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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Cross Country Ridding?

I'm planning on taking a trip cross country from Washington D.C. to San Diego, Ca. Anyone done this? Best routes? Any clubs do it?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 04:32 PM
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You might want to hit up Dad. He posts round here often and has gone coast to coast I believe. More than once.

You will refer to me as IDIOT, not YOU CAPTAIN!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 07:14 AM
Dad
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I could definitely help you out on this. I've done a fair amount of touring through the years including about a dozen cross-country trips.

The devil is in the details on one of these but they are very doable, quite fun, and the scenery and experiences will be a liftime memory.

A few thoughts I will list here without too much detail but do your homework and if you want to PM me, we can exchange numbers and have a good preparatory session. It's not magic at all but the outcome can be quite different for a matter of a few details in expectations and preparation.

1) Ride your bike a fair amount every few days for about a month before to leave. It gets the muscles that count in shape.

2) Read and discuss ahead so you pick a route that meets your expectations. The "west", which is a LOT of real estate, has about every climate and condition known on Earth. You want to be prepared for what you're entering into. None of it's a problem if you're prepared.

3) Start with new tires and consider a sport tour combo like Avon Azzaro 45 rear and 46 or 50 front. Keep a tire gauge and check your tires for each day's ride.

4) Pack light but right. A good rainsuit does double duty. The obvious is rain but helps with cold as well. Make sure it's big enough to fit over your armored gear. Totes boots that fit over your riding boots, too.

5) Clear visor with sunglasses that fit under it. Can't ride in the dark with tinted visor and don't need to pack two. Take your helmet in with you when you try them on and use them some to make sure there are no fit problems or pressure spots that show up after time.

6) A perforated jacket for the hot days and leather, armored pants work best. Leather pants would seem to be too hot but they're actually easier on a sweaty ass on the seat. Don't know why that is but IT IS. Must be something about how the leather deals with the sweat. A pair of nylon type light gymn shorts underneath allows you to lose the leather pants in public when it's time for a meal break. You only need the one pair and you can wash them right in the sink or shower of your hotel room at night. Put them on the turbocharged room climate control device and they'll be dry by morning. Part of the "pack light" theme. Good for bopping around the hotel, too.

7) If you insist on jeans, get a small animal skin, sheep skin is common, and put it on the seat. Makes the seat tolerable in ways you can't imagine until you've done it. Leather is still best, though. Handles the sweat and is safer if something happens. Make sure the skin is easily removed and do so immediately if you encounter rain. Put it in your luggage, that spot where you pulled out your rain suit will work fine, because once wet, they take FOREVER to dry out. The same comfort the skin affords while dry, is UNCOMFORTABLE in a multiple SQUARED, when wet.

7) With perforated leather gear, this is where the rain suit comes in. If it gets cold, much below 65 deg.F, continuous high speeds can get a chill going. Putting on the rainsuit stops the wind from cutting through and gets you comfortable down into the lower fifities. Then start adding layers under the jacket. A flannel shirt with button up collar helps a lot for this, especially being able to button up the collar around the neck. Another cheater piece that packs easy is one of those ear warmer bands that you use in the winter, just not used as an ear warmer. Pull it right down over your head and place it around your neck, zipping the jacket collar up around it. Seals out wind and makes for good warmth, acting like a scarf.

8) Don't cross the desert in daylight if at all possible. Vegas to Barstow is hot beyond your capacity to imagine as an easterner. Temps can easily reach 125 degF in the summer. The sun will FRY any exposed skin, regardless of how tan you might be. Run it through the night when it gets down to a balmy 110. That's in the height of the summer, BTW. Not as bad off season. If you have some timing flexibility, check the moon phases as part of your trip plan. A full moon in the desert is bright beyond what you could imagine. You could almost shut your lights off and still see OK. It tends to be super clear, part of why it's a desert, afterall.

9) Keep sunscreen handy and use on exposed skin, such as your nose. Apply sparingly around your eyes or on your forehead where it could get carried to your eyes in sweat. It will burn in your eyes and leave you virtually blind until you get it out. Very dangerous if it gets you while you're rolling. Also, get it off the palms of your hands. A THOROUGH wiping with a paper towel should be sufficient. Something in it tends to attack rubber parts such as throttle grips, making them all gummy. That sucks on a trip.

10) I'll add more later. Got to go right now......

Keeping the "Hap" in "Happy Holidays"!

Regime change begins at home.

Blind patriotism is worse than no patriotism.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 11:42 AM
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to add to Dad's post....when in the desert, use a motorcycle kerchief and soak it with water b/4 riding and tie it around your neck. It makes a world of difference in the heat. Also, stop often and consume water (no beer or soda). I did a cross country ride in the height of summer from SoCal to Mass. On June 29th, we stopped for gas on I-40 at 4pm....it was 126 degrees!! One rider got off his bike and passed out due to the fact he wore short sleeves and didn't drink enough water and the sun & wind drained him of his fluids!! He recovered and wore long sleeve jacket the rest of the trip. Have fun, take plenty of pictures, 'cause you only have one "first time" across the country. That and plan for some "unplanned" rides, there are some greats roads to explore!!

Been there, Crashed that!!
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