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 question on oregon to colorado in october

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gizmoguy
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PostSubject: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:29 am

Hello all

I am planning a ride from Portland to Colorado Springs at end of September/first week of October.

I plan on leaving Sept 28 and taking 2 or 3 days to get there.
Stay 3 or 4 days then drive back.
I will go Hwy 84 west to near Salt Lake city, Hwy 80 to Cheyenne, then south to c. Springs. Return path would be along same route.

Another idea I had was returning via Las Vegas, then Los Angeles, and then follow I5 north to oregon. I will be taking it easy on this path and staying couple days in LV, LA , and San Jose.
This includes a bunch of desert driving and sections of road I have never been on except the I5 corridor.
How bad would the Nevada to LA desert section be in October?


I plan on strapping luggage of two bags to rear seat area.
I have sport windshield installed now but could put givi 214 screen back on.
I ride with Kilimanjaro jacket and have basic plastic rain pants. I have high top steel toed boots that I plan on wearing as well.

My SW has backrest installed and gps cell phone mount on handle bars. I use my iPhone for gps.

I may bring portable CB if I can figure out where it went hiding.
(hope to get ham license at end of October)

I will only be traveling during the daytime and sleeping at motels on the way.

My longest ride to date was 500 miles along the I5 corridor of Oregon/Washington so this is a pretty big jump of 1340 miles one way. ( and even longer riding back thru LV then CA )
I plan on talking to AAA to help plan best places to stay and any road issues to avoid.

Any advice for preparation? Anything I should bring with me?

Any suggestions or things to watch out for on this path?
I know there a number of mountain passes but end of September should be clear but rainy.

I don't have true riding gloves yet and need to pickup some warm and cold weather versions. Any suggestions?
Sunscreen is already loaded and I am looking into drink holders or gatorback water system.


I am leaning toward riding with out my towpac trike kit as that is how I have done most of my long rides so far.
Also my 2005 SW does not have ABS so I am wondering if I should upgrade to a newer SW with ABS before leaving for extra safety?


Is this pushing my bike (or myself) to much?

With hotel or relatives houses to sleep in I hope to keep well rested.

I look forward to your input.

Mike <><
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surlybiker58
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:42 pm

My only advice if you want to take in the sights  and relax, you might want to make it a four day
trip at least on the way out .
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ebear695
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:04 pm

yo mike, coming to the LA would make you ride about awesome, the desert crossing would be warm be pleasent (maybe) could be windy, just ask a weather man. I would consider the northbound route on the US101, much nicer ride and senic, the I-5 is possibly faster but not as interesting.
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gizmoguy
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:49 pm

Thanks surly. My goal is to surprise my daughter on her birthday. Scenic part is for trip back.

Ebear thanks for info on the desert. I agree making a big loop would be awesome. Will need some more time off at the rate I'm adding to my schedule.

Smile

Mike <><
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:12 pm

carry spare drive belt

Professional quality riding clothes, rubber boots, lots of ear plugs, several pair of gloves, including rain gloves/mitts----fresh tires, balanced

Leave the trike kit at home/ don't hurry/be in shape/GIVI AJUSTABLE windshield will make trip more pleasant.

Know your bike....both from fixing standpoint and riding standpoint----use maps, distracting GPS of no need on trip like you are planning.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:46 pm

End of September on most of the high passes in Colorado & Wyoming (and probably elsewhere) will get snow in September, so stay tuned to the weather reports. I won't ride on any road that has the potential for ice when riding it (basically any known existing ice or any expected precip with a temp of 32F or less) - if somehow you are skilled enough to keep the bike up, you still have to worry about the cages that can't maintain their lane or stop in time.

Make sure your butt is comfortable.

Take plenty of fluids with you and plan on using them. I also like something to snack on.

When I lived in Laramie, WY ("only" 7200 feet, much lower than any of the passes in Colorado), I remember watching fireworks on the 4th of July with snow falling. Mountains do weird things. Even in summer for short 3 or 4 hour rides around here, I always bring my winter gear with me in the scooter, as sometimes it's a lot colder at 10,000 feet than it is at 5,000. I don't typically use it in August, but I would expect to use it at the end of September, at least at high altitudes on some days. If you are doing any early morning or night riding, that goes double. The rain up there gets very cold too. You also want to make sure you can stay warm long enough for help to arrive if you break down.

I recommend heated gloves personally, but make sure you have good warm non-electric backups in case something goes wrong. The heated gloves are awesome for still having good feeling on through the gloves. If you're like me, your feet and legs won't get terribly cold, but dress in layers and take some spare socks. I also recommend some sort of neck gear - something that keeps your neck from being exposed.

If you get that ham license and want hints on the bike, let me know. I've got what I think is a good setup on my bike.
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:48 pm

Hi Mike, Wishing you a safe trip. Can’t answer your questions as so much of this is of an individual nature - but I can answer as if I were doing this trip.
1. .... at end of September/first week of October – You could get some snow. Not likely but if you do, best to hang out and skip riding until it clears. My wife and I did the Grand Canyon in mid-September one year (car) and had to skip a leg up into Utah due to snow – went to LV instead. I do a lot of trips to NV from the Bay Area and going over the peaks (past couple of weeks) in the early AM temps have dipped into the high 30s – so be prepared for some cool weather. I use Gerbings full top under my jacket with gloves and two zone controller – works great – it makes it a lot more pleasant if it is cool and I don’t have to bring so many bulky clothes – downside is the cost – but if you are going to ride in cool weather having it is a real treat.
2. ... taking 2 or 3 days to get there. This is pretty ambitious mileage unless you have not done it before. Give it a go but if you get tired then stop to rest or to stay overnight. You don’t want to walk in to see your daughter feeling like a zombie - you will want to be rested and cheerful - which I am not after a 500 mile plus day!
3. I plan on strapping luggage of two bags to rear seat area. When it gets windy – and likely it will – you are going to want to have those bags strapped down mighty tight – 70mph freeway speed (so you don’t get run over) coupled with cross wind gusts of 30mph makes anything not tied down want to come off the Swing. Last week I was in such wind and if I did not have my helmet strapped on it would have been removed from my head. Having a topbox is a great addition and may cut the need for so many bags. Hopefully you can strap your bags and go for a test ride in the wind BEFORE you take your trip - I see these bags as a potential safety hazard if they start to come loose!
4. I use my iPhone for gps. Doubt you will be anywhere where you REALLY need a GPS – but nice to have one. Bring paper maps for where you plan to go. Keep your phone with you in a safe place as it is your lifeline of communication. If you get lost – pull it out to find where you are – or stop to get directions.
5. I may bring portable CB ...if I can figure out where it went hiding. CBs are good for group rides – near useless for anything else. Suggest you leave it at home as it will be taking up valuable space.
6. My longest ride to date was 500 miles along the I5 corridor of Oregon/Washington so this is a pretty big jump of 1340 miles one way. ( and even longer riding back thru LV then CA ). I would plan on about 400 miles a day – if you feel like more – fine – but riding day after day is more tiring than one 500 mile trip.
7. Any advice for preparation? Anything I should bring with me? I bring allen wrenches, can of tire inflating slime, crescent wrench, tire puncture repair kit, flashlight, water bottles (at least 2 quarts), water spray bottle (to cool off),
8. ... end of September should be clear but rainy. See my comments above.
9. I don't have true riding gloves yet and need to pickup some warm and cold weather versions. I travel with three to four sets of gloves – if cold Gerbing – if cool cold weather – if nice good leather – if hot summer. In California I have had day rides range from 35 to 105 degrees – in the same day – so change gloves accordingly.
10. I am looking into drink holders or gatorback water system. Suggest you stop every 90-120 minutes to at least stretch – you can hydrate then – likely you won’t need a mobile water system unless it gets hot (above 90) when you are down south. When temps approach 90 I put on my (pre-wetted) Bilt Cycle Gear cooling vest and stop to wet it every couple of hours – keeps me from having to drink so much water – makes the ride so much more pleasant.
11. I am leaning toward riding with out my towpac trike kit as that is how I have done most of my long rides so far. Sounds like a good idea to leave this at home unless you have stability issues.
12. Also my 2005 SW does not have ABS so I am wondering if I should upgrade to a newer SW with ABS before leaving for extra safety? I recommend to anyone that Swing with ABS is a real plus. So, start looking for one – but not solely for this trip – and don’t make getting one a necessity for taking your trip.
13. Is this pushing my bike (or myself) to much? Your route to Colorado Springs seems well travelled so there will be ample help if you have a problem. When in California nearly ever road you will be on is well travelled. Keep your phone on you at all times – it is your lifeline – make sure you have it in an Otterbox Defender case or something equivalent so a drop will not break it . DO NOT travel on gravel roads, off the beaten path where there is no help (i.e., no passing vehicles), places that are clearly out of cell range (unless you are on interstate on well travelled road). Coming North it California the routes are 395 (spectacular), 5 (nice but long straight sections), 101 (interesting – especially if you do some side tracks like route 25), and 1 (try to do the stretch from up the coast to Monterey). My suggestion from LA is to go 101,1(at SanLuis Obispo), 156, 101, SanJose; with suggested stops as your time permits at Santa Barbara(1h), Solvang(1h), Morro Bay(1h), San Simeon (4h – need to get tickets), Big Sur (1h), Carmel by Sea(1h), Monterey Bay Aquarium (2h) – you obviously will not have time to see all of these – but maybe you can stop at some of them. The ride up 1 on coast is pretty spectacular – but you may have seen enough of the Pacific back home. If you go route 101 the whole way then suggest you divert to 198 just south of King City, then 25 north back to 101 – with a stop at Pinnacle National Park(1.5h) – these roads are in great shape with long winding curves and great scenery. If you have trouble in California with your SWing - maybe I can help - just let me know - I have spare tires, belts, etc.


Have a great trip!
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi Mike, I am interesed in hearing how you like your TowPac? Wheel size? How does it handle? What did you pay for it? Whatever you care to share would be appreciated. Thanks.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:56 pm

Some additional stuff that Diamond's post got me thinking about:

I probably wouldn't bother with carrying the belt, and I don't think I'd buy an ABS swing just for the trip (although I do like the ABS - and it has helped me in real life). What I'd recommend is leaving these with someone at your starting point (I always have a spare set of tires, belt, and key components that I think may fail and be hard to find) - they can Fed-ex them to you within a business day, so I wouldn't take up tons of space for something that won't likely be a problem (like a belt - unless you're not following Honda's recommendations).

I do tie bags to the rear seat, but I do tie them very well. I also use a huge ziplock bag (5 gallon) to put everything in - poor man's waterproof bag. Smile I've never had a problem with them blowing off, but I tie the $#@! out of them (I've done a bunch of riding in Wyoming with 50 MPH side winds - not fun at all, but manageable). Of course once you do this, anything under your seat might as well be inaccessible - so only put stuff you don't actually plan on needing under the seat. I use the top box and glove boxes for the important-to-access stuff. The more important it is, the closer it is to the top. I learned this lesson the hard way. Smile

For phones, I carry a phone on my person (also carry some ID on your person, should anything bad happen). I also carry a second phone hidden on the scooter - just a cheap $10 pre-paid phone. I like having a backup there. I also hide some cash and a credit card on the scooter, separate from my wallet. For me, the most important thing is money and phone - I can get out of a lot of emergencies with those. Note that the phone will have dead spots on your trip, even on major highways, in some of the more remote areas.

One last thing: I'd do any maintenance I'd expect to need on the trip ahead of time. Oil, tires, belt, etc. It's much easier to do that near home than in a random location on the road.
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:44 pm

Personally I'd invest in a bluetooth helmet/helmet attachment and bring some earbuds for backup when the battery dies.

I like listening to podcasts or audio books when I'm going long distance, but music makes riding a long way much more pleasant for me too. I'd say load up that iPhone with some good tunes and take advantage of the built-in bluetooth.
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:51 pm

And I just thought, I'd invest in AAA with Motorcycle coverage.

Also, it's a good idea to ignore any advice Grins gives you. In fact doing the opposite is probably what I'd suggest. Use your GPS. Whatever riding clothes you feel safe and comfortable in are fine. You probably don't want to be breaking in stuff on this trip.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:02 pm

Giving opposite of what I find/found works means only one thing to me---you have not ridden much---nice to stay dry/warm-- spare belt I think good idea for all riding.
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:00 pm

The mountains of Colorado and Wyoming can become quite nasty at times beginning around Labor Day week. I travel them and aviated for many years I know from experience. It can sneak up on you in a hurry.
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:03 pm

P. S. the last week end of Sept and 1st week of Oct can be pretty bad news weather wise.
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Magoo Triker
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:56 am

I am leaving on a trip to Keota Oklahoma from the Tampa Bay area here in Florida in a couple weeks.  I will 350 - 400 miles a day and rest in motels.  I stop for a few minutes to stretch and eat and that is it. I take my time, spend 2 nights on the road just as I do when taking the car.  I carry my tool bag and an extra belt and some oil and air pump and tire repair kit that is it.  Every morning I check tires, oil and every thing one the wing and Voyager kit... Load up and ride. I  do not ride on Interstates or toll roads. When I stop and rest I stop at a gas station, coffee shop or rest area and stay off the scoot for at least 20 minutes.  Works for me and makes the trip easy on the body.  If I run into weather or have a problem with the scoot I just stay another day in motel till it is ready.  I had to wait one day for a belt for my Reflex once a few years ago MO.  If I had to I could do the trip in 2 days, one night on the road or even less, but I do not run at night...

Magoo - 2004 Silver Wing Voyager Trike
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GHM-PM
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:18 am

When you hit California you can go north to Oregon via the coast (Hwy 101 and Hwy 1; one of the prettiest rides ever). Or I-5 or Hwy 99 straight up through central CA. These would be shortest and fastest routes but from experience the trucks have beaten them up big time... Lots of broken pavement and potholes so if you take this route be CAREFUL! One last option is to head north via Hwy 395 (east side of CA) then cut over to Oregon at some point. Much less traveled, scenic and the road has been resurfaced in the last couple of years. Nice riding.

Ranking the routes by speed:

I-5
Hwy 99
Hwy 395
Hwy 1/101

Ranking the routes by scenic:

Hwy 1/101
Hwy 395
Hwy 99
I-5

These are just some ideas for you but I have been on 99, I5 and Hwy 395 in the last year so have some idea. Hwy 1/101 will be the slowest route by far but the most beautiful. IMHO

Good luck and have a safe ride!
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: question on oregon to colorado in october   Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:16 pm

GHM-PM wrote:

These are just some ideas for you but I have been on 99, I5 and Hwy 395 in the last year so have some idea.  Hwy 1/101 will be the slowest route by far but the most beautiful.  IMHO
I agree with Glenn - but a couple of clarificaitons (LA to Portland).

Route 1 is Coast while Route 395 is Eastern Side of Sierra Nevada Mountains. Both are spectacular rides! After 100 miles on Route 1 I am ready to turn inland (to 101) as Route 1 is very tiring due to the moderately tight twisties and the novelty of the road has all but worn off by then.

Route 99 truck route - not very scenic, a bit bumpy, lots of road vibration, and not so safe as you need to be alert to all of the high speed traffic. Don't go this route.

Route 101 and taking 1 every opportunity - Very scenic but lots of curves on 1 - a four day ride at least (assuming you don't stop to ogle any of the sites. 1260mi - 26hr). You will be one very, very tired puppy if you take route 1 every chance you get and you would need to be in great shape).

Route 5 - Quickest route, safest, nice scenary, no (zero) twisties, best road surface. Two day trip (assuming you don't stop to ogle sites. 963mi - 14hr.).

Quality of Road Surface (bumpyness):
Route 5 or 395 (tie).
Route 101
Route 1
Route 99

Quality of Road Twisties:
Route 395 (long gentle sweeps)
Route 1 (moderately tight twisties)
Route 101
Route 5
Route 99





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