I know, I know, yet another RR about New Scotland from New England, but I figured it may be of some interest as we were on small bikes. I didn't think we were on small bikes, but I was told over and over and over that we were (or at least I was). I didn't know I wasn't supposed to leave Rhode Island on anything less than a 650.
My boyfriend and I are scooterists. We've ridden them for years and have only sized up in the last few years. We've taken short, one-week camping trips on both the scoots and the vintage bikes, but this would be our first multi-week trip.
We ordered up Canadian insurance cards from both Progressive and Hagerty. “Why both?” you wonder. Well, we were planning on taking the vintage bikes on this trip; me on the Honda CB350 and he on the BMW R75/5. But the Honda just
got running a week before we were leaving.
I reeeeally wanted to do this trip on the old bikes, but the other night the boyfriend sat down, looked at me and said, “How would you feel if we had to abandon the trip because one of the bikes had a catastrophic breakdown?” Well, maybe he wasn’t that dramatic, but you get the point.
I looked at him and said, “I would be very unhappy.” I have been thinking about this trip since last spring (2009!) and I really, really, really need a break. So we decided, not even three nights ago, to forgo the rollicking adventure that would have been a BMW R75/5 and a Honda CB350 for his 2001 BMW F650GS Dakar and my 2007 DR-Z400 SM (aka Elsa).
The only problem …I’m getting a Renazco seat and my build date is during the time we’re away. There actually is something worse than the stock DR-Z400 seat — no seat at all!
The night before our departure, my boyfriend and I wrestled together a new seat out of a wreck of an extra seat I picked up with two inches of foam added beneath a layer of marine grade yellow vinyl. It did the trick for the trip.
Finally, finally, finally the day arrived…June 18th. I ran around on the 17th getting last minute supplies (food and bug repellent) and arranged how I wanted to pack stuff. How we lived in a pre-ZipLoc world I will never know. Actually, having just read the Wikipedia article
about Ziploc bags, I never did live in a world pre-Ziploc.
I had ziplocs for:
- kitchen clean-up stuff (sink, sponge, washing up liquid, clothes line and pins, microfiber rags, papertowels)
- dining (collapsible plates, bowls, cups, knives/forks/spoons, paring knife, cork screw, coffee maker)
- fire stuff (matches, fire starters, flint)
- mosquito stuff (coils and citronella candles…I am heading north!)
- roll of toilet paper
- spices (thyme, rosemary, oregano, chicken broth, goya mixed spice, pepper)
- pre-cooked Trader Joe’s rice and lentil packets
- personal ditty bags (one for him, one for me) for soap, towels, toothbrush/paste, etc.
- coffee filters
- first aid kit (including a separate little bag for Advil, Exedrin, allergy medicine)
- energy bars and fruit leather
I cannot stress enough how well this system worked for us. It could be pissing down with rain and I could easily grab the three or four bags I would need. I could do it in the dark or the light. I knew where everything was at all times. Erik had no freaking clue where things were. But I could (and had to) grab stuff in the pitch black of night and we had everything we needed. Oh, and seriously, BRING A SPARE ROLL OF TOILET PAPER. You will need it.
Elsa & Maxx packed up and ready for the ride to Cape Breton
Friday, June 18th was a warm, sunny morning. We brought the bikes into the back yard and packed them up. As we’re prepping the bikes, my crazy neighbor June starts calling over the fence “Eva, Eva” because of course she thinks that’s my name. Which it isn’t. I ignore her. She starts with “hello, hello” as if I’m not in the middle of packing up the DRZ for over two weeks of touring. I finally look her way and yell over “I’m in the middle of the something here” and she goes away. Too much pot has turned her into a zombie. I cannot have a conversation with her.
I rode out to the street while Erik made last minute adjustments. As I’m idling by the curb, a woman pulls up next to me in a car, rolls down her window and starts to ask me something. I’m wearing a full-face and earplugs and the bike is making its own noise as it’s warming up. I bang on my helmet and yell “I can’t hear you” so, in typical South Providence fashion, she yells back at me. I shake my head and head off.
Erik joins me and off we go! All of a mile to go to the Seaplane Diner for breakfast. After scrambled eggs and blueberry pancakes, we are on our way north!