A satellite device, new grips, and one thing left to do

After grabbing a cup of better coffee than what Waffle House offered this morning, I set about the day trying to knock out more things regarding preps for the upcoming adventure.  I have been going through my music collection of many thousands of songs creating a few folders of music that will eventually be copied to the GPS or transferred to USB drives to use while out on rides this year.  Specifically for the Alaska trip, I figured a few thousands selected songs will suffice for three weeks on the road, so I have loaded the Zumo 660 up with songs that should keep me from getting bored on the journey.  Rock, classic rock, country, jazz, classical, etc…I can listen to about anything, as long as it has either a good beat or a tune to it.  I may even install some audiobooks…maybe Learning Russian or something, and seeing what I how well I absorb it while riding.

The next chore was to replace the grips on my motorcycle handlebar that have been there since a week or two after I originally bought the motorcycle a few years ago.  Designed to last the life of a motorcycle (per the manufacturer’s statement), I’m now on my third set.  Guess I ride too many miles on the motorcycle than what they would expect.  So, the old grips were cut off, new grips received a soaking with Dawn dish detergent to make them slippery on the inside, and some muscle power got them put in their correct places.Thirty seconds of a hair dryer blowing on them dried them onto the handlebars where they will most likely stay until the bike gets traded in down the road.

One of the latest toys that was delivered by my now very acquainted postal lady is a satellite communicator GPS tracking device know as the Delorme inReach SE.  This specific device was new to the market last year; Delorme makes the only two-way text communicator using the satellite grid up in space for the consumer market.  This works anywhere in the world, just like a satellite phone.  I will be able to receive and send text messages with my family, friends, and anybody else that I like no matter how remote I get in Canada or Alaska.  There will be days I will be outside of cellular phone range, and phone service that far north can be very spotty even with land-based telephone lines.  This way, after about a minute delay, I can communicate out to the world and receive messages back.  And, it ties into the iPhone through an app, which makes for much easier and quicker typing to the device.

inReach SE, next to the new motorcycle grip

Even better, the inReach SE works with a online tracking portal that anybody knowing the address can watch me as I move around on the motorcycle.  Kind of “big-brotherish”, it does allow the loved ones to keep an eye on you and make sure you aren’t lying in the bottom of a ditch somewhere.  Once I get everything configured, I will see about possibly putting the tracker up on the blog here for anybody that may be interested in coming along for the journey over the Internet.

The last awesome feature is the SOS button.  Pressing the button allows for an immediate connection to GEOS, a 24/7 world-wide emergency response and dispatching service.  Should I end up in a ditch, or half eaten by a bear, or decide to try the entire Dalton Highway and wipe out in the slop that makes up the gravel road, the inReach can be a lifesaver.  The nice thing about the service is that it is payable by the month, not by the year like some other services are.  So, I can activate service whenever I like and not get stuck paying for all those months in the year that I won’t need it.  I can be evacuated by a helicopter to a hospital fairly quick if need be.

So….the “to do” list for the motorcycle nears completion.  I only have one item left, and that is to troubleshoot the CB radio; something I need another person with a CB to assist with.  I’ll put out a call for help to the local HOG group when it warms up and see who responds.  Other than that, and packing up the bike, everything is mechanically ready on the Mistress for the journey.  I’m hesitant to say it, in the worries of “jinxing” myself, but maybe if I say it then it won’t happen:  My concern is that with all the work I have done on the bike in preparation, what if I am missing something obvious that won’t make it through the ten thousand mile journey?  Guess this is where I start triple checking everything…and making sure I have plenty of tools with me, just in case.  And this reminds me…time to pay HOG for another year of towing services, just in case it is needed.

I will try to take some pictures and notes of all the other gear that is going on this trip over the next few weeks and get things posted for anybody interested.

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