Zachary's RIDES

USA Four Corners Daily Journal





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For about a year now I have been planning a ride from Key West, Fl. to Madawaska, Me, to Blaine, Wa., to San Ysidro, Ca., to Denver Colorado. This will be to push myself, and raise money for the DDD found under the tab "USA Four Corner Fundraiser". This is a sanctioned ride by the Souther California Motorcycling Association, and the American Motorcycle Association. Below you will see my daily Journal, and me able to keep up with me as my ride progresses.

The Bike:
Well I know it is a little extreme, but it just so happened that when my Ride came up I was also expecting the delivery of my 2013 CB1100 from Fay Myer. I got the bike to turn it into a cafe bike, but decided I would hold off and make it a touring bike first. I will have to say the CB1100 is a very multi use bike!

Here is my Buddy ED when my bike got delivered





Well with some help from my Kiddos I installed: bags, windshield, heated hand grips, engine guard, plug ins for heated gear, tail light relocation kit, tank bag, tank protected, and waterproof GPS mount, and gauge protectors. Almost ready to get it to the starting point in Florida



The Gear:
Well think I am ready I packed:
Heated coat liner
Heated pant liner
Frogtog rain gear
Tire plug kit
3/4 Gallon gas can
SPOT GPS locater
TomTom GPS
Blue Tooth Helmet
Bug and TAR remover
Rainex Window cleaner
4 quarts of oil
one filter
Tool Kit
Zip ties
Zip Lock bags
Spare tie downs
Clothes for 10 days

Other Preparations:
Prior to getting the bike to the starting point I needed to do the break in for the Bike. But before I did I wanted to install all the accessories. That and get the Bags weighed in. I weighed in the side bags and they both came in at 23 pounds fully loaded, with the top case weighing in at 30. The tank bag I am only using for items I will need in a pinch, and the map. I figure when I get to stopping points I will be bringing it in since it is the only item that wont lock. 

Well on 4/11/2013, I rode almost 400 miles on the bike fully backed out. Noticed that the windshield gave me some guff, but after re adjusting it here and there got it sorted out. It just snowed yesterday so I had on my heated gear. It was only 25 degreed outside when I left but felt nice and warm. Though I didnt get the full 600 miles Honda requires to break in the bike I am going to do the post break in maintenance. Time is running out for me to get it off to Key west. Only have one more day left at home. So tonight I will check the bolted connections, change the oil, and adjust and lube the chain. Should be ready to load it up and get it to Key west after that.



Getting the Bike to the Starting Point in Key West, Fl:

Well before I headed out to Key West I went by the DDFL to say goodbye to the great people there. They wished me the best of luck, and we noted already we had raised 1K! Proof hat I have great friends and wrk with great people!



So that night I loaded up Ruby and got set to bring her to Florida. I was going to ride her all the way down to the starting point, however since I only have a limited time to do the whole ride I only had two days to go 2500 miles!
So on day one of getting her down to Florida I left the house at 4 in the morning. Driving through Colorado is always nice, but it seemed I would never get out of Kansas. Spent the day going through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Finally Mississippi. Spent over 19 hours on the road and made pretty good ground!



The second day however did not turn out so well for me! Again ot on te road early in the morning and noticed there were tornado and thunderstorm warnings for the whole day. It was tough too. ade me sort of glad I had the truck! Either way for 17 hours non stop rain and even points of Tornado alarms. Finally however I got down to Miami to unload the truck and get back on Ruby!



Thank goodness the weather finally cleared up, because the ride was beautiful. Funny though I spent all my time preparing at home for cold rainy weather, and instead it was a HOT AND humid Day! It is alright the view was so worth it!





After arriving to Key West, I had a lot of work to do to get Ruby tucked away before I take a flight out to work. I took her to the amazing St Paul's Episcopal Church, where I met up with Father Larry blessed Ruby and Myself for the ride!



Well it was getting late so I rode Ruby around the Keys for a little bit and found a great little pub down the road. I will say the food is pretty good here!






Though I didnt want to the fun to end I had to get my butt to work. So I took Ruby to her storage unit I got there in the Keys. Luckily it was close to the hotel so I walked over there. Flying to New Orleans tomorrow to go to work for three weeks. I know it will DRAG!!!! I am so ready to start my ride!


The Ride

Day 1 of the ride May 9th 2013.


Start Time: 0600
Start Location: Key West, Fl
Miles Traveled: 726
Accumulated Miles: 726
Weather: Hot!
Stop Time: 2212
Stop Location: Walterboro, Sc



You know it is funny, when I read about other people leaving for their ride later than that wanted I said no way was I not going to get an early start. Well I left late! I landed into Key West around 8 pm at night last night and I scrambled to rescue Ruby from the storage unit. Once I got her out I spent until 1130 pm that night getting the luggage packed out and the bike ready. Then at 4:30 in the morning my alarm went off and I wasn't moving the quickest. 




So once I got on the road it was about 6am. The IBA (Iron Butt Association) had a list I read about pointers to help on long rides. Well one of them was to thoroughly test new accessories before the ride. Well I didn't with the forward forward pegs, GPS, and the SPOT device. So having a few issues while I was going up the keys caused me to pull over now and again. After two hours I was out of the keys and had all the accessories sorted out.

As soon as I passed Miami the sun came up and so did the heat! Funny I spend all my time getting ready for cold and rain the heat was way worse. Seems wearing black riding gear was not the best idea. Ruby seems to be running great however, I have learned to fall in love with the Throttle Stop I picked up. Keeps my hand from going numb because I can switch it up which one holds the handlebars, ad though I still hate windshields on bikes, this trip would of been miserable without one. See Florida has lovebugs and they are EVERYWHERE. in the small amount of time between gas stops the windshield is covered!

By the time I got to Daytona I was making up for the lost time in the Keys. Then I saw a huge J&P Cycles store. I dipped off the Highway to check it out. When I got off I noticed the whole town was dedicated to motorcycles! There were bike detailing places, parts stores, a Huge Harley place, JP cycles, and everything else you could imagine for bikes. Either way I didnt want to waste time so I just went into J&P to pick up some pant liners, small tank bag, and some Standard tools. 



After Daytona it was straight Highway again. Ran into traffic in Jacksonville, and realized I should of timed it a little better. Rode all the way til 10:15 at night. I have to meet a buddy of mine tomorrow in Lexington so I cannot get to far ahead. Though I could of ridden a little more, I was sore when I got into the room.



Day 2 of the ride May 10th 2013.


Start Time: 0900
Start Location: Walterboro, Sc
Miles Traveled: 541
Accumulated Miles: 1267
Weather: Sunny / Rainy
Stop Time: 2100
Stop Location: Strasburg, Va


Wel today I am meeting a buddy of mine near Lexington, Va so I didn't need to hit the road too early. So after finally catching up on some sleep I installed a different set of forward pegs on the bike and was off. 

I was definitely sore when I first started, but I figured out it was from slumping own on the bike seat the day before. I was doing that because I was looking through the windshield. Well since I wanted to sit up more to help out with my back aching I spent the day looking over the windshield. I felt a ton better that and I noticed when the rain started you cant see crap through the windshield. However when you just look barely over it the rain still goes over the helmet.  Clearly I am not a windshield guy! Haha

Well after being on the road a bit I met up with a really good Navy friend of my named Paulina for lunch. It was really nice to see her again. 



With a full belly I started to get tired again. I read on a blog for distance riders that when you get sleepy it helps to have sour candy on you because it will shock your senses and buy they weren't lying! Worked like a charm. That and every stop I slam two waters no matter what. Seems I get dehydrated pretty quick.

I have had many misconceptions of the states out east. The carolinas and Virginia are really green and pretty. That and the hills in Va, and on the edge of West Virginia are really nice! If you ever get a chance I recommend checking it out!

Well as I approached Lexington to meet up with my buddy Warren I noticed that some dark black clouds were following me. Though I tried to out run it, it caught me at the same time I met up with Warren. So on with the rain gear and back on the road. For the next 3 hours it was raining pretty good and Warren was having a hard time seeing through his windshield. However like I said before I could see over mine in this air pocket that kept most of the water off my helmet.

When we made the call to get off the road it was tough to get a hotel. A lot of people got off the road earlier because of the bad weather. After the third hotel we finally found vacancies. Though it is good to be in for the night, I know that tomorrow will be another stormy day.



Day 3 of the ride May 11th 2013.


Start Time: 0715
Start Location: Strasburg, Va
Miles Traveled: 532
Accumulated Miles: 1799
Weather: Heavy Rain
Stop Time: 2030
Stop Location: Lawrence, Ma.





Well the game plan was to get up and hit the road at 6 am, but seems like my buddy is a little slow starter in the morning. However I will say he made up for it by bringing me a beaded seat cover that I fell in love with today. It allows air to flow under your butt, and if it rains it allows the water to flow out. 


Well knowing that it was going to rain all day I had my Frog togs on and all bundled up. About 5 minutes after being on the road it began to rain and didn't stop all day. It would just go from light rain to downpours. Well at one point it was raining so hard we had to pull of the road. When we were at the gas station sitting out the rain a guy getting gas asked if we were here to see Orange County Choppers. When we said no he informed us it was just a block away! It caught us by surprise that we just so happened to get off on that exit so we went and checked it out. Pretty cool



Well after riding more it seemed like the rain just kept over us the whole time. I bought a set of "Waterproof" gloves, that turned out to just hold water in them. So I switched them for just regular gloves. We had to again pull over when it felt like it was hailing on us, near Vernon, Ma and decided we were going to push it until dark and then stop for the night. Funny though the Frog Togs kept me dry I was drained from riding in heavy rain all day. Hopefully tomorrow is better!



Day 4 of the ride May 12th 2013.

Start Time: 0710
Start Location: Lawrence, Ma.
Miles Traveled: 652
Accumulated Miles: 2451
Weather: Cold / Rainy
Stop Time: 2100
Stop Location: Bangor, Me


After 6 hours of sleep last night, I crawled downstairs at the hotel to meet my Riding partner. When I got there he told me that I would be on my own today because he had to head west. So off I was. 

Within minutes of hitting the road the rain and cold hit me. It was 41 degrees, and raining as hard as it was the day before. Tough when I hit a brick wall first thing in the morning. I was even catching my teeth chattering and shivering. So I decided to get my heated gear on. Once I did it helped me feel a whole lot better.

The drive up to Madawaska was nice (Other than the rain). I noticed that after Bangor there is pretty much 100 miles of nothing until you get to Holten, Me. From there it was a 100 miles of local road with Canada on the side of me. Would of probably been a really pretty drive, but the rain was relentless. Not going to lie, The rain was wearing me down. However after 7 hours I made it to the second checkpoint! The USA four corners park!






 Though the rain was still coming down pretty good I managed to take s picture of the bike. I also used my camera to get a pic of me with the bike, but the cord to get it off my Camera was now lost. So when I get home I will add it to the bottom of this logbook. The park was very nice, and I noticed that they were still adding stones. I pre ordered mine, but I am going to have to wait until I finish the tour before it gets placed. The town was pretty dead today but it was more than likely that it was sunday, and Mothers day. So after seeing the park, and taking a tour around town I started to head back south.

Well as I was heading back the cold was really kicking in. Seems like the 200 miles back to Bangor would never end. But I wanted to get back to there because most of the hotels north of Bangor were mom and pop places. Well I refueled in Holton and figured I would be good to head to Bangor without having to refil, But for some reason my gas milage wasn't doing very good today. About 25 miles from Bangor my fuel light was flashing. I kept pulling off but gas stations were closed. If you ever go to Maine be weary that most of the town including gas stations close on sunday nights. So have to carefully plan your fuel stops. Luckily I made it all the way to bangor without running out.

As I crawled off the bike I felt pretty beat up from two days solid of heavy rain. I looked at Ruby, and she was looking a little worse for the wear too. I think tomorrow I am going to sleep in a little bit, and take her to get rinsed off. Then we should be both revived to make the track to Washington !




Day 5 of the ride May 13th 2013.

Start Time: 0800
Start Location: Bangor, Me
Miles Traveled: 589
Accumulated Miles: 3040
Weather: Cold
Stop Time: 2030
Stop Location: Danville, Pa.

Woke up late this morning because of the long wet days before. When I went outside I noticed that finally the sun was out! However it was only 38 degrees outside. Didn't matter to me at all. I was prepared for the cold with my heated coat, pant liner, and heated grips. That and I was glad to shed the rain gear and use my tank bag again. Since the bike was covered in Mud and dirt from the trek to Madawaska I found a car wash to rinse her off before heading out of Bangor.

So for most of the day it was clear and I was knocking miles out. Then about 3 in the afternoon I had something happen to me that spooked me. In all my time of riding I have never had a similar issue. It was really windy because of the storm that passed and the cold front coming through. Well as I was close to getting off at my next gas exit a VERY strong cross wind blasted the bike throwing it in to the worst wobble I have ever felt. The bike was bucking wildly and no matter what I did to the handle bars the wobble got to the point where I figured I was foing to crash it at 80 miles an hour. Luckily I clicked off the throttle stop and she decelerated quickly and got back under control. I then pulled off and was pretty shaken. I have had wobbling happen to me before on the road, but nothing to the point where it tool everything I had to regain control of the bike. I was thinking my number was up.

So as I got back on the road I was a little overcautious for a while until I got back into my grove. As evening came I decided to take off the beaded seat. When it was raining it was nice because it allowed the water to drain out, when it is hot it keeps your butt cool, but when it is cold it does nothing but make your butt sore!

As I pulled into Danville it was getting cold again. The bags were all messed up and I knew it was going to be in the mid 20's when I wake up in the morning, so I decided to push "Ruby" into the room. Makes it a lot easier and warmer to work on! Looks like I am going to make it to Wisconsin tomorrow when I am taking a day off to spend with my kids, and get the bike serviced. I think we both could use a little break.



Day 6 of the ride May 14th 2013.

Start Time: 0615
Start Location: Danville, Pa
Miles Traveled: 710
Accumulated Miles: 3750
Weather: Cold / Hot
Stop Time: 2030
Stop Location: Pleasant Prairie, Wi

Well I knew early this morning I wanted to push it today and get to Wisconsin. So hit the road at 6:15 in the morning. It was only 28 degrees outside so I had pretty much all of my heated gear on and still was a little chilly. 

However as the day progressed it got all the way up to 81 when I got to Ohio. Once there I ran into the worst traffic ever. Heck for an Hour and a half I was in Park on the highway and had the bike on the side stand. I can tell I was in the midwest though, There was a lot of construction, and the roads were rough!



Well after pushing it real hard today I finally got to Wisconsin where my Ex wife and kids live. It it wonderful to see them and made me happy knowing I am well over my halfway point. Tomorrow I will work on Ruby, and take the rest of the day resting and spending it with the kids. 



Day 7 of the ride May 15th 2013.

Start Time: 1900
Start Location: Pleasant Prairie, Wi
Miles Traveled: 150
Accumulated Miles: 3900
Weather: Sunny Nice
Stop Time: 2040
Stop Location: Portage, Wi

Took it easy today!!! Ruby got an Oil Change, Chain adjusted, Cleaned, and checked over. I tried to let my body recover a little but it seems it just made it worse. Either way after a productive day I ate dinner with my kids, then felt guilty I didnt get any miles in today. So, after dinner I knocked out 140 miles to ensure I wouldnt have to go through the city of Milwaukee during rush hour. Either way, back to the grind tomorrow! 




Day 8 of the ride May 16th 2013.

Start Time: 0715
Start Location: Portage, Wi
Miles Traveled: 660
Accumulated Miles: 4560
Weather: Rainy
Stop Time: 1930
Stop Location: Bismarck, Nd

Well I wish I had some pictures to show you from today, but really there was nothing worth taking. Started the morning off with Fairly nice weather through Wisconsin and Minnesota. Then when I got into North Dakota the dark clouds came on the horizon. Time to get the rain gear back on. It went from 80 degrees to 57 degrees, and I was having flashbacks of my time in Maine. That and the wind whipping across the highway kept me at a sideways angle pretty much the rest of the evening.

However on a positive note, the roads are wide open with 75 mph speed limits, so covering ground wasn't a problem. I got so tired of listening to music on my Ipod that I downloaded audio books. I tell you what that is the way to go! It helps keep me interested on an otherwise boring road. That and I wont lie, I am pretty sore too. I find that I take 3 Ibuprofen pills in the morning, Then every other gas stop I rotate it with Tylenol. Also in the beginning I had very poor posture while I was riding so my lower back kills me sometimes. I picked up a brace for my back at a truck stop and it seems to help too. 

Well open highways and some better fuel economy helped me meet my goal of 600 miles early and it was nice to get to a hotel after only 12 hours of riding. Allowed me to take in a really good Chinese Buffet who would of guessed in North Dakota! Either way before getting to bed I make a routine of updating this webpage and watching the weather. Looking like I will have rain over the next three days! Makes me wonder if I shouldn't of done this ride in the fall!



Day 9 of the ride May 17th 2013.

Start Time: 0705
Start Location: Bismarck, Nd
Miles Traveled: 762
Accumulated Miles: 5322
Weather: Rainy
Stop Time: 2000
Stop Location: Missoula, Mt

Well after checking the weather in the morning I noticed it was going to be a long day full of chilly weather, and rain. I suppose I am starting to become a pro at riding in the rain. Well as I was transitioning from North Dakota to Montana I was due for my next gas stop but couldnt find a gas station. It was almost 42 miles with nothing I ran out of fuel. Luckily I had this trusty little gas can in my Bags. Tell you what I was so very grateful for it!




After riding through North Dakota, it was such a nice transition when I got to Montana. Though the clouds masked most of the mountains, the view was amazing.



Finally the Fog got so dense and the rain came down so hard I decided to call it for the night. Found a little overhang to keep ruby out of the rain. Ironic considering she has been in it all day! Looks like if all goes well tomorrow I will hit the third checkpoint! 



Day 10 of the ride May 18th 2013.

Start Time: 0715
Start Location: Missoula, Mt
Miles Traveled: 825
Accumulated Miles: 6147
Weather: Rainy
Stop Time: 2130
Stop Location: Kelso, Wa

Well woke up again to more rain. I suppose I should be getting use to it now. Once I fueled up I felt it was pretty cold too so I got my heated gear on also. I felt like the kid in the snowsuit in Christmas story.



So as I was riding, I knew I was cold, and very wet, but the View took away from it completely. The way the clouds hugged the hills, the way the air smelled like the pine trees, and the way the roads seemed to have endless turns made it quite an enjoyable ride. To bad the weather isn't nicer and I wasn't so crunched for time, I would like to spend more time here in Idaho and Montana.



Well after exiting Idaho the eastern part of Washington is pretty flat, That and the sun Finally came out. Funny how that glow in the sky can re energize you. Once I started up the Snoqualmie Pass the green trees mountains, and the rain returned. I voided the heart of Seattle by taking the 405 North to Blaine.

Once I got to Blaine, I got Fuel at the Chevron there. Funny how when you are at the corners the guys know all about why you are there. They were really friendly in this town and loved hearing my Stories. So after chatting with a few people I took my pictures at my checkpoints and started to head south.




I made it a lot further than I planned tonight, and I suppose it will pay off tomorrow. I can feel the end getting close, and I am really excited about finishing! However Since I got in So late tonight I might not get a very early start tomorrow. We will see. I just hope I can have a day without rain!

Day 11 of the ride May 18th 2013.

Start Time: 0745
Start Location: Kelso, Wa
Miles Traveled: 1130
Accumulated Miles: 7277
Weather: Sunny
Stop Time: 0330 AM (19May 2013)
Stop Location: San Diego, Ca

Since I finished late last night I had a hard time getting moving this morning. However I could feel the finish line even closer, so the thought popped in my mind to see If I could do an iron butt straight to San Diego. But rather than plan on it, I think the soundest advice is to just go until I couldn't anymore.

When the morning started it was quite rainy. Seems to be Par for the course. But by now I was very use to it. However soon after I got out of Oregon the clouds broke and it was warm and sunny the rest of the ride.


Making it to the Lemoore Exit at about 5 pm I made the call to try to power through it to get to San Diego. I was starting to feel soreness in my back and fatigue from the previous 11 days of riding. But I knew if I used the excitement of finishing to my advantage I could make it, and get a Saddle Sore 1000 IBA cert out of it too.

When the sun first set I was getting very tired and was second guessing my decision to push through. But since I was deep in the Valley of California and there weren't many hotels I drank some Coffee and pushed through it. The bugs were very thick from the farming country so I had to clean my face shield a lot. Still a nicer change from the Many days of rain!

Finally at 3:30 AM after 20 hours on the road, and pushing through a lot of squirming I had made it the 1130 miles to my sisters house. No matter how beat and tired I was, it couldn't mask the smile knowing that I was 20 miles from the finish line! I figured I would sleep in and take the leisurely ride to the finish line tomorrow. 




Day 12 of the ride May 19th 2013.

Start Time: 1230
Start Location: San Diego, Ca
Miles Traveled: 20
Accumulated Miles: 7297 (7557 According to the Bike) 
Weather: Sunny
Stop Time: 1250
Stop Location: San Ysidro, Ca

Day 12 and the final day of the USA Four Corners Tour. Though I woke up pretty stiff this morning it is almost surreal that the ride will end today. I was going to wash "Ruby" prior to heading down there, but figured I would take her showing as much fatigue as I had. It was official I completed the four corners tour!






        Summary
"Ruby"
After I went to my last checkpoint I took the bike and spend two hours cleaning her up. almost 10 days of riding hard in the rain took it's toll on poor "Ruby". I also wanted to get the windshield off. Though I couldn't of have imagined doing the ride without a windshield, I had never liked it on the bike. Over the next few days I will get "Ruby" back home, and go into converting the bike to a "Cafe" one. By the time I completed the Tour the temporary plate on the back was about expired. I put over 8,000 miles on the bike, and it is less than two months old. The bike never gave me even the slightest issue, and think I have bonded with it more than any of my other bikes.



Fundraiser
 After a few days I will get myself and Ruby back to Colorado and get my paperwork in order to send off. I will also Meet up with the amazing people at the Denver Dumb Friends League. During this ride I have raised 1650.00 for my cause, and with me matching it totaled 3300.00. That is .45 cents a mile, and blew away my Goal of .25 a mile. This wouldn't of have been possibly with out the Amazing contributions from:

Kevin Metcalf

Ernie Davila

The Reid's

James C. Montgomery

Nikko Walters

Steve Bornstein and Family

Shan,Kel,Tehani,808

Capt Jimmy T, Kasie, and Faith

Olga Lorente

Heather Palmer

#1 Houston Stunna's

Al Martin

Jeff Bryars

Chanelle R.

Keith Kidwell

Ron and Lyn Petty

Zacharysride - Cami

Uncle Gary

G&D Moore

Bob & Georgia Hill

Han Solo

Vick

Patrick Brown

I cannot seem to thank them enough. When I get to the DDFL to present the check to them I will post it here on the site!


The Route
Though there were many ways I could of have made this trip, I chose to take all the major Highways. I added some time and miles to my trip by avoiding crossing the boarder to Canada, and moving my east coast track off the 95. I did that primarily to avoid the big city traffic up there. I learned during my trip to time when you get into the cities that way half of your day isn't wasted in traffic. Luckily, the only places I met traffic was in Ohio, and in Seattle. If I wasn't in such a crunch for time I would of have taking the Coastal high down to San Diego. The Below map is directly taken from my Spot tracker.




People
On another note spending weeks toughing out the weather, soreness, and fatigue really helped me focus on a lot of things. I learned that when you watch the news all the time you think the world if bad off and that everyone is out to get each other. However that couldn't be more to the contrary. I met many amazing people on the ride, and noticed there is a lot of good people out there. I learned that the Family, Co worker, and Friend support I had while doing this ride was overwhelming. 



Places
I got to see the countryside all over the United States. The south eastern corner is so very beautiful, and hot. The north Eastern side of the US is a busy, and yet very green place. The ride through the midwest was the hardest point for me. Not a lot of greenery and straight flat roads tend to get tedious. However where the midwest lacked in scenery, it more than made up for the hospitality. Towards the West was where I was really impressed. the curvy roads, along with the mountain creeks and fresh air were beautiful, I look forward to going back there again. Then California couldn't be more diverse. It had mountains, farm lands, and the beaches.

The Gear
Funny some of the gear I got was unnecessary, or performed poorly. Some of them were the "Water Proof" gloves, and the Tom Tom GPS. I found it so much easier to plan my routes on my Iphone, and use a good old paper map. For the gloves, the leather ones that were made by Built would hold more water than they kept out. I found that no gloves I found were really water proof. Rather it was best for me to find ones that dry fast.

Some items I wouldn't of left home without were:

   Omni Cruise - Used the whole ride, and allowed me to rest my right hand when tired
   Forward Pegs - Bought them in Florida, and it allowed me to move my position to help from getting sore.
   Frog Togs - They wee cheap, and did an amazing job keeping me dry
   Spot Device - Worked amazing and allowed my friends to follow me
   Spare Gas Can - Though I only needed it once, it was all it took for me to know I will never leave home without it! 
   Cargo Net - When I was reading forums prior to my ride it recommended one. Though I didn't really have a use for                        one I got it anyway. Good thing too. I used it the whole ride to secure all of my access gear
   Back Brace - Though I didnt pick one up until I was halfway through it helped my lower back out significantly! 
   Ipod - I learned that listening to Audio books helped prevent me from getting bored! Used it the whole time!
   Scala Bluetooth - Being able to talk on the phone while I was riding was a life saver. I had family call ahead for                                    hotels, and even cover some of my bills while I was out


Conclusion

This ride was a memory of a lifetime for me and it taught me so many lessons. It was challenging at times, and enjoyable at others. I want to make sure to thank everyone again who donated, and help me along with the ride!  I am very proud to join the elite ranks of the other riders that have completed this tour, and raise so much money for a really good cause! 
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