Category Archives: ride report

Eleven States in Eleven Days: Spring 2010 Motorcycle Trip


Eleven States in Eleven Days
Total Trip mileage just about 2520

I’m going to put up some back-dated posts about our Awesome! Trip! It was a wildly fun trip.


Things I learned from the trip:

  • If you’re using an intercom system with foam over the microphone, you might want to remove the foam and clean it every couple of days.
  • Bring a couple of different models of ear plugs with you in case of ear canal fatigue! I prefer to use non-disposables (I’ve used these in the past, and am now using something like these) but by day 8 I had to switch to some disposable foam jobbies because I just couldn’t get the non-disposable ones to seal properly in my ear.
  • Sunglasses that fit awesome under your helmet for 1 hour may be intolerably uncomfortable by hour 3.
  • When you’re traveling with 6 other people, trust that everyone will be totally honest with what they need and want to do.
  • Pack everything you need, then take out at least 30% of the clothes.
  • Except for warm clothes! you’ll need those.
  • On a long trip, just plan to do laundry every 3-4 days. it makes things way easier!
  • Bring SNACKS. multiply the number of snacks you’d normally bring by the number of people on the trip: not to share, but because the amount of downtime and slow-to-get hungry stomachs will be increased by about that much! If you do share, you will be a hero to everyone at stops.
  • Converse to a reasonable person’s assumption, the bigger your underpants, the more they will hurt you on a long ride. wear your smallest underpants to prevent under-thigh chafing.
  • Pee every time you stop.
  • Drink water every time you stop.
    • PRO TIP. Bring a reusable bottle and refill it in the bathroom or water fountain or soda fountain every time you stop.
  • Get gas every time the person with the smallest tank needs it.
  • If you wear a white motorcycle jacket you will look tough as nails by the end because of the sheer amount of road filth you’ll have picked up. Promise.

and an anecdote!

our first destination was Myrtle Beach Bike Week, which was a total bust while we were there. One of our stops was at the HD dealership, and there were some big classic scary harley dudes sitting on a bench in front of the dealership – arms crossed and a deadpan 50-yard stare checking out everyone. I’m pretty sure I saw a lip curl when I parked my scrappy bike right in front of them.

so as we were leaving, I was gearing up with my jacket and earplugs and helmet – and as I was putting on my sunglasses and starting my bike, I rang my bicycle bell – and boy that kind-of-snarly harley dude LIT UP. his eyes got big and he smiled real wide and he nudged his neighbor and we had such a friendly conversation about the bell. “I’m gonna get one for mine!” he said. “you should! women and children love it!” said I. HILARIOUS.

which is all to say – you meet the nicest people when you’re motorcycling… regardless of how intimidating they’re trying to look!

now, myself, I just gave up on looking intimidating. Here I am in that same HD parking lot: