Day 19 – West Point, NY to Geneva, NY


Tracking web site click here 2014 X Country Solo Trip

After being caught in another storm, love riding in the Spring I arrived at the Westpoint Motel. A bit of a dump in some regards, like the bathroom was gross, I did not trust the linens that kind of stuff…it did get me out of the rain. I was greeted by a man behind the desk that needs to get a new job!

I spent most of the night texting home about my Beagle Cruizer who was hospitalized for not eating for days, lethargy and just overall not feeling well. I have since found out he has been diagnosed with A-Typical Addison’s Disease at the rip age of 10. Perhaps me leaving, all the change in his life as well has brought on this disease that was probably dormant waiting to rear its head. Continue reading

Day 17 – Shortest Riding Day


I left my parents house around 1600 hrs yesterday to only ride to the Port Jeff/Bridgeport Ferry over to Connecticut.  I wanted to get close to MAX BMW in Brookfield, CT and be able to ride another short distance in the morning to be there when they opened.

While in Stony Brook I got to see my sisters and some of their own family members as well as their dogs. My sisters and families are even more obsessed with their dogs than I am.  ;-)  I mean that in a caring and loving way.

Never enough time with family but the time we had over pizza and just hanging out was nice.  My parents rushed down to the the ferry without me knowing they were to say one last good bye.  WE had about 2 mins. before I boarded.  I cried on the ferry but they don’t know…perhaps they do now.

Was able to see a few friends from when I was a kid and from high school days.  It’s been over 30 years!  I will be returning to NY in July via a plane for my 30th high school reunion. Continue reading

Day 12 – Hot and COLD (Part I – DC)


After spending 2 nights and day at my brother’s families house in NC and a night at my old friend’s house in Williamsburg, VA, I left the south to head north to Philadelphia, PA to visit the REVZILLA relatively new store in Philly by the old Navy yard.

I went to Colonial Williamsburg on my way out of town but I was too early even for the visitors centre to be open. Too early for almost everything but a cute breakfast place.

Continue reading

Day 6 & 7 – Gratitude and A bit of a Set Back



Day 6 – 742.2 KM’s. Day 7 – 560 KM’s.

Yesterday seems to be a blur to be honest. Even today because I am thinking too much. I supposed every ride report has a theme and this one seems to be amnesia. Continue reading

Day 5 – I don’t like being a Carnivore


761.2 KM’s

I have to say this…after riding today and seeing so MANY cattle pens where I know they are being raised just for their meat, I hate the fact I like meat. I am not a left-wing nut about being vegetarian or anything but when I see hundreds if not thousands of cows living like this is kills me.

I Love all animals and wild life….not sure why I eat them?OK, that was my rant for the day.

I left Casper, Wyoming at about 0700 only to be warned of the impending dome I might face out of the roads today in all directions. One thing for sure you can see where to ride or not because you can see the weather ahead clearly.

Continue reading

Day 3 – X Winds, Hail & GHOST Rider (711.4 KM’s)


I need to start off by saying thank you to all the PM’s, emails and messages in general to the many out there that think I am “brave” for telling my story and going out on my own. It is what it is….I speak my mind and always have, perhaps too much. But in the end I am not alone going through a devastating and blind sided separation. Seems this happens all too often in my books.I listened to the audio version of “Ghost Rider”, by Neil Peart and narrated by BrianSutherlan. I am on Chapter 4. It was so cool to listen to his take not only on his losses but his trip up the Dempster. He kept a great journal one that I would never be able to do and the details, oh the details remind me of my own trip and feelings in 2011.I will listen to the rest tomorrow and have to say all those who recommended this book to me I thank you! Now on to today’s report.

It’s funny no one has asked how my ass is doing on the BMW OEM low seat? Well, it’s working out just fine actually. The sheep pad helps but I bet I could be doing this without it. For some reason I have grown accustomed to it.

In 2010 I rode the Going to the Sun Road through Glacier National park. It took us over 4 hours to ride the 48-50 mile road. The traffic and construction in early July 2010 was insane. Well worth it. Was a nice day but 4 hours???

Today it was closed and closed until late June.

Today started out sunny and no wind until I got through the mountains. Again in 2010 I remember what it was like to ride through Montana and Wyoming. HOLY cross winds. But for the beginning of today I saw this…

It drizzled a bit but I have to be honest it was nothing compared to later in the day. The KLIM Altitude suit being Gore Tex is handling all this rain no problem. The only issue I have is the light colour. It’s showing up everything and something weird is happening to the leather on the pants. I took some pics but perhaps I will take better ones at another time. But here are the ones from today.

both pants legs have these marks or stains? Dunno. I will see what happens when I wash them eventually. Other than the dirt and I have always had an issue with the collar. hey need to make it about 2 cm wider for heated liners. I can not zip up the jacket with my liner in to make it really water tight.

My bike turned 15,000 today. I think yesterday it was 14,000?

it was still really nice out after I got through the park. Had to take this photo op shot with a back ground like that? It’s really beautiful here, even the plains did not bore me this time. In 2010 they seem to be annoying a bit, but this time around being with me?

I like the rolling hills and the surprise curve in the road. Soothing I guess as I listened to Ghost Rider.

Not sure if anyone out there who rides long distances have ever thought about audio books. If you haven’t highly recommend getting some on your phone, use the Audible App and you are good to go.

My SPOT has died by this point. I called SPOT and they said it must be defective using so many batteries. Doesn’t really matter I know it’s defective because now it won’t boot on. It DEAD.

I am going to go to Cabelas here in Billings tomorrow and see about getting a Gen 3 Spot. The next time I can set it up online and call SPOT to activate the new device when I get one, tracking will be back on. I like to have it for me and my family.

The Spring time weather out here is definitely not boring. One minute you have sun and warmth, the next it drops 10 degrees C and it’s thundering out, lightning and hailing with down pours.

Doesn’t look that bad but when I turned a bend in the road I hit a black wall of hail. About 2 hours outside Billings, MT.

I love cargo trains when riding. We have them back in Vancouver but while riding out in the middle of no where…these things are so cool.

So, I have to admit…riding solo can be scary at times. If you are reading this post to this point I will confess it is taking a little more time getting used to being on my own. Like parking. I have almost dumped the bike more times than I care to admit because I never judge parking surfaces well. Cheryl did. I find myself at times looking in the rear view mirrors only to see no one is back there. Scary to me since I always had a back.

I respect solo riders a whole lot more now. We are on our own for sure. But on the other hand I am liking my own pace and not even really having anyone to talk to but strangers.

I have to give kudos to Shoei helmets. I love this new RF1200 but I have always LOVED how easy it is to take the shield off these helmets to get a good cleaning of the mechanisms and the shield itself. Brilliant.

This 2013 Beemer is making a really decent touring bike. I like it!

Navigating for me is new. I never had a GPS on my bike until last year. Maybe that was a foreshadow because something prompted me to get one and learn how to use it. Coming in handy I have to say. I am using a Montana 600.

When I got to a road construction area that says wait until your pilot car arrives, this can mean minutes or hours. I waited an hour. So, listened to my book and watched cows graze. A little annoying because I lost an hour yesterday time wise due to Mountain time and today due to waiting.

Started out sunny and cool while waiting but look what happened.

It was kind of funny. I was loving the gravel and dirt and was cruising right along while the cars and trucks behind me seemed more tentative. it was slippery but I have done the Dempster and Dalton in the piss down rain and this was nothing but maybe 10 KM’s long?

There is where the cross winds almost blew me off my bike a few times. I trust my bike and trust me to relax in such powerful gusts. Felt like a football player leaning into the wind to keep myself low. My body actually aches from today. The wind for me acts like I am a punching bag. Truthfully? I rather ride in crappy rainy weather than HIGH cross winds. it made for a great work out.

The another storm came up. In Montana you can see for miles so you can also see your destiny. I watched the skies and pulled over at a gas station to get my heated gear on. The temperature was about 18 C then dropped to 6. I spoke to an army young man moving to Texas from Fairbanks who said he heard it’s really bad going the direction we were heading. Well? it was…huge hail, wind, thunder, lightning, pouring rain that bounced off the road up my pants leg. Also, it rained so hard that it was bouncing off my bike up my helmet until I put my chin down.

The hail hurt my hands through my gloves and to kicker was the wind challenge as well. This lasted for about an hour. KLIM gear kept me dry as a bone as well as my Gore Tex KLIM gloves.

Gas station where I changed.

Came out of it and again nothing but blue skies but windy.

I did not take pictures in the middle of the storm…I thought that would be just dumb if I did. I needed both hands on the handle bar. Wyoming is having funnel clouds and also bad storms. So, what lies ahead?

I decided to head to Billings, instead of Buffalo, WY due to time. After 711 KM’s and the cross winds I was done. So, stopped in Billings which is sort of good. I am going to go to Cabelas outdoor store tomorrow and see about getting that new Gen 3 SPOT. Maybe I can have tracking back up sooner than later if they have one in stock. They open at 0900 so my start time will be later than I want.

That is Billings down below and the weather was perfect. I got another KOA cabin for the price of a tent site. It pays to show up late and a little off-season.

As the diabetic that I am it’s important I check my sugars at times. Mine seems to be doing OK except yesterday I dropped to 3.6. Hypoglycemic which is not good but today I was better.

I am paying more attention to my diabetes than any other trip. I need to so I can stay alert. I have no one telling me I am acting weirdly.

And finally a nice sunset to end the day. Oh, and some really really ANNOYING loud young man who just went to bed, made for a great day. Which is actually what I had a great day. One thing I hope this distraction of a trip does some healing so when I go back I am not a complete disaster as I was before I left. I need to be able to be functioning again on a more consistent basis. That is my wish for this trip. Safety, enjoyment and finding myself somewhat whole again.

Continue reading

Departure Day


Nothing like getting woken up at 0215 to three dogs barking in the house and then I made the mistake in letting them out and all hell broke loose.  We have bears around as well as many other creatures.  I did not see anything but the dogs had a scent.

The culprits…


So, innocent looking here Sierra and Cruizer Continue reading

SpotWalla = Tracking


I have set up and tested my SpotWalla web page.  The page is active and all is good. If you are interested you might want to bookmark this page if you want to see my route and track. It will show movement Saturday morning…

You can leave comments on the SpotWalla page and adjust how many days you want to see at one time and what % of the GPS locations. It will ping every 10 mins. as long as I keep the batteries fresh The controls are to the left of the map.

To view this page CLICK HERE – SpotWalla X Country 2014

2 more sleeps…

Last Minute Inspection



I got lucky and was able to get my bike inspected, oil changed to semi-synthetic, new oil filter and chain adjusted @This is a local shop that can work on most bikes including BMW’S. Which is great because they fit me in and are way cheaper than the dealer. The guys even fixed my top box. Was missing a spacer and would rattle like crazy. A recent find of mine. Box is secured and going no where…no charge even though they had to take the mount a part.I did not get the techs names but they were very helpful and the young man who worked on my bike said when I left…”that’s a NICE bike”. So, love the fact they will work on my bike and even will do major work…all certified and approved. A Universal shop near my house and I did not know this until yesterday.I need a lift like this in my garage. Now that there is only one bike I think that I will place this on my own wish list.

It was in the 90’s F today…30 C. Helmet vents really well and so does my jacket. my bike turned 13,300 KM’s today

which will be most likely my starting mileage on Saturday. Bike checked out really well as it should and I feel so much better I had a pro take a look before I left. 3 days left..

 

 

 

 

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Solo X Country 2014


Departure date May 17, 2014 for 30 days. Plan – Vancouver, BC to North Carolina to Long Island, Upstate New York and back. Don’t know the route yet.

LINK TO my Ride Report on ADV Rider Forum Click HERE

SPOT Live Tracking Page

I have done quite a few big RR’s and smaller one’s but what makes this one different is I am no longer with my thought to be partner for life Cheryl. Let me back up…Cheryl and I were partners as common law for 15 years before she proposed to me in March 2012. In August of 2013 we had a destination wedding that turned out to be the best day of my life. We shared our relationship with 62 of our closest family and friends over a 2 day party. Continue reading

Interview with KLIM about their new Female gear the Altitude


You will have to go to these gals web site to listen to the actual interview..scroll to the bottom of the page and listen to the details that went into developing gear that we women want to wear because it’s tough not just pretty…

Moterrific

a Terrific Motorcycle Podcast

Top 10 Adventure Motorcycles for Shorter Riders


At the request of the site who has the original post they have asked I link the rest of the story from this blog…so, if you want to read all about the top 10 bikes please head on over to ADV Pulse to read it all.  Thanks.  Leslie

I love finding articles that deal with real life challenges for those of us who want to ride an ADV bike so badly but have been cursed with being vertically challenged.  This article was sent to me by a FB page reader from ADV Pulse

ADV bikes as I have said before can be the right bike for you despite seat height.  I am proof…5′ almost 5″ ;-)  and an inseam of 30.5.  Plus, I am a grrl, I have thighs that push my legs out even further than a guy while sitting on the seat making the ground that much further on my F8.  But you want to know the truth?  I was intimidated buying a regular height BMW F800 at first.  But now over 11,000 KM’s later I would have regretted getting the low suspension because I am a confident, not cocky rider who can ride my bike safely and with ease.  I am mindful as to where I park more so but in the end I have absolutely NO issues with the seat height.  So, lesson?  There is an ADV bike out there for you….don’t under estimate you riding abilities as well don’t over-estimate them as well.  

Know you will get used to not being flat-footed, you will adjust your riding habits to the bike you ride.  Enjoy the search….and I think articles like this sure will hit home for some of you….at least you can see there are a few ADV/DS bikes out there that might make you feel comfortable enough to buy.

Trying to find an Adventure Motorcycle with a reasonable seat height can be a frustrating experience. Adventure Bikes are some of the tallest motorcycles in existence. Their long-travel suspension smooths out the bumps off-road, but it also gives them a tall seat that makes it hard to touch both feet on the ground.

Continue reading

Video To Watch: Aether Chasing Winter


Great video, great advertisement for Aether Gear…nice gear BTW…

By

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We’ve been a big fan of Aether’s jackets ever since they came on our radar. Why? Because they push function and aesthetics equally and do it better than almost anyone else in the gear business. We also love a good riding video as much as anyone else, and Aether really did this one right. Continue reading

Wicked Machine


OK this is really taking a motorcycle to the extreme as a cross over vehicle…it’s probably one of the coolest, weirdest concepts I have seen….in a good way.

Caterham Brutus 750

Caterham Brutus 750 740x468 Caterham Brutus 750

If this is the first time you’ve seen the new Caterham Brutus 750, it’s probably safe to say that your lower jaw is now resting on your keyboard. Whilst you gather your wits I’ll hit you with all the important numbers, just so we have it all out of the way. Continue reading