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Old 03-01-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
El_Duderino OP
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Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Victoria, Australia
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Aussie taking on the USA solo

The scary decision has been made to throw caution to the wind, sell my house, buy another bike and go touring through the USA (hopefully for 1yr). The real-estate agent came for a 4hr meeting last Friday, and things are now in motion to make my dream become reality, and quickly I might add!

After a crappy past few years with mums passing, being in a relationship which was ruining my soul, a miscarriage, an horrific break-up, difficulty finding work, and always putting myself last, the restlessness has hit hard and it's time to do be selfish and do what #1 wants/needs!

The bike of choice is to be a BMW G650X Challenge which I will purchase here in Australia, prepare it completely for the trip, and send it over. Much of the camping and riding gear, tools, electrical stuff necessary, I have already.

I am intending to do the TAT, plus experience as much of the "real America" as possible in that time. Sure it would include visiting some major cities like LA, Washington DC, NY, blah blah, and some major landmarks along the way, but am far more interested in the more remote and interesting places. Being a country lad, I appreciate this far more than concrete and steel and meeting genuine people.

I wish this trip to be a cultural experience, seeing the true natural beauty, and leaving the usual stereotypes behind. I am well versed in travelling, camping for long periods with a bike, travelling alone (I'm an only child, hehe!), and am highly mechanically minded. In a nutshell, I know what's involved.

The bike would be arriving and departing from LAX if this helps, but would like to know which route would people suggest bearing in mind weather, safety, animals, etc? Being an Aussie, I have no experience riding in snow btw and don't mind a challenge, not certain of how to deal with local dangerous animals (snakes are easy duh!), and knowing many people carry guns does freak me out a little. I'm all ears to ANYTHING you can tell me!!

I have almost finalised my gear lists on OneNote which I will post up in the coming days.

Thanks for your time in advance and all of the help and advice offered. :)
"Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it." Chinese Proverb
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #2
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Thats the spirit. After a full year you are going to know the US like the back of your hand.

I would research the nat. parks a bit more than the cities and make sure you tackle the north east and Alaska in the summer and hold onto the southwest for the coldest months of the year.

jfman screwed with this post 03-01-2014 at 09:05 PM
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
El_Duderino OP
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Originally Posted by jfman View Post
Thats the spirit. After a full year you are going to know the US like the back of your hand.

I would research the nat. parks a bit more than the cities and make sure you tackle the north east and Alaska in the summer and hold onto the southwest for the coldest months of the year.
Hey JFMAN! I forgot to mention I intend to visit parts of Canada also, hahaha! A mate is from Toronto and she has family there, which will certainly help on the later travels :)

I'm well versed in geography, but America was always ignored at school for some incredibly stupid reason, and makes it all that more enticing to tour, also less risk if things go wrong, haha! Cheers for the advice about the NE & Alaska in summer...I'm really not keen on riding in snow tbh, but can handle the cold like a trooper cos of where I'm from. It snows and drops into minus degrees here during winter, and hits mid 40 degrees in summer!

Cities are easily negotiated with a decent GPS, but the more remote regions definitely will require far more homework to map out a route, fuel stops, things of interest, etc. I'll defo check out the national parks maps mate! So hard to plan without knowing what resources are available, haha!
"Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it." Chinese Proverb
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:24 PM   #4
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Just curious why you don't buy the bike in the US. Good luck mate. If I can help at all let me know. I travel a bit myself, but if I'm around, I live about 3 hrs north of LAX and you are welcome to visit.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:35 PM   #5
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Let me know when you will be in the Southeast. I am based in Atlanta but have a place about 35 miles from the start oh the TAT. I am planning to the TAT solo starting 8/23 this year. I am retiring 8/22, so when you make it to the SE I might be able to show you around.

We also have some great riding in northern GA.

Let me know and good luck on the trip!

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Old 03-02-2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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Solo Aussie

Good Idea! I am in El Paso Texas and in the tent space thread. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:13 PM   #7
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Duderino. That's awesome. I am an Aussie and live in Austin TX. I have been in the US since 1993. I have toured around Texas, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas. I have also done some freeway rides up to the Northeast from Texas. This is a beautiful country with easily a years worth of riding. Happy to offer some ideas on destinations and some things to adapt to. PM me if you like.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:21 PM   #8
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That sounds great. Sorry for all the troubles you have had but you will put those behind you once you start your trip. Don't forget the great States in New England, so much to see. Keep us posted.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:07 PM   #9
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Everything between Denver and Pittsburgh is America's Nullarbor Plain (with a few more trees). It's our breadbasket, our Ukraine, but there's not a lot for a tourist on a time budget to see. Farms, farms, farms... open nothingness. I live here. Skip it.

I'd focus on the American West. Lots of eye candy, manageable rides, and the "America" that many non-USA people imagine. The central states are our boring economic breadbasket, and the east coast can be crowded.

OTOH, if you want to witness incredible weather than the central states are where it's at - especially April to August. And the east coast has a great opportunity for the American urban experience.

I still prefer west of the Rockies.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:34 AM   #10
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Don't worry about the gun carrying folks. Aussies are very popular here, so it is very unlikely anyone will want trouble with you. Most shootings are drug or alcohol disputes in the country, or robberies in the cities (rare). You probably don't even need a map, just ask for directions wherever you go.

Check out the micro-breweries in California (Lagunitas is my favorite), and small taverns in mountainous regions. Driving under the influence will quickly end all your fun, though, so it is worth the $15 taxi bill if you aren't staying nearby.

Take in some motor sports maybe? For a cultural experience, try circle track racing, truck pulls, dirt bike racing, or drag racing. For an international experience, check out motorcycle road racing or F1. Vintage car and motorcycle shows are always good too.

There is some good fishing up north, and into Canada. You can even go hunting if you like, since there are outfits that will supply everything you need. Bear spray is all you really need for animal protection if you run a clean camp; just make sure it says that on the can to satisfy Canadian law.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:52 AM   #11
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For dualsport touring in the west, you might also consider the Backcountry Discovery Routes found here:

They've laid out some good routes, that aren't too challenging, and the maps they make are top notch. To be able to do those routes at leisurely pace with side trips would be A LOT of fun. I've done the Wa, Ut, and parts of the Co Back Country Discovery Route, and they've been great.

I'd save AZ, NM, S. Cal, Texas and the south for touring in the winter. Anything North of those states is cold and possibly snow in the winter months. Once you are into the Late Spring/Early Fall, you can travel the coast in a little more comfort (and wet - bring good rain gear). Definitely use the summer months for travelling to the far north, and the Fall and Spring are good for rest of the country. National Parks are great, but busy and costly. In the west, the state, and county parks are the real gems.

Good luck, post up a thread in the regional forums when you are passing through and I'll be you get some insights, and be sure to take advantage of the tent space thread, that's the best way to get a feel for the country.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:12 AM   #12
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First let me say congratulations on your decision. So now let me put in my two cents.

Bike: I would buy one here. they are "cheap" and plentiful. Plus I would consider a little more bike. Our roads are fantastic and you will have to actually seek out bad roads to find them. Even so you will likely be on more good than bad roads.

Animals: There is absolutely nothing here that can honestly be considered a threat. Truly nothing. Maybe if you were being stupid way off in grizzly country, but even that is so remote a chance that it doesn't bear thinking about.

Guns: Seriously...I don't know what to say except yes they are everywhere. However, all those random shootings and crime you hear about are mostly in the ghettos of big cities. Guns are no issue at all here contrary to what the media is telling you and unless you go in a gun shop you likely won't even see a gun unless it is being carried by a cop.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:39 PM   #13
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First....I am jealous. There are still so many places in the US I want to visit, and I've been traveling here since I was a kid 50+ years ago. I've been to almost every section of the US and much of eastern Canada, but still lots to see and do.
You WON'T see everything in a year, so don't try.

2nd....don't know what interests you, so hard to say what I would recommend for YOU to see. "what to see in the USA", and you will find several websites that have lists of the top 10,20,50 etc. places that the travel writers say you should see. Read through them and try to figure out which look interesting to you.

4th....a great book I would highly recommend......1000 places to see in the US and Canada before you's avaliable on Amazon. It will take you to a lot of out of the way places AND places within cities, that really will let you see the real and historical US and Canada

5th...if you head to either Kentucky or Tennessee ( specifically Nashville area ) send me a message and I'll be happy to put you up and show you around for a few days

Enjoy the journey......the journey IS the destination....

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Old 03-04-2014, 03:54 PM   #14
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Sounds like a great plan; I am jealous! Wish I could go and do the same Down Under! Feel free to PM me (or look me up on the Tent Space Thread) if you need a place to stay in Western Massachusetts.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:34 AM   #15
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PM sent.
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