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Hi everyone, apologies for the delay in updating the blog but I have been away, up north, to see my family before leaving.

From Jan: Leaving Lansing, Michigan: “I left Lansing at about 0945, and got on the 127 heading south. There was a diversion due to roadworks, and somehow, I lost the 127. As I had about 90 miles on the clock, I pulled in to fill up & get my bearings. I had to backtrack a bit, and got on 52 south instead.

The closer I got to Ohio, the more it looked like it was going to rain.

At 1233, I crossed into Ohio accompanied by towering purple clouds all around.
Before getting on the Ohio Turnpike, I passed the entrance, and filled up at a truck stop & restaurant before setting off again. The Turnpike to Elmore cost $3

I stopped in Gibsonburg to get some cash from the ATM, then carried on to P&Bs arriving at 1308.  I had just got the bike into the garage, and started to offload, when it did start raining. And from then on, the weather just went downhill. Just made it in time!”

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We’ve had some fun – and it was great to meet up with the hairy old crowd. Roanna has a new trike

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So has Mike:

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THE BIKE WITH A BEER CAN ON IT IS MIKE’S NEW, EX POLICE HARLEY; APPARENTLY THEY GOT THE TRIKE & BIKE AT THE SAME PLACE, FROM A GUY WHO CANNOT RIDE ANY MORE AS HE HAS EITHER MD OR MS

BOBBY BUST HIS ANKLE WHILE WRESTLING WITH A MATE AND IS IN A CAST.

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INITIALLY HE HAD A PLATE IN, BUT THE SCREWS STARTED WORKING THEIR WAY OUT SO IT WAS REMOVED.

MIKE’S SON, STEPHEN & ONE OF HIS MATES FOUND A BABY RACCOON, SEEMINGLY ABANDONED. THEY CAUGHT IT AND PUT IT IN THE BOOT OF THE CAR, BUT IT GOT INSIDE THE LINNG, SO IT WAS ALL FUN & GAMES WRESTLING AN AGGRESSIVE BABY RACOON OUT OF THE CAR LAST NIGHT.

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BOBBY TOOK OVER TRYING TO GET THE BABY RACCOON OUT, BUT GOT BIT FOR HIS TROUBLES; HE WAS BLEEDING FROM HIS HAND, SO WE WOUND HIM UP, SAYING, ‘OH GOD, BOBBYS GOT RABIES’.

Friday 12th June.

I”ve just been chatting with Jan on Skype – he is in the local library. The forecast for tomorrow is not too bad – 20% chance of rain. So he is planning to go for a coffee with another friend of ours, Kathy and will then likely set off heading west straight from there.

On his way home from the library, he found the bike was losing power and, when he stopped, discovered a couple of bolts were missing from the exhaust. He’s sorted that now and was glad it happened today and not somewhere on an interstate.

Only four days before he needs to be in St George, Utah – fasted route is 1,898 miles
– I hope the weather will be kind to him. Jan is not sure which route he will take – that will depend on the weather forecasts and any major roadworks. But this is the most direct route:

The most direct route

The most direct route (click to see full size)

Meanwhile, bak on the old homestead, I am juggling motorcycle clothing – I don’t think I will be able to fit the Shoei helmet in my bag so will have to buy a new one in St George.

The camera gear is another problem; I really would like to take my Nikon DSLR but, I am seriously worried about the weight of the camera and the hefty lens; part of the problem is that I would need to take a very strong (and therefore heavy) box to protect the camera. So, I am reluctantly edging towards taking a little Fujifilm X100s – a great little camera, but not my beloved DSLR.

The Nikon

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Below, you can see the Fuji (much more travel-friendly). I have been trying to get to grips with a GoPro camera too (I need a magnifying glass to see the settings) – and all the bits for fastening on in different scenarios  including two of the three ways of attaching the GoPro to my helmet; in the second photo, I am using a ‘Mule’ suction cup which is, supposedly, able to take speeds of over 100mph BUT, I cannot envision having that stuck on my head like an alien antennae! The elasticated one doesn’t seem too secure – so that is out too. I think I will end up using the suction Mule on the front of the bike and hand-hold the GoPro at other times; just as I always have done when taking videos using normal cameras.

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In this one (although not actually stretched over the helmet) I have the GP on a strong headband. There is also a remote control for the GoPro (just to the left of the iPad) and, next to that is a 26000mAh USB charger for charging things up while camping. In the background is a Joby tripod with a clamp. And the two heavy bits of ironmongery on the back left, are a Tough-Claw (to go on the handlebars) and the suction gizmo.

Frankly, my dear, this looks quite ridiculous!

Frankly, my dear, this looks quite ridiculous!

Then there are all the ‘Apps’; an app for the GoPro, an app for GPS logging of the photos, an App for working out fuel costs and mileage. Oh lord, my brain aches!

Jan, is back at Pete and Barbs now and sorting out his final packing ready to set off tomorrow.

That’s all for now; I will update the blog as and when I hear anything on Jan’s progress. He will not be using wifi – just phoning me when he has the chance.

Ride safe – Jan and all riders.

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