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gruney1 05-05-2010 08:06 PM

GA to NY on a Clapped-out Bandit
My first ride report: :eek1

My supervisor walks up to me at
4:50 Friday afternoon 3 weeks ago and hands me my separation notice. Just Freakin LOVELY! Just when I was getting caught up on bills, now I gotta find another job in this crappy economy. Oh well, that job was going nowhere anyway.

The company filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy a few months back, and things were not looking good. They said there was not enough work to justify my (just above poverty level) salary. Luckily for me, my wife is understanding
, and is being supportive. Plus, I think she is glad to get rid of me for a few weeks.

Four and a half years with the company, and the only raise I got was a pay cut last year. Not exactly upwardly mobile.:huh

Sitting in the Department of Labor parking lot next to my bike, I noticed some threads starting to show on the front tire. Perfect! The rear doesn’t look too hot either. That’s when it hit me: time for new tires, and a nice long trip to break ‘em in. But to what destination? How far should I venture away from home sweet home? The furthest I’ve been on the bike is about 200 miles, and I never done an overnighter.

I got the unemployment insurance deal started, it won’t be enough to pay the bills, but I just sold my old truck, and figure if I can sell a few more things on CraigsList and Ebay, I’d be good enough to go. I’ll be taking a tent, and some Ramen Noodles and Oatmeal, I just need to pick up one of those little stoves to cook them. I do have some friends along the way, so maybe I can grab a shower and steal a beer or three when they're not looking! I will be looking for VERY inexpensive accomodations. Free is for me....

My parents still live on Long Island, maybe I should surprise them with a visit. Yeah, that’s the ticket! On the way I can finally get to see the Tail of the Dragon, then take the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way up north. My kids are in school until the end of May, so they won’t even miss me. :evil

I got my new tires mounted up, oil change is next. I bought a mount for my GPS, and some odds and ends for camping. I don’t have much money, but that will make it more exciting.

The bike is a 98 Bandit, it has been very reliable, and with my luck, I won't have any issues along the way.:deal

Here is the bike in an old picture, it's got more love on it now:

And here is the "planned" route:

<iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=" 835447279792.000484aa5ada7f64289fc&ll=38.099983,-79.07959&spn=6.122522,10.387494&output=embed" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" height="350" width="425"></iframe>
<small>View NY Trip 2010 in a larger map</small>

More to follow as it happens...I am leaving tomorrow morning (5/6), and I will post more when I get some interweb service.

thebigkr 05-05-2010 08:18 PM

Sorry about the job, wish you luck finding a new one. Have a fun time on your ride!!!

steve_k 05-06-2010 01:12 AM

Good luck! Will be watching for LOTS of pix.

gruney1 05-06-2010 05:03 AM

Loaded up
"High Tech Old School"

My son (Hollywood) testing out the ergonomics

Loaded up and almost ready to go, check out the yard sale saddle bags: $5 but I had to cut off the fringes.

Suzy doesn't want me to go, we've bonded since the layoff:(:

RedDogAlberta 05-06-2010 05:09 AM

Clapped out? That's a fine machine and lookin' good. You go!

XS500RUS 05-06-2010 05:31 AM


Originally Posted by RedDogAlberta
Clapped out? That's a fine machine and lookin' good. You go!

Yeah, I wouldn't call a bike made in the past 15 years clapped out:lol3

Digging the low budget approach, I like reading these types of reports. I'm also looking forward to your impressions of the Bandit's long distance touring capabilities, I've sort of been eyeballing 1st gen 1200S's as of late.

(none) 05-06-2010 05:48 AM

Whoa, what tires did you put on that thing? Is this going to turn into an off-road ride report?:huh

Sorry to hear about the job, enjoy your trip

GB 05-06-2010 07:01 AM

Nothing like a bit of two wheeled therapy to get your mind off the job situation. Here's to hoping for better days ahead :beer


SteverinoB 05-06-2010 08:00 AM

Dual Sport Bandit?
Looking at those tires I thought I had better subscribe to this one...

Thorne 05-06-2010 08:06 AM


tjhess74 05-06-2010 11:11 AM

sorry about the job, but you have some family support, which is more than what most people have!

youre going to love the trip..the good and the bad...and youll never forget or regret doing this.

maybe you have a bad angle on those tires, but it doesnt look like youre going to love them on the dragon...seriously, what are those??

take your time, take side-trips, and stop to enjoy stuff. ride safe...well be checking in on you!

guitarhack 05-06-2010 05:56 PM

I am probably a day late and a dollar short, but I have a MSR backpacking stove you can borrow if you need it.

beeper 05-06-2010 07:32 PM

That Bandit looks ready for anything....I'm in. :D

kamicosmos 05-06-2010 07:38 PM

I am also curious about those tires!

I am also interested in reading about your 'less-than-a-shoestring-budget' trip!

BusyWeb 05-06-2010 08:18 PM


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