Well folks, this is another week with nothing particularly exciting to talk about, but it’s important work nonetheless. It’s the paperwork side of adventuring. Spreading out a mapbook and imagining destinations and routes is the kind of paperwork I like, so I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about budgets, insurance, passes, and more budgeting.
We’ve mapped out our finances repeatedly, trying to get my homemade budgeting spreadsheet to balance at $0.00. Just when I get close, another cost comes up and puts us back another $2,000. Our upcoming trips is a “go until we are broke” adventure, so being negative on the balance sheet really means less time on the road, not a budget shortfall.
There has to be enough in the bank for 1st/last month rent plus security deposit when we get back. We are going to end up close to wherever Kate goes to grad school, so we’ll have to contend with California’s overpriced market again.
Since most of our trips have been 1-4 days we also need to add quite a bit to our kit so we can sustain ourselves for five months. This means the credit card is smouldering before the trip even begins. It’s the most boring and tedious part of travel if you ask me: better than a blowout in the middle of nowhere in 100-degree heat, but not by much.
We aren’t even in a position yet to share budgeting tips and such, although in future installments we will upload the template I made for calculating costs. It’s easy to use and does the math for you, leaving you to just plug in a cost, then the spreadsheet adds it up over the time you specify being on the road and pits it against any savings you start with or income you can make while on the road. It’s a lot easier than using paper and calculator, but it still isn’t particularly exciting.
As we amass our gear for this trip we will at least be able to share our load out: items we think are mandatory, nice to have, frivolous, and how to pack them so they are accessible at the right time. No one likes to hit a rain storm only to spend 10 minutes unloading their saddlebags to get their rainsuit out. And it surprises me how few people bring a tire plug kit or even basic hand tools with them on long trips.
But for now there isn’t much photo-worthy happenings here at 2h1hz HQ, as the main focus is getting things put into storage, replacing some parts on the bike to make it long-haul ready, and preparing for the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis.
Veterans Charity Ride
This will be my fourth year supporting the VCR, which takes wounded and amputee veterans on the ride of a lifetime, using motorcycles as a method of therapy for depression and PTSD. It lets participants get out and see some of the country they fought for, spend casual time with fellow veterans, and head to the most famous motorcycle rally on the planet.
My main duties are to act as pilot for the official photgrapher, Sara Liberte, putting my many years as a sidecar racer to good use. I also act as a veteran mentor, being there to answer questions or address concerns. Lastly, I act as one of the road mechanics. The bikes are all brand new or near-new so usually I’m just checking tire pressures and adjusting controls to suit people’s style, but there are usually 15 motorcycles on the road along with a chase vehicle and trailer, so it keeps me busy.
Having done this trip so many times also makes the 2hearts1horizon adventure seem fairly straightforward. With it being just me and Kate there is much less pressure to keep on an itinerary, to balance the needs of multiple people, or worry about staying too long or too little at any one location.
Kate and I decide if it’s time to blow through an area because we’ve had enough of one type of terrain, or if we’ve had enough of one state’s crap food or overzealous small-town speed traps. And with that ever-annoying spreadsheet available at a glance, we’ll know when it’s time to high-tail it home before we end up sleeping under a bridge.
For the website here, things will mostly go dark for three weeks while I help the VCR and its mission to reach more veterans and get them out of their head and into the wind. Once I land back in California though, things will take off almost instantly. I’ll have one day off, one day for final checks and loading, then we head north and begin our adventure.
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We’ll have some gear lists and an update on getting the bike ready soon, and more updates will be coming as Kate and I have our weekly meetings and narrow things down. Until then, safe travels,