Going West from Cincinnati, OH

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Booga, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Booga

    Booga Been here awhile

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    I'll have two weeks vacation in July this year, and I am planning to travel West starting in Cincinnati, OH. I'm riding a KLR, my wife a F650GS, she only has little to none off-road experience, so I'd like to stick mainly to tarmac, but the occasional hard packed dirt or gravel road should be fine. We'll travel light (e.g. hotel/motel for the nights).

    One thing I want to see is Mt. Rushmore, and my wife wants to see Montana. We don't want a preset route, since we'll ride until we get tired, and then continue the next day, so everything is pretty open. I think on average we should be able to do 300 miles per day, I know it sounds little, but I rather plan less then be disappointed. This brings about 4,500 miles round trip.

    Now my question, what are the "must see" points, and the "avoid sections" on a route thru Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas (I heard, I should avoid Kansas), Oklahoma, and Missouri? I know it's quite a laundry list of states, there might be some more to add.
    #1
  2. Krashdragon

    Krashdragon Been here awhile

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    Hi, I dont' have an off road bike (yet) but have done a bit of riding cross country... when I plugged Cincy, Mt Rushmore and Montana into Streets and Trips, it's abut 4500 miles divided by 300 miles a day is 15 days... that might be a bit much, especially if your wife or you aren't used to riding all day.

    I dont' mind Kansas or even Oklohoma, but Nebraska is really boring... and all of those states are windy, so keep that in mind. You guys will be on light weight bikes, and the wind will tire you out. Even my Triumph Speedmaster cruiser is light, 500 lbs + me and 40 lbs luggage, I get blown all over the road. My Harley weighs about 680 lbs.+ me and 60 lbs luggage, not as bad but on my last trip the rear tire wore level just from the wind pushing on the bike.. short jaunt from Ohio to Vegas to Dallas.
    Where in Montana did your wife especially want to go? Montana's a big state.

    Ok, stay off I 80, especially south of Chicago.
    If it were me, I'd head up towards Ft Wayne, up thru Michigan and across the Mackinaw Bridge, hang a left and head towards Wisconsion, Minnesota, and towards Mt Rushmore. Taking a scenic turn around the NW side of S Dakota adds up to about 1800-2000 miles... You could even go a bit furthur north to N Dakota.
    Add Sundance, Wy and Devils Tower, and a corner of Mt in there....then...
    You can take the country side roads back. There's roads that sort of parallel the interstates, so i'll measure using the I roads... (Sioux Falls, Madison, Rockford, Normal, Indy , Cincy) comes to 3300 miles.

    That's 11 days worth of riding... However... Even on my zoom zoom trips (got to get there and get back trips)... unless you're willing to spend 8+ hours a day in the saddle.... the best I've managed in the East was 50 mph AVERAGE. Out West, 60 MPH... that includes stops, eats, potty.
    100 miles at 70 mph takes 90 minutes.
    100 miles at 45 mph takes 2 1/2 hours.
    How long are you williing to sit on a bike without stopping?

    300 miles a day average 50 mph is 6 hours ..but my overall speed worked out on the GPS to about 65-75mph.... depending on how long my stops were. I'd leave about 8 in the morning, start looking for a hotel about 2 or 3.... sometimes as late as 4... Many places will be full by 3, get some chain motel directories and sign up for a couple just in case. Easier to call ahead than sleep in a rathole. Also look up stuff on projected routes on the net beforehand, just in case.

    If this is your first trip, I'd scale back a bit... July is a busy month for tourists.... Be sure and bring the mosquito repellant.
    Those western states deserve several trips all to themselves. <g>
    Take it easy and have fun...
    Mary</g>
    #2
  3. Booga

    Booga Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reply, it also shows me that I need to give some more info. I am used to 300 mile days that include 100 miles of knarly dirt, 12 to 14 hours is no problem for me. I've also been on some longer trips before, so for me a two week trip would look slightly different. My wife can do 8 hours in the saddle for a couple days, so again, I think 300 projected should be fine. We are not newbies to traveling, just newbies to the area we are planning this year.

    I know Montana is a big state, and you can propably spent two weeks just riding in Montana. That's why I need a couple of spots that are the don't miss sections. I also have a GPS, so hotels are listed.
    #3
  4. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Nitron Racing Shocks USA

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    I-74 west young man. Nothing to see until you get to destination # 1

    1. Wall drug
    2. Bad Lands
    3. Mt Rushmore
    4. Custer State Park
    5. Spear Fish Canyon
    6. Devils Tower
    7. Cody, WY
    8. Yellowstone
    9. Bozeman,MT
    10. Big Fork, MT
    11. Highway to the Sun (Glacier Nat'l Park)
    #4
  5. Krashdragon

    Krashdragon Been here awhile

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    Ok Sorry about that...
    In that case, follow the other posters suggestion!
    He's got some good ones there...

    but dont' forget that us ladies like to stop and see stuff..
    You can always ship the stuff we "see" back home, UP Post Office works pretty well! <BG>

    Enjoy
    Mary
    #5
  6. Booga

    Booga Been here awhile

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    Good one :clap. Luckily I am blessed with a wife that sees, but doesn't buy.

    @</bg>NeedForSpeed: Thanks for the suggestions, I'll start feeding the GPS.
    #6
  7. Go-4-It

    Go-4-It Been here awhile

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    Good luck on the upcoming trip. Our 1st trip (my wife on her bike) we averaged 169 miles per day for 10 days. We started tuff, but ended sore. Its good if you don't have a plan, just take it as it comes. Women do like to smell, see & touch things. Frequent bathrm breaks as well, especially if its that time. If your spouse is into riding and not just getting there it will be terrific! We had a great trip.

    Theres lots of festivals in the summer, have you googled that?

    __________________________
    Stan aka Go-4-It
    #7
  8. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    I am planning a trip out that way in July, also, to ride the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail to the Pacific Ocean and back. My mileage estimate is about 6,000 miles round trip, and includes a stop at the BMW Rally in Gillette, Wyoming, July 17-20.

    The route basically starts in St. Louis, travels up the Missouri River to the Yellowstone area, across Idaho to the Snake and Columbia rivers to the Pacific. The return trip is a little modified, but I am basically following the L&C philosophy: Explore going out. Blast back home.

    It might be interesting to compare notes, since I also live in the Cincinnati area. PM me if interested.

    Brent
    #8
  9. Booga

    Booga Been here awhile

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    Sure, we can just post the notes here, that way other can chime in, if there is something to avoid.
    #9
  10. mccolo

    mccolo Anything but n00b

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    You will definitely want to come to Colorado on your trip, although you could spend the entire two weeks here.

    For great roads, look here: http://www.motorcyclecolorado.com/great_roads.htm

    You should particularly consider Trail Ridge Road:
    http://www.motorcyclecolorado.com/trail_ridge_road.htm

    The Big Thompson Canyon will get you up to Estes Park, where you'll catch Trail Ridge Road:
    http://www.motorcyclecolorado.com/big_thompson_canyon.htm

    For general info just check out the entire website:
    http://www/motorcyclecolorado.com

    By the way, despite the previous warning about Nebraska being boring, if you take US 34 across the state south of I-80 it is a much nicer ride. Then, if you happen to be going that way, you'll want to visit Carhenge outside of Alliance:
    http://www.carhenge.com/

    Have a great trip!
    #10