Getting on with it

Thanks to everyone who’s been following along so far. It’s been tedious, trying to give a bit of background as to why I’m doing this crazy trip. I appreciate you sticking with me.

Now that I’ve got some explanation of myself laid out there, I can move on.

Let’s talk about this trip!

I honestly can’t pinpoint the moment I decided to do this. It was even before I bought my motorcycle. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that every motorcyclist dreams of taking off and just riding wherever they want. Leaving everything behind them for awhile. Unfortunately not many of us get that opportunity. We have jobs, families, civic responsibilities and a bunch of other crap that tells us that leaving for a few months is perhaps not the responsible thing to do.

Well, just my luck. I don’t have a job. My wife is very understanding. I got rid of most of my responsibilities and the ones I still have I don’t care about. I’m smiling to myself right now. Sometimes being nuts has its advantages.

I bought the bike and that set in motion my plan. My plan? I don’t really have one. That’s pretty much my overarching goal for this trip. No plans. At least as much as I can help it.

I have have a brother in San Antonio. A cousin in Pensacola. A brother in Charleston and a cousin and sister in law near D.C. I’ve made my route based on an attempt to link their locations together.

Soon after I bought my motorcycle, Harley Davidson sent me an atlas in the mail. Now, being an Army guy, I can completely geek out over maps. The coolest thing is that HD went ahead and highlighted scenic routes for motorcycles in all of the States. I sat down one day and spent hours drawing lines and linking up all of the scenic routes that I could. I’m avoiding highways as much as possible. The downside, if there is one, is that it’s going to take me forever to get anywhere. I may even be going the wrong direction a few times. Honestly though, is there a wrong direction? I don’t think so.

The bottom line is that my route is taking me counterclockwise around the perimeter of the U.S. There are couple times I take a detour through the interior, and I’m avoiding the N.E beyond Philadelphia. I can’t exactly put my finger on why. I just am. Maybe that’ll change. Nothing is set in stone and that’s the point.

I’m leaving on Friday. That’s my only time I’m planning on hitting. I’m not expected anywhere at anytime. I’m trying to keep it that way. No expectations.

As far as logistics…the big one is that I’ll be roughing it, aka camping, as much as possible. I’ll accept a couch or carpet to sleep on if it’s offered but I’m not planning on it. If I get stuck in a storm for a day, I may get a cheap room. We’ll see. I have a nice, lightweight, two person tent (really a one person). A nice sleep pad, an inflatable pillow (yep). A tiny folding chair. A sleeping bag and a camp blanket.

I have all of the clothing I am bringing in a luggage bag that straps to the back seat. I’m going minimal on clothes and will buy packages of underwear and tshirts as needed to replace dirty ones. It’s easier than doing laundry. Maybe more than you wanted to know but I’ve actually put some thought into that part so you get to hear it. I’m also bring a pair of shorts that will do double duty as a swim suit because, well, swimming.

All of this fits nicely and compact on my bike. Tried and tested. Several times. Really the only thing I’m waiting on is a rain suit which should arrive tomorrow. Reviews say it’s a bit bulky so I may have to do some rearranging.

Packing and logistics are the things that really get in your head before a trip. Constantly worrying if I’ve forgotten anything. Fortunately I’ll never be far from somewhere and I can always get or replace what I need.

The motorcycle (I call her Ox) just had her 5,000 mile tune up yesterday. All new fluids. Brakes were adjusted. The belt was tightened. One of my new pipes was a bit loose. Tires were checked for wear. I feel good about Ox. She rolls nice and is comfortable for the amount of time I’ll spend on her each day.

Oh, speaking of time. I plan to ride each day until I’m tired, bored or it gets dark. I really have no desire to wear myself out or make it a chore to keep going. I like stopping at historical markers and cool little towns. I also like good food which could be my undoing.

Now I feel like I’m rambling. It’s amazing how lost I can get, so quickly.

It’s getting close.

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6 thoughts on “Getting on with it”

  1. im getting anxious for you to be underway, although, not nearly as much as you are, im sure! you’re in my thoughts and prayers for a safe trip. you’ll have to be the one to decide if you’re enjoying it! godspeed jake!
    db

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  2. Jake – Enjoy the ride! I hope all goes as planned (or not planned), lol. Love you and your family and hope to be able to stop in for another visit before too long. Louise will probably be with me, I hope that’s OK 😉

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  3. Consider a bright yellow dry bag lashed to the rack…increased visibility and extra space for the inevitables.

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