Gearing Up – So Much Stuff

Holy crap! I am hitting the road in less than a week; in just five days. Thursday morning, bright and early, geared up, I ride off on my motorcycle, leave my summer abode and head east into Nevada.

Holy crap!

On one hand, I’ve been talking about this trip for what feels like a long time. On the other hand, it’s a blink of the eye.

I last posted over a week ago because I am a bit frenetic about prepping. It is a lot of stuff. Mostly stuff about the just-in-case scenario that I hope I experience. For example, a gas can. I am strapping a gallon of flammable liquid onto the rear rack of my bike, just in case, I find myself in a place where gas stations are more than 180 miles apart or just in case I stupidly pass the last gas station for miles while on half a tank or just in case I am following a man in black who fled across the desert (a few of you will get that literary reference).

Also, with the country’s spasms of insanity and hate, I debated my safety as a woman riding solo on a motorcycle across the country which includes some long stretches of solace in low population areas, a few stints in states where violence recently occurred and a lot of traveling in unfamiliar country.

I bought myself with a RoadID. My brother gave me a Spot GPS tracker. I can send a select 10 people and the rest of the freaking world on Facebook personal messages with my coordinates or a help message or an SOS. If I feel like it I can send tracks automatically every 10 minutes. Follow my breadcrumbs (morning, a few times a day and when I arrive) on this website.

Then, I case I meet some unsavory characters, I armed myself with love and kindness, but also settled on a small canister of easily accessible mace and a taser. Previous solo road trips and backpacking adventures never required use of such things. Shit, backpacking, I actually thought bears were the most dangerous beasts I might encounter. So, years ago, I armed myself with bear mace. But unfortunately, this time is America in 2017.


In the rare case of a moto-boo-boo that can be handled by a bandage, I have a little First Aid Kit. I have emergency snacks and electrolytes. I tossed in chain lube and brush, a metric tool kit, motorcycle kickstand pad, tire repair and inflator, glass wipes, anti-fog, helmet fresh, and a multi-tool.

I busted out some tools to install saddlebag stays, a rack, a power outlet, and a windshield. It made me miss my hyper-organized and over-stocked toolbox filled with very expensive and very pristine toolboxes and tool sets. But, I feel triumphant doing this work with less than perfect tools and set up. As if I were Macgyver escaping villains with a toothpick, a wire, a rubber band and some clippers. I’ll take it.

Add to that list a disk brake lock, a flashlight, a rain suit, a fleece, a head lamp, a helmet headset, high quality earplugs, charging converters and cables, medicine, camping laundry tabs, and paper maps. All that before I pack 3 weeks of clothing which consists of two shirts and two wicking shorts for riding, two post-ride shirts, packable pants, packable shorts, four pairs of underwear, three bras, four pairs of socks, packable hike/walk shoes and flip-flops. I some luxuries like toiletries, my computer, a Kindle, a journal, a compact, electric toothbrush, a GoPro camera, and a corkscrew (because, you always need a corkscrew).

Amazingly, it all fit in the motorcycle in my two saddlebags, the trunk and one dry bag. I didn’t even have to expand the saddle bags yet.

I took it on a test ride to my brother’s house. I have some adjustments to do, but it worked. Soon, Thursday morning will be here. Too soon and not soon enough altogether. Perfection won’t likely be achieved before then. Perfection won’t chase off the nervousness or settle the excitement.

So, Thursday, I ride off regardless. I leave an empty house as my hosts are out of town. As I start my bike, I will send my first little electronic breadcrumb to the world and ride off to the middle of Nevada.

Happy cooking and tracking!

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