Howdy folks. I have been undecided to post or not, but I guess the post side of my brain won out. This will be pretty short with a few pictures. A few months back my friend Tina asked if I was going to head to Jacksonville for the IBA party. At that point I knew nothing of it, but I thought it sounded like a good time. After reading of the IBA party I signed up for the Gator 1000 ride too. We have had a very long and painful winter so I was excited to be able to head South and get some riding in. At the point of registration the time for the event seemed so far away and time did pass slow. The cold weather did leave me with plently of time to get my bike in working order. My only hopes too where for dry roads to get out of Pittsburgh. When I travel South it usually stays cold till about North Carolinia. I can deal with the cold (electrics) but snow on the roads ='s disaster on two wheels.
In preperation I changed the gear oil, air filter, final drive oil, spark plugs and motor oil... oh ya and spooned on some new tires. I am self taught in the art of changing tires... It just makes it a tad easier when switching to TKC's to be able to do it yourself!
And alas the day finally Arrived. I decided to work Monday and just take off four work days. Thats all I wanted to miss. I have a very long story about my panniers. the bottom line is that I will not have any for this trip... they are in LIMBO.... who knows... My first stop was to Athena's house to say goodbye for the week. She is the world's best Girlfriend and she accepts my scatterbrained traveling on the go lifestyle. I backpacked 30+ nights last year and heard no complaints.! She lives pretty rural and there is always a fun route to get there. This is my trusty and reliable 1100 prepped for departure. I also have a Drybag the spans the top.
My plans for day 1 where to leave the Pittsburgh area and head to Fayetteville North Carolina where I would meet Tina. The first things I did when I started my bike where to turn on my Spot and plug "Avoid Highways" into the GPS. I still use a Garmin 2720 and have a 2610 as a backup. I spent the first 300 miles of the day wandering on mixed surface but mainly paved very back roads in Marryland, WV and Virginia. If you have not ridden in West Virginia, you are missing out on some Superb riding. This is what many of the roads looked like early in the day. The dirt here was very hard packed... Maybe from snow??? The shiny sections ahead where frozen icy type spots. They kept my attention!