No Hauling, I’m Riding to Sturgis this Year

Way back at the first of the year, I told you guys that I was going to clock 15,000 miles this year and that I was going to ride to Sturgis this year. The way the year started, I wondered if that was actually going to work – losing a motor does tend to slow down your ability to ride. With my recent trips to Texas and Florida, though, I’m actually ahead of schedule and Sturgis is going to put me way above where I thought I’d be this time of year…

Riding to Sturgis 2016

What? You think that me buying a tow rig was going to make me miss – or not go – to Sturgis on the back of my bike?

I am. But a journey of nearly two thousand miles starts with one thought: What the hell do I pack? Tools, clothes, miscellaneous gear – I’ve been trying to figure all that out for a couple of weeks, and I hit on a pretty interesting solution.

I’m going to ship most of my crap by UPS.

Not really that much, but I honestly can’t take too many pairs of clean underwear in my saddlebags and I’m too old to wear dirty clothes like some 20 year old Bernie Sanders supporter.

I’ll have my tool roll and enough clothes for the three days I’ll be driving, then pick up my UPS box at the UPS Store and have everything I need. No trailer, no RV, no nonsense.

I think it’s ingenious. More importantly, shipping the stuff I need will cost me about $30 versus taking the bike in tow and running two thousand miles feeding a diesel. Even better? I don’t have to be “that guy” that we all secretly dislike – the one that owns a bike but doesn’t ride it except on sunny days and had the shop do all the work. He couldn’t tune a carb if he had the manual and a six foot toolbox.

Nope, I’ll be there, dirty bike, clean clothes, and more money to spend. When everything closes down, I’ll ship it all back home, along with anything that I “had” to buy and saddle up for the ride home. I’ve got a few old friends that I can spend the night with along the way, so the party won’t really stop on the way home, either.

Of course, the real question is what do you actually need to bring on a bike trip that damn near crosses the country? Looking back on my ride to Texas earlier this month, not much. I mean, I brought a socket set, a selection of screw drivers and such, but I figured if I have a catastrophic issue, no tool is really going to solve the problem. I did determine that my tires weren’t up to par for another long jaunt, so I’ve fixed that, and I’ll probably toss a couple of carb pieces in my tool kit – but only because I have them. After all, I’m not going on safari, I’m going for a bike ride.

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