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Hope this is the right place to start this thread!:confused:

I'm about 4 weeks away from riding from the Bay Area to Texas, and back, for my 50th high school reunion (yep...your math is right...I'm 68 going on 17). I've been riding off and on for 50+ years and have done a few weekends of 1-2 nights, but never anything like this. I've been dithering for weeks about whether to ride it or to "act my age"...but I have never been too good at the latter.

So OK...I'm in reasonable health aside from the usual rot that sets in after 60, and I am planning on motelling it there and back. I am planning on jumping on the old Lincoln Highway in (US 50) in Sacramento and following that at least as far as western Colorado, then down through new Mexico and Texas to College Station (yeah I am an Aggie!). The route is open on the way back depending on how I feel.

I know that many of you have lots of touring miles behind you and I am hoping for some tips. First of any general sort about long distance touring, particularly in the west. Second about some specific questions...

1. The PO of my bike had fitted it out with a Givi top box and Givi E21 Cruiser side bags. They don't look very waterproof to me and I'm guessing I should pack everything in bags. Sound right to you?

2. I have the usual 1st aid kit, but is there anything in particular you think it should include?

3. I am looking at a couple of long hot days across Nevada and Texas. Any advice about how you handle the heat would be appreciated.

I will probably think of more things to ask but this is a start. What do you think? Any advice would be appreciated. :thumbup:

Dave
 

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Coimcidently I just rode us 50 from Nevada to Sacramento in these last two days. Ots a nice road but there are far better roads to take where you are going. Im typing on a smartphpne right now but when I get back ill post some tips.
 

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first off, congrats on taking the ride and best of luck to ya!

flat fix kit and air compressor.
carry more water than you need and deal with it. better to have than not.
couple of spare fuses.
in the desert, evaporative cooling works wonders. you dont have to spend big bucks to get fancy gear. get your t-shirt damp and ride. wrap a wet bandana around your neck loosely.
not knowing the route, carry a stack of granola bars and some nuts. high energy food in the unlikely event you breakdown.
cell phone and a charger that you can use on your bike. if you don't already have a 12v accessory outlet, get one.
 

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Well I camp and motel it when I travel so I tend to carry more camping gear than you will need. But I can give you my 2 cents.

I'd pack your stuff in waterproof liners of some sorts. For me they look a bit small. But then again I am running Mermite cans which are huge. If space is a problem then you can get a heavy weight waterproof bag (mine is yellow) and pack in that. The plus to this is you can put it between your top box and your back and it makes a good back rest. I usually put my sleeping bag in one and some clothes etc.

As for a first aid kit. Well I usually have a normal one. I figure if I need much more than that I will need help from EMTs etc. Only thing extra I take is some pain meds. I also had LASIK eye surgery so I through in the meds from that just in case. They are small and light and I had them. They actually came in handy when I was on a Kayak/fishing/camping trip with my dad. He got dirt in his eye and after washing it out with water we used the meds to keep him from having to head out to find a hospital...which was a long ways away.

For the last thing. Mesh gear... I picked up a mesh jacket and it is worth its weight in gold on hot days.
 

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Sounds like a fun trip. I live on Hwy 50 in Nevada. Couple things to be aware of. The wind east of Fallon can be pretty stiff in the afternoon. I'm thinking about a Scotts Steering Dampener to reduce my pucker factor.

Make sure you get gas in Fallon. Next town is 100 miles away.

It may be pretty warm 4 weeks from now. I drink plenty of water. I wear a mesh jacket. I have a small spray bottle with water. If I get too warm I'll dampen my shirt under the mesh jacket to help keep cool.

Enjoy your trip.
 

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"1. The PO of my bike had fitted it out with a Givi top box and Givi E21 Cruiser side bags. They don't look very waterproof to me and I'm guessing I should pack everything in bags. Sound right to you?"


I use zip lock bags to keep things dry then pack them into a bag and then put that bag into the side case. I also pack some snacks meat sticks like slim jims and gator aid in the side case stay hydrated drink 64 oz each day.Get a good rain suit and rain boots.put the heavy items in the side case.the lite you need to get to quick in the top case.


"2. I have the usual 1st aid kit, but is there anything in particular you think it should include?"

Get a good kit go to the EMT guys at your local Fire Department they will give you a laundry list of things to have in that First Aid Kit.

"3. I am looking at a couple of long hot days across Nevada and Texas. Any advice about how you handle the heat would be appreciated."

Get some under armor under wear skives and t shirt then wear a lite mesh long sleeve jacket to protect you from the sun .Gloves, sunglasses, and a yellow pair of sunglasses for night driving they help at night. a Camel back water pack stored in fridge freezer at night on each overnight stop keeps the water cold all day long as the ice melts you can sip on water untill your gasoline stops every 200 miles take breaks when your legs or butt cramps up .check your chain at each stop adjust and lube as needed carry a can of blue Tac Bel Ray chain lube.Also get a nice tool kit sockey set and ratchet style box wrenches,update your gps and keep your cell phone charged.



"I will probably think of more things to ask but this is a start. What do you think? Any advice would be appreciated. :thumbup:"

Enjoy the trip take photos and post them here take care and May the Blessings of Lord Jesus be with you on this trip may his holy angles keep you safe.God Bless and God Speed.

Dave
 

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#1. Stay Hydrated. You will hate the trip if you don't.

2. Put everything you think you need out on the floor, then put 2/3'rds of it back away. Seriously, if this is your first trip you'll be so tempted to just keep adding stuff. Every long trip I go on, I pack less than the trip before. Last year when I rode to Colorado Springs from Oregon, I sent 12lbs of stuff back home with my wife who flew down there to meet me.

3. Avoid Interstates if at all possible, there's so much to see and enjoy when you take the road less traveled.

4. Do your best to get your ergonomics correct for you. Bar height, seat comfort, peg height, etc.

5. Get some type of throttle lock, cramp buster, whatever works for you, but this is super important for long trips. Last year's trip my grip worked loose from continually moving my cramp buster and I had to ride all the way home without any type of throttle lock/wrist rest. My hand and wrist muscles were really telling me to stop.

6. Watch out for sunburn. The first long day I had major sunburn on my wrist between my gloves and jacket. I stopped at a sporting good store and bought some wrist sweat bands which I wore the remainder of the trip. I'll be purchasing gloves with longer gauntlets in the future.

Those are some of the lesson's I've learned so far.

Enjoy the ride and take your time pouring over maps and "best motorcycle roads" websites to plan your routes. The time you put into planning your route will pay dividends in awesome roads and big smiles.
 

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Be on the road at first light....stop every 100 miles or 1 1/2 hours no matter what.....I don't mind the interstate and the vee cruises it very easily...spread all the stuff you want/need to take on the floor, prioritize it....3 days worth of clothes is what we take no matter how long the trip.....tire plug kit and pump or co2 things....as the trip goes on you might see your total daily mileage drop, esp if you push it on the first couple of days...we do 400mi a day or so....mc donalds has $1 sweet tea....all you can drink....
 

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Don't sweat the little stuff. Dehydration and hypothermia are your worst enemy's in long distant riding. As previously stated,
bring some warm gear for early mornings and mountain passes.
Hydration pack with ice and water every stop, mesh jacket with pads. Over 110 we use cool vests under our mesh. When it's hot, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
You will figure the rest out, that's part of the adventure
 

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Hydration pack definitely. Also get yourself an Evaporation vest. When the temps are over 90 you need to put more clothing on to block the sun out, not take it off (like most do).

An evap vest is soaked in a bathroom sink and then put on over a shirt with your armor mesh gear on top. The wind blowing through is heavenly and lasts an hour or sometimes two. You can ride in any temperature like that. We rode through Vegas a few years ago and thermometer showed 130 and we were fine. Every time we filled up for gas we soaked it again.

Highway bars are a must on long trips, and you need a decent seat or you will be suffering. Russell Day Long is the best. Likely you won't have time to acquire one of those before your trip. Hopefully your seat is alright.

Good luck on your trip. Ride safe.
 

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Route: as I said, us 50 is nice, in a desolate sort of way. But if I were you, I would do this...

120 to mono lake via Tioga pass --death valley --- las vegas --- Hoover dam --- Kingman, AZ (route 66) --- selig, AZ --- grand canyon (south rim) ---

At that point, if you have time, a detour up to south Utah is HIGHLY recommended. Five national parks and route 14 is spectacular. IMHO, Dead Horse State park is one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

You also could check out Monument Valley, and the Moki Dugway.

In Colorado, check out Mesa Verde and the million dollar highway. You might even swing up to Mt Evans.

From there, it gets kinda boring. Texas is long, flat, straight, and hot.


That route will hive you all sorts of weather which you have to be prepare for, anywhere form 40 degrees to perhaps 110. Mesh is wonderful in the heat, coupled with evaporative gear (i love the bandana). For the cold, I like a heated vest plus rain gear like frog togs.

Take lots of pictures! What an adventure!
 

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Good ideas from Rashnak. I prefer 108 over 120 as a route through the Sierra Nevada due to tourist traffic. Also HWY 4 and come down Monitor Pass. The snow should be gone soon but in some years they are closed through May. Easy to check before you leave. Personally I avoid Las Vegas too much craziness for me but that is my preference.
 

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Well Dave,

The guys have given you some pretty good suggestions as what gear to take..my suggestions are more about COMFORT as you ride 500 miles days then what to take(keep your map & rainsuit at the top of the topcase!). I ride year-round and several long trips per yr and after that first trip that had me standing on the pegs to stretch out my knees, I fashioned some forward pegs. They are a Godsend for old knees! I've also installed aux lighting on the fork lowers, repacked the foam in my seat (I posted a how to a couple of years ago), got a seat of beads from Beadrider, installed a 5 dollar cup holder that is another Godsend because with a straw, I can now ride AND drink coffee! The aux power plug (cigar lighter) mounted on the left side of the fairing for my Escort 8500X radar detector, or as I refer to it as "my friend".

Lately, I've installed intercoms in my helmets that are bluetooth so I can listen to my music without having to carry the little mp3 player that I have, I just uploaded a few hundred songs into my phone.

Other than that, have a blast and if you want to talk, shoot me a pm with your number and I'll give you a call.

Jeff
 

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If I can offer only one thing it is this:

Take an all day ride NOW!

Find out if you can stand the seat, windscreen, bar height and so on after 4-5 hours or so on the road. Local trips are one thing, all day in the saddle much different.

I like to take a long ride with my bike "packed" for the trip a few days before I leave. Really helps to show you what you missed packing and what you don't need. And most important..do I have it strapped down properly.
 

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-Lots of talk about dehyration. I carry some water but have found that water isn't enough to keep you hydrated. There are better choices but Gatoraide or similar will make a huge difference and these are available at almost every gas station

-If you don't wear ear plugs get some. These make a huge difference in the level of fatigue you will have.

-A couple of microfibre cloths -one dry and one wet in a bag- help keep visors clean with no hassle.

-My Givi bags have proven to be waterproof, but realize that if you have to open them in the rain water can get on things so still a good idea to have suff packed so that it stays dry. I have and E52 topcase which is always o nthe bike and also own E21 and E43 side cases. I much rather pack an extra bag behind me on the back seat then use the side cases.

-For flat tires an Air compresser along with a "worm" type flat repair kit are a good idea. (if you buy right these can fit under the seat.)

-Make sure you bring chain lube. Lubing after every tank of gas and with every ride in the rain can help your chain last a long time (mine go 40,000 to 45,000 miles.) Doing this means you won't likley ever have to adjust the chain on the rooad.

-Do any maintainance at the latest a few days before you leave and not the night before. That way if something isn't right you can find out before you hit the road.

-If you have moisture wicking underwear and socks (like the excellent Tilley Travel Socks) you only need to take three pairs of both socks and underwear. Wash at night in the motel sink and hang to dry They will be dry the next day. If you do get caught in the rain and get them wet they are still fairly comfortable.

-If you don't have (proven) rain gear or (proven) waterproof jacket and pants then Frogg Toggs make great rain gear and pack small. If you do have a waterproof jacket and pants Frogg Toggs make a great extra layer in case things get cooler than you think.

-I always made a point of stopping roughly every two hours, esecially when super-slabbing it.

-Out west in Nevada, etc there are lots of stretchs of road that don't have gas stations for many miles. Your GPS might say there are gas stations but you get to where they are and find out they are closed. (I have been told those Rock Cairns on the side of I95 have water and gas in case you get stuck. Fortunately I didn't have to try them out.)


-If you have done so previously, do a "shake out" ride ahead of time to make sure that the gear, erarplugs, etc are all comfy and work well.

..Tom
 

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My E21's are completely waterproof.
Same here. Same for all my Givi luggage, in fact -- I've ridden MANY miles in toad-strangler storms and not one drop of water has leaked into my Givis. Of course, you do want to be under an awning or something if you need to open them.


Why on earth don't yours "look waterproof"? Do they have speed holes drilled in them or something?
 

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Yes, do not forget to pack extra fuses. I blew one of the main's at a rest stop with no spare in the middle of no where and was stuck for half a day.

Ditto on the water. I carried three one liter bottles or two and a Gatorade at all times through the hottest parts of my tours and drink it all. Being hydrated is key to being fresh and also mitigating any cramping. Yeah, I am over 60 as well so take care of yourself first.

Pack half the gear you think you will need and take twice the cash.
 

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I have Givi's but I still pack everything in Ziplock bags. Once you squeeze the air out, it lets you pack everything tighter. Also, no funny smells transfer to your clothes. Absolutely get a Camelbak or other hydration pack. Dehydration on a bike is bad. I ended up in the hospital. Force yourself to drink early and often. If you aren't peeing, you aren't drinking enough.
Stop every 90minutes or so for 5 minutes. Stretch eat drink. You'll be much less tired at the end of the day. I find a dark tint shield really helps me feel cooler. A rain suit makes a great layer to cut the wind if you are feeling cold. Bring spare gloves. Waterproof boots or rain covers for your feet.
 
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