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Countdown to Redmond: Bike and Gear Prep

July 11, 2010

My friend Cindi and I are leaving in a few days time on a road trip to the 2010 International BMW Rally in Redmond, OR. This will be the first time I have traveled on the bike with someone other than my partner, Tony. I admit to a bit of nervousness in not having my handy, practical, strong male partner along, but I also believe that Cindi and I can manage just fine, and that we’ll have a damn good time traveling together, too!

Yesterday I started prepping for the trip by taking a good thorough look at my bike. We checked the oil level (it was low!), lubed the chain, tightened the clutch cable, and Tony showed me how to quick-patch a tire if needed. I also checked my bike’s tool kit and figured out what I felt was lacking. I made an additional tool kit that includes a spare clutch lever, a couple of “real” screwdrivers, a small vice grips, additional pliers, electrical tape, and the ever-handy zip ties. I’ll also be packing a tire repair kit and my Leatherman multi-tool.

frame slidersMy bike also got a couple of minor mods last week: the addition of frame sliders, plus a new license plate frame that we had laying around with one of my favorite moto-mottos on it, “Ride to Live, Live to Ride”.

Riding pantsOne of the most important things I have done to prep for this trip was to have my textile riding pants repaired. The fly zipper had broken and I was trying to keep them closed with heavy duty Velcro. Didn’t work so well. I remembered that my friend Stacy had blogged about a gear repair shop up in Seattle. I phoned them, they said no problem on replacing the zipper, I packed up the pants and literally a few days later, the pants were returned to me, better than new! Wow! I cannot praise Rainy Pass Repair highly enough for their prompt service and excellent repair skills.

Today I will check the tire pressure and give my bike a thorough washing. I’ll swap out my clear Pinlock faceshield insert for the dark smoke; essential for riding in full sun. (I carry an additional clear faceshield for riding at dusk or in foggy conditions.) The other thing on my list today is packing for the return trip, which will be a solo journey. I’m gathering my camping gear into a pile: a North Face Rock 22 tent (small backpacking tent), Cat’s Meow sleeping bag (for compactness and warmth), and a Therm-a-Rest inflatable camping pad. I don’t think I’ll need much else, since this simply an overnight and not a major camp-out.

The laundry is in the washer, my saddlebags are ready to load, I’ve duplicate copies of license/insurance/bike registration, and I’ve planned the route. It’s almost time to go! Maybe I’ll see you on the road or at the rally. Ride safe!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2010 6:46 pm

    Hello Liz

    Good blog! What about a GPS unit. Not much in to camping, all that stuff fits on your motorcycle.
    From the picture it looks like you have a sport bike.

    Have safe and fun trip, take pictures and videos

    • July 11, 2010 6:56 pm

      Hi Bill: Thanks for the kind words! Regarding taking a GPS, I don’t feel a need for one, since I’m an avid map reader/navigator. This is country I am used to traveling, as I spent a large portion of my life in Oregon and have made many road trips between OR and CA.

      If you’ve never tried motorcycle camping, it really is the best. My partner and I camped nine days out of twelve last summer, going to Montana and back. The two of us take a queen size air mattress, which makes for darn comfortable sleeping. On our long trips, I also carry my backpacking stove, a travel cookpot, and the makings for morning coffee and tea. We grab food at the store and picnic for breakfast and dinner. Part of the beauty of motorcycling and motorcycle camping is being out in nature. I highly recommend trying it!

      Yes, I have a sportbike, a Kawasaki ZX6. Check back for the trip photos and stories! Happy Sunday…

  2. July 11, 2010 6:54 pm

    Hello Liz
    I follow you on twitter- good blog. What about a GPS unit. It looks like you have some type of sport bike from the picture. Where do you put everything?

    Do have towing on your insurance incase you run into problem.

    Take some pictures and video. Have a safe and fun trip!

    Have a s

    • July 11, 2010 7:48 pm

      Bill, I have Cortech sport saddlebags for my clothes, and I use a duffel bag for the camping gear. I have both AAA and AMA’s Roadside Assistance program, but since my bike has very low miles and is in excellent condition, there are only a few reasons I might need towing, none of which would be good.

  3. July 11, 2010 9:53 pm


    Hope to see you in Redmond, but we don’t arrive until about noon on Saturday. We are leaving Toppenish, WA early in the morning and heading south. I will keep an eye out for anything Ninja Green. perhaps we will see you on your return from Portland.

    We will be in Lincoln City Sunday and Monday nightsbob
    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • July 11, 2010 11:48 pm

      Bob, if you do get their earlier, I will be hanging out with my friend Greg of Twisted Tours at his booth. Come on by and introduce yourself to Greg, even if I’m not there. Will you be going home via Portland? I’ll be in PDX until at least Thursday.

  4. July 11, 2010 11:13 pm

    This trip sounds exciting! Great info too! Can’t wait to read more here and on Twitter!

    • July 11, 2010 11:49 pm

      Oh, no doubt we will be twittering like little birds… and there will of course be blogs coming out of the trip, too! Wish you were going to join us for this, Pam!

  5. July 12, 2010 12:22 am

    You and Cindi will have a blast – I’m on my first 21 day solo bike trip (and proud to blog about it). I’m packing nearly the same camping gear and my backpacker tent by Mountain Equipment CoOp is standing up well to two days of rain on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Sorry Lilred, unlike you I carry no tire patch kits – I carry a CAA plus card, but check the tire pressure and oil regularly. Won’t see you this year on the west coast but maybe next year. Ride safe!

    • July 12, 2010 4:13 am

      Hi VStarLady: I’m eager to read about your trip! Good for you, doing this on your own. Camping in the rain is no fun; I’ve done it and I don’t like it. Having good gear makes a huge difference.

      The reason I carry a tire plug kit is because I found an antique nail in my tire two years ago, and I kept losing air pressure, so we needed to plug the hole in order to get me home. I like the idea of being able to solve minor issues myself, which is why I like to be prepared.

      Next time you’re coming out west, do let me know. Such an event could be cause for a road trip! Safe riding to you, too!

  6. July 12, 2010 3:20 am

    I just finished with my prep work for the road, bike’s clean and lubed, laundry is done, too. I will be traveling with Bob(skoot), and hope to see you down in Oregon in a few days. Ride safely! SonjaM

  7. July 12, 2010 3:59 am

    THAT’s why your name is familiar! I’ve read bobskoot’s blog… geez!

    I do hope we can meet up, maybe for lunch or coffee in Portland? We seem to be passing each other on the road to and from Redmond. I believe I’m lunching in Detroit Oregon with a couple of friends at The Cedars Restaurant around noon on Saturday, if you want to join us. Send me an email if this looks like a possibility. You would then have only about 70 miles left to get to Redmond.

  8. July 15, 2010 3:17 am

    Liz, I’m sure if you’re like me…the evening before you leave will be a night of tossing and turning. Excitement mounting inside you like a greyhound in the box waiting for the gates to open… Sleep will be something that happens in between the visions you will have on the back of your eyelids. You will envision the mountain passes…the twists…the feel of your bike under you…until you aren’t sure what’s dream state and what’s “day dreaming”.
    Have a great time, Liz. You will find riding with your sister friend to be a fantastic adventure!

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