Wing It or Plan It?


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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sashery
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Wing It or Plan It?

Postby sashery » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:59 pm



We are planning some multi-day trips to visit family and friends in various parts of the country.

How do you all decide which routes to take, where to stop overnight, which places to avoid?

Do you research and plan extensively, just wing it, or something in-between?



harvey01
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby harvey01 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:42 pm

Planning a trip can be as involved or as simple as makes you happy.

One of the key things is the ride the essence trip or is there a definite destination? If there is a destination, is there a time limit for travel there and back plus time there? The destination might be very definite such as a family reunion or attending an event such as Americade. Obviousy it may be necessary to make reservations or plans for a place to stay(motels fill fast at large events andyou have to be aware of this problem at any tourist destination.

Once you have determined how long, how many days you have for travel, then you have to insure that there is enough time to cover that distance. Plenty of time and I try to stay off the interstates and take other or back roads--you see more of Americana this way. If you have to make time, interstate can be good.

I tend not to plan each stop and where to stay at night. Experience has taught me that if you start around 1700 looking for a motel you can not only get a room but frequently negotiate the price down. I have found that the lower end chain motels are usually not as nice and the beds are better if you pay a little more. If the wife is with me I am usually looking for something like a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn. I also like to use the little mom and pop motels you find in many places. Preferable there is a decent restaurant within easy walking distance for dinner. While a burger will work for me, with the wife I prefer a decent sit down restaurant(after all she is on vacation also.)

Motels seem to start filling up after 1800 and sometimes getting a room can be a hassle. I have been known to stop earlier if riding in heavy rain or all day in the rain.

Generally I do plan out my routes before ever leaving home on a map or a maping software. But my GPS will tell you that I an always taking side trips as the guy at lunch or breakfast has told me about something we really should see or a road we should ride. AAA has good maps for this as do Butler maps.

Places to avoid---this is tough as sometimes you make a mistake and it is too late. I like to check motel rooms especially at the cheaper motels before accepting and will move on if unacceptable. Also pay attention to what is in the parking lot--lots of tractor-trailers means there are probably a lot of truckers. Biggest problem I have ever had with them was them entering or leaving in the middle of the night and making noise. Take note of the type cars! Also when you go to the desk and they ask how many hours do you want the room--head to the next motel. IF IT DON'T LOOK RESPECTABLE, DON'T GO THERE!

Half the fun of travelling is the bad weather we encounter and the mistakes we make. These are the things you will remember the longest.

Make sure you dress and use sunscreen to avoid sun and wind burn---they can ruin a trip! Figure out what you want to take and pack it up on the bike and see that it all fits somewhere! Take a short overnight trial run where you test your packing, what you carry, and what you wear. Also make sure you both know how to put your raingear on. When you are on the side of the road just before the storm hits is not the time to be taking the Frogg Toggs out of their package for the first time.

Never quit laughing and have fun!!
harvey
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themainviking
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby themainviking » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:45 pm

Loosely plan, with nothing hard and fast. Ride when I like, stop where it looks good, find the winding way wherever possible, avoid Interstate Highways or equivalent. And wing the rest. What loose planning is for me is to know the direction I am going, and the ultimate end point, if there is one. I loosely plan to not end up each day near a large metropolitan area unless there is a real good reason, such as museums or the Library of Congress (just an example). Time, for me, being totally retired, is not a barrier. As I love camping, finding a campground near where I am at the end of the day is nice.

OH, and getting lost is just part of the adventure, and allows me to find myself again. Like - sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby dingdong » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:36 am

The only drawback to not planning is when you are on a tight schedule and only have so many days to get there and back. If not then wing it. Take the route less traveled.
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby FM-USA » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:08 am

.



.

"A picnic? Man, you are too square. I'm... I... I'll have to straighten you out.
Now, listen, you don't go any one special place. That's cornball style. You just go."

;)
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby FM-USA » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:18 am

sashery wrote:We are planning some multi-day trips to visit family and friends in various parts of the country.
How do you all decide which routes to take, where to stop overnight, which places to avoid?
Do you research and plan extensively, just wing it, or something in-between?


;)

IF you have some time to spare, might consider riding comfortably hard directly out of your area. Get those "Already seen" roads behind you.
When nearing your destination, take note of your extra time. Hit some side roads, relax and see the scenery, sights and shops.
Believe it or not when I see some locals doing lazy yard work I'll stop and chat. I usually open with, "You have any suggestions for restaurants, flavorful "Greasy spoons", "Burger joints" or pizza places?" Many times I have to find excuses to get back on the road. Comfy laid-back, there's that "always tomorrow" type of towns. Couple times they offered us in for lunch/dinner... good folks are still around, tho sparse. ;)
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:40 am

Loved harvey01's tip about motels.
In a large southern city years ago my wife and I were looking for a room at about 10:00 or 11:00 in the evening.
We were so tired from traveling that day.

The check in office was out by the highway and the rooms were behind the check in office. Anyhow, after we had paid for our room, they asked us to sign a form stating we wouldn't be engaging in any criminal activity.
I signed the form all the while wondering what the heck is this for? Then we drove around back to our room. Oh, now I know what the form was for. :roll:
We stayed only because we had already paid, we were tired and it was late. When staying at a motel, check not only what kind of vehicles are there, but the liter and beer cans in the parking lot. Was lots of loud Boom Boom music (?) too. :roll:
This was one mistake we only made once. :lol:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

sashery
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby sashery » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:23 am

Thank you for all of the wonderful replies and advice. It gave me quite a bit to think about.

I do have another question. Do any of you have any advice regarding avoiding becoming a victim of robbery or other criminal activity? Do any of you 'carry' for protection?

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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby FM-USA » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:16 am

sashery wrote:Thank you for all of the wonderful replies and advice. It gave me quite a bit to think about.

I do have another question. Do any of you have any advice regarding avoiding becoming a victim of robbery or other criminal activity? Do any of you 'carry' for protection?

That's such a LOADED question, you'd get more HITS if you SHOOT it to a new thread. ;)
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:56 pm

I always carry when on a trip. When I carry, it's always there in the back of my mind because I've always got to keep it secure and knowing that, I'm more aware of what's going on around me.

Hope that makes sense. :lol:

There's another thread on here too. Pros and cons and sometimes a little heated but it's a subject with strong feelings on both sides.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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dtrider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby dtrider » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:16 pm

My wife and I are planning a trip to Monterey CA in August. Going down to a car show with some friends. Since we are going with other people to a specific destination with time constraints, we already have the route out there planned and hotel reservations all the way to and in Monterey.

After the show though we will part ways with the other couple and my wife and I will work our way up the coast for a while until we turn back inland to head for home. I'm trying real hard to keep her from planning that part of the trip out to the n'th degree. She is scared silly that we won't be able to find any rooms. As Harvey says, if we start looking by 1700 I doubt if we will have a problem with finding a room, even if it's in a Motel-6 type of place (it's a room with a bed and a shower - what else do you need for an overnight stay?). The reality is we don't plan on putting in a ton of miles on any given day, so we'll probably start looking by 1500 when we find an area that looks interesting. Unless there is a convention going on (so we ride to the next town or two), we should be good.

As to the route, we'll head generally north until we decide to turn inland. The Pacific Coast Hwy can be a great ride with wonderful scenery and some fantastic twisty turns, but the wind can get pretty hairy too. If we get tired of that we can always cross over the coastal range and ride up some inland roads for a while. The only thing we need to be concerned with is that I need to be back at work the following week, and it won't hurt my feelings any if I'm a day or two late.

/dwight
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:40 pm

Been waiting for my riding partner to get off work for way too long now. Now he says not til August. :evil:
Well enough is enough. Fixing to just pack a couple changes of clothes and hit the road!
No real destination, just up through Missouri into Iowa, maybe into Minnesota turn left someplace towards the Dakota's and then...wherever.
Pitch my tent wherever I happen to be after supper and just get away from here for awhile. :D.
Then go someplace else in August! :lol:
See if this old bike will get me there and back.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

harvey01
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby harvey01 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:31 pm

sashery wrote:Thank you for all of the wonderful replies and advice. It gave me quite a bit to think about.

I do have another question. Do any of you have any advice regarding avoiding becoming a victim of robbery or other criminal activity? Do any of you 'carry' for protection?


Sashery, carrying a pistol does not guarantee that you will not become a crime victim. Carrying a weapon is an awesome responsibility as you are carrying the ability to kill another person. Once you do take that shot, there is no playback or retrieving the shot. Then you have to deal with and accept responsibility for your actions and hopefully they are viewed as justified. I know the old slogan about being better to be judged by twelve than carried by 6. Just be sure you are in that situation!

I would also urge anyone who wants to carry a weapon concealed to get a license/permit to do so. Hopefully this involves some training to qualify. Getting caught with a concealed weapon and no license/permit could ruin your entire vacation not to mention cause a bunch of legal hassles and expenses down the road. I am very familiar with the 2nd Amendment and I am also very familiar with the laws and how they are enforced. I have my personal understanding of the 2nd Amendment but I have a license/permit to cover my butt.

Avoiding being a victim involves a lot more than just having a weapon. You have to choose where to stop, where to eat, where to sleep to avoid potential problems. If a situation looks bad---avoid it. Choosing the better motels---higher cost---and the better looking restaurants puts you with a better group of folks and reduces the probability of crime. It does not take a lot of observation to realize you are in an area that is not good. It is also best to be around other people.

The key is to make wise choices, protect your property by keeping valuables in locked saddlebags/trunk. I have left coats, helmets and even a nice 35mm SLR camera sitting on the seat when away from my bike. I was in a diner sitting at a window and watched a old lady touch the handlebar and something fell. She just jumped, ran to her car and left. The piece that fell was a cover for the holder for the GPS. I picked it up, put it back on till I was ready to install the GPS.

HAVE FUN and don't worry about being a victim.
harvey
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:52 pm

Your post about leaving your GPS cover on the seat reminded me of a brainfart I had last year in New Mexico.
East of Santa Fe, just off I-25, I stopped for a bite to eat at a KFC. When I went back out to my bike, I couldn't find my key. I checked both pockets, twice but my bike key was gone!
I carry an extra key and I thought I'd have to get it out. Then I found my key. I'd left it in the ignition. :roll:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:15 am

Wife and I have been doing trips from Canada down into the States(and to the East Coast 5 or 6 times) since the early 90's and have never really planned anything other than the general direction.Never ever even been close to not getting a room for the night.Saying all that though we usually shut it down at the latest 6:00 pm.I do use the GPS to check out possible rooms when we do decide to stop.Other than that I take a Rand McNally Road Atlas into the room at night and pick roads for the next day.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:46 am

A road atlas is a must have now. On one trip I decided I didn't need one, I could just scan the roads on my GPS unit.
It just didn't work for me.
After getting home, and looking at a paper map, there was an attraction right near where I had been. But I apparently didn't scan in that direction.
Besides, looking over a map in the evening after the tent is set up, or in the morning with that first cup of coffee is a real motivation to "see what's over there". :D
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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FM-USA
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HD friends PACIFIED."
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby FM-USA » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:29 pm

ALSO... paper maps seem to make 'Twisties pop out at you... like they're begging to be ridden. ;)
[high squeaky voice] PICK ME - PICK ME, I'M OVER HERE! SEE, I'M A RED HOT TWISTY ROAD!
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: Wing It or Plan It?

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:41 am

We've found some real nice roads flying by the seat of our pants over the years and no stress worrying about having to get to a prebooked room if you get held up by something unforeseen.


If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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