Friday, February 7, 2014

Conversations on Winter travel plans: First response from Bob Falia - (CA to NJ failed at Thanksgiving.

This is from my good friend Bob Fallia who attempted CA to NJ over Thanksgiving week. Chedk his blog at BMW K 1600

Bob's comments:

I can't comment on your post to GS Giants; but, you know that I did this route and then some in December. My suggestions are 1) Go back and read my blog about my trip. That should convince you to wait until spring. If I can't convince you of that, I implore you to watch BOTH the local forecast and the national weather outlook. If there is a named storm coming through your route when you're going to be there, don't go. 3) Set your limits now. A nice minimum number to ride in is 38 degrees. Below that, you're looking at ice on bridges and shaded areas. Ice and bikes don't mix. The threat of ice should stop you. 4) I'm assuming you have full compliment of heated gear. If you don't, please immediately check yourself into the nearest mental institution. You're certifiably nuts. 5) Plan for several extra days of travel, on top of whatever rest breaks your planning. I needed an extra month or so to complete my trip when I had to leave the bike in Houston. Before that, I had a couple days of down time. 6) If you're thinking about camping, check yourself into the nearest mental institution. You're certifiably nuts. 7) The biggest difficulty on this route is from when you enter Arizona until you get to San Antonio. You will encounter lots of wind and precipitation while you are in the mountain. If you can't ride your bike on a 45 degree angle while the wind blows out of the North (or if that idea upsets you), wait until Spring. 8) Realize that if you're going to "try to make it" somewhere in bad weather, you could get stuck in between, and it could be MANY miles before the next exit, and many more miles before the next exit with vacancies, fuel, or food. If there's is snow on the ground, and the exit goes off uphill, you may not be able to get off at that exit, which means many more miles of traveling in really bad conditions. Maybe it's better to wait until spring. 9) Nexrad weather radar is an awesome thing. Without it, it's a crap shoot as to what's going to happen next. If you can find a place to strap a GPS with Nexrad weather on it, do it and eliminate the guess work. Another option is to just keep calling me. I'll tell you how horrible the weather is and that you should wait until spring. 10) When spring time comes, this route has much less wind, snow, ice, freezing rain and sleet. There are less pile ups with dead people lying around and not nearly as much difficulty finding shelter when they shut down the interstate (to clean up bodies) and everyone goes running for the nearest room. By the way, when they do this, it's best to have plenty of fuel in your tank. If you run out, the heated gear...that I know you're wearing...stops working and you simply freeze. The good news is that as your body shunts blood and warmth to your core, your legs will go numb and you will fall down. Someone will probably see that and put you in their warm vehicle until the ambulance comes. This is much less likely in the spring time. 11) 10 was such a nice round number; but, for good measure ... there is nothing happening in Daytona that is worth this ride in the Winter. It's better to wait it out in the warm air in CA and do Daytona when you find yourself in the local area and don't have to ride cross country for it.
Me: yes, I knew you started out on Rt 10. and I knew what you ran into... I figure if I give myself three weeks I should be able to find 7 decent travel days. Most of those areas have hit 60 lately... You don't think there will be good days? Wasn't figuring on lots of camping. Am looking for friends along the way. Have one in TX.
I think you can find 7 good riding days; but, at what expense? Most of my riding time was spent getting to Houston. Once I had good weather days, I flew through the remainder. In retrospect, I realized that I would NEVER have done the ride I did with a passenger on the back because it was not a risk I would be willing to expose another human being to. That and the continual pleas from family and friends to stop says something about the margins of safety I was operating in. Unless you have something to prove, I'd just wait. You have more warmth and sun there than you will on the ride you're considering. Besides, in the spring, you can catch the flowers blooming and I think the blue bonnets will be out in Texas. I'd wait.

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