Just Ride

Just Ride

Thursday, July 16, 2020

2020 TAT - Day 2

Day 2 is in the books... a whopping 217 miles were completed. (yes, we know, need more daily miles). It was grueling at times due to the loose gravel... always trying to keep the bike upright. Average speed today, only about 28 mph. (damn gravel - practice makes perfect.... I know there will be more gravel to come)

Not sure if you know this or not, the TAT (Trans America Trail) was created (or at least this version) by Sam Correro - he lives in TN. We'll be stopping by his house to say hello and thank him for his hard work. 

Yes, I did in fact pay for the rights to access his work for our trip - get your copy at transamtrail.com

Anyways, Sam and the TAT have been a work in progress for many years.

Direct from wikipedia:

The Trans America Trail or TAT is a roughly 5,000-mile (8,000 km) cross continent vehicular route, intended to be a way to cross the United States using a minimum of paved roads for leisure, traveled by dual-sport motorcyclesoff-road vehicle, or touring bicycle.

The trail was initially scouted by Sam Correro in 1984 who spent 12 years to assemble the route and maintains the legality of the route by only using publicly accessible roads and trails.

OK, so now you know what it is we're up to... let's get down to the D2 Details.

Our morning was filled with two things: Rain & Gravel. I guess you could mix the two and come up with something like concrete - but when you mix in motorcycles... ugh. Not as much fun. There were several  moments worth describing:
1. "Oh Shit, I can't see" - it was raining hard and we were in the clouds (mountain tops) and of course, our face shield for our helmets were constantly fogging up.
2. Riding through the farms - big and beautiful landscapes. Both Paul and I realized that we will probably describe our surroundings as 'beautiful' and 'amazing' many more times. It happened multiple times today. The last moment of the day was when we passed by Bath Alum. Just amazing. 
3. Gravel isn't really friendly to motorcycles. It takes your front tire and does whatever it wants. you need to counteract those actions or you'll be eating gravel.
4. I've been enjoying seeing/talking/waving to people. Everywhere we've been so far, people want to know what we're up to and everyone waves as we roll by. Refreshing and enjoyable to the heart.
5. CIVIL WAR - no, I'm not asking for a civil war... but we went through many many famous areas here in Virginia related to the Civil War. LOVE IT.
6. Dust.
7. Undulating & Curvy Farm Roads. I can't get enough of them.

Lunch today was at BG’s Family Restaurant. Double Bacon Cheeseburger with all the fixings. I heard my arteries scream. I ignored them as they sometimes deserve the punishment.

Great part about not having a plan - it was time to find a place to stay for the night and we got an all-in-one treat when we rode directly by The Inn at Warm Springs - Historic, Great Staff (let us wash our clothes), Great Food! Minutes away from the TAT!!! Which brings me to Dinner, Couple Bottles of Wine, Chicken Schnitzel Cordon Bleu (mouth full) with Mashed Potatoes, and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Animals and other furry creatures:
1. Many turkey vultures
2. Many doe and several baby deer literally running in front of my motorcycle
3. Dogs - Even saw a Great Pyrenees - made me miss mine... (BEST DOGS EVER)
4. One Snake (black. dead. I didn't kill it.)
5. Many Many Cows. 
6. Boer Goats
7. Horses

Something else I wanted to bring up that was the very awesome... Mountain tops and ridge lines that we were riding. Especially at the highest point today - 3,154 Feet. In the clouds, could barely see.

Mosko Moto. Quick plug - you may have noticed, both Paul and I are running Mosko Moto's luggage on our bikes. Well... literally one day before we start to ride the TAT, I noticed a tear in my right side backcountry panier. Bad Bad News for a trip like this one. I sent an email to Support at Mosko Moto. They got back to me today and are shipping my wife a new bag for me to install onto the hardware I already have. My wife is going to be meeting me in Oklahoma when we get there... so I won't have to worry anymore about this bag/tear. They've already shipped the replacement! Shout out to Mosko Moto for the great customer service! (Please note, the tear is not related to any wrecks or misuse)

More Pictures from D2:

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

2020 TAT - Day 1

Paul and I at the Start of the TAT

I can’t believe this trip has actually started. We took off from the sand in NC with the vision of landing in the sand in Oregon!!

We know that there will be challenges presented to us on a daily basis. Today's immediate challenge occurred at MILE ZERO! We wanted to put the bikes in the sand at the start of the TAT to take a picture. Well, that didn't go quite as planned. In fact, my rear tire buried itself so deep that the bike was able to stand straight up without using the kickstand. So we had to push his bike back out and then go get mine, I went in first of course... so I was further. and deeper. 

Thinking about the trip, normally you plan every step of the way (OK. That’s what I do). I don’t leave things to chance... normally. But in this case, you don’t have a choice. No plan, go with the flow. 

Some friends and I rode from tellico plains tn through the ozark mountains in Arkansas back in 2013. Essentially the first three states on the TAT (2013 version). Now it is truly a Coast to Coast adventure. Since then, I’ve switched from the KLR 650 to the venerable KTM 790 adventure R. Quite the difference! 

One should ask: why would anyone want to subject themselves to the torture and elements that an off-road, cross country motorcycle adventure would entail? 

For me, it’s simple. It’s the adventure. Yes, there will be challenges. It won’t be easy. There are certainly opportunities to injure oneself. I’ve watched many YouTube videos of the worst case scenarios. So, skills, instinct, and some luck will hopefully take me from the East Coast to the west coast. 

We had breakfast today at Bojangles - most everyone knows that we don't have Bojangles where I live, so if I get near one, I'm having a Cajun Filet Biscuit Combo with Large Sweet Tea. Lunch was at Ray Ray's Diner - which was GREAT - literally, just off the TAT. We arrived around 1:30pm, they were happy to see us and we left a big tip because COVID is ruining small businesses.

At around 3:30, we decided to pull over and find a place to rest for the evening. Camping was the goal, so I looked through multiple phone apps for local campgrounds. Found one about 45 miles away from the position we were in - there was also a Wal-Mart within 8 miles of the campground - so I gave them a call to check availability for tent campers. Fortunately, the lady from Paradise Family Campground decided to make an exception to the 'COVID laws' or whatever... she gave us a spot. So we went to Walmart, picked up some steaks, potatoes, and some seasoning.... then headed to the campground.

The decision to pull over at 3:30 was a very good one - it gave us enough time to locate/reserve spot for camping, get food, check into the campground before they closed, hop in their pool, put up tents, and cook. By the time we cleaned the dishes, it was already 8pm. It is now 9:58 - I had some work to do and I wanted to post my daily diary.

Animals and such that we had seen today: Possible Muskrat. Very tiny doe (baby) - so tiny, I thought it was a rabbit. Geese. Ducks. Fire Flies (looking at them right now through my tent).

Dinner was a bit of a challenge because we're 'getting used to the routine' and we've got equipment we haven't used before. Specifically my cooking equipment... I kept catching the picnic table on fire :)

Note the black smudge on my face from dealing with the various fire issues I was having... hahahahah.

We did end up having four great filet mignon steaks that we had to butterfly because our pan was too hot for the steaks to cook thoroughly. One major screwup - we had camp soap for cleaning the dishes, we did not have anything to scrub the dishes... so Paul decided we could use dirt as an abrasive to wash the dishes. it worked.

We completed 298 Miles today... our butts were definitely sore. Guess it'll take some getting used to. We've still got about 5,500 miles to go??

Here are some more pictures from Day One. 

Made it to the Virginia Line!

Our Campsite

The View from above our campsite (taken with a drone)

We went from the east coast in Nags Head, NC to Spout Spring, VA

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

TAT 2020 - Day Zero

It’s been a long long time coming. This year has been quite the roller coaster. Wasn’t sure this thing was going to happen. Many years of planning, two different motorcycles, different riding partners- many different shake out trips. 

I’m very fortunate that my wife is allowing me to take on this dream. I’m very fortunate that our business is doing well enough that two of the three business partners are able to go on this trip. John... we wish you were with us! Speaking of, I am very fortunate to have such great business partners!!

We’ve got a looming project that may be kicking off soon... lots of unknowns. We may get halfway across the United States and need to come back... we just don’t know. But that is all included in this adventure. 

Hang tight, come on the ride virtually with us... we will post pictures and video. I’ve even brought a drone to capture some of the amazing places we will visit. 

This is day 0. 

306 miles, from stoneville, nc to kill devil hills, nc. 

Craziest thing that happened today, Paul was hit in the head by a turkey vulture while riding. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

2020 TAT - Day -1

Today is day negative 1. 

We left from brooksville, Florida at 7:30. 11 hours later, bikes are unloaded and ready. 

Steak dinner tonight with Paul and Dad. Early to bed, heading to cape hatteras and kitty hawk tomorrow!!

2020 TAT tracker

You can track us on this app. It’ll show you where we’ve been and where we are at in near real time!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Bike is packed and everything is installed

Paul and I just completed four hours of wrenching on the bikes. Installed two sets of crash bars and a bash plate on Paul’s bike. (Mine was already installed)

We are ready!! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Trans America Trail

It’s been a long time coming... I’ve been dreaming of this trip since 2012. Very soon, Paul, one of my business partners, and I will embark on the trip of a lifetime!

We will start on the beach in North Carolina and end on the beach in Oregon. Estimates of about 6,700 miles will have clicked off on the odometer before we get to the beach in Oregon!

We had a small test run back in May with John, the third owner of our company. More updates will be posted soon