Trip planning for n00bs? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-05-2008, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Trip planning for n00bs?

Looking for a little wisdom here. I would like to plan a trip from San Francisco to Astoria, Oregon. Mapquest claims 723 miles, and 12 hours. What I really need to figure out, is how many days this will take. I know, I know, I'm going to get the managerial answer, "it depends". I realize I could get there in one methamphetamine day, but how many miles do you experienced guys allocate for the "stop and smell the roses" trips? Photography is actually my number one hobby, so the camera will probably be velcroed to the fuel tank(literally). Also, I imagine group size has a lot to do with it, as ten people having to take craps and leaks would take all friggin day to go a hundred miles. Those of you who know highway 1 know it's not exactly a 75mph runway, not sure how to factor that in either.

Someone needs to create a magical formula, maybe...

(years of experience / total distance x # of riders)
miles per day = --------------------------------------------------
(# of smelling roses x defication/pp + urination/pp(per day)

Anyway, advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 12:08 AM
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The trip is doable in a day if the stops you want to see are for gas. From there it just "depends". Like you said! What do you want? Have you seen it all before? Any places you really want to see? Three days would be a comfortable "tour". One day if you just wanna roll!
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the reply!

So, you think 250 miles per day leaves good time for hanging out? For fun I'm thinking, chill for meals, stop at a few beaches, and whatever else catches our eye. There is nothing in particular we need to do, just relax and have fun. I do want a pic of the Goonies house though!

What would you plan for the ride home, 2 days I would imagine? I really have no clue how it goes on a bike. I've driven to socal(300mi) on I-5 and it really sucks. It's dead straight, takes 7ish hours, and is total misery to me.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 12:22 AM
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Doable in a day, but likely more than 12 hours - the end can be a real killer on rides like that, it starts getting dark, it starts getting cold, and your mind is already fuzzy.

Pain will probably make you stop early anyway if this is your first long run - either hands or backside at a guess.

Allow 3 days with several places planned that you COULD stop each day if you had to and give up each day if your attention starts wandering, or pain means you aren't paying attention to riding.

You may even be able to do it in one - if you aren't tired and know your destination riding after dark is quite easy, sometimes easier than daylight runs.

Sheepskin seat pads and cycling shorts are good ways to make the saddle time less unpleasant - but that assumes the bike is well set up.

Basically, if you feel a bit uncomfortable (shoulders a bit sore/whatever) after two hours, it'll be pure hell after 12.

I'd probably do that in one day with a FEW stops, and you should be able to do it easily in 2 with enough stops that pain won't be an issue - but allowing 3 means you won't hate the bike when you get to the end.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, that settles it, 3 up, 2 down. A 5 day weekend wouldn't be a big deal at all, work wise anyway.

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 12:44 AM
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the Goonies House!

That rocks! Say hi to Chunk for me if he is hanging around!
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 01:08 AM
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If I'm riding straight thru to a destination, I try to average 50-55mph, in reality that means a 70-75 mph pace, I stop for a 10 minute stretch & hydration every hour, and gas every other hour, stop for a sit down meal every 8 hours, I usually arrive at my destination still with plenty of energy

something I learned about packing.... when I first started touring, I brought too much stuff, gradually, I weeded out things I never use, I never bring t shirts other than the one I'm wearing cause I always end up buying a few as souvineers at some point

another tip if you plan a long day in the saddle.... underwear, no seams, fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin. I use LDComfort

Rain gear.... get your rain gear on before you get wet, the textile gear that I wear is waterproof, so I only stop to put overboots on, your feet are so much more comfortable during and after the ride if they are dry

a minute or 2 of calisthenics occasionally while riding, standing on pegs, stretching legs, half squats etc. keep you limber and moving

I have a trip I've made a dozen or so times, from NH to Deals Gap... about 1300 miles takes me 22-23 hours and slaying the dragon is included in the last 25 miles, first time I made the trip, I took 3 days (twisties all the way down), sometimes I split into 2

If I'm just touring with no specific destination, I will still usually ride 500+ miles in a day, but might only be 250 miles from where I started the day. that 500 miles might even include a couple hundred miles of dirt

Another tip... pay attention to where your aches & pains are after a long day in the saddle, see if you can make adjustments in your ergonomics, if necessary to fix things....

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post #8 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 07:10 AM
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I just rode from Minneapolis to Chicago, and since the weather was perfect (finally, Spring!), I decided to take back roads. Left the house at 9am, arrived at my overnight stop 395 miles away at 6:30pm, with about 10 photo stops, a gas fill-up, a gut fill-up, and one 20 minute wander-around-looking-at-stuff stop. Some of the road was 65mph (~10%), most 55, and some 45, and there were several towns where I had to slow to 25 for a short time.

So I think 350 - 370 miles is a good estimate for a relaxed day of back road riding with time for photo stops and perhaps a short hike or two. A little slab time (or exceeding the speed limit if you're into that) can extend that number considerably. If you want more time at your overnight destination, cut the number under 300.

Enjoy the trip!

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 07:35 AM
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I try to schedule 300 to 400 miles a day at most. I prefer to take frequent breaks, stop and see the scenery, etc. The longest day I've done was 500 miles. I could have done a bit more but not a lot.

It is pretty much up to you though, and how you ride. If you just want to blast from Point A to Point B ala Iron Butt then figure 500+ miles a day. If you want to enjoy the ride and see the scenery then leave time for that.

Scott Craig - Nashville, TN
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-06-2008, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by randyo View Post
a minute or 2 of calisthenics occasionally while riding, standing on pegs, stretching legs, half squats etc. keep you limber and moving
Yes, do all of these things. I also spend a bit of time sitting on the passenger seat to stretch my arms and legs.

Mileage depends on what kind of roads you're going to be on. 300-350 miles a day is a lot on 2-lane and I'd call it roughly equivalent to 500 miles on the interstate.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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