Out from under the dome

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Shreddie, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    Someday I'm going to write a poem and a letter. Someday I'm going to get that faculty together.


    I'm looking out the shop door, four o'clock on Friday. It's my last day at work as I get ready to head out on a journey.

    I'm not really sure how far back I need to go to get to the beginning. I think it was about thirty one years ago when I was thirteen. I crept silently from my bed, taking care not to step on either of the creaky stairs that would alert my parents to my activity. I made my way into the garage where the shiny Chrome BMX bike I had cajoled from my grandparents was waiting. I lifted the heavy door inch by inch, just far enough to duck under it into the warm night air. My whole body tingled as I swung my leg over and rolled silently down the driveway and felt the breeze build as gravity pulled me down the street under the lights.

    We lived up above the town on a hillside so it didn't take me long to make my way down the familiar streets, somehow different in the night, that led to the top of the big hill into town.

    I paused at the top, knowing that I'd have to get back up but without too much concern, I let it roll on.

    I'll come back to that part of the story later but I mention it because I feel the same today. I'll be leaving in a week to ride my VStrom to South America. I know someday I'll need to ride back up the hill but for today, it's time to stand on the pedals and feel the wind push the tears from the corners of my eyes as I go.
    #1
  2. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
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    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    You're never alone if you take ADVrider with you.

    What's your starting point?
    #2
  3. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

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    Nov 28, 2014
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    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    Leaving from Big Bay Ontario next weekend. Just finalizing dog sitting arrangements and working through a still-growing list of last minute "oh, by the way could you justs"
    #3
  4. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
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    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    Ahhh yes. We had a cottage on Georgian Bay a long time ago. North Keppel. Cousins are still there. I'm a few thousand miles away now.

    Let me guess.....KLR?

    When you're done with the "last minutes", post some pics and a basic plan. I know you can write. :-)
    #4
  5. RiderRick

    RiderRick Been here awhile

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    Apr 24, 2013
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    Location:
    Southeast Minnesota
    You've set the hook, I'm subscribed!
    #5
  6. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    Count me in! :photog
    #6
  7. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

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    It's a pretty small place. Good chance I'd know your cousins.
    #7
  8. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

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    Nov 28, 2014
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    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    Just picked up my luggage! I know it looks pretty generic but I think it's worth keeping things dry.

    image.jpg
    #8
  9. Team Vegas

    Team Vegas ((̲̅ ̲̅(̲̅C̲̅r̲̅a̲̅y̲̅o̲̅l̲̲̅̅a̲̅( ̲̅̅((>

    Joined:
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    I'll tag along :lurk
    #9
  10. arekzjawin

    arekzjawin n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
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    1
    I hope the loweing links will work well. I will keep my eye out for updates.
    #10
  11. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    Even if you're lucky enough to be in a position to consider a trip like this, even if you can pull together the time and the money, it's still so hard to break away. Everything in my life seems to seek continuity. Work, family, friends, bills, subscriptions, the list goes on and on. The way my dog looks at me, knowing that something's up doesn't help either.

    There are two lists really. One consisting of the things I need to do before I go and the other of the things I need to actually take along. There's lots left to check off both of them but no doubt, it's the last push.

    The emotions around leaving are strong while at the same time, a different set of emotions about going are building too. This will be a week of careful balance.
    #11
  12. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
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    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    It's been a few busy days since the last post. Almost everything is falling into place now. My fellow traveller has arrived by air from England, we've collected our various bits and pieces and we're working today on the bikes. Two nearly identical VStrom 650's. A 2004 and a 2006 model, both with low mileage and less than perfect cosmetics. A brief history on the selection process, I bought a KLX250 about a year ago after reading John Downs' very inspirational report.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...250-super-sherpa-minimalist-adventure.831076/

    He convinced me, quite rightly, that it's possible to go great distances on a small bike and a small budget. While Ewan and Charlie presented a dream trip, funded by movie star money and corporate sponsors, John presented a trip that anyone willing to cast off and let drift could do. I spent the winter with that bike in my living room, saving my money, researching luggage and maintenance and dreaming of spring. Over those months I read many reports and watched many videos. I almost felt as though I'd actually done the trips. When the ice finally cleared and the roads were passable, I started riding. image.jpg
    That bike was fantastic. It took me on some amazing trail rides and some initial road trips. Didn't take long though to realize that maintaining highway speeds was not going to be comfortable. While going 80km/hr was great, going 120 was just too much. The engine was spinning along at over 8000 rpm, well below redline but much too fast to seem ok. The wind at that speed also meant that my arms would get tired from hanging on as my chest pushed through the air. I knew that there was a big-bore kit available for the bike and with revised gearing and a windshield, it would greatly improve things. While I contemplated placing the order, an already converted KLX appeared online for a great price, only caveat being that it was located halfway across the country. I booked a flight to Saskatoon and hopped on the bike to head back. Over the next few days, I came to see that although the bigger engine helped, it was still far from happy maintaining highway speeds all day. When a wrist pin came out in Northern Ontario I knew that I would be looking for a bigger bike. image.jpg
    Fast forward a few weeks and here we are, fitting the last of the luggage.
    #12
  13. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    18,465
    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    You may just see me passing you by.......

    What's your intended route?
    #13
  14. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

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    Nov 28, 2014
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    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    It's the eve of the big day! Bikes are packed, goodbyes have been said all around and it's time to sit for a moment before bed. Tested the tent out last night in a heavy storm and woke up dry. Good start. Clothes, tools, camera gear, all the little bits and pieces are there I hope. We'll be on the road at seven to catch the morning ferry north from Tobermory. Heading for a campground near Massie for the first night away. Should make Sault St Marie after that. Been an extremely busy and emotional time getting ready over the last few days, it'll feel great to finally get rolling. The scene with Ewan and Charlie riding off in London means so much more to me now than it did when I first saw it years ago.

    image.jpg

    image.jpg
    #14
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  15. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
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    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    Just East of Sault St Marie for the night. Camping on the shore. Came through a bit of rain to get here but it looks pretty good for the next few days. We'll plot a course across northern Manitoba through bear country.
    Stopped in Espanola this afternoon to see about a spare key for one of the bikes. They didn't have it in stock but one of the mechanics there is an avid ADV reader and told us about a young couple from the UK on step through Hondas that came through a few months back. We knew right away that it had to be Ed and Rachel. Maybe we'll catch up with you guys yet. image.jpg
    #15
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  16. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

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    Location:
    Great White North
    "When the wind is on your nose, just bear off a little"

    Wise words from an ole salt that works well for MC adventures as well.

    Enjoy the ride, be safe, be well & make memories.

    DW
    #16
  17. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    near Espanola Ontario Canada
    Good to meet you this afternoon, (at Trail Side Sports---the dealership in Espo). I'll be following along, watching your adventure unfold. With much envy!

    Yep; Ed and Rachel, Brokentooth, Kevin Milne, Hecktoglider & Thorne; and today "Team Shreddie". All the cool world travelers stop in to see us!

    Wishing you a great journey!

    Relic
    #17
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  18. SteveTheLocal

    SteveTheLocal Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
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    275
    Location:
    Island in the Salish Sea
    When you get to the west coast, you turn left.
    And just before your feet get wet, we have a bed, a beer and a BBQ for you.
    Let us know if you get near Victoria...
    #18
  19. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Arizona
    I will be following along. Safe travels.
    #19
  20. Shreddie

    Shreddie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
    It's been two eventful days. Camped last night at White Lake on the North shore of Superior. We arrived too late to see the lake so we set up our tent and cooked dinner by flashlight. Worked out pretty well considering our lack of experience. The door zipper jammed and then split in the night but no bears came in. Zippers keep bears out, right? Woke up to an amazing scene with mist over a dead-calm lake. The little islands offshore looked just like castles in a fairy tale world.

    image.jpg

    Between the tall trees and the mist, it wasn't going to get warm anytime soon so we packed up and made our way westward. Stopped a few times to shake it off along the 400km run to Thunder Bay. Since then we've bought a new tent from a place called Atmosphere. Didn't show up for some reason in a search for camping gear but appeared across the street from us after we'd all but given up on finding the right tent and gone searching for pizza instead. That's what I love most about life on the road. Those happy little coincidences that make things work out. They're not to be relied upon in the daily life of work and bills but they somehow always seem to come through while we keep moving. So tonight we find ourselves in Happyland. No, really. There's a campground west of Thunder Bay called Happyland and we're set up for the night. Tomorrow to Winnipeg!
    #20