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Old 07-03-2013, 06:16 AM   #16
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Sitting at a Cross Roads lookin' for a sign
Oddometer: 1,465
Rain gear

From the "for what it's worth" department. I can highly recommend a Coleman rain suit (2 piece) from wally world as an "extra" just in case. I buy two sizes large for fast donning and doffing. Packs small. Keep the receipt. If you don't end up using it, return it for a refund.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #17
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I'll second the suggestion above. I have tried all manner of rain suits which as so called rain suits and won't leak...they all DO!!! The only thing that will not leak after many hours in the rain is a solid rubberized material similar to the Wally World type suit. Yes it won't be super comforable or allow for breathing but you won't be sitting in a wet diaper after an hours of heavy rain either. You can help the sweating facter by wearing less under it...keep the armour and ditch a few warmer layers to get the right heat insulation factors. You may not look like a true high class adventure rider in your Wally World Rubber suit but you will be dry and so will the rest of your clothing. Drying out riding clothing is very difficult when you don't get enough warn sunny days to do so.
Take my word for it, You WILL get rained on almost every day when inj the far north. Maybe for a few minutes or a few hours even a few days. It's not IF it's WHEN. Same goes for the prairies but there you can see the storm hours before it hits and sometimes you can ride around it if you choose. Plus you can gauge when it's best to stop and suit up. It will take some time for the first few times to get everything on in time and pack away the other clothing you strip off to stay cooler.

Sorry to go on but you will find it to be true.......I hope this helps. the biggest yellow submarine suit that will fit over your riding will be a good thing to look like a big yellow banana as well once the visibility goes for a turd.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:10 AM   #18
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Deal. I will stop and buy a rain suit at my first Walmart or similar store. Worth the investment. It's pretty funny, I have two big rain suits at home that I throw on over my (car) racing gear.

Guess I'll be adding a third to the garage.

JULY 2nd :: A blessed life.

As I sat at work, everything began to dawn on me. I thought it was the coffee on an empty stomach. That creeping feeling of nausea. But it hung with me for hours. It was finally settling in that I was about to take off for a month on the road. Most of it on my own.

Prior to this, my longest solo motorcycle trip was 3.5 days. And a total of 2000 miles. In truth, I probably have only 5,000 total miles of motorcycle experience. So 11,000 miles weighs a bit daunting.

I only had one remaining item that I was waiting on, beyond that I was entirely packed. By the time the bluetooth iPad keyboard case arrived, I was already three hours behind. My goal is to avoid riding in the evening as much as possible. Get up early, get to camp, enjoy the sun setting. Goal not achieved. On day one.

My wife and dog set off an hour ahead of me. We're spending the next day and a half relaxing at the cabin. Fishing. Grilling. Just spending a beautiful day together.

Many friends ask how Carley is taking it. Surprisingly, she's taking it well. She's wrapping up her thesis and preparing for boards. But that's just the surface facade. As she takes my photo I can see her getting choked up. It's really going to hit her a day from now when the family gather's around for a blessing and I depart early morning for Manitoba.

I'm blessed in many regards, great wife, supportive family (with a nervous mom at home), an employer who pushes people to pursue their dreams and gave me the time off to do this.

I sit here, excited. But still a bit nauseous.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #19
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Location: Dirty North Joisey
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You have a great route planned. You have a screen name that brings back fond memories of my first car. You're riding a moto I am interested in learning more about. Have a great trip! I'll be right behind you, figuratively speaking. Thanks in advance for your reporting!
Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded. Yogi Berra
We must look for the opportunity in every difficulty instead of being paralyzed at the thought of the difficulty in every opportunity. Walter Cole
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:45 AM   #20
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Saw the Ball U sticker. I live about an 1hour north.

Enjoy your trip!!
2013 Triumph Trophy SE
2012 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak
2008 Ducati 1098
2008 Yamaha WR250
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #21
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Gas City? Fort Wayne?

Did my undergrad at BSU. Grad in 2001. Surprisingly great school. My family lives in Fort Wayne, aka Vera Bradley Territory.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:10 PM   #22
Joined: Aug 2012
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Best of luck! That's a lot of seat time for having 5,000 previous miles experience! Well, a lot of seat time from my perspective, being also of the 5,000 miler club (mines spread over the last 5 years, sadly!). Oh, and you have electrical tape twice on your list :). I'm about as prolific a motorcycle rider as I am an ADV poster.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #23
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I'll share some info with you. Throw the plans out the window.

As many on here (including myself) say, adventure starts when things don't go as per plan.

Strict deadlines / schedules and ideas lead to stress. That's not what riding is about.

Learn to adapt. Play it as it comes. Enjoy. Smile when things aren't going well, and enjoy it for what it's worth when things are going great! It's not easy, but it's something we all need to strive for.

If you swing by Calgary, AB let me know. Spare bedroom or I can let you know where / what roads to take if needed. I'm also 30 and live in a house that I only share with a friendly Doberman. There has been massive flooding here this year so plenty of back roads are washed out.
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge -
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide:
Go, Get Lost - Heading South:
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja:

Shibby! screwed with this post 07-03-2013 at 12:37 PM
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #24
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Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
Oddometer: 1,445

Originally Posted by 73datsun View Post
The good news, I'm headed to Anchorage first. In Anchorage I'm switching to TKC80 front and a Tourance rear. Per Barb, of Alaska Leather, suggestion.
Good luck with the Tourance on the Dempster. If it is sunny and warm it will work. I was worried about a Heidenau K60 but it was OK, a little squirrely in the mud. If I was going tomorrow it would be tkc's or Karoo 3 on both ends. They water the road for graders all week. You will absolutely ride in some mud. On the way up I only hit one thunderstorm, on the way down it rained for the first 300 miles. Have a great time, be safe.
"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
It is not enough to want to make the effort. Its in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals."
Just tell her my wife said it's OK-Handy
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #25
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Location: Carnacks, Yukon Territory
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Living in the North, I'll agree with the need for a cheap rain suit. I wear "waterproof" gear as well, but keep a cheap suit in a saddlebag to throw on as well. Cheap insurance to keep warm and dry on days when you've got to make a lot of miles and there's nowhere to stop and warm up.

I'd disagree with the suggestion to ditch the machete though, I have had one on the side of my "go-bag" for a few years now, and you're right about the serrated / saw blade being a good idea. Crazy handy if you're camping.
Speaking of which, if you need a hand or a place to stay on your way back from the Dempster, drop a line, I'm on the way to Whitehorse. (On the tent space thread)

You'll have a great trip, enjoy it, take lots of pictures to convince your wife to come with you next time.
Back in a town with roads, motorcycles, and beer. Bliss.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:21 PM   #26
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Location: Alberta
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Looks like great preparation. Sometimes you might want to loosen up on your schedule though and fly by the seat of your pants.
If you need anything, I have a large garage you can work on your bike and several bike related tools. I'm in Central Alberta if you are coming thru.
Take care and be safe.

2013 ride report:
2012 KLR 650, 2015 FJ 09
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:49 PM   #27
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Location: Vic, BC
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Thanks for the list

It's always interesting to know what folks take along for their trips - I'm going over your spreadsheet and adding/subtracting from mine...

Safe travels!

"Wherever you go, there you are" - Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:01 PM   #28
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July 3 :: Resting at cabin :: Cuyuna, MN

Luckily, my wife's family has a cabin on the way up north. So rather then piling on a ton of miles in a single day, I planned to leave a buffer day and spend the 3rd up on the lake.

I assumed that I would be a wreck, freaking out that I'd forgot something. But the big ass spread sheet of gear meant that I packed everything I needed.

So I was able to focus some attention on spending time with my wife. We went out fishing twice. Somehow she scored nine fish, walleye among them, to my zero fish. Given that we were using identical bait/lures, I'm not quite sure what happened. But it is pretty remarkable watching her reel in her prize.

On the 4th, I plan to get up early and be on the road by 7:15am. Oddly, the nervousness has gone away.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #29
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July 4 :: First real day :: W. MN, NE N. Dakota, Manitoba

I woke at 6:30 and was ready to go by 7:00. My wife's whole family got up early to send me off. I could tell by the tremble in her dad's voice that he was apprehensive, but trying still to be supportive. Much like my parent's when it comes to car racing and motorcycle stuff.

As they sent me off, our Springer Spaniel decided to chase me down the road. Ordinarily, this behavior would have annoyed me. But as I looked in my rearview mirror I could see her dog grin full force. So I slowed down to a few mph and let her run along side me. Then stopped and waited for my wife to catch up. All things considered, it was pretty damn cute.

As it's Independence Day, the small town of Crosby, MN does a parade down their Main Street. At 7:15am people had already set up chairs and coolers to hold seats. It kind of made sense that the seats were all empty. Further reminder that I'm doing the next two weeks on my own.

The ride through western Minnesota, eastern North Dakota and into Manitoba is extremely boring. I'm just considering the plains my "toll" for when I get to the good stuff. I had originally put my sights on Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. But when I arrived at 3:15pm, I wasn't wiped and figured I should press on. I picked up another 80 miles or so and made it to Minnedosa, MB.

The campground is clean. But the tenants are bordering on gypsy. Some kid in underwear keeps running through my campsite. He's probably four. And I have no idea who/where his parents are.

The riding was uneventful. Just long. Fast. Straight. I did manage to go pretty deep into the reserve fuel (30mi), but all was well. Range anxiety is always something that plagues me. I need to learn to just fill up every 1.5-2hrs and take a stretch. It would probably also behoove me to actually put gas in the rotopax.

I've paid my loony for a shower, washed my riding clothes and am now prepping some cheddar mashed potatoes and veggie bacon bits (what?!). I suspect that after 500 miles today, I'll probably sleep well.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #30
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July 5 :: The best this land has to offer :: SK, MB, AB

Up at 6:30am. Breakfast and tear down took longer then expected. On the road by 7:15am. Bike was struggling at initial start, due to the temp. It's a known aftermarket fix, but it righted itself with in five minutes.

I was happy to leave that campground. In the future, I'll know to avoid any campsite that advertises multiple times, miles ahead. It was clean, but loud. Free range kids running everywhere. They had firewood on site, gratis. But it was huge and wet. Regretting not taking a hatchet vs the machete and tactical shovel.

Once on the road, it was more flat, straight, fast. My stop was supposed to be Saskatoon. But I arrived there around 2pm.

Due to my sore ass, I headed to the BMW dealer. They had an Airhawk seat pad for $149. The guy suggested I just tough it out. I agreed. At that price point.

I was also realizing that I didn't bring enough "around camp" attire. So while there, I decided to look at their shirts. A woman talked me into a size smaller then I should have bought. She said I had a chest so I should show it off. She neglected my belly. But she also had the biggest breasts I've seen, so I guess it's relative.

She suggested that I continue on to the border of Alberta and find a place to stay there. As I was on a BMW, she must have assumed that I was hotel'ing. There was f and all in the way of camping in that town. While filling up with gas, I struck up a conversation with a guy and he suggested I head further west to Vermillion.

Glad I took his advice. I'm 200mi ahead of schedule. At a beautiful park. I also, smartly, picked up a four pack of Molson to enjoy at the campsite. Which I'll need as my neighbors are basking in the great Canadian act of Nickleback. Regarldess. It's still better then the last place. Mostly.

It's only 300 miles to Jasper. So I figure I'll push west and then spend the day exploring the area. Anything but sitting on my ass.

With regards to the bike, it's proven to be pretty damn capable. It feels a bit underpowered. But I'm sure I feel and a bit fat, along with my gear. It's fine for cruising at 75mph. But it feels buzzy when pushed to pass slower traffic.

Once, when coasting to a stop, I downshifted and nothing happened. In fact, the gear display was blank. I kept pressing down. Nothing. I was freaking out. Finally, I upshifted and let the clutch out in sixth. Sixth gear displayed. Then I kept feathering the clutch in and out and I was able right it. No idea what happened. Hoping it's isolated.

I neglected to take into account time changes and the effects of the sun further north. It's 945pm and it's still plenty bright enough to read. I'm sure AK, YT and NWT will be even more eye opening. Haven't really seen anything like this since my trip with Carley to Iceland.
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