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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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    Yeah, I fully agree.
  2. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 29

    My route today was supposed to be "not too bad". I use Butler Maps (or the Rever web app) for planning and they have roads marked in yellow, red, and orange to mark super nice sections, great sections and ... yeah, that "and" is a good question. Today was a lot of orange – and it was booooooring. The first 30 miles or so out of Los Alamos were really great (yellow and red), the rest of the day, which I clicked together from mainly orange sections was not any more exciting than a freeway, only less traffic.

    Anyways ... I really enjoyed the first part and after that it wasn't too bad since I didn't have to fight into the wind again. Wind was manageable today, other drivers were a different topic though. From time to time I seem to run into a person which seems to be "slightly" unhinged, which I just can't explain any other way than "used the last two brain cells they had left to start the car they are sitting in and now it's all instinctual idiocy". Today it was some crazy woman in front of me at a light regulating single lane traffic in a construction area. Suddenly she put her car into reverse and started backing up towards me (yes, she had seen me). I honked and she started screaming like a banshee ... I got off the bike and asked what she tried to do and all she did was keep up the screaming. The driver behind me saw it too and when we looked at each other we made the same hand gesture – indicating what we thought about the mental state of said woman. It wasn't flattering.

    I've had about four or five encounters with weird people like this on the trip now, and it just confirms my general opinion of humanity.

    [​IMG]
    I'm obviously in the West again

    And this was some of the less interesting landscape to ride through (because it looked like this for too long):

    [​IMG]
    Arizona, near Cameron

    A long, but not very exciting day today.

    What I've noticed for the last two days is how much the dry air can affect me. I drink a lot more again, my nose dries out significantly more. On the other hand, the clothes I wash in the hotel room sink are dry in the morning ...

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 29
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  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Flagstaff is cool. The ride should be better from there.
    cug likes this.
  4. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Measured it this morning, I have about 2mm above the wear markers on the lowest point I could find. Given that they have maybe 6 to 7mm when new and I have over 8k miles on it right now, I should be okay riding it the remaining 1100 miles home even if wear accelerates. That saves me from finding a shop and dealing with having another tire changed while on the trip and it saves the world a tire being trashed that's still perfectly legal and usable. Not a big issue, but why would deal with it if I don't have to?

    Opinions? Anyone recommend I get it changed anyways?
    rdbonds likes this.
  5. rdbonds

    rdbonds Breaker of Things

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    Typically, I'm not one to delay replacing tires. I highly value peace of mind.

    That said, with that much life left in it, if it's still performing well, I'd ride out the remainder and enjoy, especially that you're now in a part of the US where excessive rain is not common.
    mikegc likes this.
  6. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    It’s what I figured as well. From what I could find out I have more than 25% tread left for maybe 12% of the distance I have already done. Should be fine.
  7. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 30
    Riding today was super nice. Beautiful scenery between Flagstaff and Sedona, although quite some traffic (that's why I didn't take photos there, it was just too busy), then some beautiful riding in more remote areas.

    [​IMG]
    Lonely Backroads in Arizona

    [​IMG]
    Some nice curvy riding

    I rode from Flagstaff to Kingman, both in Arizona. There is a direct freeway connection, but I took a nice detour and had a lot of fun doing so.

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 30
    mikegc, JimVonBaden and Comrade Art like this.
  8. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Was talking to my wife yesterday – we are meeting up a days ride from our home on Saturday, so I'm going to relax my riding schedule a bit. Heading to California today, spend a day doing not much, then riding some more nice roads in Southern CA and meet up in Santa Maria ...

    Trip so far:

    route.jpg
  9. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 31

    California – I'm back. At least back in the state. Right now I'm in the South, Palm Desert to be precise. The route from Kingman, AZ to Palm Desert, CA brought me to my "traditional" destination I always visit when I'm in the area: Oatman, AZ. I just can't get around this town, first the road to get there is a lot of fun and also the last chance for some nice cornering before heading 150 miles West into California.

    [​IMG]
    I have this photo probably a dozen times ...

    [​IMG]
    Not many donkeys roaming around today

    [​IMG]
    No comment ...

    [​IMG]
    I hadn't seen these before

    There were a few donkeys roaming around, not as many as there are normally. These were along the road to the South of Oatman, but I didn't get a photo of these. In Oatman, I scratched a few ears and then headed on, it was just too warm to stick around.

    The way into California was rather sad, temperatures up to 42C/108F were challenging and the road was rather boring:

    [​IMG]
    Through the desert into California

    Made me beat my own record in freehand riding (Disclaimer: professional rider, closed course, don't try at home),which is rather sad since it means that the road was mostly straight for around 90km without any curve worth mentioning, only a single stop sign at an intersection in the middle ...

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 31
  10. SPX

    SPX Long timer Supporter

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    @cug I was hoping that you were going to ride through Cima, Kelso, etc. through Twentynine Palms. It's a bit more exciting than your route. Have you done that route before?
    Where to tomorrow?
    cug likes this.
  11. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    @SPX

    Yes, I had been in that area multiple times, last in 2017 with my wife:

    950FA721-615D-4EB0-839C-6525CCFA1C53.jpeg

    And I've been there on my own once or twice before that. Plus we've been in that area multiple times via car, last year I was there showing my parents around.

    I've also been in the Mojave on unpaved "roads", but that was with my Yamaha WR250X (in R trim with knobbies and the offroad wheels). Busted a few ribs back then ... ;-)

    And regarding plans: I'm not sure yet, I'll either head down to San Diego to stay for two days, then up to Santa Maria or ride nice roads towards the LA area, play around in the hills there for two days and meet Andrea on Saturday. Haven't decided yet, was just checking hotel prices and possible routes. I've done most of these, that I'm down here in Southern CA is mostly because of the "meet the wife on Saturday about a days ride from home" plan ...
    mikegc likes this.
  12. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    Wow, I feel old. I'm sitting in my hotel right now, planning, and have the TV in the background tuned to a M-TV Classics channel with 80s ... "The Scorpions – Rock you like a Hurricane" is playing right now. Trivia: did you know these guys were German? One of them looks like a guy I knew in school ...
    mikegc and JimVonBaden like this.
  13. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 32

    Since Andrea and I agreed to meet up in Santa Maria, CA, and I wanted to have one day without riding in the next few days, I had some options: I could ride from Palm Desert to San Diego, stay a full day to have the non-riding on Friday and then head North to Santa Maria, or, option two, ride towards Los Angeles on some nice roads, stay overnight somewhere, ride to Santa Maria and arrive a day early and take my non-riding day on Saturday.

    This morning I decided to take option two. Part of it was that I wanted to ride Angeles Crest highway again tomorrow, this time East to West, but I hadn't planned with fire related road closures (welcome back to California). So, I'll plan some mixed riding for tomorrow to get to Santa Maria.

    Today I had a beautiful riding day, wonderful roads, it's really worth taking a closer look at the map and zoom around in it on Google Maps.

    I took only one photo while being stopped at one of four one-lane road construction stops:

    [​IMG]
    Typical California Mountain Landscape

    It was a very hot day, even in the mountains it rarely dropped below 30C/86F, so I wasn't all too inclined to stop in the sun (not much shade here) and take photos. I'm in GoreTex gear and stopping in this heat feels like I'm wearing a non-ventilated plastic bag ... while riding it's okay with the air moving, but even traffic lights are not nice.

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 32
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  14. Myll

    Myll Been here awhile

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    Nice. I'll be by that area November 2. San Bernardino national forest. I'll be in Riverside. Is that area rideable in early November? I'll need to rent for the day
  15. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    It's a bit of a hit and miss in November. It depends on when the rainy season starts. Normally you should be fine, as Southern California doesn't get that much, especially in November.
  16. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 33

    Second to last riding day – tomorrow I won't be riding, just waiting for my wife to arrive here. I rode through some burned and non-burned landscape today, it was very interesting to see how fast nature is already taking over again. The burned areas (not from this year though) were sprinkled with fresh green everywhere. It gives hope!

    [​IMG]
    Burned California Landscape

    [​IMG]
    More ...

    [​IMG]
    Overall, it was a good day. I rode about a mix of maybe 60:40 straight roads and twisties. While I'd love to have a more twisty mix, it's hard to achieve during a trip like this.

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 33
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  17. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 34

    Artistically not a great photo – but it was soooooo good to see my lovely wife again! I didn't ride today, but Andrea did. She came South on the Pacific Coast Highway and met me here in Santa Maria, CA.

    [​IMG]
    Together again

    Tomorrow we'll ride home, probably the same route she took today, just the other direction.

    [​IMG]
    Andrea's Route
  18. cug

    cug Out riding ... Super Supporter

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    CC20 - Day 35 – Back Home

    Today was the last day of my cross-country ride. Sunnyvale to the East Coast and back. It was a great trip! Yesterday I met up with Andrea and we rode the last section together. Along the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Maria to Sunnyvale, CA.

    [​IMG]
    California Backroads, near Paso Robles

    We started with a nice section going from Paso Robles to Cambria. Then on Highway 1 along the coast. Weather was like it so often is along the coast:

    [​IMG]
    Fog along PCH

    It was foggy and wet most of the way close to the ocean. Whenever we were more inland, it was sunny and warm.

    [​IMG]
    A short stop along the way

    [​IMG]
    Fog rolls in

    A few hours later we reached our home, from where I had left exactly five weeks ago.

    [​IMG]
    Back home

    My route took me 15.430km or 9588 miles across the country. One rear tire change, one service (12k miles), thousands of splattered bugs, lots of curvy roads, endless miles across straight roads, long days, interesting days, and countless memories!

    [​IMG]
    CC20 - The Full Route

    [​IMG]
    Proof ...

    [​IMG]
    Home, Sweet Home

    And here's the last route picture. Day 35, fives weeks after leaving.

    [​IMG]
    Route Day 35
    mikegc, Javelinky, Billy52 and 2 others like this.
  19. SPX

    SPX Long timer Supporter

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    Welcome home! Really wonderful to be able to share the last leg with your wife.
    BJMoose and cug like this.
  20. BJMoose

    BJMoose that trick never works Supporter

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    Great to read your story and glad of the happy ending, kind of needed that in these bleak times. Thanks.
    cug likes this.