Oh, where to start… This is going to represent a lot of “firsts” for me. First time writing a ride report (woo!) so hopefully this turns out ok (happy to take suggestions, comments, and moderately snide criticisms). If anything, it’ll be practice for future reports. First real motorcycle trip (beyond weekend trips). First time motorcycle camping. And longest / farthest I have traveled on a bike. I’m going to try to update this as the trip progresses (and as wifi is available) mostly because I know that if I don’t, I’ll never get around to it. This is very much a “learn as I go” type of trip and if there’s any question, the answer is “no, I don’t have any idea what I’m doing”. My bike isn’t really where I want it to be for this type of travel, my camping gear and knowledge is best described as "lacking", and I know so little about this that according to the Dunning-Kruger curve I should consider myself an expert! Hopefully this trip will help me figure out how to prioritize my future upgrades. In short, I will be doing a big loop from Birmingham, AL to Charlotte, NC and back via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Highway 74. Miles: 974 (but let’s call it 1,000 so I feel a little more manly) Total riding time: 18 hours Total actual time: 5 days (because I’m lazy and like to see things on the way… and sleep) The bike: 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Silver (aren’t they all?) with a few mods here and there, but there is much left to do.