Week One Recap of the Trip

The first week of the trip has been everything that I thought it would be. Relaxing, stressful, feelings of freedom, solitude, adventure, panic, and everything in between.  I’ve logged about 1,300 miles in 6 days, cut through 7 states, burned about 20 gallons of gas, and already have dozens of crazy stories from the road.

I started to really enjoy the morning routine of packing up camp, organizing everything onto the bike, doing my morning bike check, chugging some water, and looking for a brewery 150 miles away from where ever I happen to be at the moment.

The Weather

The weather has been between 60-80 degrees everyday with sunny skies. I couldn’t have asked for a better for week of weather for my journey. I know that this will change… big time. But for now, the southern sky has been a warm, welcoming feeling for the trip. It’s tough to ignore the fact that it’s snowing up north (where I’ll be in 10-12 days) but when the sky is solid blue in every direction and it’s 80+ degrees in New Orleans I’m able to push those thoughts aside and enjoy it for now. I’ll deal with the cold weather when I get to it, or when it gets to me.

The Bike

Overall the bike is amazing! I couldn’t be more thrilled with my selection and the prep work that went into this bike. Even fully loaded down with 80+ pounds of boxes, electronics, clothing, tools, and other supplies, it still sides great. It does sit a little low on the road which has only been an issue when hitting railroad tracks at 60+mph.

The ongoing fan/overheating issue

When I got to Savannah on Monday I realized that my cooling fan ont he radiator was not working. I figured this out when the warning light turned on to tell me the bike was too hot. I’ve been trying to source a new fan along the way but I have not had any luck yet. It’s only an issue when I’ve been running it hot and heavy for over an hour or two and than I get off into heavy stop and go traffic.

At this point my Band-Aid approach has been to kill the engine when I get to a standstill in traffic. I’m getting ready to pull the panels off the bike and take the fan off the bike to see if I can get breath some life back into it.

The Steering Bearing

The day before my trip I had one of the techs at Eurosport tell me that my steering bearing was shot. Great news to get the day before a 5,000 mile trip. I’ve started to really notice this issue while traveling at low speeds. It’s not an easy fix and I’m wondering if this might hold me up at some point on the trip. It basically finds a “notch” at the dead center spot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it basically “auto-straightens” the handlebars. This is however an issue in slow, tight turns.

The Locations

So far I’ve been to/through the following notable cities:

  • Asheville, NC to Charleston, SC – The longest way possible through Spartenburg, Saluda, Tryon, Sumpter National Forest, Columbia, North Charleston. Most of this was on Highway 176 (instead of Highway 26).
  • Charleston South through Beaufort, Hilton Head and stopped in Savannah for lunch. I continued down Highway 95 though Kingsland and landed in Jacksonville.
  • Jacksonville west on Highway 10 intil reaching Lake City and Live Oak. From this point I went south through Perry, FL, from here it was South West along the gulf coast. On this stretch I passed through Sopchoppy, Carrabelleand the Apalchicola National Forest. I finally cut through a small beach town called Cape San Blas and proceeded to the end of the Peninsula called St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Breathtaking.
  • St Joseph north along the panhandle through Panama City, Destin, Pensacola and onto Mobile Alabama. My destination was a Palm Tree Farm just north of The Bayou La Batre.
  • Palm Tree Farm west to New Orleans. This ride was the shortest day that I’ve had the entire trip. Tons of bridges and fishing towns. I rode through Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulf port. This ride basically hugged the coast the entire time. I’m now staying in the French Quarter of New Orleans in an Air B&B.