^this is great advice
^this is great advice
if you are heading south before you head west then the I10 is probably going to be your best route to follow out west. I don't suggest riding on the I10, but there are plenty of access and frontage roads that pace the freeway that you may have safer time traveling on. via this route the only mountains you really have to worry about is the tail end of the Appellation mts through Tennessee and Alabama, and then on the western side of NM, there are some passes to go through before reaching AZ. If you take the 10 all the way to LA, that will have you getting to LA, otherwise you can split off the 10 onto the 8 and get into SD. The 8 does have some mountain parts, but only a little and it isn't till you get into CA.
I really liked the idea of seeing if a truck can give you a lift over the mountains. especially if the weather is adverse.
If you do take a southern route like this it will have you going through AZ and passed Tucson where I am. let us know if you are here and I am sure someone here can put you up for a night or two as needed as well as help with repairs. I have spare a35 engines, pipes, cyls, etc, so we can get you back on the road asap!
good luck and have fun!!!
Still in Richmond learned as much as I could for the time being about mopeds. Would love to head back out on the road as soon as possible but don't know how much longer till I'm able to. BLK BLK has been helping me out A LOT, determined to help me back out there. Nigel's been working on it for 2 days straight it seized again after runnin for ten minutes. The amount of determination and skill my new BLK friends have is thru the roof and they're giving me a hands on approach as much they can! I love these guys! Still tryna rap my head around what I've learned so far and also been reading Fred's guide suggested by BLK Shawn (very funny fella great sense of humor haha) these guys are fun to be around. Definitely feel like I'm in good hands, no doubt!
Will continue to keep everyone posted, please add me on fb @ homeboy Rus if you havnt already but not if you doubt me,,or anyone else for that matter..thanks again to everyone that's been supportive so far, y'all are awesome as fuck!
I'd also like to apologize to anyone I didn't reply to that's offered help, tryna keep up with this forum as much as possible, fb is easier to do that honestly, if you did message me and I forgot to respond please try to message me again once I'm confirmed to be back out on the road, thank you all so much! Wouldn't live in any other nation! Wishing everyone the best , 'Merica!
I'm glad this is happening.
Good luck Rus. I'm keeping tabs on your journey, all the way from the UK. It feels like I'm reading history being made, but in real time. Keep safe and if LA ain't what it's cracked up to be, then the oceans can be crossed for a worldwide ride. A bit like a 2-stroke Forrest Gump!
good luck RUS , have fun and ride safe , God bless U
since ya'll are hell bent on proceeding with this endevor, it might be wise to come up with a detailed provisions list for this kid. the better prepared he is, the better his chances will be.
i would encourage everyone to think about what they would take with them on a trip like this. as i see it, 4 parts
1. personal provision -- food, clothing, cell phone, etc.
2. camping equipment. --once he gets out into middle america, this is gonna be as much a camping expedition as a moped trip.
3. moped parts-- what spare parts would you want/need to have.
4. tools-- he's gonna need a fairly complete tool kit.
1. personal-- its cold and gonna stay cold. i would want 2 snowmobile suits, so i always have a dry one. plus 2 changes of clothes. socks, 2 pairs of boots, gloves, full face helmet. do they make visors you can change for night and day? if so, 1 of each. it still getting dark at 6:30ish. he's gonna be riding at night.
food.....whats he gonna eat? there may be days between towns out there. he's gonna need to eat. Water? melt some snow. at least 2 cell phone batteries, charger, gps? maps,
what else??? toilet paper
2. camping equipment. tent, sleeping bag, camp stove? lantern? heater? propane is best. a little cook stove can triple as a light source and for heat in the tent. rope, bungies, a knife, propane tanks (the small ones) at least 2 . first aid kit.
what else?? lets hear from the campers!
3. moped parts. i would want at least 2 spare tires. and not the slick sava's, something a bit more nobby. how many tubes? plugs? spare clutches? (gonna burn thru clutches) chains? chain links? fuel line? bulbs? slime? fix-a flat? fuel filters?
4. tools........ this is a biggie!!!!!!! needs metric wrenches, (socket set is too heavy) allen wrenches, needle nose pliers, at least 2 large screwdrivers for tire irons., flashlight? tomos a55 manual? bicycle tire pump for sure. phillips driver, tube patches and glue and stem removal tool. strap wrench!!!!! gotta stop that piston to change the clutches
and then there is gas....... gonna need to carry gas. 5 gallons is too much weight. i would go with 2.5 gallons. 1 gallon is not enough. oil, tranny fluid?
pinball people.... what did you need? what did you carry on your bike? what did you not need? what was in the chase cars?
I suspect that most of you had as little as possible on your bikes. most of it was in the cars........ he will not have a chase car. so what would you put on your bike????
remember, its just him and his bike. so he needs to carry everything with him. this is gonna weigh down the bike, slow down the bike, and make the bike handle worse...
so just the bare necessities!!!
thru the heartland, he may need to ride hundreds of miles between check points/towns. so camping is gonna be a big part of this. i would take a firearm with me. just in case things get dicey. i want to protect myself.
also, we gotta figure with all this gear, the weather conditions, repairs, solo, no chase car, etc...... he may only do 100 miles per day ,average. i think expecting 233 miles per day is not realistic at all. for 3000 miles, that makes this a 30 day trip.
there was a guy in the 1970's that road across canada on a moped. in the summer
Walter Muma (born 5 August 1956) is a Canadian man who is on record for completing a 3-month 11,500-mile (18,660 km) journey across Canada and Alaska by moped. The journey took place during the summer of 1978, began in Toronto, passed through Yukon and Alaska, continued up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and finally back to Toronto.
Muma disassembled an older Motobecane for spare parts to bring on his trip. He also brought approximately 50 pounds of gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, clothing, tools, food and water, spare fuel cans, and oil to mix with the fuel.
link -----http://mopedtrip.com/------ READ THIS!!!!!!!
he looked like this
Guys I'm trying my best, give me a break, I have no other option but to go west, I'm homeless and would've ended up freezing to death in nyc streets if I hadn't left, have enough money for food and gas, my tent and other essential shit like toothbrush etc. I'm as crazy as you portray me to be in your mind, but cut me some slack, sorry do you suggest I should probably do nothing and stay a bum for the rest of my life? I don't get it, I've only been on this planet for 21 years and in the city. Don't know shit about mechanics but I'm learning. Please consider my background and what it's like from where I came. Why are there always ppl that try to bring you down without knowing who I am, I'm fucking trying my best..can I get a break for once
Why do you assume he is bringing you down? You said so yourself that you are inexperienced, I think Moped Man is just trying to lend you some of what he's learned in his experience. Granted he could be a bit more positive. Also I am not from NYC but I refuse to believe there isn't places you could have hung out a while till it gets warm, a friends couch, a shelter, etc. but whatever that is in the past.
Remind me never to go camping with moped man, tent fire waiting to happen. haha :)
Stoves and other flammables belong outside the tent, especially most of the tents they sell now. Go up in a blink of an eye.
Here is what I brought on my sept jasper trip to the rockies.
WAY too much, and allot unnecessary.
At work don't have a lot of time to go into it all right now, I'll make whatever suggestions I can later.
Ruslan, he's worried for you and trying to give the best guidance he can, take it all in and think it over ;)
Also if some how you end up in Portland I got a couch for you and tons of tomos stuff.
I think you are taking Moped mans advice as negative criticism. It is not that at all. He isn't telling you not to do this. He is trying to get as much info out there for you so that you can have a successful trip. He is trying to help you.
You have come a long way in the last few days. and your bike breaking down was probably the best thing that could have happened to you in the beginning of the trip. by it breaking down, which you might look at as a negative, was actually a positive, as you now got to meet the moped community, you got a good schooling in moped basics, you were introduced to Moped Army, where you now have a following. You now have a support system that you did not have when you started.
You surely will get back on the road with a much better plan then you had before. you will now travel better prepared, and your chances of successfully crossing the country on a moped have improved immensely.
So please, don't look at the constructive criticism as a bad thing, but glean what you can from it so that you can turn this into an amazing trip you will never forget!
Dustin Foley Wrote:
> The oil injector failed him. Fuck those things. He
> knows how to shitcan it though now and go
> Hard-seized and scored the piston and cylinder
> quite a bit... not the end of the world. No broken
> We got it fired up this morning but there was a
> bit of a gravely sound in the bottom end. Left him
> and his bike in the capable hands of BLK BLK in
> Richmond. They'll help him get the bike spinning
> like a top, no doubt, and teach him more about his
> As far as whether or not this trip is a solid
> plan: well, no doubt that the conditions aren't
> ideal and his repair skills aren't perfected, but
> he is living his life. For better or for worse, he
> has already embarked on this journey. There is no
> turning back, as he has nothing to turn back for.
> Everything he owns is with him on his moped. I
> gave him some ratchet straps, so if worse comes to
> worse, he can hitch a ride and get to the next
> safe place or moped-friendly town. Nagging a kid
> and telling him how ill-advised his trip is once
> he has already set sail is less than helpful at
> this point. He is homeless and rambling west in
> search of gold, just like folks did 150 years ago.
> Telling him that it's a stupid idea now isn't
> constructive, nor will it change his circumstances
> in any way. If you are truly concerned about him,
> you can contact him and offer him whatever
> assistance you can; otherwise, it may be more
> helpful to keep your comments to yourself. He is
> finding a lot of help along the way, with ordinary
> strangers and passers by giving him much needed
> assistance, tools, parts and advice. Telling
> someone in his situation that he shouldn't have
> done it is like telling a poor guy that he should
> have spent his money more wisely.
> There's always the option of ditching the bike and
> hopping on a freight train or working somewhere
> along the way to pay for parts and repairs. There
> are enough good-natured folks in this country that
> will give him shelter if it's freezing, a place to
> wrench when he needs it, and to point out the
> local lawnmower shop or m/c shop. We all know that
> there are old dudes working on motors in every
> city in every state that had a moped when they
> were 15 and will lend him a hand and help him back
> on his way.
> This is 2014... there are 24 hour restaurants,
> coffee chains, and other spots to catch some quick
> zzz's and warm up everywhere. There are also
> homeless shelters and hostels. He has a phone and
> can call for emergency services if necessary, and
> if worse came to worse, he can always just knock
> on the nearest door and use a phone to call for
Keep going man! I have faith! You can do it, and if you ever get suck, or need help, ask on here. People will find help for you where ever you are.
So let me get this straight? You lose your apartment/job, and take the last $1300 to your name and..... Travel across the country expecting to get by on the generosity of others knowing nothing about the machine you're riding, with no tools, And when you get to Alaska or California or wherever the fuck you go what happens? people greet you with banners and confetti with a new job apartment and a fat bank account?...no. That's not what happens. you end up broke down in the mid west with a thumb up your ass and a thrown rod.
I just don't understand why you think it's going to be any different out west. You say you are trying your best, you may need to try harder.
I learned a lot on my moped trip from Nc to Fl. The camp stuff was essential. Eno setup, bug net, rain fly, sleep bag, jet boil, and he needs some leather. Rus, hit me up for the crucial list and I can get you places to stay down the coast all the way to Jacksonville Fl. Then then then head west. Any other way and you will be miserable. Hit me up and good luck. Blk Shawn and friends are awesome. Good job guys
It's not the planning or the destination.
It's the journey.
He will learn more than you will sitting on your fat ass on the couch,
If his shit breaks down, so what? Hop a train.
Become a dirt punk.
Keep on keeping on Ruslan!
I think it's a good way to go . I mean If I was suicidal and stuff buuuuuuuut I'm not sooooooooooo .
Hi Rus, first of all best of luck on your trip. I have to agree that moped man is not trying to be negative, just trying to warn you about what you are up against. Most of what he says is essential for a long trip, especially x batts for your phone, maybe have a charger rigged into your bike, I think it can be done if you are 12v, I know very little of Tomos. It could save you. Tires and tubes and tire irons ar a must imho, as maybe one or two of those inflators for bicycle tires. I really liked the idea of taking the trip in pieces, stopping for a while in different moped friendly places, at least until it warms up some. One thing no one has mentioned, in some states your bike needs to be plated, registered and insured and you need a valid dl. Do you have those? If not Johny law may give you issues and tickets. In many states it is not legal to ride on the interstate. It is also very dangerous to do so. Keep that reflective vest on! Glad you have met cool people along the way, but remember there are also some very shady types out there, stay aware of your surroundings. I would think an xtra can of pre-mix would be essential, as would one of those cheapo led flashlights. I admire your guts for doing this and really hope you make it. Just be careful man.
What would a "shady type" look like, Stephen?
@Shelly, it is hard to say, they come in all shapes and sizes...but there are certain areas where as the op said people will try and rob you, he was kind enough to escort Rus through "crack town" whatever that is....but coming into a strange city you should be on your toes.
Like Hopkins? Lol
I remember New Orleans being a cool place to hang out. Had a similar kind of grungy charm to New York, although the people there attributed the dirt itself to Katrina. Met a lot of people there who understood insane missions, I almost stayed except I hated the food.
Veering south may be immensely cheaper. In cold weather you either wrap up or eat up, and neither is cheap- when I was homeless in Vermont, I needed like over 5000 calories a day to stay alive. Good thing Ben & Jerry's was cheap there, peanut butter cup has to be the fastest was to inject fuel into your system ever...
Going south you get to visit cool places like New Orleans and Austin, Texas before veering back north to the cool places in New Mexico. I've heard good things about Atlanta and San Antonio, but never been there myself.
And I gotta second the warning against Charleston. West Virginia had to be the sketchiest, scariest place I ever hitched through.
Go with God!
@ Shelly....lol yep! ;) I mean I live there right? he he he..
Ruslan, because you are planning on riding through the midwest in the middle of winter, you are going to have to pack enough gear with you to survive for a night outside in the middle of bumfuck nowhere in intense snow/rain/wind in the eventuality that your bike explodes. Don't get yourself into a situation where 50cc's of Slovenian engineering is all that stands between you and a very unpleasant death. I think it's great to plan on the generosity of others, but that assumes there will be others nearby. There are massive stretches of the country, particularly as you go farther west, where there are simply no people. Now if you seize at dusk with a crazy midwest storm bearing down on you, you could really quickly find yourself in a life threatening situation.
It sounds like you've collected enough gear and whatnot to keep your from dying as long as things go smoothly. Here's some stuff you need in case it doesn't:
Space blankets: They're fucking worthless as blankets, but they weigh nothing, they pack small and they're cheap. They work really well if you cram them under your clothes. You wrap yourself up like a baked potato and then put every other article of clothing you have with you on over the top and you might be able to pull off not freezing to death for a night on the prairies, assuming you can stay dry.
Layers: You want to be able to tailor the amount of clothing you are wearing to the current weather conditions. Too much insulation and you get sweaty. Sweaty is bad. Too little and you start to lose body heat. The outer layers should be water and wind blocking, and the inner ones should be thin and easily removable/stackable as needed. Snowmobile suits are an excellent idea.
A good tent: I don't know what your tent situation looks like, but you want one you can set up quickly (inside of 5 minutes) in the dark, with half frozen hands. It also needs to have a decent rain fly, and you will need a tarp to isolate it from the ground. If you break down or crash, or if you're just miles from anywhere and the weather is starting to turn on you, don't hesitate to pull off the road and set that bad boy up. Trying to get warm once you're already soaked is a losing battle. You want to keep yourself from getting wet in the first place. A decent tent will act as a wind break and will keep your mostly dry and will dramatically increase your odds of survival if everything goes pear-shaped. Oh, and bring stakes. Seriously, a tent in the wind without stakes is incredibly annoying and borderline useless.
As an aside, do not use a camp stove in your tent. It's a fantastic way to light yourself or your tent on fire and/or die of CO poisoning.
Wool clothes: Wool is super scratchy and not terribly comfortable (do NOT try hiking in wool undies. Trust me, it isn't pretty), but it keeps you warm even when it's wet. You can pick up old WWI/WWII era wool military pants at most surplus stores and thrift shops for a few bucks, and they're dope as hell. Lots of pockets, superfly granddad styling, and they even have buttons for suspenders. Wear a belt though, because they're heavy and they'll fall down. Wool socks and underclothes are also a must.
Don't wear down coats! They work fine as long as they're dry, but they becomes instantly worthless when they gets wet.
A dry change of clothes: Always always ALWAYS have a complete, dry change of clothes with you at all times. That includes everything you're wearing; gloves, boots, socks, underwear, pants, shirt, coat, the works. Since space is at a premium on a moped, you can have someone vacuum pack it all together for you with one of those stupid bags they advertise on the shopping channel. It will cram it all together and keep it dry as long as the bag isn't punctured.
Something to start a fire with: Living in NY for most of your life, I can't imagine you've had all that many opportunities to start small fires, but you can always cheat. Take a chunk of styrofoam and pour a little bit of gasoline on it until it forms a gel. Congrats, you've just made ghetto napalm. Get enough of that stuff to fill a little bottle with and keep it with you at all times. You can get even the shittiest wood started with the shittiest of techniques with that stuff. Make sure you have at least two ignition sources stashed in different watertight containers in different places around your person. That way, the odds of both getting soaked are minimized. Again, vacuum bags work pretty well. Those little magnesium block fire starters are pretty slick too, if you know how to use them.
A multitool: Pretty self explanatory, but the little things always seem to come in handy.
Road flares: These bastards could save your life if you get stuck on a road in the fog somewhere. Also, they can be used to start larger fires (very, very carefully). Keep em dry.
Basic first aid knowledge/gear: At some point on this journey, you will likely eat shit. It's just a reality of riding underpowered bikes on long distance treks. You want to know what to do if you end up breaking a limb or splitting an artery open in the middle of nowhere. Read up on basic limb immobilization, ways to stop bleeding, and most importantly what to do to survive shock. A broken arm won't kill you, but getting shock in even mildly cold weather will. A non-life threatening injury can kill you if shock sets in.
Other things you should probably have: little blinky bike lights all over your backpack, a full face helmet, something like this:
and, if you can swing it, an emergency distress radiobeacon. The last is a little GPS looking contraption that will send out a distress call and will lead rescuers to your location if you push a button. Could save your ass if you get snowed in somewhere.
Remember, the very basics of surviving in the extreme cold are staying dry and staying warm. If you can do the former, you can probably do the latter. Stay aware of the weather and don't get caught in a storm without shelter.
And I know others have said this, but please don't try to cross the mountains on your bike. Your engine makes maaaaaaaybe 5hp at sea level, which means it will be making maybe 2 or 3 at 5000ft, without even factoring in the fact that your jetting will be completely off. That and hills mean you are going to be spending hours with the throttle pegged, and you're going to melt that poor little engine into a puddle of aluminum long before you reach the top. Even in the best of conditions, you would probably not make it across any of the passes on a moped, and the conditions are absolute shit right now. It's not that it's dangerous, it's that it's impossible. Hitching a ride from a trucker to at least get you up and over the mountains should not be seen as a failure any more than crashing on a friendly stranger's couch should be. Let someone help you.
Good luck dude. I really hope you find what you are looking for, wherever your journey takes you.
Just don't get yourself killed. That would be a pretty big bummer.
^ ^ Rus, Stephen Keller (keller_stephen) called it like no other. We are all wishing you the best and will help you. If you do what Stephen suggested and keep in contact with all nearby, it will be easier. Safe and swift bro!
A lot of to;Dr going on in this thread. Keep it simple.
Keep on truck'n Rus!
rus if you just keep going south.
i have a freind in KW, FLa. that runs a boarding house. it's way nicer than NYC and there are plenty of service jobs, it is paradise.
if you end up there PM me and i will give you her contact info.