What could go wrong. I am 64 years old and planning my first BDR alone.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Ron In Buffalo, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    Well you read the title. Just started riding gravel and dirt roads in May (Covid got me into this With social distancing). Watch plenty of YouTube videos and going out practicing on weekends. (I am an essential worker I sell toilet paper) I plan to ride the Mid Atlanta Trail from NY going south. I have a 1999 Tiger. (Don’t be a hater.) I got a fairly new Shinko 805 on the back and a 705 on the front. Works Performance rear shock and progressive springs for my weight. So what I am asking for is any advice or guidance to assist me on this trip.
    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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  3. GPD323

    GPD323 Been here awhile

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    Hope you have a SPOT, or a similar GPS tracker. Have fun!

    I am 63 and no longer ride solo off road. To many possible issues w/o out a wing man.

    OTOH, I met a single rider that did the whole TAT solo and was almost to Oregon. He looked very happy, but dusty and a bit worn.
    #3
  4. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    I’d get an 804 for the front
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  5. Mooney 78865

    Mooney 78865 Long timer

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    Do it! I’ll turn 65 tomorrow and have done 5 BDRS in the last 4 years. (All solo except one) If you don’t have a personal ELT of some sort, buy one. Don’t ride faster than your willing to fall, and remember: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and just because you should, doesn’t mean you can”
    We aren’t getting any younger....
    #5
  6. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    Questions
    What is “SPOT” and “ELT” ? I have a Garmin 396 and iPhone SE 2020 and a Buller map. The 705 doesn’t look bad but I am considering putting the 804 on. I got 6 days off Labor Day weekend and that is when I plan to do it. I only plan to do 350-500 miles of it. Mooney thank you for the sage advice. I like traveling by myself. So u get it.
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  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Satellite trackers allow people to follow your position as you travel and allow you to send emergency messages if you get into trouble.

    https://www.findmespot.com/en-us/

    https://www.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/personal/
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  8. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    "What could go wrong"? You may love riding so much you quit your job, retire early and ride more often. That's what happened to me at age 63. :clap
    #8
  9. txbear55

    txbear55 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sure wish you had a buddy to go with you. I've had lots of off road experience (enduros), but all it took was a low speed fall (10-15 mph) to break a collar bone. I'm mid 60's, btw. We don't bounce as well as we used to!
    #9
  10. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    Seriously, just go. Age doesn't mean a thing. Get an Inreach https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/592606. It is a personal communication device that allows others to track you and allows you to email them, and allows you to press a button and have Rescue.
    Other than that, it's an adventure...take what comes, don't over plan, a map is more like a general direction and leave the calender at home.
    #10
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  11. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Very interested in how it goes for you. I'm retiring at the end of the year at 62 1/2 and am looking to do some off roading for the first time. I only started riding at 54 and have done about 60k, but 99.9% pavement.

    As txbear55 says, we don't bounce as well as we used to at our age, so I'm looking for alternative routes when the BDR's get to 'technical'. From the little research I've done, it seems that many of them are mostly pretty easy riding with a few hard spots thrown in. As I've proven my manhood with my Olympic gold medal in the decathlon (what, that no longer means your a man?), I have no qualms about skipping sections where one's attention is focused on not getting injured vs. the scenery.

    Let us know how it goes and have fun!
    #11
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I didn't get whether you have done anything like this before or even done much off pavement riding. If not you should get some practice rides in.

    Also I can't tell if you are camping or staying in motels. I don't camp but am aware that there are many logistical issues associated with it.

    I don't know how long your planned trip is. If it is on the order of a week, I would recommend doing an overnight practice run if camping.

    Make sure before you start that your tires will last the entire trip. Be very conservative about this. Tires that look okay in the garage at ~1000 miles can be completely worn out in well under 2k miles.
    #12
  13. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    In 1997 I rode a 1977 r100/7 from Ft Myers, FL to the article circle Alaska and back. I did this trip alone without a cell phone or GPS. Many trips from Buffalo to Fl and many State in between . I average over 5k a year. As I mentioned earlier post. I watch YouTube videos all week and practice on the weekends since May. Camping not a fan.
    #13
  14. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    I order the 804 today. Also using Moto tech wide foot pegs and Thunderbike crash bars.
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  15. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    :thumb
    The 705’s are good tires, but....not great on gravel. And having less available traction on the front makes me skittish. I don’t mind the back end sliding around. Front slides are unnerving.
    #15
  16. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    804's for the win... great tire on dirt and not too bad on the road either. It'll give you more confidence off-road exactly where you need it... front wheel.

    In-Reach or Spot is a must. Murphy's law mandates that you will be without cell coverage just when you need it most. It's best to have a trusted friend or family member at home monitoring your progress, where-abouts and fielding any 'help' messages you might need to send. DO NOT leave it to the device's call center alone to send help should you need it. (I cannot emphasize this enough).

    Solo is a great way to enjoy a trip like TAT. You will be more open to encounters with locals than if you are in a group. The wild-card in 2020 will be COVID-19 and how comfortable you and others are with stranger interactions.
    My experience has been that the encounters with characters along the way tend to be my most enduring memories from a motorcycle trip.
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  17. Malamute

    Malamute Low speed adventurer

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    I say go for it and dont worry. If your family would feel better if you got a locator device, great. At this point I plan to do some backroading in Az and likely Utah and have no device so far. Ill see how I feel about it then. I never had one in the past when I nomaded around for several years off my bike and truck, and later in life, never tell anyone where I was going (usuallu never know til i get there), that I was even going, or when id be back (usually no idea when) when going hiking and camping alone with the dog in grizzly country. All the locator things sound like a good idea, but I havent gotten too worked up about getting one yet. Do what you feel works for you.
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  18. wanderlost

    wanderlost Been here awhile Supporter

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    I love triumph Triples. Have Had multiple including 96 Tiger and 2011 Tiger. The engines are awesome. One thing to keep in mind is the bikes are top heavy and tough to pick up alone. So go, have fun, but start out cautiously so you don't end up under the bike or on a slippery uphill trying to pick it up alone. One thing I started doing was bringing a webbing strap that I could wrap around lower parts of the bike and lift it from the ground while kicking a bag or log under it. That first 15-30 degrees could be a bitch. Once past that then the usual walking it backwards against the seat would work OK.

    Have fun.
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  19. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the concern. I love the sound of the bike after I modified the muffler. Even though I am 64, I am 6’1” and 230 lbs. I have practice lifting it about 10 times. It is a pain. So far the easiest way for me to pick it up. Point the front tire to the sky. Put in gear or put a glove on the front brake then lift it with the handle bar(it is the biggest lever) then lift until the tires make contact rearrange my feet then lift. I have also done seating over the seat. Also look at my crash bars they give me a little help far as leverage.

    Attached Files:

    #19
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  20. Bradsride

    Bradsride Adventure Bound

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    Interesting post as I'm 58 1/2 and bought my Africa twin last year. I've been riding for many years both dirt and street but find myself riding solo more and more. Ran the TWAT earlier this year *( Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail) and had a great time right up to the flat rear. Going to run it again this fall with two buddies and planning a 2 week trip next year. The only real issues I've had while riding solo was bad judgment as I road across a deep river and drowned the bike. A buddy probably would have talked me out of it.
    #20
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