GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 77 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am considering driving my 02 GL1800 across the country alone this summer from Massachusetts to California.

I plan to cover about 500 miles per day and stay in motels/hotels rather than camp.

I would like to hear from those of you that have taken long trips alone with comments about the pros and cons of undertaking such a journey in terms of the flexibility of setting one's own travel schedule, peronal safety issues and the ability to communicate with others by cell phone or CB radio in the event of an emergency or a problem with the bike.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,417 Posts
John,

You are going to have the trip of your life. While planning your trip, take a look at State web sites, to see what events are going on. I say this, cause if the Daytona 500 is running while you visit, you might have a time getting a hotel, Kentucky derby etc. I used those two only as an example.

Get your hands on a GWRRA Gold Book. If you have a problem on the road, there is a lot of resources in there.

Hide some cash in your bike. Hide a second key on your bike. Fill out an Emergency information card to include any Meds you might be on, allergic reactions if any, blood type, Home Dr. phone #, phone # of an emergency contact etc. You get the picture. Put this in the left pocket of the bike and another copy in your wallet.

Don't over plan and go have a ball.

Bulldog
 

·
Chard Member
Joined
·
13,047 Posts
I prefer to travel alone. It's my schedule I need to follow and I don't need to worry about someone else. If I want to do a 800 mile day, fine. If I want to do a 200 mile day, that's fine also.

Good tires and a paper map is enough to get me started on a good 30 day ride!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
I pretty much agree with what Bulldog said. I have traveled over much of the western US solo riding, never had a problem I couldn't solve at the time. My last long solo trip was to the Arctic Circle. My only real concern during that ride was if something happen to get me stranded (break down or injury) at times I was on roads that didn't see much traffic and I could be invited to dinner, only I would be on the dinner plate.
Take the ride and have a great time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Been border to border, coast to coast with over a million miles riding solo. Every stop is a chance to communicate with others.

Use common sense, pick a destination and let the adventure begin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
My preferences vary... sometimes I like the solitude of riding by myself, and sometimes I like to have someone to BS with and to share the ride.

As far as safety, you shouldn't have any problems there. Common sense applies. Gas up in good area, and try and avoid stopping in areas that look shady. Truck stops are good places to stop, lots of traffic.

Unless you have someone who has a similar riding style and preferences, being by yourself on a longer trip is better... if you say the heck with it and want to sleep in, or see a sight that you want to detour for, you don't have to clear it with anyone.

Another idea would be to find folks on the board who live along your route. See if ayone wants to ride part of the route with you. Great way to meet people and see some local sights you may not have found yourself.

Have a great ride, and welcome to the board!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
My feelings are pretty much the same as Red's, I prefer to travel alone. Go when you want and stop when you want. I do spend a lot of time researching the trip (what roads to take and sights to see) but beyond that I make no other plans.

I am planning a trip from the Northwest to the Badlands and back. I have picked up many great tips from here and the GWRRA board on some very scenic rides.

Rich
03 Silver ABS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,047 Posts
John
I also do all my long trips solo and have never had any problems. Went from Fresno Calif. to New Jersey in '95 on my GL 1500 and had a ball. I like being able to ride my ride and not have to please others on my vacation. Maybe I'm just a loaner, but it works for me. Bulldog posted some good tips to follow. If things do get boring, you can always find another rider to hook up with for awhile. Enjoy your trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,047 Posts
John
I also do all my long trips solo and have never had any problems. Went from Fresno Calif. to New Jersey in '95 on my GL 1500 and had a ball. I like being able to ride my ride and not have to please others on my vacation. Maybe I'm just a loaner, but it works for me. Bulldog posted some good tips to follow. If things do get boring, you can always find another rider to hook up with for awhile. Enjoy your trip.
 

·
Resident BBQ Expert
Joined
·
13,862 Posts
seems like a dream come true, your on your own schedule. stop where you want and run when you can. nothing worse than traveling and needing to adhere to someone elses schedule.

a cell phone and a good towing card would be # 1 things to bring along.

loren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Out west

I rode my 1500 coast to coast a couple of years ago and traveled alone. It’s a big country out there for sure! My only concern was the farther I got away from home, the more I realized how alone I really was. I used a Kennedy cell set for my cell phone and with Verizon Wireless service with a National plan, I rarely got out of touch if I wanted to speak to someone. I always planned ahead for gas stops using my StreetPilot GPS so I didn’t have to worry about being stranded. You won’t have any problems staying in decent areas at nice motels. Don’t ride into a big storm out west if you can avoid it because you won’t find many places to get away from the elements. You can experience very high winds and possibly a tornado, so be aware and don’t get caught out in the open if you can avoid it. Oh, one more thing I think is helpful; I used a credit card for just about everything, so I called to let them know what I was doing so my credit wouldn’t be cut off. Sometimes they get concerned when your card travels fast and many charges show up in different parts of the country in a short period of time. This is a trip of a lifetime and one you probably dreamed of all your life. Go and enjoy it; you won’t be the same person when you return.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,894 Posts
Having traveled solo my self, can recommend another companion. My wife would be nice, but not happening. A second party is, more security, help if needed, and somebody to share the experience with forever. Been to many places that I cannot enjoy and share the past with. Pictures cannot explain the feeling and awe of the moments. Also lots of places where you could be skinned alive at high noon, and no other vehicles for quit some time. Lifetime trips, and no regrets, but alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I'm planning the same thing this June. Going from here in Michigan to Boise to see an old Air Force buddy then to Great Falls and back. Wife can't go,so I'm on my own. Right now it's -20 degrees with four feet of snow on the ground. I think I'm gonna get packed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
All the advise so far has been perfect. I would add bike condition to the list. Make sure that you have done what's necessary a few weeks before the trip and go on a check ride or two so you know that all is well mechanically.
You don't want to add a bunch of electrical goodies to the bike, take off on your trip and find out that some of them don't work properly and you keep blowing fuses. Or you just put on a new set of tires and one of them keeps losing air. Most vehicles have problems directly related to the last place human hands were at!!! You see what I'm getting at!!!!

Then you can leave with a clear mind and enjoy the open road.

I am taking a similar trip this summer and can't wait. I will have the same basic plan as you, travel at my own pace and find somewhere to stay when I'm ready.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Know your limits. :idea: If you're tired, stop! Because, in the blink of an eye, you can be off the road and down. The most dangerous time is just before you arrive at a destination after a long, long ride. Don't ask me how I know this. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
Agree

Some really good inputs from the folks above. I will just reemphasize the following:
--Have bike in good condition, especially tires.
--Have emergency info readily available so that it can be found (copy on bright color paper (laminated) in both wallet and in obvious place in bike)
--Breakdown is unlikely, but know what you are going to do in case of a flat or other problem
--Cell phone (recommend service other than T-Mobile or Sprint as they just don't have service in some of the more remote areas, I really like my Verizon Wireless)
--Extra key somewhere so that you can get to it; a lost key can be a real hassle to say the least

Enjoy! I make long trips solo and with good friends and appreciate both as both can be very special. I'll never forget my solo ride in October from CA back to Woodland Park, CO. It was most fantastic!!! By the way, try some of the backroads vs. the Interstates. When I went to CA I went out on the I; but the return was via all backroads and NO Interstates -- all the difference in the world!!! If you come through CO, let me know and if I'm around and available, I might ride a few miles with you (but then you would not be riding solo heh, heh).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
trip

johnvale sure hope you like to talk and answer questions, since you will be alone people will not be afraid to approach you. Believe it or not 99.9% will be nice. I have found this to be true on all my solo trips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
Bringing the right equipment is the first priority. I have done several long trips the last two 4500 and 5500 miles just my wife and I. Having the right gear is paramount. If it rains for a couple of days in the heat you will really appreciate complete breathable rain protection and if your shoes or helmet hurt you a little after 100 miles they will kill you after 1000. Have a great time.

Here is my packing list:

http://home.cfl.rr.com/uneasyrider/twoupgear.html

http://home.cfl.rr.com/uneasyrider/twoupgearwinter.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
Everthing that has been said above is right on. Last summer I took a trip of around 10,000 miles and six weeks using the northern states to head west up to Vancover and then down south on the west coast and back on a southerly route. I was fortunate not to have a time restriction and even with that most of the area I covered was a blur as I stayed several nights in a number of nice areas and was averaging a little over 200 miles per day which means that there were some very long high mileage days. Unless time is a determing factor I would not plan on doing 500 miles per day there is alot of beautiful country between where you are, and the west coast itself could make up an entire trip. I asume you will be trying to stay off the interstates and 500 miles a day would be a fairly ambitious schedule. If I had it to do over again I would cut my trip down to about 6 or 7 thousand miles with the same amount of time. One thing for sure is that California has some of the best riding and senic roads in the country. IMHO Items that are a must are a good cell phone,(with charger because I forgot mine) a well maintainerd bike, a towing service plan, and for your peace of mind, if you are comfortable with it, a good firearm.

I know you will enjoy your trip. Just take it slow and plan on some unexpected side trips, there are plenty. Northern Calif above San Francisco will be worth the entire trip. When you get back fill us in. Enjoy...Enjoy...Enjoy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,021 Posts
common sense,credit card,emergency towing,try not to over pack,avoid interstate hiways,,enjoy!
 
1 - 20 of 77 Posts
Top