As the departure date approaches, the donations appear to be increasing a bit. We are still a long way from the $25,000 goal, but donations are coming in from all over the country including South Carolina, Michigan, Georgia and Alaska. Slightly more than $200 in donations will get the total to $4,000, so, come on folks – get out those checkbooks and credit cards! I still have hopes for a rush of donations during the ride with all of the radio, TV and other publicity. My next fundraising event till be at Hermy’s BMW in Port Clinton, PA where we will have a table at the upcoming Spring Open House Saturday, May 19th, 9am-4pm. Stop in and say hello!
With about a month to go until take-off, my focus is going to be less toward fundraising and more the planning of the trip itself. The route is pretty well set, but will be weather dependent. I have formal commitments in Fargo and Bismarck, ND, Anchorage, Fairbanks and North Pole, AK; but, other than those, the schedule is pretty open. I do have a few folks that I would like to see in Missoula, MT; Calgary, AB and Houston, BC; but those visits will depend on timing and ride progress. Just hoping that folks won’t be offended if I don’t stop if timing just isn’t right or I am behind schedule.
Still have a bunch of minor unresolved issues including:
- Riding Clothes – BMW vs. Aerostich Riding Suit? After my last 12 hr ride in heavy rain, my opinion of the Aerostich suit that I have come to rely on dropped down a few notches. I got pretty wet and cold – although admittedly, I wasn’t well protected with the helmet shield up. Haven’t tested the BMW Rallye Suit in heavy rain, but might be the way to go..
- Electronics – Still need to work out some bugs in keeping all the electronic gear charged and functional. More of an entertainment issue than technical, but hopefully the folks at Powerlet will help me out. Need to keep the iPhone charged for music and communications!
- Photo Gear – As I have mentioned in previous posts, capturing some of the scenery in high quality digital files is one of the 2ndary or tertiary goals of the ride (adventure, fundraising, photography). I have been working with Owen Biddle of Lansdowne, PA over the last few months to hone the image capturing skills for this trip of a lifetime. To do it right, lots of gear is needed and I need to be sure to have it accessible, yet protected – two diametrically opposed objectives… Once I get this all sorted – I’ll update the list of photo equipment in the “Gear” page of the blog. If you are looking to develop some skills in this area, I strongly suggest contacting Owen for some one-on-one time, no matter what your level.
- Loading the Bike – I still haven’t optimized the loading of the bike, although whatever I come up with will probably change as the trip gets underway. As usual, I am taking too much stuff and may well send much of it home from the road. Between the camping gear and the emergency maintenance stuff, seems Sally (as my daughter has named the bike) is pretty well to capacity…
- Helmet/Hearing Protection/Entertainment – This is not a major issue, but I still have not finalized the “system” for all of these issues. Good hearing protection is critical for safety and comfort, but sort of eliminates the ability to have music in the helmet durring the ride. Have tried a number of different systems, none seem to address all of the concerns. I originally thought that the Schuberth helmet was the way to go, but, as mentioned in previous posts, not too thrilled with its performance on the last few rides.
- Phone cards, bear spray/bangers, cash, SOPT GPS site, GPS routes, maps, etc… are all issues that may or may not get resolved before the ride, but can be handled on the way – when needed.
- Work – My small environmental engineering company, TSD Environomics, Inc. allows me lots of freedom to pursue things like this ride. However, the basis of this freedom is the understanding of most of my clients who are more or less involved in the ride and support it. Technology allows me to coordinate from the road and short of a few face-to-face visits, most work will continue without interruption.