Winners and Losers
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

This trip rattled a lot of things. Some aren't going to be on the next trip. Others will.

Mesh jackets
I'm just starting to feel like, when you are moving at a decent clip, especially in the southwest where it's so dry, a few vents will move plenty of air. The mesh may well be hotter when it's 95 degrees, and then when it gets cold you can't just zip some things up. You can wear the liner, but then the outer mesh doesn't provide any warmth. Maybe it's good for the city, but I think my next trip I'll get something non-mesh.
Bad chain adjustments
A local dealer adjusted the chain. I didn't notice until I got to Utah that the rear wheel wasn't aligned right, and the rear sprocket was getting a weird deep wear pattern. Not really a problem for the trip, but the sprocket is toast and the chain is starting to loosen after only 5000 miles.
My 80GB ipod video started flaking out a bit before the trip. It's not very old. It was very expensive. Hassle. I noticed my old 20GB seemed to work alright. Unfortunately as the trip progressed the battery started flaking. The things are so expensive, but I just can't get away from them. I want to be free, but it keeps pulling me back in.

Although the thing doesn't appear to have had the CLA it was billed to have had, it feels great to use. I'll pony up for a real CLA and it will be happy.
Despite the sprocket issue, and also a headlight mount shook loose and then the bulb died, the bike as a whole did great. Gets 60mpg without too much trouble. Snow storms to desert heat, pavement, dirt, washboard, sand, gravel....the better rider I get, the more the more the bike seems a step ahead of me.
Frog Toggs
This rain gear isn't motorcycle specific - which would make me suspicious, as on a bike you have rain coming at an angle, at high speed, so usually things not designed for it wouldn't work. I just had the pants, and they were great. Not having to stop at a gas station and get half naked in the bathroom to put on an inner liner when it rained was the main motivation.
Ipod Nano from the Best Buy in Grand Junction, CO
So tiny! So shiny! So beautiful and magical! Oh Ipod, I can't stay mad at you!
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