Timber Me Ginger's Solo Cross Country Adventure on a Scooter!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sbless, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    93
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    The Road!!
    I am so happy that I found this forum when I did! I just want to start by saying THANK YOU to all who have already reached out to me and helped me plan this trip!!! From gear to roads, pies to campsites, everything has been wonderful.

    A little about me: I'm 26, just quit my job, have previously traveled in custom adventure camper things for two years, but am ready to finally do something just for ME.

    What I'm doing: Driving a SYM HD200 SCOOTER (named Jolene) across the US and taking about a month to do it. I plan to stay with friends, couch surf and camp.

    [​IMG]

    How this happened: A friend who has been storing my stuff, such as my birth certificate, for the last almost 4 years is selling her house and suggested I come get my things. And the way my brain works... a Scooter-venture was born!

    I will do my best to update here as regularly as I can, but as good internet can be hard to come by on the road, I will be updating my Facebook (Timber Me Ginger) to let people know I'm still alive through my InReach most frequently.

    Anyhow... IT STARTED. I have spent the last two weeks in San Francisco (after flying here with all of my stuff from the Big Island of Hawaii) searching for a scooter, finding said scooter, then outfitting it with everything I think I will need for this month long(ish) crazy scooter adventure!! Then yesterday happened. I was all prepped, loaded down, and ready to test out the weight and head on to my first destination!!

    UGGG I have read so many posts about properly weighting your ride... AAAAND, I didn't. I made it a good 10-15 feet from my friend's driveway and got to experience my first wobble. HOLY CANNOLI that is awful. It went away, I went another few feet, experienced my second one.... then casually laid down the bike... (YES! I am going to admit all the stupid, inexperienced things I do here, 'cus that's who I am.) Luckily there was a very nice guy, and my friend's roomie to help me lift up the bike and get her parked on the side of the road. Oh yes, did I mention we are on a 45% grade? I promptly got rid of HALF OF MY STUFF. I honestly don't even know what I got rid of... but let's just say hopefully I don't need it :-)

    After letting the fear boil down to a dull throb, I repacked. I actually tested the weight of each pannier, put the heaviest stuff down low, and made what was left fit. Then, in order to see if I could do this at all (my ego was sorely battered), I loaded the top box, then took a lap. Came back for the panniers, then took a lap. No wobble, a little less fear, and came back for my computer bag.

    Load secured, I took off, for REAL this time. Doing my best to remember to breath, I listened to my in helmet directions on how to avoid major highways, and went. Lo and behold, the shiny side stayed up! I battled the horrific winds, rush hour, insane lane changing busses and squashed the fear demon that was dancing at my heels. With a short two hour ride to send me on my way, I made it to my traveler friend's house in Redwood City, greeted by a delightfully full glass of wine.

    I can only imagine what each day will teach me, and I'm looking forward to learning it!!

    If you're curious about more backstory (as I will try to keep this just a trip report!), you can also check out my website at www.sarahblessington.com.

    Happy travels to you all!!

    -Sarah aka Timber Me Ginger

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Ninja650Rob

    Ninja650Rob n00b

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    Sounds like fun, I'll be watching!
    #2
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  3. Tha Rick

    Tha Rick Shake and bake!

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    :lurk
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  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Buy a copy of 'Twist of the Wrist 2' it will make good reading on the road and you will teach yourself a lot of interesting facets of motorcycling through it.
    Stop early!
    Don't forget to change the oil in that little engine about every 1500 miles. Synthetic oil will get you further between changes. Use 4T motorcycle oil, NOT automobile oil.
    Learn how to or have someone check/adjust your drive chain every 500 miles.
    Look on the side wall of your tyre and inflate them to that PSI. They will last longer.
    Check your oil daily in the morning before you start your bike.
    You are RIDING your bike not driving it.
    Bon Voyage....you have many followers on ADV.
    #4
  5. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    Go gettum Tigger!
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  6. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    What chain on a SYM, it's a scoot! And no auto oil, hmmm. Guess a lot of folks need to dump their T-6 Rotella 5-40w?
    Also, on a scooter the tire pressure recommendation can vary greatly from loaded to not so loaded. My e.g. on my Vespa 300 the sticker (not the tire sidewall) says much more in the rear tire with two up and she is carrying something back there I suspect? I say go with the SYM/mfg.'s tire pressure sticker info, at least as a starting point for PSI.
    Having never owned or serviced a SYM it could be important to check the oil when and in the position that the mfg. recommends?
    My BMW 650 thumper is checked hot to get a proper reading, while not the common time to check engine oil the fact remains it can vary.
    Yep, it's a ride!!!:D Might as well learn the lingo.

    Have a fun trip Sbless, youth is a great time to enjoy these kind of events in your life. In your senior years it will turn into appreciation. Shouldn't take long to get help on a roadside problem, unlike old farts like me...:rofl
    #6
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  7. ridin gaijin

    ridin gaijin riding > posting Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NM, AZ, but now, DC >.<
    Congrats on your journey! Have fun: take the little, slow roads, stop and check out the scenery.

    Inmate HBN, a good friend, rode his Ruckus 40,000 miles from VA to the Arctic Circle, to Baja, and many places in between. You might find some tips in his blog. Mostly you'll find photos of serenity and shit.

    And screw that Motorcycle Only parking; just leave it on the sidewalk. :lol2

    HAVE FUN!
    #7
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  8. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Good luck, happy adventure & keep the rubber side down!
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  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
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    My mistake, it's a belt. Same thing, tension is paramount.
    I would run sidewall pressure to get higher miles out of the tire, I've been doing this for 50 years....... it may not work for you.
    If your tranny starts to slip consider the recommended lubrication. I'm not familiar with the automatic but other wet clutches do not like auto oil which is designed for a dry clutch, I use Rotella in my BMW motorcycle but it has a dry clutch like a car.
    Every motorcycle I have ever owned was hot after I had ridden it and parked it. Same with a car. Check your oil level before you start your vehicle. center stand, level ground of course.
    #9
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  10. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

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    Go Sarah :super
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  11. kanotuna

    kanotuna Adventurer

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    Sounds like you're in for a great adventure. Looking forward to reading about it.
    #11
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  12. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

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    If you arn't already aware of it there is a 'tent space' forum here full of inmates offering tent space(duh), tools and shop space, etc. Plus local forums if you get jammed up. Have fun
    #12
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  13. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    If you make it to Asheville we have a spare bed you are welcome to.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
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  14. CaptnSlo

    CaptnSlo Derelicte

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    Good luck with everything! Looking forward to your updates.

    PS "Jolene" is a great name. I love that song (both the Dolly Parton and Sisters of Mercy versions).
    #14
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  15. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Have fun.
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  16. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    Thanks Tuckers! Great advice :-) Yesterday definitely taught me how to start riding, and stop driving :p
    #16
  17. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    My ride yesterday was pretty great, as far as comfort/ responsiveness is concerned! So it looks like how I have it set up will get me a few miles... *Knocks on wood*

    I found a super helpful SYM mechanic before I left SF and he helped me take apart the bike, put it back together again, and build a bike specific tool kit. Luck doesn't quite seem to cover it when it comes to me finding amazing people! :p

    And yes, I will do my best to catch up on the lingo!! Thanks for your vote of confidence :-)
    #17
  18. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    YES! I have shamelessly stalked the entirety of his trip :-) Every time someone was giving me tireless grief, I would show them his blog, and that would usually shut them up :imaposer

    I had two Harley guys do some amazing double takes on 50 up to Tahoe, followed by an air horn salute yesterday. I'm rollin with the big dogs, so to speak, haha!:pynd
    #18
  19. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    THANKS!! I will probably be needing that here after I spit out of Vegas :-) (Which who knows how long it will take me to get there... Tahoe is so BEAUTIFUL!!!)
    #19
  20. Sbless

    Sbless Adventurer

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    Thanks Kenny!
    #20