Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 0.5 - loading up, rolling out

2008 - April 30, circa 7:30pm

The Federal (Allied Van Lines affiliate) driver called to say he would be at Keith's to pick up the bikes "about dinner time". He showed up by about 6pm, loaded up and rolling out by about 7:30pm. Each bike had to undergo a brief inspection for existing damage and to run through a check list of items for ship-prep. It all went smoothly and we photographed anything pointed out on the various bikes so there can be no issues later.

Here they all are, ready, willing, able...

First, Adrian's bike is inspected, signed off and staged for loading

Next up is Brian's bike

First two are staged and ready to be loaded

Adrian's bike goes in first

The drivers were happy to have our help loading up

Keith is assisting with Brian's bike...

... while enjoying a Chocolate Eclair ice cream bar from the ice cream truck. A little early in the season, but what the hell.

The Harley had already been inspected and staged by the truck, then it was on to inspecting Keith's bike.

Bike is clean, nothing to of note to write down.

Adrian arrives to help us see the babies off.

The bikes are strapped down to palettes and at Keith's urging, the drivers adjusted the straps for minimal suspension compression. The trailer is a smooth-riding "air ride" trailer and, according to the driver, won't have any problems at all.

On the left you have sleek and sexy, on the right you have boxy and solid - the Volvo of motorcycles Bigok

Next up is the inspection of Bob's FJR and Wayne's FZ-1

"No, no... that'll buff right out. We'll never have to tell him. Honest!" Lol

Just kidding, looks fine. Let's finish this up!

oooh, artsy!

Chornbe holds up Wayne's FZ1 while the driver straps it in. How'd the shortest guy end up holding up the tallest bike? Headscratch

"Uhm... guys... I'm stuck in here and I get kinda car sick on long drives. Help a brutha out?"

"FREEDOM!" (I'm not painting my face blue to yell that, either!)

From the side....

Adrian hamming it up and asking, "How come MINE'S not in this shot???"

And there they go. We all joined in a chorus of "Take good care of my baby". It was a pretty sappy moment. Adrian cried and have to leave before anyone took any more pictures of him. Sissy!

So... the bikes are officially on the way. W00T!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 0 - prepped and ready to roll

Day 0 - prepped and ready to roll:

The participants in this little sojourn include Chips (Keith), ZmZmOn2 (Brian), FZMax (Wayne), Adrian (Adrian) and Bob. We all prepped our bikes for the trip at our homes, then delivered them to Keith's garage where they will wait for the truck from Federal (motorcycle shipping division of Allied Van Lines) to pick them up and send them on their way to the left coast.

From left to right, my Street Glide, Brian's VFR, Adrian's 2006 FJR

And more... Bob's 2005 FJR, Wayne's FZ-1

And last but certainly not least, Keith's 2007 FJR, aka "Bear Killer"

It's not going on this trip, but the tail section you see in the left-most part of the picture of Keith's Black Cherry FJR is this little beauty, the 2005 CBR600/RR. Keith can some how manage to bang out back to back 500 mile days on this thing and most owners of RR bikes would cringe and cry to mommy with the mileage he's racked up on it. And he keeps it absolutely pristine, too. Way to go, man! Thumbsup

This trip simply can NOT start soon enough! Bigok

Monday, April 28, 2008

What the hell is an ARCPosse, anyway?

Seems like a dumb name, huh? Well, it kinda is. It's the best thing a bunch of old guys could come up with just to have a name to attach to this rag-tag group of nut jobs riding across the US.

You see, we all took the "Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic" or "ARC" class. It's a class designed to teach more advanced and sport-riding techniques to ultimately enable a rider to handle his bike better. (details at )

Posse is just because...

This isn't an official name for some silly bar hopping club or anything - we just needed a name for the website. We don't have patches or jackets or anything. Not even a logo. Just a stupid name. That's all. Besides... "Wild Hogs" was taken.

It's real...

18 Days and counting...

The bikes are all at Keith's house awaiting the truck to pick them up. This is the last big thing... getting the bikes loaded up. Once that's done and they're on their way, it's just a complete waiting game. I can't change my mind about which bike to take and just have to wait out the next 2 1/2 weeks without going completely insane. There's a challenge.

The final roll call of bikes is:
My Street Glide
Keith's FJR1300 (gen-2)
Adrian's FJR1300 (gen-2)
Wayne's FZ-1 (gen-1)
Brian's VFR
Bob's FJR1300 (gen-1)

On the upside, I'm definitely not the only one who had a hard time packing up. Not only did everyone have to contend with weight and space issues, but no one wanted to carry their helmet and riding gear on the plane. So we each had to dedicated at least one full storage box to the daily-use gear. That's kind of a pain, but on the upside, when we're on the road, we're each guaranteed to have a little open space for daily-use items (snack bars, bottled water, bought t-shirts, etc.).

So... it's real. It's on. It's happening. Wow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

28 Days Later

No. I don't mean the 28 Days Later monster/zombie movie. No rage virus. No flesh eating zombie-like monsters. No desolate waste lands in the middle of the city. No... 28 Days Later from today we leave.


Mark my words.

It's still too early to pack, isn't it?

Monday, April 7, 2008

The route - more or less.

Ok, we have a basic route planned out. With the understanding that each of will have differing points of interest along the way, and that there's absolutely way we can fully plan the route out ahead of time, we decided on basic points along the way and will plan on doing a budgeted 300 miles per day. This will allow us to hit twisties, see sights, perhaps visit with people along the way and, of course, leave ample time for meal breaks and opportunities to arrange a day or two of lodging along the way for the next stops.

The bikes arrive in Portland on the 12th-14th, being trucked in by Federal.

The first couple of days on the road have us riding thru' some mountain areas in Oregon, eventually winding our way to Crescent City, CA. The midway point in that is Eugene, OR in which we'll likely overnight. That really comes down to the quality of the roads and the weather. We're planning on 300 miles of twisties being a full riding day, off the road and settled in by dinner time. We all agree that running from early morning to late afternoon, off the road before sunset is the best and safest option all around.

Days 3 and 4 take us down the coastal highway and back up into the hills, then back towards the coast, tentatively arriving in San Francisco at the end of day 4. Again, weather depending, this may turn in to day 5. It is in San Francisco that I intend to take a day off, regardless of the rest of the group's plans. There are mixed feelings about taking a day off this (apparently) early in the trip, but I want to remain fresh and comfortable through as much of the trip as possible, and that means ample time off bike and with my head clear of constant riding. While in San Francisco, I'm still set to meet up with author Scott Sigler, swap stories, visit a bit and get to know the man behind the words a little. I continue to consider that a highlight of the trip. And hey... micro-brews and jazz clubs, here I come! San Francisco is a beautiful city, and I've been looking forward to getting back there.

After some amount of down time in and around San Fran, it's stands up and wheels rolling on to the next port of call. This will have us traveling from San Francisco to Las Vegas. This part of the route will likely be some of the more interesting, great mountain roads aside. On this leg of the trip, we're riding through Yosemite National Park and through Death Valley National Park. We're also planning on some down time in Vegas because - well, it's Vegas. A day at the most, with the most likely option being hanging a little later on the night of the arrival, then hanging out a bit longer than normal in the morning to sleep in, grab some Vegas breakfast, etc. It's Vegas, baby!

Now from Vegas, we have several options, and this may be the most stressful part of the trip: (insert DUM DUM DUM music here) Major Decision Time. You see, from here we can head North and enjoy some desert riding in Nevada then head East and go up to Moab, Utah which, by all accounts, is motorcycle riding Nirvana come to Earth. Or, we can head South and East, through the desert, down towards Tuscon, and seeing Tombstone before heading East to Roswell. Me? I'm personally looking forward to heading South and East. Seriously, how often can you say you saw San Fran, Vegas, Tombstone and Roswell in the same trip? If I were the sole guy making the decision, this is where I'd go. We'll either vote on it, or break into two groups, one going to each of those destinations. I know at least one of the other guys is interested in the Southeast run.

After the Major Decision Time (I'm not spelling out the music again) part of the trip, then we head to Durango, Colorado. Again, we're looking forward to some great mountain riding in Colorado, and beginning our trek East towards home. From Durango, the original plan included Birmingham, Alabama to spend a day at the Barber Motorsports Park and Museum. Race cars, bikes and cool stuff, and a day off.

Once we're in the East, we figure we're a long day-ride to home from most of the reasonable destinations, so we'll buzz across the farm states and if time allows, spend some time riding the Eastern mountains for a day or so before finishing up at home.

This is the plan, more or less. 2 1/2 weeks of riding, sight seeing and camaraderie. Once in a lifetime. Here we go... 39 days and counting.