Friday, June 30, 2017

Last minute bike mods are complete...this is for the moto geeks

This morning I installed the new mirror and the Perun Moto heal guards and Rear Brake Reservoir protector.  Also installed a set of break way mirrors.  The stock mirrors are attached to the brake and clutch reservoirs, a hard crash could render you without one or both.  The break away mirrors are a uni-body construction with Ram ball mounts that fail before you damage important parts.

There is no comparison to the OEM heal guards, they are flimsy plastic, the Perun version has slots to tie down my Giant Loop Coyote bag and there metal.  The Rear Brake guard is a simple install and worth its weight in gold.  The reservoir is vulnerable to rocks, trees, etc.  Whatever you crawl over or hit can damage it and then what?  No rear brakes!!
Heal Guard and Rear Brake reservoir protector

Finally at Ground 0 The start of CAOD

Yesterday was a long travel day, 2 planes, 2 Ubers and a 60 mile ride to the coast.  The humidity on the NC coast is amazing, UT humidity isn't this bad when it rains.  My travel to NC was nothing more than a normal travel day, but it turned into a day of 'signs'.

My day started with an Uber ride from an Army Veteran (George) to the SLC airport.  George is a UT native and drives for Uber full time.  Nice guy and very appreciative of CAOD and it's efforts to help the Wounded Warriors.

After 2 planes, my next Uber ride to Jacksonville, from New Burn, was from a gentleman named Willard.  He is a retired truck driver and a fellow adventurer.  After hearing my story, Willard immediately called a few friends and worked on getting some type of media exposure in Morehead City.  Willard could not believe what I was about to embark on and he wished he could go.  He has a dirt bike as well.  Once Willard delivered me to the Mayflower warehouse, where the Steed has been stored, he asked if it would be OK if he followed me to my hotel to make sure everything was good with the motorcycle.  After a quick call to his wife for permission, we were off to Morehead City.  What a genuine and helpful person.  Willard has been planning an around the World trip with his wife for 3 years, on a 50' boat.  They depart next year to sail around the southern tip of Argentina, to Alaska, then to China.  They have purchased a home in China, where he and his wife plan to retire.  Now that's an adventure!

View from my room

When I arrived at the hotel after sweating profusely in what felt like 99% humidity, I unloaded the Steed, checked in, grabbed the new gear that was shipped UPS to the hotel and started the process of unpacking, downsizing, repacking, replanning, etc.  The new Giant Loop bags are awesome and will make organization on the trail a lot easier.  The hotel is on the beach!

My room as a war zone

After a long day of travel, I took Willard's recommendation and dined at the Shark Shack, a locals outside seafood restaurant and enjoyed fresh Mahi and a cold beverage.

After dinner I walked the beach and contemplated all that was about to happen.  This is going to be an adventure of a life time.  Solo ride across America on a dirt bike, on dirt to serve the people who have served our country.  It's hard to imagine that a thought that started a year ago, has now turned into reality.  WOW!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On the Plane...headed to North Carolina. T-minus 2 days to start.

After a great night with the family, I'm sitting on the plane, working on map routes, going over things to do and missing my family.  As a tradition before a BIG adventure, the kids shave my hair.  This tradition started when our kids were young and they would get a kick out of shaving my hair before a long ride.  Back then, most of the long rides were via bicycle and a few motorcycles trips.  Short hair is easier to manage when your riding and camping your way across America.  No reason to pack a comb or hair gel 👦

After landing in Atlanta, I have a VERY short layover (I'll be running to the gate) before boarding a plane to New Burn, NC.  Then I'll Uber it to the warehouse in Jacksonville, NC (thank you Murray Transfer/Mayflower) where my trusty Steed has been waiting for me.  After removing the Steed from the skid and a quick change into my gear, I will ride 60 miles to Morehead City.  My hotel is on Emerald Isle, on the beach.

Friday I will download final routes, reconfigure my gear, swap out a few items, install the new mirrors and heal guards, check and double check the motorcycle,  then play tourist until Saturday morning.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project - Help give them Hope

On average 22 veterans and active duty service members are lost to suicide every day - and hundreds of thousands more struggle with mental and physical issues, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brains injury (TBI). This crisis impacts military from every generation and
branch of service, as well as their families.

Wounded Warrior Project and other military member support organizations need your donations to offer help to our wounded warriors in need.

Join me on my fundraising quest to raise $50,000.00 for Wounded Warrior Project. Our service men and women deserve our help. Donations made through this link are tax deductible and 100% goes directly to WWP.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Last CAOD test ride...

The Sidi ADV 2 boots are awesome, comfortable right out of the box.  First time I've purchased a boot that was ready to ride.  The Sidi ADV 2 will serve me well over the 5,000 trek.

Still playing around with motovids.

Last Weekend Home...update

After celebrating my oldest son's 18th birthday yesterday, it is back to final preparations for the Crossing America On Dirt ride.  After a test ride this morning to shakedown the new boots, I will pack my box of gear to shipped to the Morehead City hotel, and two drop boxes along the way (Fayettville, AR and Denver, CO) with fresh clothes, food and maps.

The reality is starting to set in with the family and me, that I won't see them for the next 3 weeks, until I ride into Utah.  Being away from my family will be the most difficult part of this adventure.

The wounded hero interviews are still in the works, the latest schedule is Fayettville, NC and Colorado Springs.  I hope these interviews materialize.  It will be an honor to meet these Veterans.

Also, Tuesday morning I will be interviewed on Park City Television.  This will be a great opportunity to raise awareness and donations.  It is exciting to see the donations at 58% of target before the ride starts.

Thank you to everyone for the support.   This is not a one-man show, a lot of people have extended their knowledge, experience, skills and products to help me get this far.   Please support the sponsors who have helped me make this adventure a reality.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Father's Day Ride 2017

This is my first attempt at editing video.  I'm not giving up my day job!!!  This was our 3rd annual Father's Day ride.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Exciting Milestone for Donations...

Wednesday afternoon donations reached 51% of the $50,000 goal!  This is awesome.  It is easy to get so involved in the ride, but this isn't about the's all about raising awareness and donations for Wounded Warrior Project.

Thank you to all of the people that have donated so far.  If you have not made a donation please do.  Your donation is tax deductible and 100% goes to Wounded Warrior Project.

Countdown and changes....

This time next week I will be on a plane, flying to NC to retrieve the Steed. Yesterday my new Sidi riding boots and Giant Loop gear arrived.

New packing gear arrived. The Tillamook bag is perfect, versatile. The Gas bag is genius...the perfect way to carry 1 Gallon of fuel and the Possibles pouches will enable me to make a few items easier to access. #giantloop rocks! The gear works together and integrates into a complete system. Giant Loop has been a great supporter of the Crossing America trek. Thank you Giant Loop.

Swapped the Sidi Crossfire2 for the Sidi ADV 2. Need to break'em in. Way too shiny! Trading a little protection for more comfort and Gore Tex waterproof.  Thank you for the support Motonation.

Last but not least, my family surprised me with a little Father's Day gift that will be useful during the adventure....

Everything is coming together.  The reality of leaving my family for a few weeks is settling in...  My plan is to visit my mom and dad in Colorado and then my wife and kids in UT.  Leaving my family is the toughest part of the trip.  The flight to NC will be lonely.  Leaving loved ones is tough, but it is for a short time. Our active military on deployment leave their families for 9 months or more each deployment.  Wow!  What a sacrifice to serve our country and fight for the freedoms we all enjoy.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project Spotlight - Invisible Wounds

Wounded Warrior Project has services and programs that support and take care of not only our wounded heroes that suffer post-traumatic stress, but family members and caregivers as well. PTSD affects everyone - not just the warriors. It takes real strength for those returning home to reach out for help, especially when their wounds are invisible. You can help support their ongoing assistance by DONATING now. 100% of donations go directly to WWP.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

T-Minus 9 days

Nine days before I depart via plane to NC, where the Steed is waiting.  While the Steed and gear have been waiting for me in NC, I've been obsessing over every little detail, basically rethinking my gear, route, etc.  It will be good to get the wheels rolling and have fun.

At the warehouse prior to shipping 

If all goes well, I recover the Steed the afternoon of the 29th in Jacksonville, NC, then ride to Morehead, NC where I will work on the bike on Friday.  While re-thinking most of my gear and supplies, I've changed out a few items.

First is the actual tail bags, the two orange bags will be replaced with the Giant Loop Tillmook dry bag.  The fuel canisters will be replaced with one Giant Loop Fuel Bladder, doubling my emergency fuel to 1 gallon.  I'm also adding 2 Possibles Pouches to the non-fuel side of the Giant Loop Coyote bag for additional carrying capacity, taking a few items out of the Coyote and making them easier to access.  Thank you Giant Loop for helping me organize my gear and bags.

Next change is footwear.  The Sidi Crossfire 2, which are a great dirt riding boot, are being changed out to Sidi Adventure 2 Gore Tex boot.  The Sidi Adv 2 is waterproof and more comfortable to walk in, while giving me the support needed during dirt riding. Trying to find the right mix of comfort and protection for 4-5 weeks of riding.  Thank you Motonation for the assistance and support.

Last, I'm adding the Perun heal guards and rear brake protector.

Please check out Facebook and Instagram for addition updates.  The satellite tracking icon has been added to the right side of the blog.  This is where you can track me live during the ride.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project Spotlight - Benefit Services

Navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department if Defense (DoD) benefits systems can be a complex process. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Benefits Service Team is staffed with experienced professionals dedicated to helping wounded warriors and family members obtain the benefits they earned. The Benefits Service program ensures warriors have the information and resources necessary to achieve financial stability for themselves and families. Your DONATION helps support these services provided free to our wounded veterans.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Built to Last....

Although the Steed is en-route to North Carolina, the work to make it the best ADV Steed continues.  In addition the the Perun subframe tank re-enforcement and rack installed in December, I'm adding Perun Heel Guards and Brake Cylinder guard.  The OEM heel guards are plastic and a weak point.  The heel guard is my tie-down for my Giant Loop Coyote Bag.  The metal Perun Guards are metal and will hold up to the task of keeping my gear attached to the Steed.  The brake cylinder is a potential problem, due to it being exposed and easy to hit when climbing over a stumb, rock, etc.  The brake cylinder guard keeps it from being brakes will come in handy during the ride :)

The Perun rear cargo rack is well built, designed to follow the lines of the KTM 690, looks great,  and will hold up my Giant Loop Coyote bags the entire 5,000 mile trip.  The heel guard and brake cylinder guard will be installed when I arrive in NC.

Thank you for the support Perun Moto!

Tank Re-enforcement kit

Rear Rack

Heel Guard

Rear Brake Cylinder Protection

Monday, June 12, 2017

Krios ready for testing!

Krios helmet complete, tinted shield, Pinlock lens, communication device...ready to test! I look much better in a helmet!

#klim #crossingamericaondirt #woundedwarriorproject #advrider #klimlife

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Protect your head!

The new Klim Krios helmet arrived today! This helmet is wicked light, damn sexy looking and fit perfect out of the box! Can't wait to test it. This helmet is universal, enabling me wear goggles without dismantling the visor or shield. Thank you for the support Klim.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project Spotlight - Combat Stress

When a soldier returns home, it's rarely an easy transition between military and civilian life. The events experienced while serving are not easily shared with your family and friends. Mental overload leads to physical exhaustion and a sense of isolation. More than 600,000 service men and women live with the invisible wound of war.

What is Combat Stress?
Combat stress is a normal reaction to the abnormal conditions of a combat environment. Symptoms can be, but are not limited to, fatigue, loss of concentration, and decreased reaction time.

What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a diagnosed condition that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event. Symptoms can include disturbing thoughts, feeling, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress, difficultly sleeping, and changes in how a person thinks and feels.

Wounded Warrior Projects such as "Project Odyssey" helps connect our military heroes with each other so they all know they are not alone. You can help support the cause by making a DONATION now.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Essentials for a solo trek across America-BestRest Products

The go-to kit when you need to get out of a situation!! During the 5,000 mile ride across America, it isn't a question of if you will have a flat, it is a question of how many. The Cycle Pump is a must beats having to use air cartridges and a hand pump. It is as simple as plug and pump. The tough exterior and rubber end caps insure this pump will stand up to anything that happens.

5,000 miles, 12 states and 3 mountain passes at 13,000 ft put you in a lot of situations you where you need more strength than you can muster...that's where a Motorcycle Recovery System (MRS) is your guardian angel. This is a solo trek, you either provide your own solutions or....?

Thank you BestRest Products for your support. Without great support from sponsors like BestRestProducts, my trek across America to benefit our wounded heroes would not be possible. Your products are a crucial for any adventure.

BestRest Products will be with me the entire 5,000 mile adventure. Stay tuned as I put them to the test!