Spring 2010 Trip: Prep and Introductions

The last few years, my partner and his friends (now my friends as well) have been riding down to Myrtle Beach for bike week. Last year was the first year I went, and I was passenger on my partner’s bike. This year was my first year to ride my own!

Here is my ride:

My awesome DRZ-400SM, which I souped up with a larger gas tank (Clarke 3.9 Gallon), a spitfire windshield, dirtbagz panniers, and a givi hat box. I didn’t get around to putting a new more comfortable seat on it, though I did get a sweetcheeks (but never used it) – you can see it strapped to the back against the hat box. More info about farkling the friendly and competent DRZ-400SM is here.

and our gang:
from L-R –
My partner Mike, me, Rick, Janice, Kerry, Mike S. and Mike F.
That’s right: three Mike’s, two “Kari”‘s, a Rick and a Janice.

We updated while on the road using tumblr, our trip page is here.


I used my lomo fish eye camera on the trip – I haven’t used it much, so I was pretty much experimenting with it as I was going. I think there’s a filter or app that will stretch the shots out to make them less rounded and more wide angle, I’m going to look for that for future experimentation. I also snapped a lot of shots with my iPhone 3, and sometimes I used my panasonic lumix digicam.

And as far as packing, I think I brought maybe 30% too much stuff! we did do laundry 2x on the trip, which really helped.

  • 2 tank tops (icebreaker wool)
  • 1 long-neck zip up turtle neck (also wool)
  • 1 wool sweater/jacket that zipped up all the way
  • wool leggings
  • 5 pairs of underpants
  • 4 tshirts
  • 5 pairs of knee socks
  • flip flops
  • running shoes (I have big feet so I’ve been trying to use minimalist shoes like the nike 5.0 so they pack smaller)
  • running shorts and sports bra
  • swim suit
  • 2 skirts
  • a light weight long sleeve wool shirt (really it’s a wool long john top)
  • a pair of yoga style long wool pants (can be worn out at night or under my motorcycle pants as a layer)
  • shorts
Accessories and Accouterments :
  • 3 pairs of motorcycle gloves (mesh, plain leather with gauntlet, and cold weather gloves)
  • glove liners
  • turtle fur for my neck
  • snacks
  • film camera and digicam
  • 3 bandannas
  • extra ear plugs
  • a folding backpack in case we found something we couldn’t live without on our travels
  • rain gear – zip-in pants for my motorcycle pants, and an overjacket
  • extra sunglasses and my clear glasses for night
  • paper maps for everywhere we were going
  • motorcycle manual
  • my toiletry bag
  • and most important perhaps:
    • travel coffee cup that seals so I could chuck it in the top case while we were moving
    • my reusable water bottle.

In retrospect:

  • I would probably only take the 2 tanks and 2 tshirts, instead of the 4 tshirts.
  • I was surprised at how frequently I wore the shorts. I didn’t need 2 skirts, I only pulled them on for dinners or long days walking around away from the bike. Mostly I kept my riding pants on with my leggings or shorts on. I think replacing a skirt with a pair of comfy hot pants would be better for day-long rides.
  • I may have brought too many sweaters too, but I wore them all at different times (the zip up was nice to throw on when it was chilly for dinner, and the long neck sweater was great when it was chilly on the road).
  • for most of the trip I thought my winter gloves were overkill but it was really cold on our last day heading home, so I was glad to have them.
  • I did go swimming 1x and running 1x, so I’m glad I had that stuff with me, but it wasn’t strictly necessary.
  • I’m so so so glad I had my flip flops with me, though I would love to have a pair of really comfy compressible closed toe shoes to wear instead.
  • the maps were bulky but we did refer to them. a good road atlas would be a better option but I got the maps for free from better world club as part of my membership.
  • I need a compression sack to keep my rain gear in, because it’s really bulky as is. something that will store it flat will be best, so I can keep it with me every day in my
  • I sorted the saddle bags so I had one side with clothes that I would be wearing frequently, the other side with swimsuit/other stuff and the snacks right on top. the rain pants and rain jacket went on top of the stuff sacks stuff in each saddle bag. my hat box held the water and travel mug and my motorcycle clothing and toiletry bag and cameras and maps for the day. I used a canvas sack to bring items from the saddle bags up into the hotel when I needed it.
  • AND I also got waterproof stuff sacks for the saddle bags – and they fit almost exactly inside the saddle bags so I didn’t have to worry about my stuff getting wet! Every morning when repacking I would shuffle the things I needed up to the top, and things I didn’t need (and dirty clothes) down to the bottom.
  • even though I did bring a little more stuff than necessary, I was never cold, handled the wet just fine, and all in all it isn’t bad for 30 min. of packing the morning we were due to head out.

[[check out the summary post with lessons learned, and a full index to this ride report post.]]