Timber Me Ginger's Solo Cross Country Scooter Adventure!

#1
I am so happy that I found this forum when I did! I just want to start by saying THANK YOU to all who have already reached out to me and helped me plan this trip!!! From gear to roads, pies to campsites, everything has been wonderful.

A little about me: I'm 26, just quit my job, have previously traveled in custom adventure camper things for two years, but am ready to finally do something just for ME.

What I'm doing: Driving a SYM HD200 SCOOTER (named Jolene) across the US and taking about a month to do it. I plan to stay with friends, couch surf and camp.



How this happened: A friend who has been storing my stuff, such as my birth certificate, for the last almost 4 years is selling her house and suggested I come get my things. And the way my brain works... a Scooter-venture was born!

I will do my best to update here as regularly as I can, but as good internet can be hard to come by on the road, I will be updating my Facebook (Timber Me Ginger) to let people know I'm still alive through my InReach most frequently.

Anyhow... IT STARTED. I have spent the last two weeks in San Francisco (after flying here with all of my stuff from the Big Island of Hawaii) searching for a scooter, finding said scooter, then outfitting it with everything I think I will need for this month long(ish) crazy scooter adventure!! Then yesterday happened. I was all prepped, loaded down, and ready to test out the weight and head on to my first destination!!

UGGG I have read so many posts about properly weighting your ride... AAAAND, I didn't. I made it a good 10-15 feet from my friend's driveway and got to experience my first wobble. HOLY CANNOLI that is awful. It went away, I went another few feet, experienced my second one.... then casually laid down the bike... (YES! I am going to admit all the stupid, inexperienced things I do here, 'cus that's who I am.) Luckily there was a very nice guy, and my friend's roomie to help me lift up the bike and get her parked on the side of the road. Oh yes, did I mention we are on a 45% grade? I promptly got rid of HALF OF MY STUFF. I honestly don't even know what I got rid of... but let's just say hopefully I don't need it :)

After letting the fear boil down to a dull throb, I repacked. I actually tested the weight of each pannier, put the heaviest stuff down low, and made what was left fit. Then, in order to see if I could do this at all (my ego was sorely battered), I loaded the top box, then took a lap. Came back for the panniers, then took a lap. No wobble, a little less fear, and came back for my computer bag.

Load secured, I took off, for REAL this time. Doing my best to remember to breath, I listened to my in helmet directions on how to avoid major highways, and went. Lo and behold, the shiny side stayed up! I battled the horrific winds, rush hour, insane lane changing busses and squashed the fear demon that was dancing at my heels. With a short two hour ride to send me on my way, I made it to my traveler friend's house in Redwood City, greeted by a delightfully full glass of wine.

I can only imagine what each day will teach me, and I'm looking forward to learning it!!

If you're curious about more backstory (as I will try to keep this just a trip report!), you can also check out my website at www.sarahblessington.com.

Happy travels to you all!!

-Sarah aka Timber Me Ginger
 

richard310

Adventurist
Moderator
Author
#3
Especially safe travels on the road out there! Packing is an art with what's needed and weight distribution, it gets better with the lightweight backpacking stuff, but we all know that comes at a price. Glad you're able to figure things out, and don't forget you can always buy what you need along the way. Stay up and keep those eyes open!
 
#10
Especially safe travels on the road out there! Packing is an art with what's needed and weight distribution, it gets better with the lightweight backpacking stuff, but we all know that comes at a price. Glad you're able to figure things out, and don't forget you can always buy what you need along the way. Stay up and keep those eyes open!
Yes, I have now gotten all sorts of familiar with weight distribution :) So far things are working GREAT! I think getting rid of half of my stuff didn't hurt :p

Thanks!
 
#15
SO! A brief update. 267 miles for my first real day was... LONG, but wow did it put some important things in perspective. I was only 99.99% sure I was going to die for about 45 minutes of the trip! Not bad, I'd say, out of a total of about 9 hours on the road!

I took all sorts of winding windy roads up to the Tahoe area that offered some of the most beautiful and eerily vacant landscapes. Eventually, while fighting like hell against the wind, my back was begging to give out. Hoping to give some needed relief, I "scooted" back, and by golly, I found Heaven. It was as if the wind had ceased to exist. I had found the sweet spot! While not the most dynamic for slow tight turns, it saved the remaining 5 hours of my trip. Pulling up to my friend's house right as dusk was taking hold of the hill tops, I was greeted with a hot meal and a hot tub.

Yep, life is good!

Now off to find some camping, enjoy some beer and pizza with friends, and RELAX for the next few days until the wind takes me up again!



Here's Jolene all saddled up :):)
 
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