Productive Weekend!

Well, in addition to all of my flight arrangements, emails, phone calls and 12 hour days at work, I managed to get 4-5 more prints up on TerraWolf and get a pretty good stab at a major site makeover. Feel free to peruse the new look of the site at

There’s still quite a bit to do there, and quite a bit of html to write into it, but the hard part, basically, is done. Now it’s just the -tedious- part… writing help&information documents. Somewhere in the middle of this, I’ll of course be doing the fun part.. preparing and posting awesome photos of… well, everything.



10 Days…

Soooo last night, after some gyrations between myself, Garmin, and my desktop, I told Misty about the trip. All my routes, waypoints, and maps have been finalized, downloaded to the unit and posted up online on the routes page. Huzzah!

Everything I needed except the highway pegs have been recieved. Huzzah!

Tire decision has been made, and I’ll have a set of Annakee’s put on Wednesday. Huzzah!

Had an interesting reflection on the way to work that was partially related to a conversation I had with someone earlier… but this trip was planned, conceived, and thrown together as a single man, and it feels strange doing it as a not-quite-single-man-anymore man. Born of an idea to just -ride- it remains just that… but.. well. Just finding myself wishing I had more room on the back, and someone else had time. Probably for the best though, there’s going to be some LONG days on the back. On the plus side, I think the Gypsy will be as addicted to riding as I am, all the signs are there… so it looks promising for future two-bike trips 🙂 She’s just gotta learn how to ride….

All that said, I’m beyond ready to go… nervousness has been replaced by excitement… and the rush of realising that a few months worth of prep is about to be synthesized into a wonderfully fun summer. Assuming my tusch holds up, of course, but looks like it won’t be a problem, if it is, it will go away after I get to Bill Mayer Saddles in Ojai.

Best regards….


Two Weeks…. Three Orders.


Countdown: 15 days, 8 hours, 47 minutes, and 3 seconds remaining!

Well, I’m down to the last 3 things on my list, and all 3 have been ordered. I got sick of it raining inside my left side bag, so I ordered a few packs of desiccant (silica gel for the uninitiated) to toss in my bags and keep things nice and dry. Second, being relatively unimpressed by the camp foods that I tried, and remembering being rather impressed by the MRE’s I’ve had, I ended up ordering a case of MRE’s from the source… will probably toss 5-6 of them in the hard cases for legs 2, 3, and 4… better than bland alfredo and crunchy beans. Anything else, I’ll just buy there, ya know? The last piece was a pair of highway pegs for the hepco-becker bags, to keep my legs from sliding off the heads when I’m relaxing.

Now it all just needs to make it here before 7pm, Tuesday, May 8…

You know, it’s kind of funny, but it just hit me… next week is my pre-trip maintenance. The last oil change before I leave, fresh plugs, fresh tires, and a good once-over from stem to stern. The Friday following, my last ride to work before I leave. Monday night, I’ll be packing the bike. Tuesday night, I ride to work fully loaded. And Wednesday morning, after some chicken fried steak and eggs at work…. I’m gone. I can do the math in my head… how many hours left… 369 hours. Tick.. tock… tick… tock…



Not a bad ride…

Had a great little ride today, first in a week since I blew out my back last weekend. Feeling pretty good, and I wasn’t about to miss 70+ degrees. A little sore, but nothing major. Looking forward to a longer ride tomorrow… down past Madison to my favorite stretch of road.

Here’s a little picture of a pit stop today up on Skyline…. was a nice little trip, but for today’s purposes, only a turnaround. Had to head to Winchester to pick up more supplies for the trip… and a hard drive to back up the laptop, just in case. I tell you, I can’t wait…



Exciting drudgery…

Well, don’t I feel productive today.

Made my appointment for the Wednesday before I leave… 18k service at Morton’s. New tires expected by then…. I’d like to kick off with fresh tread if I can. I’m still not decided yet on whether to stick with TKC’s or not… at least for months 1 and 2.. who knows.

I also got some artwork from Martin for TerraWolf biz cards. Been playing around and straining my photoshop knowledge both doing that and remaking my watermarks to indicate the new logo and text style. Doing digital darkroom on photos is one thing. Creating stuff out of whole cloth is not my forte’… unless it deals with roleplaying 🙂 That being said, I have some nice crops to work with from my Glastonbury arsenal.. and the front side is almost good-to-go. I would love to have them before I leave….

Ya know, one of these days, I might even get some more photos prepped and uploaded! Imagine THAT!



The Shakedown…..

This weekend was the official shakedown ride testing the equipment and packing methods. With the exception of the caribiners, everything is working exactly as expected. Of course, first, you must consider the expectations….

The aerostitch waterproof bags were indeed waterproof. The stroke of brilliance with the caribiners was useful to hold the bags in place while I secured with my cargo webbing, although there is too much play to use them with the rubber straps by themselves. I’d rather not have a shifting load, however, so… the webbing is mandatory. At least I don’t have to go with the full strap setup.

The downside, I didn’t really expect the waterproofing to work on the tripod bag… and it didn’t. There was some water ingress, although not as much as I expected. It was still wet inside, and the outer shell was soaked to the bone.

The triple-strap setup on the pelican case worked fine. I may, in fact, ditch the short-length strap in the inline axis. It’s awfully hard to secure around the case, just a hair (by 2-3″”) too short for ease of use, and harder still to get into the tie slots. With two cross-straps running left to right, suitably tight, and my case lock… it should be fine.

Pelican case itself? Performs exactly as advertised. I have electronics, chargers, and my long lens, and my clothes for padding… liberating my side cases for tools, cookware, riding gear,
first aid, etc.

Short version: Equipment all working as expected, and the equipment side of things is fully complete… with the brief sundry exception of eating utensils.

Next phase, simple supplies. Toiletries, food, jolly ranchers, yadda, yadda, yadda… blessedly short, fast, and above all… CHEAP! :=)

Last step will be the maintenance… soon enough. I’m basically, in a nutshell, ready…



A stroke of genius…

I realized at some point last week that undoing my massive ratcheted strap to get inside my pelican case was going to be a pain in the butt on the road, particularly if I am storing a lens in there that I may want to get my hands on at some point, so I got the brilliant idea to secure the pelican with a few of those huge rubber tarp straps. While I was picking them up, I looked to the left, and saw the point of brilliance..

D-rings. Caribeaners. Not the climbing grade ones, but nice ones nonetheless. A few more of those rubber straps, a dozen or so of those, and I can distribute the majority of the soft, cushy BACKREST type loads (pillow, sleeping bag, etc) directly behind my seat, and not only make it easy on, easy off… but keep access to the pelican fast and easy…

Now all I need to do is figure out where I -really- want to put my extra gas…. instinct says on top of the right hardcase… away from the tailpipe. Reality says… plenty of protection on the left, no worries…. and all your basics will be in the right case. Who knows.

At some point in the next week or so… probably this weekend… I need to put all this to the test and do a shakedown run. Pack everything, go for a ride. We’ll see what comes out the other side. I guess that means getting my tankbag installed… ugh.

More next time…

Best laid plans…

Well, nothing seems to go as planned, but this one worked out rather nicely. At least, for a plan that should have taken 30 minutes turning into a “finish at sundown” task…

Seems BMW builds some awfully tight tolerances on some of their plastic bits… so I ended up cruising into town to find a dremel. No such animal in Front Royal, hardwar store was closed, so I got some craftsman dremel bits from Kmart and grabbed my DeWalt… let me tell you… trying to get a 12v DeWalt cordless into a 3 inch opening and grind plastic isn’t easy. Nor is running out of juice in both batteries…. maybe I should use it more? I ended up grabbing my favorite pocketknife.. a Winchester that Logan got for me for Christmas… and finishing the job by shaving plastic cut by cut.

After bolting everything up… man, those tolerances were TIGHT… turns out there’s a bit of pretension on everything… my new cargo rack is solid as bloody rock. Hurray!

Well, time for more coffee here. And Bones just started… so I think I’ll watch…

Wolf Tours ’07

35 days. 5 weeks.

That is all that remain before kicking of my first major cross-country motorcycle trek. The inexorable march of time presses onward as the work piles onto the diligently decimated stacks of tasks, phones calls, supply runs, and bike maintenance. This afternoon, the last of the major ‘changes’ to Misty is complete, and the GS will be one maintenance, one inspection, and possibly one tire away from being officially ready.

As for myself, well, I’m still working on routing, bike drop arrangements, routing, routing, and more routing.

Nothing like hitting a bit of writer’s block, but sufficeth to say… this is going to be fun :=)

Now, off to install the supports for my cargo rack…