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Taking a trip from Florida to California in December. We will stay on I-10 because it seems to be the most southern route.

Any suggestions welcome for how to dress, gear needed, and thingswe "must see" or "beware".

Just as an aside, the bike is still in the dealership getting gussied up. We should have it in 3-4 days!!

:cool:Thanks ...this site is becoming our Goldwing Family!

Susan and Gary
 

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Trajan wrote:
Any suggestions welcome for how to dress, gear needed, and thingswe "must see" or "beware".

Gary, what do you and Susan have in the way of warm, protective riding gear? Does your 1800 have electric hand grips and seat? What type of helmets(full face, open face?)

A little more info on what you have will help to narrow down and speed up any advice. :waving:



Dusty
 

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Okay... we both have full face helmets, heated grips and seats.

For cold weather here, we dress in layers. Thermal long johns and shirt when its really cold. Our jackets are nylon lined, just ordered pants with reinforced areas and leather boots.. We have Frog Togs rain suits.

Hope this helps!
By the way... I (Susan) am the poster. Gary dictates and looks over my shoulder...except when we are riding!
 

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Well Susan, (and Gary ;)) you might find this thread of interest.

I was wearing a mid-weight long john top underneath a mid-weight fleece top, a heavy denim shirt over that, a PrimaLoftinsulated pullover on top of that, underneath a textile riding jacket with installed quilted liner. I would also wear my Fogg Togg jacket, as it helps to really cut the wind. I felt and probably looked like the Michelin tire man! :D

On the bottom, I wore a pair of jeans underneath my insulated riding pants. At times I could still feel the cold,although Iwas generally warm enough(and I'm used to the cold), but it's a different story when you are out in those temps and are riding hours on end.All those layerswas quite an inconvenience when it was time to head to the washroom. :shock:

The problem I had, was keeping myfeet and to a degree, my handswarm enough, even though I wore 2 layers of socks and wore a pair of insulated gloves. Gary should be alright with the grip heaters, but there is nothing provided for you, the passenger. I'd be looking at getting a pair of leather snowmobile mitts, to provide protection and greater warmth than gloves. Might even want a pair of fleece liner gloves, that will fit inside of the mitts.

A balaclava that fits comfortably underneath your helmet, goes a log way to eliminate bothersome drafts on both the front/back of your neck and keep you much more comfortable/warmer


Seeing as how Dec is a month of greater moisture(rain) in a lot of the southern states, I'd keep the Frogg Toggs on, over top of your riding gear, not only in case of rain, but they really do help to cut the wind.




Being cold and 'overstuffed' by all the layers,can drastically reduce reaction time. I'm thinking seriously on the Tourmaster Synergy outfit, mentioned in the thread above, as it will take up a lot less space then all those layers of clothes.



Dusty
 

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:shock:WOW :doh:

I don't think we realized it would be that cold on the "southern route"! What is the lowest temp to ride with only long johns under jeans and lined jacket? I've been a Florida girl for a loooong time.

S.

 

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In Conroe (40 miles N of Houston) this am, it was 38*, makes the chill factor @ 60 mph around 19*. 'Course, it warmed up to the upper 70's this afternoon. If you travel daylight hours you should be ok with your current atire in the cooler morns & evenings.

I really like mittens for cold weather riding, kinda lets all my fingers warm each other. :) But I, too, have always had trouble with cold feet. I might try some of those electric socks....
 

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You should have a tool kit that will enable you to do basic repairs or trouble shooting. A gps is a great tool if you can understand how to use them. A cell phone for safety & a contact plan that you & a family member or friend will follow without fail. All you do is make a contact time with someone at the same time every day, Like at 8 pm. Than if you dont call in, Your friend or family Gets a search going until communication is re established. (Just a safety net)

I dont know the terain down there, but here, there is area's that require a very full fuel tank to make it to the next gas station. You should research your route for issues like this.

Decide if you require any health care insurance for your trip. Amber glasses for night riding are awesome!!!
 

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The OEM tool kit has sufficient tools to change a tire or do what ever road side repairs you might want or need to do. In December it's possible to hit some very cold weather even on I-10 but long johns under jeans with a pair of Frogg Togg rain pants as a wind breaker should be enough, I used to ride snowmobiles at -20F with waffle long johns and jeans. I like my Tour Master coat for cold riding. With the quilted liner it's very warm and water proof. I use a fleece scarf to keep the wind out of the neck opening of the Tour Master. With a full face helmet or face shield the cold wind really isn't a problem. I do have a bit of a problem with my hands in cold weather due to past frostbite that left the nerves very sensitive to cold. I think heated gloves would be a real boon.

The main thing when traveling cross country is not to carry too much stuff. I recently rode from Oregon to Georgia and back and was able to get everything I needed inside the trunk and saddlebags. If you're staying in motels as I'd expect in December you can always wash clothes so you don't need much, one pair of pants and a shirt to wear and one each to carry. Four days of underwear should be enough, you can always wash them, or junk them and replace from Wal Mart if you don't feel like washing them, really isn't all that expensive.
 

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Becareful, you could hit some icey weather through east and central texas...But if you have time visit the River Walk in San Antonio then cut up on I35 and spend some time in Austin...Lots of things to do and see, go have some Texas BBQ at The Green
Mesquite.
 

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:doh: I forgot to mention that this was while riding through the Midwest states during the week of October 16 - 20, while riding back from Ontario, back to BC, after the NASSIR event. I had one day in Nebraska that was 82*, while the morning I left Butte MT, it was 34* and foggy.

Like Beverly mentioned, when the temps start getting that low, watch out for ice on the roads, especially on bridges/overpasses, as ice will form there, before the actual highway road surface. Ride 'smooth' - no sudden acceleration/deceleration/steering/braking input. When there are puddles present on the highway, I like to ride on the 'inboard ' side of them, closer tothe centre section of the lane. It's drier there and less chance of ice. The 'slow lane' usually dries out first, but is also typically 'rutted' by the big rigs, so watch out for those, as they can affect the 'steering', giving you that wandering/seeking sensation, requiring more driver attention/input.

Give yourself enough leeway in time, so you can delay the day's departure until after 10am, as the day is starting to warm upand then pull off for the night, around 3-3:30, when the temps start to fall again and before the heavy rush hour traffic starts, if you are near a major city. Try and grab a motel, on the far side of the city/town, so when you start out for the day, you are not fighting traffic, through the middle of town. Watch the weather channel in your motel room and plan your daystrip accordingly. If it's going to be adverse weather, no matter what route you take, sit tight, until things clear up.

Even though it's cold out, it's important to keep hydrated. Coffee and Tea are diuretics and will actually dehydrate you, as well as make you stop for 'pee breaks' more often. Okay to have your morning 'cup', but after that, drink either hot water/chocolate, or a 'sports drink(Gatorade etc).


With the proper preparation/planning and attitude, the trip can/will be fun.



Cheers, Ken
 

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Nancy and I took our first long vacation last June and July on our 1200. We packed way too much clothing, even for the 15 days we were gone.

You can get "big" ziplocks, I think they might be 2 gallon size and it will hold a complete set of clothes. That allows you to smash them down and get the air out to make the bag even smaller.

One additional repair item I took along was a small 12 volt compressor and a tire plug kit. We ended up not needing them till this year as we headed to Calhoun for the meet and greet. It was great having it on the side of I75 as everyone drove past us.

Like the others have said, take plenty of photos and most of all have fun.

It is an unbelievable feeling when you finally head out the first morning knowing that you've planned for it and the day is finally there.

We call our's "Oma and Papa's great adventure" and even a year later, we still talk about it and smile.
 

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The best advice I can give here is to evaluate your own personal tolerance to cold (I catch flack from my buddies all the time because I don't put a jacket on until it hits 45 degrees), then pack accordingly.

Mike
 

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Wearing "underarmor" gear keeps you warm without bulking up. Can wear a long sleeved one over a short sleeve one. Fleece clothing will also be an option. Check out a sports/running store for tops and bottoms. I'd also add a dayglo green reflective vest to wear on top of everything. With many hours in the saddle, it's just more visual protection. Remember, a good rain suit will keep the heat in even when it's sunny and cold.

As for security, once on the trip, don't talk to others too much about your trip. Use motels on the good side of town. Start early in the AM to avoid commuting traffic so you can get to your next "Tammy & Tommy" tourist stop. Carry just the credit/ID cards needed and keep cash in different locations. If gear is tied to bike, try to sit so you can keep an eye on it. Be friendly with everyone, but be careful who you trust.

You didn't mention, but it would be great if you were travelling with another couple or two. Extra layer of security/asistance. Print up a list of dealers along the way so you can contact them if you need help. Consider AAA if you're not already a member.

Keep your wits about you and we all hope the two of you have a great time.
 

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Frog togs are great for your body but if you are going to be on a schedule so you may have to ride even if raining you will want waterproof gloves and boots. GOre-Tex gets my vote for the best thing available.

When buying clothes for layering pay attention to the collars, you DON"T want collars on all your layers, just the outer one and maybe one insulated layer. Otherwise when you try to close the outer layer you won't be able to breathe.

The Balaclava mentioned above is a great Idea I have a silk one I use for riding snowmobile, with just that and a helmet my head does not get cold. The old saying "If your feet are cold, put on a hat" is true.
 

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Just to emphasize one point.... have plenty of time... being able to make some late starts and early stops will cover a host of ills... Besides the warmer riding weather, it will also provide some time to buy the things on the road that you find you need...
 

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Just remember that 40 degrees feels like 23 degrees at 70 mph
 

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Trajan wrote:
:shock:WOW :doh:

I don't think we realized it would be that cold on the "southern route"! What is the lowest temp to ride with only long johns under jeans and lined jacket? I've been a Florida girl for a loooong time.

S.



I have some great experience riding that route in Winter - although I started a bit earlier - late October out of Daytona - finished on the California coast New Years. Man the stories and pictures I have - even of "Gulf Storms"!! :weightlifter:That is "rain season" across the south. Be very careful as you head west. In Arizona you get red clay that creates a "slip" with the rain water and it can be very slippery. Also in California - where it hardly ever rains ( :shock:) - you will be entering the monsoon season. When we do get rain off the Pacific - it rains HARD and the roads have poor drainage. I had to hole up a whole day because I was hydroplaing my bike - scared the stuffing out of me.

I had no heaters on my bike but a few pointers I picked up - your rain jacket is your friend - in the cold. Keeping the wind off is the key. Wear it over leathers or other jackets - unless you get one of these advanced layer system jackets that are waterproof - still have additional thermal layers. This is easier on wings with farings but ANY exposed (from behind the faring) part covered or not will chill and freeze in the wind. Keep in mind that in the west ELEVATION is a major factor in dropping temps. Out here in CA it can be 50s and 60s near the shore and snowing above 4 or 5,000 feet. You will cross the Continental Divide on you ride so no matter what you do you will ride through elevation - usually a good thing - :cool:

Expect rain and very cold. I spent the night in a lodge on the rim of the Grand Canyon that trip - coldest riding I've ever done - 19 degrees F. Be careful of frost and black ice. The key is you can ride in the cold and have a most enjoyable ride - if dressed properly - BUT you need to have the eyes darting ahead - you may ride through forests that have trees whose shado covers the pavement - there you may find frost or worse Black ice. DO NOT assume a dark spot is just wet - especially in a shaded curve.

Points of interest that I recall off the top of my head... I think you can Google most of these or just a simple internet query...

Emerald Coast - Florida. Ranked by some as one of the 10 best rides in the USA. I started in Deer Key and curved up around the panhandle . Stayed in Panama City cheap in the offseason.

Natchez Trace - Mississipi and Tennesee - just beautiful. Beale Street in Memphis if you fancy a visit to the Blues music mecca - and Graceland is there as well if you want to continue and blast to past with Elvis.

Louisiana I mostly rode right on through - I had heard of safety issues in the Big Easy and moved on so I cant help there.

Texas - I found Houston, San Antonio (do the Alamo and the Riverwalk), Austin, Hill Country, Ranch Roads and ESPECIALLY Big Bend National and State Parks all great experiences.I was given a route (which unfortunately I can't locate just now - out of San Antonio through these great Texas Ranch roads that eventually spit me out on 90 west towards Del Rio. If you do this you need to visit Big Bend North of Del Rio where you can cross over into Mexico if you dare for a bit of culture - that was my first time - it was an experience but I didn't care for this border town much at night - mostly a place for Texas kids to get drunk and puke - would have liked to see it in day - but ran outta time and interest. Do not miss the opportunity that I did when you cross the bridge over the Rio Bravo Gorge at the Amistead Recreation Areato take a picture, You can shortly Visit "Langtry" and witness the history of the life and times of judge Roy Bean. You can stay in the lodge in the park - beware of roadrunners, turantulas and wildcats. Follow the Rio Grande up through the parks and then venture out towards Terlingua and Study Butte and eventually Marfa - where they see the highest concentration of "UFO's" in the "Marfa Lights". You can also see Abe Lincoln's profile in a mountain along the way and exotic animal ranches (camels, llama's, zebra etc…) From Marfa -you can ride hard and fast up 90 through the ranches to get up to the 10 again. In El Paso you can shop for Boots on this "Boot Capital of the World" - anything you can picture - but mostly cowboy boots from $100 to $10,000. I still have my Black "Alligator Snout" Tony Llama's - love 'em.

In New Mexico you can visit forts and the place they caught and killed gangsters (Billy the Kid? I think) Stop at the Continental Divide rest area on your way into AZ - big gift shop.

In Southern Arizona - Bisbee, Tombstone - near Tucson - Mt Lemmon Highway through the Suguaro NM, south of Phoenix the Superstition Mountainsthen route yourself to the 17 up past Phoenix and Take the 89 out to Prescott, then find the Alt 89 north - Mt. Mingus Highway - no guardrails and many great views - especially at the turnout before the descent through Jerome. These are all very steep twisty roads - the polar opposite of flat Florida - all quite beautiful. Visit the copper mining town of Jerome, Tuzigoot NM, Montezeuma's Well AND Castle, Sedona, Oak Creek, Sunset Crater, Wipatki, Grand Canyon - others too numerous to mention/recall right now, Come back down from Grand Canyon through San Francisco Peaks to Flagstaff and then pick a route to get you back down to the 10 - 17 is fastest. Avoid Phoenix rush hours - they are nasty. If north of Phoenix and you want to hang with bikers for a bit - ask how to get to Cave Creek - huge biker hangout - remember to respect the patch wearers - lots there - Sonny Bargers home (founder of Hell's Angels). All types of bikers vist there daily.

You will cross 2 deserts during your trip from Arizona to California - the Sonoran and Mojave - have water - and fuel up before - I recommend Tonopah west of Phoenix on the 10 - if you fuel here you can make Indio, CA - just barely. If you want to top off to be sure - Blythe, CA at the AZ/CA border.

If you get a chance stop off the 10 just before the California border in Quarzite (could fuel up there too) - the biggest constant flea market in the world - plan on spending forever if you do - I never stop anymore because I am afraid I'll never leave. Cross over the Colorado river - notice how much different it looks up close - people boating and swimming in it - LOL It also contrasts the desert a strip of ble water with green along the shores meandering through the desert pastels.

DO NOT stop for gas in Desert Center - the highest priced gas ever. But if you miscalculate - you have to. Be sure to gas up in Tonopah, AZ; Quarzite, AZ or Blythe, CA at the Colorado river - I think your next will be in Indio, CA This is not an area to miscalculate mileage - very dangersous. Read the map distances - twice - and use the major towns for gas. Do not assume that a town on the map has gas - some are just agricultural or mining stops.

California is too big and beautiful to go into - maybe if I know where in CA I can help.

This is just a quick brain dump - I can provide pictures of most places if you want to see them (except not many in Texas), hope this helps.
 

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Oh and expect Border Patrol checkpoints- in New Mexico and Arizona mostly. This is where you will be hailing down the road at 80 and then you get slowed down speeds seemingly for no reason just to have to stop at a checkpoint - where they most likely will wave you through - buit they are looking for illegals in cars/truck and vans.
 
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