Trip Prep update

It’s focusing on the details that changes a trip from “successful” (or failure…) to “fun”… and I am an Eagle Scout… so this is just how it goes.  Its the whole “Be Prepared” thing.  The black art is doing all this on a motorcycle in equal to the space that most people have just for their cooler of beer when they go camping.

Planning:

Just about 30 days out from the trip, and far ahead of where I would need to be to ensure all the bases are covered.   This gives me a chance to shake down the setup on the bike a bit before the actual trip.

Since originally posting the map, some changes have happened.  I am now camping at CO National Monument park outside of Grand Junction on the 2nd day.   I may be making some other changes.

This takes the campsite count to 3 national parks (all of them after Labor day), and 3 federal/BLM land campsites (alternating).   Camping in a national park has some serious perks for a motorcycle rider… such as facilities like showers, water is normally somewhere to be found, and toilets.   All good things as hauling water sucks and takes up a good bit of room.  And being after Labor day should make these much less packed. (Looking at the reservation sites, few sites are reserved at all that week compared to the week before.)

I also changed from going direct from the Black Canyon to Salida, to going the long way up and through Aspen then back down.  Increasing the mileage to ~ 1500mi

Video Fun:

I figure I should catalog this trip and record bits of it for posterity and also for fun.  To do this I picked up a GoPro Motorsports Hero 1080P camera, and the assorted mounting bits.   I plan on taking 3 or 4 32GB SD cards with to record most of the trip (the riding bits).     I have 3 mounts setup for this so far:

  1. Under the nose of the bike – out front: I have a quick connect mount so I can get a POV of the front of the bike. 
  2. Helmet: Not sure how or where to mount this yet, as I have a modular helmet and the whole front flips up… makes it a little interesting to fin a place to put the camera that wont be distracting.
  3. Side or rear of the bike:  Via the big bad suction cup mount I can position the camera variousplaces around the bike easily.

Stuff to do:

  • I picked up a Battery BacPac for the GoPro which I am hacking into a hard wire setup so I can power the camera off the bike.  (battery is limited to 2 -3 hrs in the camera)  I still need to hack the case and the BacPac but I have everything ready for that.
  • Install a second USB power feed (12v to 5v).  I have the box already, just need to spice it in.
  • Go to a fishing shop and pick up some steel leaders to use as a safety strap on the GoPro incase a mount or something breaks or falls off.

Camping Gear:

I have just about everything accounted for.  I ordered the Primus Micro Lantern today, and the only bit of kit I may need at this point is a general purpose stove burner…  

I also have my Kermit camping chair in, and I have to say this is the sweetest camping chair I have ever seen.  So over engineered and stable.  I just question where it will go on the bike as weight distribution is starting to be a key factor I need to keep an eye on.

One key item/issue so far is that the average temperature for many of the campsites I will be at for a low over night will be in the 20 – 30’s.  My sleeping bag for moto camping is a 40+ bag.  So I picked up a thin fleece liner that is supposed to add up to 25F of additional insulation…  I’ll sleep dressed in layers too.

Stuff to do:

  • Pick up some IsoPropane canisters for the lantern and jet boil.
  • pick up some additional compression sacks
  • if I want to fish on the trip I’ll need something to do it with… but depending on space limits I may have to ditch that plan and focus on picking something up on the way to cook at camp.

Motorcycle Prep:

After taking the Lee Parks Total Control class, I learned the rear sag is a bit high on my bike currently.  I am talking to RaceTech to see if I can get the rear spring spacer updated… not sure yet though.

I have mounted a SW-Motec adapter plate (meant for top cases) behind the grab bar to give stability for the tent which will be mounted behind the MotoFizz cargo bag and also act as an extended mounting point for the motofizz.

Adding on a Clock, Temp Gauge, and Battery monitor unit under the wind screen to give me easy access to 3 important numbers to watch.  Why is temp important?  Because you could easily ride yourself into Hypothermia without knowing it soon enough if its rainy and cold.    I waterproofed the device this week and just need to wire it in and find a way to mount it.

I picked up some additional maintenance tools such as a better tire puncture repair kit, and CO2 inflator for the tires.   Cheap insurance to keep me on the road in the event of something trying to take me out.

I also picked up a BagsConnection map holder for on top of the tank bag.  While a GPS is great for showing you a route and where you are, its terrible for seeing the big picture… which is important for changing where you want to go on a whim.

Stuff to do:

  • Pretty much all the wiring above.  I need to pull the plastic off the bike and do a once over of the entire system and check the oil, etc…
  • Possibly ship the rear shock to RaceTech.

Other Gear:

  • I received the ACRElectronics SARLINK PLB and have it registered with NOAA.  This is a fun device I hope to never need to use.  But it is nice having it on hand even when Kate and I take car trips. 

Overall I can see this is overkill and I could go just as is and probably do fine… but the planning can be as fun as actually going on the trip.  And we all know once you leave your driveway the plan changes, and you adapt.  Which is why focusing on the details before hand comes in such handy, it makes you less dependent on a specific plan and makes you aware of what scenarios you prepared for.

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