Each adventure ride seems to get better than the last. I guess it’s partly due to experience... researching, planning, scheduling, preparing, trial runs and setups, proper equipment, etc. It makes the trip more enjoyable, yet there are always things along the road that you didn’t plan for and that’s what makes the adventure. The adventure can have unplanned moments of precarious and threatening moments, or it can be a discovery of shared fulfillment, wonder and laughter...or both. Nevertheless, the adventure is the journey.
Our journey would take us north through Idaho along the Payette River, Salmon River, the Elk River Scenic Byway, Coeur d’Alene Lake, Sandpoint, the International Selkirk Loop (U.S. and Canada, through Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, the Canadian Rockies, and many other scenic routes and twisty grades along the way.
The actual ride is over, but the wonderful memories are still abounding in my head, so I thought I would share them with you here. Before we get started, here is a run-down on how we packed our clothes and gear.
We’ve developed a good system for packing our gear to fit in the BMW adventure aluminum cases. I get the smaller pannier next to the muffler and my wife gets the larger one.
We pack our clothing inside Eagle Creek pack-it cubes. Clothes types are separated in different cubes. You can get the Eagle Creek pack-it cubes here: www.rei.com/product/658661
My riding shirts, like this one: www.rei.com/product/746716
are rolled and placed in one of the cubes. I have several different brands of shirts but the important thing is that they are quick-drying polyester. I wear them riding as well as out to dinner. My pants and shorts are folded and packed together in another cube.... warmer shirts in the third cube. I have a smaller cube for underwear and socks. My wife’s clothes are private :)
We fit the cubes in Kathy’s Journey Designs bag liners. You can purchase them here: http://store.bobsbmw.com/ProductDeta...uctCode=ABL%2D
The compression of the cubes in the bags keep everything pressed. I also have a mesh pouch to keep dirty clothing separated. It stays in the bottom of my pannier.
Kathy's Liners ready to go
The bag liners then slide into the aluminum cases. Even though my wife’s bag is bulging when she’s finished packing, it compresses and slips in the side case easy. She even packs her blow-dryer and straightening iron! There is still room on top of the liners for a fleece jacket or jacket liner. I also have a small toiletry kit by Victorinox that slips in along side my bag liner as well as a small tripod. I keep it separate and accessible.
Here's my side pannier packed
And here is my wife's side
The top case has the typical bike essentials like, tire repair kit, air compressor, bike cover, straps, first aid kit, extra gloves, a few tools, bag with electronic chords, etc. I have a Proxon tool kit in the bottom of my pannier. My wife also keeps her hanging toiletry case and purse in the top case so it can easily be accessed. Sorry, no photo.
The red dry-bags are Ortlieb. www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-62.htm
We keep our Big Agnes Encampment sleeping bag www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Bag/Encampment
, with insertable air mattress, BMW rain gear, hiking shoes and fleece jacket here. The dry-bag is strapped to the pannier with the BMW luggage straps. These straps work very well and stay cinched down.
Our Marmot Limelight 3P tent is strapped on the top case with a couple 12” rok-straps. The tent is new. Our old tent was a REI sub-alpine (discontinued) but it was too small for us and our gear. The Marmot was perfect! I can easily open the top case with the tent still attached. Sometimes my large tripod will go on the top case as well. Later in the program, I present a short video of setting up our tent at the Whistler campground in Jasper National Park. We were amazed what we saw during the setup.
The BMW tankbag (and I like the big one!) has my Nikon camera in front in a Kinesis hip pack (I often stop and photograph while sitting on the bike and this make getting to the camera convenient.) When we hike, I just pull out the hip pack with camera and go. I also have a filter case, sunglasses, gloves, tire pressure gauge, passports, leatherman, Plexis and towel, Zumo case, lotion, mosquito spray, and other misc. items. Yes, the bag is heavy, but I prefer these items on the tank where I can get to them easily.
So, we are packed, but not overloaded.... 30,000 mile service done, shocks adjusted, 6 gals of fuel (although the tank holds almost 9 gals, if I know there is gas ahead I usually top off at about 6 gals,) tire pressure is optimal, we’re off! Lot of pics and video to come.