Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2009
Stopping by my storage unit to drop off camping gear and pick up clothes for work. Victory!
Back in my old hood! Grabbed a charger at a Verizon store I know and stopped for dinner. Gonna spend tonight and tomorrow at Larry's place since Christina is in FL still. Wow basically all done with this trip! Maybe ten miles more, just under 3100 total. Cant wait to play with the real gps data from the data logger!

okay it's cold!

In the 30's and thus well below freezing at 75mph. At least it's sunny! I am finally feeling the cold, actually caught myself shivering a couple times! Even though it's colder than most of the hard times I has westbound I'm holding up much much better, thanks to my gear (I should get north face to sponsor me haha). One thing that's starting to worry me is that I am almost home (300 miles or so) and am starting to 'check out.'. I read this great book awhile back by survival expert Laurence Gonzalez and his main point about 'accidents' (usually mistakes) is that they almost always happen on the way home from something, once the 'danger' is past. Whether it's climbing a mountain or a boat trip you stop thinking about where you are and what is around you and start thinking about being home. I blame this for my only 'major' motorcycle accident - after 8 hours of heavy hiking I was riding home and not paying attention at all. When I

Yay warmth and dryness!

I stopped for the night just north of Manning, South Carolina. It was getting really cold (34 degrees currently) and I was holding up quite well - except for my hands! That hand dryer at the gas station helped out a lot but still didn't quite get 'em dry, and I could definitely feel it at below freezing with wind chill. I made it around 50 miles with it getting progressively colder and slowly curling my fingers up more and more until I decided that I didn't need to make a thing out of it - whatever there was to prove today, I already did it through the rain. Tomorrow will be cold enough! So I'm holed up in a Super 8 chillin' and finishing off the day. I laughed when I took all my gear off, because everything I was wearing on my torso took up all the hangars in the closet! Under armor, north face fleece, thermal, sweat shirt, north face puffy jacket, north face soft shell ski jacket... haha. On the bottom I've got my boxers, thermals, sweat pants, and my

I beat the rain!

So after just over 220 miles the rain finally stopped. I am just south of Savannah GA and celebrated by stopping for some food and to wring out my gloves. They are totally soaked and my hands are freezing yet again as a result. I figure after I gas up here I'll shoot for another hundred then call it when it gets dark - wet gloves + below freezing is a bad idea no matter how cool I think I am! Oh one other issue - my phone is almost dead and I'm fairly certain I left my charger in a motel room a few days back. Woops! So I'm keeping it turned off and only checking it when I need to, should be able to milk it a couple days that way. Updates via Blackberry mostly for now then!
Made it about 80 miles and spotted a wal mart. Stopped to grab some stuff - all my gear except my gloves is holding up.

Ugh rain!

So I was planning on heading east to Jacksonville then up the coast on 95 to avoid going into any mountains/etc. Problem: That red line is roughly the direction of travel... looks like rain all day. I can actually handle rain okay from a gear perspective, but combined with the cold and dealing with the risks of traffic/etc. and highway speed (I know from experience that people don't slow down in FL)... gonna be a bit of a pain. So I'm keeping an eye on the weather map and being slow to leave this morning and considering maybe going an alternate route - but pretty much all of those get me way too cold. Alas. Either way it's gonna be an adventure...
Raining. Great! Gonna sleep in a bit and hope it clears up some.
Stopped I dont know where in Florida at a small road stop with a couple motels gas stations and a Dennys. 608 miles, the last few hundred of which were quite cold. Pretty happy with the day overall!
Coffee and fuel just north of New Orleans. LA is pretty neat to drive through so far - huge stretches of elevated highway through swamps and lots of high bridges over bodies of water. It is good fun. Unfortunately I am much more sore today and really feeling the distance now. Still even for a fast ride I am seeing a lot of cool places and neat parts of the country!
Woke up to a bike covered in frost, but at least it is sunny out! Leaving Jennings LA shortly!
Having dinner in some town in Texas I think maybe Baytown? Stopped for gas and a break them gonna push on into LA.
Stopped for lunch in Junction TX - Yum!
According to spec I have a 3.4 gallon tank. Scary. Almost had a fun adventure on that one!

1100 miles in two days...

All in all, everything is going well so far. Breaking the camera for the time-lapse setup was an early disappointment, but at least I'm still having a ton of fun. 700 miles yesterday, 400 today. Here's what's working great: - My cold weather gear is still holding up! Most of today was in the 50's and 40's and I didn't really have problems. This is pretty key, since it will determine how comfortable I am the last few days of the trip especially. The important thing is that the same temps that were making me miserable before are merely slightly uncomfortable now - so hopefully the worst I encounter this trip will just be *slightly* miserable. Better than always miserable! - The Blackberry GPS is tracking my location properly this time around, but all day today had problems getting a data signal to upload the data to the tracking site. I'm starting to think it may be a problem with the Blackberry, I'll check it next time I am somewhere I expect I re
What does this tell you about a town...
This struck me as a very Texas kind of thing!
Starting off the day really late but since I made 700 miles yesterday I will be okay. Not even sure where I'm heading yet!
Mixed feelings on the interstate - I am making great time (302m in 5h37m so far) but it is really exhausting riding at 90+ mph for extende periods of time. At least I will easily make Tucson today and might even push it further.
And this would be why the camera is not working!
Well I am in Arizona, just past Yuma - the dunes there are awesome. Unfortunately my time lapse rig stopped working within 100 miles of starting. Just turns right back off. Guess there was just too much vibration, sucks.
Hitting the road to Tucson!
Jack in the box does something pretty neat out here. They have fully automated touch screen kiosks in every store where you can easily punch up what you want, swipe a card (or pay cash) them grab your stuff. I am surprised more places dont do this but it is a basic piece of future tech that is sure to spread.

New toys for this trip!

Another key thing I'm doing different this time - more toys! Everyone enjoyed the GPS tracking via Blackberry last time, but it cut out often and chewed battery like crazy, and simply wasn't reliable for post-trip data analysis. If you know me, you know I'm a bit of a data freak - at the very least I love to have it, and I love to play with it. So I decided I want more data this time. Thus, I've got some new toys and some new processes in place to make things interesting. These include: Genie BGT-31 GPS Datalogging Device: This is basically the best personal GPS datalogger you can buy, with impressive accuracy and batter life. Every 1s for the entire trip, it will log my GPS position, altitude, heading, and speed. I can use this data for a much more detailed recording of my route and tie it in to geotag photos from the trip. Canon PowerShot A590IS Digital Camera: I picked this up for $130 at Best Buy the other day. I already have a few cameras, but what makes

Soon it begins again!

Alas, my time here in La Jolla is nearly up. It's been a fantastic stay but it's time to return to DC and start things back up again. For a long time, I planned to fly home and have the V-Max shipped back to me - but a couple weeks ago while I was out for a ride I realized I needed to ride it back. It's not often you get an opportunity to do something like this. This time is going to be a bit different than last time. If you're following, expect at a minimum these differences: 1. I only have 9 days to run approximately 3000 miles, vs 17 last time. In order to average 333 miles a day, it means I'm going to have to stick to the Interstate for more of the trip. The unfortunate fact of the backroad highways is that they take more time to get places while covering more distance. 2. I'm going to need to ride for around 7 hours a day to cover the ground I need initially, which means considerably less time meandering and going down random side roads to see cool th