Monday, September 15, 2014

Total PVC container storage system (TPVCC)

While I try to catch up on blogging... Will leave Thursday or Friday for a 10 day adventure ride.

Soon to be published photos will show my on-board storage system revised for dual-sport riding!   Totally PVC with no name brand paniers or top-box.  Only Martee tank bag and Wolfman duffel.

Recently I upgraded my tent to a Kelty Gunnison 3.2 and added a Kelty Cabana.   The cabana is a
larger enclosure, lighter weight and packs smaller.   This trip that's all that I will take.  It fits in the front left canister with room to spare.

The total volume of 5 canisters now is 1.533 cubic feet, (43.4 l!) with all but one container IN FRONT of the rear axle!  All of the storage is below the level of the seat for lower center of gravity.  This should travel well and improve tire life over everything being mounted on the rear of the bike.  The conventional BMW branded luggage can still be mounted in the original positions.

By constantly reviewing "is this item really necessary?" I have pruned away gadgets and tools that really aren't critical to travels.   Still I am carrying a hotplate, cameras, computer, extension cord and kitchen equipment... and a towel.   Will see how the next 10 days goes in the new configuration.

Travel safe!


Often Asked Questions...

Over the past couple weekends, mostly from Horizons Unlimited, people asked some questions about my resources, both riding and publishing.   Let me take a stab at posting things here.

What's a Spot Tracker and how do you save maps and tracks?
     - - The Spot tracking device costs about $90.  Annual subscription for live tracking is about $150.  Priceless.

Screen capture software:  Snagit from Tech Smith <<<

Favorite Video Editing Software, includes all the whistles and bells, titles, voice-overs and uploading to Youtube or Facebook. AVS Video Editor -   AVS4YOU from Tech Smith.  The free version leaves a corp logo on the screen during playback.   Full edition costs about $39/year ($59 unlimited)
Photo Editing Software:   Adobe PhotoShop CC.  $9.95/month

My AMSOIL Dealer pages:

My photography website:

Best Forums:
     - GS Giants on Facebook

Find me on Facebook:


Trail of Tears Rally, Southern Illiniois Area Riders Assn.

Going backward to update stories today...   Time is so fleeting...

Last weekend Donna and I traveled down to the Reynoldsville, IL area with the Southern Illinois Area BMW Riders club for the Trail of Tears Rally.

This has to have been the most laid-back group I have spent time with.   Great folks, now doubt about that.   Many new friends.

The Trail of Tears Campground was very cordial and helpful in facilitating the event.   Food was super and reasonably priced.  Wifi would have been nice, because phone signals were practically non-existent.   The riders from different areas gathered in separate 'compounds', each with it's own fire pit and story telling.

Saturday they led two rides to Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau, MO.   The road ride git there first, and snarffed up the chili(!)  so by the time the 5 of us on the Dual Sport arrived (further delayed by a flat time 2 miles from the end zone...) we were down to popcorn...   Fortunately the coffee house down the street was in full swing and provided a great selection.  N.o wash outs or hazards to speak of.
Couple miles of pavement to another 7 mile forest service road with some lovely overlooks of the Mississippi and the valley west of there.  After the mountain roads we picked
up about 10 miles of levy roads heading south along the river to Rt 146 and the bridge to Cape G'.  That's where one of the guys picked up a nail and promptly hosted a tube repair demo.

Blessed with near perfect weather, we spent the afternoon at the dealership swapping stories and chatting with pedestrians.  Then back to camp for a great dinner and early turn in.   Donna and I had rented a room in the lodge and really enjoyed the complimentary breakfast, along with the hot shower!

Many thanks to the officers and friends from the SARA BMW group, and Grass Roots for the popcorn.  Will likely see many of the same folks at the Falling Leaf Rally next month in Petosi, MO.

Travel Safe, my friends!

Videos to be added soon...

Travels to Horizons Unlimited, Iron Horse MC Resort, Robbinsville, GA

To be updated.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Good morning, all you out there in the blog-o-sphere...   Haven't posted in a couple weeks due to active agenda and putting thoughts together.  Now I have settled in Carterville, IL with my new sweetheart and almost feel like a resident again.   (Formative years were 20 miles east of here in Herrin.)

Once the yard sale wrapped up (see earlier posts) I loaded the bike, turned off the power at the house in PA and headed south for the Horizons Unlimited Rally at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort near Robbinsville, NC.   Traveling west from home (17967) across PA on 2-lane roads I sensed that these roads would be sorely missed...   Cornfields, Amish wagons with kids in coveralls, mom-and-pop cafes in small farm and river towns...   Part of the culture and heritage of Central PA.   

West to Juniata county I reached a 4-lane south but wanted to find a quieter option.   Pulling into a Turkey Hill I just waited a couple minutes
until an interested passer-by opened a conversation.   He was headed to his fishing camp (Labor Day Monday, mind you) and suggested I follow him south on Rt 103.  This turned into a 50 or so mile tour along the quiet Juniata river while campers were spending their last holiday morning cooking and hoping for that last nibble on the line to fry up for lunch.   

I figured out last Thanksgiving weekend that holidays aren't bad for traveling if you pick your days and hours carefully.   I had planned to start on Sunday but received a last minute call from someone wanting to buy my greenhouse so I hung back a day.   I figured Monday would be OK for light traffic until at least noon.   That was right on the money, and sticking to back roads worked even better.  

Somehow I ended up on a 4-lane anyway and crossed over into MD further east than intended.   WV was my southbound tour of choice so I needed to head west.   I hopped off at the next exit and just started winging-it west until I would find Rt 220.   

Hopefully I can get back to my tracker maps and find the route numbers, but it seems that a county rt 705(?) took me across great winding valleys and eventually I made the connection to 220 and down to Parkersburg.  Found a motel called Fort Hill and overnighted with local pizza and a couple brews. 

Work in progress... please come back later for more detail.