TavisB's TAT 2010 (solo) Planning Thread

Discussion in 'Americas' started by TavisB, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    On solo vs group:

    Solo: Its all you. Its you and your machine and the whatever man or nature can throw at you. I love riding solo 90% of the time because I know the only person holding me back is myself. Where it sucks is when you have a problem...like your bike is stuck, broken, etc. I ride a lot more conservatively when I go solo. I also tend to meet a lot of random people and I talk to a lot of people about the bike and the adventure.

    Group: Well the good thing is you've got someone to watch your back and share your dust. Theres a second set of hands to help pick up your bike for the Nth time and someone to help setup camp etc. What sucks is if/when you find out you and the group really are not on the same wavelength. So choose a group wisely.

    TAT: For me, riding the TAT was one of the happiest times of my life and I itch to go back and repeat the trip. Have fun, talk to strangers, take lots of pictures, come home and write a good ride report...don't worry about keeping everyone posted through the whole trip.

    On safety:

    I carried a gps, cell phone, Emergency locator beacon. Nowadays with SPOT units you may not need the locator beacon. Know how to fix your bike....basics like tires and wheels, and chain..understand how to fix some more complicated things like valves etc.

    Have fun
    :D:thumb
    #41
  2. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    #42
  3. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    Haha...same here. Girlfriend is not amused :D
    #43
  4. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    Agreed, but a guys gotta have his priorities:evil ... Safety is #1!:thumb Remind her that your bike will be your lifeline for a month, and your gear needs to be absolutely dependable.:wink:


    Seth, I gotta agree with your take on solo and group, both have strengths and weaknesses. I too am more conservative solo, but carry spot, gps, cell, tools, water... No sense in not having a backup plan. Looks like (by the ride schedule) I'll be leading you by about a week. Don't know if I will post on the run, unless there is a major problem with the map... Will update closer to Go Date (June 28-Trinidad):clap Still sorting the tech gear up!(priorities!!)
    #44
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I put mine on the right side in the same place, reach across and the knobs are free to turn. You could put in the center if you put one of those little vent tips on your vent hose.
    #45
  6. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    I put it there first until I saw how the tube would interfere. Plus it had to sit just right or the knobs hit the bar clamps or the tank. I had the little vent tip but lost it in a get-off in the woods. I could get another, but I'd better get a spare in case it happens again.
    #46
  7. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    My opinion is to ride solo. Everything gets done at your pace that way, no waiting for people to catch up or rushing to catch the others, no feeling bad to keep stopping to see the sights, no lingering around places wasting half the day (especially food stops) because you forget to stop talking and ride, etc. No eating dust either. There is safety in numbers of course, and I was happy to have company going over Hancock and Tomichi passes... I did not carry a spot, but I did carry my cell and checked in with family (mainly my dad, whom I was meeting in Salida) frequently. Also sent him and my roommate a copy of my path and my basic itinerary in case something happened so people would know where to start looking for me in case I didn't turn up where and when I was supposed to.

    I just used my GPS, a Garmin 2720, and left the maps/roll charts at home (took up too much space/weight). The last thing I'd want to be doing is constantly fiddling with the roll charts to keep myself on track, same with the maps (which are kinda hard to read as you've probably noticed). I preferred to plot the TAT as routes instead of way points, much faster and easier to follow imo, but mine had a nice big color screen. I did usually have a paper map of the state I was in in the map pocket of my tank bag, just in case, and knew the route pretty well (I have a pretty decent memory if I'm the one writing things down).

    And you will get lost, turned around, and rerouted. Probably several times a day. Roads have closed or no longer exist, bridges go out, gates become locked or have turned into fences, etc. +1 to the "if it feels wrong, it probably is", there were only two or three times when the road started to disappear that it came back (warloop and one road in the panhandle of OK are all I remember).

    Here's my setup for reference... at the end of a long day that sheepskin pad was worth its weight in gold.
    [​IMG]

    Keep it small, keep it light, and keep is simple. Ride with a reasonable margin of safety, remember that other people use these roads too (i.e. there will be oncoming traffic, usually right after you get complacent about being alone, and sometimes its a semi or a dump truck :eek1). Make sure you eat enough and drink enough (I found that draining a 2L camelbak every 90-100 miles was about right, which was about my fuel range as well so I had to stop anyways). Don't. Forget. To. Eat. Its all too easy if you've been riding hard all day, and remember that you do need breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As others have said, know your bike, fix any problems before you leave, have contingency plans planned in case you miss something, and stay loose. The difficulty isn't the trail, its the distance...

    Oh yeah, don't forget to have fun! :clap
    #47
  8. amoroso6

    amoroso6 Adventurer

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    Skierd,

    I am planning the trip this summer and i am currently add the waypoints to my mapsource software, i have a garmin 2820 similar to yours and i was debating on getting an outdoors unit or even adding the topo maps to the one i have. how did your 2720 work out any problems or glitches?


    Alex
    #48
  9. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    The only issue I had occasionally was the screen would get dirty (somehow :augie ) and would try to add way points as I was riding. A quick cleaning of the screen fixed it. Occasionally when I had to turn around to check out a neat site I passed, it would try to route me around some ass-backwards way to get back to the route thinking the way I was going was blocked off. All I would have to do is reload the map, nothing changed on the loaded route. I did have all the automatic rerouting functions turned off, it was just trying to get me back on track. Occasionally I would have trouble determining which fork in the road was correct, but it would only take about 1/4 mile before I realized I was off.

    Other than that, it was perfect. I suggest hard wiring it to the bike (no relay) so you can check maps, etc. with the bike off.
    #49
  10. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    What mapset were you using? I have the 2720 also and it works well.

    John
    #50
  11. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    That rerouting issue is why I'm using tracks with my GPS. I'm going to go ahead and use the roll charts as backup just in case :).
    #51
  12. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    It wasn't really an issue, it never permanently changed the route just did its best to get me back on track. Frankly I just didn't have room for the roll charts.

    I used CityNav 2010.
    #52
  13. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    Our paths may cross, I'm seriously considering going the month of July & half way through August. I'll know better after January.
    Planned on going a few years ago, but health issues nailed me with a monkey wrench at the time.
    #53
  14. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    Excellent :thumb

    I hope you can go!
    #54
  15. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    So far I have waypoints made for the first ~100 miles of Tn. I'm really going to have to pick up the pace on this or I'm never going to get it done!
    #55
  16. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    Travis: I have mapped it out myself and based on many of the RR's I read I made tracks instead of waypoints and routes. Used the track tool and clicked along the the TAT with the paper maps in front of me and Google Earth open in another window. TN TAT took about two hours and three beers if I remember right!

    Tracks won't try to reroute you or recalculate. It will always be right where you put it and then you can work yourself back to the line if you get off course or have a go around. You can also draw tracks where there are no roads. Once you get used to following tracks it will be second nature.

    John
    #56
  17. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    I see. Right now I am doing a combination of waypoints AND tracks :). I think I'm just doing the waypoints to make myself feel safer about finding where I am. Maybe I'll try the next segment with just tracks and see how I feel about that.
    #57
  18. Exile

    Exile The Mundane and The Magic

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    What model FZR is that windscreen off of?
    #58
  19. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    94FZR600R

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. amoroso6

    amoroso6 Adventurer

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    I know what you mean ive got tenn, miss, and now working on ark,
    #60