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Thread: Coast to Coast in January Advice

  1. #1
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    Coast to Coast in January Advice

    Hello,
    I bought my second bike, an F800GT in June and it's gradually replacing my cars for daily use. In January I have a business trip to Tampa, Florida. I live in Orange County, CA and have ridden to and from San Francisco. But as a SoCal guy I don't yet have any experience with weather. unless you count heat waves and one sand storm outside of Palm Springs. My question is: what sort of weather should I prepare for in crossing AZ, NM, TX, AL, MS, bits of GA, and into Florida in mid January? It seems as if the temperature shouldn't be too low, but possibly a lot wetter than I'm accustomed. Since it's for business I won't be doing the scenic thing, just traveling fast in a more enjoyable method than an airplane.
    Your thoughts would be appreciated,
    Chris
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  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Could get cool to cold (below freezing), especially at night. Your daylight riding time may be reduced if you happen to encounter nighttime freezing temps that cause ice. High winds are always a possibility in some areas such as western NM and TX. There are occasionally winter storms that extend well into NM and TX. They are not too common and don't generally last long. If you plan to ride in the cold some of the time, in rain some of the time and allow time to sit out more extreme weather events, then you may just as likely end up riding in pleasant temps and sunny weather. I like your odds. Good luck.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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    Thanks Kevin. I do plan on riding mostly in the daylight, but I also don't have a lot of time to sit out storms. With heated gear I should be up to the cold, but I won't have a lot of time to sit out storms. Probably be watching weather reports pretty closely, with an airliner on standby. Wish I could set aside more time, but it's not likely. Chris

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    Just caught the ice reference. Not too familiar with ice in SoCal. Probably would restrict the daytime hours. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLancaster View Post
    Just caught the ice reference. Not too familiar with ice in SoCal. Probably would restrict the daytime hours. Thanks again.
    Doesn't snow too often that far south, but in the winter the combination of cold temps and precipitation frequently equals ice. Lots more ice in the winter in Texas and Oklahoma than we have here in Kansas, for example. However, I too like your odds of making the entire trip without weather delays. If I lived in SoCal and had the chance for a January cross-country trip to Florida and back ... I would saddle up and head out. Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  6. #6
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Since you say you don't have a lot of time I assume you're going to interstate it all the way, which means you would probably cross Texas on IH 10. In January you can expect it to be cold out west (El Paso to San Antonio) with the usual probability of wind (it's a given in that part of the country). From San Antonio to Houston it's not usually that cold and we don't usually get a lot of rain that time of year. Of course weather patterns are much less predictable these days.
    So, at least for the Texas portion you should be OK as long as you are geared for cold weather. You definitely do not want to be riding the interstate at night in Texas.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

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    Great feedback

    Thank you guys. This is great feedback.

  8. #8
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Here's a thread on I-BMW about a guy that got stuck for awhile due to snow and ice this time of year in Fort Stockton, Tx.
    http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?...=fort+stockton


    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Except for Ice and snow, there isn't bad weather, just bad gear.

    I may have missed it, but you didn't elaborate on your heated gear. Your bike has heated grips, which are great - but heated gloves and a heated jacket liner are mandatory for me when riding in colder seasons...and it can be cold and rainy down there if memory serves. These also serve as a mental prop and keep you focused...hypothermia is a really bad thing on a bike.

  10. #10
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I don't know about others but for me, riding in really cold weather tires me out. I can ride about half as far before my alertness drops to a less safe level.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  11. #11
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I don't know about others but for me, riding in really cold weather tires me out. I can ride about half as far before my alertness drops to a less safe level.
    Even with correct gear, The added bulk just makes me sluggish as well. All movement feels like I am the Michelin Man after a few hours. My brain gets cold sitting out in the airstream for long hours, even with helmet liner...equals fuzzy if ignored.

    IH-10 all the way across the US does it as well .

    Have made some runs between LA and San Antonio and east to MS that time of year...doable, timing hitting major cities helps sitting/crawling in traffic...and there are a couple of biggies along that route.

    The truck traffic thru El Paso can be a breath catcher as the LA and MX trucks meet each other ...and always windy it seems which spins all the road debris and sand in your path. The concrete center barrier spits stuff back at you if you hug the inside lane.

    San Antonio and Houston at rush hour or lunchtime gets slow or worse.
    Spend the $$ on some good rain gear...it WILL find you along the Gulf Coast at some point! I got well washed heading west from MS in a stalled front the first week in January....rained until I crossed into TX.

    As mentioned a doable ride if you are ready...and the weather gods play nice.
    That pic Lee showed isn't as irregular as folks think.Nothing but barbwire to stop the winds and storms in WTX...and it fails often.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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    Well that's sobering! The return trip is time flexible, but I have to arrive on time for my meeting in Tampa. I would definitely have heated gear. Heck getting new gear is half the fun of owning a motorcycle! I think I'll need to closely evaluate how much time I can dedicate to the outward bound leg and that will either make or break this particular venture.

  13. #13
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLancaster View Post
    Well that's sobering! The return trip is time flexible, but I have to arrive on time for my meeting in Tampa. I would definitely have heated gear. Heck getting new gear is half the fun of owning a motorcycle! I think I'll need to closely evaluate how much time I can dedicate to the outward bound leg and that will either make or break this particular venture.
    Ah go for it. Perhaps your venture will become an adventure. What's the worst that could happen? So you are late to Tampa and miss the work event, you get fired and then have all the time you need to ride home. Heck, why even go home? You can use the Anonymous Book to locate and sponge off all the people who gave you so-so advice. Remember, Montana is way out of the way, but the Hill Country of Texas is nice about this time of year. You only live once, so you might as well make a mess of it.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    ... You only live once, so you might as well make a mess of it.
    Kevin, this is pretty good advice for life. Do you mind if I use it, perhaps in a different context?
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  15. #15
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Did not mean to sober you up...I have had excellent trips as well, others said I was dang lucky and they would not have done it blah-blah-blah. Curmodgeonery at its best

    The stories I can share outweigh the downside of not doing it.

    The El Paso crossing was the afternoon after a cold front...clear but windier than normal.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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