Monday, May 04, 2015

Practice run

gt packed

My 2003 BMW K1200GT has a rather narrow luggage rack – narrower and more troublesome than the one on my old 1991 K100RS.

If wide objects like camp chairs and tents aren’t properly secured, they can move around and hang off one side or the other at a crazy angle that causes anxiety among those with whom I share the road.

I’m about to embark on a ride to a BMW rally in Kentucky, north and east of Nashville, Tenn. and it will be the first one for my new Eureka Tetragon 5 tent – the largest tent I’ve ever carried to a rally. I also have a Walmart canvas chair and an oversize Browning sleeping bag to strap onto the luggage rack. I don’t really expect cold enough nights at the upcoming rally to justify the heavy bag, but I’m reasonably sure I’ll want it for Billings, Mont. in July, so I might as well see how it rides.

I consulted old photos to refresh my memory about successful strapping strategies from the 1990s when I had my RS and made slight changes in the attachment points for the forward ends of the ROK straps, crossing them over the tent and chair bags and cinching them down. The result is a satisfyingly solid fit. The green tent bag is slightly off center to accommodate the weight of the tent pegs on the right side.

And I’m reasonably confident that the yellow cargo net will hold the sleeping bag securely.

Changing over from a Thermarest to a saddlebag packable Big Agnes Q Core air mattress further simplifies matters.

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