We loaded the bikes in the Uhaul and took off for Twin Falls Idaho (719 miles).
Once we get back to Florida Steve and I will continue to update the days of the blog with pictures, videos, and more thoughts. Our goal is to document as much as we can and leave the site up for those that are considering this trip.
More to follow in the coming weeks.
JB, Chris, and Steve.
6 thoughts on “Day 24 – Final thoughts”
Great ride report, it’s really built my confidence in completing TAT solo starting mid November. Any other useful tips you care to share? Also, how did the drone workout? Any issues with local authorities? I’d be interested in knowing how much money you budgeted for travel and lodge vs actual cost. Lastly, when you mentioned your navigation broke, did you try running the maps to your phone?
First off I would tell you that if you leave mid November you may not make it through the Colorado mountain passes. All the blogs and speaking with Sam Cordero prior to my trip suggested completing it before the end of September. But with that said I have heard of those completing it late fall.
As far as money goes…there is a spreadsheet on ADVRider that I used for budgeting purposes and surprising it is pretty accurate. However, I didn’t budget for the extended maintenance issues. For example we had to pay $1000 to rent a uhaul mid trip to get one of our bikes from OK to CO so that we could get a clutch. We only had to do this because we were ona strict time schedule. If we could have waited for the part to arrive it would of only cost us a couple more nights in the room and food. The average spend each night was around $70 on the east coast steadily rising to $120 on the west coast.
Food cost were reasonable as we ate fast food or even gas station food for the most part. If your a drinker beware that there are still very many dry counties across the country.
I purchased the drone from Best Buy as a last minute add on and I wasn’t skilled in using it. We saw one cop along the way and that was a gas station.
Navigation…I recommended abandoning the idea to use roll charts- way to cumbersome and you miss what’s going on around you. Many people use their phones which I think would be fine except for the areas where there is no cell service and this can be for extended areas along the trail. I also didn’t want to use my phone because I couldn’t read the screen (not the greatest near visin without reading glasses).
I do want to talk about GPS navigation… number one is the issue with whether it is a “route” or “track”. This became an issue as the GPS “tracks” I got from Sam are merely a bunch of waypoints and in real life the GPS would draw a line between them BUT this get really confusing on the trail. I spent an inordinate amount of time zooming in to find the right trail. How to overcome this is to turn them into routes for turn by turn directions if possible. This requires a really good GPS. My buddy Steve had a great one which I just defaulted to his leadership from Colorado on.
Lastly, it has been a couple of months since my return I have determined that I have a bulging disc in my back. So I regret that I did not physically train more before leaving. Being physically fit would make the trip more enjoyable.
Hope this helps and certainly willing to answer any more questions.
Yeah, i figured I wasn’t going to be able to get through Colorado that easy if at all.
I’ll be looking for that spreadsheet on advrider, thanks for letting me know.
Maybe when you get better with the drone you can get some really nice footage.
I noticed that the tracks are just a bunch of points. I’ve been working in google earth to create an actual route out of it so that I can just have turn by turn directions. I am wondering though, what was the GPS Steve had? I probably won’t get it but maybe others might be interested in knowing. Also, did you use all of Sam’s maps? I noticed in your map that you don’t have all the waypoints, did you just not use some or were they wrong?
With these heavy bikes it’s important to be in good shape and use proper technique. Sorry to hear about the disc in your back. Hope you recover quick
Once again, overall great write up. I’d love to make something similar to share with people and have it easily accessible. I forgot how I came across yours but it’s been a great read. There are others out there and just reading everyone else’s stories have been getting me excited. Any pointers with how you kept up with maintaining and writing the blog while travelling?
I’ll send Steve a message to reply to this post with his GPS model. I brought along with me a Microsoft Surface Pro with a hardened case, a tiny mouse, and an external hard drive. Each night we would download the GoPro videos from our sim cards onto the hard drive so they were empty for the next day. I have a ton of videos to go through. I plan on making a video for each state we went through. Remember we stayed at motels each night and 90% had wifi. This enabled me to upload to the blog at least the pics, the videos even short ones were just to big. 90% of our pics were taken with our phones and the other 10% were GoPro, then each night my buds would send them to my email and I would copy them to the hard drive and into the cloud. All of this would only take a couple of minutes and I would arrange and write a quick blurb. Some days were harder than others depending on how long we had been riding.
There is a blog out there called 5000 miles of dirt ( https://5000milesofdirt.blog/ ) These guys departed on their journey just ahead of us by a couple of weeks. They did a massive job of posting drone video, pics and write-ups. I highly recommend checking it out.
As far as the waypoints, I thought the same thing…I must not have all of the waypoints correct…but I verified that everything I received from Sam was there. Steve had converted the waypoints to routes and he shared them with me. It might be the type of GPS that makes the difference. Many times throughout the trip Steve and I would stop and discuss which way our GPS was telling us to go. They would sometimes differ on how to arrive at the next waypoint. I don’t want to worry you too much as they both got us to our final destination.
An important thing was the actual paper maps from Sam. I took the maps, copied them onto 11 x 17 paper, then used a modified Australian fold, and put a cover on each set for each state. Here is a link to how to do this: http://www.ursrucker.com/StudentResources/Modified%20Australian%20Fold%20Instructions.pdf
There are also some youtube videos out there. I like you used google earth to locate motels and gas along the route, then would notate it on the maps. Sam had done this pretty well but I went above and beyond by indicating gas/motel/campgrounds around the route in case we ever had the need to divert. I carried them in a plastic bag inside my saddlebags. The paper maps allowed for easy reference to where we were and what was around us. Using our mileage, which we reset each day would give us an approximate location on the maps. I am sure you could use your GPS for this type of searching but I found sitting with a paper topographic map provided a view of the terrain as well as any towns with gas/services/etc.
Best of Luck, its an amazing trip.
Not sure if Steve has had a chance with his post yet. I haven’t seen anything come in.
I followed the blog you mentioned and oh man, they did a great job with the vlogs as well!
Really digging the Australian fold for the maps, that is a great technique. So what are you doing with that set of maps now? Do you just keep it stored somewhere for memories. I didn’t get the paper maps as I figured the waypoints thrown onto my phone would work. But i guess it doesn’t hurt to have them as a backup. I would be willing to pay for shipping both ways as I would return them when I’m done. Unless of course, the maps are torn to pieces for some odd reason.
Sorry Jeff for the late response -The folded maps are all gone (tossed them as I crossed each state) but I have the originals and am willing to send them to you for free. Shoot me your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and ill send them your way.