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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be heading out soon. Not sure of an exact departure date yet, but probably around May 1st. I usually take a look at the long-term weather forecasts for the areas I'm going and decide from there.

As you can see from my 'States traveled map,' I've not yet picked off the Gulf States. Been in all of them many times, but haven't ridden the bike there. So I'll be heading south and picking off AR, LA, MS, AL FL. That will make 39 states I've ridden in so far.

We have other trips planned this year (including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), but honestly, my annual solo ride is always my favorite. Nobody to babysit and I can pile on the miles without listening to any whining..:)
 

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I'll be heading out soon. Not sure of an exact departure date yet, but probably around May 1st. I usually take a look at the long-term weather forecasts for the areas I'm going and decide from there.

As you can see from my 'States traveled map,' I've not yet picked off the Gulf States. Been in all of them many times, but haven't ridden the bike there. So I'll be heading south and picking off AR, LA, MS, AL FL. That will make 39 states I've ridden in so far.

We have other trips planned this year (including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), but honestly, my annual solo ride is always my favorite. Nobody to babysit and I can pile on the miles without listening to any whining..:)
Very cool. I should institute this tradition. I love solo rides.
 

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I have trouble getting riding buddies on board for more than day long trips. Usually due to work schedules and family obligations. All my trips outside my home state of WV and OH and KY have been solo. Looks like solo trips will be in my future for a while if I want to pile on miles and states.
 

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Enjoy your trip. Solos are a favorite of mine as well. You're on your schedule, your pace, your preferences, your clock .... now you have me planning mine for over Memorial weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. The first time I did this trip (2006), I recall talking with my wife about it. She knew that I liked long days in the saddle, heading out early and not stopping much. It wasn't going to be an annual thing, and it wasn't going to be for more that 4-5 days. Nowadays, its usually at least a week (my longest was when I did a big loop out to AZ - 4700 miles, 11 days), and I've done many states over and over again.

Solo travel is great for lots of reasons, not the least of which is self discovery (not to get too philosophical). It really gives a guy a chance to look at his life from afar, contemplate what's important (and what is not), and reflect on all of life's challenges that have lead up to this point.

I truly believe that everyone should spend significant time alone at least once a year. Does a soul good;)
 

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Solo travel is great for lots of reasons, not the least of which is self discovery (not to get too philosophical). It really gives a guy a chance to look at his life from afar, contemplate what's important (and what is not), and reflect on all of life's challenges that have lead up to this point.

I truly believe that everyone should spend significant time alone at least once a year. Does a soul good;)
So true. Probably one of the best quotes that resonates with me! But then we would have to get VERY philosophical if we wanted to delve into it more ;) :cool: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
So true. Probably one of the best quotes that resonates with me! But then we would have to get VERY philosophical if we wanted to delve into it more ;) :cool: ;)
DR....Lets 'delve!'

One of the neat residual effects of these trips is that I'll often be going along through my day and a particular moment from one of the trips will pop into my mind. Makes my day. For instance, I remember during my 2009 trip while riding through Monument Valley on the Navajo Indian Reservation (AZ). I stopped on the side of a remote road to view some of the natural beauty and it felt 'literally' like I was the only man on the planet. Shut off the bike and just listened. Dang....gives me tingles even now just thinking about it. Cool stuff!
 

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I'm with you Ran8175.

Up until recently (couple of years ago) when I met my wife I rode solo or with one good buddy. There are many times that I'll remember something from those rides that puts a smile on my face... Riding through a hot rain in Texas, going through canyon country in Colorado (I think ;)) and perking up because you can smell water but can't see it and haven't seen any for hours, riding through a buffalo herd on the way to Whitehorse, keeping fully dressed to keep the black-flies away waiting to cross the Mackenzie on the way to Yellowknife, scraping the boards along the Oregon coast... The list is endless.

Fortunately my wife doesn't like to stop much either and rides her own bike. ;)

To me it all helps put life in perspective and keeps me sane.

Well, sort of. It also give me and the voices a chance to catch up. :D


There's no such thing as a bad ride, just that some might be better.

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm with you Ran8175.

Up until recently (couple of years ago) when I met my wife I rode solo or with one good buddy. There are many times that I'll remember something from those rides that puts a smile on my face... Riding through a hot rain in Texas, going through canyon country in Colorado (I think ;)) and perking up because you can smell water but can't see it and haven't seen any for hours, riding through a buffalo herd on the way to Whitehorse, keeping fully dressed to keep the black-flies away waiting to cross the Mackenzie on the way to Yellowknife, scraping the boards along the Oregon coast... The list is endless.

Fortunately my wife doesn't like to stop much either and rides her own bike. ;)

To me it all helps put life in perspective and keeps me sane.

Well, sort of. It also give me and the voices a chance to catch up. :D


There's no such thing as a bad ride, just that some might be better.

Stephen

Stephen...thanks for your input. I can tell that you definitely 'get' what I'm referring to. I'll never forget the time in 2007 riding through NY state into Pennsylvania and it was raining so hard I could barely go more than 45 mph. I suppose I coulda stopped (and, for the sake of safety 'shoulda' stopped), but I just didn't want to let the rain win. I had all my raingear on, but it was one of those rains that I don't care who's gear you're wearing.....you're gonna get wet! Mother nature has to throw a pretty big fit to get me off the road, so consequently I've found myself in some nasty situations. When I look back at those times, I both chuckle and shake my head. My wife rides her own SG too, but there are some situations I wouldn't want her to ride in....and those super nasty weather events are among them..
 

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lol Speaking of rain...

About 3 years ago, we were on a ride through the interior of British Columbia on some great roads, there are lots there. We were crossing on the ferry from Balfour to Crawford Bay and Craig (he was leading us, about 15 bikes varying skill levels) tells everyone that when we start out he's going to take off to enjoy the road, not to worry about turns because there is no place to go. I hear this, I've been riding drag, and say that once everybody is going along well, and I can't see Craig, I'll pass and catch up to him. We go a couple of miles and all is great. Another mile or so and I can't see Craig (it's a pretty twisty road) so I start passing. It takes a bit due to the road and traffic but I pass and start catching Craig.

After about 5 minutes I can catch a glimpse of him every once in a while so he of course speeds up. lol Another 5 minutes and I'm all over him. Not trying to pass, just ... pushing... It starts to rain a bit so we do slow down a bit but keep going. Then it starts to POUR. We continue on for a bit and he starts to pull over. I get beside him and ask what's wrong? He says he can't see, I say I can so I'll lead. Off we go. About 20 minutes later we get to Sirdar (a little old train stop with, you guessed it, a bar, I mean hotel).

We take off our outer wettest layers and order a cool refreshing beverage. About 20 minutes later a couple of guys pull in. They kept on riding in the rain as well, but at a much reduced rate. About 20 minutes after the first few, the rest showed up. They had stopped because it was raining so hard, obviously the smart ones in the bunch. 3 full grown men fit in a portable outhouse and the rest hid under trees. lol

Didn't know it then but the gal I'd end up marrying was on that ride. She figured we were crazy. Now she KNOWS it. :D

Rain, snow, wind, heat, cold... It doesn't matter, every ride is a great one!

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cool story, Stephen. I've been in your neck of the continent, but it was almost 10 years ago now and it wasn't on a bike. We were motorhoming west across Canada from Int. Falls, MN. Hooked up on the Yellowhead?? Hwy across Manitoba, Sask, into Alberta to Jasper. From there we drove toward the Columbia Ice Fields?? and down to the Banff/Lake Louise area.

IMO, the Canandia Rockies are the prettiest mountains I've seen in person (and I've seen a lot of them). I would love to get back there sometime on via motorcycle.
 

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Cool story,
IMO, the Canandia Rockies are the prettiest mountains I've seen in person (and I've seen a lot of them). I would love to get back there sometime on via motorcycle.
+1 on the Feel good story :)
One of my main reasons for doing Alaskapalooza 2013 is seeing the Canadian Rockies! Can't wait. Been buying new gear almost every month since committing myself to doing the trip, mostly camping gear for the bike. For me 2012 will be an interesting year of experiencing motocamping. I look forward to mixing long rides with some alone time camping under the stars.
 

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Enjoy the trip... I am looking forward to the day I can pull off these long solo rides... At 35 it is just impossible to do so without being incredibly selfish. My time will come and I am looking forward to it.
 

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Enjoy the trip... I am looking forward to the day I can pull off these long solo rides... At 35 it is just impossible to do so without being incredibly selfish. My time will come and I am looking forward to it.
I hear ya Cmathias. Real life always takes precedence (family, kids., work).
At 46 I'm starting to get a little slack on all 3!
Some are luckier than others, or so we think, but Family & Friends are the 2 most important things we have. Ridding solo is simply a great way to reconnect with oneself and to make those realizations.
 

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edited for spelling...

2006 was the last year I made an annual "major" trip with another rider. I'm single and only have to worry about kenneling my 2 dogs (which REALLY bothers me, they're my kids). But the fact that my buddies with families can't go has not kept me from going solo at least once every year since '07. It really IS the fastest way to travel. And you do get to know yourself a little better and become one with yourself in an entirely different way.

I'm a meticulous planner when I go. I know where I'm going to spend each night when I wake up each morning, be it 200 or 600 miles away. I reserve my campsites well in advance and get the best ones that are available.

Eventually you get into a zone where you don't know what day it is. All you know is that today is "Grande Mesa, Colorado" or "Moab, Utah". Or "Humbolt Redwoods" or "Crater Lake". For me the zone is usually day 3 or 4 and it stays that way for the duration.

Living in central Texas, getting out of state is the hardest part. My day one goal is to always get out of my beloved home state. At some point on the 2-lanes, after hundreds of miles of basically the same scenery- you come around a corner and the world changes before your very eyes. High plains become valleys or mountains. Populous areas become desolate, and yours. And when it happens, you'll know it. You're in "the zone".

Whoever wrote America the Beautiful got it right, the purple mountains majesty, the spacious skies, the amber waves of grain. These things enter my mind and I know- and thank God, that I am an American. That this is MY land and that at all costs we must defend and preserve her. It's a true a very spiritual experience. One I seek out as often as possible.

I could go west into the Rockies every summer and be happy. From New Mexico all the way to the Canadian border at Glacier NP. In a quest to ride in all 50 states, I'd had to force myself to go elsewhere. This last spring I was able to black out my "states" patch (see my signature avatar) by riding to the NE U.S. Now only Alaska remains. I camped all but 3 nights on that trip which began Memorial Day weekend, 2011. Froze my ass off at a KOA on the Michigan UP and at another in Sterling, Connecticut. Sweltered at a campground near Meridian, Mississippi.

And the people you meet along the way. You know it's true. People are people wherever you go. There are snobs and hicks all over this land. Idiots everywhere, too. LOL But mostly, everyone is cool to you

When I got home from that trip, 13 days and more than 6200 miles later it sure felt good to sleep in my own bed. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and not knowing where I was for a moment, not recognizing my surroundings- even though I was home. Being "in the zone" laughingly ended at that instant. It wasn't long before I began planning that next trip, a week long run up to Rocky Mtn National Park that August. Couldn't let a summer go by without my Rockies fix... And now that I have the lower 48 + Hawaii under my belt, I can go back to places I've found that I love and stay put for a while. Day trip the regions and REALLY become aquainted with the areas, as opposed to blazing through all the time.

in 6 weeks I'll be on my Yosemite trip, again solo, and I can't wait. 4 days in the park. Will take routes I've been on before and others I've not yet seen.

I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Andyman...great write-up! I know all the feelings to which you refer. I'll confess that I don't camp anymore. Always cheap motels for me. I've stayed in some doozies, that's for sure.

Cmathias....you're doing the right thing, placing the family and home obligations first. I did that for years, was fortunate enough to retire early (at 46), and do some things that many others only dream of. I make a WHOLE lot less money nowadays, but plenty to keep me happy. One of the secrets is to NEVER compare yourself and what you have to anyone else. Our only true challenges and competition should come from within.

I'm precisely who I want to be. Wouldn't change one friggin' thing!:)
 

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Since you're headed to Florida make sure you get to Panama City Beach between May 2nd to the 7th for the Thunder Beach Rally.
 
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