Well, it has certainly been a tough stretch of weather for motorcycle riding around this part of the country. This is one time when the riders back East get to thumb their nose at us. I saw 117 degrees on the mirror in my car yesterday afternoon. Now that is just plain hot. But, we are closing in on the first of August, which means we can mentally start telling ourselves that this kind of heat is not going to last forever, unless of course you are Al Gore. In the meantime, we can either head to the higher country for a while, or just start counting down the days till mid September.
As most of you know from last week's letter, I have started a Facebook page for Cyclerides.com. Much to my surprise there are a lot of motorcycle riders who use Facebook. Just since last Thursday the Cyclerides page has almost 500 fans that have signed up. If you have a Facebook account, or are thinking about getting one, go to the Cyclerides Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cycleridescom/108447575697 and Click the "Become a Fan" button to access the site. Then bookmark this page. If you are out and can't remember that URL, just search in Facebook for Cyclerides.com and it will take you right there. I have added some photos and video already and will soon be adding more. This is very exciting as it looks like it will be a great way for riders to communicate with each other. Feel free to use the discussion page and add your photo to the other 31 fans who have already done so.
Trip 2009 Update
As for Mrs. C. and I, we are heading for higher ground. As you are reading this I am heading to the airport to pick up my in-laws who are going to take care of the house while we are gone. They did this a couple of years ago during a nice heat wave and swore that would be the last time, but somehow we talked them into it again. I really don't know what the problem is, it's a "Dry Heat". We will be flying out Thursday morning on a one-way ticket to Seattle to catch up with my Road Glide that left last week.
From there we will embark on about a 3300 mile, 11 day ride back to Phoenix via Whidbey Island, the Cascades on Hwy. 20 in Wa., then North into British Columbia to Revelstoke on Hwy 1, through the Glacier National Park of BC, into Yoho Nat. Park to Banff Nat. Park, then North to Jasper in Alberta. From there it will be back down to the Glacier Nat. Park in Montana, Lolo Pass in Idaho and then various back roads to Big Sky, Yellowstone, possibly Beartooth Pass, Tetons, Jackson, Wy., Flaming Gorge and then make our way back to Phoenix. Seems like a lot when I lay it out like that. But we should see some beautiful countryside and have plenty of pictures to share with you when we return.
For those of you that have not done that much traveling on your bike yet, I'll give you a little insight as to how we are going to do this trip. I loaded up the saddle bags on the Road Glide with our jackets, gloves, sweatshirts, rain gear, air pump and other items that we would need for the trip. A week ago Monday I shipped the bike to Seattle where hopefully it will be arriving today. Last night Mrs. C. and I packed our T-Bag with our clothes that we will be using for the entire trip. It measures 18"x16"x10". In the past we have used the method of rolling very tightly all of our clothes and putting a rubber band around them. This seems to work very well for maximizing the limited space that we have.
Limited is the key word when traveling like this. You go over in your mind what you think you will need, cut that amount in half, and you will still need to roll the front tire of your car onto the top of the bag just to get it zipped up. The key to packing, is getting over the fact that you need a fresh change of clothing every day. Let's face it, you are out in the middle of nowhere on a motorcycle dealing with the elements all day, you are not going to run into anyone you know, so it is perfectly acceptable to where a shirt and pants for more than one day. For a 10 night trip, my packing looks like this:
2 pair of jeans, (plus the pair that I have on to start the trip), 5 long sleeve shirts, 2 short sleeve shirts, 10 pair of underwear, (they are small, no need to reuse), 4 pair of socks, one pair of shorts, bathing suit, flip flops and sunscreen. That's it, all rolled up tight. Mrs. C's collection is very similar to mine only with some more variety. Toiletries are put in 1 gal. zip lock bags to be able to lay flat on top of clothes. Usually after about 5 days, we UPS our dirty clothes back home to lighten the load and make things easier to handle in the bag. See the pictures of how it is packed.
Now we are packed and need to get to our bike. That will be accomplished with 2 one-way tickets to Seattle where we will fly into Sea Tac, grab our T-Bag and get a cab that will take us the 7 miles to the terminal where the bike is located and we will be headed North. This year we have decided to take in a few more off the main highway sights. When traveling like this you know a route that you want to follow, but have no idea when and where you will stop for the night. This year, we have no hotel reservations for the entire 10 nights of trip. Only a GPS and a general idea of where we want to go.
To plan these trips I use my Garmin Map, Google Maps, Google Earth and the HD Rideplanner. I start by planning the route on my Garmin map software, then click the "View in Google Earth" button. It overlays my route so that I can take a look at the terrain, (put it in 3D mode by holding down the control key and moving the mouse down), and fly along the road. I then look at it in Google Maps because they show better ideas for places to see. Then here is the very cool part. I zoom in on the road I want to follow in Google Maps, click on the "Satellite" button, then click on the "More" button, then click on the photos box. As you zoom in, this will allow you to see all of the photos that other users have uploaded of scenery and points of interest on this route. Very, Very cool and informative feature that will keep you from missing something you might want to see. Every night when we get in our hotel, I pull out the laptop and use the above method to plan our route and points of interest for the next day.
When you have limited time, shipping your bike to the start of your trip is a good way to go. Given the type of roads that we will be traveling, we are going to have to hustle to get it done in the time allotted as it is.
From the road, starting Thursday evening, as internet access allows, I will be posting on Facebook a Photo of the day (or 2), map and a brief description of our progress on this trip. So check the Cyclerides.com Facebook daily to see how we are doing. Just FYI, I am working on a couple of really exciting projects around the valley for the September time frame that I think you will all be interested in. Stay tuned to the Newsletter and Facebook for those announcements that will hopefully be coming shortly after I return. Stay tuned to Cyclerides Facebook and Cyclerides.com for daily updates when we are gone.
For those that are leaving for Sturgis and your own trips, blessings and Ride Safe!
Buddy Stubbs Anthem
Harley-Davidson Twilight Ride to Greasewood Flat.
We are all looking for something new and different to do, and Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D
is giving us that opportunity by hosting their First Annual Twilight Ride to Greasewood Flat.
Bike Nights This Week
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. The Billet Bar is the place to be for the Summer nights and weekends. Set on the patio and watch the action. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Friday, July 31st
Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson Twilight Ride to Greasewood Flat. We are all looking for something new and different to do, and Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D is giving us that opportunity by hosting their First Annual Twilight Ride to Greasewood Flat benefiting We Care. $20 per rider includes dinner at Greasewood Flat, a $10 gift certificate for Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D and a donation to We Care, an Anthem organization helping seriously ill children. Ride leaves at 7 PM from Anthem H-D. You can register NOW online at www.anthemhd.com ! Rain Date is August 7th! This will be a fun ride and Greasewood Flat is 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the Valley! See you there! Call 623-465-1122 for more info. www.anthemhd.com .
Don't forget, the Rocky Point Rally is ON! November
5-8. If you plan on going you will need to get your passport card ordered
soon. If you missed the newsletter a couple of weeks ago with the announcement of the Rocky Point Rally being
UN-Cancelled, Click Here to Read and
have instruction on how to get your passport card. The Rally is on an being planned with some very cool
additions this year. More will be announced in the coming weeks. Get
your passport cards and reservations now. www.rockypointrally.com .
Cyclerides.com is now on Facebook! I am inviting you to "Become A Fan" on the Cyclerides.com Facebook page.
Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cycleridescom/108447575697 to add your name and bookmark this page. If you are not on Facebook, you can still go to the page, but you will not be able to communicate. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined.
Ouch! Here is a guy that didn't use good planning with his destruction project. Click Here to View.
When you are on the back roads of South America, make sure you call AAA for your towing needs. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week
This is a series of short clips that remind a guy that he shouldn't let his amount of "Cool" get ahead of his ability or preparation when riding a motorcycle. Click Here to View.