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Topic: New to Long Rides  (Read 2473 times)

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Süsser Tod
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« on: April 02, 2012, 12:11:54 PM »

Two years ago I tried riding from Mexico City to San Antonio, TX. I failed miserably.  

I did several things wrong back then. I tried it on my XT660R, with nothing more than a backpack and a tankbag. The tankbag was almost full with my rain gear, so all of my clothes were on my backpack, with my laptop. Obviously, my backpack was heavy and eventhough I'm used to commuting with my laptop on the backpack, I'm not used to riding for that long with so much weight on my back. But what really went wrong was the weather, I tried it in the middle of winter... And I timed it perfectly to ride into a mass of polar air in the mountains...

So I had to go back home, I never made it past Monterrey, Mexico.

This year I had planned to ride to San Antonio with 3 other guys. It seems that neither one of them will be able to go, so it's just me. I already spent a bit of time and money preparing:

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll55/acorredorv/4449ade3.jpg

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll55/acorredorv/db2c0234.jpg

XJR1300 with SW Motech alu rack topcase carrier, SW Motech Quick Lock Evo pannier racks, Givi V46 topcase and E41 panniers.

The XJR is much more comfortable for long rides than the XT660, I've already done 500 mile days on her, but never a multiple day ride.

The main goal would be to cross the border on my bike on Laredo, TX. then ride to San Antonio and come back to Mexico via McAllen. As you can see, it's not really a long ride, in fact, it would be a 1 day ride each way for an Iron Butt rider.

Day 1 - Mexico City to Laredo, TX is 1123km or 700 miles.
Day 2 - Laredo TX, to San Antonio, TX is 156 miles.
Day 3 - San Antonio, Tx to McAllen, TX is 240 miles.
Day 4 - McAllen TX to Mexico City, 1150km or 720 miles. (there is a shorter route, by 120 miles, but I rather not ride those roads)

It's not really THAT far, not that many miles each day. I might do a bit of shopping, but that would be it.


How should I plan this? What should I bring with me, what should I leave at home?

What about gear?
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 12:23:34 PM »

Preparing for Long Distance Motorcycle Touring

Bigsmile

And enjoy the ride. I'm taking a nice San Diego to Key West trip in May.

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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 12:28:33 PM »




Will you be in the MidAtlantic region at all? I can buy you a beer and a meal.  Thumbsup


Denver -> Monterey -> San Diego -> Tulsa -> Richmond VA -> Key West -> Tampa -> Denver.

Am I close? Smile

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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 03:28:17 PM »

I was supposed to be riding with three other guys, officially 2 of them are out, and I don't really get along with the remaining one nor I don't like how he rides, I rather ride alone than with him.

I have to think about it... The last time that I tried, and failed, I was by myself.


Is it too far to ride?
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 03:46:42 PM »

^ like frenchie says

as far as what to take, that's highly variable depending on the weather conditions you'll see, and whether you've heated gear, rain gear, and thing of that nature.

If you're not camping, that makes it much easier (in terms of packing) . . . .. when going on a multi-day trip that might involve me getting soaked, I try to pack shorts/t-shirts/socks X the number of days I'll be gone plus 2.

I HATE having wet feet.

it's not like you'll be riding through the desolation of eastern siberian, so packing fuel and oil will likely not be needed . . . .I have no idea what you'd need to cross into the states, and back out again, but I'm sure you do.

My most enjoyabloe trips have been where I was fully prepared to abandon my plans to go elsewhere, or at least take longer to get to my destination. PLanning is good, but the sense of freedom that attends the willingness to just go walkabout is hard to beat.
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 03:49:14 PM »

Only if you think its so.  You've done 500 mile days.  How did your body react?  Were you sore the next morning?  ibuprofen is your friend when doing multiple long days.  Start with 2 in the morning before leaving and one every four hours after. 

What's your time frame?  A week, 10 days?  Four days?  Divide the mileage for the trip by days and look at it realistically. 

Gear - wear what you normally wear.  Does riding in rain and being wet bother you?  If no, skip the rain gear, toss your valuables in a ziplock bag and go.  Motelling?  A couple changes of clothes, a couple credit cards and a road atlas.  Lay out each day on a sheet of paper, put it in your tank bag window and go.

The old adage is lay everything you want to take out on the floor, put 2/3rds of it back and add a credit card.   Wink. Seriously, with your set up, I could ride for a month with camping gear!


Go, have fun and write us a trip report.  It's good for you to get it all written out and see what you just accomplished.  It'll set everything in your memory forever.
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 04:17:18 PM »

Here are a few thoughts.

Bring water. Drink lots of water, regularly. The hotter it is, the more water you need to drink. I recommend using something like a Camelbak: http://www.camelbak.com/

Pace yourself. Budget your time so you don't have to force yourself to ride long distances to meet a deadline.

I believe in ATGATT ("all the gear, all the time"): full-face helmet, leather and/or armored jacket and pants (or one-piece suit), gloves, and boots. If your gear is not waterproof, a rain suit will help keep you dry and comfortable.

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Süsser Tod
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 05:18:27 PM »

The first time I tried it I ended up facing a mass of polar air in the mountains. 100kms to the next city, visibility was nill, temperature was close to freezing, my gear was not up to the task... Took me 3 hours to ride the 100kms to Monterrey. That was a nightmare. I couldn't see anything, I was following the lights of a truck in front of me and another truck was behind me, I could barely see the line to my left on the pavement. When I got to Monterrey I had hypothermia, I noticed as I wasn't shivering anymore, and everyone else seemed to be moving so fast.

I've done this, in a car, and leaving home at 5:00 I've managed to get to Laredo by 15:00.

It's just that the last time was so bad, that... Dunno, I fear the next time might be just as bad if not worse.


Yeah, I was sore after the last 500 mile day. But we were pushing it in the twisties, and we did spend around 9 hours on the saddle as we were not just munching miles. It was also on the XJR, a very comfy bike.
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2012, 05:27:52 PM »

In my opinion, it wuzn't the luggage that doomed your voyage...it wuz the cold weather.

nuthin saps your enthusiasm like an arctic blast.

I suspect if it had been warmer, you would have completed the trip.

People have died trying to ride in temperatures below 50 F degrees, so that's my cut off point.

Don't ride at night either cuz of the danger of hitting a deer.
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 05:35:04 PM »

Just get out and ride.  Nothing prepares you for riding better than......riding.

Pack what you think you'll need trying not to over pack.  You can always pickup anything you really need along the way.  When you get home go though what you took and get rid of stuff you didn't really need (not including tire repair kit)

I think people get hung up and suffer from paralysis by analysis.  Just go and have fun.
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 09:45:22 PM »

You'll be fine.  Those distances are plenty easy - just make sure you have raingear and enjoy the ride.
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Süsser Tod
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 10:22:18 PM »


In my opinion, it wuzn't the luggage that doomed your voyage...it wuz the cold weather.

nuthin saps your enthusiasm like an arctic blast.

I suspect if it had been warmer, you would have completed the trip.

People have died trying to ride in temperatures below 50 F degrees, so that's my cut off point.

Don't ride at night either cuz of the danger of hitting a deer.


You're probably right. If the cold weather hadn't hit so hard, the last three hours I spent riding would have got me quite close to the border, and I would have been in much better spirits. Temperature must have been around 40 if not high 30s, it was awfully cold. I was wearing the gear that I used when commuting in 36F mornings... I guess I was missing heated gear.

I did see deer signs close to the border, and I guess deer don't really care about the border, so I guess there must be deer on the other side. When should I call it quits and stop riding? I don't really have to worry for cattle around here, well, just for the 2 legged kind of sheeple.


Just get out and ride.  Nothing prepares you for riding better than......riding.

Pack what you think you'll need trying not to over pack.  You can always pickup anything you really need along the way.  When you get home go though what you took and get rid of stuff you didn't really need (not including tire repair kit)

I think people get hung up and suffer from paralysis by analysis.  Just go and have fun.


With two 41 liter panniers and a 46 topcase? I'm planning to bring the kitchen sink with me. Well, don't really know... I think it's actually kind of silly...

I mean, I'm planning 4 days, with 2 of those days being solid riding and an extra day in case I decide to visit somewhere else. I will be wearing my riding gear most of the time, so I guess bringing 4 t-shirts, underwear, jeans and toiletries would be enough, plus my laptop and a camera, two cell phones (two different carriers), tire repair kit and air compressor. I think I could pack everything in y topcase no problem.


You'll be fine.  Those distances are plenty easy - just make sure you have raingear and enjoy the ride.


I'm thinking of wering a mesh jacket with a rain liner, a hoodie under that, textile riding pants with rain and thermal liners, waterproof boots and regular gloves, plus waterproof gloves in the luggage. I doubt I'll need more than that, but...

How do you guess what kind of gear to wear? I've tried following the weather reports, but they give the temperature in the cities, not in the roads around them nor the interstates, and the difference in temperature is sometimes unbelievable. That's what happened last time, while in Monterrey the city was around 38F, the mountains were closer to 32F.
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 10:24:53 PM »

Another thought:

Will you be traveling in cold conditions again?

If so, maybe you should consider wearing a heated vest or heated inner jacket under your riding gear.

There are several reputable companies out there. My gear was made by Gerbings:

http://gerbing.com/

Which type of gear you should choose depends in part on the electrical output of your bike.
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 10:46:29 PM »

Hope not, this would be... Next thursday April 5th through April 9th. Weather forecast says it will rain in my way back home, and that is kinda scary, as i know it doesn't rain a lot in the northern cities, and it gets really slippery.
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2012, 10:58:11 PM »

Some thoughts:
1. Don't ride with the other rider that U dislike. Might ruin the ride.
2. I question the use of mesh if U might get in cold temps.
3.Don't overpack. It will change your handling and make your bike heavier for no reason.
4.Try to devide your days into 400 miles segments.
5. Motel it--a good nights sleep is very important.
6. Start at sun up and end at 6pm.
7.Look at LD comfort riding shorts. A game changer.
8.Stop for gas with a half a tank if possible.
9. Trust your gut-Don't stop to help if it doesn't look right.
10. When U complete a solo ride U will feel fantastic!
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2012, 10:59:42 PM »

Another tip: put your lightest stuff in the top box, and the heaviest stuff in the saddlebags.
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2012, 02:47:03 AM »


People have died trying to ride in temperatures below 50 F degrees, so that's my cut off point.


Dude, are you kidding me?

50??? That's like preferred riding temps to me. Damn.
Guzzi riders.  Lol Lol

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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 03:24:05 PM »


I did see deer signs close to the border, and I guess deer don't really care about the border, so I guess there must be deer on the other side. When should I call it quits and stop riding?

Someone once posted a graph here showing the percentage of deer strikes during a 24 hour period. They spiked significantly at dusk and remained high during darkness, then spiked again at dawn.


Dude, are you kidding me?

50??? That's like preferred riding temps to me. Damn.

You might have died and not even realized it.

Kinda proves my point.
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2012, 04:07:25 PM »

You mean something like this?



This one is from Kentucky.

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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 12:12:04 PM »


Just get out and ride.  Nothing prepares you for riding better than......riding.

Pack what you think you'll need trying not to over pack.  You can always pickup anything you really need along the way.  When you get home go though what you took and get rid of stuff you didn't really need (not including tire repair kit)

I think people get hung up and suffer from paralysis by analysis.  Just go and have fun.



Paralysis by anxiety. I'm a worrier. I've been having trouble sleeping this whole week just thinking about the possibility of doing this trip.

I've done it in a car, it's very easy. I've done long days on the bike, but not THAT far, the last ride included riding to vineyards, and we spent quite a bit of time there and playing in the twisties.

To me, my biggest challenge is to overcome my mind, anxiety and, fear? I have trouble calling it fear, as I'm not afraid of anything in particular, just my heart races with the mere thought of it.
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