Quit my job to go on a "little" ride....US Tour '07

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Kaneman, Feb 10, 2007.

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  1. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    Well just wanted to introduce myself and start the thread that my journey will be posted on. I'm Josh from Fort Worth and after 7.5 years of service I'm leaving my office job to travel the US on my '01 Kawasaki ZRX1200R. Its no dual purpose bike, but its a helluva fun ride. Although this is my first post I have lurked here for quite some time reading of Striking Viking (one of my personal heros) WorldRider, the couple rephotographing historic places, and the list goes on and on.

    I have been fairly "sheltered" never even having seen a real mountain range before. On February 17th 2007 all that changes forever as I depart for an adventure to last as long as possible. All assets have been cashed in and I won't be home until I've been to both coasts and a lot of places in-between. On the 14th I am officially unemployed and having to get a job is not much motivation to get home quickly.

    I invite all to the journey and ask for patience as this is my first real writing experience, and for the boring pictures through these first few days as well. This thread has already been started on the ZRXOA for all my ZRX buddies, and especially the ones that will be shacking me up along the way, so let me lay down some posts to get caught up to present...

    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_josh2.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>
    #1
  2. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]February 6th, 2007

    Almost everything is in order now and the countdown has begun. I'm still searching for some Dual-Star heated grip elements and have bills to be paid. I am fortunate to have friends and family that are willing to step up and watch my belongings while I am away. My checklist is becoming worn I've checked it so many times. Looks like I need maps as well and will take care of those final items today.

    Departure is at 8:00am February 17th southbound to Bastrop State Park, site of the famous "Lost Pines." After that there is no set itinerary. I will be camping in East Texas, Arkansas, Alabama and Florida. If the weather is not merciful on me I believe I am prepared for that. From there I will head north to NY with the weather calling the shots for my date of arrival.
    [/FONT]
    #2
  3. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
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    February 7th, 2007

    After using my final sick day yesterday to gather some more supplies and get things in order, as well as meet with some local ZRXers at "Twin Peaks" (guess why its named that) I returned to the office today. I have been expecting an offer from management to make me stay with the company I've grown up with over the past 7.5 years. Today the offer was made, and it was so pathetic that my manager seemed embarassed to be offering it. Human Resources controls salaries and raises, not management, thus the red-tape that makes recognizing good employees nearly impossible. My offer was a 5% raise in April and a possible leave of absense to complete my trip. I rejected the offer with thanks and laughter and the plans go forward for my journey. Of all the managers in the building that don't give a damn I got the one that truely does and it felt good to have someone finally go to bat for me, even if it was too little too late. But now I depart with a little less bitterness, which is important for me. I'm not sure if I can ever go back to corporate America.

    Time is passing rapidly now and I'm overwhelmed with things that must be squared away before I leave. My stress and anxiety is mixed with an excitement in my belly that I haven't felt since I was a kid and for the first time in a really long time I find myself caring about happiness...not just money.

    As I considered my future today an old Metallica song popped into my head and the lyrics are almost perfect for me...

    ...And the road becomes my bride
    I have stripped of all but pride
    So in her I do confide
    And she keeps me satisfied
    Gives me all I need

    ...And with dust in throat I crave
    Only knowledge will I save
    To the game you stay a slave
    Rover wanderer
    Nomad vagabond
    Call me what you will

    But I'll take my time anywhere
    Free to speak my mind anywhere
    And I'll redefine anywhere
    Anywhere I roam
    Where I lay my head is home

    ...And the earth becomes my throne
    I adapt to the unknown
    Under wandering stars I've grown
    By myself but not alone
    I ask no one

    ...And my ties are severed clean
    The less I have the more I gain
    Off the beaten path I reign
    Rover wanderer
    Nomad vagabond
    Call me what you will

    But I'll take my time anywhere
    I'm free to speak my mind anywhere
    And I'll never mind anywhere
    Anywhere I roam
    Where I lay my head is home

    But I'll take my time anywhere
    Free to speak my mind
    And I'll take my find anywhere
    Anywhere I roam
    Where I lay my head is home

    Carved upon my stone
    My body lie, but still I roam
    Wherever I may roam


    Goodbye office life...

    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_Theoffice.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>
    #3
  4. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
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    February 8th 2007

    Short-timers syndrome is a serious condition brought on by advanced knowledge of ones termination within a company. For short-timers who were once dedicated and hard-working employees short-timers is difficult to cope with and sometimes stressful for friends and family as well. Once notice is given to an employer of pending termination a struggle of epic proportions rages in the soul...or at least it does in my case. Its a struggle of caring and not caring wound up with regret, nostalgia, second guessing and manic like excitement. When dealing with these symptoms it becomes difficult for a man to retain control of his professional attitude...and dress apparently.

    Today I showed for for my last 5 working days in jeans (with an oil stain) a wrinkled (but collared) shirt and scuffed motorcycle boots. Of course my office is business casual and I didn't exactly fit in amongst my 750+ well-dressed co-workers. No matter to me, my time is limited and I have other things to do beside iron dress pants. Perhaps it was this general attitude that landed me in the "principals office" talking to my manager about a recent email that was sent to the Human Resources Department by yours truly. I received an email from our African American (I hate that term) HR rep today asking me if Friday @11 was a good time for an exit interview to which I replied: "Sounds good homie, Fo shizzle" It was a long day and I was feeling happy and goofy and never thought twice about it. A couple hours later I was informed by my manager that it was perceived I was making fun of her ethnic background by attempting to talk as I imagined a black person would talk, thus supporting negative stereotypes.

    My time there is short and I am not sure why I cared but for the first time in 7.5 years as a corporate American drone I was offended by someone's words. Just because I'm a straight, white male I apparently am not allowed to say homie, or fo shizzle. I'm not sure about yo, dawg, bout it, cracka lackin or "woo woo" because I didn't ask. So now I'm a racist and am considering an extended camping trip into Mississippi to learn more about my roots. Needless to say I was not pleased by this and proceeded to throw a rather loud tantrum as anyone who has nothing to lose certainlly might. In the end out of respect for my manager I agreed to inform my thin-skinned HR rep I did not mean anything by it.

    Leave it to Human Resources, the center of over the top political correctness, to reinforce my decision to quit and embark on this journey. If ever there is a time to break loose and get back to the basics of humanity, for perspective if anything, it is now after so long in the office. I considered filing a complaint of racial discrimination by claiming because I was white and had a shaved head that it was being implied I was a "skinhead" but in the end I have more pressing matters to deal with.

    Tonight I needed to get around some motorcycle guys/gals, who always seem more grounded, and blow off some steam so I headed to the local CycleGear for their late-night sale where I picked up a huge 40L tankbag. Walking to my motorcycle I noticed an older gentlemen admiring the ZREX and we started up a conversation. I believe this man may have been me from 40 years in the future as it seemed our sense of humor was identical and he was a welcome relief from what I dealt with at the office. He rode a ZRX1100 and had all sorts of great experiences to share. We must have stood in the cold chatting for an hour. He was modest but I had a feeling he was faster than me! I felt much better after talking with him and sharing my upcoming trip, motorcycles and motorcyclists are great stress relief.

    8 days and counting until I put it all behind me. Oh, and a word on the pictures thus far...they are boring and of poor quality and yes I'm a photographer and yes they will get much better after I depart with my camera gear in tow.


    New tank bag
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_tankbag.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    P.S. I also grabbed the surprisingly firm ass of one of our senior (female) trainers today. Perhaps I am a little out of control...
    #4
  5. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    February 09, 2007

    Today was relatively uneventful. Rode about an hour to work this morning with ALL gear loaded onto the bike to get some practice in familiar territory with all the extra weight and bulk. With the camping gear behind me and my large tankbag in the front I have a nice warm little cocoon. The bike is going to be much more comfortable for long distances loaded down than it ever was bare as I can easily rest my weight forward or backward.

    Most of the work day was spent making sure my work was done for the week as wellas debating and BSing with friends of a sort. I did complete my exit interview which was nice and suave. As a going away present Karma gave me the firing of a senior manager that had previously hit me in the face after I refused to back down from a dispute. Since I'm such a tough guy (haha) I of course would have retaliated with Norris like fury but she was a 60+ year old female...certainlly not a lady though. Perhaps our altercation had something to do with it...

    I'm keeping a log here this early in the trip (still the boring stages) to get some practice writing. Ideally my reports would be fun and easy to read as I want to share this experience as best I can. I've never really written before but it seems as though it will be therapeutic.

    Still a few more things to wrap up although I was pleased when my bank account showed a deposit from the IRS and the UPS man left me an envelope from Merrill Lynch. Lets see if my soon to be ex-employer comes through for me tomorrow as well.

    In the spirit of my personal disdain for PC I amused myself by hugging and biting a female co-worker's neck and giving the ol' smile and wink to a cute new employee. Turned out she was an executive consultant from Apple, oops. Coworkers that I've known and even admired for years have begun to open up to me and I can tell we have a different relationship now and it feeds the regret I harbor to be leaving. Smiles seem more genuine, more personal details are being sharing by me as well as them and they all seem to have more warmth toward me. Even the HR representative mentioned yesterday opened up to me as a real person. Sad to say I feel as though it may have been there all along but I have been too. . . guarded, too afraid that being too much like myself would land me in the unemployment line. 90% of the people I'm leaving behind are exceptional individuals more suiting of a corporate environment than myself.

    Some friends I badly need to see before I depart will be coming by tonight. This is a fantastic opportunity for me (the trip) and I'm thinking I need to be grateful for something every day of it.

    Today I'm grateful for the opportunity to give a heartfelt farewell to my friends, family and coworkers, all of whom could fit into each of those categories.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_loadedup.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    I promise to get some better pictures soon!
    #5
  6. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
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    949
    February 10th, 2007

    I've always been a sort of manic/depressive organizer. I go through bouts of extremely well managed organization and times of disruptive chaos. Today I organized like a champ, and I'm fairly proud of my gear set-up. I spent the day saying goodbye to more friends and shopping for the remaining items on my list. All I'm missing now is a good map which I plan to dot with potential destinations throughout the week.

    Here is the complete gear setup as it exists...


    Hopefully everything I'll need, item by item.
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_Inventory.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>


    My Sleeping bag/pad, tent and rain gear. Waterproof just in case...
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_campingbundle.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>


    Tool (OEM set not included), road flares, bungees and the all important DUCT TAPE
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_Tools.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>


    Chargers, Batteries, iPod, pocket cam.
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_electronics.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>


    6 Tshirts, 6 pair boxers, 6 pair socks, 1 pair thermals, 1 pair jeans, "dress shirt", under-armor. Compressed and Water tight!
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_clothes.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    Camera, MSR stove, fuel, compass, saw, castiron skillet, toiletries, parachute cord, duct tape, lantern, led light, headlight, swiss army knife, lighters, emergency blanket, first aid kit, egg carton and a couple of books.
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_topcase.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    Tankbag holds laptop and clothes.
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_tankbag1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    Complete set of motorcycle luggage.
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_3bags-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>


    Everything got a healthy dose of this stuff
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_campdry.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    Which had this effect...
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_Beadedwater-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

    And finally, my Anti-PC of the day...
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/P/PsychoMedic_sexist.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>
    #6
  7. flubber

    flubber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
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    112
    Best of luck on your trip. Ive still not done an overniter on my bike. If ya ever get up into central wisconsin look me up. :ear :clap
    #7
  8. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,238
    Location:
    Peachtree City, GA and Full Time RV Travel
    Good luck, and I'll be watching this thread! :lurk

    If you haven't already, keep that Test Space thread handy. Lots of ADV'ers that will lend a hand & give you a place to stay for the night if you need one. It could really extend your journey! :D
    #8
  9. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,102
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    Safe Journeys!!!

    We'll be looking forward to the pics and stories to come...
    #9
  10. fixer

    fixer KLR-riding cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,439
    Location:
    Lost Wage$, NV
    :lurk

    your packing looks fairly well planned and efficient... which it better be as you're packing fairly light compared to some. wile i like cast iron cookware, i'm not sure i'd chose it for packing on a MC trip, but you're on the light side anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    enjoy the ride! :ricky
    #10
  11. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

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    Well I have saddlebags but I don't need them with that load....not sure what else I should bring really.
    #11
  12. com3

    com3 Banned

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    Mar 20, 2005
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    whoo hoo!! keep us posted! :norton
    #12
  13. White Tenere

    White Tenere 44 years on two wheels

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    SoCal
    Good luck with your trip:clap :clap

    Your sense of humor and writting style all ready have me hooked on your up coming ADVENTURE.....keep us posted


    ps. nice Stewie sticker
    #13
  14. Monsieur

    Monsieur Varadero Journeyman

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
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    Location:
    Wits End, England, Near Europe
    Starts well - looking forward to reading more!
    Bit pissed that your offer of a 5% pay rise is a tad more than my 'exciting' teachers pay rise of 3.2% this year!:1drink
    #14
  15. Sevoman

    Sevoman Ever Vigilant

    Joined:
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    926
    Location:
    Indian Shores, Fl.
    Enjoy your trip!!:clap Ride safe and keep us informed. Look to the tent space thread for lodging along the way.

    Sevoman
    Tampa
    #15
  16. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
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    Über Alles,California
    this is gonna be a good one!! :thumb

    fo shizzle my nizzle. :deal
    #16
  17. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    In the shadow of the Uncanoonucs...
    A window and a corner office!:ear :lol3

    Good luck on your journey! May you find what you are looking for!
    #17
  18. ElGonzo

    ElGonzo planning the route

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Warsaw, POLAND
    Have a safe journey & stay in touch.

    I'm not sure, what do I envy more : quiting the boring job or starting the BIG adventure... anyway you're lucky guy :cry

    Take care

    Gonzo
    BMW R1200GS Adv --> new toy
    #18
  19. kave

    kave Gravel rules

    Joined:
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    Sweden
    This one is going to be a great adventure. Make sure you take care and don't be involved in an accident or so now. We are expecting a nice ride report.
    #19
  20. Teeds

    Teeds Don Quixote

    Joined:
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    Location:
    427 miles ENE of Orla Texas
    Great start Josh!

    Realizing Dallas is just to your east and far too soon to think about stopping, I will refrain from offering anything except my best wishes for a safe and discovery filled journey.

    Being a native of Foat Wurth, I know, with the passing of the 111th edition of the Fat Stock Show (yea, I'm old), that good weather is just around the corner.

    No knowing you, I can only imagine how much you have changed since the trip began to form within your soul. I can assure you that you are embarking on a trip that will forever change and charge your spirit.

    Again, best of luck in all your travels and I look forward to following your journey of discovery.

    Ride off young Sir and find yourself, by losing yourself.
    Let the wind strip you until your nerves are alive with anticipation and clarity.

    :lurk
    #20
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