9.10.2006,9:22 PM
Are We Ready Yet?
The last week and this weekend have been a constant blur of preparing for the upcoming trip. It is increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything else but. I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas Eve.


Packages of last minute inventory arrived all week, with the last one yesterday: the horns. I ordered a set of Stebel TM80 horns for Whee to replace and upgrade the stock horn, which is the call of a weak sick bluebird. I wanted the honking of a thousand geese at my fingertip to blast drivers awake or scare deer out of the road. I wanted a horn on steroids.

The TM80s comprise of two horns: one a low tone, the other a high tone. It is the combination of the two that sound like an airhorn but without the size and draw of a horn with an air compressor. The TM80s are light, compact and have less draw. Coupled together they are equivalent or slightly louder than Stebel's compact air horn. And very effective.

Being totally oblivious of electronics, and feeling like a fish out of water, a fellow TWT rider and electronics whiz lent his expertise and tools to help me install the horns on Whee. This was also the first time that Whee has been 'undressed'. The front fairings and most of the cowl were removed. I am still amazed at the ingenuity and simplicity of design. Almost everything is 'plug and play', even the body parts. After spending an hour of cussing and sweat taking the battery out of the Honda Shadow this morning, I am grateful that the electrical heart of the Wee-strom is under the seat, easy and quick to access.

Chuck learned of my tendency for OCD at my insistance of color coding the wire ties and tieing the wires and harnesses together in the most difficult areas to access. Yellow ties mean horn wires are bundled together, yellow wire for one horn, blue for the other, green for ground.

The only drawback of todays Mini-tech Day was the fire ants.


Also arriving this week were the following items, classified into a collective 'Stuff':
  1. A second sleeping bag. The Big Agnes is rated to only 50F. Checking the website for Taos at 9 pm tonight, it was 59F. I needed warmer sleeping conditions. The second bag is rated to 40F, high loft goosedown and a mummy bag. It's slightly heavier, but the two bags, the new one inside the BA bag, should be warm enough.
  2. In case it's not, a coolmax sleeping bag liner arrived as well. It will add another 8 degrees of warmth, and wick moisture away. I am a furnace at night. I sometimes glow in the dark, too.
  3. Wolfman Explorer Lite tank bag. I installed that yesterday morning. I'm not very pleased with the mounting system; it's not specifically designed for the V-stroms, rather the BMWs and KLRs. But it has a sloping bottom that fits on the gas tank nicely. I may have to fiddle with the mounting straps a bit before it is optimal. I will miss the inner compartment on the top flap that was in my smaller tank bag. This one has only a large zip pocket, no specific compartments for keys, wallet, pen, tire guage, etc. I'll have to improvise. The map area is awesome and it's comfy to lay on.
  4. The Motoboss rain suit arrived. As usual, the small is equal to a large on me. I swim in it. But it folds up compact and is truly waterproof. And it is red and black; my standard colors of choice.
  5. I ordered a pair of First Gear insulated overpants after freezing on the way to work the other morning. The insulating liner is removable and they are also purported to be waterproof. I especially like the leg-length two way zipper! I ordered a woman's size small; I hope they fit.
  6. I braved Walmart at 10 o'clock last night to pick up assorted items: bungee cords, tent repair kit, space bags (squeeze the air out), head lamp (very cool!), batteries, waterproofing, a light fleece zip overshirt with a high neck, boot socks, leatherman's tool, relfective tape...... I almost forgot to get food to eat this week.
  7. Every time I cross something off the list, I add something else later.
  8. The big one: I ordered a new laptop. A MacBookPro. Since this will be not only a road trip, but a writer's trip, I needed a computer that was dependable and easy. The Mac was the top choice based on input by three friends who use Macs. A recent demonstration of one of their laptops was enough to convince me. I will be using this to write, download and edit photos, and upload to a website and this blog on the trip. Hopefully an article at the end of the road will help recover the investment outlay.
I still have to decide what to take for gear. And then pack, and repack...... and repack again.

Now if I can only sleep.

posted by Macrobe
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