The Great Pandemic Spontaneous Ride Challenge

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by PittsDriver, May 18, 2020.

  1. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Similar to the concept of riding Route 66 from Chicago to LA or the PCH on the left coast are other named road adventures a thing commonly done? I don't see many such ride reports for, say US 50 from Ocean City Maryland to Sacramento CA (loneliest road in America in Nevada). Having ridden the TAT from NC to Port Orford, it struck me how much diversity of environment, terrain, and cultures we have right here in the CONUS. One of my fondest memories of the TAT was seeing the ever changing landscape and people from the back of an ADV bike.

    So with that in mind, I'm thinking of putting a couple of these rides near the top of my list. US 50 goes right through my home town of Annapolis and there's something curiously interesting about taking such a commonplace road (to me) all the way to California. More on that one later...

    The first opportunity to do such a ride is coming up sometime between now and the end of June. I'll get a call on a random day to let me know that the challenger is on US 1 headed north. I'll join him near DC; ride up to Ft. Kent Maine, always on US 1, and back leaving everything south of me for later. And, since there are likely still going to be border crossing restrictions in place due to the pandemic, we will stop at the closest approach to Canada and taunt the Canadians Monte Python style:

    "You tiny brained socialists with your boy Prime Minister and your hairy arm pit women! You know everything in Canada is smaller, eh? I direct my exhaust in your general direction!"

    Then, sometime at an unplanned time this fall, I'll call him to let him know that I'm on US 1 going south to Key West. It will be up to him to join me where ever he previously jumped on the route this time headed south or forever be shamed and have his steely-eyed adventurer card revoked. After all that we will have both ridden the entire length of US 1. (I'm still pondering what some good Key West taunts would be to bookend the adventure. Any ideas?)

    [​IMG]

    So if this is to be a thing, there should be "rules" that make it more of a adventure. For starters:

    1) you can leave the named road for necessities or cool things to see/ride/do but never more than, oh, let's say 10 miles. Any farther off route voids the challenge.

    2) Major downtown congested areas are part of the adventure. However, this is not meant to be tourture so those areas can be bypassed as long as rule #1 is adhered to.

    3) Routes like the Pacific Coast Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Nachez Trace, for example, are not in the spirit of serendipity afforded by a more pedestrian numbered route following and therefore are excluded from said challenges. The idea here is to discover/experience places not on the top 10 motorcycle roads in America.

    4) The maximum amount of advanced notice that may be given to also qualify as a test of a fellow adventurer's spontaneity (and get the bonus points) is no more than 36 hours. Said notice may be in a predicted time window of not more than a month in the future.

    5) Any time up to, but not later, than 36 hours before the challenge, additional special rules may be added upon mutual agreement depending on the challenged route.

    Since said named road trips will, for the foreseeable future, be conducted under a capricious hodgepodge of megalomaniac government overreach, we're committed to never coming within 6' of anyone else, sanitizing every gas pump we visit, and camping every single night of the adventure. Camp may be in an actual campground if open; or, may be stealth camping anywhere including but not limited to: a cemetery, church back yard, behind a police station, alleyway, or friend's backyard (within 10 miles of the route) but under no circumstances may any overnights be spent indoors.

    The Great Pandemic Spontaneous Adventure Ride Challenge Report will follow.
    #1
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  2. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    To many rules

    I hate rules

    I'll do my own ride thanks


    .
    #2
  3. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    You wouldn't happen to be Canadian would you? :)
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  4. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    Now what the hell did I do to you to insult me like that ?




    I'm an American Okie



    Betcha can't find that on your little map

    .
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  5. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    As I am blessed with being from the Deep South and having been raised on a diet of Merle Haggard, I do indeed know that, of course, all Okie's come from Muskogee.
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  6. SFC_Ren

    SFC_Ren Been here awhile

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    road adventures? Huh
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  7. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    yeah, I know. I haven't done one of those in years and that may explain my interest in doing one of these numbers route challenges. I did the CDR and COBDR last year and I just switched my '16 GS from Michelin Wilds to Dunlop Trailmax Mission tires with the idea that for the first time in 4 years it might spend more time on pavement this year than not. I still have a properly set up WR250R though and that bike is aimed at the NEBDR later this year as well.

    I'm hoping that the combination of being committed to camping every night while riding a route through some of the most populated parts of the country will add some measure of adventure to the trip.
    #7
  8. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Long timer Supporter

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    The first house my parents lived in when I was a child was on US40 in Indianapolis. US40 used to go all the way to San Francisco but now terminates in Utah at I80. I hate I80. Growing up we traversed sections of US40 and I often thought as a kid how cool it was that if we just kept going we could end up at the Pacific Ocean.

    I now live a long way from US40 but only six miles from US12 which ends 1,700 miles west in Aberdeen WA. Before this Covid thing popped up, that was the plan simmering for 2020 - just hop on US12 and head west following the signs all the way to the end.

    An Iron Butt guy could knock it out in two days each way but I would take a bit of time and enjoy it. Not sure it’s going to happen this year but maybe. Just depends on what falls into place.

    Sorry but no contests for me.
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  9. Tall Man

    Tall Man Speak as you find.

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    If that was your view as a passenger, imagine the broad vistas enjoyed by the rider.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
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  10. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    Interesting concept about riding some of those old roads end-to-end. I've ridden the PCH end to end over the years and US 50 from Sacto to Colorado. I've ridden a few of the little stretches of Hwy 66 in AZ. The section through Oatman from King City is a pretty rare experience! I've ridden lots of US 1 on the east coast and that is pretty much like a root canal for me. Especially the section north of NYC. Even Maine sucks except for a few precious coastal bergs it passes through. I'd like to try US 2 from north of Seattle through the Cascades. It ends somewhere near Portland ME. I've been on both ends but never through the middle of the country.
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  11. PrkChps

    PrkChps Mirth Is King

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    I wish you well. The segments of US 1 north of Boston will be enough to make you insane.
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  12. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    As you can see above, I agree completely, but New England really has a variety of special roads to connect with the Canuck border. It just takes a little bit of work to lay out the route. I'm in the southwest now, which is spectacular for riding great trails and interesting terrain. I miss riding New England, though. It was pretty special for many years.
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  13. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Long timer Supporter

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    I have heard that portions of US2 in ND are not entirely safe recently with oil field trucks grossly exceeding the speed limit and making unsafe maneuvers. Perhaps it has died down with the collapse in oil prices but things were reportedly bad last summer. It’s one of the reasons I picked US-12 even though my daughter lives along US2. And LoLo Pass is on US12. And unless you are Canadian you have to drop south off US2 at some point.
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  14. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    What is it about north of Boston that's bad? Is it a lot of stop lights and slow going?

    We're leaving this Saturday with the goal to get to Fort Kent ME on US 1 but I think we both have the attitude that if it gets painful we'll bail out to a more scenic route and reconnect farther up into Maine.
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  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Theme rides... Might be just the ticket when I'm old and retired. Something to get me off the couch! :)
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  16. PrkChps

    PrkChps Mirth Is King

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    Even with the lighter traffic we've been seeing lately, it is still a crazy road that is not friendly to riding. A little planning will get you a more inland route that is much more pleasant to ride, and will keep you off the Interstate 95 / US 1 corridor. I'd head north into New Hampshire, then work my way east on secondary routes into western Maine, and rejoin US 1 north of the main touristy/summer areas. After that, you should have a fine ride to Fort Kent. May I also suggest you don't skimp on the warm/heated gear, because it hasn't been truly warm here yet, and bring the best rain gear you have. I wish you a pleasant trip.
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  17. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Thanks for that excellent advise. What we're doing is a bit unusual as a experimental type of ride. We are going to lock on to US 1 and see what America looks like from that road as we go north. So that leg of our ride is more about experiencing places not on anyone's favorite ride route but rather serendipitously experiencing whatever comes. When we turn back south from Fort Kent, it'll be all about the wilds of back country New England all the way back through the Adirondacks and south into PA and home.

    You could say that out motto is "We do stupid but not on purpose" so we're not riding through riot torn inner cities at night and if the riding gets unbearable in places we'll skip around it, reconnect, and continue locked on to US 1. There's several dimensions of this strategy are going to be interesting/challenging - like where we're going to camp Saturday night.

    And thanks for the tip on the heated gear. It looks like it'll be in the 40's in the morning when we break camp and hit the road so I'm definitely bringing mine :)
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  18. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Long timer Supporter

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    Mrs.RD and I are on a cross country car trip and we spent yesterday on US89 from Jackson WY to Logan UT. If you Google it you will find it is not the quickest route between those endpoints but it is probably the prettiest. It would be a most excellent road for a Spontaneous Pandemic Challenge except for two sections near Garden City with tar snakes so thick the Buick was sliding sideways while doing the speed limit - totally unsafe for a bike.

    I am sure the Utah inmates are familiar with this road. I’m just pointing it out for everyone else. I’ve previously traveled US89 from SLC to Phoenix. This is the first time I’ve done Yellowstone to SLC. No doubt the portion north of Yellowstone is great too.

    So add US89 to your list of roads to ride from end to end. You’ll certainly enjoy the mountain landscapes and curves.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_89
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  19. Tall Man

    Tall Man Speak as you find.

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    My 3/4 ADV jacket, too warm for summer use at home, paid dividends in the July rain of Atlantic Canada. So did heated grips on Low.

    These things can surprise us.
    #19
  20. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Good luck on your adventure. US routes are my favored mode of travel, in a car or on the bike!

    The summer before last my Wife and I rode US40 from its original endpoints, Vandalia IL to Cumberland MD. I actually followed the Ohio river to the Mississippi, then went north to St Lois, got on 40 and headed back towards home. But running the "National Road" was my excuse for the trip! I have a ride report here somewhere.
    #20
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