Planing my first big solo ride

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Yeti Man, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    OK,

    I am trying to screw up the hutzpah to make my first solo ride, Phoenix, AZ to Nashville, TN, about 1700 miles each way. Any suggestions on what to try to plan for? I know the usual things, rain, heat, spares, BMW MOA book etc.

    But any suggestions on what else to plan for?, any advice for the first time riding solo for multi days?

    I am on a 2008 BMW LT so comfort is not a question, but any advice for the first timer would be great.

    Yetters
    #1
  2. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    I haven't done trips over very long distances like that, but I'm planning one and have heard a lot about having a set amount of miles a day. If you are doing highway, they will probably be longer than backroads, but one you go over that comfortable amount of daily miles, you could risk discomfort the next day or the rest of the trip.

    On my R1, I am planning on doing 125-150 mile mornings and 75-125 afternoons. Maybe 250 at one shot, but not much more than that. If I do go over, I will cut it short the following day to recover.
    #2
  3. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    Rico

    Yes, I have that on the list, i was going to ride 500-600 miles a day, over an 8 hour day.

    The plan is to ride from 7am to 3pm and get off the road long before dark and to get a good nights rest each day.

    I am going to Nashville to see a guitar builder and maybe take the backroads to Kentucky and check out some bourbon distilleries.

    Yetters
    #3
  4. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    Get towing service, just in case.

    Electric pump+tire kit.

    Avoid big greasy meals. They will make riding afterwards more painful.

    Personally, I can't stand highways. You just zone out into boredom and fatigue. On the highways, I'm tired after 60 miles. On the backroads, I can ride 400-600 miles and may get sore and exhausted, but I'm happy. I feel like highway riding just drains my soul and there is no point to it. I would rather just drive in a car than ride on a highway.
    #4
  5. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    Wi

    Agreed on all counts, but i do love regional foods so i might have to break that rule on a few occasions.

    What was your first solo ride over 500 miles?

    Yetters
    #5
  6. tjt94

    tjt94 Been here awhile

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    I recommend that you fill up with gas. Be sure your tire pressure is good too. Otherwise, easy ride. I will be taking off early June to ride to Mississippi via Montana. After that I will continue up the east coast, across Canada, back into the US, back to Montana, Oregon, then home. 7 weeks, 10K miles. I expect only fuel and one oil change.
    #6
  7. Gerg

    Gerg Cupcake

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    I rode from California to just south of Springfield Il and back a few years ago. Best advice I can give you is not to plan, just ride.

    Try to get the first 100 miles in the book before breakfast. EAT RIGHT!!! A screwed up system makes riding a hassle.

    And as a side note, a GPS that shows weather is a plus.

    Sleep ride eat repeat enjoy
    #7
  8. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    Gerg

    Yep to all.

    Got my 665 getting wired up so i will have XM as well as traffic and weather. And I agree I am thinking too much and riding too little.

    Thanks for the 100 mile tip, I will give that a shot!

    I will have to drop into Memphis for some good Q, and with KY and bourbon country being 220 miles away, I might have to make a side trip.

    Yetters
    #8
  9. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Hello Yeti,
    I've done a fair amount of riding long distance, and have found that--including stops--I average 50mph or a little more, when just riding point-to-point on main highways.

    Some folks like to plan for distance, or for hours per day. I've found just riding till I'm ready to stop works. Don't know what you ride, but on a big touring bike, if the weather's decent, I can start at 8AM and ride to 6PM, with stops. That's going to get me about 500 miles.

    Don't plan more than you have to. That's my suggestion. :nod

    striderJim
    North Carolina
    '12 Harley Road Glide Ultra


    #9
  10. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    I plan a route more or less, but then I just ride each day until I feel like stopping. I've done 600-700 miles in a day and that's way too much. Around 400 is better for a slab trip. Or even less. You want to stop now and then and smell the roses. No way will you cover 500-600 in an 8 hr day unless you are hauling ass on the interstate without stopping. That would be a dawn to dusk day. For 1700 miles on pavement I would give myself 4-5 days and then just hit the road and figure it out along the way. Al
    #10
  11. sorebutt

    sorebutt Long timer

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    It is hard to do more than 600 miles in a day. You have stops for gas, lunch, and you need to stop early enough to find a room. Plus you will have construction to slow you down and other things.

    Take an airplane if you are just going to ride and not enjoy the trip.
    #11
  12. jeffygs

    jeffygs Been here awhile

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    Ive done many long distance rides. average is only around 35-37 mph on other than highway, if you hit the slab you might hit 50mph pending eating habits. I do not make planned mileage days, to much stress to meet goals, if you fail to meet the first day goal your chasing with long days into nighttime just to make up mileage. My theory. Rise early, eat good with no rushing through a meal, try to stay off the secondary roads after sunset(deer, dogs, and cows), speed limit +5 unless in a town, use a GPS, stop before your tired, stop early if moteling to ensure you get a room at first stop, or when less than an an hour away make a call for reservation(iPhone), carry energy bars (clif) and water for a quick snack, let someone know your route and where you are each evening, I have AAA for that breakdown(hasn't happened yet), keep helmet locked or with you(I have had a helmet stolen at a bike rally(I will never return)). Just my .02
    #12
  13. cb1313

    cb1313 Adventurer

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    If you look at Arkansas there is only one major expressway going west to east and EVERY thing from 18 wheels to travel trailers on using that road, it can get very busy.
    If you take small highways expect to travel about 35-40 miles in an hour. It is wonderful riding the "B" roads but you just do not go very far very fast.
    GET GAS before you need it.... the map may show a town but a lot of towns have disappeared with small town gas stationed closed.
    Food.... eat where the farmers eat... if there are farm trucks in the parking lot it's a go bet the food is good. ALSO.... bring a tupperwear bowl in the resturant to carry leftovers.... styrofoam does not travel well on a bike. Start picking up little iteams from fast food stores... plactic knife, fork, salt and little packets of everything. Pack in ziplock bag in case something leaks. Napkins to use as toilet paper, take with you everytime you go to a bathroom.
    If you stop at motels take the sampoo and stuff, they are light and pack well.

    Cb
    #13
  14. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    I'm with CB. There's only two speeds you can tour, as fast as possible and the other one, no matter what bike your riding. I've been all over on a 150cc scooter and still averaged 37 miles Per Road Mile.

    I carry a wine bota for water, will stop often for gas or a cig, and always have nuts plus dried fruit to snack on.

    You can watch shit go by or participate in the event you are having, take your pick.
    #14
  15. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    Guys

    Thanks for all the good information.

    I am planning to be off the slab on on the two laners as much as i can. I am taking 14 days for the whole trip so if i have to go slow, no worries.

    Now its just getting the guts to throw my leg over and click those first 100 miles off and to realize the only thing i am scared of is enjoying it too much.

    Yetters
    #15
  16. rdcamp

    rdcamp Been here awhile

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    Make sure to practice with the bike loaded how you will have it on your trip.

    Make sure all the tie downs work, etc.

    If you have new camping gear, make sure you are proficient in setting up your kit in both light and the dark.

    I'm assuming money isn't an issue, get stuff that is easy to set up that you can do fatigued and tired, and sore in the dark and or the rain.



    Make sure you can check the oil in the dark, etc


    I'm in the process of planning my own long distance trip.... so thanks to everyone who gave advice on this one.
    #16
  17. glwestcott

    glwestcott surfnturf

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    I do a trip or two like that every year. I did buy a TPM tire pressure monitor after twice having to plug flats in the middle of nowhere, but other than that its throw some extra clothes on the bike, get a leg over, hit the starter and go. You'll have fun. For me the best part is just the total freedom.
    #17
  18. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

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    Knock out any maintenance that would be set to come due within the planned trip mileage window if possible. That way, there's no worrying about that while you're on the trip, including but not limited to trying to find somewhere to allow you to work on it or finding a reputable shop to get necessary maintenance done at. Go over the bike pretty carefully to try heading off issues you should've been able to forsee/correct.

    Plenty of rest, plenty of hydration, and get up to stretch more frequently than you think you need (in my case this is generally well before I'm ever starting to think of needing fuel).

    Slab is convenient to get to where you're going sooner, and/or allow for more time actually exploring your destination. It also allows you to spend more time "out" before you need to think about heading home. I sure wouldn't want to do a whole trip on the slab, but have no problem jumping on it for a while to make up some time here and there.

    If camping, make sure to test your gear before getting on the road to make sure you can set it up effectively and even just to make sure all the necessary parts were included by the manufacturer.

    Trips to me are/can be more relaxing if you don't have an absolute schedule set for distances and destinations. These things can cause you to push too hard sometimes and that leads to trouble. Until you learn your personal comfort zone, stay on the conservative side of the distance spectrum.

    Ear plugs are your friend. Use them anytime you're riding for long periods, particularly at higher speeds. You may not realize it but the constant wind noise can be a source of fatigue.

    That's all I've got for now other than suggesting you write a ride report, as this could be interesting.
    #18
  19. Yeti Man

    Yeti Man Yep, I'm that guy

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    Guys

    Thanks for all the good input, getting the gps, lights, backrest, and saddles sorted out, then an oil change and fresh rubber and I am off.

    And yes, ride report will follow.

    Yetters
    #19
  20. QED

    QED Been here awhile

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    The only difference between what your planning and what you probably do every weekend, is that you spend the night then keep going the same direction the next day. Make sure your maintenance is good for the trip.

    You didn't say how you planned to do the trip; Hotels, camp, eat out and camp, etc..

    Lets us know, and you might get more help.

    I do a lot of solo long distance trips and, for me, playing it by ear suits me best.
    #20