Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting In Gear - By Kevin

My motorcycle adventure begins with buying stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  And since I’m not a great tinkerer like Larry, this meant buying said stuff off the proverbial shelf – or in my case, the internet.

Most people who get a new motorcycle only need begin with the basics.  A good helmet, new jacket, some gloves and maybe, rarely some good boots to protect the ankles.  Riding to Alaska, as it turn out, requires an amount of gear and supplies just short of taking a trip to Mars.  So I set off on a journey of another sort and began procuring the six pages of “essential items” for our grand adventure.

Alaskans and fellow adventure riders will tell you that, if you are smart, you should be prepared for weather ranging from anywhere below freezing to near 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add snow and slippery-as-snot mud if you’re heading for the Arctic Ocean and Prudhoe Bay.  Famous last words from me may go something like this: “Sounds like fun!”

 I am a frugal man, by which I mean I don’t mind spending money as long as it is on something that is necessary, of good quality and of good value.  I also have a tendency to be a wee bit overcritical.  This has led to an excessive (read “ungodly”) amount of hours on the internet researching, testing and usually returning motorcycle products.  The proverbial “one step forward, two steps back” has been my approach to buying gear.  My lasting purchases have been with retailers who lack any return policy whatsoever.   Ebay and Craigslist have forced me to commit, for which I am thankful.

So it’s less than a month before we leave on the trip and I’m happy to report that I have most of the gear.  The road shopped has been long and mentally tiring one and I find myself anxious yet excited for the real road to begin.

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