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Prologue to End of Summer - Issue #31

Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
Prologue to End of Summer - Issue #31
By Adam Chandler • Issue #31 • View online
It’s September, the clock is counting down.

Before I begin this issue, I’d like to wish BMW Motorrad’s GS Trophy Team USA good luck in Albania. The 3 men from America are en-route to Albania as I write this and it’s a solid group. I didn’t make the cut and will not be trying out ever again but I’m thrilled to see some great talent. We’re going to need it to finally supplant South Africa for the winning title. I’ll be cheering on our guys from home. A lot of my friends are in Albania from BMW right now. I’m still waiting on my invite to cover this event for BMW as a member of the press. I’ll drop everything even if an invite came in tomorrow for next week’s event. 
I started this Summer with a trip to Michigan. Since then, I have done very little by the way of long trips. Now that I’m 36, the years are moving faster and I don’t expect a slow down any time soon. I believe I’ll clock about 12,000 miles on the motorcycles this year. Not bad but nowhere near my annual goal of 20,000 but that really requires about 3 weeks a year on the bike in addition to riding to rallies which, thanks to my truck, I continue to haul my bikes down to destinations like MO, PA, CT, VT, ME and NC (so far this year). If I do a trip around Lake Huron, I may drive my truck to the northwest corner of New York State and unload there. Tires are expensive and my truck gets 29 MPGs (just 4 short of what my GS Adventure gets). Why ride when the economics of driving to the trailhead make more sense? 
This year has been good for riding. My shoulder continues to improve and I’m blessed to be able to leave my house and in 2 miles, be on dirt roads as far as Canada. There’s no excuse but to get out there every single day and ride. I have camped about 15 days this year. 30 would have been better but camping continues to be what I need to break free of the daily stress headaches that force me into 5PM comatose naps. I love helping out everyone but I’ve reached my limit finally. Burnout is creeping in more regularly. I know the signs and I’m taking these micro-breaks from work but still can’t break that rain cloud on the horizon. If it gets to me, I’ll need a much longer break that is more severe in nature. I left ADVRider in December of last year also due to burn-out. The way I keep the full blown depression at bay (which hits me roughly every 10 years so I’m overdue) is to eliminate things I have control over. Aside from ADVRider, I’m writing a bit less and I’ve officially resigned at end of my term from the Vermont BMW club as president and officer. I won’t seek re-election and in fact, I’ve cancelled my membership there just for a few years. Key volunteers will continue to be asked to help and I can’t say no so I’m going to take some time off from the Vermont club. I had a trip scheduled to do the Continental Divide this year and the MABDR and both trips were cancelled because I was forced to run events here against my will…or at least really shamed into running them. I’m going to run them and have a good time but I need a break from volunteering at the local level. Same for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Cutting out 2 volunteer gigs gets me back about 10-15 hours a week and I won’t be guilted into running large rallies like the 300 person Green Mountain Rally I’m hosting next week which has been planned since February as far as weekly activities to get everything together. I run a tracker on my computers and it measures how much active time I’m on a computer and stops tracking after a minute of no mouse or keyboard movements. I’m in front of a machine working 60 hours a week. I am on that machine on holidays, weekends, 4AM meetings and 9PM meetings. I’ll start tomorrow at 4AM and sit there until noon, walk the dog and then wrap up at 8PM with a BMW volunteer meeting. It’s starting to get to me after 5 years at this pace. 
I’ve also been ramping down one of my side-jobs this Summer. I hired a replacement, cut my commissions in half and then started giving her my clients. By October 1st, I’ll have giving up $3000 a month of income but gained about 30 hours a week of time back. This is free time I have not had in 5 years. Knowing me, I’ll fill it with something else eventually but again, I really need more time and if you do the math, the gig is paying about $25 an hour. If I really needed extra money and on a schedule (this job was on-call 24/7 even holidays), I can go wait tables for tips and make $25 an hour. I need the time more than the money right now. 
After I went to Michigan for 8 days, I went to a total of 8 different motorcycle events this year by bike / truck. I got to camp out, ride my GS, 701 and R18 and do it with other riders. This was a lot of fun but I really prefer long-distance travel to waking up every day in a field and riding a circle around the vicinity. 
With that passion peaked, I’ve been eyeing a few trips and maybe one I’ll do this year before Summer ends. I’m thinking a trip around Lake Huron starting in Watertown NY, down to Niagara, up Michigan and over Ontario but the trip will be 2800 miles and touch the lake by road / trail for 8 days. Sounds fun, huh? I’ve thought about finally doing the MABDR now that Fall is here and catching the Foliage which is a simple 5 day trip at my riding pace. I’ve also thought about taking the R18 and hauling it to Chicago at the start of Route 66 and riding that south to LA and storing the R18 there until Spring before flying back in April to ride it North to Washington state on the Pacific Coast Highway / Route 1. I’ve contemplated doing Newfoundland on my GS but it’s getting too late in the season for that or trucking my 701 up to Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec and riding those trails for 5 days. 
There are many trips floating around the noggin. The only thing stopping me is work but I’m looking at this small gap I have after the Green Mountain Rally as the perfect opportunity. I should be more transparent and mention that there are outside forces beyond my control still at bay and keeping me home but I’m crossing my fingers that those will be behind me in a couple of weeks and I can re-focus on riding in what little Winter we have left. I also hope to share more about that on my blog in the coming months. 
This was a longer and more delayed update than usual. I didn’t even get to share with you the trip I took on the R18 to New Brunswick 2 weeks ago or the fact that I’m writing this update on a plane over Alaska on my way from Anchorage back home but as usual, I have less time than I’d like but I appreciate everyone who has recently subscribed. Thank you.
As for this newsletter, no changes planned. While only a few of you are subscribed, I appreciate your patronage and of course, forward thee to friends if you find them interesting. Do you want more photos than text? Let me know. As usual, I have photos uploaded almost weekly to Flickr if you want to follow me between issues.
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Adam Chandler

These are my ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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