Hola inmates, friends and family!
Amazingly enough, after years of talk (and some planning), it's actually time to post a trip report in the annals of Adventure Rider. First, lets get the players out of the way. I'm Gavin, that's me on the right. John, who goes by Giddy Up round here, is on the left.
What's that? Male models? No...why do you ask? Sorry ladies, we're both married...
As for how this adventure started, I'd say we went about the planning process in the most carefully detail oriented way possible. The planners planning process. The methods that will ensure you're ready for every pitfall, every possible problem, every facet of motorcycle trip taking...we sat on the couch and watched TV. Long Way Round started us thinking about such an adventure (like everybody), but further movie and TV exposure furthered our thinking. Cycles South being the best influence on the trip, especially considering all of the hippie communes we were intending to take advantage of. *edit: The preceding is a joke. They'll be found throughout the ride report. Remember to tip your waitresses.
"Sorry Mom, guess that purse will have to wait."
Fully briefed on everything we needed to know to embark on such an adventure, we thought some motorcycles were in order. I landed on an '01 KTM 640 Adv and John went with ole rock steady, the Killer 650.
Believe it or not, TV can't tell you everything and since neither of us had ever ridden off road before, we thought some practice was in order. To the hills!
"Come on you slippery sumbitch!"
"I was told there would be no water."
Three preparation rides would surely be enough to arm us for the conditions of a 2000 mile offroad trip, so it was time to plan out this crazy thing. Initially the thought was to do the western TAT and then continue to Anchorage where my wife's family lives. Logistical realities of work and life shortened the window to two weeks, and spousal hints suggested that two weeks was plenty. We eventually landed on western TAT, 101 to Portland for some rest with friends, then home on whatever non-interstate pavement time would allow for. A little something like this:
Planned to perfection! Well, wait...maybe we should do some packing. Hmmm, well, we wanted to camp the whole way so sleeping bags and tents are in order. There's probably some clothes in there somewhere. Bah, I'm sure we'll be fine. Let's throw this pile of stuff on the bikes and get goin'!
"As long as it looks cool, I think we'll be fine."
Against my better judgement, I decide to strap my luggage to the unruly tractor seen on the left. Sorry CBR, I'll miss you.
"How the hell do these panniers work?"
Alright, we have bikes, we're packed up, we watched plenty of movies about motorcycle trips, let's get on the road! I'm sure we're not forgetting anything ri...THE MAPS!
John bought the maps from Sam and we went to work logging thousands of GPS points well into the morning most nights leading up to the trip.
I might recommend doing this process days, weeks, or even months ahead of time, but we went with the tried and true method of figuring out and finalizing GPS routes the morning of our departure. What about getting lost, you ask? I'm sure it'll be fine. Satellites will tell us where to go...if only I can figure out what these damn buttons do...
And I think that covers the preparation, aside from the last minute oil changes (damn you KTM!!), tire swaps, re packing, supplies purchasing, crying, and hair loss. We're ready!!
Don't forget to tune back in as your intrepid heroes make their way through our nations nether regions!