across the usa in 3 days...or less

Discussion in 'Americas' started by F800ekelley, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    FWIW, the ice trick has worked well for me, which is why I recommended it as a trick if needed during the the planned dash. I simply stuff it in available pockets, not encased in plastic. Saved my bacon on an IBA day while sporting an aerostich through the Badlands at temps well over 100 degrees. Evaporative cooling was my friend. Didn't have the potential horribles you mentioned, but I suppose they'd be possible . . .. :bmwrider
    #81
  2. Hookdude

    Hookdude Flying W Master

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    If you must be there by a certain date I would suggest taking a plane.

    Having said that,....you seem set on doing this trip and I applaud you for it.
    You've received a lot of great tips so far. I wish that I'd had them when I went from San Diego to Boston solo on a 500 Interceptor in 3 and 1/2 days back in August '87.

    Your time table is doable under ideal conditions. But that rarely happens.
    Here's some of what I encountered.
    - Torrential rain across all of Arizona (of all places!) could barely maintain 45.
    - 6 hours lost to diagnosing and fixing a fuel delivery problem in the middle of nowhere NM (Alamarosa I think it was called)
    - Nearly hit a small critter at 1AM in TX Panhandle while STUPIDLY trying to make up for lost time by doing triple digit speed ("Was that one of those Armadillos? Man, if I hit one of those at this speed I'm toast! A skivvy staining tank slapper at the very best.").
    - Had to make an unscheduled stop to clean the mosquitoes off my face shield in Arkansas. Took a soaked rag from the gas station and had to wipe them off again every couple miles for some time. Made sure to re-soak the rag at each stop and kept it at the top of my tank bag.
    - Hallucinated an Armadillo on 65 in Kentucky. I actually swerved then looked back to see... nothing. (There are no Armadillos in Kentucky! Or the TX panhandle I found out later.) The mind can play some convincing tricks.
    - Nearly hit and was air blasted across my lane and back by a semi going the opposite direction in the thick foggy hills of Maryland. Scary. (Still not sure how I "saved it". Dumb luck I guess.)
    - The rhythmic "ta Tunk" of expansion joints on 84 in CT actually lulled me to sleep while riding. (I didn't think it was possible to fall asleep while riding a bike. It most definitely IS!) If it weren't for the beeping horn of the car next to me who's lane I was drifting into....I probably wouldn't be writing this.

    At 25 years of age I was in supreme physical shape. And thought I was invincible. I made this "mad dash" because I was leaving for a war zone in two weeks and although the nice lady at the MAC office (only flight I could afford) could guarantee a return flight, the next flight home wasn't for 5 days. "Shoot, I could ride home in less than that. Think I will." Booked my return flight, put a change of clothes, my toothbrush, paste and a bar of soap, in my tank bag, bungeed the wool blanket from my rack to the back of the saddle, got some money from the bank, changed my oil, bought a new can of chain lube and a map and away I sped. The one thought that kept me going was, "I want to spend as much time with my family and friends as possible." The chances of me never seeing them again were going to rapidly increase in a couple of weeks. I didn't want to waste my leave time on the road. I wasn't trying to prove anything to myself or anyone else. Just the singular thought of getting home ASAP. I know now that this was a dangerous mindset.

    This was NOT a fun trip. I made some really bad decisions (riding too fast and pushing my myself physically and mentally chief among them), and had some very close calls. 3 to 5 hours of sleep per day is not enough when you're performing a task like riding a bike. Mental fatigue sneaks up on you with little warning and can be deadly.
    For this reason I urge you, nay beseech you to add at least an extra day to your trip.

    I was going as fast I could get away with (young and dumb don't ya know) usually 10 to 20 over posted speed, sometimes more. And just barely made about the time and distance per day that you're hoping for. (Someone already posted that lesser speed would have required fewer fuel stops and the same results. He or she is right!)

    Upon arriving home I slept for 16 hours straight. So, in reality, waiting for the MAC flight would have only cost me about six hours with my family and friends. Hindsight being 20/20, that would have been the wiser choice.

    Sorry if I come across as "preachy". I'm only hoping you can learn from my mistakes. And I'm happy to see that you, unlike myself, are making proper preps.

    Oh, not sure if any one mentioned these, but spare bulbs don't take up much space. Nor do spare levers (even an innocent "drop" at the fuel stop can snap one). And a sheepskin cover on my saddle literally save my butt (Warm in winter and cool in summer.)

    Best of luck on your trip. And please keep us posted.

    Cheers,
    Bob
    PS Didn't intend for my first post to be so long.
    PPS This site rocks!
    #82
  3. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Ionized water " hydrates better" ??

    BUNK"

    "Ionized" and alkaline water: snake oil on tap
    www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.htmlNov 20, 2012 – A chemist looks at the crackpot claims about "ionized" water, alkaline water, and the ...


    F800 please , please get off the " turning 30 " shtick before you hurt
    yourself . Fine if you want to go for a ride And are making good preparations,
    but the only reason to do so should be because you can do it in an enjoyable and safe fashion. Riding should always be fun.
    I get the impression that you are turning this ride into something of a
    religious quest where you try to inflict pain and misery on
    yourself in the vain expectation that you will achieve some kind of great
    Wisdom of the Ages. Ain't gonna Happen. At best you will come out exhausted
    with a story to brag about for a while to those caring to listen. At worst you will get exhausted while riding and get into an accident
    Remember it should always be enjoyable at the end of the day .Nothing
    more can or should be expected
    #83
  4. ts3doug

    ts3doug Long timer

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    i find mesh gear on hot dry days wears me out faster than my normal leathers. perhaps i'm just odd though
    #84
  5. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    385
    Time is closing in, have you figured it all out Kelly?
    #85
  6. F800ekelley

    F800ekelley Adventurer

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    My how quickly time flys in life... Time is closing and things have changed some orig my plans were july for my nephews wedding so since my brother in law is getting married 2 days prior now this trip is postponed till august which i am a little bummed about for 2 reasons first i feel like i am being a slacker and not commiting to the original plan but cant be in 2 places at once and 2 because i turn 30 and feel just getting older (not wiser) and lazy i will do the trip but now i think i am going to take time and enjoy it as in 4 days across doing it in aug would allow me. That in july it would be too rush. Thoughts? All the IBA guys i have talked to agree that it is better plan since. Everything else is in place. I feel like so much is changed from talking to guys who have done it and the wisdom from everyone following
    agenda is below
    Pack light. Tent, sheet rain gear limit for my self is side cases full thats it
    Relax and have fun

    Locations will be in the south the route is alot of highway to cover ground fast than up the east coast
    Stop 1 first night is dallas
    Stop 2 north carolina not the coast more on TN border hopeing on this but have
    Stop 3 a camp ground on a beach this will be a short day 450 miles max
    Stop 4 philly pa probally around night fall

    I allso found a 1 gallon exterior tank that links to the inner tank anyone try this? Also due to heat dealer suggest oil cooler thoughts?
    #86
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I had thought of something like that to save on fueling downtime. My main concern would be fuel leaks in your lap. I recommend installing a valve between the two tanks in case you need to shut it off on the move.
    #87
  8. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

    Joined:
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    Jacksonville,FL
    Alot of good stuff. I would look into LD Comfort shorts, they also have alot of good info on hot weather riding, ie no powder or padded shorts and other cooling ideas. People can tell you all day long about works for them or what makes sense but when you are on the road it is what works for you that will get you through.
    Things that work for me were the throttle lock, highway pegs, good seat, traveling at 5-10 over the limit (any faster for me is more physically draining). I also enjoyed riding at night especially in hotter months and as stated it is cooler, less traffic and more peaceful. I don't know about the rushing through gas stops or adding additional fuel tanks. You are going to want to get off that bike and the longer you can prolong that feeling that you have to get off the bike the more comfortable you will be. You can stop at mc d's and get salads and refill you ice and water and use the rest room.

    The largest problem you are faced with is not the time nor distance but the time of year you are doing this. Lots of different views of mesh vs vented etc. You can siphon through all that but what you have to focus on is you and when you feel yourself weakening, fatigue setting in or other deviations from your norm you need to listen to yourself and pull off and either take a short break or get a room and a good nights sleep and recharge to ride again. Riding a motorcycle is a blast but it is also UNFORGIVING with no margin for error. Try to have fun and remember you primary goal is to live to ride again. Ride safe and have a blast.
    #88
  9. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    "enjoy", "August" & "Texas" are three words that aren't often used together.
    Be careful and be sure to ask for help if you need it. Just walking to mailbox in August can kill you of sunstroke.
    #89
  10. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    What kind of 1gal tank did you find? Is there a link to a website?
    Kelly, those are ambitious distances to cover taking a southern route. Have fun camping on the beach, FYI- make sure the breeze is blowing from the ocean to shore and not the other way around, or you will get eaten up by sand fleas and that other flying vermin. The outer banks, NC are a nice place, but I like Ocean City, MD. It has that beach flavor and Philly is a easy ride from there.
    #90
  11. CheapB

    CheapB Been here awhile

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    :lol3 I couldn't get past page 2 of all the sissies that say it's not doable. :D

    It's all about your mindset, set your mind to it, and you can do it. Qaz and Novarider make excellent points. To me, for long days, a camelback is a must, I refill it at every fuel stop. Just less than 2 yrs ago, I made it from Colorado Springs to King, NC (1600 miles) in just over 34 hrs. :freaky

    And we stopped a couple of times to sight see. :lol3
    #91
  12. ts3doug

    ts3doug Long timer

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    Yes, but your tiny head provides low wind drag
    #92
  13. CheapB

    CheapB Been here awhile

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    you know you love it doug. :evil
    #93
  14. KGBz

    KGBz Been here awhile

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    Glenmoore, PA
    I live in south eastern PA, about 45 minutes outside of Philly. If you want to hit some twisty back roads in PA while you are here, let's ride!!!:clap
    #94
  15. InTheLoo

    InTheLoo Adventurer

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    I rode a Triumph Speed Triple from Phoenix to the Tail of the Dragon (TN/NC border) in 2.5 days last June. I had about 10 days total and wanted to spend the most time I could in the Smokies and the least time on the road to and from. I did two consecutive 750 mile days and then an "easy" 450 mile day to close out the trip each direction. Here's a few tips I can offer:

    • August is going to suck. I took I-40 and the +100°F heat in AZ, NM, TX and even OK was a bit trying but nothing like the heat AND humidity that ate me alive in AR and TN. I used a wet vest along with a large freezer bag to soak in about a litre of water every fuel stop (~150 miles for me) and it worked well in dry heat. But I suffered like a dog in the humidity. There was a bit of a heat wave with temps in the upper 90's in AR and TN so maybe you'll get to avoid this.

      I think I have a high heat tolerance and excellent endurance. I'm young and a competitive cyclist. The heat still sucked the life out of me by about 400 miles into each humid day. I drank at least 1L of water per stop (6L per day, typically.) I was still way under hydrated. 750 miles was the most I could manage each day mentally and physically.

    • Plan your fuel stops ahead of time. It gives a sure waypoint to look forward to and keeps from having to think about what to do about fuel. You don't think well when you're hot and dehydrated. There's not many stops for fuel out west...

    • Hotels are a great reprieve from the heat. They cost money but you'll be begging for someone to take your $100 at the end of a 750 mile day in +100°F.

    • Subdivide your crap within your luggage into zip-lock freezer and sandwich bags. Keeps you organized and keeps stuff clean if something goes pear-shaped like a bottle of synthetic oil opening itself over the expansion joints in Eastern Oklahama and not realizing it until Memphis. :huh

    • To make the time that you'll need to make, you're stuck on the interstate. It's not terrible but try to pick a route East of the Mississippi that will at least rub a bit off the side of your tires. The PA turnpike is a good example. Fast and also a bit entertaining (at least compared to I-40 through NM and TX!)

    • I completely lost my appetite on the big mileage days. This goes to show that putting in bigger mileage in trying conditions isn't a walk in the park. Do manageable, reasonable mileage and don't try to be a hero.

    In Elk City, OK:
    [​IMG]
    #95
  16. HellFishTat

    HellFishTat Adventurer

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    Raleigh, NC
    I bought my 1st bike in '86 and I have lived in NC the majority of the time. Once you get to WNC or ETN you can easily find 100 roads that are better than 129. There are way too many HD guys going 20mph...

    http://killboy.photoreflect.com/store/ThumbPage.aspx?e=8955644&g=04RK01WF03

    Do something as simple as looking at google maps for a curvy road and then turn the "terrain" on.

    Cherohala Skyline
    http://goo.gl/maps/3znN5

    Fun...
    http://goo.gl/maps/XtYti

    100miles...
    http://goo.gl/maps/1vYw0

    http://www.ncsportbikes.com/forums/index.php
    #96
  17. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    Way to go Rob! Great suggestions and an honest analysis of the trip. Living in the east, I find the dry heat puzzleing at times. Since I am not sweating in the humidity, I don't realize I am looseing so much fluid. Of course one hot night in the southern Mississippi lowlands tent camping gives a new meaning to hot and humid.
    I am glad you came east and rode the Dragon. That is a sight to behold and one hell of a ride. The Smokey's are beautiful and full of some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. You should think about posting a ride report on your 10 day adventure.
    #97
  18. KGBz

    KGBz Been here awhile

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    "If you will it, it is no dream."
    #98
  19. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    All good tips! I enjoy riding long distances as well, and for me one of the best things I did for myself was pick up a good modular helmet so I could eat without difficulty when riding...

    Call me kookie, call me crazy, but other than the OPs ass burning up, this could be fun!:clap But then I rode 1400 miles for a donut, so what do I know?:huh
    #99
  20. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    East of Dallas you can forget about evaporative cooling. The humidity just will not allow it. I also suggest hotels. You'll rest better and be more alert for the next day. If you can't afford hotels and nutricious meals you can't afford the trip. Ride safe.