How many hours in the saddle?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by ILikeCheese, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. deltamark

    deltamark Adventurer

    Joined:
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    The Farmlands of NW Ohio near Delta
    Been reading this thread with some interest. I have two weeks off work beginning next week. All along, I've been planning to go to the BMW MOA Rally in Salem, Oregon because I'm pretty sure it will be gorgeous in that area and I've never been to the west coast. I live in Northwest Ohio and have recently been having doubts about doing this ride. Approximately 2,500 miles one way. I'm usually ok with 400-mile days, but would have to do 500 / day on my Tiger 800XC to make it in 5 days. That would be 10 days of commuting for 5 days of being there. Am considering wussing out and making a total change of plans, but don' know what yet. Open to any suggestions.
    #21
  2. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Location:
    Ensenada, Baja California
    well i like to set off and do what ever, like a previous poster, however I tend to be a compulsive planner.

    In 2007 a went to Canada (4000 mile round trip) and I had everyday plan, millage and all, first day we did only half the millage, why? first the border crossing took over 1.5 hrs (San Ysidro CA) then we hit some big *** traffic in LA, then some mayor fires that shut down 3 lanes of I-5, and it was 115 F going 5 mph, the KLR stop working (shoot down), and my friend started complaining about his helmet and we started going into MC stores looking for a helmet. So we did just over 300 miles instead of the 600 I wanted, from that point on I only care of having a good time, seeing the mountains and enjoying the trip.

    So now I set goals, a) optimistic, b) realistic and c) pessimistic and adjust on the fly. Also on the last day of my Canada trip we did 600 miles, and got home at 3 am, why? neither one wanted to stop we were like on speed! so we just keep riding, in LA I asked my friend do you want to stop? he said no, and there was no heat, no traffic and we were only 200 miles away from beds and women... So we continue

    Cheers

    Damasovi
    #22
  3. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    For some reason the average (GPS) MPH I've ridden over last few long trips I've taken is always right at 50mph. +- 1mph.

    I'm not sure why but it's certainly made me understand my own comfortable travel distance, and the time requirements, and it's helped me plan my routes better. (Knowing approximately when I'll pull into wherever home is for the night.)

    I'm not actually doing 50 because that average includes stop times (Lunch, gas, sight seeing, slow roads, fast roads etc.)

    I just thought that was kinda interesting... :augie
    #23
  4. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    Jul 10, 2011
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    Calgary
    We just got back from a long tour, 5700 km. For comfort, more than anything, we ride at 50 to 60 mph. Our Burgmans motor along happily at that speed, showing from 3700 to 4300 rpm. When we go 70mph, the revs climb to 5000 rpm and the mileage drops at least 10%. According to the widget in the dashboard, we get 24 km/liter (Canadian bikes) at a moderate cruising speed, 21 km/liter if we're hauling down the Interstate at 75 mph.

    In layman's terms, we're getting 56 mpg at cruising speed, 49 mpg when going freeway speeds. Over 3500 miles, that adds up.

    Ride a Burg and you will be assimilated!

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    #24
  5. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    Keep in mind that my moving average would be higher. :deal

    I like scooters.
    I ride one to work when our daughter leaves it at the house. (Vespa 250ie)
    Which isn't happening this time of year.
    #25
  6. JM

    JM Been here awhile

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    Aug 14, 2006
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    785
    I typically don't plan how many hours a day I'll ride. I set very flexible goals. If I see something worth stopping and checking out I stop.

    I've found that set schedules and firm plans just aren't as much fun as spur of the moment decisions. My riding days vary from a couple of hours to 15 hours. I look at a map the night before a ride and think of a spot I'd like to end up the next day and see how it goes. Campground or hotel doesn't really matter.

    I listen to music while I ride to keep my mind occupied for those long days on the slab. Music and a Camelback full of ice water will keep me in the saddle till I need to stop for fuel and a snack.

    I mostly travel solo which makes spur of the moment direction decisions a lot easier.

    I've got 4 weeks of vacation coming up soon. My trip plan for this one is to keep an eye on the weather and head where it's nice. I'll be putting 5-10K on the odometer on this trip with no firm destination in mind. Other than if the weather's still nice some Canadain roads then down south to the 4 corners area. Or maybe I'll head down to Baja again. It really all depends on the weather forecast.
    #26
  7. bikepsych

    bikepsych Been here awhile

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    Gold Coast of California
    Personally, I like to get up early, ride til I ache, eat lunch (no matter what time), ride another 200 miles and then quit for the day. Sometimes this equates to stopping for the evening at 3pm which is fine. In the summer I get up at 3-4am in the dez to beat the heat. Last year I ended up rolling into St. George Utah at 2:30 with about 106f. I hit the hay early...around 8pm and then got up at 3am to head to Vegas and beat the worst of the heat. Worked for me.
    BG
    #27
  8. haileywilliam

    haileywilliam Adventurer

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    I love riding and look forward to many miles in the saddle, but I don't want it to start feeling like a chore.
    #28
  9. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    As mentioned:

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. oldNbold

    oldNbold Been here awhile

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    stranded in Iowa
    This is going to be a huge change for me. I have always been way to much in to schedules and getting the miles in. But the goal has always been to get to something at the end. This is more about the ride and enjoying the trip and not all about the end. This is a big change in mindset for me. I need it though. I still will need to refer to daily mileage for planning.
    I am planning to ride to Prudhoe Bay next year. I have been thinking about a quick trip up, lots of miles and hours/day, and then a leisurely trip home. That way if I take too much time in an area I can make that time up back in the states that I ride anyway. Yes there will be a deadline for my return to the real world.
    #30
  11. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

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    A few years ago, I spent four days riding the outermost highways along the border of Nebraska. Total mileage was approximately 1350 miles with all of the sightseeing I did along the way. Seriously, sightseeing in Nebraska. :rofl And I felt incredibly rushed. Six days and allowing time to look around would have been better.

    On the other hand, I have done 500 to 700 mile days to spend 200 to 300 mile days touring Colorado or Arkansas. If you need to ride hard and long to get to the area you want to ride, do it. If you just want to spend some time on the bike and away from work, don't worry about mileage. Flip a coin and go wherever the head of the coin points you.

    No two trips are the same.
    #31
  12. Stewart5533

    Stewart5533 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    North Pacific Paradise.
    Am getting ready to go on a trip, its been a while since I put some distance in. I have been through the getting to point A to Point B in record time, those days are behind me now.

    I have a week off and leaving Vancouver BC down to Bend OR across to Crescent City CA and then ride north up the coast, not in any rush it will be a leisurely pace, I like to stop at the odd Antique stores on the way, some times I can be in one for a couple minuets, others an hour I use that as my rest time.

    Looking forward to this trip going solo camping, leave Saturday....

    See you on the road......
    #32
  13. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    Zigging and zagging through that part of the country for a week sounds like a great way to spend a week. :thumb
    #33
  14. Stewart5533

    Stewart5533 Been here awhile

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    North Pacific Paradise.
    Cant Wait, best therapy ever. Plus the odd :1drink
    #34
  15. baka1969

    baka1969 Veteran Bubblehead

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    NE Philly
    Overall, for me, I can do 400 mile days. Day-after-day. I find 600 miles a chore but can do it if needed. Anything over that and I really prefer to break it up. On my recent trip I had 2 consecutive 400 mile days and then 2 separate 600 mile days. During the two 600 milers I took breaks more often and for longer periods. It was also hovering around 100*.

    I'd say on an extended trip, 8 hours a day is doable.
    #35
  16. Groovemaster

    Groovemaster Adventurer

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    Windsor Ont Canada
    I find it depends on the roads and your bike. I have a done some 4000km rides and for me 600km a day is comfortable. I have done 700km+ but find that is getting a bit long. At that point I am just putting in km's and not really enjoying the ride. I take State Highways in the USA/Canada or secondary roads. Not a fan of I-75, 401 etc. so it always takes longer than it should. I have done 12 hours but 7-8 is comfortable. I ride a Ninja 500 so I stop every approx 120kms and just get off the bike for 10 minutes to stretch. Have a great ride.
    #36
  17. Vinbowie

    Vinbowie Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Maryland
    I am currently planning a trip for a weak.
    I want to go to Key West because it's on my to do list.
    However, from Maryland it will not be fun to do in a weak.
    It will be like torture on my KLR. Instead
    I am going to go to Hatteras, Myrtle Beach then to the Dragon....
    Still in the works. Seems do-able. Plenty of time to sight-see.
    I don't want to push it.
    #37
  18. nickgindy

    nickgindy Doing it Wrong

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    #38
  19. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Squidly Adventurer

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    On the bench
    I prefer 200 mile days if I have the time, but have done some long days to get where I'm going and enjoy the destination.

    Two longer trips taken last year were good contrasts. I had 21 days to get to Spearfish, SD from the metro Detroit area and back. So, I plotted out destinations 200 miles apart and rode to Louisiana, then back up to South Dakota. :lol3 Second trip was to Cape Breton with two weeks time allotted. I pounded 1100 miles out the first two days to be in the Gaspè Peninsula, then slowed down and did some serious sightseeing till I got to Calais, ME. Two days later, I was home.
    #39
  20. AZchris

    AZchris Adventurer

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    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    I did my first cross country trip this August from Atlanta to my home in Arizona via mostly backroads and a detour to Florida. I learned that taking a break every 2 hours made for a better day. Loved it.

    My approximate daily mileage:
    Day 1: 320--North Georgia to Tallahassee, FL
    Day 2: Visit Family
    Day 3: Visit Family
    Day 4: 230--Tallahassee, FL to Pensacola, FL via Gulf Coast Highways
    Day 5: 420--Pensacola, FL to Kaplan, LA (Took the Pontchartrain Causeway, definite highlight of the trip.)
    Day 6: 400--Kaplan, LA to Austin, TX
    Day 7: Off day in Austin, super cool city.
    Day 8: 400--Austin, TX to Lubbock, TX
    Day 9: 550--Lubbock, TX to Show Low, AZ
    Day 10: 200--Show Low, AZ to Prescott, AZ

    Great Trip!
    #40