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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend and I are going in two weeks on a 4-day bike trip from Vancouver, then on to Idaho and Washington state. This will be my first road trip, so I am a bit apprehensive (I want to take minimal but essentials). We are staying in motels.

1) I want to know if my provisions are appropriate.

2) Can I make the seat more comfortable with a sheep-skin laid over the seat and tied on (I don't have time or interest for a new/Corbin seat)?

3) We are riding maybe 6-8 hours per day. How should the hours be divided so as to prevent fatigue (sore butt)?

Provisions:
- HJC Helmet, JoeRocket jacket, Kelvar jeans, Sidi boots, JoeRocket gloves.
- Rain gear (gortex over-pants, over-jacket, gloves)
- Tools (standard tools, more wrenches, zip ties, siphon hose, etc)
- Tire repair kit, air pump, pressure gauge.
- Disk lock, velcro and bungee straps.
- Chain lube, plastic gloves, solvent.
- First aid kit.
- GPS, map, ear plugs, MP3 player.
- Running shoes, jeans, shirt.
- Cell phone, credit card.
- Water bottle.

Luggage:
- Tail bag
- Tank bag
- Bycycle panier (small saddle bags)
 

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credit card, cell phone, tooth brush...ya don't need nuttin' else
 

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Damn, bring extra underwear - you're gonna have some serious swamp ass!
 

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I'd bring a nose for finding first floor motel rooms with easy access for wheeling your bike into the room.
 

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Burnspot said:
I'd bring a nose for finding first floor motel rooms with easy access for wheeling your bike into the room.
I hear of people doing this occasionally. While I almost always look for a mom & pop old style motel and I prefer the 1st floor, I have NEVER parked my bike IN a motel room.

I know if I owned a motel and ever saw/heard of someone doing such a thing, they'd never be welcome there again. You're renting a bed and a shower, not a garage.

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's just plain rude and inappropriate.
 

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I think most of the things that happen in motel rooms are rude and inappropriate.
 

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Looks pretty good, good weather prep. You could spray your kevlar pants with scotch guard water repellent or nikwax. Maybe save some weight.
Some take a break hourly or when you get gas. Walk around, standup occasionally, or stretch out your legs while riding.

Before you leave go over the bike. I changed the stock bar angle just a little and it made a big difference.
 

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Over-boots.
 

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Don't forget chapstick and some hard candy to keep dry/dusty mouth at bay. Also take a look in the sport touring section for some more ideas if you need them.
When my freinds and I tour we usually only stop for gas but at those stops we take about 1/2 hour to stretch our legs, drink water, and eat a peanut butter and cracker snacks (protien). It keeps us alert and awake.
If your feeling tired at all take a break imediately to wake up. It will make the trip more enjoyable. Also remember to take the digital camera so that we all can see you pics from the trip. :popcorn

Good luck, don't worry, it will be a blast.


ps. Plan for rain, because it will happen.
 

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MrVvrroomm said:
I hear of people doing this occasionally. While I almost always look for a mom & pop old style motel and I prefer the 1st floor, I have NEVER parked my bike IN a motel room.

I know if I owned a motel and ever saw/heard of someone doing such a thing, they'd never be welcome there again. You're renting a bed and a shower, not a garage.

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's just plain rude and inappropriate.
I've yet to really do an overnighter that required a motel stay, but it seems to be a practice that happens quite regularly and if I were to find myself in a situation that led me to believe my bike would be at risk when overnighting, I'd probably attempt to do it. It's not terribly uncommon for apartment folks to wheel their bikes into their apartments for the same reason. Guess it really depends where you are at the time.

If that's not the solution, then certainly a nondescript bike cover and a chain/cable lock, in addition to the disc lock, would certainly be in order. It'd just be a major bummer to wake up, while in the middle of a road trip, and find your horse missing.
 

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BRING A CAMERA- You'll have a lot to see and want to remember or document. :D
Instead of a water bottle, you ought to give those Platypus water bags a shot, they store flat and come highly recommended by a lot of ST'ers. They have an inner liner that prevents "plastic water".
 

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skeleton, good job on planning ahead for your first trip. Just set your own pace and seeing that your not use to long trips and being loaded up with gear, rest up every few hours and take a walk though a town square or something and knock back a few waters.

Touring on a bike is all about seeing the best parts of the world.

Motorcycling is magic and kids love em, so if ya see a chance and it's safe "give em a wave" and make their day - one of lifes great moments seeing the smile you will get back.

Welcome to the world of Touring and when ya get back, post a piccie or 10 :)

Any room for me ;)
 

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After a 12 hour ride to Daytona in one day, I would suggest stopping at the 100 mile interval mark. It's less than a tank on most bikes but when we tried to stretch it longer, we usually hurt more. That seemed to be a magical mark for us.

Quick tip on hotels.....ask the desk clerk to park your bike under the entrance awning. Most hotels have a covered entrance where you park while checking in....it's usually well lit and in plain view of the desk clerk. That seems to make me feel a little safer.

Enjoy your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone. Very good tips.

I have added to my list:
- Camera, tripod
- Chapstick
- Cable lock
- Motion sensor alarm
- Rain over-boots
- Bike cover (plastic bags, duct tape)

Riding tips:
- Rest stops each 1-2 /hours
- Drink lots of water
- Park under motel canopy
- Plan for rain
- Enjoy the journey!

I'll post pictures and storey (how FZ6 tours) upon my return. Very excited!!!
 

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Here are some thoughts:

- Forget the underwear while riding and go with padded bicycle shorts instead. You'll get more padding, and the synthetic liner will absorb sweat and keep the monkey-butt at bay.

- Don't forget rain covers for your luggage, unless you're absolutely sure that it's completely waterproof.

- Take the chain lube for sure, but leave the solvent at home. You don't need to do a full-on chain cleaning before you lube it on the road. Deal with that when you get home.

- Does your jacket have a liner for cool weather? If so, leave it at home. Use your rain jacket to keep the wind out if you need to.

- Seriously consider a throttle lock. I wouldn't go long distances without one.

- Bring duct tape, and consider bringing some wire. It's entirely possible that something might fall off that isn't easily repairable. Use the tape and/or wire to get it rigged back up so you can keep riding.

- I've got a camelback that I keep in my tank bag. I've got it rigged up so I can grab the hose, take a drink, and secure the hose whenever I feel the urge. It's so much nicer than having to stop to pull out a bottle.

- Make sure your earplugs (or earphones) fit well with absolutely no discomfort. If you get any minor discomfort after a couple of hours, it's going to be a lot worse after a couple of 8-hour days.

Sounds like fun! Have a great trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
fraggle1,

I got most of what you suggested. I'll add to my pack: bike shorts, camelback.

It seems I can get all my stuff in only a tail bag and tank bag. I am surprised I didn't need anything more. Otherwise, I was considering my bicycle panier saddle bags - which my flap about on the bike.

Thanks for the comments.
 

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skeleton,
Just last Sunday I spent the entire day riding across the province, just over 12 hours. I had to spend two weeks in Vancouver so I flew there and back last week and decided to take the bike this week. I managed to get a weeks worth of clothes and crap using only my tankbag and a backpack strapped to my seat.

A couple of words of advice;

I crossed three mountain ranges and saw temperature changes from 20 degrees to 8 degrees in the passes. Dress warmer than you normally do, there is nothing worse than being cold.
The first 4 hours were dry and the skies opened up for the rest of the way, ouch! The weather report for next week is mixed so don't leave your raingear at home. My waterproof gloves were saturated after about 3 hours of hard rain and I had to pull over to wring them out. Bring extra gloves!

The worst part of wet weather riding is visibility. Think about using rain-x or some other product on your visor.

One of the summits I crossed was the Kootenay Pass which is the highest paved highway in Canada. I could barely feel the climb and the bike performed flawlessly all day. It really is a treat for touring.

Your bike will be filthy when you get home but don't worry about it. Remember it's a work bike not a show bike and it cleans up real nice!

A freak storm is bringing huge amounts of rain and even some snow to the south east part of the province so I'm hoping it gets nicer before Saturday when I head home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

PS. Bring good earplugs!
 

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