The time is here to shift from writing, planning and fundraising to the ride and beginning the technical preparation. All of the necessary gear for 34 days/14,000 miles on the road is here – next the packing.
Because I intend to camp as often as possible, with hotel stays only every 3rd or 4th night, a bit more gear is necessary to brave the elements. Tent, sleeping bag, pad, cooking gear, food and similar equipment is necessary as well as a place to store all the stuff on the motorcycle. To this load, add the myriad of parts and tools that allow the rider to be self-sufficient in terms of emergency repair and maintenance for the ride, and you have quite a bit to carry. Maybe after the 3rd or 4th solo trip the list of gear would get a little smaller, but for my 1st solo ride, when in doubt I am bringing it along.
So, what does all the gear look like prior to loading? Take a look below to see. This picture shows all of the stuff that I am taking with me, including the riding gear and helmet. Think it will all fit?
Well, the picture below shows the bike with all of the gear loaded and ready to go. This exercise is kind of critical to complete prior to the ride. I was hoping to have the top box empty for the ride to use the space for food, quick storage access and the like, but I had to use it to get all of the gear on. For those nights where a hotel is available, I only have to grab the duffel and the rest of the gear stays in place. For nights spent in the tent, a good bit of the gear needs to be unloaded and used.
I am sure there will be some last minute incidentals that I will add, but I should be in pretty good shape. I am guessing that the bike and gear weigh a little over 650 lbs – but the bike handles well at this weight and has no trouble handling the highway – very comfortable. The electronic suspension compensates well for the increased load.
For those interest in the details of the packing, I have included my packing checklist in pdf form HERE.
The next 2 weeks seem to be crammed with activities related to the ride, securing my consulting practice while I am gone and of course, connecting with the family that I will be separate for about a month. Will be harder than I originally thought… As for blog posts, they might be a bit succinct over the next few weeks, until the ride starts. Just not enough hours in the day.