What I learned on a "shake down ride" - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Since buying my humble pile of parts more than a year ago, I have been working to improve and enhance "Matilda" in preparation for a ride to Canada this Fall with my son. This effort has consumed no small amount of time and money, but I think she is about ready to go.



Of course I needed to find out for sure, and then there are the questions about the rest of the gear, not to mention the rider. So to this end a trip was planned. It would take two days and cover a little under 600 miles here in the southeast. I planned to ride the slab to Augusta and get on 28 and go to Cashiers, camp on Black Rock mountain (good place for summer camping in these parts because it's 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding lowlands). On day two I was to go ride the Cherohala and then return home.

North of Wallahalla I ran into rain. No problem, it was warm, the rain felt good, I'd get through the shower, would dry off and all would be good- NOT! By the time I reached Black Rock Mountain- great steep, twisting, low-gear ride to the top, I had been in the rain for several hours and was beyond drenched. The "monkey butt" was becoming quite annoying by this time also. From the top of the mountain, I looked at all points of the compass. The only place it wasn't raining was there and to the south.

Staying in a tent on top of a mountain when thunderstorms were likely, just didn't appeal to me, especially when my dry bed was only 2 1/2 hours to the south. I cut my trip short and went home. It only took another hour and half of riding in heavy rain to get there.

As far as a shake down cruise, it was mostly successful. Here are a few things I learned:

The bike runs fine in the wet, even for long periods and in torrential down pours.

My rain gear will go under my mesh riding gear.

Turn-by-turn directions will not come through my Blue Tooth headset from my smart phone.

The bike is really running good!

Gas mileage really goes to pot when riding 75mph on the slab.

When lightning strikes really close to the gas pump you are using the will shut off.

I can ride 400 miles in a day if necessary.

Wet cotton underwear causes monkey butt.



The bags I'm using to store my sleeping stuff needs to be more water proof.

None of the saddle bags on the bike leak.



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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 11:15 AM
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Sounds like fun, where are you headed up here ???

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Planning to ride the Cabot Trail. The plan is to ride up the coast and return via the mountains. I welcome any suggestions you have to offer.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 01:38 PM
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:56 PM
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I brought one of these, and monkey butt is mostly a non issue now

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 08:57 PM
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awingandaprayer wrote:
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Planning to ride the Cabot Trail. The plan is to ride up the coast and return via the mountains. I welcome any suggestions you have to offer.


Better learn how to camp in the cool wet weather and keep things dry if going in the fall! Itll be a lot further than 250 miles to your nice warm bed at home

How/where are you going to dry out your mesh gear if wearing your rain gear under it?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Mesh gear dries pretty quickly. We're hoping to make the trip in early Sept. My rain gear won't fit over the armored mesh. The big reason I bailed was that the forecast called for more rain today. Packing a wet tent and riding in the rain on the Cherohala in the rain didn't sound like much fun, especially since home was so close. When riding in a local circle, it is not always possible to escape a regional weather pattern. Yea, I wimped out, but I accomplished most of the objectives of the trip.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 09:45 PM
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Well .... 1st off, you better get a rain suit that will easilyfitover your mesh gear, cause the rain you will encounter in the NE (hurricane saeson up there at that time of year)isn't going to be warm and Mesh gear does not dry out very quickly when it's still raining/damp out while camping, You sure don't want that hauled inside your tent (if you have the room for it) as it will get everything else wet/damp, including your sleeping bag. (condensation).

Also, snow is a real possibilites while coming back through the mountains at that time of year, so pack either a good fleece, (keeps you warm even if wet) or a heated jacket liner, to go along with your insulated liner for your mesh riding gear. To Wit; when I was making my way home last year, I encountered 8" of the whie stuff, going across US 30, 40 miles east of Greenburg, PA. This was Oct 1st and the high for the day was 37*. Make sure your boots are waterproof, or get some gaiters/leggings to keep them dry. Nothing worse than wet boots/feet in the cool dampas your boots will take forever to dry out

A drybag will keepyour sleeping gear dry while riding. A tarp erected 1st will create a dry shelter to erect your tent, dryly. Getting one big enough to cover a picnic table will give you an additionalsheltered area to cook/sit/live, instead of being tent bound

Don't pack anything cotton if the weather is cool/damp/wet, as it holds moisture and takes forever to dry, leading to hyperthermia if temps are cool enough. (<60*) which they most likely will be in the NE. Use synthetics instead, as they dry quickly and pack way smaller/lighter

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 10:16 PM
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Cotton kills.
Wool is an utterly amazing product.
Thin wool while hard to find, is comfortable,dries quick, stays warm if wet And stays cool if wet, amazing stuff.
wool socks are the only way to go.
Hit Goodwill up, I've found wool dress shirts, while corny, are perfect for riding...and a couple of bucks? I can live with the teasing.

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When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 09:48 AM
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Hi
You will love the Trail at that time of year. We have a local Ride For The Cure for Breast Cancer on the weekend of Sept. 8 that goes around the trail, usually around 800 bikes.
We live about a 2 hour ride from the trail. Send me a PM and I can send you some contact information in case you run into any problems or need information. Pick up a Motorcycle Tour Guide for Nova Scotia free at the tourist bureau or order one on line, I think it is about $20.00 and it comes with a discount card for various hotels, campgrounds, etc.
Just remember to watch out for moose!
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