Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Wanted: all the opinions you have.

  1. #1
    Registered User mwsmith05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Sharon CT
    Posts
    3

    Wanted: all the opinions you have.

    About us:
    We are two 50 something's, late model LT & RT mounted and we're leaving from CT going to San Francisco with our only requirement is a stop in Denver and want to ride a healthy piece of the PCH.
    When we leave: Sept 20th
    Length of time allowed : 2 weeks
    We like the slab, but thought there are some great rides/scenery along the way (e.g. at 425 mile mark view FL Wrights Fallingwater in PA).
    We'll doing motels, w/no camping.
    How many miles can we expect per day?
    Plan a day(s) off? We're no Iron Butt candidates.
    Is 2 weeks enough? (Two years would be fine as well, but we both have our own businesses.)
    Most important "must-have" items?
    What is our best route at that time of year?
    There might be a bottle of La Chouffe or Santenay in the luggage.
    Appreciate any and all input.
    Thanks,

    CT Registrations: BCNU & YB-HOM

  2. #2
    Motorradfahrer
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    490
    That is over 6,000 miles of slab. More if you deviate and hit two lanes. You have weather and construction. Two weeks is iron butt for a trip that big. Even then you are riding regardless of weather to make two weeks. We just did 4400 in two and had a couple of days to play with but we never busted out 500 miles in a day. We took the scenic routes. Only you know what you can endure in a saddle. I am 46 and ride about 12k a riding season. I would want at least three weeks.

    Here is what I did for the last three trips of 2200, 2500 and 4400 miles. We ride two up on my RT. We have a destination and things we want to see but keep it very flexible, not a Clark Griswald schedule. I use my iPad, iPhone and maps for the planning in route. When we arrive at the first hotel I look at weather the next day and decide what we are in for the following day. I then look at hotels on Kayak for where we want to go and book a room. This is the daily routine. Now sometimes I will book two days ahead but rarely will I do that as weathermen everywhere suck and you cannot rely on any forecast past 24 hours. You can bypass storms that night before most of the time by deviating course a little. Kayak and Trip Advisor are great resources for rooms. For weather I use Weather Bug, Weather Channel and Accuweather as they all vary a little. I have become a good predictor on my own this way and it keeps us out of the really bad stuff, sometimes. Also, I have found that asking us to do anything over 6 hours by Google Maps time is a long, long day. By the time you factor in eating, gas and other breaks that is a 8 hour day. You push it that far every day and you suck the fun out. For us we want a couple of 4 hour days where we can stop and kick around. I also want a buffer for if we find a place we want to explore longer. That is another reason I don't have a hard schedule as I may throw something else out. Last year we liked Quebec City so much we stayed another day and nixed Maine. This year we stayed two days in Baddeck, NS which was not the original plan.

    Whatever you do have fun. Remember to have fun and don't get tied into the routine. That is what you are trying to escape after all . Also, don't throw away the first or last day humping it iron man distance. You are starting and ending an adventure of a lifetime, keep the bookends memorable for the right reason. Enjoy and ride safe.

  3. #3
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    2,044
    I just completed a 7,000 mile ride from SW Ontario to AR, CO, AZ, southern CA, San Fransisco, and then scenic Hwy 70 home in 20 days. Did a number of 500 mile days. The last day was only a three hour ride to home, which made recovery from the trip easy. My riding partner had a time commitment of only 3 weeks. I would have preferred the trip's time to be open ended to allow for even more back roads, more extended stays at some locations and to visit some places that we missed due to time limitations. I would find two weeks to be too short to really enjoy the trip.

    How many miles per day depends on how compatible you and your saddle are. My riding partner could only manage riding on his Honda's ST1300 seat up to 90 minutes at a time, requiring a 20 minute break, which certainly cut down on the distance covered per day. Even so, 500 mile days were not uncommon. I was never sore riding on my Russell seat. The same is true when I ride sitting my K bike's Corbin seat.

    Triple A helps with motel discounts.

    For the first time ever, I left my heated clothing at home. Big mistake as it does get very cool at higher altitudes.

    A tank bag equipped with a Camel Pak is handy to beat dehydration.

    I'm sure others will have more suggestions. Enjoy the scenery.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  4. #4
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Laramie WY
    Posts
    465
    How many miles a day are you used to riding? I generally plan 350-400 as comfortable for me on an RT and stopping at motels. (I'm in my 60s.) I can do 600+ miles in a day on interstates with 75 mph speed limits, but I don't want to do it two days in a row. I ride in all weather, but if the weather is bad I just ride to get there and not to see things.

    You will make better time once west of the Mississippi, as the exits are fewer and the speed limits higher. If you are riding the slab anyway and need to go through Denver, take I-70 west to Utah. This is probably the prettiest interstate there is. (Don't try to leave Denver on Friday afternoon, though.)

    I don't think that you will make good time on the PCH, so you will need to allow extra for that. I've found that if I have to make 400+ miles on difficult or scenic roads, I don't enjoy myself and it seems too much like work.

    If you leave as late as Sept 20, you may encounter snow in Wyoming or Colorado. You should have an alternate route planned, in case you have to swing south across US 160 or even down to I-40 to get across the Rockies. (US 160 is nice, but it's not fast.)

    I often plan grand trips and then later realize I need to pare them down. You might consider just going to the southern Rockies or even Missouri/Arkansas in late September rather than trying to reach the PCH too exhausted to enjoy it.

    I think your plan is doable, as in two weeks you will have 16 days, but it can also turn out to be work.

    Pack as little as you think that you'll need, so your stops aren't a hassle. However, realize that you will encounter a wide range of temperatures.

    Good luck!

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  5. #5
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    870
    We just completed a ride of 9,351 miles from Orlando, FL to Eureka, CA and back riding two-up on our HD. We were on the road for 32 days averaging 292 miles per day. We did take a few days off for rest, sight-seeing, and bike service, otherwise, we were on the bike everyday. Our longest day was over 700 miles and about half of our travel days were over 400 miles. We had to ride many long days to make our planned stops possible -- I knew going in we needed to average about 300 miles per day to hit all of our planned visits.

    Snow, rain, wind, heat, wildfires and road closures conspired to re-route us more than once so we didn't see everything on this trip we wanted to see. Even in mid-May CA was getting snow in the higher elevations. Wildfires caused a couple of road closures that cost us some time. We managed to stay out of the rain most days but there were still a few travel days we spent on the road in the wet -- and that slowed us down. The wind in west Texas and Mohave, CA was fierce on a couple of occasions -- avoid areas with lots of windmills -- they are interesting-looking warnings. CA 1 was closed north of Ragged Point -- so we didn't get to ride all of the coastal highway between Morro and Monterey Bays. Having to adjust for conditions made it necessary to alter our routes and visits, losing us a couple of sightseeing days.

    Our daily mileage was lower at the end of the trip as it took a bit more time to recover from those long days in the saddle. We did very little night riding -- but should have to avoid the heat we encountered during our last few days riding through the southern states.

    The hardest part was prioritizing what we wanted to see -- our schedule forced some hard choices because there were places we would have liked to stay longer. The best thing we did was try keep our schedule flexible-- we had no firm plans or reservations except for one night in the Chisos Basin Lodge in Big Bend. The rest of the trip we planned day-by-day depending on the conditions with our goal to arrive on the Pacific coast and return home.

    I kept track of our daily mileage and distance from home so that we wouldn't have to ride any monster days on the return trip. Unfortunately, weather, wildfires and our schedule forced us home along the same route -- something I always try to avoid. Planning a different return route helps us avoid the get-home-itis syndrome, but it wasn't possible on this trip.

    I often plan grand trips and then later realize I need to pare them down. You might consider just going to the southern Rockies or even Missouri/Arkansas in late September rather than trying to reach the PCH too exhausted to enjoy it.
    We almost made this mistake -- our initial plan was much more ambitious and I'm glad we eliminated some of the states we wanted to visit. The pace we kept worked very well and allowed us ample rest and sightseeing time until we got into the summer heat of Texas. Fortunately, we were headed home by then.

    Some of the must-have or must-do items for us:

    Weather radio, riding gear for various temps between 30 and 100 degrees, wet-weather gear, water (platypus or camel-bak type system), micro-fiber clothing, back-up navigation system, ziplocks for packing clothes and keeping clean and dirty items separated, suncreen, tinted face shield, camera and a back-up, journals or logs to make notes of the trip, one extra pair of walking shoes to wear while you're airing out your riding boots. Extra and a variety of earplug types are helpful if your ears get irritated. Somebody mentioned AAA -- get your hotel rate first then ask for the AAA discount -- use expedia to shop for availability and rates, too.

    I figured we spent over 180 hours wearing our gear including full face helmets and earplugs during our month on the road. Fortunately, our stuff was all broken in and comfortable before we departed.

    I'd do it all again tomorrow!
    Last edited by TexanRT; 06-30-2011 at 02:04 PM.
    Texan RT | Houston | IBA
    BMW R1200RT | HD Road Glide

  6. #6
    Registered User rmcclure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Erin, Ontario
    Posts
    639
    Your September 20 departure date might be about right for taking part in the MOA weekend getaway at Cedar City Utah. I went last year, leaving on Sept. 22 and the bike was registering 0 degrees celsius(freezing point) around the Eisenhower Tunnel near Denver, and a rider going through the same spot less than 24 hours before me ran into some snow falling. I had a great time at the getaway and there is lots to see in the area. Things like Hoover Dam use up time if you take the tour, but I figure it was worth it. IMO, too much to see and do in just two weeks, so I am going back again this year. I guess my advice would be to try to assess what kind of distance would you could realistically cover day after day and still enjoy it, and then plan accordingly. Only you know what kind of weather you are comfortable traveling in and whether you need to build in some time to account for that. While we are still working, it is always a challenge to balance what we want to do with what we need to do. I usually find when I travel, I find quite a few places/things to do which would justify another trip back to an area. Enjoy planning this trip. Sounds like fun.
    Ross
    K1200LT (99), DL650A (08), XJ650RJ (82)

  7. #7
    Registered User mwsmith05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Sharon CT
    Posts
    3

    Thanks

    Thanks to you all taking time to share your thoughts.
    Sounds like we need to take more time off, plan well and be ready for anything.
    Many thanks!
    BCNU

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    CMH
    Posts
    327
    A couple more thoughts:

    Doing long days heading west will pay off with more time where you want to be. If you've never run 800+ miles days, you might want to take a look at the 29 Tips found at www.iba.com. I was using a lot of them before trying documented LD rides. Then you might want to do a couple really long days on weekends to find, extend, your comfort zone. I 80 to Denver has little to offer, zoo through quickly!

    Do you have ties downs (the cam type are OK since they are small and light) for the unthinkable? Relying on tow operators to care about your bike, let a lone having soft ties, etc., is asking for problems on top of problems. If not, get some soft ties, figure out where to attach, think about routing past body work that can break.

    Do you have a plug kit? Know how to use it? Air pump? (Could save a tow!) Check pressure every day--temp and elevation changes can effect TP.

    Do you have Med-Jet assist or similar? Mine covers bike hauling back home. Even a small slip and awkward landing can break a wrist. Knowing you can get home: priceless.

    Do you have an wether channel app? It's a good idea to save several cities for each day's ride, then click through to get a big picture. If you see bad weather, go to hour-by-hour. Not real precise, but gives an idea of how to dress and what to expect, and to some degree when. (I'e heard early winter storms can appear in September in the Rockies.)

    We did a similar trip (2-up w trailer) last summer from Columbus OH to Redmond OR via Crescent City Ca and the Columbia Rive Gorge. Every extra hour in the saddle on I 70 paid off once we hit Colorado springs and beyond. Got towed twice (never been towed in 140,000 miles in the past 6 years). My 1100RT has 164K, and plenty of character marks, so meeting the happy hooker (once a wrecker, once a flatbed--I liked the wrecker better!) was not a big deal as far as adding new blemishes. I'm sure I would have been more stressed with a new(er) bike. One trip was due to a flat after coming down from the Bear Tooth Pass (would have been a very tough place to be stranded on 2 wheels). A steel belt broke and a wire poked through from inside the tire. Yes, I had a plug kit; no, I had never used it and found out the lube/glue had gone bad and only 2 plugs were still sealed. The faulty repair got me the 3 miles into the next town where a local brought me a plug kit with the rope type plug material. Held the 3 - 4 miles needed to get a room and go look for food. The flat may have been partially due to not checking TP regularly. Could have been a bad tire and maybe no plug would have worked, but not knowing condition of kit or it's use still annoys me.

    I hate to be the wet blanket in your planning, but being truly prepared for a flat, a tow and a plane ride home provides peace of mind and softens the blow if things go wrong.

    From the original post, I can't tell how experienced you are with long trips, so sorry if you already do this stuff anyway.

    As I mentioned, we pushed hard in the corn/desert states and relaxed in the mountains, and costal areas. We made it to the rally, but only stayed 6 hours as we didn't care to camp there. I don't keep good notes, but I think we covered ~7500 miles in 14 or 15 days. The toughest day was riding east from the semi-arid western states into lovely green, but oh so humid, MN and beyond. Maybe not an issue in Sept, but after getting acclimated to dry heat, it was hard to get refreshed on breaks, even with shade.

    Your trip is certainly doable, but I'm not sure I would try it myself. I would probably opt to spend more time in the mountains, Black Hills, Yellowstone.
    Rick Swauger

    84 R65
    98 1100RT
    02 Kymco Cobra Racer

  9. #9
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,343
    I would try and hit Hwy 50 accross Nev. Hwy 50 was recently highlighted in RoadRunner magazine and if you goggle it, there are several listings for "The Loneliest Road in America". I rode it last May, it was an enjoyable ride and the road is in good shape.

    Nice ride, it will be a nice fit for your plans for San Francisco and will put you in a position to hit Reno, Lake Tahoe, Yosomite and Mammoth.

    Here's a couple of sites for Hwy 50.

    http://travelnevada.com/documents/gu...ival_guide.pdf

    http://www.route50.com/

  10. #10
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NW suburban chgo
    Posts
    1,528

    time is the enemy

    I returned to Chicago last week from CA. I'm 60. Riding 30 years. R1100RT right now.

    Day one; LA to Reno, 651 mi. Day Two; 630 mi, Day Three, 701mi and Day Four, 680 mi to Chgo. All on the slab. Good weather. CT to CA is more or less the same distance. I rode from about 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, give or take, each day with stops for breakfast, gas, and pee, only. Filled the tank before I checked into a hotel each nite. Lunch was trail mix and a "power bar" with water from the camelbak in my tankbag. (Helps you stay hydrated and alert if you can sip while you ride.) By my calculation, that's eight days of your proposed trip right there.

    Most of I-80 is 75-80 mph, west of IL, but there's some construction here and there. Caught a loooooong delay in the desert just W of Salt lake, about 95 degrees behind some huge contraption being trailered and escorted by several police cars and various out-riders.

    Much of the PCH is slow. Pretty, but slow. And crowded. I lived in LA for several years.

    I hope this helps you plan. Don't mean to be a bummer, but it's a long distance for a two week trip. FWIW, in my experience, fewer miles and more stops is lots more fun.

    The two days I spent near Lake Tahoe on the way west, riding back and forth thru Monitor Pass and then dawdling thru Yosemite (Slow also. Actually, very slow) were the best days of the trip.
    Last edited by 26667; 08-25-2011 at 01:23 AM. Reason: sbelling
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  11. #11
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    1,003

    Thumbs up

    I traveled out to Shady Cove,OR last August to pick up a Bushtec trailer. Towed it back to FL and throughly enjoyed the trip. I stayed over at a friends home in Copperas Cove, TX on the way back, 6466 miles in 13 days. Thanks to Airhawk, Camelback, LD Comfort, Tourmaster, and other cycle products, they made the miles go by easy.
    Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI
    Ride Safe

  12. #12
    Fixin' ta ride tinboatcapt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lakeville MN
    Posts
    147
    Ship the bike to California, fly, then ride back. It doubles your time to sight-see and explore. Cuts the riding to 3000 miles in two weeks. Which is quite relaxed riding.

    I've met, and heard about people who do this regularly. Doing so also means you don't have to ride back over the same route on which you went out.

    Just a suggestion.

    jim
    ST1100 "renamed " Large Marge" Better now with Race Tech, Penske, Michelin PR III's.

    74 Honda XL350 "Ltl Scoot" Just for fun

  13. #13
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Halifax and Larry's River, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    3,299
    Lots of good advice above. Take more time, get fuel waaay before you really need it and obtain the hotel/motel discount coupon books (they save you lots of $$$). You get them at all of the Vistor Centers and often at Denny's. BTW, often the motels are are better deal with the coupons the further south you go on your trek. - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
    Salty Fog Riders Motorcycle Tourism Promotions
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    Posts
    497
    I would suggest you RIDE to California and ship the bike home.

    If there are issue with the shipping company, it won't matter if the bike is a few days late on its return. In fact, if you don't have a set schedule when you need the bike home, the cost can come down quite a bit.

    Driving east to west is MUCH more pleasant. Early morning sun isn't in your eyes and the first few days are quite boring as you reach and pass the midwest. Driving through the midwest with the anticipation of the trip is very easy. But coming home after a couple weeks in the saddle and the "bike smelling the barn" can be torture!

    Nothing like seeing the Rockies with the sun on them in the morning from the eastern plains!

    I've ridden cross country a number of times. Every time I hit the Mississippi on the way home, I wish I had shipped the bike...........

    Your costs will average out just about the same as you will not need gas, tolls and hotels on the way home.

    Airfare is cheap from San Jose or Burbank to Boston.

    Many BMW dealers will handle the bike drop off for the shipper to pickup at their dealership.

    Good Luck.............Have a ball
    RoyB....
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  15. #15
    BACKROAD.ADV
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mwsmith05 View Post
    About us:
    We are two 50 something's, late model LT & RT mounted and we're leaving from CT going to San Francisco with our only requirement is a stop in Denver and want to ride a healthy piece of the PCH.
    When we leave: Sept 20th
    Length of time allowed : 2 weeks
    We like the slab, but thought there are some great rides/scenery along the way (e.g. at 425 mile mark view FL Wrights Fallingwater in PA).
    We'll doing motels, w/no camping.
    How many miles can we expect per day?
    Plan a day(s) off? We're no Iron Butt candidates.
    Is 2 weeks enough? (Two years would be fine as well, but we both have our own businesses.)
    Most important "must-have" items?
    What is our best route at that time of year?
    There might be a bottle of La Chouffe or Santenay in the luggage.
    Appreciate any and all input.
    Thanks,

    CT Registrations: BCNU & YB-HOM
    Since your are starting in late Sept a long day riding and then wanting to see something will be challenging.

    Mornings will be cool and you can expect frost at elevation. By 9 or 10 the temperatures will be comfortable. On the coast expect morning fog. The implications are good rain gear and warm riding gear/heated?. Then as the day warms switching to lighter riding gear.

    The trip your planning covers 6,000 -7,000 miles at 500 miles per day 12-14 days riding and on freeway those days will be about 7 hour days on the bike. Perfectly doable but with late starts in the morning or a long lunch with fuel stops-- there will be little daylight hours (if any) to do anything else.

    With regard to mush haves: good riding gear and ability to switch from cold weather riding to warm weather riding gear quickly and easily. Suntan lotion, lip balm, access to drinking water while riding. Other gear is your choice but keep it light…I'd practice packing everything several times. The first time I went with the wife on a long trip her stuff alone overloaded the bike by a factor of 3 and still would have required a trailer. Since then we have learned what is and is not necessary. We each get a saddle bag for our stuff. The top box is for tools, tire repair, some electronics and windshield cleaning supplies. A soft bag carries the extra riding clothing, rain gear, etc. We motel it and anything bought is sent home via USPS, FEDEX, UPS, etc.

    On long trips we ride hard for two days and then take a day off. About every five days we do laundry.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Crossing the Rockys---- definitely watch the weather an early winter weather pattern can happen and then you will need to find an alternate route (usually by heading south but not alway true).

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •