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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default First trip; MI-KY

Have some time off in a couple weeks, so decided to plan a ride from Michigan down to Kentucky for a few days.

It will be down to Bowling Green, with stops in Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati.

So anyway I'm looking forward to this trip and could really use some help from some of the more experienced riders to ensure a good ride.

Couple questions I have off the top of my head are;

1) How do I find the best deal on lodging? Do you guys just find a hotel outside of town and call it good? Plan ahead? I've used websites like hotwire and travelocity with some success. Might try it again.

2) Essentials to pack? I've got a backpack and two saddlebags to work with. Only essentials besides clothes I've got in mind is riding jacket, rain gear, and phone charger. What else should I make sure to bring (riding related)?

Any advice would be much welcome!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 05:32 PM
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I guess as far as hotels it just depends on if you want to ride until your tired to get a room or if you want to stop at certain places. I would use the internet either way(phone app on the road). You will probably get better prices. That being said I would look into the areas you plan to stay and make sure you don't end up in the wrong side of town. All the places even Bowling Green have some rough places. Cheapest isn't always the safest. Make sure you have some sunscreen and some water, small gas can, and a small basic set of tools. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:16 PM
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I have a small tool kit (loose stuff does happen), tubeless tire repair kit, very, very small compressor , zip ties in tool kit, and a bottle of water. I have used the Allen wrenches one time for my highway peg which loosened on a trip to OK a couple weeks ago but in the 1+ year of my CCT that's it. My old bike the tool kit got used a few times. It may sound like a lot of stuff but if you really look at the tools you put to use it is not much and takes up very little room in my saddle bag.

Motels? We usually don't make reservations. We try and stop for the evening around 4:00 to 6:00 and have never had a problem. One time road till 10:30 pm and the motel was full but the desk clerk made a few calls and found us a room, cheaper and clean.

Enjoy your trip!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 11:47 PM
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Rain gear. Rain gear and absolutely rain gear, unless you like riding with a crotch full of water running down your legs and into your boots...did I mention you should include rain gear? Where in Mich. are you leaving from? Have fun and I hope you won't need any rain gear.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yep the rain gear is the only item that never leaves the bike. Still just have the half helmet though, but it's tolerable in anything but a real heavy rain. I'll be leaving from lansing.

I just gotta hope the weather will cooperate.

Good point about cheapest motel might not be best.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl92 View Post
1) How do I find the best deal on lodging? Do you guys just find a hotel outside of town and call it good? Plan ahead? I've used websites like hotwire and travelocity with some success. Might try it again.
Yup. I'd also stay outside of those major cities unless you're visiting them to see something special. I belong to one of the hotel clubs so I try to stay at those for the rewards, but not always possible. My recent trip to Ky was such a case. The club hotel near Lexington was $225 a night. I stayed 40 miles down the road for $95 a night with free breakfast, a pool, and a hot tub. Kentucky also has a bed bug advisory, so you can stick to those places where you don't have to share your bed with the little fellas.

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2) Essentials to pack? I've got a backpack and two saddlebags to work with. Only essentials besides clothes I've got in mind is riding jacket, rain gear, and phone charger. What else should I make sure to bring (riding related)?
I take a tire patch kit and air compressor with me everywhere I go. A flat out in BFE Ky on a 95F day with 90% humidity could really ruin your day. If you're going to stick to the highways, a tow club membership as offered by the AMA probably isn't a bad plan B. I also keep a few tools to tighten loose bolts like a grip with an assortment of allen head keys. Many also suggest a Save Ur Ride clutch cable if your bike has a clutch cable.

Have a great trip!




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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 07:42 AM
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Lose the back pack if at all possible. Wearing one around town or for shorter rides isn't a big deal but if you're planning on doing real miles your back will not be pleased if it has to carry the weight the whole time. If you must have the extra bag, strap it to your pillion seat.

Essentials: water (1-2 20oz bottles just for emergencies), high energy snack food (candy bar, trail mix, etc.), basic tools for things like flat tires and broken clutch cables, camera, battery charger for phone, paper maps of the areas you will be going through, SOCKS (can't even begin to tell you how miserable it is to ride in wet socks once the rain stops and the heat rises again).

Try to limit your changes of clothing as much as possible to save space, you can always launder stuff along the way or when you get there.

Gas: Bring some if it makes you feel safe but it's unlikely you will need it. Rather than relying on a reserve can, be smart and stop for gas when it's available. Don't decide that since you're only 100 miles into your 160-180 mile range that you can push to the next station because that one will be closed and then you're screwed. Top off, take a break and check out the scenery for a few minutes. You will avoid running out of fuel and you'll stay more relaxed and fresh throughout the ride.

Lodging: Book your destination ahead of time. Unless you have a strict schedule for the ride don't book your stops. You have no idea how long you're going to go each day which means you have no idea where you're going to stop each night. Booking everything early means you are likely to either have to push farther when you're tired (dangerous) or stop early when you're making good time (frustrating). Enjoy the ride, stop whenever you see something cool or need a break, and grab a room wherever when you're done for the day.

Fatigue: You are tired BEFORE you realize you are tired. Droopy eyes and such are a sign that it's already too late. Be very very aware of your mental state at all times. If you notice that you're having difficulty holding on to a specific thought, or if you aren't fully processing the things you see, it's time to get the hell off the bike. When the distance between stops starts to dramatically drop because you're butt or arms or neck are tired, it's time to stop. When you start misjudging corners or distances, it's time to stop. These are all clues that you're tired. Pushing past this is dangerous for you and everyone around you.

FWIW I'm not a seasoned long distance guy. I do a 700-800 mile 3-day ride once a year and beyond that I normally stick to a couple hundred a day at most. However, the first and only (so far) really long distance ride I've done was CT to western MT. 3200 miles in 9 days on a Honda 919 going all numbered state roads (no highways or interstates). I guessed at a lot going into that trip and learned a lot along the way. My suggestions above are based on mistakes that I made and a very few things that I managed to do right the first time.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 08:02 AM
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Most of the above advice I'm fully in agreement with although I have in the last 40+ years never had the inclination to carry a tire repair kit. They don't take up much room so there's no harm but I'm more inclined to carry roadside insurance myself. Regarding the insurance I carry CoachNet which covers everything from my RV and medium duty truck to the bike and ATV or any vehicle that I drive except commercial vehicles. Even then I've had them give me info on tow companies or repair facilities.

The other thing that I'd like to emphasize is that dehydration on a bike can sneek up on you real fast. I have a tendency to have my lunch box/ice chest strapped to the back seat and at least one bottle of Gatorade in it just in case I let things go too far with hydration. I also agree with soofle616, LOSE THE BACKPACK!! I normally wear a shoulder holster but even that will drive me nuts in short order on the bike, you don't want extra weight on your back as you go banging down the road dodging pot holes.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
Lodging: Book your destination ahead of time. Unless you have a strict schedule for the ride don't book your stops. You have no idea how long you're going to go each day which means you have no idea where you're going to stop each night. Booking everything early means you are likely to either have to push farther when you're tired (dangerous) or stop early when you're making good time (frustrating). Enjoy the ride, stop whenever you see something cool or need a break, and grab a room wherever when you're done for the day.
One thing to remember about this one is the fact that it's fair season so a lot of the hotels fill up if you're within a reasonable driving distance of the local county fair grounds. What I like to do is plot out my trip with stops at a min/mid/max stop distance and then get numbers for hotels in those areas to call about rooms. Front desk prices are almost always cheapest. Also, don't forget than memberships in AMA or AAA have hotel discounts.

Also, an ATV Cargo Net is very useful to bungie a backpack or suitcase to your rear seat. I got mine from Meijer's and I'm pretty sure I paid less than $10 for it.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 05:49 PM
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you better head west or plan on being in rain the hole time this coming week

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