Preparations for a 2 year Motorcycle Adventure:
It is time to get serious now. I rode the Sportster, Heidi likes to call it our ‘rat-bike’, to the Rice Lake Harley Davidson dealership. I’m scheduled for a new stator coil installation. I blew the stator coil last Fall on my way back from Las Vegas. I installed a new battery in the parking lot of some motorcycle shop after mine battery went dead. I shorted a wire when I installed the battery, which eventually fried the coil. To put a new coil in one needs to split the engine case, a big procedure. So I am getting a new clutch installed at the same time. The clutch seemed fine but the bike just turned 50,000 miles. I do not want clutch problem on this ride in some foreign country.
The left blinker worked 'on and off' most of the summer, it finally went out. After trouble shooting I noticed I pinched a wires when I installed new sub-frame bolts. Oh well, new wires and another hundred and thirty bucks for a new electronic module (Ouch!) but I am blinking again, and I am glad for that.
I install the new 4.2 gal gas tank. It falls 3 inches short of the nose of the seat. Humm? It looks a little funny but I got an extra gallon of gas, and I like that a lot.
Heidi and I enjoyed riding between Hayward and Minneapolis the rest of the season. Returning to Minneapolis on a Sunday is fun. Usually there is some type of event with live music at one or more of the areas hot spots.
I installed the panniers on for one last trip to Door county Wisconsin. My family is getting together for my mothers 90th birthday party. While riding through Green Bay Wisconsin an ADVrider.com member, FREEFLOW sees me and recognizes the bike. How cool. He was on his way to Hayward riding with some friends. What a small world.
Just before I got back home my speedometer goes out. It spins around and around and doesn’t count any miles on the odometer. Crap, I need an odometer.
We are really getting fired up for our ride next year. We had a rough start date picked out but I started to waffle about some work thing, getting next years profit sharing distribution, bla, bla, bla. The original plan was to be well on the ride and at some cool place by my 50th birthday. If we wait we will screw up that plan. We’re constantly in discussions about timing, destinations, our age, what should our lives be like, how important is that half a year profit sharing money. I can feel my brain heat up when I think hard about stuff like this. Voices flash into my head like my father while we were backpacking the Appalachian trail together when he was 79 years old. He said to me while we were sitting around a camp fire “I wish I would have started hiking the Appalachian while I was in my 50’s, I would have finished the whole trail in one season” I see this as my very last chance to ‘DO IT’ while I’m still in my 40’s.
We’re buying adventure equipment at places like REI and Bob’s cycle. Things like hiking cloths, hi-tech camping pads, silk travel sheets, waterproof stuff sacks, waterproof riding gear. Everything costs at least double what I anticipated, but we need the stuff and the hi-tech gear is a lot lighter and packs much smaller.
Photo: Our new 3 person tent weighing under 8 lbs. REI - TAJ 3. I like the 2 doors and the screening on top, front and back..
From Minneapolis I do a final season ride back to Wisconsin to park the Harley and prepare it for it’s transformation from ‘Chopper Rat Bike’ to ‘Adventure Rat Bike’.
I mail ordered a bunch of new parts, some parts didn’t need replacing but probably should be replaced like clutch cable, throttle cables and break pads. Others parts are for changing the dynamics of the bike like new handlebars and a small windshield. After parking the bike in Wisconsin I noticed that the front fork seals were leaking. I should have thought of that. I order new seals. I feel like someone is helping me. . .
I take the speedometer off and dissemble it, clean it and put it back together. It’s still not working. Nest I buy a new $60 sensor from the advice of a Harley mechanic. No difference. I bid on a couple speedometers on ebay but I know nothing about this bidding stuff, I lost every time. I will have to keep trying, I need the odometer and a new speedometer is over $400, eek.
The kick stand is hanging down a little and a new spring did nothing to help it. I buy a new swivel pin and take the old pin out. The hole for the pin wore into an oval. That’s my problem. I’m not sure how to fix this one. Maybe I will fill the oval with weld then drill a new hole, or something. Hum?
I’m chillin’ at the cabin one day and I should have been hanging sheetrock but all I wanted to do was drink coffee, daydream and finish reading the Moon travel guide to Panama.
I hear some loud geese outside so I run out with the camera.
Nice . . .
It’s cold here now and Heidi and I are stuck driving a cage to our cabin and back. We still can’t help ourselves from getting excited about our ride next year. We make check lists with priorities of details we must iron out soon. I do a print out of three medical / travel insurance plans. It was a big effort to get it narrowed down to three.
Close to the cabin we walk into The Kassel Tap bar for some hi-level discussions, printouts are in hand. Before the first beer was down we had the medical insurance plan picked. Ouch, buying insurance on your own is not cheap. We go down the priority list. Always, somewhere during our discussion sessions comes up the topic of departure date. The tempo is picking up, the ideas are flying, people at the bar are starting to look at us. Philosophical quotes are starting to fly out of our mouths, “Live now, bla, bla” “Why wait, bla, bla” We come up with the idea, center the departure date around spending the first night in Bayfield over our wedding anniversary, July 12th. Bayfield is where I proposed and Heidi finally said yes :D . Sounds good, we yell, do a high-five, nock knuckles and nail it down with a pinky pact shake while staring lovingly into each others eyes. Ahhhhh!
Winter is over: Spring '07
We continue the ride preparations. The count down continues. I have less than 10 weeks until I quit my job so I can go off on a motorcycle ride with my wife. I’ve worked at the same company for 25 years. I can feel myself starting to go into hyper mode. There is still so much to do. I need to install new control cables, new wheel bearings, new fork seals, a new drive belt, mount the new handlebars and see if I can make that speedometer I bought from Ebay.com work. The motorcycle has been in the boathouse all winter. The temperatures are getting warmer and the snow is melting. Now is the time to get working on the motorcycle.
I had fun riding with the ape-hangers last season but they aren’t good for off-road riding. While on the shake-out ride to Vegas I about peed my pants several times while riding of-road and the ape handlebars didn’t help a bit. Plus I don’t like that the electrical wires string through the inside of the bars. Any wire can touch 2 sharp metal corners going in and going out. This is not good. The new handlebars will have external wiring so I will have no worries. A owner of Outpost Custom Cycle in Siren Wisconsin found me handlebars with the dimensions I wanted. He gave me a better price then if I bought them on my own. What a score. I think Siren has about two thousand people and one custom motorcycle shop. Ya gotta like that.
I knew it @. The speedometer/tachometer unit I got from Ebay.com has a different connector attached to it. This is going to be ugly no matter how I look at it. I don’t want to add the tachometer. It weighs over a pound for sure. So . . . I just need to take the speedometer out of the sealed speedometer/tachometer assembly and reseal it in my original speedometer only assembly. Then I need to cut the wires on both connectors and ‘figure it out’. I can do that (Ahhh!), I hope. No stopping now…..
Now I need to go inside the cabin and “Become One” with speedometer wiring harness and connector assembly, one wire at a time.
Photo: This is the cabin, our home base. You can see in the photo that I should be hanging sheetrock, but….NO. This is more important. I’ve been using that as my excuse for over a year now and its working. I have the rest of my life to finish the sheetrock. How long can I keep saying that? No doubt I have a great wife. (This junk will be all out of sight before Heidi can see it)
Now the Speedometer moves down to the boathouse as a completed assembly, all sealed up. Everything seemed to go together easy, I just hope it holds a seal. On the connectors, all the colors of the wires matched up exactly except for two, which were opposite. I have no reason to believe I screwed up so I leave the two wires opposite.
Now I got to do the control wires. All the wires connect to different colored wires because of the wire extensions I put on for the ape-hangers. One screw-up and I’m hosed.
Photo: My hair is getting long. I don’t know what that’s all about but I’m having fun. (I’m quitting my job….Ahhhh! So I can ride …. Double Ahhhhh!) Maybe I should seek help?
I spend a full weekend working on the bike but it’s all done. I try the starter. It fires right up and everything seems to work. Nice . . .
When I get back to Minneapolis an ADVrider.com inmate from Louisiana whom I met and got to know in Mexico (PapaDulce) shows up and gives me a call. How great is that! We meet at my neighborhood biker bar ‘The Joint’. Sparks are flying. I mean we’re talking about living life with adventure and zest. PapaDulce is getting ready to do the Baja 1000 race again, it’s the 25th anniversary. I guess the race starts in reverse this year with a racer parade going south from Tijuana. PD and some others are doing the parade portion in tuxes. How flippin’ fun! I vowed to do the Baja 1000 in the future. Growing up I was intrigued by the race. I need to do it. That’s what life is for.
The next weekend I’m back to the cabin and back to the bike. The hole in the kickstand holder is worn-out and oblong in shape. This makes the kickstand droop and drag while I corner hard. Not fun. At a hardware store I found a steel collar that fits the kickstand pivot pin. Now I need to drill out the kickstand hold plate hole to the size of the collar. O-Yeah…
I slammed my fingers several times and cranked my wrists But after breaking two ½” drill bits, which are reduced to 3/8”, I have two holes that fit the collars.
Next, customize the collar into two collars the size I want. This is flippin’ fun.
A custom collar.
This problem has been nagging me for years. The kickstand is back on, whoosh. It slaps back into place against the rubber stopper on the frame. I’m one happy dude.
Now I take both wheels off to install new wheel bearings. Just like my buddy Tom told me, the mechanic at the local shop said “if there’s no sign of ware I shouldn’t need to replace the bearings” I’m sure it’s a quote right from the service manual. My attempt to describe how I beat the crap out of this bike and I have over 50,000 miles on it and I’m driving it to South America this summer 2-up, fell to deaf ears. It doesn’t matter, new bearings are going in tomorrow. While I’m at it this is a good time to replace the break pads and sweeten up the disks with some sandpaper.
An hour and a half at the Rice Lake motorcycle shop and I have four new wheel bearings. The operation called for a special puller. A buddy told me he machined his own. I let the shop install them this time. I don’t want to think maybe I did something wrong while I’m down in Guatemala or something. :|
All is good. I put the wheels back on and stuff in the new break pads. I jump on the bike and do a short loop around the hood. The speedometer shows speed, good, good. Next I do an eleven mile loop around the neighborhood. Something seems funny with the speedometer. The odometer shows seven miles, not eleven. Crap, a new speedometer is almost $500, I not gonna do that. I can just do the math while I’m on the road…… (Am I OK?)
Next I’m turning the right pannier 180 degrees, the way it’s made to be mounted. I’m ‘bumming because I will be hiding the cool scratches from when the bag fell off. With the pannier turned with the bevel on the outside I will have more clearance for my feet when I peddling in sand or dirt. I use some JB weld to seal the old mounting holes. Now I need some decals or stickers to hide the glue. An ADVrider.com sticker should work.
Now the new windshield goes on. It looks very small. I don’t know if I like it. I like the idea of having more protection from the giant jungle geegee bugs of Central America . . . . Naa’, that’s wimpy.
I still need to put on the new clutch cable, new gas lines, fork seals and the new drive belt. I think I can do the drive belt without taking off the wheel. I will try it next weekend. I’ll do the work pretending I’m on the road. (Did I just say that?)
HS, I’m getting ready to leave my present life behind. Every day I look more forward to the ride but at the same time I’m liking what I’m doing in my present life more and more. My emotions are swinging. XC- ski racing is for sure my favorite sport. I’m giving that up. I love to ski fast and pass people and there’s something magical about pushing your physical limits. I think strategies for executing a big motorcycle adventure have a lot in common with strategies for competing in a marathon event. Below is a list compiled by Lorraine Cohen from this year’s American Birkebenier pre-race magazine on how to achieve your dream race. I see this list as practical advice for pursuing just about any dream, especially a dream motorcycle adventure.
(Read the list slowly)
1. Create a vivid and compelling vision of the dream you wish to achieve.
2. Identify what stimulates and motivates you.
3. Be passionate.
4. Decrease and eliminate energy drains.
5. Practice extreme self-care.
6. Monitor your self-talk.
7. Meet your fear head-on.
8. Surround yourself with people who positively support you. (AdvRider, nood)
9. Draw on past successes to calm discouragement, doubt or fears.
I like this stuff. Any dream ride can be difficult to say the least. Anytime you stop what makes you comfortable and secure to head out into the unknown takes effort. For me, I constantly battle negative feelings that tell me to forget the ride and take the easy road. Like when I’m cold and stepping into the shower. I don’t know what that’s all about (I don’t want to know!) but I get undeniable feelings of hunkering down. While I’m at work and liking what I’m doing, ‘why do I want to give this up?’ Hanging uptown with Heidi for happy hour, ‘why do I want to travel and not even know where we’re spending that night?’ Heidi use to say often “why don’t we just fly somewhere and hang out on the beach” We can both see-it but after doing a few adventures together we know we have to keep adventure traveling. The struggles, inconveniences and mishaps are part of it. Adrenaline is a prime ingredient. Prepare, Initiate, Improvise, Prevail, Love it. Doing an adventure, for us, is a key to happiness and a full life.
I’m getting so fired up I’m almost shaking. Heidi is usually silent about the planning details but lately she has been voicing a lot of thoughts and good ideas. She is really thinking about her packing list and what she can bring. Every week I get handed a small pile of stuff along with her theory of why it should come with us. This sets me back in my thoughts. I have to make sure I have all the details ironed out. We talk about strategies, routes and destinations. We’re visiting a travel clinic to get shots, pills and instructions. Wow, it’s really happening. I already told my boss I’m quitting. I will make it official with the human recourses department in a few weeks. We’re going down our check lists and marking things off; world camp stove, check; water proof stuff sacs, check; new computer, check. Last weekend Heidi got new water proof touring boots and a full face helmet, check.
I seem to have things under control. Time to goof off and ‘bling’ up the bike a little. I love the ADVrider.com slogan “Ride the World” I apply the decal in just the right spot.
I copied this image from a T-shirt of mine. I thought it would make a good graphic on our new gas tank. I like the hair….(Ya right!) I played with the size on the computer until I got it just right, and then printed it out, two copies, one the mirror image of the other. I take the printouts and position them on the tank where I want hem. (I’m liken this way too much) Once positioned I applied some painters tape on the tank under the printout.
I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m making this all up as I go. That said, I install a new X-acto blade and proceed to cut out along the graphic on the print out and into the painters tape to create a template mask.
This required a good eye and a steady hand. Like the original artist I must duplicate the exact figure and lines and curves. The work is intense. The lines are iconic and must be exact.
I’m satisfied with the results. The tape figure peels off with ease. The breasts on the right side are more forward,
On the left side they are thrusting up in a more playful fashion. I like them both (smile). Will I ever grow up?
It's ready for paint. I hope this works.
I’m thinking I should wait at least 24 hours before taking the tape off. I guess it’s time to put on the new drive belt. I never realized how much work you save by having a chain that you can split and just slap on. I spent at least a half an hour with a cup of coffee just looking and thinking about how I’m going to do this. I find myself thinking wimpy thoughts and wanting to just take it somewhere and have it done. I recognize my thoughts and say to myself “What if I need to do this on the road in the middle of nowhere? I need to know to do it”
I had trouble figuring out how to remove the right foot peg, it needed to come off. The foot peg turned out to ‘be one’ with the side case. I finally get everything to come off. Yes!
It didn’t show up but a small hail storm came through while I was working on the bike. Large pea size hail coming down hard. No better place to be than in the boathouse with my bike. (That’s almost poetic…)
The new belt is on, score! I call up my local bike shop in Trego, Kick Stand motor sports and ask if they have a Dunlap 402 rear tire my size in stock. I’m back an hour later with the new tire mounted up. Life is good. . .
I feel the drum roll. I peal back the painters tape. NICE
I still have daylight and the weather feels eerie warm. It’s time to take my new girls out for a spin.
Getting Ready for the Ride……..
Dear xxx HR Department
Bla bla bla……..
Thomas H. Junkans
HS, I did it! It’s hard to describe the feelings getting ready to write this resignation letter and hand it in. For weeks I was seeing my life, my career, my income, my security flashing before my eyes. It was like my brain was in some type of fast speed mode. My moods are swinging, mostly swinging up but swinging none the less. I’m drinking a little, I think mostly because Heidi and I feel like partying more (I hope that’s all it is…..)
We both just finished our 8 day pill regimen for Typhoid fever. We’re good for five years now. All the other shots are done, yellow fever, tetanus, rabies. We’re stocked with malaria pills. I just sent in our application for world health insurance. It was still a hard decision nailing down the exact plan we wanted and finalizing it. Ouch ouch, a $5,000 deductible was the only affordable plan.
Now down to just a few items to buy. At REI we picked up water purification tablets, zinc oxide and two large hi-tech camp towels. The towels fold up small and light and are big enough for the beach. At WalMart I bought a three pack of water proof stuff sacks, $11. They looked exactly the same as the two I bought at REI for $15 a piece. We became members of the South America Explorers club and got on the mailing list for ‘SierraTradingPost.com’ Name brand adventure gear. A lot of items are discontinued but the prices are unbeatable. We ordered a backpack to strap on the back of the sissy bar. I hope it fits. I wanted it large enough so we can use it for overnight ‘on foot’ expeditions, like traveling up the Amazon river and sleeping on the deck of a boat or something like that. (I am fired up!)
We spent a lot of time getting things done way ahead of time but now there’s still a lot to do. I paid the last rent check, 2 weeks to go in our Minneapolis apartment and we are out. We’re moving a little at a time every weekend to our little cabin in the north woods but now its time to get serious. I brought a trailer back this trip so we can do a big haul this weekend. I still have to find someone to do our taxes the next couple of years. I need to arrange to have our bank person liquidate some 401K money for us on January first of 08’ and again in 09’. I need to get a little creative figuring out how to bank roll this trip until then. We have zero savings but I have good credit. This is fricking fun. In some ways I feel like I’m being bad, like I’m doing something wrong. We’re suppose to use the 401K money for retirement, the government even panelizes us, like its illegal. I say to hell with that, we’re going to spend it now and live! I have a lot of living to get done. The time to make it happen is Now!
The backpack came in the mail this week, time to test the thing out. I made up some straps, I cut them too short. I used a hose clamp to secure the backpack to the sissy bar, it worked but I don’t like it.
I picked a good backpack for this application. The colored stripes on the back are strips of heavy webbing that overlap each other. This is for moving the shoulder straps up or down to match the torso of the backpacker. I don’t like the hose clamp thing. It’s going to rip the webbing eventually, it’s bulky and I can’t get the backrest to fit on.
I need to figure out another way to attach the backpack. Maybe a tongue sticking vertical off the back of the sissy bar will work. If I modify one colored strap on the backpack and make the tongue width just right I should have great support. I cut off the two backpack hip pads and straps. They were bulky and in the way and I can always slip on a simple hip strap when backpacking.
Great! Here’s the plan. I start out by tracing around the sissy bar. The tongue will have to be 2 pieces, one long one that sticks out and into the backpack and another that brings the tongue out and away from the sissy bar so the backpack can slip on.
A trip to the local hardware store in Spooner and I come away with 4 pieces cut to length. I wanted 3 inch aluminum stock but all they had was an inch and a half. I think it should work fine.
While at the hardware store I bought some steel cable and couplers to make these security cables. Nothing is totally theft proof but these make things snatch and grab proof. I’ll use them for attaching helmets, sleeping bags or anything else I’m concerned about.
Looks good, it should work……
Perfect! No clamping or tying. The backpack has an internal frame and sits upright and rigid. The sissy bar pad slips right on like normal.
Woosh! That’s a big load off my shoulders. The backpack is picked out, purchased and attached. The setup is tested and I’m feeling pretty good about it. The sleeping bags, the tent, cooking gear and tools all have a place and we have two huge empty panniers ready for our personal gear. This could seriously work. . .
Now: Preparations are in hi-swing.
We moved out of our little apartment in the Minneapolis Uptown area. We loved living here and all the fun stuff to do in the city but it’s time for a change.
Years ago we sold our house in the cities and then bought a small summer cabin in Northern Wisconsin.
I spent a couple of years playing architect and learning building techniques, a year digging a hole for the basement and foundation (by hand) and about 6 years to build it, me with the help of a friend now and then. This has been our dream for a long time (Notice the same front door). Our hard work and combined focus paid off. The place is by no means complete but its good enough to call home.
Heidi and I think of our place in the north woods as a paradise. We often question our sanity for leaving it for so long to go off and travel. I’m sure it will seem even better when we return.
I had a little send off from some work friends, nice. People showed up who I worked with for years. It doesn’t feel real that I’m leaving. It’s been 25 years ago I started working here. I was in my 20’s, hard to imagine. I feel blessed.
Also, a little party at the cabin
Another motorcycle modification. I picked up a bicycle speedometer from Aerostitch for $32. My buddy Ken has a good idea of how to mount it. He drills and taps a hole on the handlebar top plate.
Nice….. now I need to figure out how to mount the sensor and magnet.
I’ve been putting off a few things I still need to do to the bike. Time to get it done!
I install the new clutch cable. I get it almost all put together and adjusted before I notice it’s about 10 inches shorter then the original. Crap! I order another cable. It should be in by this weekend. I get the cable and seems to work. I put everything together and pour in the gear case oil. I soon notice oil dripping from the gear case. Double Crap! I pinched the rubber O-ring gasket when I reinstalled the cover. I call the shop in Rice Lake, they have it in stock.
Next I take the gas tank off and proceed to replace the rubber fuel line and the rubber vacuum lines. I figure anything rubber should be replaced on a bike that’s 13 years old. The new lines go on hard but I finally get it all put back together. When I turn the gas line to on I soon notice fuel pouring down the side of the engine. Ahhhh! I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It seemed like it was leaking right at the plastic nipple feeding the carburetor. After fiddling around with the nipple I realize it has a crack. I immediately think to myself ‘why the hell is this thing plastic’ ‘It sits right next to the engine cylinder head exposed to extreme heat, it’s going to fail’ I call up the bike shop to see if they need to order one. They have them in stock also and Yes, the new part is all brass. I’m sure the engineer responsible for the plastic part got a big ‘Thata boy’ from management for saving maybe 10 cents on the part. I thank god for the failure happening now and not while we are in the middle of Honduras or something.
Heidi and I buzz over to the Rice Lake Harley Davidson shop and pick up the new parts. The new piece hammers in and seals with a compression fit.
I also picked up a new cylinder head to carburetor gasket. A few summers ago the bike was running bad at low speeds and I had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. It ended up to be this rubber gasket that failed.
OK, it’s time to put in the new fork seals. The old seals are leaking in a bad way.
Soon I hear weird sounding thunder coming closer and closer. I look out to the west and didn’t see anything serious looking but I still heard the thunder, but I saw no lighting. All of a sudden all hell breaks loose. Almost golf ball size hail is slamming down everywhere.
It was over as fast as it started but still left a lot of hail.
Ever since I rode down to Belize and messed around on the beach my forks have looked tarnished. I figure it was from the salt water and air. My friend Hipster suggested using fine sand paper. I used 1500 grit paper. It took off all the tarnish with ease.
I had the fork pieces setting just the way they came out but putting it back together I had a rough time pressing in the slip bushing. Then I think, maybe it goes in first. I press it in then realize NO, it goes in just the way I had it laid out, darn. I had a hell of a time getting the bushing out and I pretty much destroyed it in the process. The Rice Lake shop has none in stock so I’m down for 4 or 5 days now, not liken it. I do the other fork and everything goes together just fine. I have my confidence back! I WILL get this sucker ready to go ….
The bike was on the rack for days. I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t concentrate on doing anything else with the bike like this. I started to call shops looking for a part in stock. New Richmond, WI is a 2 hour drive but I got the part. Like a surgeon I press in the new bushing and assemble the fork back together. Now I’m happy!
The fork is back on. Next I decide to mount a new front tire. The tire I had was still good but I had a new tire in the shed and thought it would be nice to start with all new rubber. I use the bead breaker I bought from HappyTrails.com. Once you do a few tires it’s quite easy. For some reason I decided to install the tube I had instead of carrying it. I don’t know what I did but I put a hole in the tube. I take the tube out and just take the tire to an air compressor and fill it up. All is good but I will have to buy another tube to take along, just for an emergency, like if I split a tire or something and I’m in the middle of nowhere.
I scraped off a section of paint on the front break caliper to mount the electronic speedometer sensor. I used JB weld epoxy. I did the same thing on the front wheel to mount the magnet. JB weld holds up pretty good but it will get brittle over time. I have one backup magnet just in case and I can always do the math using the main speedometer if all else fails.
Heidi and I are starting to get accustomed to the idea of being retired unemployed people. We don’t have to go to work today :), We have the world in our hands. People often ask us what will we do with ourselves if we’re not working, hinting that we for sure will get bored. I guess we’re lucky, we both like to exercise just for the sake of exercise and we always look for fun ways to do it. I grew up watching my father run 2 miles everyday, he is 50 years older then me. In retirement at age 65 my dad continued to run everyday and train for extended backpack expeditions. One backpack trip he and my older sister hiked for over 3 months straight. I guess that’s the way we see retirement, a chance to do the things we’ve always dreamed of. To make our dreams reality we need to be physically fit. We see this stage in our life as a chance to obtain supreme physical fitness, not just grow old.
This weekend is Musky festival in Hayward Wisconsin. There are a lot of activities going on including the Musky Run. The mental high achieved after a painful competition is unreal. We always question our sanity the morning of these events but are always toasting after.
The ‘Rat Bike’ sits at the ready; new tires, new cables, new clutch, new bearings, new oil, new belt, new breaks. We’ll get a new battery and new rubber again at the Mexican border. The headlight is the original, 13 years old. I wonder if I should replace it. Pretty much everything is done. Now we need to do a test, a fully loaded overnight camping run.
Today should be in the nineties. We are going to do an overnight canoe river trip first and test out our camping gear. This should be a lot of fun. The Hayward area is great for outside activity. We have 4 different rivers in the area to canoe on. We like the Namekagon River. We can ‘put in’ six miles from our cabin and end up even closer. The Namekagon River is protected under the ‘national wild river act’ so everything is left wild and natural. There are several primitive camping spots along the river for canoe people and off road bikers, that is if you know the back trails.
We still have a couple of weeks for preparation so hang in there; this is just a warm up!
2 year Motorcycle Adventure: ---> Page 1 <----