Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On Wheels

So the latest storm of the century has passed, the weather has improved (somewhat), and I'm back in the saddle again. It's only been a week and a half, but I have missed my time On Wheels. I always come off the road feeling much calmer and relaxed -- which I suppose must seem odd, given the nature of a previous post on riding here in the National Capitol Region. Despite dealing with the usual high-speed-outtamyway-ers and clueless prats, it was very nice indeed to get back out on the pavement. To reuse the cliché yet again, owning a motorcycle is cheaper than therapy. The view's certainly better...

I've been debating taking the Long Road Trip since early last year. I've read some of the impressive trip stories of those magnificent bastards over at the Iron Butt Association. I've thought about starting out with a SaddleSore 1000 (that's 1K miles under the wheels in 24 hours) or Bunburner 1500 (15oo in 36 hours) or BunBurner Gold (1500 in 24 hours) and then working my way up to a 50CC (Coast to Coast in just 50 hours). I find the whole idea to be somewhat intimidating, yet very intriguing. To step in the Atlantic surf in Maryland, and then do the same on the Pacific coast just over two days later. Magnificent indeed. I'm keen to give it a try. I'm just not sure if Val and I could really travel from one coast to the other in 50 hours -- the one fellow I met up at Bob's one Saturday afternoon who'd done it accomplished the feat on a modified K1200RT (among other tweaks, he replaced the passenger seat with a 5 gallon fuel cell). The only modification I'd make would be to add some sort of throttle lock -- Bob's have a nice one that's not too expensive. Of course, you have to buy the other side to match. There's a less-expensive alternative from Schneider's called the Flip-A-Lever that I'm also considering. Cheap is good.



There's been a bit of frank consideration and careful thought here, folks. I plugged in my current location (close enough to the Maryland shore to be a good jumping-off place) and my parent's new place in Orting, WA into Google Maps to see what the hours and road would look like. If I take it at a reasonable pace and stop at conveniently located military billeting (Army and Air Force) I could make it to the coast in two days and spare change. Still riding 14-hour days, but that's (semi) doable. I think I'll practice on a 1K or a 1.5K to start first.

Kel and I had a good time last year driving all the way down the Outer Banks, checking out all the lighthouses and such. I'm not sure that it'd be the best route for a 1K or 1.5K but the scenery is nothing short of amazing. Probably insanely crowded in summertime, and I'm not sure that the ferry would count towards mileage. Nice to consider, though. If anyone else actually reads this stuff, drop a note or comment and tell me what you think a good route in the D.C. area would be.

Ostensibly Yours,

KeithF

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