Skip to content

July 31, 2010

26

100 Days of Bikes, Boots, and Blogs

Share

I’m at the halfway point of Phase 1 of Brian’s World Destination Travel Plan.  I just made that title up, needs some work.  Still 100 days and a little under 12,000 miles have turned under my tires since leaving Texas in April.  Speaking of which I have much needed NEW TIRES on my V-Strom!!!  Woohoo for that.

I’m writing this in Homer Alaska which is as far west as you can drive so it works as a symbolic halfway point as well.  The itinerary I laid out way back when must have been a good one since I’ve followed it this whole time.  I really enjoyed the desert scenery I started out in and have been in our near mountains since leaving Utah.  I vaguely remember temperatures in the 90’s back in Big Bend and I’ve maybe had two days in the 80s since then.  It’s been any two of windy, cool, or wet since then.

Instead of (under)delivering with an elaborate and romaticized reflection I’m simply going to list out some of the highs and lows of the trip.  My Gear Page has details on most of these items, or leave me a comment if you are curious about any of them.

Best Things

Picture –  This travertine pool in the Mammoth Springs area of Yellowstone.

Camping Gear – My sleeping bag.  I debated between my 45 and 15 degree bags before leaving.  Many times I’ve been grateful I went with the 15 degree bag.  I’ve only been hot a couple times and its been fully zipped, mummied, and me layered inside plenty of times.

Riding Gear – All of it has worked well, but I’m going to have to go with my rain suit.  Not an item I gave any thought to since it was a set of Helly Hansen pants and jacket that I already had.  Only one rainfall has gotten in and I’ve worn it more often than not since Wyoming on and off the bike.  The pants go over my riding pants (with my boots on) and the jacket goes under the bike jacket.  I can also put my backpack under the jacket for hikes.  I recommend buying a size big for these reasons.

On The Bike – Despite my recent troubles I’m still going to have to go with my original tires, Avon Distanzia.  They lasted almost 14,000 miles and got me through all types of terrain.  I switched to Michelen Apree 2s on my set since they are better in the rain and I expect plenty more of that on the way home.  It will be an interesting comparison and I’ll go back to the Avon’s if I’m not happy.

Honorable mention goes to the Teva Dry Bag which has been an awesome bag for the back seat.

Clothing – Thermal Underwear.  Warm and small to pack.  Great for layering on days where the weather changes and sleeping in for cold nights.  Don’t leave home without them.

Rides – The 60 miles from Carcross British Columbia to Skagway Alaska.  Stunningly gorgeous scenery.  There are a few twists and turns, especially on the Alaskan side.  I hardly had a chance to enjoy them since I kept pulling over to oogle at the sights.

Gorgeous Scenery from Carcross to Alaska

Close

Gorgeous Scenery from Carcross to Alaska

 

Sites – If could go back to spend the day starting at a single place it would be Bryce Ampitheater in Bryce Canyon Utah.  Absolutely unique landscape and you can walk 360 degrees around it seeing new views from every angle.

Unique – The Watson Lake Sign Post Forest edges out Tinkertown here simply because it revolves around travel and people living out their dreams.

Surprise – A bit general, but I’m giving it to New Mexico.  I enjoyed every day here and rarely did the same thing two days in a row.  A variety of sites to see and reasonable distances between them.

Worst Things

Camping Gear – Tent.  Mainly my fault for storing it in my attic, but it’s been a fight from day one to keep it waterproof.  Life has improved significantly since getting a good tarp in Missoula.

Two Jack Camp

Close

Two Jack Camp

 

Riding Gear – Steel toed work boots.  Not keeping the water out and not as comfortable to walk in as I’d hoped.  I’ve started wearing my hiking boots on most rides unless I know I’m going to be off road.  It sucks having to pack a pair of boots while riding.  Will definitely look for a more all-in-one solution down the road.

On The Bike – No major complaints here so I’ll go with the horn.  Great when it works, but I have to make sure it beeps every ride.  Once it does it’s good for the rest of the ride.  Again probably my fault since I’ve had to repair it after a drop.

Clothing – My GoLite soft shell jacket.  Not great at anything and not versatile enough to make up for that.  Doesn’t block the wind or keep rain out, only one pocket, and no hood.  The liner for my motorcycle jacket is worn much more often.

Rides – Wow, this one it tough.  I’m going to have to say getting stuck on I-90 through Montana more than once.  They need more two lane east-west roads.

Sites – Tuba City, Arizona.  I went here because of the name.  Tried to find something to do when I got there an ended up doing a 200 mile loop without success.  I should have kept right on to Page.

Unique – Stonehenge II in Texas.  Don’t go out of your way to get here.

Without a doubt the trip has been more good than bad and there is plenty more to go.  Hope you’ve been enjoying the trip as well.  If so tell you’re friends and let them see what the world has to offer as well.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nick
    Jul 31 2010

    Brian,
    Your site is great and really inspirational.
    Your tips come in handy for my trips in Europe and Africa as well so keep up the good work.

    Keep safe. 🙂

    Reply
    • Aug 16 2010

      Thank you very much Nick. Glad you’re enjoying. Sorry about the break lately, but I’m back on it now.

      Reply
  2. Aug 2 2010

    I’d second that rain gear, while my motorcycle trip was only about 1,200 miles the rain gear was by far invaluable, that along with earplugs and sunblock.

    Reply
    • Aug 16 2010

      I finally had to break out my sunscreen again the last few days. It’s been fantastic! So happy to see the sun return and to have stars at night again!

      Reply
  3. Shelby Hudgens
    Aug 2 2010

    Have a safe trip home and hopefully we’ll talk soon. I’m thinking about taking the family to Yellowstone now that I have seen some of your pics.

    Reply
    • Aug 16 2010

      Yellowstone is fantastic for a family. Guaranteed good wildlife encounters and sites you can’t see elsewhere. Any idea on when you are looking at going?

      Reply
      • Shelby Hudgens
        Aug 24 2010

        No firm date established. It’ll probably be next summer

        Reply
  4. Brian
    Aug 4 2010

    Brian

    Take a look at Redhead Ironhorse boots at Bass Pro.
    They’re “duty” style boots… side zipper… waterproof membrane. They’ve kept my feet dry on this trip (in Anchorage now) we must have passed somewhere along the way! :o)

    They’ve got good soles for off trail traction… tall enough for ankle protection on the bike… so far so good!

    anyhoo… I’ve been happy with the performance of these boots so far… and the only ones I have along… plus they’re priced pretty low compared to Bates or some others

    Brian

    Reply
  5. Brian
    Aug 5 2010

    OK… forget what I said ’bout those boots… three days of rain… after two months of use… and waterproof is NOT what they are :o(

    Reply
    • Aug 16 2010

      Thanks for the update. I was given a few ideas at the Horizon’s Unlimited meeting this weekend. I’ll be looking into them further and reporting on what I come up with. Hope your trip was a blast!

      Reply
  6. Aug 25 2010

    Great round up. I still haven’t got my head round what an amazing journey you’re taking on. Kudos.

    Reply
    • Aug 26 2010

      Parts of the trip keep changing for me so it must be hard for others to keep up 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  7. Aug 27 2010

    Sounds like it’s going really well. I loved Bryce Canyon when I went as a kid. And I keep hearing about how great BC is so I’m not surprised you found it so beautiful.

    Reply
    • Aug 28 2010

      Absolutely, I’m having a blast. Hope you are too across the pond.

      Reply
  8. Aug 27 2010

    Awesome post…great info! Much better than the emotional stuff! You make me want to get out on the open road and ride!!!

    Reply
    • Aug 28 2010

      Thanks for the feedback Sherry. Too bad we’ll just miss each other next month 🙁

      Reply
  9. Aug 29 2010

    Hi! Found your blog through a friend (Anil – @foxnomad on Twitter). My husband and I are traveling the country as well – though we’re in a Winnebago and our trip is all about finding fun things to do with our dogs. I’m inspired by your trip – we’ve discussed how seeing the country would be an even more incredible experience if you were right there in it, like you are on a bike. I’ll be following along – you just never know when we might get the chance to try it the way you’re doing it.

    Reply
    • Aug 29 2010

      Sounds great Amy! Traveling with dogs would have it’s own rewards, but can limit you at times too. I passed on my dog to my parents before my last trip in 2006 and never got her back. Great to know where she is and loved so I can go visit her. Good luck with your decision whichever way you go.

      Reply
  10. Mama Setz
    Sep 1 2010

    It would be fun to travel with your dog, but I am thankful that Sydney is here with us.

    Reply
  11. Sep 20 2010

    I’ll stay tuned for more stuff..have you in my favorites right beside Moira..(firehorserider)

    Reply
  12. Oct 14 2010

    wow.. that’s one amazing journey. I can’t help but be jealous! Some beautiful scenery that you have captured through your journey. I will look forward to seeing a lot more.

    Reply
    • Oct 17 2010

      Thanks, looks like you are finding some beautiful scenes in India. Can’t wait till I get to make it there too!

      Reply
  13. Mar 9 2011

    I can only imagine how many sets of tires you are going to go through. I have a hard time getting around on planes and you are doing it on a bike. Happy safe travels.

    Reply
  14. Just found your site and love it! What an adventure this must have been for you. Can’t imagine riding around on a big motorbike and camping wherever your heart fancies. That’s pretty gnarly! Cheers, Brian!

    Reply
  15. May 15 2011

    Nice photos!
    Is that hammock in the background yours? I did a shorter trip and this was absolutely essential. It was all I needed for a good night’s sleep.

    Reply

Share your thoughts, post a comment.

(required)
(required)

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments