A Journey of 1000 miles...

A Journey of 1000 miles....
won't even start if I don't get out of the yard soon!

Wow, who ever knew this would be so difficult. Grrrr. I am so far off in my estimates of how much gear I could carry, it just hurts to think of it.

Until about yesterday, I was still looking for ways to safely mount more stuff. More brackets, more bungee straps, more back packs and cases and stuff. I even did practice runs, loading stuff, taking test rides. All was going well. Then this week I started to get serious.

One major problem is I couldn't use all the gear on the practice loads, because the laptops were still being used. Well, finally today I have the last wedding actually edited, and ready to ship.

Yeah, that was going to get dropped off at the post office this afternoon, on the way out of town. Didn't happen.

Two or three times, I thought I was actually ready to go. Nope. Turns out "weight and balance" isn't just for aircraft, its also pretty important for motorcycles. Sure, I know the basics, if too much weight is too far back, you crash. If too much is on one side, you crash. Too many crashes, you get hurt.

What I wasn't really understanding, was how important WHERE the weight is loaded, when it comes time to park. Especially on this bike, apparently, because it has long suspension. When loaded, the bike sinks down. Then add me, at around 200 pounds, plus helmet, boots, riding suit, body armor, and some odds and ends. So the bike settles down pretty low now. And then when I stop and stand up, the bike starts to lift up with me. When I put the side stand down, and lean it over, at first the bike is still too low, so it won't lean. If I pull it over some more, then the suspension starts to lift up more and more, until eventually the load shifts out past the center of gravity, and the bike tries to tip over.

The really freaky part of this, is it goes gradually sometimes, just slow enough that you might turn your back and think its ok to walk away. So far I've not actually dropped the bike, but it was pretty close a few times.

Now, since I'm still on the farm, I have extra distractions. Cat fights, bugs, barking dogs. And Spotty, our old farm dog. Spotty is kind of lonely this week, all her dog friends took a trip with out her. So she's been extra needy. I like dogs, to a point. But I don't really have time for 4 hours of petting today. Anyway, eventually Spotty just lays down in the shade. The shade of my motorcycle. And of course the shady side is on the side the bike keeps trying to tip over to. Spotty is old, probably a bit deaf, and all I can think is if this 400 plus pound bike drops on her, ... well it won't be good.

Thankfully, no squashed Spotty so far!

So, my day has consisted of at least 5 complete repacking sessions on the bike. I am down to about half of the tools that I started with, I have less clothes. I have less cameras, less laptops, down to one tripod. For me, this is like choosing which child stays and which one... hmm goes to Europe or something. Its beyond just unhealthy attachment to stuff. Like the tools for example. Eventually something will break. Just accept that. With lots of tools, and some spare parts, or a nearby dealership, I can fix stuff, and save around $100 an hour in shop fees. So I like tools, and I happen to have LOTS of tools, but I had to make some deep cuts.

And then there is food. I started with chili, tuna, and protein bars, enough for probably 2 weeks. Keeping in mind, I will be passing through towns about every 3 hours for most of the trip, I really don't need to carry all this. But like everything else I've mentioned, I already bought all this. So its money wasted. And until lots of people start buying my books or something, money is still something I am aware of.

Reality is serious business. Physics and Gravity don't really care what your story is. If the bike is too heavy, it will eventually break. Or tip over, or just cost more for gas, tires, breaks, and wear me right out. The way it is lately, its almost not even fun anymore.

Tomorrow, the 23rd, I will be on the road. No more screwing around!

Stay tuned!

By Carlin Comm posted on 2012-08-22