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Old 07-31-2014, 07:59 PM   #1
deacon51 OP
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Father and Son ride Across Amercia

My son is turning into a young man and has decided to attend the Motorcycle Mechanic Institute in Phoenix, AZ. We will be riding out, I on my 2014 R1200GS and he on his 2007 Ninja 650r. We will be departing Annapolis, MD on the 22nd of August for his arrival date of the 4th of September. I have 3 weeks and a day off work Its going to be Epic!

I have a rough route in my mind. Head south across Virginia, pick up the BRP near Asheville, spend a day doing the Tail of the Dragon - Cherohala Skyway loop. Take 64 to my brothers place just east of Memphis, ride across the Ozark mountains, 412 across OK, Million Dollar Highway North, Utah 12 to the southwest, Extraterrestrial Highway, Yosemite, Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, Joshua Tree I could spend a month in SoCal. Drop the boy off in Phoenix (His mother will fly in to meet us). Ill take I-10 across to my folks in Mobile, AL (and log a saddle sore 1000) before heading back home to Maryland.

I have a new camera and a SpotGPS tracker. Ill be setting up a SpotWalla so others can follow our progress. (Mostly his mother!) I hope to take good notes and write a report that will be worth following. I also want to add some personal touches about how our relationship as father and son develops now that his teenage years are nearing an end.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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God Speed and safe travels...I'm in! Sounds like an amazing adventure.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:28 AM   #3
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One thing I think I should have added is that my parents, while being incredibly discouraging of our trip have decided to tag along. They are lifelong motorcyclist, having crossed the country many times, on everything from 450 four to a GL1800, yet the first thing my mother says when told of our plan is “Are you crazy?” They had ridden the GoldWing up to Annapolis from Mobile following the Coastal Highway (US 17) up from Savannah to Norfolk, where they crossed over the Chesapeake to the DelMarVa and followed the coast up to 50 and Annapolis. They had come to see my baby boy Graduate from High School. These are the people that look at me in shock when I told them of our plan. Then they went home following 50 across West Virginia to Cincinnati before turning south.

A few weeks later my dad tells me over the phone that he has decided to rebuild the open motorcycle trailer because the SUV will pull it better. “You know how your mother hates to drive my diesel.” he said. I asked where they are off to now? His said that Utah 12 looked like fun, that him and mom would like to explore the area, and that at least a truck and trailer would be near by if we needed it. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback. Wait, what? I stuttered, your trailering your bike? Well, seems mom wants to ride Utah but not Texas, in August. Who does?

So, it seems that the Father and Son cross country ride is going to have a bit of Grandparent action. Aren’t we all the lucky ones? On one hand I’m thrilled to have them along. My mom is already pushing dad to sell a couple of bikes and get a convertible, I don’t know how much riding they have left. And the reason I’m so excited about this is ride with my boy is because I never got to do it with my own father. Yet, this is a lot of riding in three weeks. Not that my dad is slow, not by any means, but bladders are what they once were.

Here's my mom and dad, before my time.

When my mom tells dad "Sell the Harley, you never ride it." this is the bike she's talking about.

We took a afternoon ride of about 100 miles when my parents came into town. Here are three generations of riders.

deacon51 screwed with this post 08-02-2014 at 08:00 PM
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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Safe travels and good luck! I'm in!
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:48 AM   #5
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Subscribed. Three generation ride, what a fantastic opportunity.
Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I've had a good life all the way.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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Wow, subscribers. Thanks for following us along. I hope we don't disappoint!

I have been working on mapping out our route using Garmin's BaseCamp software. The tool is pretty good at picking a route with only minimal edits required. Of course trying to map out a cross country trip, regardless of the tool used, is a major task. My goal is to strike a good balance between enjoyable motorcycling and making time. My wife will arrive in Phoenix on the 2nd of September, my son has an orientation and gets checked into his apartment on the 4th. That gives me 13 days to cross the country. I have done 600 or 700 mile days, but nothing like this, ever. Nate, hes only took the MSF course and got his motorcycle endorsement this spring. Should I be worried?

If you have suggestions, I'm open to them.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:43 PM   #7
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That is a great photo with all three of y'all, wish my grandfather and father were into bikes. Safe trip, looking forward to following along.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
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My two oldest sons both have bikes...we a trip planned in about a week...I understand your sons are 25 and 19...
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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Wooooooooooow Awesome
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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No, you should not be worried. Work with Nate to id little annoyances on his motorcycle now, because they will become major pains at the end of a long day. And, maybe you should take your son on a couple of long day trips before departing. A shake down test so to speak. My father took me on two cross country motorcycle trips my 18th year. It is a memory I still cherish 30 years later. This will be a good thing.

Suggestion on routes in AR: The NW quarter of the state is motorcycle fun, the rest is not so much. The eastern part is really not, if you like hills, curves, and pretty countryside. (Go to Google maps and look at a satellite view, and you'll see it's river bottom flat all the way to Little Rock.) I'd try to spend as much time in the NW part of the state as possible, and as little time crossing the flats in the east as possible. Eureka Springs is a lovely historic town with great food, interesting arts, fun roads, and very motorcycle friendly. Please check it out.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:40 PM   #12
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Awesome is the only word that comes to mind. You will cherish this trip just as your son and parents will. It is an opportunity few are able to realize. Gods speed and safe travels.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
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Sorry, its been a while since I updated this. Last Saturday my son announced that he has decided NOT to attend MMI. He wants to get a job and save up a little money so he can buy a new KTM and start going to the Motocross track. Hes crazy! His mother was much relived.

Still, the trip is on. Im not sure where we are going, I have never been to the South West, I have three weeks off work, so its still on. He says he still wants to ride with me too.

We spent today changing oil and going over his bike.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #14
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I also live in Maryland and do a lot of riding trips with my Dad. We're actually leaving to ride to Maine and back next week, and we're hping to go across the country next year. Maybe we'll learn something from your thread...

I'm working on planning our cross country route already, and I find Google Maps to be much easier and faster to use than Garmin Basecamp/Mapsource. You're right, planning a route this long takes some serious time. Eventually, you'll need to convert the Google Maps file to a GPX for fine tweaking and uploading with Garmin. The satellite and Street views on Google really help me decide where I want to go.

I hope you guys have a great trip!
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #15
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Going over my bike. 2014 R1200GS with 10,600 miles.
Rear break pads are almost gone.

My contract for employment still hasn't been approved, my current contract ends September 30th.

Still haven't finished packing.
Nate hasn't started packing.
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