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Solo Riding - Step 1: Planning & Preparation

In a few days another great off-road adventure begins! This one is motorcycle therapy at its best. The plan is to take off for 5 days, about 1,000 miles and solo. There's something special about riding alone with your bike experiencing nature. As I get older I find that others are often surprised that I take off on my own. Of course, there's a safety concern at any time when riding but risks can be reduced, especially with today's technology. My usual game plan is to have a copy of my route in KML format to use with Google Earth and GPX format for use with Garmin. My trusty SPOT will be with me tethered to my riding jacket and a satellite phone in my backpack. About 60% of the time no cell signal will be available but most evenings I will have connectivity to retrieve emails, send pictures to Tayler (Great Southwest Moto Adventures social media "guru") and connect with the reality of this century.

The route for this adventure is setup around my favorite destinations in southern Nevada and California, mostly Death Valley. The purpose is to recharge my mind and soul and enjoy all the things the mountains and deserts of the Southwest offer. Sitting on top of a mountain range looking a hundred miles in any direction with the wind, lack of noise and tranquility should satisfy the prescription written for me by me. This will be just what the doctor ordered.

A month ago I made reservations in a few hotels, the route is complete and all my gear is ready to get packed. The toughest decision is to decide what bike to take. I am fortunate enough to have a fleet of bikes to chose from at Great Southwest Moto Adventure. All our bikes are in top shape so it is just a matter of picking. Today, I am leaning toward the Africa Twin with the DCT. It is my favorite adventure bike.

Between keeping on top of a busy construction market with the construction company, putting smiles on adventure riders faces at Great Southwest Moto Adventures and fighting the flu (twice this season) my physical conditioning is not good, not fair, but poor. I have a week to work myself into a more reasonable fitness level and the work began last week and I've had a work out every day in preparation for my trip. There are some really tough and challenging sections to concur and the always present sand will work all day to wear this rider down. The good news is a good meal, a cold beer and a good nights sleep will follow. Of all the things to be concerned about my level of fitness is my greatest weakness for this ride. Being a desk-jockey and fighting the flu does not lend itself to an adequate level of physical conditioning for hard adventuring but taking the time to prepare physically is important and I've allowed myself enough time before the trip to get back into shape, eat healthy, stay hydrated and hopefully get some solid nights of sleep.

Since so many riders have been constrained by adverse weather and winter conditions I will share my experience each day via social media with the help of Tayler. Pictures and a few very short videos will be shared so others can vicariously ride along. Stay tuned starting in a few days the backcountry adventure begins. Yahoo!