Yeah , early in the morning down here in Southern Arizona where I live and today is June 20 .
So it's almost the first day of summer .
This is a really big auspicious date for me because I'm setting off on a big new adventure .
I'm inviting you guys to come along on this project with me .
It's a motorcycle trip for those of you that know me , you'll know that this is something that I like to do .
I like to go on really long motorcycle rides , film my adventures and share them with you .
So , welcome to this new adventure .
This is really just the first episode and I wanna tell you all about it when summertime rolls around down here in Southern Arizona , it gets hot .
That's when I like to take off .
So I like to go north , try to find my way up into the mountains to some higher cooler elevation .
Just have a nice long , good ride , did a project like this a couple of years ago and you guys might remember that it was called Riding Solo .
And I left home here in Arizona and I rode up to Montana and I filmed a bunch of videos that are on this channel .
Really , to be honest , I kind of envision that this series that I'm doing now is really going to be similar to that one .
It's the story of a long motorcycle adventure , the roads that I ride on , the things that I see along the way , trying to find some really good beautiful scenic campsite locations , cooking really good meals .
All of that is going to be a part of this trip .
This trip is going to be a long one , about 50 or so days on the road .
Actually , it comes down to 53 days and I picked that exact number for a couple of reasons .
I'm 53 years old right now .
My BMW 1200 G S rally has 53,000 miles .
And so I figured a 53 day trip would kind of be the right way to go .
But of course , I'm going to be taking back roads and meandering my way across the country .
So it definitely will be some additional mileage thinking it's going to be somewhere between seven and 10,000 miles total .
So this is a big adventure .
It's a long adventure .
It's the kind of adventure that I really look forward to because I can get into my routine and really just sink into the journey .
These solo rides are really special to me .
It's something that I've worked at being able to do over the years and got a lot of practice and it just means a lot for me to be able to take off on a trip like this by myself .
So , if you're a motorcyclist , this should really be of interest to you because it's a long ride .
I hope to be able to share this amazing ride and the roads and the changing landscape and just what happens along the way because you never know what to expect on a big trip like this .
And I've been thinking about it and planning for it for quite a while .
And that's typically the way it goes on a trip like this .
And I know you guys can relate to this .
Once you make a decision to go on a really big trip , you just can't help but get excited about it .
Thinking about the journey ahead and what bike are you going to ride ?
Is your bike in sound mechanical condition ?
Are you going to be camping or staying in hotels ?
Will you be cooking your own food or eating out ?
Are you going to try to film or document your journey ?
And all these kind of things have been going through my head and I've certainly spent a lot of time looking at maps and planning my route and things like that .
But now I'm actually ready to cast all of that into the wind and head out to wherever my heart's desire takes me .
I prefer to camp whenever possible on a trip like this because I spend a lot of time getting out into the back country to these beautiful locations .
And after all that effort , I like to spend a little bit of time there .
Those are my favorite places to film and take pictures .
And so I like to be prepared so that I can get out to a special place and then have everything I need to set up a nice campsite to cook a good meal .
So the camping and the cooking that's going to be a part of this story as well .
And then another part of the story is the film making itself .
The film making aspect is really the creative part of the journey .
It's the part where I get to exercise my artistic sensibilities .
And if I were to be honest , I would really say that it's that creative side of a trip like this that really excites me .
It's where my passion is at .
It's what I go to sleep thinking about in the night .
My goal as a filmmaker is to capture the essence of this long motorcycle ride in a way that really represents the spirit of the journey and creates some really interesting content for you guys to watch .
That's what I'm most excited about right now as I make my preparations to head out is how I'm going to film this journey .
One of the things that I try to do in my videos is to make them as high quality and as cinematic as possible along the way .
And I want to actually talk about the film making and how I do it and what I do and some of the choices that I make , I haven't really done too much of that before on this channel .
So that's a new thing .
And I hope that if you guys are interested in learning how I do it , you'll enjoy that .
Maybe you'll learn some tips about documenting your own travel adventures , whether they're on a motorcycle or not .
So you can learn some stuff from this series as well .
So I've got a brand new video camera for this project .
It's a Fuji XT four mirror less camera and I've been using the Fuji XT three camera for the last three years .
And I would have to say that honestly , it's my favorite video camera that I've ever used .
Not only is the quality extremely high , but it's very small and compact .
It has a small form factor and I just really fell in love with that camera so much that I decided to purchase the upgrade the XT four for this trip .
And I'm actually going to bring both cameras with me .
So for the first time , I'll have two video cameras to be able to document this trip because I have two cameras .
I'll be able to show you some examples of camera and film making techniques because I'll be able to film myself with one of the cameras in my hands , some of the other cameras that I use on a trip like this are my gopro action cameras .
That's a helmet camera .
So you can see my point of view going down the road .
And I also mount that camera in different positions on the motorcycle .
And then you can use it as a blogging camera .
If you want to walk around and talk about things you see or where you're at .
One of the unique things that I've done for this trip is that I've taken a mono pod which is like a tripod with just one leg .
Well , I've actually attached that mono pod to my motorcycle .
I turned it upside down , mounted it to the pannier and now I can raise or lower that mono pod as needed .
I could attach a Go pro to it so that I can record over the shoulder shot of myself going down the road and very quickly and easily take my mirror less camera out and attach it to that mono pod and record a scene of myself talking to the camera and I can position it in a way that includes the motorcycle in the background if I want that or I could just point the camera in a completely different direction and be standing in front of some kind of natural landscape .
That's one of the cool new things that I've got going on in the film making aspect of this trip .
It's really important for me on a big long solo adventure ride like this to have all of the things that I'll need my motorcycle itself and tools and spare parts or my camping and cooking gear or my film making gear .
One of the things before this ride that I did was go out and film some test rides with my bike all loaded up and set up with all of that gear so that I could make sure that I had all the right stuff with me .
So one of the things that I did this morning as I'm getting ready to go is I went through and weighed all of my luggage .
I'm going to tell you what I came up with .
So on the left side pan here , what I would put in there would include my motorcycle tool , roll my little bathroom bag with toiletries , my lighting bag that has lighting for the campsite .
I have my personal clothing , socks and underwear , t shirts , things like that , my rain gear and then what I call kitchen pantry and that's sort of like my food storage area where I keep things like cooking oils and spices and things like that .
And then the dry bag that I would put on the top would include things like my tent , my rain tarp , my Hammock , all of the things that are kind of exposed to the outdoors and might get wet .
What I keep on the right pan .
Here is my fire box stove .
I have a small camping chair and a small camping table .
And then my camp kitchen itself which contains all of my kitchen utensils and pots and pans and bush craft tools , things like that .
And then a couple of water bottles , I've got 1 48 ounce nalgene water bottle and 1 36 ounce hydro flask .
I also have camel back hydration bladder and that has 1.5 liters of water in it as well .
And so in total , I've got 136 ounces of water just over a gallon .
Think I did a pretty good job with my packing because I've got £29 of luggage on the left side and £29 of luggage on the right side and the camera bag weighs £30 .
So that makes it pretty easy to remember .
I basically have £30 of luggage on each side of the bike and 30 pounds of camera gear right in the middle .
And so that's a total of £90 of luggage , which I really don't feel too bad about .
This is a big bike , the 1200 G S it has a large carrying capacity .
You could ride you up and carry another person .
So considering that I'm only carrying £90 on the back , I think that's a pretty good thing .
Well , I'm so excited for you .
You're going to have so much fun I wish I was going all the way .
Let me get my helmet on .
I'll just go with you .
I just about ready to take off and I'm going to head to the west from here and stay in southern Arizona for a couple hours and ride through some of the mountains and the desert down here and then hopefully find a place to camp tonight that includes a body of water .
So let's get on the road .