Picking up my new bike – Chicago to Virginia to West Virginia

I sleep poorly in anticipation of a big day ahead of me (that and my room mates were still up partying at 4 in the morning). I’ve probably overpacked for my 2 day trip to Richmond, VA to pick up a used Kawasaki KLR650 from Clyde who I met through AdvRider. The weather report looks horrible for the weekend — rain, rain, rain. In addition to packing my riding gear (pants, boots, gloves, jacket, helmet), I’ve got to pack rain gear and camping gear for Saturday night. I’ve also put together a tool roll just in case anything goes wrong with the bike. I debate taking a cab to the airport, but don’t want to spend the $40. Luckily, an El train goes by and I grab a cab to the closest open El station.

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Hopping on the El headed towards Midway airport, I meet a group of ladies who are participating in the Avon breast cancer walk. They’re more interested in asking about all of the camping supplies I have with me, so I tell them about the trip and give them my website URL to check in on me later. Hope your 40 mile walk goes well ladies! Thanks for taking this picture of me.

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At the airport, I tried scanning my ticket confirmation so I could check in. It doesn’t work. An employee tries to give me a hand, and it still won’t work, so I go to chat with a gate agent. Danny tries to check me in, but he realizes that I’ve booked my ticket for NEXT Saturday. Shit! I start to worry that I’ll have to wait until next weekend to head down to Richmond, but Danny works his magic and books me on the next flight today, for no extra charge! He even waived my $25 baggage check fee. Thanks Danny, you rock!

I sit at my gate, relax, sip some coffee, and pray I don’t get stuck sitting next one of the 2 400+ lb women sitting across from me. I do hope I sit next to the cute brunette, however 🙂

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The flight was uneventful. Clyde, the guy I’m purchasing the KLR650 from, meets me outside the gates and welcomes to me Virginia. He’s a friendly guy, and we chat the entire way back to his place about motorcycles, trips, and other random topics. We look at the bike, have lunch with this wife and take the bike for a spin (he on his new BMW F800 GS). The bike rides wonderfully, so we go over paperwork, review his maintenance records, and pack up the bike for the journey home. Dang, this thing has a ton of storage space.

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Clyde and I head off through Virginia, him leading the way through the hills and mountains. After 150 miles or so, we part ways and I head off to Charleston, WV. The ride on the interstate through the mountains is beautiful, and I finally truly feel like I’m on my first adventure.

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I make it to Charleston around 10pm to crash at a fellow AdvRiders house. Edward (tdrrally) was kind enough to let me pitch a tent in his yard, which is downtown very close to the interstate. He greets me, we chat a bit, I make some calls, type up my ride report, and crash, ready to wake up at 5am the next morning to get moving before the rain and storms hit.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day.

About Sper

LA born. Michigan raised. Current Chicagoan. Technology nerd. Motorcycleπ enthusiast. I quit my job, sold all of my stuff, and am riding my dream through the US, Canada, Latin and South America.
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