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Old 08-27-2017, 12:41 AM   #1
Peirre
 
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New member from across the pond

Hi I'm Peirre from England
I stumbled across a link to this message board over on the adventure bike rider forum, and have been reading posts here for a while and finally decided to join the forum.
I'm currently planning to ship my Triumph across to the US in May/June 2018 to spend a few months riding coast to coast with several side trips in various states including Texas, visiting national parks and historic monuments etc.
Any information, tips etc on local places,events and rallie to ride to would be helpful in the planning of my trip.

Last edited by Peirre; 08-27-2017 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:48 AM   #2
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome to the forum from Houston, Peirre!

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Old 08-27-2017, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome to the forum. I would have to recommend big bend national park, McDonald Observatory/Fort Davis area, the Ozarks in Arkansas and anywhere in Colorado. There are plenty more places but that's what I can speak to for myself.

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Old 08-27-2017, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome from the Grand Canyon state, Arizona. I've ridden most of this state (pavement only) so I can advise you on what to see while you're here.

I also belong to The Motorcyclist Cafe http://www.motorcyclistcafe.com/home.shtml
It's a very small forum with primarily retired riders, racers, wrenchers, and writers, but there are several members on the east coast who can offer advice for that area as well. We have a couple of members in the UK and some in Australia as well as throughout the US.

I see that you plan to be here for several months. If you arrive in May but don't make it to Arizona until June or July you will be restricted in the areas that you will want to ride in due to our heat. We typically hit the 30C mark in May and then go up into the 40-48C degree days from June through August. For example, today is the 27th of August and we will hit 42C+ today.

However, since the Grand Canyon is at 8,000' elevation it is usually very comfortable there even during the peak of summer. You will just have large crowds to deal with.
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: New member from across the pond

& enjoy!
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome to the site!

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Old 08-27-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome to the forum. Thanks to the Suzuki Bandit we have a lot of members from all over the world, so you should feel well at home even if it IS two wheeled TEXANS. Look forward to reading of your adventures when you come over.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:40 PM   #8
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Welcome. I meet a lot of English and Europeans while travelling in national parks; just not usually on bikes. Sounds like a great idea, and you have plenty of time to plan. The very first advice I'd give you is don't underestimate distances. It's a big country and I've frequently talked to well intentioned folks who had planned to hit New York - Florida - Texas in a couple of days. Google Maps is your friend.

Are you planning to camp or hotel it? That will certainly make a lot of difference in what to do, and when.

Although we're called Two Wheeled Texans, the forum is actually getting quite international. Keeps things interesting.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:22 AM   #9
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Re: New member from across the pond

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome.
My plan is still in the planning stages, but my initial idea is to airfreight my bike into Dulles sometime around the end of May 2018 giving myself around 4-6 weeks to go across country towards LA where the bike will be sea freighted back to the UK. From Dulles I am looking at visiting:
(not in any order)
The shenandoah parkway
The Blue ridge Parkway
Deals Gap
Pikes Peak
Million Dollar highway
Monument Valley
Glen Canyon
Bryce Canyon
Zion National Park
Hoover Dam
Yosemite National Park
Ride parts of the Pacific coast highway
+ any sensible suggestions of places to visit within the area between I-10 in the south, and I-40 keeping off the interstate as much as possible, I figure riding 200 - 300 mile days, possibly less to make it more enjoyable.

Due to the dates I`m considering travelling I`m aware the weather window along the way won`t be perfect, with potential wet, extreme heat, and cooler temps at higher elevations. I have considered the idea of camping along the way, but the possibility of high temperatures would make it uncomfortable, and the time required to setup camp at the end of each day would eat into the time available. Also the option of sleeping in an air conditioned hotel room after a long day on the road seems a good idea
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:52 AM   #10
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Sounds like you're thinking this out pretty well. I like your list. A couple of destinations I would suggest are Great Smoky Mountains National Park (about 75 miles east of Deal's Gap) and Rocky Mountain National Park (about 100 miles north of Pike's Peak).

Additionally, if you've never had the experience of being in a Really Big Cave, you might consider Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. It isn't particularly near any of your other destinations, but is an a pretty amazing place if your wandering happens to take you that way. An alternative would be Kentucky's Mammoth Cave, which is in the vicinity of the Shenandoah Parkway.

Since you'll be hitting such a long list of national parks and national monuments, be sure to buy an annual park pass, known as an "America the Beautiful" pass. $80 for one year, and you'll make your money back in 2 or 3 stops, given your travel itinerary.

Since you're flying into Dulles (and I assume starting your journey from there), consider taking a day to visit downtown Washington D.C. Don't waste your time meeting our politicians; there's no intelligent life there. However, the vast majority of the famous landmarks are within easy walking distance, all located in or along the edge of "the Mall". That would include the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, The Vietnam, Korean War, and WW2 Monuments, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Museums. Arlington National Cemetery is just beyond the Mall at one end, but still within striking distance if you are a stout walker. The White House and the Capitol Building are a bit farther and would likely require moving your bike. If you love classic airplanes, there is of course the Smithsonian Aerospace Museum, right there on the Mall. But most people don't know about its annex, the Udvar-Hazy Museum, which is right on the edge of Dulles Airport, and is arguably even more interesting than the downtown one. All of the places I just mentioned are free to the public. Oh, the Holocaust Museum is very near the Mall, also.

And of course, if your travels take you across any part of Texas (and who in their right mind would visit the US and skip Texas????), be sure to let us know when and approximately where. I'm pretty sure that, between the 16,000 or so of us within the state, we can arrange a welcome committee and a plate of barbeque or something.

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you for the next few months, but planning is half the fun.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:40 AM   #11
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Re: New member from across the pond

Welcome!

I think you are a bit early for 2018 World Cup games.

If you like pubs a couple of Texas cities are loaded with micro breweries. Austin is the first off the top of my head but I think Houston has been growing.

Coming to Texas you will likely pass through Arkansas and the Ouachita national forest. Even if you don't camp you can ride the 2 lane blacktop and possibly the Talimena highway into Oklahoma.

May is a great time to visit the lower Texas coast for redfish. June is a bit late. $$$ fishing for non Texas residents. Best way to beat that is fishing at a state park like Mustang Island where you don't need a license (but follow strict limits).

Lots of bike gatherings in May, not so much in June cause of the heat.

Let us know your interests and you will get more advice and ideas.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:11 AM   #12
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Re: New member from across the pond

There's a lot of good input so far.
tshelfer Has touched on one of my interests which is military history, particularly European WW1 & WW2 operational theaters. So maybe I couple of days prior to the bikes arrival would enable me to take a look around the places mentioned.
I was fortunate enough to attend the main centinary celebrations last year for the battle of the Somme, as I have family connections with some of the soldiers buried on the Somme and ypres salient. I have spent time visiting both British and American military cemeteries across Europe, retracing the story of the WW2 European campaign.
I also spend time on the bike in Europe, especially Spain be Portugal attending a few smaller local bike meets, so the possibility of attending 1 or 2 bike meets might mean bring forward the trip slightly.
But I'm also happy to ride the smaller sealed roads in the mountains, and islands having ridden in the Alps, Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees, and islands of Corsica and Sardinia. I prefer smaller towns to big cities to get away from the madding crowds. At this point I'm flexible regarding the 4-6 week timescale as nothing is set in stone

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Old 08-28-2017, 11:18 AM   #13
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Too bad about the European theater of WWII as the Nimitz museum in Fredricksburg, TX is an outstanding Pacific theater museum. They have a PT boat, plaques for each ship and crew that were lost, even a battle scene of a beach landing.

I can't think of anything large but there are certainly memorials to CMOH winners like Audie Murphy.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:40 PM   #14
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Ah, military history. I believe the World War II Museum is in New Orleans. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. That place is definitely on my bucket list.

If your wanderings take you across West Texas (and bless you if you tackle that; there are a lot of miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles out there), the town of Midland is home to the Commemorative Air Force, which probably maintains the largest fleet of flyable WW2 aircraft in the country. The hanger itself isn't much to look at; a bunch of drippy old planes parked around. It's a working hanger and there isn't much presentation. What you'll see just depends on what planes happen to be home, instead of out on tour, at the moment. If you get really lucky, the P-82 "Twin Mustang" will be in residence; one of the coolest and rarest planes of the war.

Next door to the hanger, the CAF maintains their own WW2 museum. I've been there half a dozen times and it is truly amazing. You walk more or less chronologically through America's involvement in the war. Included is one of the best collections of bomber nose art anywhere. I took my dad (veteran of the Solomon Islands) there, and he cried like a baby in parts. The museum is free, although a donation is suggested.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:44 PM   #15
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Re: New member from across the pond

Yes, the WWII Museum is in New Orleans and it is awesome! They've added to it since I was there last.

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Old 08-28-2017, 02:36 PM   #16
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When in Arkansas anywhere West of Little Rock, you want to be NORTH of I-40 for all the best roads: Hwy 16, 21, 23, 27, 74, 14, 123, 9, 5, 341 (especially this one and 123!). If you have time, head North out of Yellville on AR 125, ride Peel Ferry across Bull Shoals Lake, run on up 125 and it becomes Missouri 125. Keep heading North until you reach MO H, hang a left off 125 and cut back South to US 160. That is a superb stretch of twisty nirvana. From there I would cut back East on US 160 to 125, go back across the ferry, and head back down toward Marshall on US 65 (or you could get there from Branson). Then get back to meandering Westward on all those roads mentioned above. You could easily spend an entire week just riding in Northern Arkansas and SW Missouri.

If you plan to do Pikes Peak, I would also plan to do Mt. Evans. It is just West of Denver on the South side of I-70. Look for Hwy 103. It runs South to Hwy 5. Hwy 5 runs up to the peak. It is an awesome ride and the views spectacular if it is clear. You will be at 14,260 ft in the parking lot at the top. If you are not used to altitude, it can make you sick unless you are careful about not exerting yourself. When you leave here, head back across I-70 to Hwy 119, 72 and 7 up to Estes Park and the Rocky Mtn NP. That stretch of highway is called the Peak to Peak highway. It is an awesome ride. Run US 34 through the park. At US 40, you can run back down to I-70 before heading West or you can run US 40 over to Hwy 9 or Hwy 131 to head back down to I-70. If you run down US 40 toward Dillon, be sure to check out Loveland Pass on old US 6 East of Dillon. It is an easy loop on the South side of I-70. The run on 70 from Dillon all the way to Grand Junction is actually a really pretty ride.

Once you get West of Dillon, it really is hard to find a bad road. 91 South over Freemont Pass to US 24 is fun. At US 24, head South to 82, then NW back up over Independence Pass to Aspen. You can run up to Glenwood Springs from there or cut SW on 133 at Carbondale. The run over Mc Clure pass is really fun. I'd maybe head up to Glenwood Springs, then go back down to 133 and head to Hotchkiss. There, pick up 92 and run down to the North side of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and on down to US 50. At 50, head East to Hwy 149 and run down through Lake City and Creede to South Fork at US 160. That will take you over Slumgullion Pass and past the headwaters of the Might Rio Grande River (forms the border between Texas and Mexico). At US 160, head South over Wolf Creek Pass to Pagosa Springs. Stay on 160 all the way to Durango. There, hop on US 550 and head North (This is the Million Dollar Highway). Run that all the way up to Montrose and pick up US 50 to 133 at Delta. Head East a short bit to the start of Hwy 65. Run 65 up and over the Grand Mesa to I-70. At I-70, head West to Fruita on the far side of Grand Junction. Head South on Hwy 340 and look for the entrance to the Colorado National Monument. This is a go slow and take in the views so you don't blow a curve and fly off a cliff kind of road. It brings you back into Grand Junction on the SW side of town. If you are hungry and the time is right, find the Rock Slide Cafe/Brewery in the down town area. From Grand Junction head South on US 50 a few miles to the start of Hwy 141. Head West toward Gateway (there is gas at Gateway now). Run 141 all the way down to Naturita and pick up 145. Run 145 down through Telluride, up and over Lizzard Head Pass down to Cortez. Just West of Cortez on US 160 is Mesa Verde NP. It has some amazing cliff dwellings and is worth checking out.

From Cortez, there are several options. I would head back up toward Moab on US 191. Check out Dead Horse Point State Park, Needles Overlook, Canyon Land NP, Arches NP, and maybe rent some kind of Jeep/Side by Side so you can drive out past the Potash Lakes to Shafer Rd and run up to Island in the Sky. Heading out to the Chicken Corners, down Kane Creek and Lockhart Basin roads) would also be a lot of fun. Most of that is dirt though, hence the Jeep/buggy rental suggestion. When you are done with the Moab area, I would head back South on US 191 to Bluff and pick up US 163 West to Hwy 261 near Mexican Hat. You can check out the Valley of the Gods. If you like, you can run on down to Monument Valley, see the massive Mesas, check out that famous LONG Straight stretch of road in the Forrest Gump movie (if you have seen it) where he stops running and says it's time to go home. Then backtrack to 261 and run up the Moki Dugway (gravel but easy even on a street bike). Run 261 all the way up to 95. Make the run up 95 to the Colorado River. Just before the bridge over the river, there is a place called Hite Marina. It will be on the left. You can get gas and snacks here. The run up 95 through the canyon is great! At Hanksville, head West on 24 through the Capitol Reef NP to Hwy 12 at Torrey. Run 12 down through the Dixie NF and the Grande Escalante Staircase National Monument. This place is like no where else in the world. Run 12 to Bryce Canyon. You can EASILY spend a day at Bryce Canyon.

When you leave Bryce, head West to US 89 and go North to Panguitch. Pick up Hwy 143 and run that SW back to Hwy 148 and then 14. Check out Cedar Breaks National Monument along the way. Maybe spend a night in Cedar City. Head down I-15 to Hwy 7, then Hwy 9 and on East into Zion NP. Again, like Bryce, you can EASILY spend an entire day checking out this place!

So you mentioned getting all the way over to the West coast. I don't know how much time you plan on spending here, but just the stuff I've already mentioned could very easily take several weeks. Heck, I could easily spend several weeks just in the area of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina!! From Zion, you can maybe head North up toward Yellowstone. That area around the Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana borders is incredible. I just returned from a week long riding/camping trip out there. The Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho/Montana border are beautiful! You could check out Jackson Wyoming and the Grand Tetons just South of Yellowstone. The Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways on the East side of Yellowstone are awesome rides with incredible scenery. You could work your way up toward Butte, Missoula, and then start working West toward Spokane Washington. I can't tell you much about where to ride out there from personal experience as I have not made it that far... yet... But you could then start working South toward California and the PCH. Leaving California, I would head toward Las Vegas and then back toward Zion NP. Maybe you could skip Zion after Bryce and head North, then pick up Zion as you leave California? If so, then from Zion I would head to US 89 and cut South to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The views are better on the North Rim and it is usually less crowded than the South Rim.

After the Grand Canyon, I would head down into Arizona through Flagstaff. Head SW on 89-Alt to Prescott, then East on 169 and I-17 to Camp Verde. Run 260 from Camp Verde to Eagar. Head South on US 180 to Alpine and pick up US 191. If you can make it, 191 South of Alpine is NOT to be missed!! Run it all the way down to Clifton. You will pass one of the largest open pit copper mines in the world. It is a sight to behold. The ride is also spectacular and there is usually no traffic at all. At Hwy 78, head East into New Mexico and pick up US 180 again. At Silver City, head up 15-Alt and go see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Then come back down 35 to Hwy 152 and continue East to I-25. Run down to US 70 and cut across the White Sands of New Mexico to Alamogordo. Head up to Cloudcroft on US 82. In town, head South on the SunSpot highway and go down to the Sun Spot Observatory. Head inside to check that out. Then run back up the highway to Cloudcroft. Just before town, head SE on Hwy 24. Run that down to Weed. Stop at the Weed Cafe and have a Green Chili Cheeseburger. It is worth the drive! It is also a really nice ride. Keep going South on 24 to Pinon and then loop back NE toward US 82 on 24. Run 82 into Artesia. Head South on 285 and check out Carlsbad Caverns. Walk down into the caverns instead of taking the elevator. Plan to spend at least several hours here. Head down US 180 to Tx 54 and go South. Pick up US 90 and head for Marfa. Ride all the paved roads, especially 170. Stop in Terlingua. Check out the Big Bend NP. From there, head toward Marathon on US 90 and start heading East toward Del Rio. Gas up in Marathon!! At Comstock, head North on 163 and 189 to US 277. If you need gas, head up to Sonora on I-10, otherwise go South on 277 to 55 and run 55 all the way to Camp Wood. You will then be in the Texas Hill Country. Roads to ride are the Three Sisters: FMs 335, 336, 337. Also, FMs 1050, 470 and Hwy 83, 187, 39 and 16. Just North of Vanderpool on 187 is the Lonestar Motorcycle Museum. It is not huge, but it has an impressive collection of cool old bikes, all in running condition! You can also check out Los Maples State Park. If you head up 16 to Fredericksburg from Kerrville, there is the Admiral Nimitz Museum that someone else already mentioned. Also, Fredericksburg now has a town of wineries if you are into that. From there, just pick any backroads to get yourself over to Austin. Pretty much all of them have been paved.

If you actually manage to hit all this stuff, you will have seen a LOT of some of the best riding this country has to offer and some of the coolest national parks.
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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

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When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

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Old 08-28-2017, 02:41 PM   #17
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Re: New member from across the pond

You mean north of I30.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:46 PM   #18
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Re: New member from across the pond

It becomes I-40 at Little Rock. Po tay to, po tah to.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:47 PM   #19
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Re: New member from across the pond

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Originally Posted by SL350 View Post
You mean north of I30.
No... I mean I-40 The stuff South of I-40 is okay, but it is usually MUCH more crowded than the stuff to the North. At best, I might drop down to check out Magazine Mountain. If I were headed to DFW, then I would do the Talimena Byway. But if I were just passing through on the way to Colorado, I would focus on the stuff North of 40 and forget the rest of that. This is especially true of the area around Hot Springs which can be VERY crowded with long lines of slow moving cruisers that are very difficult to get around.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:16 PM   #20
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Re: New member from across the pond

Wow ..I'm humbled by all the help and information given so far, at this rate I may need to extend my time to take it all in.
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