50 Years Later, Another Ride Across The USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bat7, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    IMG_20210718_111851978.jpg
    Before packing and leaving, I made a run through Spear fish Canyon, a scenic ride, albeit not nearly as technical as the Iron Mountain Road. Then, it was time to say my goodbyes and do the short ride to Rapid City for the night.
    Mick
    wilddoktor, WDG, staticPort and 2 others like this.
  2. GARAGE DWELLER

    GARAGE DWELLER Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Southern MN
    I had a great time talking to you this weekend at the ADV Rally Mick. You have some amazing stories. I was talking with you yesterday at the bar when you got your lemonade. Keep up to cool ride report and hope to see you at the next one!
    Bat7 likes this.
  3. Javelinky

    Javelinky Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Great RR. thanks for your service .
  4. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 19: Rapid City to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From the Black Hills to the plains.
    My first stop today was at Wall Drug for breakfast. I took advantage of the free coffee and donut for veterans. Then, it was time for a ride through the otherworldly Badlands National Park.
    IMG_20210719_105252180.jpg
    IMG_20210719_112726307.jpg
    IMG_20210719_113446214.jpg
    From there it was back on I90 for a high speed run to Sioux Falls. After crossing the Missouri River at Chamberlain there was an immediate change in vegetation: from mostly hayfields to mile after mile of corn. I also noticed that the weather seemed slightly cooler and more humid.
    Running much of the day at 80 MPH or so, my mileage dropped from the usual 60 or so MPG to the 40's. Such is the price of high speed fun.
    Mick
    Kyron, CaptUglyDan, AngusMcL and 7 others like this.
  5. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 20: explored Sioux Falls.
    IMG_20210720_135341846.jpg
    Big Sioux River Falls, from which the city derives its name.
    IMG_20210720_140042867.jpg Children having fun on the falls.
    IMG_20210720_150708560_HDR.jpg
    Some of the many sculptures in downtown Sioux Falls.
    Tomorrow, I plan to head to Sioux City, then East on US20 to avoid interstate as much as possible.
    Mick
    Kyron, lookatdirt, sledrydr and 5 others like this.
  6. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 21: Sioux Falls to Waterloo, Iowa. Today was a day for mile after mile of corn and soybean fields, punctuated by occasional farm buildings and an occasional town or city. Weather was relatively mild, albeit with considerable haze until noon or so. I even had a tailwind for much of the day. The road was mostly level, with only an occasional curve. I should be back home in a few days.
    Mick
    DaleE, HPPants, wilddoktor and 5 others like this.
  7. HPPants

    HPPants Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    323
    I don't want it to end.....
    Hakatan and randypower like this.
  8. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 22: Waterloo to Joliet Illinois. As I was moving East I noticed the weather getting cooler but much more humid. Something else was new: while there were still plenty of corn and soybean fields, there were also many miles of tree lined roads. Considerable haze again. Or, smoke from Western wildfires?
    In accord with my tendency to not take the most direct route whenever possible, my first stop of the day was a bit out of the way: the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.
    IMG_20210722_101007127.jpg
    A replica 1885 Daimler which is claimed to be the first true motorcycle.
    IMG_20210722_100851687.jpg
    Another replica of an early bike.
    IMG_20210722_103912953.jpg
    A Curtis that shows evolvement from early safety bicycles.
    IMG_20210722_110428955.jpg
    A 1972 Suzuki T500 Titan. Mine was a 1970, one of the ones with a design defect that resulted in 4th and5th gears self-destructing. Despite requiring considerably more maintenance than my Honda CB500X, it did get me across the country and back twice.
    IMG_20210722_103151523.jpg
    A Sportster that met a crusher. I was tempted to make a lame joke here, but thought better of it.
    After crossing the Mississippi at Dubuque, Iowa, I was pleasantly surprised at the 30 or 40 miles of twisty, hilly roads on the Illinois side.
    Then, after an afternoon break at Rockford, Illinois, it was time for a 100+ mile run on I39 and I80, battling the turbulence created by the many 18 wheelers.
    While I could make it home in one day from here, I will likely do enough wandering staying off the interstate to be on the road for another two or three days.
    Mick
    Kyron, CaptUglyDan, swimmer and 7 others like this.
  9. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I almost forgot.
    IMG_20210722_103832934.jpg
    A RTW KLR, that is claimed to have made it with only a oil change and 2 flat tires.
    Mick
  10. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,231
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Yes, the National Motorcycle Museum is a great collection, worthy of a day's visit. If you ever have the opportunity I highly recommend the Barber Museum outside Birmingham, AL. There are many such museums across the USA. I've yet to find one not worth the visit.
    As for the first motorcycle ever, I'll go with the 1860's Roper, though that was a "steam velocipede." Love the picture you included of the 1972 T500, just like one I had, right down to the waffle grips.
    Re: RTW KLR. My DR650 made it around the world on 1 oil change, but many flat tires. KLR and DR, gold standard of years gone by RTW trips. Still worthy.
    Bat7 likes this.
  11. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Agree about Barber Museum: I have been there a couple of times. Thanks for confirming that KLR can go.RTW on 1 oil change. I was wondering if the museum misstated the number. GIven the KLR reputation, I should have known better. Speaking of KLR's, one at the ADV Fest had the largest pelican case for a top.box that I have ever seen, further proving tackling is limited only by the owner's imagination.
    Mick
    ROAD DAMAGE and poppawheelie like this.
  12. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 23: Joliet to Perrysburg, Ohio. I took one look at the line of 18 wheelers on I80 and decided that rather than be in turbulent air all day I would stick with US6 and US20 today. I was also back on Route 66 for a couple of blocks before leaving Joliet. There was a sense of deja vu as I passed the Joliet Route 66 Museum. Then, it was time to wend my way through the Southeastern Chicago suburbs and Northeastern Indiana cities that are essentially Chicago suburbs. While it was not the ordeal I feared, it was not much fun. There were very few stretches of truly light traffic. One upside was that the lower speeds resulting from th amount of traffic meant that my average MPG went from the mid 50's to 70.
    I have tried a few routes between Cleveland, Ohio, and the Chicago area and reached the following conclusion. I can either take I80/90 and deal with a turbulent ride or take an alternate route and plan to take my time. It is a good thing I retired in 2007 and can feel free to take my time. As I sometimes point out to younger people, following my retirement I don't know how I ever had time to work.
    Mick
    Kyron, sledrydr, lookatdirt and 8 others like this.
  13. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    982
    Location:
    east tn
    " ... I don't know how I ever had time to work."
    Ain't it the truth! Only took me 45 years to learn that life would be infinitely better with less stuff and more time!

    Really enjoyed following along with your ride. Thank's for sharing it with us!
    wilddoktor likes this.
  14. heirhead

    heirhead worlds worst mechanic

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,654
    Location:
    On the water in South OC
    Hello,

    Either a logger or Wood Shop teacher!
    Bob Olson, (OLE Surfboards), been shaping since the 50's, still does.
    My wood shop teacher, thought he might of been a logger earlier in life.

    hh
    wwm
  15. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,231
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    It may be too far south for you, but I've found an alternate route across Ohio and parts of PA and Indiana in old Route 30, the Lincoln Hwy. It's half way between Interstates 70 and 80/90 and much of it in Ohio was improved to 4 lane concrete divided hwy before the Interstates took over. So there it is, big open road, no traffic and farm scenery. Be careful though. It looks like Interstate and the open view makes it easy to build up speed, but it's not limited access.
    Bat7 likes this.
  16. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Thanks for the info. I had considered 30, but decided it was too far South. I am about 50 miles from Cleveland now, so will continue on 20. Traffic is fairly light so far this morning. Stopped for coffee while rain moves East.
    I may try 30 next time I go West.
    Mick
    poppawheelie and staticPort like this.
  17. Unhooked one

    Unhooked one Manipulator of Matter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Eastern TN
    Great Report and thank your for your service !!!!!!

    I may have run into you at Cromag a few years back....and I also saw the sticker on your 500 X.

    Pat
  18. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 24: Perrysburg to Erie, PA.
    5:30 AM: wake up, look out window, raining hard, back to bed.
    6:30 AM: still raining, eat breakfast, drink coffee, read newspaper.
    8:00 AM: rain stops! Load bike & I am on the road again, glad that I know from prior experience that my Dunlop Classmates are good on wet pavement. I decide to stay on US20 to avoid the turbulence compounded by road spray created by the 18 wheelers on the interstate. Light traffic at first, then it is into slow going through Cleveland, then light traffic again. Dodging rain much of the day.
    In NE Ohio, I check weather forecast. I note that there is a good chance of encountering thunderstorms between Erie and Rochester, so decide to cash in some Wyndham points for a free night at the Hawthorne Suites in Erie.
    I call my wife and tell her she has an extra day to prepare for my reentry.
    The aunt I stayed with in Vancouver, Washington, calls to see if I got home safely. Explain that her call is a day early.
    A quick check of the odometer suggests I have been on the road for over 8600 miles, with another 160 or so to go. I will do a more accurate calculation upon reentry to domestic life.
    It's been a helluva trip.
    Mick
    swimmer, HPPants, fastring and 13 others like this.
  19. mjs3800

    mjs3800 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    115
    Location:
    Idaho
    Sad to see this coming to a end.
    randypower and poppawheelie like this.
  20. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 25: Erie, PA to home.
    After a somewhat meandering ride, I arrived home safely, for a joyous reunion with my wife and dog.
    I was on I90 for a few miles to avoid the long trek through Erie to get back on US20. After I was North of Erie, I made my way to the Seaway Trail along Lake Erie through wine country. I had mixed emotions as I crossed into NY: joy that I was near home, sadness that my epic ride was coming to an end. Just North of Fredonia NY I headed East on NY 39 through the rolling hills of Western NY. I knew I was back in the Rochester area when I was rolling to a stop at a light that had just turned red and someone pulled around me to run the light. Weather, as predicted, was near perfect.
    Mick