Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Welcome on board X-Lite Performance Helmets

X-Lite Performance Helmets have just agreed to support the One Woman, One Moto project. This is my helmet of choice and I am so pleased to be welcoming them on board. A special thank you to Steve and Trevor, who have been so enthusiastic in their support so far.

So why did I want this helmet? You don't need to go much further than to Google it and read the reviews (or watch the review below). This is a well thought out crossover helmet that has comfort, practicality and ruggedness built in! It also looks good and comes in a choice of colours! I want a helmet that will work for me on AND off road but doesn't compromise in either situation.

It's light and uses modern choice materials for the
layers of the shell and extra comfortable high-tech fabrics for the interior. It also has the additional bonus of the internal VPS sunscreen and is standard ready for the N-COM X-Series communication system. This will work well with my Garmin and iPod! I think it has me covered!

The biggest test for it will, of course, be whether it can handle a world trip! Watch this space.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge campsite to end

Well  that's it for the first group. The final few days are over! All the riders have just left the port and I am sat in the port office (kindly given a desk for an hour while I wait for my lift).  All the lovely New York accents around me as they send and receive freight from the busy Newark shipping lanes. They are all so kind here. A family run business, the father, who calls me dear as he sits me at a spare desk in the thankfully air conditioned office out of the searing Newark heat, reminds me of a character from Cagney and Lacey!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The road to Nashville

The last few days have been a little tyring. We have had a couple of long transit days (around 500 miles on one road!) and so not had much to tell. These days are necessary evils if you want to cross a continent twice in 21 days and this is something you will have to bear in mind if you are considering coming on a this expedition. There is a lot packed in. If you can do it then you are highly rewarded but you really do have to be honest with yourself about your abilities before you sign up. That is probably the best bit of advice I can give.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Death Valley, Vegas, Route 66 and Canyon

Yes we really have ticked all these off in the last 2 days! I cant quite believe it myself. All this on 4 hours sleep! Highlights....

Road closed at Death Valley

As we headed towards Death Valley in furness heat we learnt that the road leading to it ahead was closed to to flash flood damage. After much deliberation we split the group. Some took the long way around and the rest of us headed past the road closed signs to see what we could do to get the bikes through. This is an adventure after all! Of course we made it and it really wasn't that bad in the end. A bit of sand and the tarmac broken up in places but nothing we couldnt get through with a bit of effort! Turned out to be great fun and no one even dropped a bike!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Golden Gate Bridge and Highway 1

Number of days - 12
Number of miles - 4260 ish

I am pleased to say we have had no more stops for speeding and no more broken bikes!

Danni's bike is now fixed and back on the road and most of the riders seem to be coping really well with the miles.

We have managed to cross a continent in 11 days and have reached the west coast of America. We have come all the way from New York to San Francisco and on the 12th day we have traveled over Golden Gate Bridge, along the famous Highway 1 coast road and started heading inland again to Bakersfield.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Riding in cowboy country

Days on road - 9
Miles so far - 2800 ish
No of breakdowns - 2 (bent wheel on GSXR and dodgy alt. on R1)
No of stops for speeding - about 10 (losing count)
No of tickets issued - 2 (although one was a warning ticket)

Not sure how many states we have gone through but we have now hit 3 time zones and we are currently 7 hours behind UK.

South Dakota and Wyoming are states I would highly recommend for riding your Iron Steed. Home of Buffalo Bill and Cody of course is the Rodeo capital of the world. These states have everything from wonderful twisties (like the 14 Alternative that goes up to 8000 feet) right through Indian country, great pit stops, amazing wildlife and biker friendly locals! What more could you ask for? If you are prepared to put in the miles, you will be generously rewarded. I wish I could tell you all that has happened in the last couple of days but I will avoid waffling too much and share the highlights. The rough and the smooth.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Badlands - It wasn't so bad! Actually it was quite nice!

Day 6 - Souix Falls to Cody
Distance - 430 miles
Total distance so far - 1770 miles

I'm getting used to this driving long hours thing now! Another 8 hours under my belt and a great day. I was last to leave the hotel of course and a lot of the riders were taking different routes today so I just drove the main route as per the road book and pottered along. I didn't see one of them and no one called so I just kept pottering along and taking pictures and enjoying the view. It was a lovely day! Now at Custer and the place is swarming with bikers. It's lovely. Cody seems like a real old fashioned cowboy town so I am going to wonder in shortly and see if I can get slung out of a saloon!!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

American Diaries - The Hogs are swarming

Day 3 and 4 on the road

Cleavland to Clinton - 500 miles
Clinton to Sioux Falls - 475 miles

Road along the Mississippi to Sioux Falls. Heading towards the Sturgis Rally. This is a Harley Davidson rally where 250,000 riders decent on Sturgis, a small town which normally holds around 8,000 people. As we get closer we are surrounded more and more by non helmet wearing, denim clad bikers on their HOGs. It is lovely actually although I am not a Harley fan, I do love the sound and its just nice to be around so many bikers. The Interstates and hotels are full of them.

I am so tired now after nearly 1000 miles in 2 days. Catching up with me tonight I think. I am up just before 6am every morning and out running before getting packed up, meeting for the 7.30 briefing and then heading out on the road. It is all going smoothly though, short of 3 police stops (the bikes speeding) and one bike full of diesel!!

My truck just keeps on trucking and I am loving seeing so much of the states. Looking forward to seeing Sturgis tomorrow, not to mention Mount Rushmore, Badlands and watching my first Rodeo!!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

American Diaries - Day 1 and 2

Newark to Elmira - 220 miles
Elmira to Cleveland - 365 miles

So it's now morning of day 3 and I must admit I am slightly worse for wear. Having had a fantastically healthy start to the trip with my 5a.m runs and swims and my zero alcohol intake I decided last night that it was time to let my hair down a little. Everything in moderation including moderation itself. My friend Oscar Wilde never said a truer word! This is a quote I live by and it works for me. Life is too short to get anal about things and yet we must moderate to remain healthy and happy. Life balance!

So day one started with the usual teething problems you would expect. The crew managed to get their bikes from the docs with surprisingly little drama and we set off on a 220 mile warming up day. Most of us got lost of course and the riders felt like a boil in the bag meal! However, we all made it and smiling too for that matter!

At times I felt like crying and at times it was so much fun chasing the bikes through Pennsylvania!  That's what its all about though. Without the lows what would the highs mean? Certainly not as much. Makes you feel alive!

My roomie and I are getting on really well (pictured below with her sexy R1.Go girlfriend!!). I had a feeling we would. We have had some real giggles already.
We both slept very well on the first night although apparently I was talking in my sleep!!

Day 2 saw us do about 365 miles to Cleveland via Niagara. This day was a lot easier as far as navigation and everything just fit in to place beautifully. Niagara is stunning as you would imagine but it's natural beauty is kinda spoilt by the fact that you are corralled through the visitor centres selling all sorts of crap! Went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and then had a steady ride over to Cleveland arriving around tea time so all in all a good day. We didn't lose anyone and we all had a brilliant night in the Bone Yard Bar that night. Sadly I lost my Converse after trying to take a short cut back to the hotel through some bushes (!! no idea what I was thinking!!) and finding a ditch amongst the foliage! My shoes came off and I just couldn't find them again!! The least said about that the better I think!!