Well, tonight is the last night at home for a while, and I'm about as ready to go as I'll be. Getting ready for a trip like this takes a lot of thought and preparation; the bike, the gear, household things (dealing with bills, newspapers, etc), and then planning the trip itself. When you live by yourself, there's just more details to deal with than living with someone else who can pick up where you left off.
Got the new tire installed Thursday morning. Everything worked out well; rode to Wilson, took off the rear wheel, took it inside with the new tire, picked up a new front tire (for later use), got the tire installed, reinstalled it on the bike, and rode home. A piece of cake! The folks at Cyclemax do a good job and have tires at the best price I've found (including the Internet). Even with taxes added! And they install the tires they sell at a reasonable charge (some dealers will not install tires on non-sold bikes at all, or if they do, they charge a lot to do it. These folks are good.
Changed oil and filter earlier today. No problem, and it took only a little while.
Got everything packed and in the cases or ready to put on the bike. Since my last post, I've thought of some other things earlier forgotten that need to go (maps, spare headlight bulb, waterproof liner, paper maps, etc). I think I have all I need now.
I hope to hit the road about 7am and to end up in Lebanon, KY tomorrow afternoon. There's a Motorcycle Travel Network home there that I plan to stay in. Hopefully it will work out; 509 miles from here to there, so it's not close. I plan for this to be the longest leg of the trip; I've traveled nearly all the way there once before, so there's nothing along the way to stop and spend time doing. But I hope to have most days at about 400 miles maximum so I can see a few things along the way.
Have changed my mind about carrying camping gear. I decided to still carry the duffel bag, but to stuff the bumblebee in it instead of camping gear. That will leave one side case with only a few things (computer, electronics, extra shoes and electronics). That will leave the top case almost empty, making the bike just a little less top-heavy and easier to manage.
Have gone to the bike to pick up some cash. Have packed all the clothes. And done my final check for the umteenth time. I think the bike and I are ready to go.
I'm excited! This will be my longest solo ride; I'm hoping it will be what I want it to be--an adventure where I see what I want to see and go where I want to go. Without trouble, hopefully.