Ya can't do it all....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jim C-G, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    at least in one year. Just publicly musing here.
    So, I've got an 8 week and a 3 week trip planned for this year. Trying to keep focused on my primary goal of what I am calling a "lazy, jagged 4 corners". Tofino is on the list (sister in Duncan, BC anyway), southern California, Florida panhandle (just to say I got to Florida). Trying to stay off the interstates as much as possible. Planning on camping 90% of the time and looking at a lot of BML and FS campgrounds, rustic, basic and cheap (or free). With camping and secondary roads, I'm looking at an average of 400-500 km. ride days and taking every 5th or 6th day as a "day of rest". i.e. stay in one place and day trip it to sites of interest.
    Got to arrange for both front and back tires (and oil) in California it looks like and another rear tire (and oil) half way back. Getting into the 27 to 30,000 km round trip range.
    Although I'm retired, there are always some time juggling. If things fall totally in place, I have a course in New York State at the end of May and then head south, then west, then northish lol... north, and return to the Atlantic provinces at the first of August. Then I have an Ontario and new England 3 weeks planned in September. Trying to stay out of Utah, Arizona and the other southern states in July and August.
    Backup plan... if things get bolloxed with all those things that have to fall into place, I'll do 3 weeks at the end of May and then start the 4 corners at the first of August going counterclockwise with going across Canada first and then south, east and north.
    Who knows, this could lead into 6 months of boondocking every year while I am healthy.
    So many places to see, but this year, I just want to get totally around the continent. I have crossed it once with the bike but that was a straighter line out and back. I cannot do every iconic tourist site (don't want to) or every great motorcycle road in one season. Got to leave something for next year and the year after.
    One issue so far... too many relatives and old school mates coming out of the woodwork and saying I "have to visit" them. Some are just being polite I am sure... but it would add 2 weeks to the trip right now lol. I guess I will have to tell a few of them "Next year... I'll visit you next year."
    Planning and prepping... and not writing things in stone but keeping them fluid.
    Now, I just need it to warm up so I can get to bike maintenance.
     
  2. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Any thoughts of leaving the bike in a more southerly location for the winter? Trash's Phoenix winterlude seems to allow an early start to the season without having to relive an Octobrrr return in the cold.
     
  3. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    I've thought about that. Probably not this year but it may be a viable solution in coming years. I've set our Thanksgiving weekend as my date to be back in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia.
     
  4. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    A few years ago, I embarked upon a North America tour. Extremely ambitious itinerary that I ultimately failed to complete for a number of reasons. Mostly, I was trying to fit in too much stuff in too short a timeframe (only had four weeks - working for a living is a real bitch sometimes). Weather, traffic and fatigue conspired against me and I aborted the trip after about a third of the way through. I wrote up a post-mortem on the FJR forum in relation to this trip. You might find some of it interesting. Maybe helpful?
    http://www.fjrforum.com/forum//inde...s-i-learned-on-my-summer-vacation/?hl=lessons

    The posting includes a Mapsource/Basecamp link to my route that can be downloaded and saved.
     
    Bob likes this.
  5. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    @RossKean Really good write up. I've had a couple of pretty miserable camping trips but they were all much shorter in duration. When I did the cross continent in 2008, I did 22,000 km in 31 days but 4 of those were staying put at a conference, 1 day off in LA and 1 day off in Vancouver. I pulled a few too many 800-1200 km days. I think my tentative plan, this time, has mostly 400 km days with a few in the 700 range. I do have a few places that I need to be within a couple of days of a date, but I'm looking at some flexibility in between those dates. The tent trailer gives me a little more leeway in some ways. Planning videos coming up. Hoping to do as many free campsites as possible. It will be an adventure for sure.
     
  6. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    As both murph and RossKean have alluded to, the concept of a four corners tour sounds sexy, but in my experience, once one is committed to such a plan, you soon find yourself having to decide whether to “stop and smell the roses”, or push on, on a regular basis. The very first long trip I took, at the tender age of 21, covered virtually every State west of the Mississippi River, and was accomplished in 17 days, and over 7,500 miles. When I got back home, I bragged of my great adventure, but the truth is, I don’t remember seeing much of anything, as I was riding past at 60 mph. I have never attempted such a trip since.
    You, of course, will not have the same restriction of a two week vacation to limit you like I did in those days, but with that said, I guess my point is, don’t let your grand plans prevent you from enjoying the moment. And, as murph said, despite my initial trepidation about storing my bike in a strange place was concerned, it was awfully nice to be able to get re-acquainted with it with two feet of snow on the ground back home!
     
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  7. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    I have figured out that after 5 days on the road I get crabby. Nothing personal to whoever I am riding with but shit seems to happen on the 5th day so I tend to have an easy day if I can.
     
  8. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    I've been invited to ride Siberia/Mongolia/ Stans in 2020. On the back end it has been suggested I leave my bike in Europe for the next season to ride the TET and Africa. Decisions, decisions...
     
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  9. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    Hey Mike,
    With once in a lifetime opportunities like those, what’s to decide?
    Time to startup the Great Adventure of 2020 Fund!
     
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  10. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    That sounds like a fantastic trip... or two.
     
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    Bob likes this.
  12. Bob

    Bob Active Member

  13. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Nice RR on the FJR forum. Just a comment on the 'fatigue' issue you raised. My brother is an FJR guy too. He bought a GL1800 thinking it might be a better two up tourer and rode it across Canada towing a trailer. When he got out to BC he left it there over the Winter and in the Spring he traded it on a new FJR for the ride back to Newfoundland. The only mod he's done to the FJR is a custom backrest for his wife and the Yamaha highway pegs for himself... more like footrests but you'll know what I'm talking about.
    Regarding fatigue, he could ride longer distances in more comfort two up on a 'Sport Tourer' than on a proper 'Touring Bike' which cost almost twice s much. He never could sort out the Goldwing's ergos to his liking plus he found the Wing's weight (two up loaded plus trailer) was too much in the heat. Sometimes less is more.:)
     
  14. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    So far I've only compressed one but I was already an inch shorter by 40 from 20 years of flat landings.:p
     
  15. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    I put almost 300,000 km on my 2007 FJR. Still ran like a top when I sold it and bought a 2011 FJR last season. Ergos are not perfect but, like your brother, I never found the GL1800 especially comfortable the few times I rode one belonging to a friend. (FJR needs a new seat and windscreen at the very least. I might try the (slightly forward) highway pegs on this one.) I also had a Yamaha Venture for a couple of years that had great initial comfort starting out on a ride but became painful after a few hours. 1200 km on the highway on several successive days is not a big problem if I have to get somewhere in a reasonable hurry although I prefer to do less.
    As far as the long distance trips are concerned, I think I would have been fine on that one if I had about 50% more time available than I had planned. It was a great route and there were interesting things to see and do along the way as well as people I expected to meet up with. The "solo" aspect didn't really bother me much but insufficient short-term planning meant that I often found that I ended out staying in a relatively expensive motel rather than an affordable campground. Next time, I will still have a detailed route with a general idea of where/when as I did the last time but I would develop a running 48 hour detailed plan that included stops for the night, reservations and even a general idea of lunch stops etc. Reviewed and extended another 24 hours each evening with current and forecast conditions on weather, traffic and fatigue included in the considerations. The stress of trying to keep up to the "Plan" contributed to the fatigue as much as the physical effort involved.
    Jim will have less difficulty than I had because, as a retired individual, he will be more flexible with respect to taking a day off or wandering off the planned itinerary. Also, having the tent trailer would make an enormous difference with the ability to park almost anywhere for the night in decent comfort - irrespective of the weather. The ability to carry more "stuff" is a two-edged sword but sometimes would be nice - decent stuff for more complex cooking and a decent stock of food in a good cooler. On the other hand, I'm not sure I would want to drag a trailer for that sort of trip. The bike doesn't really care much (tons of power) but it does diminish some of the enjoyment of curvy roads, more difficult to park in some locations and causes the bike to suck a bunch more gas.

    I was hoping to do Alaska this year but I think it is less likely. A co-worker has encountered some medical issues and is likely to be off for a few months. This means I may not be able to take off for and extended period. Maybe next year...
     
  16. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    It will be an interesting trip for me discipline-wise. I too am guilty of riding far too long each day especially when I am riding alone. Just drinking in the sights and not knowing when to quit. The longest trip I took before was 32 days, but 4 were at a conference. 22,000 km in 26 days of riding (plus 2 rest days) and, although I have some photos and videos, it still was a wonderful blur and I spent too many nights in hotels. I'm going to try to keep my riding hours down. I am also plotting on almost all secondary roads and trying to stay at BLM and FS campgrounds. They are normally off the beaten track a bit. The other thing that will be slowing me down, which is a good thing, is the amount of video and photos I want to take on this trip. It will give me content for my YouTube channel all winter. It's really a matter of slowing me and the world down a bit. I have a few iconic tourist stops such as the Grand Canyon as well as a few quirky stops like the gate to Area 51 in Groom Lake, Nevada.
    Ross is right about watching out for how much stuff I can carry lol... I'm not finding it changing my ride thru twisties too much, yes, it does cut down on gas mileage by about 10%. I have only got myself in a situation once where I had to unhook to turn the bike and trailer around. Took 5 min. max..
    Most of us will break camp and ride for a bit before stopping for a breakfast that someone else makes. I will possibly lose some time each day changing that routine. It will be interesting to see how I can change-up my evening meals with the cooler and stove as well as fire where possible. I can see doing road side stops for lunch with the cooler... make my own sandwiches and maybe I will take the little burner for quick roadside coffee? There will be times in the southwest where I am going to want a diner with air conditioning I am sure lol.
    My only logistics juggle is whether I start the long trip in May or August... either work for me.
     
  17. Bob

    Bob Active Member

     
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  18. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Ordered this in December, got it in March. Just thought I'd throw a pic up here as this is starting to kinda sorta feel like a 'trip planning thread'.
    IMG_1477.jpeg
     
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  19. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    Hey Bob,
    That publication proved to be absolutely indispensable on our 2011 Alaska Trip.
    It is literally all that you need to tour the state, as well as the routes in. ;)
     
  20. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Yep, had one on our 2016 ride to Alaska, very detailed. Chapters tried to sell me their 2018 edition for full price in Dec! I shrewdly ordered the 2019 edition for the same price. :p
     

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