Ground Zero Bound

Lets go!

One of my favorite parts of a long trip is the preparation beforehand and the anticipation it brings. 2,000 miles on a motorcycle really isn't that big of a deal, but one still needs to get one's shit together, literally. I try to be relaxed about it, and not some militaristic weirdo, but it's difficult. I can see why normal people talk themselves into sensible bikes like baggers or GoldWings™, but that would just suck the fun out of it. So here it is, 40-some-odd hours before we launch and my bed roll, jacket and two(!) tool bags are mounted and ready. Plugs, filter and oil have all been changed, along with new rear brake pads and cables tidied up one last time. Nuts and bolts tightened, loc-tighted and safety-wired four days in advance, and I'll probably still break something in the first 100 miles...

After the Chop Meet, EDR3 and various other runs, when our good friend Joel suggested riding old Route 66 out to Trent's Ground Zero Throwdown, my reaction was "Hell yes, but you plan the route and lead the way! I'm not in charge of shit, and I'll just follow your lead." Joel is as solid as they come and has a sweet route planned, most of it avoiding the freeways, which will make it way more fun, but also make it longer for sure. He's also patient enough that when I suggested riding the back roads out of Temecula to Joshua Tree Tuesday night and camping there, he agreed. Our plan is to wake up with the sun and ride through that beautiful part of the desert in the early morning on Wed and then just make it as far as we feel like, then camp again. Wake up and repeat for a couple days until we make it to Trent's campground at a lake I can't pronounce. We don't have a chase truck other than McGoo back home with the team van and a ramp just in case.

Gear? My Sporty has just about zero gear-hauling capability. I made a luggage rack but it was so ugly and poorly made that I couldn't stand to mount it up. Instead, I figured out how to bungee my jacket and bedroll (Army-issue bivvy and inner-liner, plus a blow-up sleeping pad) to the fender. It seems pretty solid. Tools and spares went into two fork-mounted tool rolls. The cool one made by Breeane at Cycle Cosmetics, the other one some old junk I had laying around. Everything else is in my old assault pack; basic medic kit, flashlight, sunscreen, bug spray, skivvies and socks, poncho, etc. Joel taught me in Mexico to bring your worst old t-shirts and just throw them away when they get funky. That won't take long. Hopefully someone will be selling some new ones in ABQ or we'll be hitting the local WalMart for a resupply. If we had a solid itinerary and knew what hotels we were staying at etc, it'd be a different story but since we're "roughing it" keeping the list of essentials down, but well-thought out is paramount.

Joel is riding his (51?) pan he recently built, Chris is riding his Mr. Potato Head™ pan, Josh is on his Choppahead-built modern Triumph Chop and I'll be rocking my '98 Sportster I borrowed from the wife (kidding!). See you guys in New Mexico, if you need parts in the meantime, hit up Lick's Cycles, Lowbrow, Unit1Parts or your local shop, because we damn sure won't be answering the phone for about a week. If anyone wants to go with us, we're leaving the shop at 6:00PM on Tuesday, just show up ready to rock.