Fly & Ride

Looks like I will be leaving the gloomy Midwest in the morning in exchange for sunny Florida. I will be boarding the 7:05 flight to Fort Myers and heading to Gulf Coast Motorcycles where they have an 09 BMW 1200GS on reserve to become B-town Beans next coffee delivery vehicle.

Doing a fly & ride trip has turned out be a real exercise in packing strategy, particularly if you are an ATGATT sort of rider. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means I do not ride without a complete array of protective gear: helmet, gloves, riding jacket, pants or full suit & boots. I will be riding home in a broad range of weather, including temps in the 70s down to the 30s, rain, sun (hopefully!) and who knows what else. In March, pretty much anything can happen. This means I will be bringing some warmer clothes and an electric jacket along.

To further complicate the matter, the bike I am buying has no luggage on it and for a BMW guy, that poses a serious problem! I was riding the Blue Ridge Parkway a few years ago on a BMW RT when a flock of Duc riders (pun intended) flagged me down. They climbed off their 996 sport bikes, walked over to me and asked if I had anything to clean their face shields with, as it had been raining all day. Of course I did! I pulled out a rag and small bottle of cleaner and passed it around. One of the riders looked at the group and said, “See, I told you. Just find a Beemer rider. They carry everything!” So true.

Is a Roadcrafter considered a carry-on?

So here I am this morning trying to figure out how to get all of these things on a plane. I ride in a one-piece Roadcrafter suit. It it is pretty heavy, being draped in body armor and such. Since it is replete with pockets, I wonder if I should just wear it on the plane? Think I will get funny looks? Will it qualify as a carry on?

The suit is only one problem. Aside from the clothes I am taking, I need to pack a tank bag, gloves, etc. Not only that, I am a Master’s student and I am in class, so I have to take my laptop. Also, I just purchased a new Nikon DSLR and want to take some photos. If that were not enough, I am a coffee roaster by trade and plan to brew some roadside coffee along the way with a Jet Boil and pourover! 

As you can see, the challenge today is to pack. The suit, tankbag, clothes and other gear are going in a waterproof duffel. I know the baggage screeners are going to have fun when they see my electric jacket! This leaves my helmet and boots. No way am I going to trust my Arai with anyone but me, so it becomes carry-0n number 1.

Not trusting this with a baggage handler!

Looks like I might have to wear the boots. It will be pretty entertaining taking them off to go through security! I have my coffee gear packed and will put it…somewhere!

I spend most of my life in too big of a hurry, but on this trip, even though the ride will be rather hasty, I will try to stop along the way and document it with photos and frivolity! You might as well ride along.

These boots were not made for walkin'!

Shep

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