I am an archaeologist who has been working in Belize on and off for the past decade. Besides excavating lost cities (real Indiana Jones stuff) I also run a field school. This allows both students as well as the Average Joe to get a taste of life in the trenches. Usually I fly down at the beginning of the summer and spend the next 3 months happily mucking around in the dirt.
This year I am thinking about doing something different. I just bought a 2005 wee-strom with 11k on the odometer. My plan, if everything works out is too ride it from San Francisco down to Austin, meet up with a friend and then for points south. On the plus side we will be transporting a truck down so I will have a little extra space for gear. On the minus, I can't rely on theat vehicle coming back, so I'll have to be self reliant.
I know some of the gear that I will need, but not all. I have only ridden sport bikes in the past so this will be my first experience with long distance touring. I am hoping that I can turn this tread into a sort of how too for noobs like me. What I should bring, what are good brands, etc. I know that this information is spread out all over the board but maybe we can consolidate it a bit.
I am also hoping to post back information about my prep. Shorter rides, gear good and bad, and finally culminating with a "Long Way Down" epic commentary. Hey I am a writer thats what I do.
Off the top of my head I know that there are certain things I will need to get.
- luggage - hard case panniers
- maintenance items/tool kit
- electrical mods to the bike
- tires - what are the right type for road use and semi-improved roads
- travel gear - I have most of this.
I know that there is a lot of stuff that I have forgotten. I hope that members of the board will take pity on my and chime in with their accumulated wisdom and opinions.
I will start the ball rolling with a board favorite, aluminum luggage. I have it narrowed down to Jesse cases, Happy-trails, and the Trax Alu-box. I have re4ad all of the posts that I can find and still can't make up my mind. I admit that I am lost. Any help out there?