To Ride or Not to Ride - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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To Ride or Not to Ride

I want to crowdsource some opinions:

I'm moving from New York City to Durham, NC. That's 500 miles and a 6-8 hour drive. I'm on the fence with whether to ride my bike down or ship it down. I want to ride but want to hear some of your thoughts.

My bike is an '02 919, just threw on some new wheels this week so no worries there. I have a Givi windscreen (but I'm 6'2" so that only redirects the air to my head ). I have lowered pegs because of bad knees.

No luggage needed, I'll just tie down a duffle back to the seat. Anything I should consider? I'm a fairly strong rider but I like to stay humble and remember there's always something to learn. This would be my longest trip to date and I'm getting mixed opinions from folks.

Anyone of my build with a similar bike setup do a ride and have some important thoughts? Things to bring?

Thanks folks!

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post #2 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 08:21 AM
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500 miles? That can be a bit much for a single day ride, break it up into 2 days and it will be cake. The old lady I rode from Minneapolis to Portland Maine and we averaged 600 miles or so a day. We could have done more, but her Magna has a small ass tank and we were stopping every 90 miles or so.

Tips? Stop often and stretch your legs. Drink plenty of water (will also help with the stopping often). Enjoy the trip.



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post #3 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 08:22 AM
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keep in mind i'm only 21 so your mileage may vary, but 500 isn't so bad as long as you expect to make a day out of it. just take a break every hour and maybe munch on a snack/ have a drink and it's not so bad really

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post #4 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 08:28 AM
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As long as the tires are up to the trip I'd say go for it! One thing though: a windscreen that directs the wind to your helmet, while tolerable for short rides, would be the worst sort of misery for a 500 mile trip!!! My advice is remove it and lean into the wind, as I have done for many a long trip.

One more thing: use properly fitting ear plugs whether you are using the screen or not. Trust me, your ears will thank you.

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post #5 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Great points across the board - thanks!

I also feel like it's not such a bad ride. But I'm known to be a bit pigheaded once I set my mind to something so that's why I wanted to crowdsource.

When you say the ride is hard or a bit much, in what way is that meant? Physically? Mentally? I can't imagine it being that tortuous

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post #6 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 09:10 AM
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If you ride your bike like you drive your car (ride until empty, fill up and go), you will be tired and miserable by the end of the trip. If you take your time and understand that 500 miles will be a whole day, you will be fine. Every time you gas up (~100-120 miles is the magic number for myself), stretch, drink a Gatorade, eat some jerky (or some other brain food), pee and head back out. It makes for a lot of stops and can add an hour or two to the ride, but it will be MUCH more comfortable.

Oh, and don't wear cotton underpants... but you should probably know that by now.
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 10:03 AM
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I live in Durham and have driven that route quite a few times in a car, but would not want to do it on 2 wheels. That distance in the time you have said is going to be slab the entire way - and the traffic won't thin out until you get south of Richmond, VA if you are taking I-95. I usually count on 5 hours between Durham and Alexandria, VA - longer if it is a weekend.

If you can, take a couple of days and make it a fun ride - go west of the 95 corridor and ride through some of the more scenic areas.

I'll echo what the others have said as well - earplugs, frequent stops for hydration and snacks, etc.

Shoot me a PM if you want any info on riding around Durham or other places nearby.
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 12:45 PM
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I don't think it's the miles as much as the hours. I did an all day ride before and it can get to you. 5~6 hours isn't that big of a deal at all. You can break it up into 2~3 hrs at a time and find somewhere to have some food or just kick back for a while.

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post #9 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acall View Post
what he said
+1

you need to consider that going from NYC to NC even is a car is torture. if you are planning to slab it you will be relatively miserable depending what kind of temperment you have. It will be a boring, windblasting, mind numbing ride.
That said.. I'd probably do it rather than pay to ship the bike.
If google maps says it takes 6-8 hrs, add at least 2 if you're on a bike, gas stops, piss stops, food stops, dead phone etc. Wear a camelback or similar, stay hydrated. have some snacks in a tank bag or pocket, bring a USB power bank for your phone.


So not knowing your timeframe/finances/how much you plan to take with.. I think I'd say tow the bike. If that's not an option it's doable but it might be miserable.

If you want to do it without it being complete misery make it a minimum of two days. If you don't mind traffic and riding slab, take your time on the highways, spend a night in DC or Richmond. If you want to make a better ride of it then head west through PA and come down rt 15 to rt 340, you can even get a taste of skyline drive or the blue ridge parkway (keep in mind it takes a lot of time to go any distance on these twisty roads, but if you have to go from NYC to NC what better reason). If you have time, you could make an awesome trip of it.
check out https://trips.furkot.com/ if you want to do some trip planning.
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post #10 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 03:05 PM
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Have you ever done an all day ride outside of NYC? I mean at least being out on the bike from morning to evening. If yes, then you should be able to handle a ride down from NY to NC. If not, go out for a day ride out to NJ, upstate NY etc and do some exploring.

It won't be the most comfortable or fun ride, but it sure as hell beats driving. Everything stated above on it being a boring, mind numbing ride will be true, but it's 10x worse in a car.

Follow the advise given above on meals, drinks, and ear plugs. Don't forget the rain gear. Make sure that duffel bag is strapped down securely. You can probably do it in a day, but budget for two just in case you feel the need to stop or want to do some sight seeing along the way.

Good luck to you on the move and welcome to the SE.
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely amazing community. Thank you all for the sincere advice, offers of hospitality, and great insight.

I'm looking to make the trip in one day since the lady is flying down so I want to meet her there in good time. acall and kutz have very kindly given me a great map. While I don't mind the highways like 95 at all, I wouldn't want to lose focus there what with all the poor drivers rushing on a weekend. So I'll take their map and head west a bit into PA and then on down.

Looks like with stops that detour will add probably 3-4 hours total so most likely this will be a 12 hour excursion. I'm 90% of the way decided on wrapping my knee, stocking up on Cliff bars, and digging up my earplugs to tackle this trek.

If it happens I'll be sure to update you all!!

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post #12 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
You can break it up into 2~3 hrs at a time and find somewhere to have some food or just kick back for a while.
This. I would try to break it up a bit, you'll need a rest every so often.

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post #13 of 28 Old 06-07-2017, 04:49 PM
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Remember those posts about people that go half way around the WORLD on a motorcycle? What if you leave a day early and sleep over somewhere? Then you can take a 100 mile detour to that place you always wanted to see (there has to be some place you wanted to see)

Pretty soon the question is "why did I ever consider NOT going on this really awesome adventure?"

BTW, if you know the traffic patterns, leave so that you are riding at night thru the part with the worst traffic. I breezed thru LA like it was nothing because it was so early in the morn that nobody was there.
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-08-2017, 07:19 AM
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500 miles in a day is about the limit for enjoyment for me. I don't know that area or route at all, so that's a consideration, but 500 miles is very achievable. Two years ago I did an Iron Butt around Lake Michigan and did 1096 miles in 22 hours and 40 minutes... I didn't start regretting it until around the 500 mile mark, but that was only because I was ready to be done and knew I was only halfway there and it was too late to turn back Good luck!

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post #15 of 28 Old 06-08-2017, 10:43 AM
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The most i did on my motorcycle was 400 miles in one day to the Salton Sea and back. I left at 8am and returned at 6pm. I stopped twice to explore. I was tired after but man was that fun. It would probably be boring if you just take the highway. Last summer i took my cage to San Francisco from LA and that was the most miserable thing ever. The 5 freeway is horrible.

I say do it but take some backroads.

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post #16 of 28 Old 06-08-2017, 11:08 AM
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post #17 of 28 Old 06-10-2017, 01:52 PM
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Ear plugs for sure. I'd consider breaking it up into two days, but try to do it in one if you can handle it. Would be nice to know that you have a Plan B (two days) if the going seems rough. And just knowing that you have that option may give you enough psychological stamina to meet the challenge of a one day trip. Stay alert around the population centers though - traffic can be a bitch.

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post #18 of 28 Old 06-10-2017, 04:19 PM
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I noticed that most everyone is assuming this to be a ONE day run... who says he can't make it a TWO day run? The only thing we should assume is that he has to end up as a certain place... What if he takes off now, ends up in California, then Florida, then 6 months later...

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post #19 of 28 Old 06-11-2017, 08:33 AM
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Just do it.

Take 2-3 days and enjoy the adventure.



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post #20 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 09:56 AM
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I'd take off and do the ride if you haven't already but before leaving maybe find a good 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 point that has a place to sleep just in case you get into it and find you need to break it up across two days. Assuming the weather stays great it should be somewhat doable but if you start encountering bad wind or rain it can make a man miserable and 100 miles in rain with wind blowing in your face can make it feel like a 1000 and will sap your will to ride further.
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post #21 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 10:06 AM
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If you are still worried about it, fly me out there and I will ride the bike down to you...
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post #22 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 10:51 AM
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I fail to see the problem... Back in the day we used to do 500 mile days on the RC51 routinely. I've done 1300 mile weekends on the 919.

If you want to ride, then ride. If you don't, then don't
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post #23 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 08:14 PM
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Anyone that can do 500 miles in one day on an RC51 is a tough rider!

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post #24 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 08:33 PM
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Well that was then and I'd be lying to say I wasn't begging for those gas stops every 90 or so miles...

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post #25 of 28 Old 06-16-2017, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
If you want to ride, then ride. If you don't, then don't
I am 24, have not yet done a ride this long, and as per my post I have a bad knee. Folks have kindly offered their insights and now I have a better grasp of what I'm in for and can prepare better (i.e. by making it a two day trip, taking frequent stops, etc. - thanks guys/gals!). Kind of the point of forums like these.
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post #26 of 28 Old 06-16-2017, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
...500 mile days on the RC51...
Is this how one does 500 miles on a RC51?

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post #27 of 28 Old 06-16-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knicholas View Post
I am 24, have not yet done a ride this long, and as per my post I have a bad knee. Folks have kindly offered their insights and now I have a better grasp of what I'm in for and can prepare better (i.e. by making it a two day trip, taking frequent stops, etc. - thanks guys/gals!). Kind of the point of forums like these.
sorry, some of us are a lil rough around the edges

if it is your first time doing something like this, you owe it to yourself to make it 2 days and enjoy the trip. exploring, adventure, the unknown, the independence and challenge; it's a whole other side of riding. I wish i could say i've done more trips. I'm 28 and have done a number of long weekend trips around WV/VA, and ridden MD to Canada alone..over..3 or 4 days.. and i'll always remember that trip and the challenges i ran across, it was a big learning experience. I'm always wishing for more trips and longer trips.

I saw you checking out that givi system for sale here. That's a good idea. you should also consider a tank bag so you have quick easy access to things on the fly.. wallet, cell phone, water/snacks.

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post #28 of 28 Old 06-18-2017, 11:34 AM
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My cousin has 4 years riding under her belt and took an FJ09 from NY to LA in 12 days last month. She did NY-Cleveland in one day for her first day of riding too! I couldn’t believe it.


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