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The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

  1. #51
    Rookie Rada's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Nothing but respect!!!

    Great write ups and fantastic pics.

    Keep them coming.

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  2. #52
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Day 12 7/18. Out by 8:30 from Asheville, NC and directly onto the BRP. Today was a challenging day for managing time and distance distance. The goal was 400 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway in 10 hours. based on previous days, this seems easy, but the speed limit on the BRP is 45 and it's a reasonable number considering the curves, switchbacks and patrols. add in a stunning view at almost every overlook and it could easily be a two day trip. so the key would be consistency. I decided to take this on in one hour chunks, aiming for 40 miles per segment. Overall, I came very close and found time for a lot of good pictures, even though it wasn't as clear as I would have liked.

    Here's the play by play. At 9:30, 33 miles in, at Craggy Gardens.







    10:30, 68 miles, Table Rock Mtn.





    11:30, 113 miles at Boone's Trace.





    12:30, 155 miles at Basin Cove Overlook. I should cross into Virginia in about 25 miles. Reached Virginia at 1:15.





    Stopped at 1:30, 192 miles, to take a picture on a hay bale.



    By 2:50 I had stopped for gas, a quick snack and had 234 miles when I stopped at Rock Castle Gorge.







    Stopped at 4:30 with 306 miles, 100 to go, at Taylor Mtn. 5:30, 352miles at Punch Bowl Mtn. Overlook.







    6:20, 20 Minute Cliff and a few more pictures. 19 miles of BRP left.




    Finished up for the day in Waynesboro, VA with 410 miles for the day and over 5,000 miles for the trip so far.

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  3. #53
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Day 13, 7/19. On the road by 7:30 because I can taste being home tomorrow and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Donna, Andrew, Matt and Ginger. I miss all of them. By 7:40 I'm on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP and taking pictures at the McCormick Gap Overlook.



    32 miles in at Big Run overlooks or some pictures. Stopped at Naked Creek overlook to see if the creek was really naked and to get Mosquitos out of the inside of my helmet!

    .


    Passed through probably my 20th tunnel and fomally took a picture, the stopped at Mount Marshall overlook.




    By 10:10, I had ridden 107 miles and stopped at something called the Massanutten, which is some kind of a specific kind of hill formation, but mostly because it is what some considered me for taking this trip in the first place.







    1:00 at Gettysburg in the cyclorama for a little history and rest. The show was great and I quickly toured the museum as well, must come back here for a full day. after a picture with Abe, it was off to home, or as close as I could get tonight.



    At 4:45 I stopped for coffee in Whitehall, PA. I know I'm getting close to home because I just drove by the first Dunkin donuts I've seen since we left Logan Airport!

    My last destination was the Delaware water gap, a short, but pretty ride along the PA / NJ border. There was a bridge closing about 20 miles in and I took it as a sign, it was time to go home. I set the GPS to put me on I-84 and hunkered down until I crossed the Hudson River, pulling in at Fishkill for the night. Tomorrow will be a short, 210 mile hop home.

    A great trip so far, one day to go!

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  4. #54
    Action Figure Model SP GSX-R's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    subscribed as well! Amazing trip.

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    Sladic aka Slush
    K7 GSX-R 600 - STOLEN JULY 16th 2012

  5. #55
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Well, I say that anyone who would naysay such a fine adventure is Massanutten at best (if not actually Meshuggenah). ;D

    PhilB

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    "A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper." -- Ludwig von Mises
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  6. #56
    Bullshit meter pegged scottfromboston's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Wow. Two weeks. Inspiring! I could see myself doing this...

    Safe trip home, Steve.

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    ~Scott
    2020 SMC-R

  7. #57
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Day 14, 7/20 What is this stuff falling out of the sky? It looks like my rain gear will get a workout today. Yesterday took me through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. I should reach Connecticut early this morning and then stay on I-84 and I-90 home. No pictures to day, as the objective is to make steady progress through the rain and arrive home safe at 2:00.

    A mere 35 miles from home, I'm taking my last break at the Natick plaza on the Mass. Pike. I know it will be nuts when I get home, what with the welcoming parade through town and all, so I figured I'd get a few notes about today's ride down before I got home. I hit the road at 8:30 in a steady rain. At 9:00 I reached Connecticut, and stopped for gas about 10:15. The rain had not let up. Massachusetts arrived at 11:00 and after 2.5 hours on the road in a steady rain, it suddenly stopped. I'd like to say Massachusetts greeted her native son with a warm sunny embrace, but I'll settle for the rain stopped and the temperature finally hit 60.

    My rain gear worked, mostly, and I'm looking forward to my last short leg home. The last leg was uneventful, thank goodness, and I was greeted by Donna and Matt and a giant "Welcome "home" sign over the driveway. 5,693 miles and 17 states in 14 days.

    Tomorrow, I'll organize the pictures in better order and wrap this up with a short epilogue on the trip and the gear.


    The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.-cactidiliniakymdmanyncorpasdtnvawylg-jpg

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  8. #58
    Posting Freak idratherberidin's Avatar
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    Welcome home! So only one day of rain? (Unless I missed something) That's a good average.

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  9. #59
    Lifer burnham's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Awesome.

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  10. #60
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Congrats and welcome home. Thanks for the pics along the way. JT

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  11. #61
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    Welcome back.

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  12. #62
    Lifer gumby's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Congrats and welcome home.
    I tip my hat (or helmet) to you... truly an experience of a lifetime!

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  13. #63
    Senior Member Bkilm's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    I was holding off on this on friday, so i didnt jinx you. Happy to see you made this trip safely! You have inspired me to do this at some point in my life. Please do not think that all Nesr riders are racers or trackriders only, As you can see from this thread Even the racers enjoyed seeing your adventure!

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    Black/Green 09 600RR (street)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degsy View Post
    Anyone here ever had to do an emergency figure "8"?
    Quote Originally Posted by KawiSmurf View Post
    Yah, I was being chased by bee. He was too quick to lose on the first u-turn, but I ditched him on the second one.

  14. #64
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Epilogue

    I've had a week to relax and review the cross-country trip. I always like to take some time to process before coming to any conclusions about changes I would make if I did it again.

    THE TRIP

    First, the trip itself was terrific and I would highly recommend doing something like this. The variety of landscape, terrain and climate in the country is amazing, and I only saw tiny slices of it. There is so much more to see and ride. If you think about it and assume about 1 mile average visibility, I saw an infinitesimally small portion of the country. So, while I have ridden across the country, I have certainly not seen the country.

    I think of the trip in 5 segments. Segment 1 was the 3 day trip up the California coast. It was absolutely beautiful, but I know there was a lot more to see and ride inland. I left California knowing that it could be a lifetime of riding just by itself.

    Segment 2 was the days I spent sightseeing at Crater Lake, The Oregon desert the Craters of the Moon, Idaho's high desert, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and The South Dakota Badlands. Literally something new and fantastic each day. The Oregon desert was the only place where I felt a bit scared on the road alone. It was so desolate that I had a thought that a mechanical failure and the lack of cell service would certainly lead to my rotting carcass being picked apart by wild animals! Fortunately, the engineers at Honda were kind enough to prevent that.

    Segment 3 was the flyover of endless prairies and cornfields to get from the Badlands to Knoxville, TN. With consecutive days of 560, 736 and 356 miles, almost all of it on two lane roads, I pushed myself to extend my range, cover ground and make time for the great riding that awaited my in the eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina area.

    The next 2 days, segment 4, were pure riding bliss. Although Knoxville, TN to Asheville, NC is only 82 miles, I rode over 300 miles on some of the best roads imaginable to get there. This day, more than any other, reminded me that this trip was about great riding, great roads and great landscape and not just getting from point to point. The second day was about 400 miles, all on the same road, as I spent the day on the Blue ridge Parkway winding my way northeast through beautiful scenery and one great mountain pass after another.

    The tail end of the trip, days 13 and 14 were the only time I really "hit the slab" of interstate. The Shenandoah NP was nice, but not quite the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Gettysburg was a perfect rest and a must-return destination. But after leaving Gettysburg, I could feel home calling and put my head down to make time to set up and easy day on day 14. In a somewhat fitting event, the lack of rain I had seen for 13 days across the country was offset be a steady rain that morning which accompanied me all the way from Fishkill, NY to the Massachusetts border near Sturbridge. 120 miles and 2.5 hours of solid soak left me pretty soggy when I stopped to change at a rest stop on the Mass. Turnpike, but dry clothes and better weather combined to make the very last leg uneventful.

    THE BIKE

    What can I say except mechanical perfection? I will admit that I was a bit hesitant about undertaking this ride on my VFR. I'd owned ST1300's and big cruisers and wondered how my 52 year old, sometimes uncooperative frame would handle the relaxed, but still sporty, riding position of the VFR. It never should have been a thought. At speed on long straight roads, the wind support made covering distances easy, whether upright into the wind or resting my torso on the tank bag and enjoying the quiet pocket of air provided by the stock windscreen. In the mountains, on more challenging technical roads, the VFR handles admirably, certainly well above my skill level, despite being loaded down in the rear with three hard cases and a soft duffel. The handling improved immensely after new rubber was put on in Lexington, KY, replacing the stock Battleaxe's that had been sitting for 4 years before I bought the bike as a new leftover last year. One thing that I find especially noteworthy is that this bike was essentially "unfarkled." Other than the luggage and GPS, it was completely stock. The seat, windscreen, bars and pegs were exactly as they left the factory and worked perfectly for my 5'11", 200 lb. frame. I've had 3 other VFR's and replaces all of these things at one time or another, but for me, it's perfect as is. Throughout the trip, I talked with other riders, a lot of HD's and a number of Goldwings and we all had about the same 150 mile riding range before stretching required a brief stop.

    THE EQUIPMENT

    My philosophy on preparing for this trip was, "better safe than sorry" with respect to equipment. In addition to the GPS, I packed a full Cruz toolkit, the normal VFR tools including a rear shock adjuster, a full CO2 flat repair kit, a new and well-equipped first aid kit and chain lube. I'm not sure how well I would have fared with any of these if there had been a problem, but I certainly felt better having them along. Fortunately, only the chain lube got used. These items needed space and added weight, but I think I'd pack them again anytime I am more than a phone call and a few hour pickup from home. Of course, being a bit superstitious, I know the only reason I didn't need them is because I had them, which is good enough insurance for me.

    ROAD FOOD

    One of my secondary goals for this trip was to lose a little weight, as I'm sure the prior week's family vacation has added a few pounds. Breakfast was always whatever the hotel had, generally coffee and a bagel. Lunch was almost always out of the trunk, trail mix, perhaps a Muscle Milk at a gas stop and water, lots and lots of water. I generally carried at least 2 quarts in the trunk. As each day wore on and I felt myself getting a little tired, I generally threw in a 5 hour energy shot mid-afternoon. I'm never one to drink any of this stuff, but it really did help and there wasn't a crash. I don't know if I lost weight, but I did a pretty good job of staying light on the bike and then having a beer or two and eating a reasonable dinner when I was done for the day.

    CLOTHING AND LUGGAGE

    This is something I would definitely change. I over packed a lot. My daily riding gear was padded bicycling shorts and a t-shirt under the Olympia vented two piece suit. I needed all the luggage to pack all my riding gear on the bike for the trip out to San Diego, but I should have sent at least one bag home with the family. I packed a thermal one-piece undergarment that I use back east when the temp drops to 40, but never needed it. I also had way too many clothes. With basically two pairs of riding shorts and t-shirts, all I ever need clothes for was to walk out for dinner. A single pair of shorts and only 1 or 2 more t-shirts would have been fine. One extra I packed that I would have kept was my running stuff, as a few runs and a walk every evening really helped loosen any cobwebs that long riding days created. In retrospect, the hard top case was overkill and I could have managed quite well with the tank bag, two side cases and soft tail bag.
    ROUTE PLANNING

    At the beginning, I had no idea if I had over planned or under planned. I did a little of both. The daily routes didn't need to be as planned out as they were before I left, but it would have been nice to be able to plan a little more detail at the end or each night for the next day. I did not bring a PC to connect to my GPS and detailed route planning is a lot easier on the PC interface. Additionally, the GPS must have run out of space and cleared the trip log 12 days in, a major disappointment as I lost the detail of where I had ridden. With a PC, I would have downloaded trip data each day and converted it to a saved route. As is, I'm going to recreate the trip from memory and my daily notes, but next time I'll leave the iPad at home and pack a small net book.


    CONCLUSION

    Do it! Don't find excuses why you can't. Everybody's busy...

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  15. #65
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Damn. I'd love to do something like this someday. Great writeup and thread!

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    2011 Pit Bike Race CHAMPION!

  16. #66
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    That VFR really is the shiznits.

    Is the Olympia suit new to you? What's your verdict on it? I remember you considered riding in leathers instead.

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  17. #67
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    I've had the Olympia suit for a year or so. I did consider my Vanso Leathers. In retroect, I made the right decision for me. I would have been colder on the cold days and hotter on the hot days in the leathers and the extra measure of protection they afford is offset by that as the relatively lack of comfort, especially the pants.

    Truthfully, my riding is pretty timid with repspect to speed and lean angle. I'm a 52 year Los father of two who declares victory by getting home in one piece. As I saw on the Dragon, throwing it away is easy to do. For me, there's no award to be won by pushing that extra 10%.

    I'll keep the leather jacket because it's the first piece of gear I ever bout 15 years ago, but the sport rider pants are for sale.

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  18. #68
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    I am younger than you and kid-less, but do not ride that aggressively either. Mostly I'm paranoid of tickets.

    Caught myself configuring a 'stitch suit last night. Honestly a first rate weather-proof (read: goretex) suit for touring and commuting duty is what I want and can use most gear wise. But I want to sample a track day and so a zip in pant to pair with my leather jacket is a better choice for that.

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  19. #69
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    thanks for sharing and welcome home

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  20. #70
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Great writeup! I had a 8 day trip planned this spring that got cancelled due to my mother's illness, so at least I can experience it vicariously.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    I've had the Olympia suit for a year or so. //
    AirGlide?

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  21. #71
    Lifer
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    Re: The San Diego to Boston ride has begun.

    Yes.

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