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July 7, 2008

In preparation for a trip to a family reunion in Cordele, GA this weekend (approx. 300 mile one way), I purchased a tank bag from RideNow Powersports.

http://www.ridenow.com/default.aspx

See product review at

Tank Bag and Saddle bags.

I'll write an after incident report when I return and let you know how this worked out. I know that for many 300 miles is nothing, but for me it will be quite an adventure.

 

 

July 16, 2008

 I left the house well before dawn on Friday, the 11th. The highways were mostly deserted and I made good time getting out of town. We have been having rains every afternoon and the roads were still damp and the air heavy with moisture. As I traveled, there was often a glow around street lights and the occasional vehicle's headlights. Gradually the day broke and by Ocala it was fully light. Watching the morning arrive was actually quite pleasant. 

 I stopped several times during the trip, mainly for fuel, but also for breakfast in Lake City. The break was nice as my butt, not accustomed to this much time in the saddle, was beginning to complain rather loudly. Another stop in Valdosta for a coke was appreciated.

The tank bag performed very satisfactorily and between it and my back pack I carried clothing and essentials for the two days that I would be in Cordele. However, I did have the added advantage of being able to send my suit and dress shirt via other family members. I don't think either pack would have done that job very well.

I discovered that I did not really need the tether. I removed it for the trip back due to concerns that it might scuff the paint with the constant high speed flapping that it had been doing on the trip up. I ran 75 and 80 most of the way and the bag didn't budge. I'm sure in a crash it would probably come off but I don't think the wind will move it.

I have since gone over the tank with some wax and can find no damage of any kind. For that I am grateful.

I found that removing the bag for security purposes when I needed to go in was a snap and I didn't hesitate to do so. One thing that did happen twice was to have the fuel nozzle spit and spill fuel on the tank. From there it immediately headed under the tank bag. Having the material on the underside of the bag get soaked with fuel was something I would rather avoid. With out the tether, removal of the bag was immediate and no fuel got on the material. 

Riding with the bag was actually quite comfortable. I would rest my left elbow on my knee and lay on the bag. This had the added advantage of taking pressure off my right hand. I would alternately use my left hand and that would allow me to change the position of my right.

 The one thing that I did find was the the map pocket was too close to my chest and could not be seen unless I sat back and looked almost straight down. I was unable to glance down at the map while still being able to watch the road. Fortunately I didn't need the map except toward the end and just checked it when stopped at a light. Checking the map while moving was not really an option and for that the map pocket gets an unsatisfactory grade.

 

The trip up took about 7 hours but the trip back took only about 5 1/2. Being a little better conditioned I only stopped for fuel and wanted to get home before the afternoon thunderstorms hit. All in all it was a good trip. I saw lots of family and caught up on all the news. Most were surprised to see me there on the bike.

 

Below are pictures that I took at the resort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October 15, 2008.

 

After my trip to Cordele I was encouraged to extend my horizons as to the distance that I might travel. So, when discussion in my group about the Barber Vintage Festival, October 17-19, at the Barber Museum in Birmingham came up, I began thinking about going. After about a month of deliberation, I began to make plans. First, many of my friends urged me to take the "scenic route", as opposed to the "slab". My problem with this was the additional time that I would have to spend in the saddle. The solution that I came up with was to break the trip up into two days with a layover about midpoint. This would mean approximately a six day trip and the need to take more "stuff". Taking more stuff meant more storage capability as the tank bag and back pack were not going to be sufficient, I never learned to travel light.

 

What I bought was a set of saddle bags from New Enough,

http://www.newenough.com/

If you look under their street accessories for luggage you will see what they offer. The bags that I bought were Nelson Rigg CL-950 Deluxe. New Enough sells several different brands but I chose these. Click on

Tank Bag and Saddle bags.

if you are interested in my review of this product and have not already seen it.

Below are some of the pictures that I took on my trip.

 

I left the house Wednesday morning about 09:45 to meet fellow rider Jim. Jim had just gotten back in town from a trip to Bangkok where he rented a bike and spent many hours dodging elephant dung while riding the country side. The significance of this was that he decided at the last minute to accompany me and needed a few extra hours that morning to get ready. I happily agreed as the trip was intended to be leisurely and we would have plenty of  time.

 

 

We met in the parking lot of the local hangout and made our departure from there. Jim also has a CB750 in very nice shape but decided to take the F4 for this trip.

 

 

And so, our big adventure began.

We would take a quick hop up the Sunshine State Parkway to Wildwood where we would catch SR44 west to Crystal River. Originally I had intended to wander up SR441 through Apopka, Mount Dora, Tavares, and Leesburg before catching SR44 west. By short circuiting that part of the trip we easily made up for any lost time.

From Crystal River we made our way north and west along SR19, through little Florida towns such as Otter Creek, Cross City, and Perry. Somewhere along the way we stopped for lunch. By then, I was ready for a break.

From Perry we followed SR19 north, passing under I-10 just east of Tallahassee and on through Monticello and into Georgia. At Thomasville we caught SR84 and headed west through Bainbridge, finally arriving at our layover in Donalsonville.

The mist of dusk settles over the cotton fields of Georgia. It's cotton pickin' time.

The next morning we headed north, paralleling the Georgia/Alabama state line. We passed through Eufaula and on to Columbus. Along the way we took many side roads and saw some really cool country side.

At one point we topped a ridge and swooped down into a valley filled with pale green butterflies. The were literally filling the sky. Of course, they also filled my visor and jacket. Oh well, it was still a sight to see.

 At another point I spotted two fawn which bounded away from us into someone's tree filled front yard. Pets no doubt. I enjoyed seeing them, was glad they didn't become embedded in my visor. 

 

 

 

From Columbus we took SR280 west toward Birmingham. Here we stopped for pictures at the Alabama State Line.

 

 

This is the Chattahoochee river which separates Georgia and Alabama.  From here we made it into Birmingham with out any trouble. It had been a great ride but I was glad to be stopped. I can't imagine what it must be like to travel for days on end like Iron Butt folk do!

The next several days were filled with great old bikes in racing trim. I took lots of pictures and will add them to the site when I have time.

 

 

 

 

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