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Thread: How does it feel, satisfying your hunger to tour

  1. #16
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I will challenge you all on that "best wife" issue. Voni lets me come riding with her - all summer!
    When Annie started riding ten years ago it became a life changing decision. We had the pleasure of meeting the Glaves at our place in Fairbanks and were inspired by their commitment to riding and how they are a part of a large community of likeminded people. Although Annie did pick-up a bad habit from Voni, an expectation of Princess parking, our meeting got us thinking about our plans for the future. Not long afterwards we had a brother-in-law die suddenly at the age of 52. These events combined with Annie's immediate love of riding motivated us to both retire five years earlier than planned, to sell off much of our belongings at an Estate sale without a dead guy and move to the Banana Belt here in Montana. I have never enjoyed motorcycling more than I have since Annie became my riding Buddy. More often than not, it is she who is getting us out on the road.
    Kevin Huddy
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  2. #17
    K75 Preservationist k75s's Avatar
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    About the 3rd hotel night traveling alone, and at a different hotel each night, can be a little depressing for me. I traveled and stayed in many hotels during my work career, so I do not always look forward to the end of the riding day at another hotel.

    However, I have had very good luck with Airbnb stays. It is a little more work to plan, and you usually cannot book the same day. But it feels more like home and not that "alone in a hotel" feeling.

    One of my stays at an Airbnb near Bloomington, Indiana was at a home where the owners were musicians and the man had built his own recording studio into the house - pretty cool.

    And there are other options to hotels like B&B's, Motorcycle Travel Network (http://www.motorcycle-travel.net), VRBO, state park lodges and cabins, and of course camping.
    2014 R1200 GSA (Property taxes & registration: $309), 1992 K75s (Property taxes & registration: $37)

  3. #18
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    Back again. Great thread. In reading the posts, and thinking back on my travels this summer, I'm seeing some things stand out.
    • Each day was planned. I was going to places like the 5 national parks in Utah on one trip. They were filling up a month or two prior to the ride and had No Vacancy signs up when we were there. The second trip was passing through Yellowstone and Banff. I'm planning a follow-on trip to Banff and Jasper now...and the motels are already 86% booked.
    • On the first trip, I was riding with someone else...but I didn't know him before we met just prior to setting out. We didn't kill each other on the trip, but weren't best friends. You could say we were just acquaintances.
    • On the second trip, I was by myself, and I admit that I did set some long days at certain points. But heading north to Great Falls didn't seem like the scenic capitol of the world. Calgary, wasn't much better. There's some great things to see once you get in the area of Calgary, but the land from Great Falls to Calgary wasn't IMHO worth exploring. I was probably totally wrong about that, but that's the way it appeared at the time.
    • On my trip next July to Banff and Jasper, I'm going with two friends that I've known for years. We'll be making our reservations now, just because of the location and the timing (around July 4th), but we plan to ride to some really nice areas and use those as a base of operations.


    Hopefully, next summer's trips will work out better.

    Chris
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  4. #19
    Registered User lasnin's Avatar
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    Sometimes itís a little better to travel than to arrive.Ē Robert M. Pirsig

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    For me itís the ride and what is revealed/discovered/offered. I think that for me, touring is the closest that I have gotten to the peace of a deep meditation.......

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post

    My hints to making a go of long solo rides: (1) Make every day an adventure - find something interesting to explore. Worlds biggest ball of aluminum foil? That's worth a days ride.. (2) Have no set time/destination to be anywhere. (3) Make motel reservations no further than 1 day in advance (and I usually make them around 3PM the same day). (4) Be open to others. (5) Say Hello and smile a lot. (6) Stop when you want to - not because you have to. (7) Share the ride - Facebook is great for doing a spontaneous sort of "blog" of a trip like this. A few photos, a bit of description and your friends will join in the ride - virtually. (8) Try new food (I'm sometimes guilty of having the same waffle breakfast and Subway lunch - gotta try to break that habit..) Dinner is never at a chain if I can help it (I think I ate at Cracker-Barrel once on my last 30 day ride..) (9) Don't avoid large cities - take them on head-on. They are really not all that hard to ride in safely, and business class hotel rooms are chump change on a Saturday night. (10) Go out of your way to talk to other riders. You'd be surprised at the good info you can get that way.. (11) Ignore the warnings that the "next state is awful" or "it's too dangerous over there.." - they're always overblown in my experience. (12) Avoid interstates if at all possible. There are almost always parallel roads, or the "old road".. take those, they're a world more interesting, and there aren't the convoys of trucks on them. (13)* Finally - do it NOW. No one is promised tomorrow..
    I could have written these myself save exploring large cities as I'm not real fond of dense traffic--I have a theory: if you're nowhere near other traffic they can't kill you! I especially subscribe to the 'no set time/destination' piece, wherever practical, as it adds to the sense of adventure for me. My longest foray was 9,167m (but who counted!) last year x-country and back and into Canada in a few spots accompanied by my brother and we had such a fabulous time. He was newly exposed to Nav GPS and was bent on sticking w/ every single spot on his complete itinerary and was going to make reservations everywhere on this trip which was to take around 24 days. The idea of not having to think about anything on the road had high value for him I guess. I was able to nudge him out of that mindset and so we only kept reservations for the first 3 nights after which we made reservations one day before, usually around a lunch stop. I figured w/ the common 24h free cancellation policy there would be enough re-opened rooms to insure lodging everywhere, and indeed that was the case even on weekends, which we would book 2 days ahead just in case. So we stuck to our general route, and then assessed weather and so forth to affect the next day's ride.

    I've done several multi day shorter rides by myself and I like it quite a bit. I missed out on a planned ride up to Long Beach WA a few weeks ago as I have a nasty grade 2 hamstring tear but next year's ride planned for mid June I will be a close friend and he like me likes to see sights, hike, so I expect we will have a great time we always do. We may reserve lodging in Canmore, Alberta at another brother's time share there as it's lovely and will be cheap to stay at for how nice it is, and explore the usual spots around Banff and Jasper for maybe 3 nights or so, though once again if you stick to hard dates you risk getting caught up in foul weather for days, so we'll see. I don't mind slogging it out in nastier weather per se it's just much nicer to have pleasant weather because just about no matter where you are it's always a joy to be riding Frequently on our x-country trip I would come around the bend and couldn't help but exclaim to myself, 'My God!' when soaking up the magnificence of creation. At least until brother T-boned a large deer in Wyoming on his newish '15 FJR. He survived in great shape, flew home out of Cody after which I continued on myself to get back to Nor Cal. His new FJR was totaled.

  6. #21
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    One hint to people who want to spontaneously visit national parks.. there are always cancellations available. Call the booking service the day before you want to arrive and I bet you'll have a choice of rooms. Someone told me this a long time ago - and since then - even travelling with my wife by car - if we see a national park we want to stay at overnight - it's never been a problem getting a room for one night. On occasion we've had to switch rooms if we stay multiple nights, but when you're someplace like the Old Faithful Lodge at Yellowstone, that just adds to the experience.

    Oh - on riding in big cities - avoid rush hour and you'll do fine. Admittedly - some cities like Toronto a few weeks ago it seems rush hour starts at about 3PM.. I should have just stayed another night and left in the morning. It wasn't scary riding, it was just really slow congested riding, but Canadian drivers are SO polite and considerate I never felt at risk.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  7. #22
    Registered User time2ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Oh - on riding in big cities - avoid rush hour and you'll do fine. Admittedly - some cities like Toronto a few weeks ago it seems rush hour starts at about 3PM.. I should have just stayed another night and left in the morning. It wasn't scary riding, it was just really slow congested riding, but Canadian drivers are SO polite and considerate I never felt at risk.
    Unfortunately rush hour in The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) runs from around 6am - 7pm and if there is a Leafs, Jays or Raptors game rush hour extends even longer

    I guess it is all a matter of perspective as I certainly don't find Toronto drivers polite, although I will take them over Montreal drivers anyday!
    2005 R1200RT
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  8. #23
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I lived in Thornhill just north of Toronto for a year and made the commute into the city every day. I agree the drivers are polite; every time someone cut me off they did it with a smile and a wave.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  9. #24
    Albeit a few years ago this guy from smallish town Kansas found himself in Toronto, about three lanes left of where he needed to be to take the upcoming exit. With my turn signal on I was deliberately allowed to change lanes to the right by at least three, maybe four polite motorists. This unlike my experience in numerous other cities I now try to avoid where many motorists take a turn signal as some kind of personal challenge to their manhood or womanhood as the case may be.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  10. #25
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Albeit a few years ago this guy from smallish town Kansas found himself in Toronto, about three lanes left of where he needed to be to take the upcoming exit. With my turn signal on I was deliberately allowed to change lanes to the right by at least three, maybe four polite motorists.
    And afterwards these same motorists were probably seen apologizing to the people behind them they momentarily held up.

  11. #26
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Albeit a few years ago this guy from smallish town Kansas found himself in Toronto, about three lanes left of where he needed to be to take the upcoming exit. With my turn signal on I was deliberately allowed to change lanes to the right by at least three, maybe four polite motorists. This unlike my experience in numerous other cities I now try to avoid where many motorists take a turn signal as some kind of personal challenge to their manhood or womanhood as the case may be.
    Had a similar thing happen in New Brunswick Canada. I was in a traffic-circle (Rotary for the New Englanders, Roundabout for the Englanders) in the inner lane, when I realized I was about to pass the exit I needed. I slowed down and had my blinker on since there was only one car behind me in the outer lane, expecting as would happen in NJ - they'd pass me on the right and then I could make the turn. As I slowed down, they slowed down. I slowed down more, they slowed down more. I finally came to a stop, they came to a stop. They were absolutely determined to (1) not pass me on the right (2) let me make the exit. I did, waving thanks as I made the exit.

    In Toronto - I had exactly the same experience Paul did. People would stop and leave a gap for me to move into if I had a signal on indicating I wanted to change a lane. To a guy from NJ - that was really polite. In NJ they'd try to close any possible gap and then give me the finger as they went past.

    That's just one reason I love riding in Canada, and try to do it at least once a year.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  12. #27
    wanderer
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    I've had motorcycles of some type since the 60s. But I stumble in to m/c touring in the late 70's when I bought a used CX500. A group of us had been going to Laconia to see the MC races, camping our an enjoying the roads getting there and coming back. Then the wife and kids were off for two weeks to the inlaw's camp on a lake and I had to work but some how got an extra day so I decided to MC camp up the north side of the St. Lawrence past Quebec Dity and meet the family on the way back.

    I loved the escape from the pressures of work, the ride, the solitude, the total freedom...no responsibilities ...just pulling off the road any where and setting up the tent. Sipping a bit of scotch and reading a book...soaking up the scenery. These two days changed my life.

    After that, most years but not every year I manage to take about a week off to tour solo by Motorcycle. The first major tour was a around New Foundland in 1981. I don't remember ever camping in a camp ground. The road to St Anthony was dirt starting around Rocky Harbor. The road to L'Asse aux Meadows was a jeep trail and the archeologist were working out of tents. I joined them for a night. Interesting people every where.

    The next major tour was a few years later to Yellow Knife a back in 11 days, this was on my first BMW and 82 R100RT. Spend the twilight (2AM) swapping tales with a Japanese teacher of the Inuit who retired south to Yellow Knife (her B&B) and Alitalia Pilot who was a Yellow knife learn the ins and out of float plane flying. So many interesting people. many other long tours followed.

    Then I retired, the pressure of work was gone, the press for time was gone and I found that I preferred touring with one or two others, riders who enjoyed the ride, were will to be flexible, spontaneous. Tours time increased..6 weeks for Alaska most where two to three weeks. Now my much older body demand a bed to sleep in. I prefer the small Mom and Pop motels found in small towns. There is always fun talk to the owners...seeing the local sights. I've grown to hate Interstates. This last year I discovered shipping an flying to the bike. I know it is cheating but I will do in it again. Like I said I hate interstates.

  13. #28
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    I'm still a few years away from retirement, in a high-pressure job (that I love) that requires a lot of hours. I'm only able to do a single five- or six-day trip a summer, but its the only thing I've found that allows me to completely relax and recharge. I travel alone, as my wife won't ride, and I think the solitude is exactly what makes the trip so relaxing.

    I'm looking forward to retirement when I can take more trips.

  14. #29
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 179212 View Post
    Let your wife pick the destination and drive Pull a trailer and bike you won't get as much riding as you like but happy wife happy life
    ....this is the mutual option in a couple years we came up with. Actually it was her idea. I can live with that.
    Looking at a Subaru Outback pulling my GS on a Stinger trailer, but might upgrade the trailer...
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

  15. #30
    DBLUPPR snookers's Avatar
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    like many riders my age, we have come back to it after a long hiatus. After thirty years of inactivity on motorized two wheels my bride and I came back to riding motorcycle. Riding two up came naturally for us as we rode our tandem bicycle with the kids for years and still do. With the years I have put in with the company I work for, I have acquired many weeks of holiday time which my bride and I have been putting to great use,especially now with the bike. Over the last six years we have travelled more across North America than some may do in a lifetime, although we know not as many as some others. We now travel with a trailer in tow as we like to camp, although throwing in the odd Hotel/Motel now and then make things more comfortable. I am able to get off as many as 28-31 days off work at a time which makes long distant touring even more desirable. My bride is a "trooper" even though she detests that moniker, putting in long riding days, riding in inclement weather, or just putting up with me. But.....being able to visit the places we have seen makes it even better, at least for me, when we have been able to do it together. Hopefully we'll have another long excursion next year, Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories await. To echo what has been already said here, you do meet the nicest people on a motorcycle as we have met many. Being able to have done so many long trips as we have before I retire has been a blessing for me and my bride, and one we hope to continue after I decide to finally give up work.


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