I am a science teacher at a public HS in western Pa.
Visit edtek.info for more info about me.

I started planning this trip about four years ago. I was originally intending to drive my Mustang out west and back. Then I got back into motorcycles, and started planning a fun route to take my sport bike on. About two years ago, I stumbled on to a Trans-America Trail ride report on advrider.com, and I knew that this would be the perfect trip for me. I started planning, bought maps and charts, and spent about 6 months plugging away at my computer to get everything into the GPS receiver. I got my TAT bike, a 2002 DR-Z400S, in September and began working on getting it and myself ready for some long off-road miles. Check out my trip planning thread if you want to see more details on my preparations. For more info on the TAT, see http://www.transamtrail.com .

  1. Mototwin says:

    Ryan and I are following along on the ride, your beard is coming in nicely.


  2. Mototwin says:

    Hey Tavis, You guys are doing great and making progress through thick and thin. Ryan and I both know you’ll finish because of all of your will and determination.
    I can’t wait until next year when you lead us back across the TAT…………..OK maybe the year after that.

    Ride on partner

    Mike & Ryan

  3. Alex says:

    Congratulations! Looks like you had quite an adventure. Given your recent experience on the trail, I have a few questions for you, as I’m thinking of riding the TAT myself starting in a couple of weeks.

    How did things work with the roll charts/maps? I won’t have time to get the maps and enter the route into a GPS, so I’m thinking of just trusting in the roll charts.

    How long did it take you start to finish? Just over 3 weeks? What type of pace did you keep up?

    I saw a few photos featuring a missing bridge…were there (m)any places where the trail was unpassable?

    I’m planning to ride the trail solo and camp nearly the whole way. I’ve been gearing up for a long trip like this for years, but just found a window of 4 weeks to get out there, so I’m going to order the maps today and make it happen!

    Any other words of advice/wisdom?

    Safe travels getting back to PA.


    • tavisb says:

      Alex, I didn’t even bring my roll charts. We pretty much navigated off of the tracks I made for most of the trip. I’ve never used roll charts before, and they seemed like a pain to me. It took us 23 days actually riding the trial to finish, doing 200-300 mile days. There were a few places where the trail was impassable. One gated bridge in Mississippi (I think), two places in Nevada (a mine and landfill blocking trail), and a few closed roads in Oregon that were pretty much impassable unless you are on a small bike or are a nut case. Look for Exile’s RR thread on advrider, he did a good job of noting all of this as we went. My only words of advice are to pack light and keep the speed down.

  4. Alex says:

    Thanks for the details. I went for a topo GPS and am creating a track now. I can’t find a ride report from “Exile” on advrider…can you point me to the name of the thread?

  5. Lach Zemp says:


    I live in Asheville NC and am turning 50 this year. Some buddies and I are considering the TAT for next summer (about a year from now). Would you be alright in an email exchange to answer questions. Right now, I only have a few, but imagine as the trip planning gets into the weeds, I could have many . . .

    Your site is great and gets my heart pumping . . .

    Thanks much.

    (email address is lzempjr@gmail.com)

  6. Jay says:

    I would love to get the gps part that covers MS. Would you be willing to share it?


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