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Old 11-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #31
pne
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I'm in, great writing so far. Although I didn't see a big roll of safety wire in that packing list.. are you sure you raced?
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:08 AM   #32
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rock on dude!

don't miss Guanajuato and La Gruta Hot Springs just outside of S.M.A.
the road between Guanajuato and Delores Hidalgo is a sweet one!
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:46 AM   #33
d_mob OP
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PNE, there is some safety wire in my 'kit'. Thanks for the reminder though as I need to add more. What all did you drill and wire on your bike/s? And yeah, I raced. I have enough safety wire sized holes in my fingers to prove it! :)

Eakins, thanks for the Mex tips. Added to my list. PS, just before I left I attended a BDR video viewing party at BMW Denver and picked up the CO BDR map. Looking forward to that one when I return.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:57 PM   #34
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Day 5 | You Can Find Me in the A...

Nashville >> Chattanooga >> Atlanta

Mileage: Approx 1,700 total miles ridden since leaving Denver 5 days ago.



Best moment: After waking up late, still groggy from the night out in Nashville, I hit the road around 11am. As I set off, I decided that I'd like to at least get a few mountain roads in before ending the trip. However, I knew it was going to be cold, so I couldn't bring myself to get all the way over to Deals Gap (an amazing road in North Carolina that has an 11-mile stretch w/ 300+ curves). I headed east and then south on 56 all the way to Chattanooga. The road was great. It had plenty of curves, tons of beautiful tree farms, and was popping with fall color. MASSIVE thanks to my personal mixtape curators Graciela and Sarah who provided Spotify playlists that really hit the spot along the ride. Hot damn those two have great taste in music! Thanks ladies...



Another highlight was crossing over the border into Georgia. I felt a sense of comfort knowing that I was finally back home. I sped along in an effort to make it to my mother's house, but stopped along the way for some (seriously unhealthy) favorites. A patty melt at Waffle House, a massive cup of steaming boiled peanuts, a chili dog at The Varsity, and free coffee at RaceTrac (why the hell are gas stations so freaking big in the south?). Normally I'm very healthy, or at least try to be, but I'm thinking while I'm here I won't worry about it as much. I'll be sure to keep up my running and training in addition to the junk food, maybe that will help. :/



Worst moment: The cold, the cold, the cold!!! I only made it to Chattanooga after leaving Nashville. I was absolutely freezing (temps dropped down to 32°) and hit the wall, so had to pull over and grab a cheap room for the night. You definitely get what you pay for, so I don't really need to explain the conditions at a place called Best Value Inn. Not the best I've stayed in that's for sure. However, certainly not the worst. Today the temps dropped to around the same, but I had planned slightly better and layered up. Still, riding in freezing temps is simply brutal after awhile at 70+mph.



That's it for now. I've unpacked the bike and bags, and will set up shop here in Loganville (and Atlanta w/ friends) for the next month. The target 'leave date' for the LatAm portion of the trip is December 15th. Talk to everyone then!

~ D
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #35
Tallbastid
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Awesome, can't wait to read more! Sorry to read of your step father, I'm sure hell be elated to see you.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #36
Outjustout
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Dave, thanks for taking us along on your journey. I think you'll find a lot of out there on the road have similar backgrounds. I spent about a year flying from COS to Memphis to visit my dad who had lung cancer. A few months after his passing I quit my job, had a friend move in to take care of my dog, and I boarded a plane to Lisbon with one bag, no reservation and no idea when I'd come back. I showed up about a half a year later with a lot of miles under the shoes. That was about 5 years ago.

The only reason I came back was for my big furry beast that's been my best friend for 12 years now. I'm now nursing him through his old age and expect after that it won't be long before I'm back on the road and this time with no ties.

A long journey is good for the soul. Be safe and I'll be lurking around.

Scott
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:16 PM   #37
pne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_mob View Post
PNE, there is some safety wire in my 'kit'. Thanks for the reminder though as I need to add more. What all did you drill and wire on your bike/s? And yeah, I raced. I have enough safety wire sized holes in my fingers to prove it! :)

Eakins, thanks for the Mex tips. Added to my list. PS, just before I left I attended a BDR video viewing party at BMW Denver and picked up the CO BDR map. Looking forward to that one when I return.
I've always wired the typical stuff, caliper bolts and oil drain/fill. I'm going to start wiring exhaust bolts too though, for some reason they always seem to work loose on long trips. It comes in really handy for roadside repairs though.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #38
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Junk food is a road requisite now and then, enjoy while you can. Glad you found accommodations meeting the high standards of the Longhorn on the way, enjoy your time in ATL, catch up soon!
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:45 AM   #39
bouldergeek
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Wow, awesome start!

Also from the Front Range, I am reading this in a little bar in Pichilemu, Chile, amid bites of spicy chorillana and sips of Chilean local 'schop' (draft) beer. The owner is an enduro racer and loves it when I park my hideous pesado KLR out front.

Keep it up. Maybe we will cross paths in January/February time frame.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:39 AM   #40
Tsotsie
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Great intro and report. I like your honesty.

You do not appear to have not looked after the most important part- your rear end. A comfortable seat, next to suspension upgrades, are the most important ones(unless you are one of those who can tolerate stock seats?).

Tsotsie screwed with this post 11-17-2013 at 06:16 AM
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #41
d_mob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsotsie View Post
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Great intro and report. I like your honesty.

You do not appear to have not looked after the most important part- your rear end. A comfortable seat, next to suspension upgrades, are the most important ones(unless you are one of those who can tolerate stock seats?).
Ahh... Good looking out! I did actually purchase and install the Saddlemen ADV seat before I left. I'll be sure to add that to my 'list'.

And for anyone who cares, the seat looks great, fits great, and provides a much more comfortable ride over stock. The 'taint channel' in the middle keeps things cool and seems to put pressure on the right spots when in the saddle.

I did find a position that I really like though. I throw on the Kaoko throttle lock, kick my feet up on the crash bars, lean back into my pack, and relax. Super comfy! Those two things (seat and throttle lock) were the best investments so far from a comfort perspective for sure.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #42
arlob
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Avoid that night travel down south.

Love the read. Headed out myself in Spring, destination either Eh? or Que' with absolutely no plan except gear and a passport.
I'll be following your posts and passing on positive energy to complement your safe travels.
Looking forward to your updates.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #43
arlob
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and yes, my first post! Hola!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #44
jfink
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Great start, I'm in! I am sorry to hear about your father in law's condition. I just finished riding all the countries in South, Central and North America in May. This was spurred on by my bout with Prostrate Cancer five years ago and the realization that I would not live forever.

I found South America more enjoyable than Central. That maybe had something to do with the final rush through Central America to get home. But, if there is any doubt, I encourage you to make Argentina, especially the southern part ... it's the most beautiful. But my favorite country remains Colombia.

I think there were a couple pieces of advice that I found very helpful; 1) less stuff, more money and 2) be friendly but learn to ignore the ingrained US tendency to follow all the rules. Most border agents, police, speed signs and yellow lines are there to be ignored. :-)

Depending on where you go, you may also need insurance for your bike. Colombia, Peru and Argentina make a big deal out of that. And finding it can be a real pain. Some places you can buy international insurance that covers more than one country. One thing I realized though is that I could show most police a copy of my insurance card from the US and get away with it. If all else fails, "por favor, no habla espanol!" There are also some others that require insurance, that don't seem to be on your planned route, like Venezuela.

I had also purchased an International Drivers License but felt like I was getting a secret decoder ring from the back of a cereal box. $8 and a copy of your drivers license will get you one. But, it came in handy once or twice at border crossings.

El Salvador, Panama and Ecuador use US Currency as their currency, but most other countries will except dollars in places. But, I always found it was good to have a little local currency, so I stopped at an ATM just after entering the country or used the "cambio" (currency traders) you can always find at the border crossings. I had no issues with rip offs with either the ATM's or cambio, except in Honduras where a cambio convinced me I needed Lampira (Honduras currency) to enter El Salvador. He got me for 50 bucks.

Enough, enough ... I could go on but I will stop. Good luck on your journey man! If you are passing through Houston on your way south, drop a note, I would like to buy you a beer. We may not be Boulder, but we have some good handcrafted stuff here. We are a good one days ride to the Mexican border.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #45
d_mob OP
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Thanks Joe! Great, great advice.

I'll let you know if I end up shooting through H-Town.

Chat soon,
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