CC20 – Riding Cross Country in these weird times

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cug, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Over the last few weeks I've been preparing my motorcycle for a long trip, making it more comfortable, adding luggage options, a case for camera gear, riding it, getting used to it, trying the various changes I made, going on a California, Oregon, Washington trip with Andrea in August, just before the fires broke out here.

    The bike has morphed quite a bit, from the day I picked it up:

    [​IMG]

    To how I rode it on the trip with Andrea:

    [​IMG]

    Here, I don't want to go into details, I have written about the various additions and changes I made over in the GS Boxers forum. The original bike felt (and was) smaller and lighter, but as it is today, it is much more comfortable and ready for the roughly 9000 miles I'm planning over the next weeks.

    I will try to write updates here, maybe not every day, but often enough, about where I am, where I'm headed and adding photos and stories about the journey.

    If you're interested, stay tuned.
    #1
  2. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Day 1:

    After packing everything yesterday:

    [​IMG]

    In the liners:

    [​IMG]

    On the bike:

    [​IMG]

    And ready to go:

    [​IMG]

    This was the route today:

    [​IMG]

    Basically just trying to get out of California without hitting areas that are too affected by smoke, ash, or worse, fires. I re-planned my route multiple times to avoid most of the West Coast states, of course other than California since I live there ... ;-)

    Taking it easy, ~350 miles today, left around 10 and arrived just before 6pm. Had a nice dinner and are now headed off to bed ...
    #2
  3. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    Looks like a good trip. You're probably going to find it pretty smoky if you head up to Washington.

    Watch the fire reports in regards to your route. Not only for smoke, but to avoid being cut off by the fires. I left a rally in John Day last Monday and hit the dust storm and smoke on the way north. Luckily for us, the fires were just getting started. Even so, the smoke was bad.

    Looking at the air quality maps, it seems like this is a good time to head for Utah and the five national parks there.

    Which tank bag did you use?

    Chris
    #3
  4. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    #4
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  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    I concur with the above posts re the smoke. I'm in North Idaho and the air can be sliced with a knife. It's worse going west. This is a shame, as the weather otherwise is very nice right now.
    #5
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  6. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    upload_2020-9-15_11-36-4.png
    #6
  7. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    You are of course correct. My original route would have been through large parts of Oregon, but I decided to re-plan.

    My current plan takes me from Nevada (now) to Utah and then on North East. Still planning on South Dakota with Mount Rushmore as my “turn East and gas it point”.
    #7
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  8. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    The Badlands are worth seeing up in that area. Also, Spearfish Canyon. By the time you come back, you could head down Lolo Pass.

    If you haven't been across Beartooth Pass, and it isn't too far out of the way, put it on your route. Also, the Chief Joseph Highway. Some of the incredible scenery you'll find are on others' "bucket lists".

    Be careful on Beartooth Pass. I've been up there twice. The first time was windy and cold. The second time, I thought I'd get caught in a thunderstorm, but by the time I got my rain gear on, the thunderstorm moved on and I got incredible views in very comfortable weather.

    Chris
    #8
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  9. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    I had Beartooth pass on my original route, will have to see whether I can still make it work. Will also look into your other suggestions! Thank you!
    #9
  10. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    :lurk subscribed.
    #10
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  11. Donson

    Donson Adventurer

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    Following
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  12. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Day 2

    Another day to get out of California, away from the fires and smoke. I rode from Ridgecrest, CA to Henderson, NV. Henderson is South of Las Vegas, about 450km overall. The hotels there are better, cheaper and much more relaxed, plus we have stayed in this one before and I had an idea how it would be.

    I took a route through Death Valley, and although most of it was rather boring and straight, there were some fun bits in there as well.

    [​IMG]
    Route for Day 2

    Especially the part that ends on 190 was fun. Some gravel passages and some twisty bits. This is still part of getting out of the areas I already know quite well, I have crossed Death Valley many times on the motorcycle, therefore I hadn't planned exciting routes, just a way to get out of California that wasn't a freeway blast.

    Temperature was an okay 42C/108F in Death Valley, I poured some water over my base layer and into the arms of my GoreTex jacket and then controlled the temperature via ventilation. It was quite okay.

    [​IMG]
    Burros crossing ... ;-)

    And yes, they did cross. Not quite in front of me, but they seemed to have used the road as a toilet rather often ... there were some signs of that. Plus I saw a few in the distant hills.

    [​IMG]
    Boring stretches.

    [​IMG]
    And I was wondering why my water was gone so fast!

    I easily had 3L of water during the ride today. Even though my temperature regulation measures worked quite well, I was going through the water fast.

    [​IMG]
    Entering Nevada

    I arrived early today and will hopefully have a better night than last where an overly loud AC system kept me awake. The AC here in the hotel isn't quiet either, but I still hope I can get some more sleep.

    Tomorrow morning I'll visit the Las Vegas BMW Motorcycle dealer and try to convince them to sell me a cover for the GPS mount when no GPS is in there. I take mine to the room each night and forgot the cover at home. Don't want it to sit like this when I might get rain. Not a problem right now, but during the trip it will likely happen.

    So far the bike has handled great. There is a slight bumpiness that wasn't there with the old tires, a tiny bit of wobble, maybe the tires aren't seated perfectly or they aren't balanced properly – no idea and I'm not going to worry about it. They'll be done in three weeks anyways ... ;-)
    #12
  13. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Good that I don't go there. In Nevada now, next will be Utah and then North East to Colorado. Need to finalize my plan for tomorrow to get some more twisty bits into the ride or my tires will be squared off ...
    #13
  14. rdbonds

    rdbonds Breaker of Things

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    Subscribed. :super
    #14
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  15. BJMoose

    BJMoose that trick never works

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    watching - safe travels
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  16. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Sorry for the late response, it's a SW Motech City on their Quicklock Evo system.
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  17. ecirwin

    ecirwin Adventurer Supporter

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    #17
  18. Oilleaker

    Oilleaker Ne’er do well tinkerer Supporter

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    If you haven’t done South Dakota try to run through Needles highway. Fun riding with great scenery. Custer state park also has great scenery and abundant wildlife. Don’t skip any gas you see if you're staying off the interstate out there
    #18
  19. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips! I'll keep that in mind when I get there in a few days. I've been very carefully planning my fuel stops so far. The GS is a surprisingly frugal bike, I'm getting nearly 45 mpg (5.24L/100km) which makes for 238 miles range. Better when I stay off the freeways. My pace is spirited in the twisty bits and rather slowish on the freeways so far.
    #19
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  20. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Today was another day of riding mostly roads I already knew and have done before. I'm still in the "get out of the known area"-mode.

    The route today was from Henderson, NV to Cedar City, UT. I stopped at Eurocycle in Las Vegas to pick up a cover for my GPS mount and surprisingly they had one in stock, in addition to the ones on all the bikes on the floor, of course. So, at least that part is set.

    Since I wanted to ride some nicer roads today I took a route through the Valley of Fire:

    [​IMG]
    Valley of Fire

    [​IMG]
    Valley of Fire

    I've been here before, but it's worth it. It's a very beautiful State Park and well worth the entrance fee.

    From there I went further North East and rode through Zion National Park, finally getting an annual park pass since the Rangers in Death Valley are only on site during Friday, Saturday and Sunday right now.

    Zion is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking parks I have seen so far, I like it better than Bryce Canyon or others I've seen, the only problem is that it's always packed with people. At least always when I'm there ...

    [​IMG]
    Zion NP


    [​IMG]
    Zion NP

    [​IMG]
    Zion NP

    It was a great day today. I ended it with an interview with a company I've been talking to for a while, could be an interesting job. That's why it was so important to just do this trip before joining the hamster wheel of daily office work again.

    Route from today:

    [​IMG]
    Route on Day 3

    Tomorrow my route will take me mostly East. I haven't fully planned the day yet, so don't know where I'll end up, but I'll likely keep the pace of 450 to 550km (280 to 330 miles) per day for now. If I don't, I'm not making it to the East Coast and back on the roads I hoped to ride in the planned time of four to five weeks.

    Also, I hope to get into slightly more temperate weather, today was again mostly 37C/99F.

    So, on to planning tomorrow's route.
    #20