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Thread: New York to LA

  1. #16
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
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    I've ridden from WA to MN (and back) at least once a year. We visit Missoula, MT a lot and I've done Lolo Pass numerous times. meh. Its a fun road, but way too many RV's for my taste. If you don't mind a few miles of hard packed dirt, this is a MUCH better road. Dirt from St Regis to the ID/MT border, then paved.

    http://goo.gl/maps/sKcru



    And since I really don't like the slab, here's an alternative from Devils Tower. You can incorporate Lolo into it, just head north once you get to Clarkston, WA. If you insist on heading to Seattle, I highly recommend North Cascades Hwy (SR20). On this route, you even get a free ferry ride across the Columbia River. lol.

    http://goo.gl/maps/oVlLA

    There are soooo many roads out here.

    Other interesting places to see. Anaconda, MT. Its between Butte and Missoula. Head up Hwy 1 off I-90, stay the night there, have a great steak dinner. Then continue on Hwy 1 back up to 90. OR, from 1, take 38 to Hamilton. Then north on 93 to Lolo and up Hwy 12. You can avoid Missoula altogether that way.

    Sounds like a fun trip. We're headed east this year...but it isn't going to be until December. If only there wasn't snow. hahahaha
    Too damn many bikes to list

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    You've received good info about the ride from others, and I hope you'll get more. But I'd like to address a different issue: your endurance. Six hours in the saddle is a pretty good day, but it can take on a different weight when you do it Monday, then again Tuesday, then again Wednesday, and so on. Your idea to try a series of multiday 6-hours-a-day trips for practice is a good one. So is staying with friends; I like to do that too. Even if friends are not available, I find I sometimes spend two nights in a place, just so I have a day off.
    Dave - appreciate the good thoughts and the suggestion. Just to ease your mind - I expect to spend multiple days in a few places along my route(especially east of the Rockies). I just quit a job with one of those huge law firms, so the last few years of paychecks are paying for me to take my time.

  3. #18
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    This is awesome! My wife found this website and I plan to use it to do some longer rides soon:

    https://roadtrippers.com/

    It has options for highways/byways and food, lodging, etc... Along the way. Check it.

    From your maps it seems like you're passing by the SF Bay Area, if you do and need a break, PM me and I'd be happy to take you to a non-chain restaurant

    Mark E

  4. #19
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    David, you have gotten lots of good advice. Your trip sounds wonderful and you will remember it for the rest of your life ... which brings me to my two points I want to make for you.

    1. Keep a journal and plan to make it available to your kids, grandkids, etc. Some day you will be just another old man, but if they can read about this trip they can say, "My dad/granddad did that! Cool!"
    2. Pack less. Whatever you plan to take, reduce it by half. There is always another Walmart in the next town where you can buy something. If it isn't critical, forget it and keep riding.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  5. #20
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    Route

    A couple of suggestions.

    First, obtain a National Park Service Passport book. Take the map out that shows the National Parks, Monuments, etc.

    With the time that you have, review the rules from the Iron Butt Association for the National Parks Tour (linky: http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/)

    Second, Get the Rand McNally maps of the US.

    Third, Make a list of the locations you have as must visit ie Beartooth Pass.

    Create your route using all the above.

    The National Parks tour will send to you places you never thought of, put you on roads you never new existed, will increase your knowledge of the history of this great country, and will make a very memorable trip along with completing an Iron Butt ride.

    Good luck and have fun

    bob

  6. #21
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    So many good route ideas, and that's what you asked for. I'll risk going slightly off-topic to point out that there's lots of information available about riding in hot weather. It may seem counterintuitive but mesh gear when it's over 95 is NOT your friend, regardless of humidity, particularly when your cool vest/wet tee shirt/whatever dries out. Basically what happens is you're sitting in a blast of air that's hotter than your skin temperature, so heat from the outside is moving to the cooler area - you. That way lies heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Lots of good information in this article http://www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/I..._62-66_Hot.pdf I've heard good things about the underwear from Long Distance Comfort and it works for me. I wasn't properly prepared for a short (couple of hours) ride in Virginia a couple weeks ago (90 degrees) and started to get overheated - my first symptom is headache. Stopped, wet my LDC do-rag and it cooled my head which cooled me. Headache went away and I was more alert.

    AKSuited's advice on earplugs is good too. Amazing how more rested I feel when I don't have to deal with helmet noise for hours on end.

    I hope you have a memorable ride. I wish I could take a really long ride like that, but the day job thing interferes. As soon as I'm eligible for Medicare, though, I'm outta there

  7. #22
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    Awesome Advice

    Gents,

    Have been in Europe the last month crashing at a friends place - recuperating from being a lawyer. Just getting around to reading the last bits of advice on the forum. The hot weather article was extraordinarily helpful - and has had me adjust some of my plans slightly. The other route ideas are fantastic. Right now I am looking to finalize my plans - pick up a dirt cheap laptop to continue my blog while driving (tolawithoutchains.blogspot.com).

    Right now I am focused on making sure I avoid the interstates at all costs - and check out a lot of the old US roads. Also - obviously checking out the national parks.

    Was also looking into bringing a camping hammock instead of a tent to save weight as I will only be camping for 5 or ten nights and in hotels/sofas the rest of the time - anyone have any experience with this?

  8. #23
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    You are going to get your first degree in long distance riding doing this. Also, no amount of pre reading will really prep you for what it feels like when you do it.

    For riding in the heat you need to understand the principle- go to the IBA site and read the tech article on hot weather riding- best summary ever written.

    There is a lot of "aloneness" in distance riding which is an issue for some though not me. You may already know your personal tolerance for this.

    For long days you need to very much learn enough self awareness to recognize the onset of fatigue and/or dehydration. Their effects increase your risk of a crash a lot and if you blunder into them unaware can be a real problem.

    Rests are good and pressing re speed or time is just plain dumb when long miles are in front of you.

    You will find out everything you don't like about your current bike or wish you could improve. But the reality is folks have been riding cross country for about 100 years and your ST is a whole lot better than anything from 25 years ago..

    Your bike may or may not prove reliable. Be prepared for getting help when/if you need it. If you're t all capable with tools/repairs, carry a reasonable set.

    Can't have too many lights or bright enough gear.

    I always carry external GoreTex rain gear in case I need to do full days in the wet. The real danger there is cages not seeing you.

    Good synthetic under layers beat heck out of cotton and can be washed/dried overnight in any motel.

    I also hate chains which have about destroyed the formerly unique look of various towns and states- I avoid them as much as possible.

  9. #24
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Hammocks

    They ain't what they used to be! I've been looking at hammocks, wanting one to take to out of town gigs, too far to drive back and forth on my split shift job...

    Gone are the days when you can get a lightweight, bare bones hammock for under 50.00. Then again, you can drop a decent dime or three- and get a slammin hammock with a "roof" and insect netting, slings with snake "skins" and carabiners, and all kinds of neat stuff. Excellent idea. Sorry I don't have any links to point the way forward, but as always, a few moments in Google will no doubt reveal all.

    Best of luck, and safe travels, Dave!
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  10. #25
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    Awesome information

    Gents,

    Been taking a lot of the advice handed out on this thread - and am finalizing my preparations for the trip.

    I did some research and found what looks to be a good toolkit for a good price (http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/c...1-bmw-tool-kit).

    Purchased a cooling vest that zips into my jacket (http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/r...ng-vest-insert) and a rain suit - as I decided that the gor-tex liner was a stupid solution that still leaves me with a drenched leather jacket.

    Picked up an LED tailight replacement (http://f800depot.com/led-tail-light-...ment-s-st.html) - I wanted the Wonderlich full conversion which was cheaper but this was a nice simple alternative on short notice. Unexpectedly - while trying to order the part I wanted the extremely helpful guy at SF BMW/Wonderlich suggested some higher end headlamp replacements as a good solution to the front lighting problem (and directed me to my local parts store - not any website).

    Purchased all my camping supplies from Tent and Trails - my "local" adventure outfitter - who I cannot say enough great things about. These guys are fantastic - so if you are in the NYC area and in need of camping gear - please check them out. http://www.tenttrails.com.

    Taking a two day trip this weekend to test out a lot of the gear and get out of NYC - and then plan to leave next Thursday or Friday depending on the weather.

  11. #26
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    Launch time...

    Final word- remember the advice about starting early and finisihing early every day. Best practice by far, especially when its hot.

    You may not know that some distance riders will avoid riding at night unless their survival requires it. There is a lot of wildlife on the roads at night in some parts of this country. Even if you live in the area, you can get surprised and as an outsider who doesn't know what to look for- that goes more than double. Out west it can be jack rabbits, on your way out there through eastern states its often bambi. I think rural WV at night may be the most critter-dangerous place in the country- you can fill a zoo with what strolls their roads at night with everything from little rodents up to bears. Hitting anything bigger than a squirrel isn't good and in some places you might not get found until morning.

  12. #27
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    Successful trip - Thank you!

    I wanted to thank everyone who provided advice to me on this trip. It was all extremely valuable. I finished up my trip in LA last week, no worse for wear but with a new fuel pump, new ish tires, and almost 6000 miles ridden in 29 days (with a few multi day stops). The advice regarding riding in hot weather was very useful - and I stuck to the last piece of advice and never rode at night.

    If anyone is interested - there are a lot of photos and what I would like to think is a good trip log on my blog at tolawithoutchains.blogspot.com.

    David

  13. #28
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    David,

    Began reading your blogspot stuff, and will read it through -probably in bits. What a great opportunity, to do this trip.
    No idea what you're doing now, or have planned, but I wish you all the best in your choices long the way to finding your path forward.
    Cheers!

    Tom
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  14. #29
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    David - thank you very much for taking the time to share your trip. Well done!

    Where are you and the bike going after California?

    Did you take the slab across Iowa?

    Ride safe,
    Dave
    Dave
    '92 K75S, '08 F800ST
    Cedar Falls, IA

  15. #30
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    Tom,

    Thank you for the nice words.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    David,

    Began reading your blogspot stuff, and will read it through -probably in bits. What a great opportunity, to do this trip.
    No idea what you're doing now, or have planned, but I wish you all the best in your choices long the way to finding your path forward.
    Cheers!

    Tom

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