• Category Archives Motorcycle Trips
  • Featured Image What Tools Do You Carry to Get You Home?

    As I was riding home today, I passed another rider who was no longer being powered by an engine. He was hoofing it and pushing the bike in the middle of the road trying to get it the last couple feet and into the gas station. I turned around and met him at the pumps. After our brief intros, I asked him if he was simply out of gas or was there another problem? He hoped it was just the gas but, after filling up, there was still no start.

    I keep a small bag of tools and an even smaller bag of expertise on me at all times while on the bike. I looked and listened and with a small adjustment, my new friend’s bike fired right up and he was able to get home! I fired my monster up and took off the barely one mile to my own house. As soon as I turned into the “hood”, my bike just simply shut off. I played with the ignition as I coasted as far as I could and not a thing lit up. Of course I came to a stop at the one house with the shirtless teen playing basketball and listening to rap music. I was burning up in my leather jacket but, gladly pushed my denim black burden a few houses down to begin assessing the issues.

    It turned out that one of my battery terminals had rattled loose.. again… I’d have been pushing that 900 pound bike the half mile to my house had I not had a few simple tools.

    I keep the tools stashed in a small bag I put on the swingarm. It’s a great spot. Out of the way and no one notices it, which helps keep me satisfied that no one will find it and want to explore the contents.

    Secret Tool Bag

    Inside I keep at least a few tools that might help me get home. I have a phillips and flat head screw driver, a wrench that fits the rear wheel belt sprocket bolts that have a tendency to come loose, two adjustable wrenches so I can adjust lock bolts such as on the clutch cable and a Harley specific multi-tool. I also keep extra items to help myself like the shop rag and flashlight. I also always carry at least one extra lighter and a small knife.

    For a long time I kept no saddle bags or any way of holding extra stuff on my bike. After some time and a ton of miles later, a bag of some sort for ease of carrying at least a few extra items was necessary. I purchased a small, hand-made leather saddle bag that was specifically designed to be low profile. Inside I keep a mini socket and wrench set, motorcycle jumper cables, a few wire connectors, a super mini multi-tool and some electrical tape. Almost all of these items have helped me in some kind of way on the road.

    Tools

    Of course, there will always be some fixes that will not be able to be repaired on the road but, shouldn’t you be prepared for the ones you can? What items do you carry that have helped you on the way?

    Peace, Grease and a Life of Ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image No Reservations

    I like food, almost as much as I like motorcycles. I need both to live. With that being said, this is going to be a non-motorcycle related post. It’s going to be a biker-foodie on the road post.

    The scene has been set in my last few posts as to where the food presented here is coming from. One group of larder is from the ash of biker camp and the other hails in the deep south sin haven of New Orleans. I can’t quite decide which I prefered.

    Camp food is more worrisome. Where are you going to get it from? Is there a store near by? How primitive will my camp be? How far away from civilization will I be camping? Does this food require refrigeration? Where in the hell am I going to put a cooler on my bike?…. Well, you get the idea.

    We opted mostly for a few easy, non perishable items like can soup and hikers MRE’s for breakfast and lunch. We wanted to have quick easy options that required little prep and no refrigeration. We wanted to eat and be able to enjoy the day. The breakfast MRE’s sucked but that was to be expected. All that the MRE’s required was some warm water poured into the bag it came in and a spoon. Hell, if you’re a real caveman, the spoon is not really required either. To heat the water, we made a beer can stove out of an empty beer can and some first aid rubbing alcohol. (search it on youtube, its a pretty neat trick)

    For dinner we opted to ride a bit, crossing the miles long bridges over the ocean, and grab some grub and cold beers for the first few two nights. Some pizza and wings sufficed for the premier outing. The second evening, we introduced ourselves to Peg Leg Pete. Peg Leg Pete’s, it turned out, is a New Orleans themed parlor for a bit of unintentional forshadowing. We were escorted to our seats by some young dude/broad in granny jeans and our waiter spoke mush mouthed english. The food was good though.

    After two days in camp, we traveled to New Orleans and spent two nights livin’ the easy life. We then returned to camp for one more night to break up the 600 plus miles between NOLA, us and home. On our way into the last night in camp, we stopped to get potatoes, onions, a bag mixed with broccoli and carrots, some hamburger patties and brats. Everything but the brats were cut and mixed to place into some tin-foil to make the boy scout coined “silver turtles”. They are called silver turtles because it looks like a turtle shell when wrapped up. Beef in the middle, surrounded by the veggies and other fixin’s, wrapped tight and then just thrown on the coals. This creates a delicious, perfectly cooked full meal that tastes great.

    Camp food:

    New Orleans is a tourist city for those who don’t know. We expected tourist prices but, the actual price to just eat was unexpected. The first meal set the tone for every single item available in that town. An 8 inch “dressed” (mayo, tomato, lettuce etc in Big Easy-ese) da-bris pot-roast po-boy, a 6 ounce portion of gumbo and a 12oz. can root beer cost a whopping $22 at a hole in the wall not even on Bourbon Street. The cheapest t-shirt found in that city was $25. We opted to ease the pain on our wallets the second night and decided to find a liquor store and purchase a bottle of what we wanted. Rum. Even that was about $10 more than at home.

    The lavishly priced food was great for the most part, though, some was not the best I’ve had. If you going to be located in the heart of a city known for its food and, set the price to offset the cost of Katrina, it should all be fan-freakin-tastic! I tried one portion of everything NOLA is known for, gumbo, jambolaya, po-boy, red beans and rice, fried okra and even boiled crawfish (I’ll admit, I just tried a bite of the crawfish and wasn’t impressed). I was sad. I wanted to walk away with a new set of fesh swamp-laced tastebuds but, it wasn’t meant to be.

    I guess I will relate this posts to motorcycles a little bit. We were on the road, had miles to burn but still had to nourish our bodies with food. We ate mostly at gas stations like any other gypsy bike that had to be at a certain place, by a ceftain time and with sunlight to set up camp. It’s not pretty, it’s not the best and, it certainaly is not very nutricious. It does, however, get you fed and skims a ton of time. I guess you can say a diet of beef jerky, trail mix, gatorade and breakfast gut-buster burrito’s isn’t all that bad for you! If you have the time, eat whatever they hell you want.

     

    Peace, grease and a life of ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image NOLA

    Our two days of acting like giant sponges on the Gulf Coast of Florida was up. The guys and I awoke from our tents to find there was still a drizzle of rain. Just enough rain to have ourselves and our belongings soaked by the time we were ready to leave. We didn’t care. Just 215 miles or so from our little plot of island in Pensacola, Florida, lies a little town called New Orleans. We were roughly 4 hours from Bourbon Street and our “haunted” hotel rooms. I hope ghosts like hot showers.

    The rain subsided just as we crossed over the 4 mile bridge that allows us to ride from island to mainland. Cool, now we have all day to dry out. The miles were fast but boring as the only way to get there in any expedient time was on the stretch of black-top called the highway. Lord almighty, I hate the highway. 

    The road was not crowded thoughand didnt run through too many big cities. We were able to maintain an steady 80 mph pretty much the whole way. The highlights would have to be the huge bridges over water on I-10. There was a bridge near Mobile Alabama that had to be at least 8 miles long that ran dead into the George Wallace Tunnel. The tunnel runs about 40 feet beneath the Mobile River and is just over half a mile long. Oh, and a Harley sounds obnoxiously wonderful roaring through it!

    The other bridge is of course, the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the Longest Continuous Bridge Over Water. The longest portion of the bridge is just a hair under 24 miles long. It was awesome being surrounded by nothing but water for such a long span of time.

    Just outside of New Orleans, we stopped to activate the GPS in order to get us to the hotel. As soon as I made the decision to stop, I couldn’t find an off ramp to save my life! Mile after mile eased on and I pulled off at the first ramp I could find. Dead end. The only things at the end of this off ramp were; a small road off to the side that led to Lord knows where, a pile of old tires next to the woods and a half ton of used bullet shells right where we stopped. We were near New Orleans!!!

    20140929_124455

    When we arrived at the over 200 year old hotel called the Andrew Jackson (pictured in the feature photo at the top of the post), we were greeted by Mrs. Cheryl. She set us up with our rooms and called the valet. The valet led us through the twists and turns of the randomly dilapidated/randomly refurbished buildings. He had led us to the locked and gated parking lot where our bikes would rest for the next two days. Gated and locked were the keys elements here and I didn’t worry much about my bike after I put on the fork lock, brake rotor lock and pulled my plug wires…

    Let the fun begin!

    bourbon, huge ass

    The first trouble we go in was after holding this stupid sign. The dudes the sign belonged to demanded a tip for letting us hold the sign that they offered to us. I don’t do demands. While Myles explained that to those fools, a crowd stated to form. Another joker who obviously doesn’t know me very well, walked up to about two inches away from me and started asking about my boots. “Nice boots. Bet I know where you got ’em. Bet I can tell you who your daddy is. If I tell you, will you be honest?” To which I responded. “No, I’m a damn liar but, I’ll tell you the truth about what will happen if you don’t step away from me..” By that time. The whole group of guys figured out we weren’t going to pay to play. The tone had changed and we were back on our way.

    New Orleans is everything they say it is only even sketchier and dirtier in real life. Do not stand around to think about what you want to do. If you stop, you have about 30 seconds before someone will approach you and want to talk about your damn shoes. I never did find out the punch line to “Bet I know where you got your shoes.” If you blew off the hecklers firm and quick, they move on right away. Some mumble a little shit talk as they go but, who cares.

     



  • Featured Image VooDoo Gypsy Tour

    The VooDoo Gypsy Tour is what I affectionately called the trip that myself and three other wayfaring brothers excursed. I have shared a few details of prepping for this journey here on this blog. (Just scroll the main page to find elements of what I packed as far as requisite tools to bring and items for a tolerable stay while on the road.)

    This post is just to show off the great time we had! We were on the road for 4 and a half days and ate up over 1,200 miles. Altogether we spent two nights in a small RV park on an island just off the coast of Pensacola beach Florida near Fort Pickens. It was beautiful there, too bad it rained the entire time! It didn’t matter, we were not at work and hanging with brothers. From the island, we headed off to New Orleans (more on ol’ NOLA in the next post). After two days in LA, we returned to the campground for a night of R&R before returning home.

    For the trek into Pensacola there were really no major issues. I was chastised by the mean ass subway lady for not wanting my roast beef sub toasted. She asked me three times and then when I said “no, I just want a regular damn roast beef sub”, she shot me a look as if she was about to pull the roast beef for my sub out of her pants… Once seated, the  old grungy dude in the overalls came over and announced we were dirty bikers. Twice… Screw your po-dunk subway!

    I’m sure you noticed the yellow shoes. We only allow David to wear the affectionately coined “Moo Shu Shoes” because he’s Asian and, quite frankly they are into weird things.

    Upon arrival at camp, we claimed our spots and hauled ass to get set up so we could eat. It started to rain almost immediately! Mother Nature didn’t stop crying until we were about to pack up to leave for New Orleans. Then, as soon as we packed up, it started raining. Oh well, we were heading for Bourbon Street!



  • Featured Image Motorcycle Trippin’

    I read a few motorcycle related blogs and forums, I know, imagine that. But, what I often see on forums are questions about what to bring on a motorcycle venture.  I’m going to do my best to  address some of these questions from my own experience and opinion and bring some pics to the table for you hard learners to see.

    What these pics contain are just most of the stuff I brought. It’s not the ultimate collection, it’s not the mandatory collection. It’s just what I thought I might need. This post, I’m covering the what I need for every day life and comfort.

    To set the stage, I’ll begin by telling you a bit about the trip. Myself and 3 other guys left from Lawrenceville, Ga and traveled about 375 miles to a small island off the coast of Florida by Pensacola to an area called Fort Pickens. We spent two days at the campgrounds there and then packed up for 215 miles to New Orleans. We stayed in a hotel there that was over 200 years old! After two nights in NOLA, we went back to Fort Pickens for a night to break up the miles for the long road home.

    I wont address what clothes to bring. With all the handy tech., you should know the approximate weather and should know what you need for yourself in that area. Pack light and find clever ways to get your stuff cleaned if you have to. (we each bribed the hotel lady to run our stuff through the washer and dryer while in NOLA).

    20140926_141900

    Here are some essentials just for everyday living. Of course, everything will need to be placed into something. Just for this trip, I got a motorcycle back pack at good ol’ Wally World for $35. It was inexpensive, slips over and secures to by back rest, and was a great buy. Sleeping bag, Bed Roll, lightweight small tent, soap, a bit of fist aid supplies, cooking pots. TP, flashlight, etc.

    Whats not shown is the small camp body towel I brought. It is kinda like a large sham-wow.. it did the job and was cheap. I also can not stress how much i use the every day, common, cheap and gangster cotton bandanna. I always have at least three of these things near by. I use them to cover my face and head, soak with water and wrap around my neck to cool me off, use as a soft wipe to get gas leaked on my gas tank during fill up, hand towel, wash cloth, etc. I use these things for all kinds of stuff.

    I made the mistake of thinking that I could get a cheap tent. I knew better but, figured that a tent would last a few uses and then I could throw it away if I had to and not care too much. Well, the tent leaked, and it rained… A LOT! Don’t be a cheapskate in this area. You just may come out of your trip looking like a prune. In fact, just stay away from anything made by Ozark Trail…

    You can however, use whatever cheap bedding that is appropriate for the weather and fits safely with your travel pack. A lot of folks can be seen of using the classic Mexican blanket (shown top left). One night I just used my denim jacket and was fine. The small blue bag labeled “cocoon” sitting beside the flashlight is an REI product. It’s an over-priced but awesome inflatable pillow. It cost about $30 (which was as much as my crappy tent) but, was completely worth it!

    I brought some small cooking pots that uses several pots and a cup that can be stored all within itself. This is a common camping item and can be found anywhere. To the right of the cooking pot you can see a bag full of tin foil. I used every bit of that tin foil for cooking. Very easy to use to prep food on, wrap food up, and throw it in the fire to cook then throw away. I’ve always called this a “silver turtle” because of the way it looks.

    food, silver turtle

    The “silver turtle” pulled out of the fire. Once rolled up with the food inside, just throw this sucker directly on the camp fire coals.

    food, turtle inside

     

    Inside the turtle, you have potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli and a hamburger patty all cooked and steamed inside together! Damn good!

    Other essential items that you may not think of are: trash bags (waterproofing, carrying items, make-shift rain gear, over the head suffocation device, etc), toilet paper, rope (clotheslines, tarp hanging, equipment securing and securing annoying drunk campers…) flashlight, snacks, soap and a first aid kit. My first aid kit consisted of stuff I had around the house just placed into a plastic baggy. That is what I do for a lot of things. If you already have the items, just stick them in a bag to make your own kit. Screw wasting money on over priced first aid kits containing just band aids and alcohol swabs. Hell, just a bunch of plastic baggies came in handy on this trip.

    pack

    Make sure everything packs up secure and then waterproof!

    pack, rainproof

    During each trip you will refine the gear you bring. Some items may work and others not. You may find a need for something that I don’t need. What is your essential to pack “every day life and comfort” items?

    Next post, I’ll cover tools and emergency items to keep your bike on the road.

    Feel free to post your opinions in the comment section. What do you bring? What did I miss?

    Peace, grease and a life of ease,

    ~Juggernaut