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Old 08-16-2013, 05:48 AM   #31
Jim Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer99 View Post
So this is me too. I am an obsessive planner, and I enjoy that aspect of it. I can't see doing those distances on the slab. I really, really dislike 90 mph on the highway for any length of time.

That's what it really seems to come down to. How to have a fun trip, and actually get somewhere, while limiting riding distance to 300 miles a day with minimal time on the slab at high speed.

Am I looking for the holy grail?
Two thoughts. First, as you know living out West, there are huge expanses of nothing. There ar times when it makes sense to go 500 miles in a day to get through the nothing and get to something cool. Second, on a related note, that's the time to use the slab. If there's nothing to see don't waste time on two lane roads. Get on the slab and get to the cool stuff.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Wi View Post
I used to think that way too, but as I've gotten older (more mature? Softer? Less hardcore about riding?) my philosophy on this has changed. If you've got a lot of ground to cover to get to an area you want to ride , why not trailer there? There's nothing wrong with that.

I've done 2 trips like this in the last few years. One was with my dad who really wanted to ride the Dragon, but as he's in his late 70s and not completely healthy, there was no way he was going to ride there. I rented a trailer and we spent 3 days riding the area. Another time my family and I were invited to a wedding in Manitou Springs CO. So I trailered my bike out. I really enjoyed driving across Nebraska, talking with the wife & kids, listening to music, and precisely adjusting the a/c along the way. Would have been a boring ride there. Once we got there I was fresh and really felt like riding, and had a great time.

So depending g on the kind of trip you have in mind, I wouldn't dismiss this entirely.
I think you're right. I don't know why I have this mental issue with trailering. I suppose that's a whole thread of it's own.

After reading everyone's thoughts I believe I need to adjust my thinking about these trips. Looking forward to the next year and the trips I've been thinking about doing, I need to get out of the "one-size fits all" mode.

Any trip I take, I've got a 110 miles of desert to get through before I hit anything interesting. Unless I loop around Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon, that is. Which I suppose, is not that crazy of an idea...

So I think I'm going to be using the truck to get to better places to ride during the hot summer months, and when my destination is a long way away. And when the weather is better, I'll try to slow down and enjoy the ride more, take more stops and plan less distance each day. Sort of scale down my trips to try to enjoy the ride more.

Mainly I need to get over the "GOGOGOGOGO" mentality. The one that whispers in my head "I can't pull over now because I just passed all those cars and I'll just have to pass them again if I stop." That voice is sucking the fun out of these trips.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:04 AM   #33
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First time on the fly

This is my first time "winging it" on a trip. This trip I am going solo so I do not have to compromise with anyone about mileage, when to stop and what to see. I have a start point and a destination 10 days later. The only hotel I have booked is the one the night before I fly back home.

In the middle, if I am hot, I can walk to the river and dip my feet (or whatever). If I am freezing, I can bundle up and ride until I find a warm place for the night. I'm bringing my tent and sleeping bag but that is just a back up, unless I find a spot I really want to pitch my tent.

I usually plan everything in advance (gas stops, hotel, food places...) so this is a big departure for me.

Am I nervous that I will be SOL when I come to a town and I want to sleep only to find it booked out? Yes. But, I don't have the stress of making it to X town by Z day. Trade off there.

If it sucks, I won't do it again ;-)
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:09 PM   #34
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I don't understand all this "just point your wheel" thing, unless taking a very short trip with a single destination. How can you hit all the great roads and scenic spots along the way? I plan my routes as detailed as possible, but don't set a certain mileage for every day. On my last trip it varied between 170 and 950 miles. Everyone hates slabbing, but it is unavoidable. This is a big country. Taking smaller roads works well west of St. Louis, the east is too densely populated to make a good time.
I also went to Yellowstone and I think it was worth the trip. The traffic wasn't fast- all national park s have low speed limits, but it was moving. On the bike it was easier to pass the tourists stopping in the roadway to take pictures and to find a spot on busy parking lots near major attractions. Walking the trails in Gortex pants and boots was the biggest inconvenience.
Overall I had a great trip, I doubt if I'll ever do anything better. Careful planning and slabbing when necessary was essential.
This was the route I took http://myroad.info/showtrack.html?id=488&lang=en.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
is that approval? or disapproval?

That's understanding your meaning, despite the contradictory statements.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:20 AM   #36
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Plans?????

I'm different than most here. I ALWAYS start a trip, big or small, with a plan. Then I NEVER do what I planned! I'll start out, then see a road to take, or a coffee house to waste an hour or so, or a nice nature walk, or whatever. I get real aimless out there. And it works for me! If I ever stuck to my plans, I'd miss a ton of stuff!

You have to understand, I guess, that in a lot of ways I'm still like an 8 year old boy. I pick up shiny rocks and study them. OOhhh, shiny!!!!

One example. In '07 I started up the coast, with a goal of getting up PCH until I hit the Canadian border. Well, I found a campsite the first night in Big Sur, so stopped for the night. Then, when I got to Monterey the next day I thought "hey, I haven's walked around Canery Row for a long time" and stopped to hang out for a couple hours. Got some seafood and found a nice coffee house. Talking with a couple locals, I found out that the 40th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival was going on that weekend! I got a hotel for 3 days, and that's as far as I ever made it! Got to see some great music (what was left of Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and several members of the Dead to name but a few). Good music, friendly people, good cheap booze and a weekend I'll never forget. Just because plans, in the long run, mean not a whole lot to this aimless wandering ex-hippie when I'm on vacation!
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:29 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkMoneyLove View Post
This is my first time "winging it" on a trip.
...
I usually plan everything in advance (gas stops, hotel, food places...) so this is a big departure for me.

Am I nervous that I will be SOL when I come to a town and I want to sleep only to find it booked out? Yes. But, I don't have the stress of making it to X town by Z day. Trade off there.

If it sucks, I won't do it again ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiebrian View Post
I'm different than most here. I ALWAYS start a trip, big or small, with a plan. Then I NEVER do what I planned! I'll start out, then see a road to take, or a coffee house to waste an hour or so, or a nice nature walk, or whatever. I get real aimless out there. And it works for me! If I ever stuck to my plans, I'd miss a ton of stuff!
...
One example. In '07 I started up the coast, with a goal of getting up PCH until I hit the Canadian border. Well, I found a campsite the first night in Big Sur, so stopped for the night. Then, when I got to Monterey...that's as far as I ever made it!
...
Just because plans, in the long run, mean not a whole lot to this aimless wandering ex-hippie when I'm on vacation!
I prefer this type of non-plan when I have the time and flexibility. But I'm good at detailed planning of long trips, too--in the last 25 years, I've taken numerous 3- to 6-week bike trips through Europe (many before the internet, so using the phone, fax, and the recommendations of fellow travelers was how things were done), and my ex was insistent on having reservations in place for almost every night. Seems a breeze now.

On long trips without schedules or with just a few plans, I like to target a daily mileage and seek out several campgrounds or inns within 50 or 100 miles of that target to allow for lollygagging or three-digit cruising. Yea there's always the chance that rooms are booked, so a willingness to camp almost anywhere helps.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:20 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Wi View Post
I used to think that way too, but as I've gotten older (more mature? Softer? Less hardcore about riding?) my philosophy on this has changed. If you've got a lot of ground to cover to get to an area you want to ride , why not trailer there? There's nothing wrong with that.

I've done 2 trips like this in the last few years. One was with my dad who really wanted to ride the Dragon, but as he's in his late 70s and not completely healthy, there was no way he was going to ride there. I rented a trailer and we spent 3 days riding the area. Another time my family and I were invited to a wedding in Manitou Springs CO. So I trailered my bike out. I really enjoyed driving across Nebraska, talking with the wife & kids, listening to music, and precisely adjusting the a/c along the way. Would have been a boring ride there. Once we got there I was fresh and really felt like riding, and had a great time.



So depending g on the kind of trip you have in mind, I wouldn't dismiss this entirely.
After just completing a 7,000 mile 10 state trip leaving from Wi. I agree with this post. Next years planned trip out west my brother and I will trailer motos from Wi to Rapid City and take off from there. The highway, highspeed blast across the plains does nothing for me except tire me out.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:02 AM   #39
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Really, there's only one answer: just have fun.

If taking a detailed, fully planned trip is what does it for you, then by all means run with that. Want to wing it on the fly? No problem. Trailer the bikes to get to the good stuff? That's great. So long as you're enjoying yourself and the trip then that's the right thing to do.

Being a little more pragmatic, I tend to plan things a bit more when I'm shorter on time. I'll do my versions of Shamrock Tours (ala Roadrunner Magazine). Find a center hub then take day rides originating out from the hub in four different general directions. They tend to fit well into your average person's week off and can be as minimally or maximally planned as you want. Hell, there's plenty of times where I've felt like just trailering the bike to do a hub-based tour -- especially if lugging along camping gear -- but lacking a hitch, trailer, and a place to store said trailer I just deal with the inevitable point A to point B rush. Besides, outside of climate control my sport bike and car are the same in long distance comfort, so it mostly comes down to squaring off my tires and gas money.

In three weeks I'm taking off three weeks from work without any solid plans. Just me and the voices I bring along in my head (and probably ADV from the peanut gallery since I'm most likely going to be doing a live ride report). I might figure out an interesting route for the day and take that, point my tire and go in some random direction, or plop for several days and basecamp.

Anyway. Moral of the story is to give it a try. Can't hurt to try a trip without planning or seeing how a trip goes with trailering. It's your ride, so enjoy it, however that enjoyment may come.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:56 AM   #40
trc.rhubarb
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I just got back from a 13 day ~7000 mile ride with one plan...
I wanted to ride the Mackinac Bridge since I'd never seen it.

Every day I'd point in a general direction, turn where it looked cool and talk to locals about cool places to ride.
I only knew that if I wanted to stay off the superslab, I had to start heading west at the end of day 6.

I saw 17 states, countless parks and passes, more than 8 national parks, camped, moteled and met a lot of great people along the way. The freedom to have no plan, no schedule to keep an ride as many or as few miles in a day is what makes it a great trip to me. I had days with 350ish miles and days with over 800. I had a 4 hour day and a 21 hour day. Schedules are too much like being at work for me. I love putting down big miles but more so, I love challenging my mind and body on these trips.

Everyone is different and the only way I can do "my" rides is to do them solo.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:08 PM   #41
243Win
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basically a wanderer

On my first trip, I only had one destination to make and the getting there was on a whim. On my second trip, I had some idea of what I wanted to do and then never did it, I simply rode in the direction that the weather looked the nicest.

On both trips, I was unemployed and the destination and duration of the trip wasn't set in stone for the most part.

Since I've had little to no chance to ride this summer and no vacation to speak of as well, I'll probably at some point this winter, trailer my XT down to Death Valley and ride about for a period of time. If I don't trailer one of my DR's down and do Baja instead. Either way, I'm not going to endure miserable weather in the winter on a bike to escape the NW, I'll trailer it and ride in the area of my general destination.

At some point in the future, I can see myself doing remote trips, where the bike is pulled out of storage at some faraway place, ridden to another faraway place and tucked into a storage unit to await my return. One of the DR's will probably get that duty.

For maximum flexibility, I tend to travel solo. I have not time or patience to argue with travel mates regarding what to eat, where to stay, which direction to ride or for how long.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:55 AM   #42
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Flexibility is the Key

I have done many trips, big groups and small, where we have planned each day and stop. Always seemed to be a lot of pressure, imagined or real, to get to this place or that by a certain time. Last one for me doing it this way was Maine, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. We were so busy racing from one Ferry to another we did not get to stop and see the areas we were riding through. Fast forward to last month where we trailered our bikes from SFL to CO Springs. The No Plan Plan. We had worked out areas and POIs we would like to see and a rough route Map. We looked at the Map and Farsons book each night and picked roads for the next day and took off. About 3 pm each day we would stop and figure out where we were likely to be around 4:30. We then used Allstays Camp and Tent App to find campsites in that area. We then called ahead for space and booked. Same if we decided on doing a Hotel that night. Getting in to a place before 5 gave us plenty of time to get set up in daylight, pick up firewood and some cold beverages. No stress. We covered a lot of ground and we stopped whenever we felt like it to take a break or take pictures. We were a mixture of back roads and dirt roads. Based on our actual time we had to make the decision to cut out a section we had put into the original plan just so we could keep with the no stress. We will just have to return and do that section. There seems to be a lot of peer pressure on not trailering a bike, but if you are a working stiff and only have X amount of time for a Vacation, you have to make the best use of the time. Rough route:
CO Springs - Rocky Mt, Nat Park- Red Lodge - Beartooth - Yellowstone - Grand Tetons - COBDR sections to Buena Vista - Cripple Creek - CO Springs.
Best Trip I have ever done. Three of us, and we were using Scala 9's which worked out great for stopping for pics and breaks.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #43
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That was sort of how I did it many years ago.
I had a KOA guide that told me where the camp grounds were, and if I did not see a good spot before that, I used them.
Back then, they always seemed to have space for a tent, even on 4th of July in Wisconsin Dells!

I often found nice places to camp before needing the KOA, some fantastic places for cheap or free.

I had to sleep on the beach in California (Newport beach at Balboa pier?).
Not many campgrounds in LA!

Highlights were the KOA at Devils Tower, cowboys had a corral to practice roping animals and so on.
Camping in a state? park between Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone park, along the Yellowstone river was quite stunning. And cheap.

In the days of cell phones and gps, it does not seem like much of an adventure...
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #44
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In the days of cell phones and gps, it does not seem like much of an adventure...
I would tend to agree, the one day I did not get a weather report on a long ride was the day I got my butt handed to me.

Yes, via a smartphone, a whole world of info is available. But even without it, most of us are already riding in America. Re-supply and or rescue is pretty close in most circumstances. But any day away from the daily grind is a bit of an adventure to be savored.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #45
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I agree with the OP when it comes to riding to a schedule. On my last trip in June my friend and I had to abandon our original plan, then plan b, then plan c, due to time constraints. It really seemed to stress him out that we weren't going to make it to our original, or secondary targets, but I didn't mind too much. I really enjoyed deciding where we were heading on a day to day basis. This was also my first long trip with someone else, and although he has been a close friend for almost 20 years, I decided I prefer traveling solo.

P.S. Inside Yellowstone park on a bike SUCKS! I live less then two hours from the west entrance and I haven't been inside for many years. There are plenty of other amazing places to see without having to deal with huge crowds of tourists and loads of government bureaucracy. I try to make most of my trips on as much dirt as possible, and that makes for plenty of good scenery and solitude.
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