Gallimaufry is a miscellany, a hodgepodge of things and that's what I have today. The list of future blog entries I'd like to post has now become longer than my life expectancy--seriously! So, today's entry is a melange of things, each of which I once felt warranted separate entries, probably doesn't.
Just in case you, dear readers, friends and family, have not read enough here and/or had your fill of me blabbing (and who really hasn't?) about my amazing journey around Lake Superior, there is more... Super journalist and photographer Brent Miller of Sojourn Chronicles interviewed me following the trip. I've been remiss in not mentioning it here. So, for those who did not get an email or forum announcement about the podcast, here it is. I've been told Brent did a great job of making me sound interesting. After listening, hang around Miller's site to take in some great writing and beautiful photography.
Iron Butt Rally (IRB)--11,000 miles in 11 days!
These are my people! The 2007 IRB rally ended last week. I followed it daily and absentmindedly didn't even think of going to the start and finish point (Chicago) to get a close look at these long distance riders. Sitting behind my computer screen, I read the daily ride reports and longed to be among them. Drama galore! I was particularly interested in following the solo women riders--who all did extremely well. Visit the site, read the daily reports and check out the final results. The daily reports (way too many final drive failure on the BMW R1200GS bikes??), will keep you reading to the end.
BMW F800ST (My future bike)
The June 2007 issue of Rider magazine names the BMW F800ST as the best sport tourer of 2007! Now, the October issues does another piece on this "Bavarian on a Budget," Beemer. The budget part is a joke given that the base price is $10,475. I guess for serious Beemer buyers that is considered cheap. Still, I've added some of the "must-have" items for this bike and the price leaped over $13,000--not counting taxes and those other things they tack on. I'm guessing I need a good $14,000 for a new one. My test ride on the F800ST was all good!
What worked, what didn't...
A blog on gear and equipment that helped or hindered my recent trip is probably still in the future....Here's the gist: my TourMaster Transition jacket did not work! It kept me comfy; I stayed warm, cool and dry and perhaps that's all one should ask. The color, a silver number with a tightly weave texture, got dirty way too early in the 11 day trip. By day three, I looked tacky. I spent too many evenings in a hotel, trying to clean it. A different color or taking my Kilimanjaro jacket would have be much better. I will not travel with a tripod again. I ended up mailing it back home, along with the camping gear.
I like camping. I don't like camping after 300 miles of riding. By the end of each day, I'd had enough of nature and the elements. By then, I've talked myself silly chatting with friendly natives. By nightfall, I need privacy, clean sheets, a toilet and very hot shower. Despite warnings to the contrary, I traveled again without hotel reservations (I mean, how am I going to know how much I want to ride on a give day?). I've learned it is best to call before 6pm--you will find a place.
When you ride where sand is omnipresent, you are bound to be caught on precarious ground that requires your absolute attention at all times. But when the scenery is magnificent, your attention can be momentarily distracted, which is enough to create your own personal adventure. Once, I pulled over to take a picture and the transition from the road to the shoulder, which I'd been doing a lot on the big trip, this time was sandier than I expected. The front tired caught the edge of the road and tipped beyond center. I caught it and held on for dear life as it lowered near the ground. I held on, looking around, wondering what's next. I would have had no problem had the bike not been loaded with luggage. When I couldn't hold it any longer, couldn't upright it, I had to gently place it down. Lesson: even lightweight bikes when fully loaded are heavy. And, sand is not your friend when you're on a street bike.
Nolan 102 n-com Helmet
I love this helmet. But it cannot defy gravity! It suffered two major drops on the trip. Each one resulted from my carelessness. Placing it on the seat of the bike while removing luggage will result in a fall. It will happened each time you do this! It looks like a new helmet is in my future as I now question the integrity of this one. A third drop happened soon after I returned home.
I don't have one. I think it's a must on a motorcycle IMHO. Of course, a fuel gauge would be nice too. Don't have that either. Since getting the SV, I've only run out of gas twice. I wouldn't change one moment of my recent lake trip, but running out of gas on a remote section of the Trans Canada Hwy 17, not far from a sign that warns of night dangers below a silhouette of a mammoth moose, really isn't my idea of fun. Why I didn't take my MSR bottles of fuel is beyond me--simple-minded mistake. I love my bike, which is why I'll keep her when I get a second one. But for solo touring, I can't afford such oversights. I truly want something, like that sophisticated instrument panel on the BMW F800ST.
Well, this write up makes a small dent in cleaning off my blog shelf.
Before closing, I'd like to give a "shout out" Happy b-day to Ria B! I'd take you for a birthday ride if you were here!