Slowly but Surely


I am making progress in packing. I know doesn’t seem to be such a huge task and it’s not when all you have to do is focus on a trip. I look forward to the end of this week..many issues will have at least some answers, again personally and then I can figure out what I am coming back too. In the meanwhile after today I will just not care about the personal and focus on myself being fortunate to explore the great continent of North America yet again in 2014.

I love the lids on Jesse Luggage it actually is very useful to hold “stuff” and adds to the capacity of my little 8 inch panniers. I am not taking as many tools as we used to as dual riders, Cheryl and me.

I am being honest when I say I doubt very much I will be changing a flat K60 on the side of the road myself. I will bring tire supplies just in case someone would want to help me or I will just call roadside assistance. I have BMW as well as BCAA.

What sort of sucks is I have to bring at least one set of “nice” clothes but my dry bag can fit them. Might need to find an iron

I have the BMW OEM low seat on my bike. The F8 is a tall bike as many are aware. Although I find it way more comfy than the regular height plank OEM seat, I am not taking any chances with my butt. Adding a sheep pad I got back in 2010 can only at least help. It did when we rode X Country in 2010 and other trips.

One thing while I am going through what I call my own “hell”…it is amazing to see and hear all the support that’s out there for myself. Including this RR, my blog, other social media but also right next door. I have befriended 3 incredible women in my neighborhood and although I am not overly spiritual or religious they gave me the gift of Saint Christopher last night so I am protected and being watched throughout my trip.

Also, they included Amethyst charms, three of them..one for each friend and a butterfly. All about new beginnings. I LOVE it and will carry it with me. Maybe not around my neck all the time but on the bike in the tank bag at least.

4 days left and off I go. Have some running around to do for last minute items and bring my journal up to date. I have many names in my journal, many people to try and hook up with throughout the trip. I hope to meet some at least but we all know how routes take on their own life. Not only because the GPS has a mind of its own but because who knows what the weather will do etc.

I will try and stay away from interstates of course but will jump on one or two to make up time if needed. I am not afraid to admit I use cabins and motels for shelter if the weather sucks instead of camping. I am not that hard core and probably ride like most ADV riders which is to explore, take pictures, meet people, eat GREAT breakfasts, LOVE breakfast over any other meal and just take in the environment and scenery.

Riding a bike to me is the best way to see the world. My father is very funny….he wants me to ride the NY and stay with my parents while he ships my bike back. He was the man who introduced me to two wheels at the ripe age of 2 1/2 years old. First a bike and at age 4 my first little Honda 50cc motorcycle. But he really does not get traveling so far despite how many trips I take. He means well, love him for that but again politely declined his offer.

10 thoughts on “Slowly but Surely

  1. Hi Leslie, I am a recent follower of your blog (Whitehorse Gear posted the link) and just want to offer you encouragement as you set out on your trip. I currently ride a 2010 F650GS (low seat and suspension) and have done a number of cross country trips on my previous 03 F650GS single. Most of those trips were with other riders. In 2006 I did my first solo long distance trip from Ottawa to circle Lake Superior and back. I LOVED riding on my own – setting my own schedule and stopping where and when I wanted. But mostly I discovered I was so much more engaged in the ride and not just following the wheel in front of me. I surprised myself by riding further on my own than I had wanted to in a “pack” situation. In a group I was always craving a radio or something to help pass the time, but on my own I never even turned on the iPod…And I met so many more people, who mostly couldn’t believe I was actually riding on my own, and who wanted to know more about my bike etc. Riding with a buddy is great, but I hope you find that riding your own journey can have its own rewards. If you end up in Ottawa please let me know – it would be great to compare notes. As a woman rider I really appreciate your blog and the wealth of practical information. Best of luck your travels! Patti

    • Thanks Patti great to hear about other woman solo successes. I’m am bringing my laptop and will listen to audio books and music riding. I’m also hoping to catch the new episode of Orange is the new Black. I know be one with nature but certain things I know I will enjoy outside meeting people and sights will be my time with me, music, no music anything I want. Hope you follow along and as far as Ottawa? We got there in 2010 so this time probably not enough time.

  2. Leslie – super excited for you and your road trip! You are running tubed tires in your spoked wheels, right? I say this from experience, those stiff-carcass Heidenaus are very tough to dismount and mount on the side of the road. At home, I use a couple 6″ C-clamps to squeeze the tire beads together (opposite from the tire irons) so they can access the wheel rim’s ‘valley’ to get the ‘slack’ needed to pry the tires off and on to the wheel. Without doing this, it is almost impossible to spoon Heidenaus off and on. This is a tall order on the side of the road without proper tools – unless you feel like carrying a bead breaker, a couple of C-clamps, and irons. For our ride, (Deb’s DR650 has tubed tires – Heidenaus), we’re just bringing along some Slime – either that will stop or slow the leak enough to get to a shop, or we’ll just call AAA.
    I’m wondering if there are any aftermarket options for your beemer to go spoked but tubeless? This would be ideal, because then you could use the Dynaplug tire repair kit which could get you back riding literally in minutes. The new Dynaplug kit is a step up in technology in my humble opinion because it utilizes a metal ‘sheath’ which prevents the tire plug from shredding on the tire’s steel belting – so you get a clean, intact tire plug that is considered a permanent repair. This is what I have packed for my Wee Strom’s tubeless tires. If you get a minute, watch their video on their site – very cool system. If you can go tubeless, this would be ideal.
    See you on the road…

    • Gary I can get tubeless rims for about $2000 or do the tape but for now my trusty roadside will do or a nice other biker if I have issues. You are right the K60 are a bitch to break even my dealer knows. Have a great trip yourself

  3. Agree with ya on a bunch of points. Some tools just stay at home because my cell phone and CAA membership (roadside assistance) trumps them. That being said, a recharging external battery for your phone is a great thing to pack. Commit to using it only in case of emergency. Worth the money to grab one from eBay or your local phone kiosk.

    Ride safe sister!

    • I have an iPhone charger cable hooked up via my BMW plug and runs into my tank bag plus I bring an inverter when I don’t have electric. Can charge batteries off my bikes battery. Do this all the time. I will post pics if the bike set up soon.

      • Saw the pics. Great setup. Still like the external battery in case the bike battery starts to give issues.
        Re: the new post – It looks like I subscribed to your blog at exactly the right time. Exciting stuff!

  4. You have more experience traveling on a bike than many so I’m always interested to see what gets packed and what gets left at home. There are many times when camping out doesn’t work or is a real pain. Really hot comes to mind…

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures and hope that everything works out, not only on the trip but on your return.

    • Thanks me too and as far as camping I predict cool nights and warm to hot days. As long as it’s not raining when I stop I will try to camp to save money. If it’s not nice out I will look for a cabin or something. Time will tell.

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