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Old 05-13-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
Ponies ate my Bagel OP
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Cross country advice - Freeway or backroads?

I have a big trip coming up in June. I'll be flying to GA from CA and riding back across the states 2 up with my wife. My Grandpa and uncle will also be joining us on their bikes. Our original plan was to make a bee-line across the states and aim for AZ to get in 3-4 days of fun riding in northern AZ/southern Utah and maybe some of Colorado. None of us are on Adv bikes, I'll be on a C14 with the wife, pop will be on a soft-tail and my uncle will be on some sofa with wheels type bike.

We'll be leaving from Cordele GA and were toying with 2 routes.

Route A: I40 across the US to AZ to ride for a couple days before separating so I can head to CA and they'll go back to GA.
Route B: Take Hwy 80 starting in Georgia across the country and do more of a "road trip" style trip. We may still get to ride some in AZ, but the Hwy will be slower and cost us more time.

My wife likes the idea of doing 40 across, most of what she wants to see is in AZ. I don't like the idea of running 70+ on a free way for 4-5 days straight, it's typically boring and I prefer back roads to interstate. We should have 10 days from when we start riding before we *have* to be back home in CA.

There will be a ride report for what I can only begin to call this fustercluck of a trip.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:17 AM   #2
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Man... No offence but this really shouldn't be a discussion. Life's to short to waste a nice ride like this to burn on a highway for 5 days. Not often will folks have an opportunity to ride across country, and you get to experience it with your wife and dad..

Take all secondary road and see as much as you can. If you don't have it already, get yourself an intercom system.

good luck
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:32 AM   #3
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Cross country ideas

Just my two cents, but since you asked.....

If you live in California, Az is not that far away. You and your wife can do a blast to Az from California another time to hit the roads she wants to see. I would take time to enjoy some of the east coast roads and then back roads on your way home. Make this a trip to remember. Consider hitting the Blue Ridge Parkway, swing through New Orleans, check out roads in Tennessee and Arkansas. The options are limitless.

+1 for the idea of getting communications gear so you and the wife can chat and share experiences on the road in real time.

Have fun
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
Ponies ate my Bagel OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggot12 View Post
Man... No offence but this really shouldn't be a discussion. Life's to short to waste a nice ride like this to burn on a highway for 5 days. Not often will folks have an opportunity to ride across country, and you get to experience it with your wife and dad..

Take all secondary road and see as much as you can. If you don't have it already, get yourself an intercom system.

good luck
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Just my two cents, but since you asked.....

If you live in California, Az is not that far away. You and your wife can do a blast to Az from California another time to hit the roads she wants to see. I would take time to enjoy some of the east coast roads and then back roads on your way home. Make this a trip to remember. Consider hitting the Blue Ridge Parkway, swing through New Orleans, check out roads in Tennessee and Arkansas. The options are limitless.

+1 for the idea of getting communications gear so you and the wife can chat and share experiences on the road in real time.

Have fun
Paul
Very valid points. I'm more for doing the backroads, mostly because interstate sucks and is mind numbingly boring.

We've got Sena SMH10's, I'm trying to talk my Grandpa into getting one as well.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Another vote for taking the backroads. Coming across interesting little towns, and cafes and motels that aren't chains is another bonus of skipping the interstate.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ponies ate my Bagel View Post

We've got Sena SMH10's, I'm trying to talk my Grandpa into getting one as well.
As long as you don't have the very early version 1.0's (if it charges by a USB you're all set), you can do 4-way intercom with the Senas.

Even if he won't use all the fancy phone features, I think grandpa will love being able to chat with you guys while you ride, so even if he doesn't wanna do it, it might be a nice father's day gift or something for him... a single unit's only around $100 or so.

It would make the cross-country trip much more enjoyable for him, too.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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Another vote for taking the backroads. Coming across interesting little towns, and cafes and motels that aren't chains is another bonus of skipping the interstate.
We pulled out the Atlas last night and I think we're going to mix and match the roads a bit. We'll probably do around 1k miles on the interstate, but we'll do around 1500 on back roads. We all really want to ride for a day or two in northern AZ and my wife wants to see Sedona. I think we're aiming for no more than 6 days from GA to AZ. 350-400 miles a day should be something we can do and not be to uncomfortable. The wife has serious back problems. I've done a lot to get the bike prepped ahead of time, but seat time will matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeede View Post
As long as you don't have the very early version 1.0's (if it charges by a USB you're all set), you can do 4-way intercom with the Senas.

Even if he won't use all the fancy phone features, I think grandpa will love being able to chat with you guys while you ride, so even if he doesn't wanna do it, it might be a nice father's day gift or something for him... a single unit's only around $100 or so.

It would make the cross-country trip much more enjoyable for him, too.
These are new, they aren't the older models. Pop is going to be getting a headset for sure, not sure about my uncle.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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Take the long, slow ass route.

Talk to people. Take it in. Stop someplace "noteworthy" for at least one meal of the day. Some place that is not a chain, a one of a kind, etc.

I like to make a game of it when traveling alone, and check my GPS for "top speed" at the end of the day. If on secondary roads I consider it bonus points for lower speed averages.

But then I am gettin old.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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Gonna be easier to cover ground out west without having to ride interstates since lots of scenic highways double as two-lane blacktop with high speeds and direct routes. Out east, you will have to choose to take slower twisty roads and you may not make as much progress for a given mileage or time in the saddle.

What I mean is that if you book it out to AZ on interstates in order to poke around, you'll miss the SE...and be within an easy ride of home. If you take 6-7 days to get to sedona by taking secondary roads, 3 days is plenty of time to check out AZ with an additional day to get home.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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I like using an atlas combined with www.motorcycleroads.us to find better 2 lane routes & preliminary plan a trip. Given the schedule it's not like you are doing anything more(such as other activities that need you to linger here & there) than piecing together some scenery & curves.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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a mix of both is about right.

The way to AZ from CA through Bakersfield (the armpit of CA) to Las Vegas or Laughlin, I-40 is about the only route.

Just west of Needles we veered off on 95 North the 'back way' into Laughlin and it was spectacular. No traffic or cops. Be sure and gas up in Barstow though because the station at that intersection charges about $5 a gallon. Laughlin has casinos right on the river and Sun-Thurs rooms are very cheap or free if you get their players card.

In Eastern AZ the 191 from Springerville south to Clifton/Morenci (one of the biggest copper mines in the world) is said to be one of the top ten motorcycle roads in the US. Used to be 666 the Devils Hwy but they kept stealing the signs so they changed the number!
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Back roads as much as possible. The interstates have their place, when you absolutely need to burn the miles without generally seeing anything interesting. If it were me though, I wouldn't burn an awesome chance to hit stuff as far from home as you can. As someone else mentioned, AZ is right next to CA, but you might kick yourself for not exploring the farther away states a bit while you were right there.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:30 AM   #13
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I would suggest you get a copy of "Blue Highways-A Journey Into America"
by William Least Heat-Moon before you hit the slab.

Enjoy.
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