Winter Doldrums’ Projects

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For anyone who lives in the same area as I do know we are finally into Winter.  Last ride I took was last Thursday (Jan 14) and it has been inclement ever since.  Either too cold, too wet, or too dangerous with the amounts of ice and snow.  Hell, if you take a look out, the ground is covered in snow and the roads are barely passable even for cars.  And it looks like that is staying around for a while.

And thus, we enter the Winter Doldrums.  It was the same last year.

I have plugged in Raven to the battery tender, just to keep it topped off.  I have also checked the air in the tires and the chain, making sure all was well.  Having the center stand now allows her to sit without worrying about spots in the tires from not moving.  Proper winter inflation helps with that as well, but no sense in tempting fate.  I have cleaned the gear and have started making a list of projects to do before the first overnight trip.

First of all, I am putting a list together of what I have for camping and a list of what I think I still need for camping, and a list of what I should actually take, considering where I would be camping.  Yep, of the three lists, that middle one (what I THINK I need) is a big one…  I am going to be using the following website to help with this, as it will also calculate weight:  I saw it on a backpacking site, but it is also useful for motocamping.  While weight is less of an issue, it still needs paying attention to in regards of properly and safely loading the motorcycle.

Secondly, since getting my new top case, I need to work out how to pack the motorcycle for camping, as it changes how I had everything beforehand.  I have ordered a new sleeping bag system that comes with its own gore-tex waterproof compression bag, so it may fit into the top case.  That way, all of the rest of the camp equipment can go in my dry bag or pannier bags.  My goal is to keep the top case as clear as possible so I can use it to stow my jacket and stuff when I stop while on a ride.  More of a convenience than anything else, but since it locks, I can stow the jacket while I go in and eat somewhere and not worry about the jacket walking away.

So, I am working on repacking everything and trying to get the tent, chair, sleeping pad, footprint and cooking stuff in a single bag so it can be treated as a go bag if I want to head out last minute.  This leaves my panniers for tools, fuel, food, and clothing.  For short trips, or simple overnights, the less I have to take, the better.

I have also been reading a couple sites on minimalist motorcycle touring, as one of the guys has been around the world on a small bike (350cc) with 3 bags for more than 2 years.  I know I can get by with the luggage I have now and not have to add anything more.  It is just a matter of getting things down to what is needed over what is wanted.  Some wants will go with, but not all.  Not that I will be heading around the world any time soon.

Just need something to do with regards to the bike while I am stuck in the snow watching the ride time slip away a day at a time.

  1. Work on more efficient way of packing tent and footprint
  2. Work out a better, more balanced system for the pannier bags with tools and fuel.  Keep weight evenly distributed.
  3. Get a “camping go-bag” set up for the coming season to go camping at last minute.
  4. Work out the sleep system with the new bag.  Where should it be packed.
  5. Work out best way to pack clothing, food, essentials
  6. Plan a test weekend for the camp gear with full load.
  7. Check front sprocket and chain for looseness.  Should be fine, but double-check

A couple other things I will be working on as well is getting the Razz running.  Put new battery in last weekend, and she turns over, but wont start.  Have new spark plug in and some carb cleaner.  Need to drain all the fluids and check for blockages.  Once fluids are drained, I can take the tanks off and get cleaning the carb and the rest of the motor.  This will be dependent on temperature.  Garage isn’t heated, so…  Also need to check and clean the little pit bike from AMAVMD.  Once cleaned up, I am probably going to sell it.  Don’t need the Razz and the pit bike.  In the end, may even sell the Razz, but doubt it.

I am also going to start selling stuff I no longer need/want.  I want to reduce what I currently have, which is more than a single guy like myself needs.  Most of it was when I was with someone else, and I kept just because it was easier than throwing away.  Sounds like hoarder mentality, and that is just not me.  Time to get rid of it all.  Besides, a time may come where I hit the road on a long trip and rent out the house to cover the trip expenses.  Stranger things have happened.

Leave a note in the comments what you are doing to beat the winter doldrums and crazy weather.  And if you live in perfect weather, piss off  😉

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