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anyone else hate to plan?


sgendler

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This is kind of a cross between a conversation topic and a ride tale, but I'll stick it here, cause my intent is to start a conversation.

 

It seems like most of the folks around here have fairly detailed plans for their long rides, check the weather in the morning, and generally have a pretty good idea of where they're going, how they're gonna get there, and even where they are gonna sleep every night.

 

Personally, I am consitutionally incapable of doing that kind of planning. It wouldn't be a motorcycle trip if I had that kind of detail in my itinerary. Most of my best adventures have occured when I was off course or otherwise lost, making up time, or taking a recommended detour.

 

Anyone else out there like to just point their bike in a direction and ride? What are some of your favourite experiences when you were just riding without a plan?

 

One of mine was when I got caught in a small Nevada town (Austin) after the last gas station had closed for the night, with a gap to the next station far larger than I could make on what was left in my tank. The only hotel with a vacancy (only hotel in town?) was a fleabag place, where my room had burned out bulbs, a broken TV, and really nothing to recommend it. I was definitely gonna be rolling out the sleeping bag on the bed, after removing the scary cover with my gloves on. In the meantime, I clearly couldn't hang out in the room until I got sleepy, so I walked down the street to the only obviously open bar. I walked in and there were about 5 people in the room, 2 of whom worked there. Several others were doodling on a guitar and a drumset. There was an 18 or 19 year old blonde girl sitting by the bar (cute, too, but not really my type, being barely not jailbait and all - I have to leave something for Wurty, after all). Looking around, I spotted a piano in the corner, and as expected, it was pretty violently out of tune. But with nothing else to do, I sat down and started to play along. That little impromptu jam turned into 3 hours of music, several other folks wandered in, and it wound up being quite a party.

 

The next day, I left my card with the cashier of the gas station, fueled up, and promptly rode east, conveniently leaving my credit card behind. After hitting the twisties on the outskirts of town, it was a long straight 70-some mile stretch to the next town, and I had the throttle of my Mille pinned the entire way. The luggage on the back of the bike kept top speed limited to around 135mph unless I was going downhill, but I didn't spend much time under that speed, either. So 30 minutes later, as I'm pulling into town (at the speed limit), I see an oncoming cop. Even worse, as soon as he passed me, his lights went on as he spun around to pull me over. I pulled over immediately, expecting to be told that I'd been tagged from the air, but he was just letting me know that the attendant at the gas station had called ahead, and they wanted me to come back and sign my credit card receipt. I swear, she couldn't have cared less about getting my card back to me, but she sure wanted her signature. As the cop walked away, he looked down at his watch and with a wink, said "you sure made good time." I took that as my cue to roll as quick as I could the other direction, this time with a tailwind. Of course, by the time I got back to Austin, I needed gas again, so I spent another 5 minutes filling up before heading out and tearing hell across the state again. An hour after our first encounter, I gave the cop a wave as I puttered through town on my way to South Carolina.

 

Those were the first and second days of a 9 week trip that took me to 30+ states, caused me to meet my future wife, and generally changed my life, all without any kind of plan other than to attend a family reunion in the outer banks, spend some time in NYC and Boston, and hit some of the best riding roads in the country along the way. Somehow, I even managed not to take any real vacation time, working from the road 3 or 4 days a week and in the evenings. I'd love to do it again, but I'll never pull that PTO feat off again. I had a VERY understanding boss.

 

--sam

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Cool story Sam, we have to get together and jam sometime.

I'm kinda planning a 12-13 day trip starting with Torrey.

I have the time off, I'm packing the bike, still debating about camping gear, maybe a sleeping bag ? I'm sorta heading north from there in a loop ? I got a map with some roads highlighted, Lolo pass, Bear tooth, maybe Highway to the Sun, I'll bring some highlighters an talk to Jamie & Leslie and highlight some more roads to ride if I get near them. But that's about it for the itinerary.

That's alot of planning on my part.

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Great save, because if that was me it would have been a miserable night. I'm a neat freak and would not have enjoyed that hotel. I can't play a piano either. I travel all over the country and always try to end a day of riding in at least a large town if not small city where I can find a nice hotel.

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If you are travelling w/out a "plan", playing by ear smirk.gif, isn't that a plan?

If you plan not to plan you've planned what not to do.

If you plan what not to do, then haven't you planned what to do?

Or not?

Most of us are creatures of habit.

Whether we verbalize or consciously discuss our intentions my experience has been that we can predict with a fair degree of certainty how different people will react to a given set of choices.

If you believe in fate/destiny, then planning is futile.

If you believe in fate/destiny, then not planning is futile. grin.gif

Kismet, Karma, choices that lead us to, or give us the impression we chose to do, can be difficult to outrun.

Pelple who plan have their plans changed.

People who don't plan change their plan too.

There is always an element of truth in maxims.

"The best laid plans of mice and men..."

Personbally, I've done both.

Planned and executed.

No plan, completed.

I've had planned rides become unplanned, due to circumstances I encountered and unplanned rides become planned for a myriad of reasons.

My best plan has become a situation where I plan, but allow the flexibility to change on the fly. I usually have looked at other roads/routes beforehand and considered some options. But not always.

Going to El Paseo a year ago we deviated from the planned route to follow an interesting road in N. Georgia.

Unplanned. Fun.

To get back "on track" I told the GPS, "GPS get us back" grin.gif and followed a route I never would have taken.

We ended up on a single lane road that ran over hill and dale, past signs of maximum speed 10 mph eek.gif , remote residences, and creatures that reacted as if we were the first motorized vehicles they had ever seen.

When we got out of the woods, my wife asked "Did you see that camel?" Before I could answer, the rider following pulled up and asked "Did you see the camel?"

An unforgettable sighting for the N. Georgia mountains.

The serendipity of the event made it even more special.

We've found restaurants, music venues, and new friends as a result of riding together.

Planned or unplanned, the memories are great.

And, no, I didn't see the camel. lmao.gif

dopeslap.giflurker.gif

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wrestleantares

If my wife and I travel together, I like to have my ride a bit more planned. Where to go, what roads to take, where we are staying, etc.

 

At the same time, I have an adventurous wife and if we are on a trip and see something, want to go further, or just want to spend an extra day in some locale we do it.

 

One of my favorite trips (alone) was relatively unplanned. I had phone numbers of family all across the country - some I had not seen in years. I called them before I began my trip and made sure they would be home in the two week period in which I was taking my trip.

 

I then meandered over the country and visited relatives - my own personal family reunion.

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We used to plan each day. Where to stay (reservations), routes to take, stops along the way. Now the only reservations that I bother with are for Friday or Saturday night, I have found that motels fill early on the weekends and its best to have a reservation. Usually we roll into town and either find another motel or continue on, but it is good to know that if there is a rodeo/circus/fair/boat race/etc. in town, I have a place to stay.

It really is nice to be free and open to doing something different or visiting a place that interests us rather than being regimented. Isn't that what the "ride" is about? smile.gif

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AdventurePoser
Personally, I am consitutionally incapable of doing that kind of planning. It wouldn't be a motorcycle trip if I had that kind of detail in my itinerary. Most of my best adventures have occured when I was off course or otherwise lost, making up time, or taking a recommended detour.

 

Anyone else out there like to just point their bike in a direction and ride? What are some of your favourite experiences when you were just riding without a plan?

 

Sam, good thread starter....I have a couple of good stories about this, but no time to elaborate. blush.gif

 

But yes, the best trips are unplanned. My 4 Corners ride was one of them, as was our last trip through the Great Lakes area and the West. Jennifer and I had a fantastic time just pointing the bike where ever. We met people, ate great food, and had tremendous adventure. A smile is on my face as I type, thinking of that trip! thumbsup.gif

 

Steve in So Cal

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Matts_12GS

BFish and I have been chuckling over this same topic. We've only planned where we're staying so far and we're both looking at things we'd like to do/see once we get up to the mountains. From there, it's options of things and places.

 

And options are good. thumbsup.gif

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small Nevada town (Austin) after the last gas station had closed for the night, with a gap to the next station far larger than I could make on what was left in my tank. The only hotel with a vacancy (only hotel in town?)
Just a quick update on Austin since people may well be going through there this week, it's booming (in a middle of nowhere Nevada way). I'm almost certain, but not absolutely certain, that one of the gas stations now takes credit cards 24 hours. There are at least 3 and maybe 4-5 motels in town, none of them are "nice" but they have spiffed themselves up quite a bit, if you can make it to Eureka there is a Best Western but I refuse to do business in Eureka because of the revenue collection by the cops (obey the limit every foot of the way inside the city limits).

 

I hate to plan, I never do anything until the last minute except that I do often book the next night ahead somewhere as I equally hate looking around for a place to stay. I can't pack to save my life, I just throw everything I can in the bags, strap some more on the seat and head out. I don't have a GPS and sometimes don't bother with a map.

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John Ferris

It has been a couple of weeks since I was in Austin but at the time it had one gas station the Chevron. the Shell station is closed.

I don't know the Chevrons hours but it is not pay at the pump.

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BFish and I have been chuckling over this same topic. We've only planned where we're staying so far and we're both looking at things we'd like to do/see once we get up to the mountains. From there, it's options of things and places.

 

And options are good. thumbsup.gif

 

if it were not the weekend we'd prolly be a bit more flexible as to lodging. we're set for all but one night and we'll figure something out. big matt and i are both just happy to getting away so don't anticipate any companionship issues! confused.gifsmirk.gif

 

IMO the shorter the trip the more planning it MAY require. not as much fall back time. if splitting for a month may plan my general direction, but lodging, towns, etc would just happen, a la miss jacquie. i'm actually looking forward to a trip like that someday. thumbsup.gif

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It has been a couple of weeks since I was in Austin but at the time it had one gas station the Chevron. the Shell station is closed.

I don't know the Chevrons hours but it is not pay at the pump.

Thanks, I passed through last week but was in the convertible so didn't stop for gas and didn't notice the Shell was closed, that was the one I was thinking of - did it look permanent?
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If I had nine weeks for a trip, I could get away with less planning than I do. Unfortunately, I only have five weeks off a year so I usually have to make at least a rough plan since motorcycling isn't the only priority for my vacation days. I'm definitely not one to plan a trip too strictly but I do pick the roads I want to travel. That decision usually involves non-interstate, twisty (fun) roads and/or scenery. We camp 90% of the time so locations of campgrounds or national forests for "hobo" camping usually dictate a day's ride. Sometimes the distance between those semi-destinations will require a long day's ride or a short one. We almost always average about 350 miles a day.

 

Just getting on the bike and following my nose is what I like to do for day trips around the region. Living in Eugene, Oregon there are seemingly endless possibilities for "getting lost" for the day.

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I hate to plan trips but it's unfortunately a necessity when you have a set amount of vacation at your disposal and you want to get the most of out of what limited time is available. Unlimited and unplanned trips are a dream of mine which I hope to be pursuing in just a few more years...

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FlyingFinn

This truth that "best (motorcycle)trips are unplanned" is the reason why I don't have a GPS.

 

--

Mikko

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russell_bynum

Hey Sam, in the future before you post this kind of thing, could you let us know a few months in advance with a post in the Ride Planning forum?

 

And I, for one, would really appreciate it if you would include links to a Streets & Trips file detailing the ride as well as your actual GPS track and a song list from what was playing on XM at the time. I really can't enjoy a ride tale without knowing what was on XM at the time. And where can I buy the T-shirt to commemorate the ride? Is anyone planning on catering a dinner so we can all socialize while talking about the ride? We'd better make reservations at a campground since everyone knows you can't socialize at hotels....especially uppity ones like HIE's.

 

grin.gif

 

 

Lisa's a planner, so multi-day trips with no idea where we're going is probably never going to happen. (For better or worse.)

 

 

But I love going out on day rides and pointing the bike some semi-random direction until I get to a road I've never seen before, and ride until I'm tired, then find my way back to home/hotel/etc.

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A few years ago I "organized" a "wild goose ride" (no set destination, just follow the bike in front). I was the only one who showed up. Fun day too.

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russell_bynum
A few years ago I "organized" a "wild goose ride" (no set destination, just follow the bike in front). I was the only one who showed up. Fun day too.

 

lmao.gif

 

Now that's funny.

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As much as I like being spontaneous at times, I can't stand the idea of missing a great road, so I plan the whole route in MapSource (even looking at the satelite images) and I usually follow it.

 

Even on local Day Rides I've planned in MapSource, I almost always add some new (to me) roads into my routes, so I'm always expanding my knowledge of the roads in my area. Some turn out to be dirt/gravel or even closed, but sometimes I find a jewel and it becomes a favorite. My goal is to stay away from 4 lane roads, cities/traffic and LEOs.

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After 6 cross country rides, and many forays into Canada, I find it best to plan my tours. Time is not the issue for me, but $$$$.

 

I don't wanna get caught sleepin under a roadside table, or some lonely road late at night, trying to get somewhere. The times I have, were not any fun. I like knowing where and when my day will end, because I like to run at the end of the ride, meet folks, enjoy a nice meal, and get a good nights sleep whether in the Motel 6 or in my tent at a nice, scenic campground.

 

My system has allowed me to seek out and ride this country's finest motorcycling roads, and most beautiful places. I don't plan them down to the smallest detail, but I am thorough. I will alter things if the weather is bad where I planned to go. It is my belief a good plan will allow you to see more things and ride more roads. A good plan doesn't mean lack of adventure, on the contrary, in all my miles I can honestly say, if nothing else, they were full of adventure.

 

Its a personal thing, I just like knowing where I'm going, and where I'm at.

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Francois_Dumas

I'm a planner...... smirk.gif

 

I also think it is (for me!) half of the fun of traveling.

 

I should also note that about 80% of my carefully planned trips turn out to go 'wrong' in some way or other.... so I am also experienced in improvising.

 

Now what does that make me !!?? A planned adventurer? tongue.giflmao.gif

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wrestleantares

I also think it is (for me!) half of the fun of traveling.

 

 

Absolutely!

 

I love planning the trip even if I do not intend to keep one iota of the planning in the final version. It's fun to find where you want to go, and what you want to see. Looking for the squiggely lines on the map and anticipating the journey.

 

I love to hit websites like:

 

Motorcycle Roads

 

Roadside America

 

And see what is possible on my trip. On the other hand a trip would be nothing if I didn't leave myself open to stopping at weird places, or completely changing my route because of some cool looking road, or sign pointing to something I never heard of.

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I love planning the trip even if I do not intend to keep one iota of the planning in the final version. It's fun to find where you want to go, and what you want to see. Looking for the squiggely lines on the map and anticipating the journey.
That's not planning - it's pre-tripping, totally different thing grin.gif
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wrestleantares
I love planning the trip even if I do not intend to keep one iota of the planning in the final version. It's fun to find where you want to go, and what you want to see. Looking for the squiggely lines on the map and anticipating the journey.
That's not planning - it's pre-tripping, totally different thing grin.gif

 

Whatever it is, or however you define it, it is part of the fun of a MC trip.

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In the past I always looked the map, figured how many days to the turnaround point and places (usually roads) I want to see along the way. Then I wandered off in that direction.

 

My new wife and I took our first trip together last summer and she wants a bit more security than that. What we did, since we didn't want to have every day planned from the start, is sit with Google before we left and ask for lodging (or camping) near xyz and took the list with phone numbers along. Worked pretty well. If we were concerned about having a place to stay, we'd call in the morning or the night before. Only hassle was trying to figure which places to list.

 

With more and more PC wireless out there, what I'm lusting after is an Ultra Portable PC with about a 7" screen. It would fit easily in the tank bag. If we felt the need to call ahead, we'd find a coffee shop, library or whatever, get the number and call. Will give my wife the security she's looking for and make it easier to wander off any planned track.

 

I understand that not everyone wants a PC with them but I'm an old computer geek and they're just another tool for me. Just expensive, like one of those Air Force hammers grin.gif

 

Turns out, by the way, that Marian's a great riding companion. We have a Montana / Glacier / visit the college kids trip in the works for this year. Expect it to be just as fun and relaxing as last year. But what do you expect with someone who, when we bought the RT, said "you're keeping the Ducati too, aren't you?"

 

Ain't love grand?

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sgendler said .. spend some time in NYC ....

 

Hey, I remember that! We missed you!

 

Anyway, I'm not a big planner for routes, but I find myself getting interested (for the first time) in a GPS (the Zumo). If I do get it, it's possbile I might get more into "planning" a ride. On the other hand, from what others have said about GPS's, they also allow a certain "unplanned-ness" in a ride because you can let "it" do the routing and leave you free to think about other things. Oh well, for now I still make up the ride as I go. I'm heading to Winchester VA for Mayhem tomorrow and I don't have a clue what I'm doing after I cross the George Washington Bridge! tongue.gif

 

But I do seem to be a little obsessive about my checklist for packing the bike. I'm not sure that's ever going to change ... dopeslap.gif

 

------------------

Chris (aka Tender Vittles )

Little '77 KZ400 in the Big Apple

Black '99 RT for Everywhere Else, such as ...

310287-mar2004.gif

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