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Old 01-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #31
thetourist
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I avoid cities because I'm not good at navigating traffic. My state (Idaho) is about the size of Great Brittain. We have 1.5 million people, Great Brittain has about 60 million. So, you can probably ride thru traffic a bit better than I.

In the US people regularly commute 50 miles. Draw a 50 radius around any city of 1 million or more. That will be heavy traffic area. Some cities are bigger. And then there is California. I think there is heavy traffic from San Diego to San Francisco. The east edge of CA is quite nice and north CA has fantastic pavement.

If you can swing it, visit Ft Meyers, in Virginia, on the edge of Washington DC. This is the home of the Old Guard, Arlington Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown, Custis Lee Mansion, Pentagon, etc. Nice drive thru the fort and cemetery with views of interior washington. Roads will feed you to the near by capital area.

You mentioned seeing movie sights. Lots of westerns were filmed around Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and Death Valley. There is a place on the west entrance to Death Valley where TV westerns were filmed. Paramount Ranch (or something like that) near Lone Pine. Hopalong Cassidy to How the West was Won to that worm movie Kevin ___ did. I want to go back there.
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thetourist screwed with this post 01-21-2011 at 11:32 AM
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:19 AM   #32
rufusswan
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Originally Posted by mahoosiv View Post
There was one post that said it took days to get into cities - could you illuminate that for me? I am guessing commuters take an hour or so :)
Yea, but it has nothing to do with 'disrespecting cities'. I've been to most and a 3 day/2 night visit does none of them justice. I was just trying to add some scope and scale to the lads adventure, not deter them from stuff.

1. The guys are from GB which at 93K sq. miles can be effectively hidden inside the state of Texas at 290K sq. miles. These guys are getting out of a fishbowl to visit the sea, in a sense.

2. Ok, so they have a few cities in GB. We have a bunch more but that also includes to surrounding metroplex areas. I'll admit London is big, but wait until they see the New York to DC corridor, LA or the Bay Area, etc.

I mean, thinking that you can "drop into" downtown Chicago for a 10 minute photo op, is a bit like saying "Brighton is gettin' a bit dull lads, let's pop up to Harold Square and see what's happening there."

--------

I wrote the earlier above, and 3 beers later it still seems pertinent. I know what you mean about the 'drive-by' sites. I swear someday I'm riding all the way to Philly just to eat two cheesesteaks.

It's only 2,500 miles as the crow flies NY/LA but you've probably mapped out 4,000 miles. Take out 2 days at NY, 3 at LA, and 2 days rest on the trip and you have say 14 days across. 4K/14 = 285 which sounds easy.

There's a bunch of America's to see: North/South, 3 Coasts, the Midwest, Big Sky & desert SW, mountains galore, natural sites, City, suburb, & country. The one thing I can say is there will be NO shortage of adventure. It may come on slow, but by the time you get to LA you will be adventured to death. You'll be bleeding for every orifice.

Along with that, guess how many of us are gonna say "If you're in the neighborhood, I can put you up for the night, or ride with you for 100 miles or so"?

Sounds like a gonzo adventure to me
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:39 AM   #33
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You know what... this keeps coming back to me as well - I am convinced that I (and possibly Steve too) are looking at the scale of things in a UK way - ie: small :)

I personally don't know how to comprehend the scale of the endeavor and the comment about fitting the UK inside a state helps a lot - not that I am a crap geographer but again your used to what you live with.

Indeed London is an hour in and an hour out, I was caught in rush hour just before Christmas on my GSA and suffered an hour and a half of traffic to get out onto the open motorway (I don't do London for this reason, as we both live in the rural Midlands) so I am struggling to imagine a city that takes longer than that to navigate through.

Both of us are at a certain age that makes it somewhat awkward to consider that we'll ever do this again and part of our problem is that we want to cram as much in as we can - rightly or wrongly thats probably the biggest issue :)

Hey - I want to thank you for the comments so far and I am now looking forward even more to swimming in the big sea!
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #34
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If you can deal with it mentally, you can cover a lot of ground with the US super slab system. Assuming you are careful and with a bit of luck you can move at speeds of 80-90mph without issue in many places here. (Not that I would want to encourage any illegal activity ;-)
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:57 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
Notice that the word "riding" was not used here. I have lived in several large cities. Yes there are many things to do there. Ask the people of any large city what they dislike the most about their city and the majority will probably say "the traffic". I know that's the case in Atlanta.

I agree with you. I rarely use my bike for in-city travel. But, you can get into many cities and park your bike easier and less expensively than you can park a car. Then, you can take a cab, public transportation and maybe even walk.

As of now, it sounds like the o.p. won't be spending much time in any city but will out on the super slab for a lot of their trip.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #36
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'Course where they go and the roads they take to get there, they will pick according to what they want to see. I wouldn't discourage any city visit but it will eat up the most of the traveling distance for that day. They may want to take a rest day or two inside a city playing tourist.

You can burn miles on the slab, and it will let you bypass cities without slowing down. However, the slab in many places is designed to take you to and from urban areas which may not be the most efficient route for these guys. State roads can be an easy substitute for a direct route and the level of boredom drops significantly.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #37
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.

This ought to help give an idea of scale to what you are trying to comprehend. Note that ALL of Europe fits between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. Without exaggeration, what you UK types might think of as a ride across your whole country would be simply getting to visit family for some folks in South Dakota:



I live less than an hour north of DC and ride into the heart of it daily. No problem couch surfing or camping in our back yard. We're 10 miles from the end station (Shady Grove) on the Metro subway, so you could leave the bikes and "tube" into the city.

Unless you are incredibly dense or trying to become the new drug dealer in some neighborhood, our DC Police Chief Cathy has done a superb job of making the horror stories from some years back largely history. I'm a LOT more cautious in other cities, including parts of London and especially Paris.

A great way to see DC is to start with a Grey Line (or other) tram tour, then go back for what you really want to spend time at. You could spend a full day in either of our two Air & Space museums (DC & Dulles Annex) alone, the National landmarks, etc.

From DC, plan to go west on 66 and pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway for incredibly beautiful views. Not too far off the southern end is Tail of the Dragon. Get a sticker and do it once, then leave the squids and enjoy riding the surrounding roads. Preferably not on a weekend.

Cross the country across the bottom east to west. Doing it across the north burns time, burns you out, and offers less to see. That way, if running out of time at the end, you can ship the bikes from wherever you run out of time at. Preferably after riding up the West coast and then finishing with long rides in the Rockies.

As for US cities in general, there's something unique to each to really see. The timing to miss rush hours are pretty straightforward, it's just that you need to plan for an hour of suburbia around the heart of each city, and suburbia is the same boring vanilla monotony everywhere.

Bob
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:42 PM   #38
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Holy Moly folks. You all talk like this is a big deal. Folks ride across the country all the time. Just get on the bike a head West. Everything will be fine and you wont fall dead on the way.

OK let me correct that. I heard the word freeway and slab and such being thrown around. I will tell you now that it you ride more than 1.6 miles on the slab you will be struck by lightning and die on the spot.

With that much time there is absolutly NO REASON whatsoever to ride the freeway not even a little bit. I mean the very thought is shameful.

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:17 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Yankee Dog View Post
Holy Moly folks. You all talk like this is a big deal. Folks ride across the country all the time. Just get on the bike a head West. Everything will be fine and you wont fall dead on the way.

OK let me correct that. I heard the word freeway and slab and such being thrown around. I will tell you now that it you ride more than 1.6 miles on the slab you will be struck by lightning and die on the spot.

With that much time there is absolutly NO REASON whatsoever to ride the freeway not even a little bit. I mean the very thought is shameful.

Yankee Dog
+1

If you want to push hard and see virtually nothing but carcasses of suicidal critters while droning along the highways, the Iron butters can get from Jacksonville Florida to San Diego in two days.

That's definitely extreme and you'd need a day or two more to just sleep and recover. The reason to mention it is to point out that the highways are a great way to more efficiently get between key areas of interest.

The couple of thoughts that actually brought me back to your thread: Do look into couch surfing and camping in our National Parks. Eat from grocery stores instead of restaurants and your money will go a lot further, plus you'll eat healthier.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #40
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The issue is not going coast to coast in 21 days, that's easy. I went back and looked at the original map that the OP posted on page one. Even going coast to coast while hitting all the spots they wanted to hit should not be too difficult. If they want to ride long days every day it should be no problem. The problem will be if they want to add more stops, or ride some interesting roads, or just stop and explore some interesting places along the way. Also, some of the stops, like chicago, will subject them to some long miles of boring riding. Also, by picking a route based on specific spots, their route will not be as good from a riding or scenic standpoint as if they picked a route based on good places to ride a motorcycle. However, it's their ride and I think 21 days is enough to hit the spots they want so see. I'm sure an iron butt rider could do their route in a week. Also, their idea of what constitutes good riding my differ from mine.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #41
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I've done a similar trip on my own GS last year.San Fran to Baltimore.7000 miles in 28 days.
The trip was organised by a guy on www.ukgser.com ,take a look for info and if you want to see the ride report.
Just signed up for another trip in June 2012,San Fran to Alaska and back.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #42
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Forget the slab like others have said. I think one of the best compromise options is US highways (e.g. US-12). You can make good time, and they go through the small towns. When my dad an I take these trips we usually try to eat at local mom and pop type places. Usually get decent food at a decent price and get a little of the local culture. Also, I would make an effort to get to some of the northern sites. Mount Rushmore is neat (maybe less so for UKers) and Glacier National Park is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. While the great plains may be boring to some, it is neat to see hundreds of miles of fertile farmland and grass lands.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #43
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Update

Ok Folks,

Thanks for the wealth of information as well as the couch surfing/cam options. As we get closer to it we will probably take you up on some of the offers. I have plotted all our POI's in streets and trips and come up with a route as a start point. Please feel free to download it and pick holes in it.

http://www.mahoosiv.com/usa/TrimmedU...rthAmerica.pdf

It is just a standard route based on NO HIGHWAYS. If there are any nice highways ie. not super slab but nice 2 lane roads that meander through some lovely countryside please feel free to offer up some names and we will adjust the rout accordingly. As i said it is just a start point for the route. We will worry about 'contingency' routes when we have a final route planned. We may also end up in SF as i think shipping bikes back may be easier from there.

Couple of other questions if anyone could help.
1) We beleive that the first stretch to just past Chicago is fairly boaring so we will probably be doing as many main roads as possible to bang in the miles so we have more time for the good stuff from yellowstone onwards. From just before yellowstone we will be looking to get some new tyres for the impending moab tracks etc. Will tyres (Probably TKC80's) be readilly availible or will it be best to order some into a tyre shop before we leave and then just get them fitted when we arrive?
2) Does anyone know of any tyre places around Rapid City - Yellowstone that would let us order and pay for them then hold them for a few weeks till we get there?
3) As i am on an F800 with a 150-180 tank range are there many fuel stops off the beaten track or is it best to take some serious fuel cans for backup? I have a small 2 litre tank on my panniers but that wont last long!!.
4) Does anyone know of a haulage firm that could ship the bikes back to NYC as the company taking them from the UK will do us a storming deal back from USA to UK but we would need to get the bikes back to them in NYC.

Thanks again for the great and very usefull info so far!

Cheers
Steve
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #44
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Winterset, Iowa

I have been there.



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Old 02-09-2011, 12:55 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendoUK View Post
A friend and I are hoping to travel coast to coast on motorbikes in 2012 and pick up loads of memorable places along the way. We have sourced bike shipping from the UK to NYC and the plan will be to ride the 5-7000 miles (Depending on weather and stoppages) across the states. I have attached a link bellow which is an ever increasing list of places we hope to visit ( The Alabama – New Orleans part is not going to be part of the route nor is the Portland area due to timescales!) From NYC we will go down to Washington and then back up to Chicago and then meander through to LA. We will have about 21 days and will need to be in LA on the 21st day to get the bikes to the shippers and catch flights. My main questions are as follows.

What time of year would you say would be the driest to do this kind of trip. As we will be on bikes we would rather it was at least dry so we get to see more of it and it would be safer with a bike fully loaded not to be traveling through hurricane season etc.
Also do you think that this sort of trip would be achievable?
Are there any pitfalls or problems that you can foresee with this sort of trip on a motorbike?
We would probably be camping for the main part so wandered what finding campsites is like and what is the possibility of camping ‘off the beaten track’ on the side of the road?
Can you see anywhere I may have missed along the way?

Most of the locations will just be a ‘ride by’ as my friend and I are both more about seeing the sights rather than spending time at them.
Being a bit of a 80’s film addict I want to see loads of film related sights along the way so that’s why there are so many film locations.
Some of the sights around LA are just to see how much they have changed as I was there in 1984 so am intrigued to see what they look like now.


http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...10b7e614dfa69b
Why would you want to go to every shithole in the country and skip everything good????

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