Vermont Wrap-up

Good times. Well worth doing. Here are my thoughts on what worked and what could be improved.

Hostel Tevere was great. I’d stay there again, and probably will if I return to that area at some point. The parking lot is dirt, so be sure to bring something flat and solid to put under your kickstand (I always carry one). Having a restaurant and bar means that’s where people generally hang out, and that I can enjoy a nice cold local brew or two after the ride with no worries about drinking and riding. There’s a gas station / convenience store a mile up the road for morning coffee and most other basic things you’d need.

Sometime along the Canadian border, I got a text message that international data rates applied, something ridiculous like $15/mb. I was en route at the time but when I saw this I shut everything down until I was well away from the border. This is something to keep in mind if I take a trip into the Great White North sometime. My updates would be far more sporadic, and from wifi hot spots only.

APRS was a disappointment. It worked sometimes, but sometimes I’d ride for hours without a single report getting through to anyone. In less populated areas this is somewhat understandable, but not in the more populated areas where I rode. Even now as I type this, it thinks I’m still in Bennington, VT. It may be worth considering picking up a cheap old mobile radio that doesn’t do PL tones for APRS, just to get a bit more power.

Three days is the longest I’ve ever been on a bike so far. The first two days were great, even my longer than planned second day. The third day, though, I was starting to feel it – of all places, in my legs. I think they were getting tired of being curled up under me, as the small bike causes my long legs to do. Another reason to consider a larger bike in the future. In the short term, I may investigate the idea of highway pegs on my crash bars, which would let me stretch them out a bit from time to time.

That’s my only complaint about the bike. It worked great otherwise. I’m very glad I got the power loss issue fixed before this trip, because I needed that power. My riding style became more… Aggressive is the wrong word, but certainly more spirited in VT. The higher speeds required it, and the twisty turns encouraged it. I didn’t feel like it was underpowered like in NH. Then again, I was keeping the revs a bit higher and used judicious amounts of throttle when needed.

The new trunk is great. I used it mainly for my backpack, fully loaded for three days, plus a drink or two. I do want to move the antenna, which is somewhat in the way. I don’t think I need to remove the trunk at all, so I’ll pick up an LED brake light to add to it at some point.

I was a bit tired when I got home, so I’m curious how I’d do on an even longer trip, like a week or more. Though I’m not specifically working my way up to a cross country trip, I’m certainly keeping the possibility in mind for the future. Each trip I’m learning more about this bike tripping thing, which helps.

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