Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Pre-San Jose Trip Warm-Up: 900 miles in 3 days

5.29.2011

Pre-San Jose Trip Warm-Up: 900 miles in 3 days

Two weeks ago, in preparation for my 6000-mile round-trip ride to San Jose, CA, I had the chance to do some practice long-distance riding over three days via highways.

Day 1: Columbus to Cleveland (Akron and Aurora) and back via I-71, I-80 and I-271 (approx. 294 miles)
Day 2: Columbus to Champaign, IL via I-70, I-465, and I-74 (approx. 297 miles)
Day 3: Champaign, IL to Columbus via I-74, I-465, I-70 (approx. 297 miles)
Total miles (approx.) = 900

I was lucky those three days to ride in 60-85°F and encounter rain only twice (short sprays in Indianapolis on the way to and from Columbus). However, I did realize a few things after taking this "quick" trek through three states.

1. Fatigue. After doing this mileage regimen for several days, I still felt comfortable on the saddle. However, thanks to a six-day work week, I definitely need at least a day or two to relax and do nothing before shooting for the 600+ mile days (or more).

2. Warmth/humidity. I will definitely need a mesh jacket before this trip. I chose to ride without my evaporative cooling vest and it was quite warm on the return to Columbus. Thanks to my trip to Cleveland, I have my sights set on the Olympia Airglide Mesh 3 women's jacket in a neon yellow/black. This jacket also includes a waterproof and thermal liner that will allow me to use the jacket in temps below 50 degrees. Other option is to dig out my retired FirstGear mesh jacket that has been with me through two cross-country campaigns and use it one last time.

3. Resting the wrist. After all the straight-line riding I have decided to plunk down the money and pick up a BrakeAway Motorcycle Cruise Control. Believe it or not, I have done multiple cross-country trips without the use of a throttle-lock device, relying only on a Crampbuster wrist rest to maintain speeds for long periods of time. That's definitely going to change.

4. Adding lights. Eleanor's getting one extra upgrade with the addition of LED auxiliary driving lights from Real Time Industries. These lights bolt directly to the bike via the front fender screws, eliminating any need for extra brackets. This will definitely help in the more remote areas of the country when additional light will be helpful in seeing farther ahead on the road.

That's all for now. Going to continue riding and getting accustomed to those huge numbers again for this trip!