Last Minute

KLaRa has passed inspection and has her new tags. I put on the new brakes and rotors, chain and sprockets and learned some things about my new bike. I feel confident about pulling it apart and doing my own maintenance. I discovered that I still need to do a couple things. The clutch will need to be replaced before I cross the border and I’ve got to get loctite on a bunch of bolts.
I think that’s going to get done in San diego.. Maybe the desert… we’ll see.

I am running out of time to get things done.. Its been hard due to my frenetic work schedule. I only have Sundays free… I’m making mistakes. I sheared a bolt today trying to remove the luggage rack.
I’ll have to figure out how to get that bugger out of there. I’ve got three choices, I can “tap” it out, I can drill it out or I can heat the connection and try to twist it out. I’ll try heat first.. then plan B, drill it.
I’m making the racks from the existing tube steel that is there now. I think they’re just plastic protectors, but it’s steel and bolts, so it should work. Fingers crossed.

The reason I took off the racks was to get to the bolts that hold the seat on. I very sincerely hope that I never have to take the seat off again. 8 bolts to get that sucker off.
I took the seat off because I had to make it lower…. normally you BUY a seat or you have your seat shaved by a Professional.

I took on the task after watching a You tube video. I’m practically an expert…

I have something to admit.
It didn’t look reeeaal pretty when I got done with it BUT a friend gave me a sheepskin for my butt and that made it all better. Here’s how it went… kind of.

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I have some advice for you. DO NOT do this on your couch… unless of course, it’s  4 degrees below Zero and blowing 35 Mph outside. like today.

Pretty much anywhere else would be a better place.

Tip #2. If you remove material from the seat, it seems logical that you would need less covering material…

IMG_0023IMG_0024IMG_0025Not so. The fabric didn’t stretch in the way I thought it might. I’m glad I don’t have to sell it tomorrow. There’s probably someone in South America that has better seat upholstering skills than I.

Another thing I’m trying to do is get T-shirts ready before I leave, I’m not sure if that’s really going to happen.

Check out some of the designs I have in mind:

L2F2RGet High1Go Far

The first is Shirt front.. The other two go on the back vertically. The shirts will be black.

I’m hoping to get my shopping cart up soon.. It’s fighting for time with my racks and load out.

I have most of my paperwork done, I’ve got an issue with my health insurance.. so I’m sorting that out. I still need to get a Yellow Fever shot, hit the dentist office, winterize my camper and  other motorcycle and make sure I know where all my paperwork is. I have yet to load out the bike..    even one time.

Fortunately, there’s still plenty of rum and beer in the house.

Closer….

I’m in the last month before my trip. It’s going to have to be a super sober couple weeks until I get to Denver for Thanksgiving where I can relax with my family for a couple days. Until then, I’m going to need every bit of energy to get organized and prepared for the trip. 

I took the bike in for inspection… which it failed. I have to put on new brakes and rotors, chain, sprockets and replace a taillight. 

The side bags and GPS have been donated by EOD brothers. I’m still looking for a set of used racks to mount the bags.  Image

The rest of the parts shoud be here this week.. hoping I can get the work done before Friday, get the bike back in the shop and get it permanently registered. That done, I can focus on planning stops and getting hard copy maps together. I’m working on getting a backup wing and harness “Just in Case”

I have flown only once this Summer and am dying a little bit. My entire soul is craving flight but I’ve been working twelve hour days 5-6 days a week and cant break away… getting a good day to fly is a little more of a gamble anyway being on the East Coast. This Sunday was blown out with 35 mph gusts… sure, I could have traveled 4 hours but, that’s an 8 hour day just in travel.. 

Riding has been hit and miss.. being so close to the Baltimore/ DC area, the traffic is brutal, but once away from the crowds, it is spectacular two-lane and dirt trails. The season is quickly coming to a close and the AM roads are sometimes icy in spots.

This afternoon is blue and crisp.. it seems like it would be a perfect day to ride, but I’ve been putting off a required maintenance on Annecy for about 1500 miles and have to use my free day to get in the shop and knock it out. That and laundry..

I’m also building the spreadsheets for my gear load out.. I’m modifying a couple lists that I found on ADV Rider.

THE MOST important thing.. My music and audiobooks for the long ride across country. I’m going to be hammering out 700+ miles every day and know it’s going to be a bit of a slog getting to the left coast.

I’m going to be totally dry out of cash when I return in April. I am planning to sell the KLR in Chile, but that sounds harder and harder each time I talk to someone… I know its been done in the Free Trade Zones but there are some quirky rules around it.. Will have to play all this by ear. If I make it through the trip without any damaged gear, I’ll sell one of the paragliding setups also.. Maybe that would be a good Chile sale too? Hmmmm.

Details done. How’s it going spiritually? My heart is a little tender. I love what is happening in my life right now.. I’ve met someone that I adore about two months ago at a Jazz club in DC and its been mostly ponies and roses since then.. except for me leaving.  We DO have plans to meet up in Panama for the boat crossing to Colombia and hope that will be enough. Of course, planning meetings like this is difficult at best, not knowing of what kind of challenges might arise… I wish I could just go NOW. The waiting is hard.

Ahhhh, Life.. you always make things so interesting.

Starting over

Forgive me friends, it’s been a while since my last post.. I confess that I’ve been preoccupied with a few things.

Firstly, the Kickstarter did not kickstart. I was a little down about that for a while, but I’ve rebounded and am making preparations for my solo trip.

I have bought my traveling bike which is a KLR650. green. I got it in Ohio from another ADV rider http://www.advrider.com/

It was 2k which I thought was a fair price for the bike and it seems to be in good condition. It still needs some hard bags and a tank bag as well as some beefy pegs and possibly highway bars if I can find them cheap…

I’m also on the lookout for a good GPS.

I’m about to give notice at work and get saddled up.

My boots are tapping.. I’m far antsier than I’ve ever been before a trip. It is abysmally hard to stay focused, I’m under the impression I’m making a good show of it though. What helps is riding my new moto every day… Rain or shine.  1391952_1399802193585307_1046694459_n

I’m finding out WHY so many people love this bike! It’s a dirt machine. And it’s not too bad on the road, but where my Beemer loves the mountain twisties and long open stretches of desert blacktop, This KLR wants gravel, rocks, turf and obstacles. For the price and it’s ability, I can’t think of a better choice.

The only thing that keeps eating me is the ever present work worry. I have no solid prospects of what I’ll do upon my return and have committed to being present for the Overland expo 2014 in May. http://www.overlandexpo.com/ I’ve sent a presenter request and hope to be a part of the show!!

I’m getting some T-shirts and stickers together to sell in the site here as well as the coins… They’re great and will help me keep the show rolling.. Hopefully buy some time on the back end to get a short video together and finish writing this book.. At least get it some momentum.

I’ll get some pictures posted up of the new ride in the next couple days, see you back here soon!!