Cross-Country Tour

Discussion in 'Trips & Events' started by 80sNight, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. 80sNight

    80sNight New Member

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    Here we go

    I am prepping for a cross-country trip that I will begin in mid-August. I will be making it on a VFR (Obviously), and expect it to take about 6 weeks.

    The reason I'm even bringing this up is because while I was explaining this to wgregt, he suggested I see if I could post up with fellow forum members on the way across. A wonderful idea, I thought, so I'm asking now:

    Who will be willing to take in a 21 year old fellow VFR fanatic. Money will be short, so I am offering most kinds of payment; I'll clean your house, your car, wash windows, watch your kids, cook dinner, just about anything. Nothing dirty, now, please. I may be a sexy young man, but I won't tickle your pickle for a place to stay. What I would be more than thrilled to do is take photographs of your motorcycle. I am at the New England School of Photography, studying to become a motorcycle journalist ( name a better job involving motorcycles, cameras, and writing; I dare you), so taking photographs of your bike(s) would not only be good for you (who doesn't like a good pic of their bike?), but it would be good for me too, because I always love some practice.

    I would stay for one night, maybe two if you want to take a ride together, but I can be unobtrusive if needed.

    Nothing is set in stone yet, but a general itinerary runs like this: Leave Boston the weekend after the 2nd week in August. I'm going to head straight to Virginia to visit my friend who will (hopefully still) be stationed there. From there, I plan to meander through the Appalachians/ down the coast, depending on where I will be staying. Other than the Coast Guard base in Virginia, the only other stops I know I want to make are: Tulsa, Big Sur, Carmel/ Leguna Seca, Victoria (BC), Toronto, and Quebec, with maybe a quick trip over to Nova Scotia. If you live at or between any of those locations and feel like putting up a polite young man who is only asking for a warm bed/ couch and maybe a meal if you feel up to it, please message me.

    Any comments/ suggestions/ critiques/ questions of or about my trip are more than welcome.
     
  2. Comicus

    Comicus New Member

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    I live about 30 miles southeast of Nashville TN. If you're coming through that way your more then welcome to crash at my house. My roomate is a photographer...you can check out some of his work at donwrightdesigns.com
     
  3. paul.miner

    paul.miner New Member

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    I live in Wichita, KS, so probably not along your route, but if you happen through Kansas, you're welcome.

    If you head up to Nova Scotia, be sure to follow the Cabot Trail. Really beautiful ride.

    A good rule of thumb when planning your route is to follow mountain ranges. To this end, click the "More" button in Google Maps and select "Terrain". I used this extensively when planning my last trip.
     
  4. 80sNight

    80sNight New Member

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    Right on guys, thanks!!

    Keep 'em coming, I have a whole nation to cover!
     
  5. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    You're welcome to my guestroom/garage/tools/bikes in SoCal whenever it fits your schedule for as long as you like, gratis, whether I'm in town those days or not...
     
  6. 80sNight

    80sNight New Member

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    As always, Greg, you are fantastic
     
  7. 80sNight

    80sNight New Member

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    Alright folks,
    I'm back at this after a break for the end of a year.

    I've got a few questions, a completely revised/ reversed itinerary, and a continued plea for places to stay.

    Questions:
    1. On taking a... 4th gen? A 1994 VFR 750, across the country and back. Is it a sound idea? The bike I'm buying now has 39k well-loved miles on it, and makes no noticeable mechanical noises aside from that sweet, sweet straight-cut gear whine. I'm planning on crossing some rather empty expanses of the continent, so I want to sure that choosing an older VFR is not a mistake... as long as it's sound when I take off on it, and all preventative maintenance is kept up with, can I count on a 94 VFR to get me across the country and back? Obviously, there is the problem of taking a bike that is now 16 years old, but from what I've read, these bikes are as reliable as the sky is blue.
    Which breaks down the question into parts:
    a. Is this a sound idea, if the bike is sound?
    b. Are parts for 94s, etc, readily available?
    c. Are there any kind of maintenance items that are particularly finicky to perform on the road?

    2. Gear.
    Has anyone here made a trip at all similar to this? I'd love to hear suggestions for both riding gear (Boots, gloves, jacket, pants), and gear-holding gear. I want to keep this light, and I understand this probably means I won't smell fantastic when I arrive, but that's a small compromise. I'm thinking luggage enough to hold 3 days worth of clothes, plus a film camera, a point-and-shoot, tools, a book... other things I shouldn't be forgetting but am.

    Love to hear from you guys, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
     
  8. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    On a VFR, don't leave home on a long trip without a multimeter, wire, electrical tape, and a spare voltage regulator. And, at a minimum, the factory tool kit.

    You ( or just about any VFRW member who doesn't have me on "ignore") are welcome to stay overnight with me if you're traveling I-90 in Western NY.

    Also have shop, tools, some spare parts, willing to help ANYONE here who's passing by.

    May be able to tow.

    716 873-0672 anytime
     
  9. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    As far as the bike, you are most likely just gonna need to lube the chain alot and make sure you have tires that are gonna last. As far as gear goes I like to travel light and purchase things as needed if I have to and hit laundromats as needed. Welcome to stay here in Sacramento if you want, will gladly put you up, feed you and wash your bike if your gonna ride that far. And if you stay with folks along the way do not be bashful aboot asking to wash clothes, it really is no sweat to use a washer and dryer and really makes a difference if you have clean clothes.
     
  10. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    I have made two trips from BC to central Cali. You can easily pack what you will need for just about any weather in a set or Cortech saddle bags, a trunk bag and a tank bag. Understand I was travelling form near freezing temps in rain and a touch of the flaky white stuff, to the warm climes of California. I carried clothing that lasted me pretty much two weeks with hand washing of some socks and gauchies from time to time. Not only did I wear the proper gear all the time, I also carried with me a rain suit and heated jacket and pant liners. Those were probably the most space consuming. Last time I also carried my notebook as well. Things were tight, but manageable. Enjoy your trip. Stay out of the Canadian Rockies after end of September. You never know when the snow comes there. I have actually seen the odd flake come down in the middle of summer but that is rare to be sure.

    And I agree 100% with Toe. Buy yourself a small can of lube and lube the chain end of every day. Also make sure you have the tools required to adjust your chain as needed. BTW. If you run into lots of rain, your shield will tend to fog up. I have tried just about everything and find that the best solution to this is to smear dish washing liquid on the inside of your screen. You have to leave a film so the screen looks a but dirty but you will quickly get used to that.
     
  11. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    Randy is the grand master of long rides on this forum. I would run with that.
     
  12. DKC

    DKC New Member

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    I live just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. We can put you up for a night. If we're on your way, give me a heads up so I can take the day off from work. Pm my info.
     
  13. 80sNight

    80sNight New Member

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    You guys are FANTASTIC!

    Before I get along to acknowledging everything, i realize I forgot to map out my route. I figure it would be good to know. It has reversed since my OP. I am going to start by heading out to Nova Scotia. Half of my family is from there, and I have a very strange draw to get out there. From there, I head to Qu├ębec City, then to Thunder Bay/ that area. From there I ride the plains to Saskatoon (anyone know if there are any good roads that will cut the tedium of straight highways out there?). From Saskatoon, I head to Vancouver, hop on the ferry, and on to Vancouver Island. I have friends in Victoria metro and just south of Nanaimo. I will spend probably 4 days just riding on Vancouver Island. After that, I head to Washington State, and follow the coast down to Oregon. From Oregon, I continue to follow the coast to North California, and again, follow the coast. I WILL make a stop at Point Reyes, just north of San Fransisco. Then I want to explore Riding heaven... I mean, California, so all y'all living in California should expect to see me. This should be by early September. Then, I head from LA through Las Vegas, through Arizona to Colorado, then to Wichita, then to Tulsa to visit a few more friends. I then want to make it down to New Orleans, then up into the Appalaichas in Georgia, all the way to NY, and back to following I-90 back into Mass.

    Hope that clarifies things. To be honest, if a warm bed is presented, I may alter my route to get to it, but it depends on how much more time it takes. I have to be back in Mass by the last week in September, as I start school in October.

    Now,
    1. Squirrelman. Thank you very much! I'd just like to let you know you are still not on ignore here, nor on the VTR250 site where I originally encountered your unique humor. I will definitely take you up on that offer! Do you still have a VTR250, and does it run? I'd love to see one in action. That and your NT650 Hawk. Anywho, I will fill you in on the details when I get them.
    2. Toe, thanks a bunch! I think my baby would love a bath after a trip like this. Also, tip much appreciated, and I've been at that since I've had my VF500F; I rode that thing far more than I expected. Again, I'll let you know more when I do.
    3. Randy, glad to hear from a far more experienced tourer than I. I'm hoping to pack quite light, maybe a set of Cortech saddlebags and a tank bag; about 3 days worth of clothes plus the ones on my back. Will making it through the Canadian Rockies by the end of August give me more of a chance of decent weather? I am bringing a notebook, a GoPro, a film camera, and a point-and-shoot to document the trip (hopefully write a book). Good tip with the dish washing soap on the face shield. Look forward to hearing from you, mate.
    4. Dan, emailed you. Boom

    Thanks, folks, I look forward to hearing from more of you!
     
  14. Yonan

    Yonan New Member

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    I'm in central CA. 90 miles south of Sacramento. If you need to you can stop here. I have an extra room, washer/dryer, and plenty of room in the garage for your bike. Might be out of your way though if your riding down the coast.

    Turlock, Ca 95382
    209-345-7862
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  15. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Stay in touch as you move along. Man, that is one epic ride and I will bow to you on this one. You are likely to ride within a mile of my place when you travel the Trans Canada through Chilliwack. Chilliwack is where you finally hit flat land again. You will recognize it by the smell of cow shit. And man it intensifies in your helmet. Give me a shout closer to when you are going to be through. We should be able to at least do lunch if I am around.

    You will be about 1.5 hours from the ferries to Vancouver Island at that time. If I were you, I would take the Tsawwassen Ferry south of Vancouver to Schwartz Bay near Victoria rather than the Departure Bay Ferry to Nanaimo.

    2011 is a bad time for me around that time of the year. Well I guess a good time really. There are two trips to Winnipeg for weddings, wedding anniversaries around then and a Scotland trip as well. My wife and I are also celebrating 25 years around then too. Somewhere around then there will also be a trip with a couple others on bikes for a couple days through Washington and Oregon. I am having beers with them in a week or so. Who knows, we may just work it out that we ride some of the way with you but cannot promise that.

    Just before you go, start up a thread and those who are interested can follow along with you and envy your ability to just fuck off and go when you want.

    BTW. There is nothing you can do about the boredome of Saskatchewan. You will be going through Drumheller ALberta after Saskatoon. Very worhty of a side trip for a few hours. Another option for you is to trip directly west from Saskatoon on Hwy 16 to Edmonton and then over to Jasper Down Hwy 93 through Lake Louise and down to Banf. Then back the the Trans Canada heading west. You have a multitude of avenues from there to take though the rest of the Rockies and Cascades, all of them quite scenic. I haven't ridden that route but I hear enough about it that it will be done. I have ridden the south from Kaslo through to vernon and back to Chilliwack on some of the nicest bike riding roads you.will ever encounter. I drove it once with my 3/4 ton truck pulling a fifth wheel and found myself dragging a knee in that too. Wife wouldn't talk to me for days after that.
     
  16. crustyrider

    crustyrider New Member

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    I'm here in Santa Barbara so if your coming down the coast there are a ton of folks here in central/southern California.... firm up your travel route and we see what we see
     
  17. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    I live in the center of the best riding in cali and you'll most likely come through here. You are welcome to stop and stay here as many days as necessary to r/r. You might be forced to drink a beer or two with me. Look up where Atascadero, CA is or just check the link to my ride reports at the bottom of all my messages for a taste of where I ride.

    peace.
     
  18. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    The problem with riding through Reggies back yard is that in the evening, the weather usually turns drunk. You will appreciate a stay with the Tour Master himself. Been there twice, and will sorrowfully be missing a year. I would take him up on the offer.
     
  19. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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  20. SilverSurferRWB

    SilverSurferRWB Member

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    Sounds like a grand plan for this trip! I'm in the Bay Area, about 15 minutes east of San Francisco. If you can't make it all the way to TOE's place in Sacramento then I might have some space for you when you are near San Fran and Point Reyes (30-40 minutes away). I can at least give you a place to stop and wash some clothes and get a bite to eat or bend a wrench or 2.

    If you must make a stop then Randy, TOE and Reggie's are the best destinations in CA(nada) and CA(lifornia). Although you will probably get real drunk in 2 out of 3 of those places but most likely all 3! PM me if you think you need route assistance near San Fran, Point Reyes and the area.
     
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