) and follow it south to the Mid Atlantic BDR. And as you guessed, I’ll pick up the Trans America Trail (TAT) and ride it west to the Oregon coast. If both the 790 and I are still intact, I’ll ride the Oregon backcountry trails to the Washington BDR, take it north and then head east to Porthill, Idaho. From there, I’ll ride the IDBDR south to the NVBRD, which I plan to follow only as far as Tonopah before heading west to Benton and the beginning of the CABDR. I’ll follow the route all the way to the end in Calexico, California and turn west again to San Diego where family and friends will have a garden hose for me to wash off the stink.

    There, I’ll have some time to explore and visit in SoCal before I make my way home again. When I do, I aim to follow the southern border all the way to Florida where I’ll dip down to the Fort Myers area for a visit with my old man (Law Dawg) before making he push north. I expect to be back in New Hampshire somewhere near the third week of October. Here is what that might look like:
    • 06 July - leave New Hampshire
    • 07July - begin NEBDR
    • 15 July - begin MABDR
    • 25 July - begin TAT
    • 02 September - finish TAT
    • 07 September - begin ORDR*
    • 12 September - begin WBDR
    • 17 September - begin IBDR
    • 25 September - begin NVBDR
    • 30 September - begin CBDR
    • 08 October - finish CBDR
    • 14 October - leave SOCAL
    • 21 October - arrive New Hampshire
    • * Oregon trail system is independent of the BDR
    The Bike: I’ll be riding a 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R, christened Katy M, but that might change as we’re still getting familiar. As of this post, she has 6500 miles on the clock and is bone stock except for a side stand enlarger & tires. We completed the NEBDR in September, and have otherwise, thanks to covid, stuck fairly close to home.

    I have a slew of modifications in mind and that’s partly where I’m hoping for some inmate input. I got a few items in route now, but a bunch to decide on.

    The Rider: I’m a retired and a veteran. I turn 55 next week, I’ve shrunken to a just over 6 foot, and ride-ready should tip the scales in the mid to low 180’s. Although there’s plenty of room for improvement, I am reasonably fit with the central exception of chronic spine issues and related neuropathy in my extremities, which I build in time and care to accommodate.

    I’m a cautious, but uninhibited rider, who will take reasonable and calculated risks. I have confidence in my skills and decision making. I will be mostly taking photos and fly fishing along the way.

    I spent my youth on two stroke enduro bikes and got back into riding about seven years ago. Since then, I’ve completed more than a half dozen long distance solo trips including the TAT in 2017, a 20,000 mile Four Corners & a Stinger (see ADVR ride report) and other cross country rides totaling just north of 80,000 miles most of which was on a 2014 BMW GSA.

    I enjoy riding solo.

    The Plan: Long range planning and a ride report. Spontaneity serves it place, but I like to visualize the trip beforehand, focus on goals and move steadily in that direction. With that in mind, I thought I would like to open up the page a litte and share the process with fellow ADV Riders/inmates.

    Between this post and the launch date, I will endeavor to post regularly. I’ll be sharing bike prep and modifications (from stock), route planning, gear prep, budgeting, and physical training. I’ll be soliciting input along the way and will hopefully gain and share something in the exchange. I’ll post photos and clips where they fit.

    When the departure day draws near, I’ll migrate the thread over to a ride report and keep readers posted along the ride.

    Special Ops: My father in law left us this September at 94. A husband, father, pilot, engineer, avid outdoorsman and a bona fide CIA spook, Bill was one heck of a guy and will be sorely missed. As a tribute to his greatness and a legacy to his life, I’ll be carrying a small satchel of his ashes with me to forever extend his presence along the slopes, plains and waterways of our land. To his children and grandchildren, he will literally be everywhere.

    I appreciate all of your input, questions, thoughts and comments.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.

    Me & the Spy.
    IMG_7616.jpg
    #1
  2. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Long Distance Trip Planning. Where to Start?

    Below is a Google Earth "sketch" of the proposed 2021 Dirty Dirty.

    Beyond time & money, one of the biggest challenges to planning a multi-month return trip is dealing with variations in climate. In my case, leave too soon from the northeast and I'm into wetter and deeper water crossings and the strong likelihood that passes over the Rockies will be snowed in. Leave too late and I can count on several days of searing desert heat. What to do? I fear no matter what I'll be in the frying pan. I've ridden through the Chihuahuan Desert in 115 degree heat and it's tough.

    To help minimize that, I started matching my plan to a calendar by considering when would be the best time to tackle the CBDR and still leave running room to get back to New England before the frost. From that point, I just ballpark estimate travel time based on what I can find online and personal experience.

    I haven't settled on Sam's TAT or GPS Kevin yet - maybe a combo - but I'm definitely headed to Port Orford, Oregon for the TAT finish, which will result in crossing at least part of Nevada late July or southern Idaho with Sam's tracks. I like Nevada.

    Any thoughts on this? Considerations? Route ideas? Preparations? Gear suggestions?

    Today's Trip Goal: Climb out of my Covid Cave and start a fitness routine.

    C3FDF6B3-BEF5-42E5-9B41-2201FE847DB2_1_201_a.jpeg
    #2
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  3. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    Looks epic! I sure enjoyed your last rr and how you approach your trips. I'll definitely be following this one and look forward to what comes ahead. Thanks for sharing the journey with us.
    #3
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  4. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks Amphib. There's a good stretch ahead and then a long way to go. I'll do my best to keep it tight. Cheers.
    #4
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  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    If you like Nevada you should take the old TAT.
    #5
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  6. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks for the tip. I have TAT .gpx files from 2014 from both Sam and Kevin, but nothing earlier. I've read about SAM's earlier TAT versions, but I don't have any access to files or know if they would be valid throughways currently. Some of the distances in those parts can make backtracking tricky. I've averaged 55 mpg over 6k miles on the 790 on mainly back and dirt roads. Decent range of 250+
    #6
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  7. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Also, I know you want to see the ocean at Port Orford...the TAT through Oregon sucks after riding Nevada. Hang a right in Lakeview and take route 5 of the OBDR. You'll hold onto that high lonesome desert feeling for a couple more days. You'll get to see the Pacific on your California leg anyways.
    #7
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  8. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek Big Ear Inc - Virginia Provider Super Supporter

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    WOW, that is a monster route. Can't wait to see this one unfold.
    #8
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  9. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Section 5 in Oregon is definitely on the itinerary. I will make the push to the coast first though. I have ridden it before and I could see why you would see it as a let down compared to the Mars-like terrane of Nevada. I have an Oregon state park pass I've never been able to use owing to the campgrounds always being full and my reluctance to make reservations. This time I will and plan to spend 4/5 nights/days camping on the coast before I turn back and hit the Oregon BDR. So, I'm of a mind to do both if it works out that way.

    Fires of course change everything.
    #9
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  10. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Looks like you'll be wrapping the trip up by cutting down into FL then up through GA , SC and NC. Have a look at some of the southeast routes like the SM500 and the SEAT. If you can work them in then you'll get to add a bit more dirt to your trip total.
    #10
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  11. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Excellent. Thanks.
    #11
  12. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Friday, October 23
    T - 256

    Preparing an Aging Body for Long Distance Riding


    When I was younger, like many, I tended to take my physical conditioning for granted. Outside of team sports or military training, I’d prefer to let my physical endeavors and outdoor inclinations do the legwork for me. I felt as long as I kept moving and charging hard enough, it would do the trick and my body would somehow take care of itself. I loved a good workout, just hated the gym.

    Older it’s not so easy.

    Last week I jumped at the last minute offer to join a buddy for a week of land-locked salmon fishing up at Grand Lake Streams, Maine. It’s a spectacular place if you’ve never been. World class.
    IMG_3040.jpg
    However, by day three of covering long sections of river bank, traversing across the currents, walking on wet, rounded rocks, and of course, landing a few gorgeous salmon, my body began to protest, loudly. The usual catalog of aching joints and muscles was amped up with nerve sting and heat darts. While I managed to push the pain away, more jarring was the obvious fact that I am nowhere near the kind of form I imagined myself to be, nor am I in any kind of shape to take on fifteen thousand miles of dirt riding I’d dreamed up next summer.

    Something has to be done.

    Next on Tap: Stretching, stretching, stretching and more stretching. Some bicycle riding, calisthenics, body weight lifting and lots of leg work - mainly squats. Lots to do.

    To help motivate myself, I set close goals and I try to keep focused on the ride as I train. I like to visualize the bike from wheel to wheel, going over every system, every part, and every detail in my mind. I picture myself beginning the NEBDR, covering sections, stoping for fuel, eating and camping, then onto the TAT. I do all this while slowly stretching, while pedaling, or while swimming to give focus and a beat to my effort, otherwise I risk going nuts from boredom and quitting too soon. I strive with a goal in mind. Music helps.

    With roughly 250 days to put this together - I have more than enough to get into shape, but none to waste.
    To help achieve personal success, I keep it simple from the start. I begin with easily reachable - or close - goals and expectations and don’t bite off more than I can chew. I keep my expectations low at first, increasing as I progress.

    From a practical standpoint, for me, everything starts today. 15 min morning stretch. 25 min of leg work. 10 min stretch before bed. From here I will add as I improve, building my routine. I'll include some progress reports as planning continues.

    I wonder what other riders have done or do to help keep themselves in shape? What kind of fitness routines do folks use, or do y’all just take it as it comes, making it up as you go along? What kinds of approaches have worked, what hasn’t? Neck stregnth for example - how best to increase?

    When I finished the NEBDR in September, I noticed my forearms and upper legs were taxed most. They will need strengthening and focus. I'm on it.

    It’s not easy working with an aging body, but I gotta believe it’s a lot harder not to.


    Onward,


    Ikeya-Seki, out.
    #12
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  13. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    I'm in the same boat as you----------I try to walk, hike, mountain bike and stretch-----but I need to do it more---------thanks for the reminder.
    BD
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  14. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I noticed your route briefly jumps into Western Kentucky.....curious why?
    #14
  15. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Sure. Former Navy shipmate near Paducah who I like to visit on these runs. Same for south of Dallas and a few spots in CA as well. Land Between the Lakes is also a great place to travel through. I could spend an entire summer just riding in Kentucky - I love it, especially the eastern sections. Not to mention sunsets like this: B44ABD53-1628-429C-B155-8AA74AE20F12.jpeg
    #15
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  16. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Wednesday, October 28
    T-251


    Slow & Steady


    I know it’s quite a span between here at Halloween’s door and next summer's Fourth of July, and I realize I’m arguably putting this thread out there way-to-soon. But one, I have the time to use, and two, while focusing on the task at hand is how I try to operate, keeping an eye on the horizon also works for me. Everyone’s approach to planning is a little different, but I think we all tend to collect and put to use what works as we go. This is just my take on it for this particular trip, at this particular place in my life where hopefully folks will find a few crumbs worthwhile and feel free to contribute a few pearls from their own experience.

    To help keep this thread organized, brief and hopefully useful, I’ll limit it to four planning areas: Route, Bike, Plan & Rider.

    ~​

    Here is a short follow-up on Rider fitness planning: I’ve decided on three equal phases of physical training - each roughly 85 days.

    Phase one: limber up & lose weight. I’ll aim to follow an intentional diet (not easy!), focus on stretching, and engage in routine exercise. I’ll figure out my baseline range of motion, body measurements and how many pushups etc. I can do to fatigue (within reason to avoid injury). I’ll ride my bicycle, walk and do other cardio focused exercise to get my pump and lungs into better shape. I’ll also reintroduce myself to easy meditation - nothing fancy here, just a few focus techniques. I cut myself plenty of slack in the beginning phase - as long as I stick to it. Measures and results are secondary to committing to a routine.

    For phase two: strength training and light muscle building - mainly the legs. Squats, walking, steps, leg extensions and whatever else I can throw in without blowing a gasket or ripping a tendon. My forearms and neck will also get some work. I noticed them tiring on the NEBDR. I’ll mix in some deliberate meditation and relaxation techniques, where I practice visualizing different elements of the ride. I should be in a good stride by this phase.

    In the last phase: a quick biometric re-check and plan tweaking. Outdoor biking, mc riding, walking, light hiking and easy weights. I’ll need to come up with an adapted travel workout that can help sustain fitness while riding. My goal here is to maintain status quo - my energy in / energy out be firing almost on autopilot now. Just avoid backsliding.

    All of this is tough for me, especially in the beginning and doubly during Covid - I would usually swim laps. I got on the scale last week: 204 lbs where 185 ish will do (I was 164 at the end of the TAT in '17). I can manage 20 good form push-ups and probably struggle for more, but I’m basically starting at zero. I can touch my toes from standing, but not without a push & pain. I'm a slow starter so bare with me.

    On the Bike side of things....... shiney parts, farkles & stickers have started coming in ..........

    Ikeya-Seki, out.
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  17. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Might throw in some altitude acclimation if possible. Most useful closer to the start. A couple nights at 10,000 feet usually does the trick.
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  18. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Good idea. Colorado for that I think. I might spend a few nights near Silverton.
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  19. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Adventurer Supporter

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    Thursday, November 10
    T-238
    Rider


    Starting from Scratch Ain’t Easy

    Full confession: I hate starting a workout routine and I hate watching what I eat. My best intentions are in direct competition with my disinclinations. It’s like starting a cold locomotive up hill - lots of grunt and little gain. I'm making progress, but not much.

    It hurts just to move. Every joint needs oiling. This is why I swim, or would like to swim. Covid has spoiled that for the time being. I’m working on it.

    Anyway, the plan is to low bar expectations in the beginning and forgive myself for stutter starting a routine. As long as I don’t quit, I know I will eventually find a stride. I just hate the beginning. Stick with it. That is all.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.

    .... parts continue to arrive.
    #19
  20. sierrastone

    sierrastone Adventurer

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    I am 58 and lost a bet 3 years ago and had to do hot yoga 3 days a week for a month. Did wonders and still do it today. Interested to see if it helps your spine and other ailments.

    Peter

    #20
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