Monday, January 17, 2011

Summer trip planning II

Since my last post a lot of map marking, reading and on-line research has scraped the accumulated grime off a trip plan thought of so many years ago I am not sure when it was. In the 1980's I'd guess, I restarted reading Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and again did not get much past North Dakota. This was maybe the third attempt, and right as I found myself reading in 2 or 3 page sessions, approaching the time to give up again, I conjured the image of reading the book at the very places he was describing in the text. Actually making the trip that he made in 1968, part of which was with friends riding the same bike I will be riding, a BMW R60. At that time I knew not if the trip details in the book were fiction or fact. On one level it did not matter.

Looking at the states I needed to traverse to get to my goal, a route emerged that brought Pirsig's journey to mind. So a few keystrokes and clicks later and I had a map of his trip, worked out by Pirsig Pilgrims who precede me along the way. I learned that people have earned PhD paper and that there are conferences on one of this book's real messages: the Metaphysics of Quality.

Anyway, Beaverton is not on his route so I'll have to ride a few extra miles. And then there is the return trip. I now plan to ride another bucket-list road: US 50 from San Francisco to Annapolis. A book called Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen gives details of the good stuff along US 50 called the "Loneliest Road" in the country. Looks like some very nice scenery out west. I hope the gas stations are not too far apart for my little tank.
Looks like 7000 miles plus. Maybe too many miles, we'll see.

So on the bike front, I am lacing new rims I've had on the shelf for many years to the hubs and getting them trued up by a professional wheel tweaker, re-lining the brakes, ordering new tires, greasing everything that is supposed to be slippery and wiping off everything that ain't.

I'm mounting my old Craven bags because they hold lots more than the cool Enduro bags now mounted and they have a luggage rack to strap down tent, sleeping bag and the like. Maybe I'm even going to install the dual seat rather than my very tired solo seat so that I can slide back and stretch the legs over the many miles.

I will be running an APRS tracker on this trip so where there is a ham able to capture my signal and relay it to the internet, you will be able to follow my progress. With my new cell phone I should be able to post photos as well. It will be a great to have you along on this hot, cold, dry and wet ride!


Mom A said...

You'll be tired by happy...

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

You can be sure that we will be checking for updates and following along, vicariously.

Ian Glendinning said...

On an old Beemer too. BTW Old Bike Rider, thanks for picking up on the link to my route map, but if you wanna hit all the right spots make sure you look at Gary Wegner's even better map, complete with GPS waypoints if you need em
Henry Gurr is a mine of information about the journey too
Good luck.
Ian Glendinning (Psybertron)

OldBikeRider said...


What an honor to have your input here. I have been reading your stuff as well as Dr Gurr's things and have been looking for a map with GPS points. I do carry a simple GPS that is more to record my path and drive the APRS tracker than to navigate. But I have never tried to follow a defined route before, usually the point is to wander around and find food, friends I've never met and enjoy creation.

So this time that kind of data may be of value. In the mean time I am having fun with the planning, reading the book again, reading Zen and Now (actually listening to it on Audible as well) and waiting for the library to find their copy of the Guidebook to ZAMM. I can't find my pink paperback, likely gave it to someone else, but I'll get one for the trip I suppose.
Again thanks for your comments and follow me in July if you like.

anilia said...

I think I have the pink paperback version. You lent it to us...
As long as Baltimore is somewhere in this trip, I promise to return the book. :)

OldBikeRider said...

Baltimore is right on the way to Annapolis. Prepare the bed and the bath and the beer. July 30th, 2011 early evening.

Ian Glendinning said...

I know what you mean about the mixed value of GPS accuracy ... often better just to experience the travel than to arrive, n'all that.

Anapolis - now that's on Pirsig's route too, but you'd have to swap the bike for the boat ;-)

(Seriously though, if you wanna post your real-time progress to the web, do let one of us know. Your call.)

OldBikeRider said...


Thanks for the Annapolis tie-in.

The link to the tracker page will be posted on the bog page right before I take off on the trip. Several people looked at it last year and made comments. Since this is dependent on fixed ham radio stations picking up the signal from my bike and relaying it to the internet, there will be times when there is loss of the track, but I was surprised last year how much was picked up.

I only run 5 watts and a minimal antenna on the bike so it is a miracle that is works at all!