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Old 04-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
swifter78261 OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Oddometer: 37
Quitting the Job for the TAT!

Ladies, Babies, Mama's and Papa's!

I turned in my notice last month and am leaving my job in the edge-of-your-seat world of insurance to ride the TAT. My target start date is May 15.

I know, you wish you were me. Its cool, I get it. Wish you could come with me, too. But since you can't be me, and you can't come with me (which you actually can if you let me know you want to), I thought I'd give you an on-going trip report as I go. I also started a blog for those non-adv people out there that gives a little back story and a little more depth about the whole process too. I encourage you to check it out (don't worry, I'm not making money in any way off traffic), could be entertaining. Seriously, someone dies in it.. then gets resurrected! www.thetransamerican.com

Anyway, to fill you in - I'm 25 years old and have been working in the fascinating world of WORKERS COMP INSURANCE for the last two years since college. If you're not asleep yet, you can perk up, cuz the Good News is that i'm quitting it all and moving from Atlanta to the West Coast for something new. What exactly? Dunno. But I decided I had to get there in outrageous style. TAT, obviously.

So I bought a stock 2009 KLR.



So I had to go about the business of installing all the standards - SW Motech crash bars and racks, bark busters, battery tender, etc.



It was a lot more of an involved process than I thought it would be. I pretty much had to skeletonize the bike to get everything on. I'm no mechanic by any means, but I can use a wrench.. only took me 8 hours.





I also decided to take off the green decals, which I always thought were hideous. The results look pretty awesome. And mean.



I decided to go with Dunlop D606's for tires and Seahorse 720 cases for luggage. Both are in my garage, waiting for me to get a break from work to put them on. I'll put up some pics when I get em up.

Ordered the maps from Sam, too. They're pretty intimidating in their detail. I'm glad to have them, but I've got quite a headache ahead of me with getting all the tracks in my GPS. Speaking of which...



Decided to go with a pretty basic (read: affordable) Garmin eTrex 20. Color screen, holds waypoints, combined with a smartphone - all I need. In other luggage stuff, I bought a cheap Overboard dry bag to hold my camping gear (camping as much as I can... on the funemployment budget) that will ride on top over the back and got a $40 tank bag from Wallyworld that actually got some decent reviews. I'm easy to please.



Like I said, my start date is May 15. As this whole adventure gets off the ground, i'll keep posting pics and do my best to get updates to you here when I'm on the road as much as possible.

Lemme know what you think, honey's n sonny's! All feedback is welcome!

swifter78261 screwed with this post 04-13-2013 at 04:19 PM
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
advNZer?
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Wellington,New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,686
Skeletonize....i like it. And i like it without the green and white stripes too.I will be following along.Where/Whats the little route holder from?
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
road_apple
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Sometimes here, sometimes there
Oddometer: 136
Tat

Extra air filter oiled and ready in a ziplock. 8, 10, 12mm sockets..allen key and air pump to change front tire when you get a flat. Folding mirrors might be more of a luxury but nice to have when you fall. You are going for the right reasons-do you have a cheapo digital camera so we can live vicariously thru you on the trip? Water. You got the best maps.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=848449 for ideas

Have fun!
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
GRinCR
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
Oddometer: 318
Thumb Lurking...

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Old 04-13-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
8lives
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Shasta County,Calif
Oddometer: 1,577
I'm in!!
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
Cromoth
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Location: MA
Oddometer: 529
one thing

Before you quit, get a disability policy - it's like workers comp for having fun & unemployed.
Have a great time!
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Two wheels move the soul." http://ridingacross.com/
Three move you & the dog!

Cromoth screwed with this post 04-13-2013 at 05:26 PM Reason: add text
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
bemiiten
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Hamilton NJ.
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Headed for wherever, Sounds like a great freekin (non) plan! Hell Yeah, I'm in!
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
One Less Harley
OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT
 
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Bowling Green, Ky
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May 15th departure date..well your aren't planning on doing the Colorado passes then are you..unless your planning some LONG layovers along the way.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
8lives
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Shasta County,Calif
Oddometer: 1,577
That's true,I think it just snowed in Denver,this will test his open schedule,or perhaps a more southerly route?
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #10
GAS GUY
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Garden City, Michigan
Oddometer: 2,777
Subscribed.
Keep us posted.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
cybrdyke
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: way back up in the woods among the evergreens
Oddometer: 304
Heads up...
I bought that Overboard bag. It is NOT waterproof. It can leak at the zipper and seams. Get some seam sealer for the seams.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
8lives
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Shasta County,Calif
Oddometer: 1,577
Or do as I,large garbage bags as liners,all stays dry.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #13
norton(kel)
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: berthoud,colo.
Oddometer: 885
You NEED a custom seat, believe me. Also bar back/risers. Enjoy
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #14
swifter78261 OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Oddometer: 37
Hey thanks guys. That was fast! I'm getting loaded for bear and anxious to start this whole thing, and your feedback is only pumping up my need for speed and dirt!

@Norton - wish it was in my budget for a new seat...I'm open for taking donations! I can repay you in high fives and a can of West Coast sand. But really.. i'm gonna have an ass of iron after this. I'll continue to give full and complete status reports on the state of my butt cheek's nerve endings.

@cyberdyke and @8lives - thanks for the heads up on the Overboard bag. I figured I probably couldnt completely trust the salesmanship on their website. I'll be using trash bags as liners for sure now!

@One Less Harley - my May 15 departure date is flixible.. I gotsta get my wisdom teeth pulled (and whoever called them wisdom teeth to begin with? They should be called Torture Teeth) between my last day of work on May 3 and the start of my trip.. so I see that day getting pushed back a bit. I also have friends in both Joplin, MO and Dillon, CO that I'm going to stay with and abuse their hot water bill for a few days. I had a buddy who did the CO portion on the same timetable as I've got without too much of an issue. If I see a little snow, no big deal. Have to leave when I have to leave.. couldn't take the job anymore!

@Roadapple - thanks for the gear list, man! Duly noted! As for camera and on the road posts - i'll have my iPhone and iPad with me to connect me with civilization. I don't know how/if the mechanics of posting updates and pictures here work on a mobile device on the fly, which is why I started my little blog (and as an outlet of a little more pathos), which I do have the ability to update. I will absolutely be posting as many pictures as possible as I go tho!

@advNZer - the little roll map holder is the one Sam recommends on his TAT map site. http://www.transamtrail.com/purchase/ .. i have no idea how this plastic amounts to 30 bucks, but whatevs. Good to have.

Keep it comin' philly's 'n Willies! All advice/encouragement/high fives/haikus/hollas accepted with pleasure. Keep it comin' with them positive waves! Say something righteous and hopeful to me!
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:58 AM   #15
Cyclenaut
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Desert S.W.
Oddometer: 76
Your roll chart holder looks like the one I used to do the TAT last year. Mine was from Moose Racing and was complete crap. All plastic, the spindles broke almost immediately rendering it useless. MSR makes a much more robust version with large aluminum knobs for about $30. Save yourself ALOT of frustration...my two cents...have a safe ride
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