Monthly Archives: October 2016

Prepping for a road trip

I’ve been home for to long. To many nights sleeping in a bed is bad for the soul. The road is calling. The solitude is calling. Wind burn, sunburn, the cold, the rain…. the desire to see just one more mile of road, to see what’s around the next curve, to find that perfect spot to camp for the night…

Heading out on a bike for a few weeks isn’t a trek to the Artic Circle, but it does take some planning. Most folks plan routes. I don’t cotton to such things myself. Lest wise not most trips. I have an agenda in mind but no time line. I’m headed South. I want to hit Miami to meet up with a potential business partner, then I’ll run down to the Keys to link up with a dude from my Ranger Batt days. After that? Who fucking knows? I’ll figure it out as we go. We? Me and my Lady Pit will be on the road for 2-3 weeks.

I don’t know how many bike trips I’ve done, so this is routine for me. What will be new is taking the dog and the side car. Oh, and the bike is relatively new to me. I’ve put about 2500 miles on her. It’s an ’09 Electra Glide, 96″ motor, 6 speed transmissio, a 6 gallon tank, I bought it a few months ago just for the trip. I picked this bike because she is stock, which means less vibration, which means less mechanical problems, less fatigue and no searching for aftermarket parts in strange towns when I run into mechanical problems. I wanted an 09 or newer for a few features. 6 speed transmission for one. The 6 gallon tank extends my saddle time between fill ups, an extra concern with this trip because of the weight of the dog and side car. The 96″ motor gives good power and the extra weight hasn’t caused the power plant to struggle at highway speeds. This is also the year Harley made some changes to reduce engine heat. It breaks well, and withought the side car, handles better then my 04. I also wanted stock exhaust. Makes it easier on my doggies hearing, and noise can increase fatigue. I’m feeling my age and the little things adds up these days.

The interwebz has a lot of pre-trip checklists so I won’t speak on that much. Same thing with toolkits, but have one and do the other. Start with fresh tires, breaks and oil. Well not to fresh, but more then 200 miles on them, and hopefully most of those miles on one run. I don’t require a lot of personal gear, I’ve done coast to coast trips with a sleeping bag, tooth brush and ridding leathers. I do carry a fair amount of gear for the bike.

One of the nice things about owning a Harley is options. In this case luggage options. There are kits that will let you get the maximum use out of the limited space in your saddle bags. Use them. I carry a fairly extensive tool kit; with the right aftermarket tool bags they all fit into what would have been dead space in the saddle bags. I also have 2 one gallon fuel cans that also tuck into some not very useful space in the saddle bags. I always carry two quarts of oil, a small bottle of break fuild, Marvin’s Mysrty oil, octane boost, wd40, duct tape and a shit ton of zipties plus three different ways to repair tires along with two ways to inflate my tires. Method #1 is an electric airpump you can pick up at Napa. I have a hand full of air cartridges that you screw into the val stem, takes a couple per tire, but they can get the job done.

I’ll still have room in the saddle bags for my leathers and some water.

I… not sure what you would call them but I have a set of bags designed to sit on top of the saddle bags. I love those things. They are super easy to get on and off the bike and I can get all I need for short trips/ non camping trips into those two bags. Couple of quick releases, they come right off and are easy to carry into the hotel. Toothbrush, couple pair of socks, maybe a clean shirt, sun screen, spare glasses, gloves, long sleeve shirt… all the small things you like to have easy access to while your on the road. You can also fit rain gear in them if your a pussy and use those types of things.sisoursly though, lots of folks love rain great and it’s smart to keep it handy, I have never liked rain gear and would rather put my leathers on. This trip will be mostly camping and everything I want in the tent will be in those bags.

Lots of folks have touring packs/ trunks on their glides. I dislike them for several reasons. I go old school, a nice tall sissy bar, bags and zip ties. These days I have some luggage designed to be used/ strapped to the sissy bar. This is where all the camping stuff and a full face helmet goes.

As a rule, I hate helmets, but a full face helmet is nice to have when it rains. It’s winter time in the South, so I will for sure get rained on. Which is why my socks and what not will be in zip lock bags. Same with the box of spare ammo and mags for my XDM. I’ll also take some under armor in case it gets cold, 2 sets of gloves, hand/ foot warmers and a spare pair of boots

The main topic I wanted to address is camping gear. There is some cool camping shit out there but storage space is limited on a bike, you have the shit you would like to have with you like a towel and a bar of soap and you have shit you absolutely need like moonshine and condoms. Weight is an issue as well, and you need to pack all that shit on your bike in such a way you can get to your stuff in a hurry when you need it and in such a way as it doesn’t negatively affect your bikes balance and center of gravity. Camping in cool places is a big deal to me on this trip. I want to do a little fishing, a little drinking and a lot of sitting around the fire drinking, grilling and singing Johnny Cash songs with my dog so on top of the stuff you need like a tent and a sleeping bag, I want to bring a fishing pole, camping stool, hatchet and some cooking gear.

I’m not going to tell you what gear to buy but I am going to tell you a group of people who have successfully solved the camping gear vs size and weight problem

Backpackers have all that shit figured out. Light weight sleeping bags, light weight tents, stoves, cooking gear, dishes…. they sell all that shit and for less money then the places selling motorcycle gear.

Also I recommend a 2 man tent for the extra space and sleeping bag good to 20F with a poncho liner for extra weight. Saves you money and space and between the 3 things you’ll stay pretty warm even when it’s balls cold

Ton on voting

The Ton voted today. Took advantage of the early voting option. I have property in 3 county’s so I need a head start on the voting circus. I walked in, rattled off some minor, easy to obtain personal information, voted for Trump and walked the fuck out…. sort of.

I didn’t pull the R level to cast a straight Republican down ballot ticket, Fuck those fuckers. They haven’t earned my vote. Neither party has but a vote for Trump is a vote to kick the hornets nest and well that’s worth voting for

I did scroll through the down ballot elections. If I saw a woman running for some office I went ahead and voted for her male opponent. Mostly to amuse myself. I doubt it makes a difference.

It’s been years since I voted in a federal election. Not since Jesse Helms retired. I use to vote in the county and state level elections but the men I knew and respected at that level have all aged out.

I can’t recall ever voting in a federal election but not in the local runs. Strange days.

Voting is an exercise in power, when you vote you are forcing your will on to others. Politely at 1st, but the government will turn it’s guns onto anyone who does not submit themselves to the laws and political authority of the election winners. Like most of civilzation, voting is eye wash. An illusion of politeness, backed up by raw power and naked force.

The government will allow you to exercise power via voting if you can’t read or write, if you don’t have a way of proving who you are, where you live etc and here in NC, they allow handicap folks to vote curb side from their cars.

Insanity to me. How can you be aware of what is going on politically if your body is so crippled you can’t walk into the polling place? How can you be allowed to exercise power over your “fellow citzens” If you can’t prove you are a citzens? Or understand what is a stake?

The whole system is flawed. Long term, there is no political solution, there is no restoring the Constitution or the Republic. There is only preparing for the end and trying to figure out what’s next

Cut off and happy

I loved watching the storm last night. I opened all three French doors, pulled the recliner over, grabbed a bottle of apple wine, put my Lady Pit in my lap and settled in. The Girls slid up next to me before long.

I am, at this moment, physically cut off from the rest of the world. Its a good feeling. The road that takes us from my little sliver of the inter-coastal waterways to the main land is under water. Not sure how deep, don’t much care, but it’s a couple hundred feet wide. Don’t much care about that either. If I did, I’d put my kayak in the water and find out the depth, maybe find the road under the water, mark the path and drive my truck into town. If driving to town is posdible. Doesn’t seem to be much of a current but if there was, it woukd only take me to town. Which I am happy enough to be separated from.

It’s a peaceful easy feeling. We lost power some time back. Made our inlet nice and quiet. Of sorts. The storm was noisy, but there is no hum from the refrigerator either. I have a generator. Haven’t used it yet. I am enjoying the sounds of nature, family and my neighbors to much. Maybe I’ll crank it up when I run out of ice. Yeti coolers are money, so maybe I won’t run out of ice.

I was up early as I always am and the 1st thing I noticed (beyond the Hell jounds and the Girls) was the silence. No wind, no rain, no sound from the refrigerator. Quick check of the house while Girl glares and my Lady Pit bounces around. Neither would go out for the bathroom in the rain. Ton Spawn was sleeping in, the storm kept him up, the house was intact.

The water is high, maybe 5 ft, right at the edge of our retaining wall and over lapping my dock. We use to be surrounded by wet lands. To our front, the river/ bay, ocean and one of our larger and more popular barrier island. Which i am sure did its protecting us from the wind and storm surge. On the other three sides was wet lands and a road. Now  they are under Lord only knows how much water. I climbed up to the roof/ bbq area of my boat shed and checked out my street. We all did well. The one tree in my street, happens to be in my yard, fell. Ground was to wet to hold it, and it fell across the street. Not much of a tree or obstacle but since you can’t really drive around it now, it needed to be #1 on my to do list. Our little road was cut, and since no one was hurt, or in immediate danger, restoring our high speed avenues of approach became the priorty #1.

I love the silence. We are always quiet,  but this morning it was silent. I wanted to keep it going so I used a pocket saw instead of a chain saw. Made two cuts, which made three peices of tree and cleared the road. A short walk took me tout the next obstacle. Water. The road was cut at the community boat ramp. Not much one can do about that so I turned around and walked back.

And I do have power of sorts. Couple solar panels, couple of deep cycle marine batteries and we have been keeping our phones and tablets fully charged. Could do the same with either the truck or the SUV, but I haven’t cranked either. My neighbors have. In fact the guy at the far end of the road has a small generator going. I hear it occasionally and he came by to let us know we could stash food in his freezer, charge our phones etc. Which we took advantage of. The food storing.

He laughed when I told  him I had a generator but wasn’t using it. They all think I am crazier then a shit house rat but seem to enjoy my company any which way

I did cook for everyone earlier today. By God’s good graces we don’t have much clean up to do. Us even less because I stashed most of our stuff. Nothing major, burgers and dogs, some chicken and fish. Stuff we needed to cook before it went bad. I cooked, kept an eye on some older kids and drank slightly chilled homemade wine while they all worked.

One of the other guys tried to AMOG me.  Some lame joke about me cooking and baby sitting. I laughed, said I didn’t want to break a nail and took a long pull off my bottle of wine. Amature. There he was picking up various bits of debris,  there I was enjoying myself, grilling, drinking and watching the kids and dogs run.

It’s a pretty good life

Truly we are blessed

Life is funny. I could tell the road being cut bothered some people. A quick plan, made up on the fly settled them down. Overt displays of masculine confidence and mastery over the world around you always settles the bitches. Of both sexes. The Girls slid up next to me after the ad-hoc meeting. Daddy likes

All the shit I have on hand for emergencies and I’m not really using any of it. It’s been a very mild disaster for us. More like camping at home. I could be bossier, but why?

I had some regular non treated 2×4’s stashed in the rafters of my garage. A little work with a hand saw and now we have some fire wood. I invited the neighborhood over, all 5 families but not sure any will show up.

Almost everything amuses me. This storm hasn’t been any different on that front. Was interesting watching the Betas be stoic and sort of flippant about the storm. Good, strong  family men. Yeoman worthy of the tittle. The kids have had a blast. My Lady Pit has run wild today because there is no place for her to run off to now that we are a mini island. She has knocked all the kids down at least once. On purpose each time. Girl hasn’t left Ton Spawn or the Girls alone. She sticks to them like glue these days.  I can tell the other dudes wives are happy. Their men were right, no need to evacuate, they can now rest in the strength and decsion making skills of their man. Lest for a few days.

Everyone enjoyed that feeling you get when things are better in the morning. I could tell they all took pride and enjoyment out of cleaning up after the storm, pride and enjoyment in the various clever tricks they came up with to over come the obstacles of having no power, running water and what not. Plus the shared experience of sheltering in place

Time to go put sauce on the chicken and check my trout line before it’s fire pit, wine and pitching woo time

I know many folks are suffering right now, but the Lord was kind to me and mine last night.

Y’all take care now