Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    I'm curious about your issue with a dry bag strapped to the passenger seat. I carry important stuff on my person (never use a tank bag) and find a duffel on the passenger seat with overnight stuff very convenient when going into a hotel/motel. Stuff I'm not going to need stays with the bike.
  2. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    I wouldn't either :stfu


    I generally don't mind a dry bag strapped to the pillion seat, but I can where it can be a PITA when getting off/on the bike, since it interferes with my leg swinging over. :dunno And I have long legs! :D
  3. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    We use drybags too. As you can see, this has been our default configuration for years and years... and years...

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    But truth be told (and I know this will probably raise the ire of some hardcore ADV riders), we prefer hard cases over drybags. We find them easier to pack and secure. Not that we had anything to fear in the BC wilderness except bears stealing our food! Plus, as the long-legged @DD mentioned, it's easier to swing a leg over the seat without a drybag in the way.

    I don't mind carrying dry bags if we were on a longer trip. They're versatile and lightweight and useful for storing stuff that doesn't need to be secured - like food and camping equipment. And even then, stuff like camping equipment is hard to replace if they get lost or stolen while you're on the road. Neda had one such unfortunate incident while we were in Guatemala.

    But this was such a short trip, dry bags didn't seem necessary. So it was nice for a change to have (almost) everything fit in the cases.

    We rode around Africa for a year and a half and during that time, theft was a real concern. So while we there, we bought these PacSafe mesh nets to lock the drybags to the bike. However, they were a real pain in the ass to wrap them up, and lock them on and off every single day. That whole experience just reinforced how much more practical and useful hard cases are if you're touring for an extended length of time.

    For this trip we weren't hotel/moteling it. We pitched our tent right beside our bikes, so having the cases open and just grabbing stuff from them and throwing stuff back in was super-convenient. If we had drybags, it'd be an extra step to pack and unpack them, strap them on and off. Cases are easier: open the lid, close the lid.

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    If we had been staying in motels, our panniers have liners inside them that we can lift out and carry around with the attached shoulder straps, so that's easy as well.

    But to each their own. Some people prefer softbags and drybags. We like hard cases.

    Having said that, one of our upcoming projects is to kit out our enduros for touring, and we've just received our luggage: all softbags. I'll write up a review of them soon.
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  4. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Yeah, it was great catching up with Jamie after all these years.

    July 2012:

    [​IMG]

    Sept 2021:

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    The bikes keep getting younger and we just get older and older...

    This current road trip is actually a result of one of our planning sessions with Jamie. We were offering up different routes as he was preparing to head east out of BC and this was one of the options we presented. I don't think he took it due to inclement weather, so we did instead! Can't let a good route go to waste! :D

    We felt very grateful to be able to host him. We've been the recipients of so much generosity over the years from other riders who have offered us a place to stay that it's a very satisfying feeling to keep that circle of good karma going. Just in the last 18 months we've hosted so many motorcycle travelers riding through our part of the world - several of them are on ADVRider.com.

    In fact, now that I'm counting, we've shown up in three different ADV Ride Reports as hosts, not travelers! What a change up...
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  5. BruceT

    BruceT Been here awhile

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    Gene did you go through the historic town site of Fort Steele when you were there?...it was pretty cool, we just went through there this August
  6. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Breaking bad Dudes!
    Always punny!
    Enjoyed some time on ridedot.com today of your 1st year in CA!
    Gracias
  7. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Day 3: Fort Steele to Saskatchewan River Crossing

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    We've lost an hour somewhere.

    We wake up to our usual lazy late morning internal body clock wake-up call, but our smartphones are reading an hour later than it feels. This is due to the crazy PDT/MDT time zone border that doesn't quite align with the BC/Alberta border. Somewhere between Creston and Fort Steele, the time zone switched to Mountain Time and now we're rushed to pack up the tent so we can vacate our campsite before check-out time to avoid being charged another day.

    The tent is still damp from morning dew and we do our best to shake it out before packing it away, but packing a wet tent is like putting on wet underwear. It just feels gross and not right.

    We head into Fort Steele to eat our breakfast. There is no town. Fort Steele consists of one gas station and a general store situated just outside an old pioneer village that's been set up as an educational tourist sight, kind of like Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. You gotta pay for entry, which we don't do. Partly to save on costs, but also, we've planned this as a pure motorcycle trip, so no hiking (which is good) and no sight-seeing. Our plan is not stray more than a few meters from our bikes the entire week. :nomystery

    We munch on a salami sandwich outside the gas station while staring at our bikes

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    Do these bags make our bikes look big?

    It's warmed up quite nicely by now so we head north on Hwy 93 with the Rocky Mountains to our right, promising us some exquisite sights to see very soon!

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    At Radium Hot Springs, Hwy 93 cuts sharply to the east and we pass the massive set of stone gates of Sinclair Canyon that serve as an official natural welcome to visitors into the Kootenay National Park. We've come through this way many times, and it's kind of a tradition that we take a picture here.

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    This is where the good stuff starts. From hereon in, we'll be surrounded by the beauty and the majesty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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    We stop in Lake Louise for a gas stop and another protein bar. Normally, we'd go into the Fairmont Resort and take a picture of the twin mountains reflecting off Lake Louise, but this is a bike trip, and we have so many pictures of that already. If you Google "Most photographed lake in the world", Lake Louise will probably come up more than a few times.

    So now comes the tricky part of staying under budget. How do you find cheap lodging in one of the most expensive tourist spots in Western Canada? With the cheapest motel prices regularly north of $150 CDN in Lake Louise and Banff, even the campsites just outside of town are more than $40.

    We keep on riding, further and further north on 93 until we are out of the blast radius of the Tourist Trap Bomb. We're in an area called Saskatchewan River Crossing (yes, we are only still in Alberta) and the park fee is $28. No showers or flush toilets, but that's okay.

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    "I was told there'd be no gravel!" says Neda and her sport-touring motorcycle.

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    It's a nice park, but it's cold in the evening before the sun set, which doesn't bode well for when the night falls.

    We switch up our meal menu and it's chilli and beans for dinner tonight. Mmmm. Also we'll get to warm up our tent tonight Dutch-Oven style. :D

    Campsite Talk: "Why is chilli the food hot, and chilly the adjective cold? I bet that really forks up a lot of non-native English speakers"

    The sun sets, and like birds we nestle up in our sleeping bags and fall asleep with just about every piece of clothing we've brought on our trip to brave the freezing temperatures overnight.

    Like clockwork, I gotta get up to pee in the middle of the night and I check the temperature. -1°C. Cripes.

    Cost for Day 3 per person:

    Gas: $18.24
    Lodging: $14
    Food: ~$5

    Total: $37.24

    We're well under budget, despite having to feed our 1250cc gas-guzzling beasts. A lot of it is helped by the fact we are not doing mega-mileage each day.
  8. SDR82

    SDR82 Adventurer

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    Are these Phone shots? If so, kudo's!!! Great photos!
  9. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Thanks!

    The photos were taken with an older Nikon Coolpix AW110. It's a ruggedized camera that's waterproof and shockproof. This is a useful feature, since I take all the pictures like this, and I may have dropped the camera onto the ground a few times...

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  10. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    If you had gone east on Hwy 11 at Sask River Crossing you could have camped for free at Thompson Creek or anywhere else along the reservoir that parallels the highway.

    :1drink
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  11. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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  12. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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  13. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles Supporter

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    Some of the BLM areas may be alright but the areas near heavily used areas can be terribly unpleasant. I recollect camping a night on BLM land near Zion NP in an area that's best described as a "minefield of human waste".

    Bonus: I got propositioned by a hippy chick in a veggie oil power mercedes wagon who offered girlfriend privileges for a few nights gas money. :photog
  14. HatesSnow

    HatesSnow Waiting for Summer

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    Nice, I do the exact same thing with nearly the exact same camera (it's orange). It's attached to my tankbag so if I fumble it or if I need to respond to something I can just let go of it without worrying about losing it.
  15. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    Me too!

    And I've had so many people ask me about my set up, I made a webpage about it. I now use an Olympic Tough - it takes great photos, especially considering how little effort I put into taking them.

    I even got pretty good at take photos behind me, as well :-)

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  16. mattsz

    mattsz moto-gurdyist

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    Cool, thanks for the tips!

    May I ask: did you give up on the SD1100 mentioned on your web page for a reason? The "Tough" is not exactly a bargain buy, but the SD1100 seems to be available for under $30...
  17. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    The Canon was a good camera, but it was not up to the task of taking the abuse of being used in this way. Eventually the lens cover stopped functioning correctly (water, dust and grit take their toll) and even though it would be cheap to replace, I didn't want to "go cheap". I had recommendations on the Tough from other riders and I felt that it was better to just get something that would hold up.

    Plus, I can now take underwater photos, too :thumb

    [​IMG]
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  18. mattsz

    mattsz moto-gurdyist

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    Thanks! I figured it was something of that nature... I still can't get my head around how you guys manage to grab a camera from a tank bag, turn it on and snap a nice photo - all with gloves on... while riding...
    :bow
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  19. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

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    It takes practice, the more you do it the better you get at it, also lots of wasted shots to get there. I am still in needs more practice zone :lol3
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  20. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    :jump Practice, practice, practice, indeed! I still get the occasional photo with a glove in the corner, but not nearly as often as I used to.
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