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coast to coast trip time


elkroeger

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Okay, I'm beginning to think I've lost my marbles: I'm a regular guy who does 12 - 15,000 miles per year (mostly commuting). And my sweetie who rides less, but is gaining quick (she's only been riding for 2 1/2 years). Usually our trips are limited to 300 mi/day for 2 - 4 day weekends. Pleasant, really... a little tired occasionally, but there's still time to stop and smell the roses.

 

So extrapolate that to 4500 miles for our first coast to coast trip. How long would you figure that would take us? I've guessed 10 days, and that doesn't really include much in the way of smellin' the roses.... Am I nuts?

 

How long did your first coast to coast trip take?

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My first was a 4K ride in 10 days (New Orleans to CA via SD) and it included a full rest day. It really depends on the type of roads you want to ride....600 mile days are easy on the interstate, 250 miles can be a challenge on the twisties.

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I don’t know if I can be much help, but I’ll try.

I’ve done a few CCC trips but I don’t know where you’re going and what roads you are taking. I agree with what “Deadboy” said in the previous post, “600 mile days are easy on the interstate, 250 miles can be a challenge on the twisties.”

If I am by myself, I think a 4500 mile trip in 10 days is reasonable. At 65 mph average that’s about seven hours a day riding time. If you left early in the morning around seven and ended each evening around six you could have as much as 4 hours of sightseeing each day. It all depends on what you like to do, where you want to go, and what kind of roads you like to ride.

My last ccc trip was from CA to Nova Scotia and back to CA. The trip was 21 days and 7,487 miles. I rode six days from CA to Manchester, NH where I picked up my wife at the airport. We spent nine days touring Maine, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I. together. After she flew back home, I spent another six days riding a new route home. It was very enjoyable.

 

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ShovelStrokeEd

I've lost count of the number of 12-14 hour days I've done in the saddle. Some pleasant, some not so much. When you start to stitch them together it can get tough in a hurry. The key to an extended trip like this is flexibility.

 

Don't get destination fixated. I usually start out around 6 or 7AM and get a light breakfast at the hotel. Run down the road a tank full and then have a better breakfast. Two tanks later I'll stop for another meal and make my hotel reservations for the night, usually another tank, more or less, away.

 

Hydration is handled by a Camelbak and maybe some Gatorade at rest stops, usually one stop mid-tank. If you are hydrating properly, you'll need the rest stops to pee.

 

That kind of riding will eat up 4500 miles in short order but you won't have seen much as it almost dictates you ride freeways and move right along. I would save it for the plains states or the deserts.

 

Using secondary roads is doable and, at least in the west, you can still make good time. 450 miles per day can be done but, I would plan a few extra days in there for wind-down days, either full rest days with no riding or just short days to get to someplace interesting to smell the flora, or fauna if you are in cattle country.

 

Start training for the longer rides as early as possible. It will get your packing more efficient and get your legs and butt in shape for the ride. Don't make the first day a long one, you won't recover from the fatigue. Aim for about 3 or 400 the first day and then stretch them from there.

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How long did your first coast to coast trip take?

 

Closest thing to a CC ride I've done is Washington DC to Tucson when I bought my GS Adventure and it took me 2 days but I wouldn't recommend that to a sane person! I think 500-600 mile days either on the slab or western highway are very dooable with comfort and gets you to a hotel in the mid PM even after an extended lunch. If it is in the summer, you may want to leave a littler earlier just to beat the heat. Don't forget, it gets light in Arizona soon after 4AM in the June/July timeframe.

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Well.....we have done Oregon to Maine....

and usually do 300-350/day..............

But the route has a lot to do with it.....

Our rules for travel are No chain restaurants, No chain motels, No Interstates. Makes a beautiful ride but not the fastest...........

From the Seattle area Highway 2 is a beautiful straight shot......

But...rushing to a destination is not that much fun...............

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I think a 4500 mile trip in 10 days is reasonable. At 65 mph average that’s about seven hours a day riding time.

 

That's an unrealistic computation. Maybe you can sustain an average of 65 mph while actually cruising on the highway, but when you go through a town at surface street speeds, stop for gas or to grab a bite to eat, your average plummets fast.

 

I rode from Enterprise Oregon to Eugene as fast as I could, because I had to get home for an afternoon appointment; way more than pushing the legal envelope. After I got to I-84 at La Grande, I probably averaged 85 - 90, sometimes going significantly faster. I kept it up on I-5. I stopped only twice for gas and a quick snack. I never sat down to eat.

 

I made the 433 miles in about 6 hrs, 50 minutes, for an average of about 63 mph. Average mph is deceivingly slower than what seems reasonable at first consideration.

 

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First get a bit of training, both of you. You can't count on 600 mile days if all you have done is 300 mile days. In the middle of the country you can count on higher mileage days even if you stick to non-interstates. I love those roads, like rt. 2 across the country. No traffic, speed limit mostly 65, empty except for enough gas/food/etc. stops. On these roads you can count with a average of 50 mph, including the necessary stops. Never count on a average higher than 60, even on interstates. When I did my Saddlesore 1000 (documented 1000 miles in 24 hours) it was all Interstate, I70 from Waynesburg PA to Salina KS, with no rush stops and sit-down lunch it was average 60 mph.

Question: Whet bikes do you ride? On a F650 it might take longer :)

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ShovelStrokeEd

65 mph average speed over the course of 10 days is unrealistic. You might be able to maintain that for a day, or even 2 but, you are gonna have to run 80-85 while moving to maintain it. In 10 days you will encounter enough delays, weather, road construction, fuel stops, small towns, potty breaks that the best you can plan for is near 60. Once you get to the states with sub-70mph speed limits, it is even tougher. Even my cage, with its 450+ mile fuel range has trouble maintaining a true 60 mph overall average and that's with a near 75 mph running average.

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I don't know... I'm doing it in 3 weeks.

I'm heading out to San Diego on a 50cc and then I'm going to try and do 500 mile days coming back home so I have time to see some things.

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Well, we could count construction, natural disaster, detours, age, hemorrhoids, health and … acts of god. We could encounter any one or combination of these while riding and it would affect our time and distance. Additionally, a coast-to-coast from Seattle, WA to Florida would take more time than Red Bluff, CA to Bar Harbor, ME.

 

It all depends on the kind of rider you are. My trip across country took 5 1/2 days on my Honda Shadow 1100. On a different trip, I rode to Mt. Rushmore from home within 24 hours. It's all what you're used to, can handle and want to do. My average might be high for some but what I was trying to say is stay on the road as much as you can. If you make 65 your goal (not average :dopeslap:) then you should make it.

 

You know what you can do. Just be safe out there!

:thumbsup:

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I haven't done coast-to-coast trips but have done a couple of similar long trips:

 

- 4200 miles in 9 days from NY to Black Hills, SD.

- 4000 miles in 9 days from NY to Newfoundland, Canada.

 

These trips did have a couple of Iron Butt worthy 1000 mile days that made it possible to smell the roses. It's easy putting in this kind of mileage in the midwest but not near either coast. YMMV.

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Thanks guys,

 

Looks like we're gonna re-think our trip. What I had been thinking was that visiting my folks in Spokane (300 miles) is 5 hours, in the pickup, door to door. And if I take the bike, I usually end up at 6 hours. So I figured 400 miles comes out to 8 hours. Just like a regular work day (HA!). I suppose that would work out okay, but by day 8 I'm probably gonna wheel the damn thing into the ditch and go Greyhound. And the more I think about it, there's not much point in taking a trip if you have to ride past a lot of interesting stuff. So we're gonna change the trip around and take closer to 20 days instead of 10. That makes plenty of time to see some of the junk along the way.

 

Another way of looking at it, is that "this will just be our first cross country trip". If it goes well, then we can cut the time down next time.... :-)

 

Thanks for the advice. I may not have been "nuts" planning 10 days, but I believe I have come to my senses....

 

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