Newbie planning 48 state road trip...advice welcomed!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by nsherman2006, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. CamoGreg

    CamoGreg aka Camorpheus

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    +1 on boxer briefs and baby wipes.

    I've tried many of the specialty skivies and they haven't been comfy for me.

    Hanes combed cotton tagless are my choice. There's no seam at the leg.

    Buy a couple travel packs of baby wipes. One for your jacket pocket and another in the tank bag. A squeaky clean pooper is a must.

    Try and eat fruits and foods that keep your digestive tract moving easily. Until your body gets used to long days in the saddle, you might get unpleasantly bound up. Hydration should error to the side of overdone.

    Sounds like a fun trip. With a heads up, you're welcome to bunk here in Lewiston.
    #21
  2. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    Words to live by...
    #22
  3. Pflum

    Pflum Throttle Junkie

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    Dry Bags: never used Caribee. Sealine makes a high quality dry bag, think I got mine at Bass Pro Shops. They're a little pricey. I also have a cheaper one from Wal Mart, but I haven't used that one as much.
    If you have room think about getting a Thermarest or similair sleeping pad. Even a thin one really smooths out all the small rocks and sticks under your tent.
    #23
  4. mariowink

    mariowink Under Doc

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    You may come up with a few substitutes for undergarments than LDComfort but you should watch the video that shows the reason they are made from a different fabric than polypro or other single layer polyester.

    See here: http://www.ldcomfort.com/productdescription.htm#fabricvid

    You have to make up your own mind but at least you should know there is a difference in how undergarments are made and why they are made that way.
    Seating comfort can make all the difference in having a great ride.
    (I will refrain from further comment as I can write a book on the subject.)
    I hope you enjoy your trip as it sounds grand.
    #24
  5. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    We've been happy with Big Agnes sleeping bags; the pad is sort of integral with the bag. The packed pad is about the size of a 1-liter water bottle.
    http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/SleepingBags
    #25
  6. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    Reduce the number of days riding, so you can reduce your daily miles. I have found 350-400 a good number on long trips. That way you can enjoy some of the scenery and people. If you are doing higher miles you are only seeing the road.

    LD comfort shorts are the best. I rotate between 2 pair and NEVER get monkey butt. If you get it(MB) it can turn into blissters which will ruin your trip.

    Heated gear might come in handy.

    There is a new slipon cruise control that costs less than $25. I will post the name and link on another reply.

    If you are planning on using laundrys along your route, the best thing to buy is Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets. Walmart carries them and they work. Take up no room at all.

    If the weather conditions turn dangerous with lightening and such find some cover. Don't try to be a tough guy.

    Some gear manufactures have thin rain liners that are much easier to deal with than the PVC rainsuits. If it gets cold they make good insulation also.

    Try your best to have your motel or?? arranged before your leave. By days end your patience will be running low. Not a good time to be searching in the dark for a place to sleep.

    If you find yourself near NW Florida you are invited to stay with us. Good luck and ride safe.
    #26
  7. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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  8. CamoGreg

    CamoGreg aka Camorpheus

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    Since there's been a few plugs for LD underwear, here's my experience with them:

    I don't like them. I've owned several pair of each; shorts, long and shirts.

    I liked the concept. That's why I bought them in the first place. Moisture wicking, seamless, good packable material. All that stuff sounds great until I used them on a road trip.

    Ass comfort was fine. That wasn't a problem. However, I wear my junk down. Combined with the elastic and slick nature of the material seated on a vibrating bike, it wouldn't stay there.

    Adjustments were nearly constant. Worse still was the odd type of fly. Its been awhile since I've investigated, this fly design may have been changed or eliminated. Better if eliminated IMO.
    If adjustments weren't made often enough, my little guy would migrate through the weird fly opening and procede to find himself in an uncomfortable stranglehold where no amount of adjusting could free him until off the bike and completely stripped down.

    Some folks love their LDs. The vendor is well known for excellent customer service and believes in the product. They're just not for me.
    If you're leaning that way, buy a pair and try them out on a day ride. Hesistate to buy a complete wardrobe until certain you're one of the lovin it crowd.
    #28
  9. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile Supporter

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    Camo- the paragraph on your adjustments is some funny stuff.:rofl
    #29
  10. nsherman2006

    nsherman2006 Adventurer

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    Did my research on LDComfort, and it really does seem like a superior product, but the price along with the negative reviews I've heard in other places made me hesitate. I purchased some lower-priced, moisture wicking underwear and apparel from Sierra Trading Post and am going to test it out before I go.

    If I can find some used LDComfort stuff, I'll pick it up and if it works, I'll spring for a few new pairs, but I can't drop $50 on a pair of boxers without trying them first.

    So I'm working on reversing the trip direction now, and my current gear status is:

    Bike: 09 Ninja 650 (just hit 1k miles yesterday)

    Scorpion Hat Trick 3-in-1 jacket
    Firstgear HT 2.0 overpants
    Sidi On Road Boots
    CamelBak ThermoBak
    AirHawk Seat Pad
    Variety of Under Armour type clothing and underwear that should suit any temp. range
    Smartwool Socks

    (Since the jacket and overpants have waterproof linings, I won't be bringing any dedicated rain gear)

    Coleman Hooligan II Tent
    Marmot Sorcerer 15* Sleeping Bag

    Seattle Sports Roll-top Dry Bag
    Joe Rocket Manta Tank bag

    RAM Mount for iPhone, building in a USB charging port

    I'm still looking for:

    ThermaRest-type Sleeping Pad
    Soft Saddlebags (Fieldsheer, Cortech, Mototrek, etc.)
    Some sort of throttle assist (reading up on throttle locks vs rockers)

    I'm planning on bringing a small tool kit, chain lube, oil, my Leatherman, and things like that, as well as packing a small backpack (empty), for small trips to the grocery store or emergency packing needs.

    I'm also trying to figure out what some other "necessity" items I may need, such as baby wipes and Gold Bond. I like the idea of the 3 in 1 detergent sheets, but I know that Under Armour isn't supposed to be softened, so I'll probably just pay the extra coin for the single-use detergents at the laundromat.

    I'm going to try to use the Tent Space list in planning my trip so that I can minimize the cost. I also added stops in Palm City, FL and San Antonio, TX that will significantly alter my route (visiting friends)

    Thanks guys, you've been really helpful (and I've found tons of useful info on this site)

    -Neal
    #30
  11. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Looks like things are shaping up.

    Have you spent an entire day riding in the rain to verify that your riding gear is indeed waterproof?
    And even if it is, how heavy does it get when wet?

    I would add a rain jacket that will fit over the m/c jacket and that also can be worn w/o the riding gear when off the bike.
    #31
  12. nsherman2006

    nsherman2006 Adventurer

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    They are indeed waterproof, the jacket and pants pick up some weight, but not much. I may apply a waterproofing product before I go to be on the safe side, since I bought the pants secondhand (the jacket was new)

    I can wear the waterproof liner to the jacket standalone without the armored shell. I'd like to bring some "street" clothes, including a waterproof rainjacket, but I'm going to wait and see if there is room once all else is packed.

    Thanks!
    #32
  13. pacadermng67

    pacadermng67 Adventurer

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    Dang,

    I just came across this thread and am planning on doing the same thing on my FZ6 about a month behind you. Its great being 22 and not having any responsibilities and I kind of see it as an opportunity that cant be passed up. Ill follow any ride report you do to make any last minute changes I might need to make. Who knows, maybe we can high five each other going opposite ways in June.
    #33
  14. WHKED RIDER

    WHKED RIDER WHKED RIDER

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    I am on the last leg of the 48 contiguous but got delayed due to an old injury getting back at me. I am not 22 and have family obligations at home so I can say that doing this trip while your at your age is a great thing to do. I was happy to see the airhawk seat mentioned. That one piece of equipment is better than any gel seat and eliminates the whole underwear argument in my opinion. I don't get swamp ass using the air hawk and I don't get the numb butt either. I also use riding gear with the built in rain gear (Olympia brand) but have found that the riding gear even in mesh mode is very hot in the desert environment between LA and the Grand Canyon. I also found the riding gear to cause me to sweat alot when I was up in New York City and Maine areas this last fall due to them having some usually high heat and humidity. That being said I wouldn't give up my ride gear for some more comfortable options after having been in the unfortunate role of bodily asphalt collector. To help ease the packing limitations I almost exclusively use REI convertable pants. These wash in a sink and dry very quickly when needed. They are convertable to shorts if you do stop at a hotel with a hot tub or pool to relax the miles away. I also agree with what other posters have said about cutting your miles in half per day and doubling your time to take the trip. Freeways are boring but you also have decent cell phone coverage. Another consideration if your going to travel mostly back country roads is to rent a satellite phone. You will find a lot of areas where your cell phone will simply not work. I wish you a safe journey and send me a message when you nearing the Albuquerque area. If I am still in town and not out on the last jaunt of my 48 I would love to buy you a beer and hear your travel tales. One last thing. I would highly recommend to take the time to make sure you plan your trip around the things you would like to see and not just around traveling through each state. Who knows when you might ever get the chance to be in any one of these other states again on a motor?
    #34
  15. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Some good and wise advise here regarding taking your time, not pushing, enjoying the ride etc, etc. And if your schedule and attitude permit, by all means stop and smell the roses along the way. But as I crank up the wayback machine and recall my first cross country run (27 years ago at age 27, during a 30 day leave period from the Navy), I didn't have time to check out much of anything but interstates heading east and only a little more flexibility in the schedule on the return west. I racked up 8,000 miles on a naked Honda V45 Sabre with no specialized riding suit and got road rashed in Illinois, roasted in Kansas, chilled in Colorado, drowned in Oregon, and it was still quite the adventure and a great trip (excepting the Illinois part).

    My point being that it's also okay to just tuck your head and boogie if your spirit or life's demands are moving you that way. (Not that you needed me to tell you that or anything, but us old pharts can be a bit too pontifical at times :D)

    If you're life is blessed further, you'll have other opportunities.

    One other bit of advise: Keep a journal as you go, not for ride reporting (though it will help with that if you decide to write one), but for your old phartage. 20 years later it will be the most prized memento of the trip.

    Cheers,
    Greg
    #35
  16. monkeythumpa

    monkeythumpa When I go slow, I go fast

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    Questions about your iPhone as a GPS. Not sure which apps you are using but have you used it when the phone gets no signal? Do you have a waterproof container for it? You might want a dedicated waterproof GPS.
    #36
  17. nsherman2006

    nsherman2006 Adventurer

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    Good call on the GPS.

    I'm planning on having a hard copy of my itinerary. If I don't have any bars, I'll revert to the old fashioned way. I wasn't thinking a GPS was a necessity, more of a convenience especially when it comes to finding gas, etc

    Other details that I thought of

    I'll be trying to make room for some sort of gas container, maybe a half-gallon or so for emergencies.

    I'll also be purchasing new tires and having them shipped to a friend in Salt Lake City, and will put fresh rubber on there.

    Anything else I'm overlooking?

    As i redo my route, I'm definitely cutting back on the miles per day and stretching the trip out a little more, plus adding some stops :)
    #37
  18. nsherman2006

    nsherman2006 Adventurer

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    Alrighty, I've re-routed myself. Any suggestions on alterations here? Shorter days, looking at about a week added on to the trip, trying to keep it around that

    I haven't put specific cities on here because I will be looking for tent space in the coming weeks and getting a better idea of what's going on (with some exceptions). I just put the ending places to make things a little less cluttered.

    Day 1: Washington, DC
    Day 2: KY/WV/VA border
    Day 3: TN/NC border (Deal's Gap area)
    Day 4: Coastal SC/GA border
    Day 5: FL Panhandle / Gulf Coast
    Break: Meeting up with a friend in FL
    Day 6: New Orleans, LA
    Day 7: AR/OK/TX border
    Day 8: San Antonio, TX
    Day 9: TX/NM border near Mexico
    Day 10: Albuquerque, NM area
    Day 11: Southern/Central UT
    Day 12: Salt Lake City
    Break: Staying at a friend's in SLC, Changing tires & oil, relaxing
    Day 13: NV/CA/OR border
    Day 14: Coastal OR
    Day 15: WA/ID border (Lewiston area)
    Day 16: Yellowstone
    Break: Staying in Yellowstone for a full day
    Day 17: Western ND/SD border
    Day 18: MN/IA/SD border
    Day 19: Kansas City area
    Day 20: WI/IL border
    Day 21: OH/MI border
    Day 22: Western NY
    Day 23: Eastern NY / Southeastern VT
    Day 24: Home to Northeast CT

    I'll be going through the tent space thread and trying to find stops along the way, I will probably also do some stealth/BLM camping, and I will probably buckle down and spend some time in hotels.

    If anybody around any of these areas is willing to put me up or let me stake a tent for the night, please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.

    The feedback has been fantastic, keep it up guys!

    Thanks,

    Neal
    #38
  19. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    Others have already said it, but I will repeat it. Take a weekend trip to check out your gear. You will see what works and what doesn't.

    I took a month long trip couple years ago and did four day "planning trip" first. The folks riding with me didn't want to bother with that. They ended up shipping over 60 pounds of stuff back home. Of course that was for two couples on much bigger bikes than your 650 Ninja.

    I bought a four season, three person tent(Backside), a 20F Mountain Hardware mummy bag(mummy bag packs way smaller), and a Thermarest pad. Used inflatable pillow. Slept great in temps from upper 20s to 90s.

    SIDI makes great boots that are comfortable, waterproof, and have lots of protection built in. I love my SIDI "On-Road" boots!
    Cotton boxer briefs that do not have any seams where your buttocks meet the seat work fine. Gerbings makes great quality heated gear that packs down small. It gets cold in the mountains even in June. i took my heated jacket liner and gloves and it was still cold on some days! Patagonia makes great lightweight long underwear. I use their medium weight stuff. If it's really cold at night I wear them in the sleeping bag with socks and sleep like a baby.

    Plan to be at your destination before everything is closed or go to bed hungry. Take time for a real breakfast before hitting the road and you can get by during the day on snacks at gas stops. I always TRY to have a good breakfast and dinner. This is supposed to be fun, and it's not fun if you're suffering from lack of nutrition and sleep.

    Get a good LED flashlight. Streamlight makes quality stuff that is durable and works everytime. Their model that uses C batteries is bright and one set of batteries will last the entire trip. A small LED headlamp is great for reading in the tent or checking maps for the next day's travel.

    Good luck!

    bill
    #39
  20. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    Check out Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort. Dealsgap.com. Great folks! They have a restaurant and gas. Camping is available with hot showers. They have a motel. Rooms are clean and reasonable. Call ahead if you want a room. Camping used to be twelve bucks.

    You need to stop by the "Wheels Through Time" motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley NC. Not too far from Deals Gap. Check it out online. If you arrive at the MC resort after hours to camp just stop by the office and pay on the way out. If you reserve a room they will make arrangements for after hours arrival.

    bill
    #40