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Old 10-28-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
Douf
Limey Bitch
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Close to Cumming (GA that is)
Oddometer: 770
HOW Preamble: Limey Perspective.

I became aware of this trip only about 5-6 weeks before departure. Andrew owned a local adventure bike clothing/accessory store and after I had stopped by a few times on the 950, he mentioned the possibility to join this little odyssey. In reality I knew him only vaguely and the other three potential riding companions were a total mystery at the time. However, compared to previous experience - particularly the South African affair (sigline link if you're curious), which had been organized exclusively via e-mail with a group of complete strangers - this seemed pretty straightforward and didn't seem to present too much cause for concern. Additionally - and I'm sure this is an issue familiar to many on this forum - encountering a group of riders who are contemplating a ride like this and - more importantly - are prepared to follow through and actually do it, is a rare gift that can't be ignored. So it was then, that - even though I'd blown off a number of alternative spousal trips earlier in the year, on the pretense of incompatible workload - I sheepishly laid out the basic premise of this journey to my wonderful, adorable and ever understanding wife.

As portrayed by Andrew, the riding itself didn't seem like too much of an issue. Even though my off road exposure on the 950 has been extremely limited, and recent experience of any kind amounts to nothing more challenging than a short daily commute, I felt I'd had enough prior dirt riding experience to adequately fake whatever turned up in the way of riding technicalities. I was even less concerned about the daily mileage requirements, given prior excursions into the outer limits of motorized masochism, mainly courtesy of my old buddy Gary - who ensured that 300+ mile tank-to-tank, mixed with a generous 15 minute (max) refueling break, is a recurring nightmare that still delivers. (sigline link)

So, the riding aspect looked like it was reasonably under control. What I was really concerned about, was the CAMPING. Apart from a couple of nights spent sleeping next to the Colorado River during an organized raft trip, the sum total of my adult experience under canvas (or whatever synthetic material passes for it these days) was one whole night. And while that was with my very lovely wife, this would be in the company of three extremely un-photogenic hairy-arsed locals and a rancid Aussie. The next few weeks therefore were spent frantically trying to become familiar with the intricacies of camping and the myriad of associated gear selections (paying particular attention to selecting an industrial strength bear spray - to fend off the potentially amorous advances of the Aussie, obviously). For the gear selection, I decided that I would place a premium on comfort combined with packing density (paying less attention to weight requirements since there would be 100 horsepower hauling everything around). However, an initial 'test lie' with what the outdoor magazines considered to be the most comfortable Thermorest available left me a little concerned. Let's just say 'inflatable 2x4' was one of the first things that came to mind. Ultimately however - and what hopefully will become apparent in this narrative - camping was the biggest revelation and one of the best parts of the trip (even for this outdoor neophyte).


Douf

Douf screwed with this post 10-28-2013 at 03:36 PM
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