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Thanks for posting the map, very useful for future trip planning. Easy to see why you didn't make much "forward" progress a few times! Looks like you found some beautiful roads to ride and made it home safely, can't ask for much more than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Yeah, can't ask for more than what what I got. It was probably my best trip yet.

It was pretty drama free. My Bonnie had nearly 110,000 miles on it when I left. At what point do you no longer trust a bike with those kind of miles on the trip? Wheel bearings are original. Stator and brake lines are too. Clutch was replace at 80k miles, I guess that'll be OK for a while. But what else is ready to go? At any rate ... bike gave me not one whiff of trouble. Dependable as a rock. Engine started and purred the whole way through.

I bought a new Olympia mesh jacket before I left. Thank god, I did encounter a lot of heat. But I took it serious and kept hydrated and rested, I managed it fine. At some point I let the jacket's zipper hit the header, and about four teeth on one side melted. I got that working again, but the next day the zipper started splitting at that point. When the zipper failed I kinda panicked, considered riding into Nashville to find a replacement. Thank god I didn't. I carry a pill bottle full of fabric and nylon repair stuff. Thread, needles, pins, buttons, k-tape and so on. I closed up that part of the zipper with thread and just took the jacket on/off like a sweatshirt that was fine.

That was my only equipment failure. Oh, and my Big Agnes sleeping pad sprung a leak. That sucked, I'm past the point of my life where I want to sleep on the ground.

And weather-wise I did very well. The heat I mentioned. I had a day and a half of extra motel time waiting out rain. You know, other than that vague anxious feeling sitting around brings, that was not bad time Lazing around, watching TV ... I mean, I don't hate that. And one day riding in the rain. That's never great, but it was warm but not too warm. Certainly manageable. Being out two weeks you're gonna hit some weather, I was on the lucky side weather wise.

And I held up. I slept inside all but one night. The upside of not camping is that I stayed well rested. Some of these trips I regularly pulling over to close my eyes a few minutes, when I camp a lot I get pretty tired. Just don't sleep as well, even with an inflated sleep pad. But I was well rested, ate pretty well for being on the road, kept hydrated, and felt good the entire time.

Never had a problem finding a place to sleep. Never had to spend more than was reasonable, or had to sleep in too much of a dump.

Navigating, I did pretty good. My Kurviger app brought me down really nice roads. Not efficient routes, but the goal was not efficiency. It did pick bad routes when I was ready to make time once in a while. I did struggle too with my paper maps too often, when I had no cell signal, pulling over to check my plan and location often enough to annoy myself. But in total, the few navigation "problems" were self-inflicted: a couple periods worrying too much about where I should be instead of just enjoying where I was. What is the issue of having to double back if you're on a great road? Where did I need to be?

I had basically no problems with slow vehicles in front of me, as long as I kept out of towns. Even on the Blue Ridge Parkway I mostly had no one in front of me. I did keep my speed down on it to avoid catching up with anyone slow ahead. And in Tennessee and North Carolina, cars were wonderful about pulling over to let my by. They were almost militant about it, it was crazy. And they stayed on their side of the yellow line magnificently. The drivers in the Virginias were not quite as good.

The gods did not screw with me, and I didn't cause myself many self-inflicted wounds. And the roads and land of the Appalachians were stunning.

Yeah, freaking good trip.
 

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Are those new saddlebags? I'm starting to look for a new set and those look like they would hold quite a bit of gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #46

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Thanks for taking us along on this one. The wife and I followed you from day 2. The Phone map was a real help. I got the road atlas out and followed you. Good trip and report.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Money

Thanks for taking us along on this one. The wife and I followed you from day 2. The Phone map was a real help. I got the road atlas out and followed you. Good trip and report.
Awesome other Ed! (I'm Ed too).




Randomly, this is what the trip cost me:

Lodging: $950
Food: $275
Gas: $225
Liquor stores: $140 (Knob Creek ain't cheap)
Cash (misc food, gas, etc): $150

So, $1,740 about for 15 days on the road. About $115 a day.

I was raised New England Yankee, I worry about money and I'm cheap. More than I'm wise with it. But that is a pretty inexpensive vacation. I did fret a little about spending the money on hotels for about the first third of the trip. But it finally occurred to me: this is no small deal. I remember these trips forever, they are not a small part of my life They are worth a little bit of coin.
 

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Awesome other Ed! (I'm Ed too).




Randomly, this is what the trip cost me:

Lodging: $950
Food: $275
Gas: $225
Liquor stores: $140 (Knob Creek ain't cheap)
Cash (misc food, gas, etc): $150

So, $1,740 about for 15 days on the road. About $115 a day.

I was raised New England Yankee, I worry about money and I'm cheap. More than I'm wise with it. But that is a pretty inexpensive vacation. I did fret a little about spending the money on hotels for about the first third of the trip. But it finally occurred to me: this is no small deal. I remember these trips forever, they are not a small part of my life They are worth a little bit of coin.
You'd real good to be on the road that long and only spend $1740 ,My real name its Jeff. Big Ed is my nickname or my riding name.Read all your trips , you been busy.
 

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Hi BonnieBlack. I very much enjoyed this entire thread..and now that I have buttered you up, I have a question.

I see you use Rok Straps and I am thinking I want to ditch the bungee cords starting this riding season. I travel much the same as you with a duffel bag on the seat behind me. Can you let me know how many straps and their lengths that you use? Thanks in advance. Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Thanks. I have two 1" wide straps with hooks on the end that secure the main duffel. The web strapping end is 3' long and probably another foot on the elastic end. That leaves enough to have to worry about the loose end of the webbing getting caught in the chain, need to make sure it's tucked away. The front end I attach down on the bracket for the passenger footpegs. I have loops of nylon cord around the frame at the back of my seat that I attach the rear to. It's a pretty solid setup. It does ride forward a bit on washboard roads, and I end up pushing it back some. But it works.

Then I keep several thinner lengths of rockstrap around, without hooks. Maybe 5/8" thick, 3 feet long both ends combined. They have loops on the end. I generally have the two ends connected so I can form a loop, and run those around my duffel. They hold my tentpoles and anything else I want to shove under them. I usually have some spares in my saddlebag.

A cargo net over all that is really handy.

These look like the wider ones, not sure if I found shorter ones or cut something like this down: Amazon.com: ROK Straps 18"-15ft Adjustable Tie Down w/Double Hooks 10115: Home Improvement

These could be the narrower ones, although mine are neon green so now I feel like they should all be neon green: https://www.amazon.com/ROK-Straps-ROK-10306-Black-Orange/dp/B00SXJM5MQ
 

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Thanks back to you. Very helpful as I would prefer to start with the right ones. The bag was always moving forward into my back using the bungees every time I braked. It would be nice to minimize how often I have to push it back.
WG NY.jpg
 
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