Friday, May 29, 2009

A few months back I told of the phone call I received inviting me to consider taking the trip of a lifetime: 16 days starting from San Fransico, north into Oregon and then east back towards home in Ohio.

Unfortunately, as the only person in a one man IT shop where I work there was just no way I could take 2 weeks off in a row. So, on July 3rd I will wish a dozen and a half of my local friends bon voyage from Port Columbus airport as they fly to the west coast to collect their motorcycles which started the trip via semi trailer 4 days earlier.

I was really envious of those that are making this trip. I enjoy their company and have never seen the beauty of the pacific northwest, or many of the places west of the Mississippi river, first hand. (There was a weekend sprint to Boulder, Colorado once, but I slept through most of that trip!)

Well, a couple of weeks ago while I was day dreaming about what I would miss, I said out loud to one of our cats, "Too bad this trip isn't for only one week. I can be away from work for a week. How far could I travel in a week?" Hmmm. Good question.

The answer, as it turns out, is about 1,300 miles away. Geographically speaking, I'd say about to Sturgis, South Dakota. Which, as it also turns out, is on the route my friends are taking on their trip.

So, to make a long story short, I will leave central Ohio a week after my friends fly out, and hook up with them 3 days later in Sturgis, SD. We'll spend a couple of days seeing the sights in and around the Black Hills and then start the 3 day trek back home.

To many riders (and readers) this 1,300 mile trip would be considered a short cruise around the block. But Lady is not a touring bike, although she dresses like one, and 300 miles in one day has left me stiff and saddle sore in the past. Making the trip in 400 mile per day segments will take a toll on me. I'm just not sure how much of a toll will be required.

I'll be riding solo for this trip. The Mrs. doesn't want to take time off this early in the year and knows that her maximum distance riding pillion is about 200 miles per day. But she has given me her blessing for this adventure which is saying something. She probably will replace the furniture or something like that while I'm gone. Happens nearly every time.

My neighbor, John, says he might join me on the journey. John, a retired navy master chief, has ridden American iron for 30 years and I would welcome his experience and company.

(Image:Faulkingham-Public Domain)

(Image:Public Domain)


So what advice do you have for someone that's riding a cruiser where only touring bikes normally tread?

Ride Safe!


D. Brent Miller said...

Doug, any bike will tour. Heck, you can ride around the world on just about anything. So, don't dismiss the capability of what you're riding. Do you know what the best motorcycle is? It's the one in your garage.

Have a safe trip.--Brent

Baron's Life said...

Doug, unfortunate you won't be making the complete ride that trip from San Fransisco to Oregon is picturesque no matter which route you take..well maybe next time.
I've ridden both and not much difference in the ride, except for, watch out for the wind tunnel effect when big daddy passes will pull a bit but you get used to it

Doug C said...

Brent - I suppose it all depends on what kind of premium one places on comfort. The machismo part of me says I need at least one lengthy ride on a nekkid bike. And you're right about the "best" bike. Thanks!

Baron - The wife hates it when that pull happens. If she's not paying attention, I'll hear a stiffled squeal of surprise which is a good thing. Wakes me up, too!


dave said...

Well I was hoping to get in a "big" ride this summer with my son, when I first read about your proposed trip I was more than a little envious. Since then the economy has harpooned my job and with it the chance to take the big one. Instead I ride 200 miles a day whenever I can find time and smile at the peace it gives me. I think the opportunity to do this with your wife's blessing is awesome!Ride on, ride safe...


Doug C said...

Dave - I fear this economy will get much worse before it gets better. But, here's to riding miles whenever and where ever you can.

irondad said...

If you haven't ridden that many miles a day before, do some practice runs beforehand. Don't take any gear that you haven't already ridden with and found to be satisfactory. You don't want to be a day or two into the trip and discover that the gear isn't right.

Most importantly, don't forget to have fun!

Doug C said...

Dan - I appreciate your advice. I have planned a couple of round trips that would stretch my miles/day experience toward that 500 mile range and was wondering if I was a little crazy to do that.

I may still be a little crazy but with your suggestion and advice, I think at least one behavior or characteristic has been eliminated.