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Old 04-27-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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Big Bike Solo on the Trans-Am Trail (TN-MS-AR-OK-NM)

Just finished a solo ride of the eastern portion of the Trans-America Trail on my DL1000. Had a hell of a good time.


(Please be patient . . . much more to come.)
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:54 PM   #3
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Ya ain't kidding man. Any report with Cannonshots` name on it is gold.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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Can't Wait...

Can't wait...this should be good...Love the DL1000, almost bought that instead of my DR650...if possible, please include details such as tires equip...Look forward to this PanAm!
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Introduction to the Trans-Am Trail

Most everyone around here knows of the Trans-America Trail. In case some have not heard of it, here is a short intro.

Sam Correro laid out a primarily off-pavement motorcycle route that spans most of the country. (By the way, Sam has my respect, admiration, and thanks - to the extreme - for the work he has done.) He makes roll charts and maps available through his web site at www.transamtrail.com .

Here is how Sam describes the route.
" It is a route using dirt roads, gravel roads, jeep roads, forest roads and farm roads. Dropping down into dried-up creek beds. Riding atop abandoned railroad grades."

Here is a "big picture" map of the trail.



I rode about 2100 miles on the route. Here is the breakout for the portion I rode by state:
Tennessee 600 miles
Mississippi 217 miles
Arkansas 472 miles
Oklahoma 750 l-o-n-g miles
New Mexico 65 miles of heaven (sort of - maybe a little bit of hell too)

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Old 04-27-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojave Jack
Can't wait...this should be good...Love the DL1000, almost bought that instead of my DR650...if possible, please include details such as tires equip...Look forward to this PanAm!
I'll make sure to pass on what I can - including the anxiety of trying to get 4000 miles out of that rear TKC 80.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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The Trip Down to the Trailhead

Departed from west of Milwaukee, WI for about a 12 hour/600+ mile ride to Jellico, TN. Jellico is on the KY-TN border in eastern TN.



Hit my first freeway traffic jam only a few miles from home. Took to other roads. This was going to be a long day.

Stopped for breakfast near the WI-IL border. Thought I'd wait out Chicago traffic. (Didn't work. I still got caught in a clutch slipping, toe touching extended traffic jam there as well.)

The DL waits while I eat a leisurely breakfast. This was when she was still clean and had those crisp new tire treads.


After that the trip to Jellico was routine. I stopped every now and again for fuel and hot coffee. It was a cold ride. I left my electric fleece home as I was going to ride the south and didn't think I needed it (one of several mistakes I made).

As I rode across the very flooded Ohio River I noticed four Apache helicopters simulating an attack on a boat or bridge on the Ohio. This seemed odd because it was in the downtown Louisville area. Maybe it was a demonstration(?). It would have been great to catch a few pictures as they were really making some aggressive moves. However, I was doing the best I could just to ride (and sneak a few looks) in the tight end of day traffic.

Got down to Jellico in the dark and checked in the recommended motel. I was pretty chilled once the sun went down. Had a reservation but didn't need it on a weekday. If you stay there, try to snag room 104 or 106 as you can park your bike right in front of the door (for convenience).


I loaded up the roll chart for the next day's ride and got organized so I would be able to start when it got light. Off to bed. (Yeah, thats right . . . a roll chart on a DL1000. I had to mount it to one of the mirror stems.)

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Old 04-27-2007, 04:50 PM   #8
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You rode all the way down on the TKC's??? I still don't understand how to use a roll chart, but I need to learn since I want to do at least some of the trail this year. Looking forward to more!
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbirdzach
You rode all the way down on the TKC's??? I still don't understand how to use a roll chart, but I need to learn since I want to do at least some of the trail this year. Looking forward to more!
While they lasted, the TKCs were great on pavement.

Now is probably as good a time as any to confess that I never turned the roll chart once. After the first day, I never loaded another one.

When I got the maps from Sam, I drew the route in MapSource and laid it against topo background maps in my GPS. (That is, with the exception of New Mexico where I forgot to load the background maps so I only had a dotted line to follow through the most remote part of the trip. Another mistake, but all worked well.)



I broke the track I drew into 500 point segments. It was something like 20+ segments. I really liked following the track:
-It was easy.
-No roll chart to turn.
-No odometer to keep track of.
-You could see the shape of the road to anticipate things like turns that might be just over the top of a rise. You could also see a "good section" coming so you could gear up to enjoy it.
-With the orientation set so that "up" was the direction you were heading, there was little thinking to do other than follow the track on the moving map.

The trackline is the way to go. You still need to get the maps. They are very valuable for planning, finding "go-arounds" (if required), and for seeing where the gas stops are or when you are passing near a town. I kept uncut versions of the roll charts in a binder and reviewed them each night to see if there were any warnings or other good info on them.

I kept maps in document protectors on the tank bag map case and followed the track line. Easy stuff.

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Old 04-27-2007, 05:24 PM   #10
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Man, this is so cool you did this part of the trail on a big bike. Looking forward to reading more. The helicopters you saw in Louisville were part of a day long annual affair called "Thunder Over Louisville" where they have all kinds of military aircraft doing demos during the day and then a huge fireworks show at night. I went once and was pretty blown away by what I saw an F-14 do.

It's a good thing I didn't know you were doing this trip or I would have wanted to go with you as you went by.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JcbKarl
It's a good thing I didn't know you were doing this trip or I would have wanted to go with you as you went by.
And you would have been welcome . . .

My apologies to some folks I know that might have wanted to tag along. I had originally planned to do the trip a little earlier this season [probably a good thing I didn't as the weather was poor(er) then than it has been lately] but I had an unexpected medical problem come up. This kind of put things on hold as I had some doctoring to do. I didn't know I would be able to leave until the day before I actually went. Hard to make plans with others in a situation like that.

On the other hand, riding alone gives you great flexibility and you don't have to takes turns eating dust. You just have to really make the right choices with regard to risk management. Keeps you from doing stupid stuff you might otherwise do.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:07 PM   #12
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:21 PM   #13
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I was wondering what you were up to Bryan! Glad you got your medical situation sorted out enough to ride. I sent you that CD today b.t.w.

Looking forward to seeing your pics, I know they are going to be amazing!
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:29 PM   #14
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Looking forward to your ride report as a buddy & I are going to do the TN & MS segments of the TAT starting next Friday, May 4th. I'll be on a '95 Triumph Tiger and he'll be on a KTM LC4. Curious as to the road conditions. Have heard mixed comments on the Eastern segment. Was hoping it'd be fairly dry so I can avoid the photo below!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot
Just finished a solo ride of the eastern portion of the Trans-America Trail on my DL1000. Had a hell of a good time.


(Please be patient . . . much more to come.)
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:38 PM   #15
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I'm ready... bring it on. I'm going to try a bit of it late this summer or fall if i get the chance. I would be on the 12GS. Likely i'll get Tenn only as I don't have a lot of continuous time to burn on the trip.

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