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Old 09-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #1
DarrenM1 OP
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Bossier City LA
Oddometer: 89
10 days 1 GS; Solo LA to CO

I plan on leaving for Colorado on Friday, September 11, 2009. The trip as planned is just over 3k miles in 10 days. So far I have spent most of my time just thinking of what I need to take, what I need to concentrate and focus on during the rides i.e. tired, long mileage days, dont ride aggressive crap like that. Ive spent much time researching adv and Google. So far I have put together all my routes and loaded them in my GPS.

The Genesis of this trip began over a year ago. I went through a little mid life last year and bought a Harley. At the time I was a real lard ass. Im about 6 and weighed in at 287. The Harley fit me pretty good and it served its purpose. In December I went to the Dr. because my chest was hurting and she pretty much told me that if I didnt lose some weight I wouldnt be healthy much longer. I walked out of my doctors office and pledged to go on a diet.

By May I had lost 60lbs. For our anniversary in May my wife gave me a simple sheet of paper with a photo on it. The photo was of a R1200 GSA and she said if I wanted it we could pick it up on Saturday. It was her way of saying how proud she was that I had finally made the commitment necessary to get in shape. Needless to say I now have a new BMW. As we were at the BMW dealership in Plano (great people there by the way) I met a guy named Rex and he wrote on a piece of paper a link to some website that he frequented. Advrider.com he said, I thought I would check it out.

Fast forward to today and Ive finally reached goal weight. I started my diet on January 29th of this year and on Labor day I hit my goal of 200lbs. Im in great shape thanks to my 6 hours of cycling per week and I have that wanderlust welling up inside. My wife Tammi is totally supportive (obviously) and I told her that I thought Id take a trip, solo to Colorado. She said go for it and shed even take my calls for the time Im away.

And so it begins. Dont underestimate the amount of fun you can have planning a trip. Reading, thinking, dreaming. For me its all been part of the fun.

Even with all of this I have pros and cons; fears etc. Ill be honest and give you a few examples:
Away from home for 10 days. Ten days of not sleeping with my girl is probably the biggest obstacle.
I have this inbred sickness where if I dont work every day I feel guilty. This will set in and Ill post it.
What if Im away and some ass runs over me. This thought has me looking into trip specific health insurance. Its like $30 bucks.
Im not much on camping. I really like to sleep in a bed. This 43 year old body does much better not waking up on the ground.
The pros are easy.
A chance to write and take photos
Time to be alone and reevaluate my life.
Riding my motorcycle in uncharted territory.
Reunion sex in ten days

My routes so far look like this:
Bossier City to Amarillo TX -- RON (remain overnight)
Amarillo TX to Cortez CO -- RON

Then basically for me the real trip begins. I plan on spending about 6 days in Colorado just wandering around. I have route that begins basically at Cortez and ends in Fort Collins. Then its to Cheyenne WY.

Cheyenne WY to Wichita KS -- RON
Wichita KS to the Westin Stonebriar Resort in Frisco Texas for the beginning of reunion tour 2009 -- RON for a couple of days with Tammi

Sunday the 18th Ill head back to Bossier from Frisco.
Monday Im back at work and I predict Ill wish like hell that I took Monday off too.

Gear

2009 BMW R1200 GSA
Shoei X-11 helmet
Garmin 478 GPS with XM radio
BMW Panniers
Wolfman Ranier Tankbag
Olympia Jacket and liner (Airglide 2 Mesh)
Olympia Pants and liner (Airglide 2 Mesh)
Tourmaster boots
Camelback
Frog Togs
Cheap and lightweight bike cover. (I like to cover my bike when parked overnight to hopefully keep eyes off of it)
Sunglasses
First Aid kit with bandaids, aspirin etc.
Spare earbuds

Tools
Torx wrench
Small battery powered air compressor
Tire pressure gauges
Tire plug kit for tubeless tires
Small cordless drill to drill out small holes to accept tire plugs
Duct tape
Voltmeter
Window cleaner
I thought seriously about carrying a firearm and in the end decided against it. My experience has been that Im a lot more likely to get hassled by the police than by robbers. I try to stay away from areas of trouble and think Ill just chance it. The chance of getting pulled over and questioned Do you have any weapons? in my mind is greater than to be in a situation where a gun would make a difference. So if youre a gun guy heres another example of the laws keeping an honest law abiding citizen unarmed.

Electronics
Nikon D80
Olympus point and shoot
Tripod
Remote trigger to the Nikon
Laptop
All the chargers, cables and crap it takes to run this stuff.

Im going to pack light. Mostly synthetic clothing; UnderArmor stuff. One or two sets of warm weather gear, gloves. My jacket and pants have liners so Im hoping that will suffice. Im not planning on riding at night so the temps should be doable. Everyone at ADV says to pack light so Im going to follow that advice.

This will be a 95% on road trip. Im solo on the big GS so I dont want to be off road alone and drop the thing. I will ride the big slab to Amarillo. Once past there my route takes me to some State Highways were hopefully there will be more to see.
I hope to pull into whatever town Ill be staying overnight in by about 4 p.m. Ill hopefully find a small mom and pop motel where I can park right in front of my room, spend the night and be ready to do it all over again the next morning.
If any of you guys that live in CO would so kind as to send me your contact info via private email I would be grateful. I promise I wont call unless its a true emergency. Thanks in advance.
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
DarrenM1 OP
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Pissed Link to tentative route

I would post the actual map but for the life of me I can't link to it and the route show on the map


http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...,47.329102&z=5
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
sinuhexavier
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Location: Atwater, CA
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Do yourself a favor and get out to Utah, even if it's just a touch.

I did what my dream route through Colorado would be, I've been on all these roads at one point or another and to do it in one shot would be absolute sensory overload.

Have a great trip!

http://tinyurl.com/m8h2xm


View Solo 2.0 in a larger map
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:04 PM   #4
AZ-Twin
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Congratulations on getting into shape, that took power and dedication!

Looking forward to your ride report and lots of pictures. CO is beautiful.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
DarrenM1 OP
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Route Map

Here's the tentative route. Of course I have changed a section already. No more Broken Bow OK, Now its due south from Wichita to Frisco TX to meet Tam.


Photobucket
__________________
Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
Kodanja
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Congratulations on reaching your goal...That takes determination! ...and a new GS I plan on riding CO the 1st of Oct. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
Serbchaser
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Congrats. Great reason to celebrate and take a ride. Looks like it will be spectacular. Look forward to following.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:02 PM   #8
DarrenM1 OP
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Two days prior

Put on a new Wolfman Rainier tank bag today. It was less than half the cost of the BMW bag and it fits great. I'm not opposed to spending more... but crap its just a tank bag.
Also configured a way to attach my Camelbak to the tank bag so I don't have to wear it for 10 hours. Earlier in the day I thought I was going to get to leave a day early... but alas one more day of working before I head out.

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Finally, I think I'm gonna see about turning on XM weather for the trip. It may be handy to know what's up ahead weather wise.
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
NewMex GS
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My $.02

Hello Darren, I'm in 4 corners area and ride these roads all the time. You really need to skip Cortez, Co. and stay in Durango. Take Hwy 550 north to Silverton and Ouray. You got to trust me on this one. The mountains in this area are second to none. Durango has great places to eat and stay and many brew pubs. Ride like the wind...CA
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
Tallboy
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good luck on your trip. it looks like a good route, but don't be so committed to it so that you miss a potential opportunity for a different route that may be more appealing when you come to it. 3000 miles in 10 days isn't all that much, especially considering all the open road time in Texas, East NM, Eastern WY, Nebraska, Kansas & Oklahoma. Your liners should be enough, but you'll likely need them in the mornings at altitude this time of year, particularly with mesh gear. Wouldn't think the cordless drill would be needed if you have a tubeless repair kit - it ought to have a reaming rasp for that purpose. read the directions if you've not done it before. I didn't before the time I had to use it and when you are along the road isn't the best time to be figuring it out for the first time.

Won't "advise" you too much more, because a majority of the fun will be finding all the good stuff out for yourself - that's a big part of the fun in traveling alone, by motorcycle.

one word of caution - when you drop between I-80 and I-70, watch your speed, going from the 75mph posted (actual traffic between 80 & 85) on I-80 to the 65mph state highway...it's easy to be heavy on the throttle on the two lanes. I travel in that area quite a bit and have seen more Nebraska State Troopers on that stretch of highway around Holdredge & Alma than in the rest of the state - probably combined. Same for Kansas...Phillipsburg, where your route has you passing through is local headquarters for the Highway Patrol in that area - you'll pass by their office. If you've got the time available, I recommend you turn East at Plainville, KS on Highway 18 - it follows a nice valley with bluffs off to the south straight out of a western - take it to the small town of Lucas and visit the Garden of Eden. it's worth it if you've got the time, then cut down just East of town to I-70, which will take you over the Lake Wilson damn...clearest lake in Kansas, pick up I-70 at Wilson over to Salina - it will take through the Ellsworth area where the windmills parrallel the north side of the highway and take you through a short hilly section that I would call one of two "picturesque" stretchs of that godforsaken highway in our state.

anyway...sorry for hijacking your thread. good luck and have fun. looking forward to your report when you get done.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #11
captodport
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Location: Looosyana, USA
Oddometer: 81
I hate you,

J/k,

Hey Darrin, I live in South Shreveport, if your route comes through here I can put you up.For real though, I have to take some ROTC kids orienteering this weekend down to Red Dirt or I would offer to ride out a ways with you.

Can't believe how similar our situations are. Sold my Ultra and got a Vstrom.

Just got back from the Dr. today, got to go in the 21rst for the stress test and sonogram.

Been Jonesing for a trip to Moab and Colorado for a long time. Just retired at 50.

I'm subscribed to this one, get in touch when you get back and we'll put some miles on that new ride of yours.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #12
DarrenM1 OP
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMex GS
Hello Darren, I'm in 4 corners area and ride these roads all the time. You really need to skip Cortez, Co. and stay in Durango. Take Hwy 550 north to Silverton and Ouray. You got to trust me on this one. The mountains in this area are second to none. Durango has great places to eat and stay and many brew pubs. Ride like the wind...CA
Hey thanks for the advice... I was just wanting to hit Telluride and that was the direct way. I'll skip the cortez highway and that'll give me more time in Gunnison.
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:03 PM   #13
DarrenM1 OP
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captodport
J/k,

Hey Darrin, I live in South Shreveport, if your route comes through here I can put you up.For real though, I have to take some ROTC kids orienteering this weekend down to Red Dirt or I would offer to ride out a ways with you.

Can't believe how similar our situations are. Sold my Ultra and got a Vstrom.

Just got back from the Dr. today, got to go in the 21rst for the stress test and sonogram.

Been Jonesing for a trip to Moab and Colorado for a long time. Just retired at 50.

I'm subscribed to this one, get in touch when you get back and we'll put some miles on that new ride of yours.
I've been looking for a riding buddy. Lets get in touch when I get back... I'll give you the low down on how I got some of the ass off me.
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #14
DarrenM1 OP
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboy
good luck on your trip. it looks like a good route, but don't be so committed to it so that you miss a potential opportunity for a different route that may be more appealing when you come to it. 3000 miles in 10 days isn't all that much, especially considering all the open road time in Texas, East NM, Eastern WY, Nebraska, Kansas & Oklahoma. Your liners should be enough, but you'll likely need them in the mornings at altitude this time of year, particularly with mesh gear. Wouldn't think the cordless drill would be needed if you have a tubeless repair kit - it ought to have a reaming rasp for that purpose. read the directions if you've not done it before. I didn't before the time I had to use it and when you are along the road isn't the best time to be figuring it out for the first time.

Won't "advise" you too much more, because a majority of the fun will be finding all the good stuff out for yourself - that's a big part of the fun in traveling alone, by motorcycle.

one word of caution - when you drop between I-80 and I-70, watch your speed, going from the 75mph posted (actual traffic between 80 & 85) on I-80 to the 65mph state highway...it's easy to be heavy on the throttle on the two lanes. I travel in that area quite a bit and have seen more Nebraska State Troopers on that stretch of highway around Holdredge & Alma than in the rest of the state - probably combined. Same for Kansas...Phillipsburg, where your route has you passing through is local headquarters for the Highway Patrol in that area - you'll pass by their office. If you've got the time available, I recommend you turn East at Plainville, KS on Highway 18 - it follows a nice valley with bluffs off to the south straight out of a western - take it to the small town of Lucas and visit the Garden of Eden. it's worth it if you've got the time, then cut down just East of town to I-70, which will take you over the Lake Wilson damn...clearest lake in Kansas, pick up I-70 at Wilson over to Salina - it will take through the Ellsworth area where the windmills parrallel the north side of the highway and take you through a short hilly section that I would call one of two "picturesque" stretchs of that godforsaken highway in our state.

anyway...sorry for hijacking your thread. good luck and have fun. looking forward to your report when you get done.
Thanks for the directions. If I have a chance tomorrow I'll update my route and check it out. I debated the drill too. Being a poor boy I've been using the reaming rasp forever... but sometimes with small nails and a flat my experience has been that I can't get the reamer in the hole. I use a small drillbit to enlarge the hole big enough to insert the reamer. I don't want to take the drill but its very small and I'd hate to be on the side of the road and not be able to get the reamer in a small hole. Hopefully I won't need it. Thanks for the advice. I'll use it.
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Darren

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
Yamaha WR250R
Harley Davidson Softail Springer CVO (gone but not forgotten)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504540
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:20 PM   #15
captodport
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Sounds great,

you enjoy your trip and take plenty of pics. I'll probably be needing the advise on loosing some of my ass too. 6'/217, but after back surgery I've gotten soft.
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