I use Google maps to plan. You can find your gas stops, motels, and places to eat. Not to mention you can got to street level to actually view the street, intersection and such. Once the route is planned I use my software for my Garmin to put waypoints in the GPS.
I start with breaking the trip down into miles ..how many do I want to cover per day do I want to just ride or do I ride a day and stay a while then ride ..etc..mainly depends how long I want to stay in the saddle..then I look at climate and check places and things to see and do...I always try to make it a round trip no riding the same road twice as much as possible...
I start out with google to pick my general directions and main destination but i still like using trusty paper maps in the road i also sonetimes get better ideas on the trip which means taking a different direction. I dont like itineraries and it kinda breaks the freedom thing
I've used the HOG Ride planner, Google Maps, and Mapquest. They all seem to be pretty accurate with mileage. I usually plan around fuel stops and look to put on around 700 - 800KM (450 - 500 miles) a day. I use this as an overview so we have a rough idea of where we will be going as things often change with weather and construction.
I have maps of most of North America that stay in my saddle bag. These help me plan (or refresh my memory) for the next day, show others some great roads, and have settled many arguements. I like coming to a fork in the road and trying to remember which way to go so I don't use a GPS. Besides, getting lost makes for a better story...
I (and my wife) like to stop overnight at someplace that has a bed and hot shower, with decent food and a cool refreshing beverage within walking distance. Since we usually start by 7am this give us plenty of time to stop during the day if we want, or if the weather turns nasty. My wife isn't fond of riding after dark so we're usually done by 6 - 7pm.
The last 2 years we've gone on vacation for 2 weeks and put on about 9,000KM (5,600 miles). This allows for a few 'rest' days as needed. This year, since my wife has never been, we're planning on heading south to Vegas, west on the Lonliest Highway, and then north on the Pacific Coast highway.
Of course on the roads less traveled and without traveling the same road twice.
All that being said, we've also just picked a direction and taken off for 3 - 4 days with no plan except to ride.
Bottom line in my opinion is no matter what you decide to do, enjoy it!
AAA maps show scenic byways with little dots on the road. Also bicycle roads are good riding. That, a green marker to draw a route on a paper map, a zumo to tell where you wanted to go and off you go.
I like to be off the road by 5 - 5:30 to get cleaned up and have dinner before dark. Too many animals on the roads in the west.
One thing to know about Yellowstone is 'It can snow at anytime of the year". So be prepared.
Keep the shiny side up.
If I'm not on a trip I'm planning my next one. Naturally I start with point A and I know where the final letter will be. If I'm allowing 3 nights (4 days) to get to my final destination which is say, 1600 miles away, I chose where I want to overnight along the way. Then I find the coolest roads in between to get there.
Once I have the overnighters and must ride roads chosen, I use the HOG Ride Planner and my Garmin Map Source software at the same time.
A good resource for roads is www.byways.org (I think, just google US Byways if that link is wrong.) or get tips from riders along your route. This forum is good for that, too.
You'll love Yellowstone. And there are great roads in the southern 1/2 of Utah, then over into western Colorado and then up into western Wyoming. I've explored the areas extensively and can give you some suggestions. PM me if you're interested.
Not to hijack anything, but what are you guys using navigon on the iphone doing? Just purchased the app today and am trying to figure out how to plan a trip w/ waypoints and creating routes and what not.
All of the above. I like Google, a lot of flexibility you can highlight routes and snap them on other roads and it will recalculate (like Garmin should do). That's if you just want point a to point b. If you want to get a really good route look at www.madmaps.com. They have motorcycle foldout maps (they are coated in plastic for weather) and are scenic madmaps ridden and approved routes. They also have a phone app (I know iPhone not sure about android) and also are tied to Garmin. You can buy them for just about every state/major location. Really really good resource.
Lots of good suggestions, I use a combination of MS Streets and Trips, HD Ride Planner, Zumo 550 and paper maps. In addition to Mad Maps which are great for loop tours, I like Butler Maps which rank scenic routes within an area and provide a lot of very usefull information. They have a map for both Montana and Wyoming. I just got back from Yellowstone and I try to get up there about twice a year. I would highly recommend the Beartooth Highway from Cooke City, Mt to Red Lodge Mt as well as the Chief Joseph Highway from Cody, Wy to Cooke City Mt. As stated, be ready for any type of weather.
Howdy again friends of the wind!!
In my previous post about my trip through Idaho and Montana, I had mentioned that I had a bad habit of spending time on google maps creating different routes through some country that looks like it is worth riding. We here is another trip. Haven't completed...
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Today I took the scoot out for a little ride. It was 39 degrees when I left and it never got above 41. I rode for 250 miles and it felt great. I have heated gear and it makes me feel so loose. After 120 miles I stopped for fuel and wasn't stiff at all. The bike loves that cold air too...
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