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Is this normal for a cross country trip?

Joined
May 22, 2009
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803
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San Antonio, Texas
During Sunday lunch at my relatives place, we talked about my coming trip in June. Here I'm just thinking of what a wonderful trip its going to be and they brought up some things that, um, made me quite uncomfortable:

1. Power of Attorney in case something happens to me
2. a DNR
3. Access to my will (has the will been updated?)
4. Retirement/Stocks/Bonds - who else has access to these
5. Bank account access
6. Life insurance policies

WTH!!! Its not like I'm going to Mexico or Central America, I'm just going across the US on my bike.

Are they just being paranoid or what?
 

focus frenzy

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A ICE tage (In Case Emergency) would be a very good idea. as would be a SPOT transponder.
the other items are good if you are married and especialy if you have kids, not just for the ride but in general.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
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Spring Texas
I have all that stuff in place now and I'm not planning a long trip. I ride, however, in Houston traffic. nuff said. Just common sense IMHO, to have that in place so your family can keep the lawyers at arms length just in case.
 

focus frenzy

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Well I will probably carry a SPOT with me with live tracking. I was sold on the SPOT when I read the 911 thread.
the recent crash of the Goldwing rider up in the remote wilds of the north West where they found his body with his cell phone in his hand in a area with no cell service was a eye opener.
 
Joined
May 22, 2009
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Most important thing to take is some common sense and the ability to stop when you are even close to your limits. Don't push too hard to make a deadline or set a record. If you are the least bit drowsy, stop and stretch or take a nap.
Absolutely. The purpose of my test rides before I go will be to learn my limits. That 503 mile ride on Saturday was to push to see what I could do. I really didn't push myself, I stopped as usual taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. I even took a 20 minute break at a picnic area to eat some crackers, drink some fluids and look at the map. I still got home at a respectable time, around 5:30.

The next few rides will be to try new gear and actually camping with the bike.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
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Fort Worth
Those things are not normal for a cross-country trip, they're normal for riding a motorcycle *period*. We all risk our lives every time we ride. If you haven't already considered that, you should.

The fact that I could be hospitalized or killed is already accounted for. For a cross-country trip, I make sure my family knows the route I'm planning to take. I check in every night when I get to a stopping point so they've only got one leg of the route to search for me. And I wear dog tags with my identity and emergency contact info in case they don't find a wallet on me.

You just have to plan for the worst when you ride. It doesn't mean it's going to happen, it just means you're being responsible. Like I'm doing my first track day this Saturday, and I already know who I'm going to call with a truck and a flatbed if I trash the bike, and I've got a friend coming just to be present at the track so there's somebody to call my family and let them know I'm in the hospital if I leave in an ambulance instead of on my bike.
 
Joined
May 22, 2009
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San Antonio, Texas
Well I don't have any of it, other than Life insurance because I'm single with no kids. The only really big thing is my home mortgage, but there is insurance on that in case.
 

Wes

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I think the point your missing isn't that motorcycles are dangerous, living is.

What is odd about the original post is that his relatives seem to think, that Bigjnsa is in more danger by riding a motorcycle, than they are going about thier daily lives. All of the listed items shouldn't be part of planning a long trip but should be done anyway because you are more likely to die on your way to get groceries on Saturday morning. (on or of the bike)

Case in point, four cars and myself were almost run off a bridge this morning by a moron who wasn't paying attention. I was actually in greater danger because I was in my explorer and not on the bike. The only room to manuever was to small for my truck. When it's your time, all the ATGATT and MSF training in the world won't save you from a slip in the shower or a careless step into traffic.

In other words, plan for your departure from this world to make it easier on your family because you love them, not because your convinced your bike is dangerous. Don't let people who are scared of bikes intimidate you into giving up what you love, because that sounds like that may have been the real reason to bring up a topic like that. Just a thought?
 
Joined
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In other words, plan for your departure from this world to make it easier on your family because you love them, not because your convinced your bike is dangerous. Don't let people who are scared of bikes intimidate you into giving up what you love, because that sounds like that may have been the real reason to bring up a topic like that. Just a thought?
Realistically speaking, there's a very logical reason to have extra preparations in place before a long trip.

Assuming that our traveler is very conservative about his own limits, you still have to consider the drivers sharing the road with you. If, for example, your normal daily commute is 50 miles, and on that commute you can expect to meet at least 10 complete idiots, two of which pose a direct and immediate threat to your survival, how many should you expect to meet in the course of 500 miles? How about in a thousand?


Sure, I'm making these numbers up, but shouldn't you expect to have more such encounters over a longer distance than over a short one?

Now you're probably right. His family is more likely to be reacting emotionally to the idea of him not only doing the dangerous motorcycling thing, but doing it far from home and family. Still, that doesn't mean he should ignore the really good reasons to be appropriately prepared.
 

Wes

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My point wasn't that it's a bad idea to have preparations for your untimely demise, it's that a long trip doesn't put you in any more risk than everyday life already does. You are more likely to die close to home or in your own house than on a road trip. So make the plans to care for your family now, not because your riding to the Dragon in May.

I used to wonder what would happen if someone was seriously injured on a motorcycle trip. Well I found out in 2008. My brother crashed near the Grand Canyon and was very seriously injured. The shocker is that no matter how prepared you are, you aren't prepared enough. ATGATT really doesn't do anything but prevent rash in most crashes, and in the end all the unplanned for details will probably work out. Also he proved my reasoning for wearing a full face helmet, almost every motorcycle wreck I have ever seen the rider ends up face first on the pavement, as did he. (I have even seen low sides with shield damage.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
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3,271
Location
Sugar Land, Texas
During Sunday lunch at my relatives place, we talked about my coming trip in June. Here I'm just thinking of what a wonderful trip its going to be and they brought up some things that, um, made me quite uncomfortable:

1. Power of Attorney in case something happens to me
2. a DNR
3. Access to my will (has the will been updated?)
4. Retirement/Stocks/Bonds - who else has access to these
5. Bank account access
6. Life insurance policies

WTH!!! Its not like I'm going to Mexico or Central America, I'm just going across the US on my bike.

Are they just being paranoid or what?
My buddy Lou died after falling in his driveway. So it doesn't take an overseas trip before these items come into play.

Lee
(Now where is that will?)
 

Wes

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Sep 24, 2007
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So now that all the gloom and doom talk is done with, where is the big trip to? I'm headed to Push Mountain, AR in May myself.
 

Wes

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No! That looks like a ton of fun... I am distinctly jealous. If you fit Colorado in there I would be ready to die after that journey. :lol2:
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
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Spring Texas
In the last two long cross country trips I've taken, I've followed folks who stopped every 80-100 miles. I first thought "we're not making a lot of miles here" but at the end of the day we had gone between 400-500 miles and I could get off the bike and still walk normally. Your plan of stopping based on the Sporty's tank sounds very doable. I look forward to this ride report.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
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Fort Worth
Done a number of roads trips,. Was going to say "long' ones until I saw your map..... "You Da Man".

Good luck. Making sure freinds and family know your route each day, making sure you touch base at least once a day and having ICE information in case something unusual happens.... you should be good to go.

I envy you your ride and the time to be able to take it..... enjoy.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
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Fort Worth
One thing you can be sure of on a multiple day, accross state lines trip.... it will rain at some point..... don't forget the rainsuit!!! :storm:
 
Joined
May 22, 2009
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San Antonio, Texas
One thing you can be sure of on a multiple day, accross state lines trip.... it will rain at some point..... don't forget the rainsuit!!! :storm:
Oh, you bet! I'm actually contemplating getting a riding suit so I don't have to stop and put on the rain gear. My Harley rain gear is way too hot to ride in the rain. Yes I stay drive, but jeez, I'm sweating underneath.
 

Wes

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No matter how water proof riding gear is, you will still get wet. Same goes with actual rain suits, you will eventually get wet or sweat to death. I've started carrying it just for the murphy's law part of it. If I have rain gear with me it won't rain. :trust:
 
Joined
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Last June, I had to stop in Kansas to put on rain gear. Took all of 5 minutes. Hopped back on the bike and 10 minutes later it stopped ;) argh...
 
Joined
May 22, 2009
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San Antonio, Texas
The only issue I see is through Dallas near the end. You need to re-route that portion, unless your doing it to go by Strokers:rider:
The route north from San Antonio is my starting route. I did that route last year, but this time I changed it to run into NW Arkansas.

Right now its 281 to 67 east to I30 into Texarkana.

Which way would you go? I'd like to just ignore Dallas and go around it, but that would add considerable mileage the first day.
 
Joined
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Arlington, TX
Which way would you go? I'd like to just ignore Dallas and go around it, but that would add considerable mileage the first day.
Trust me, it's not that bad...... The way you're going, you won't even go through Dallas at all. You'll stay on 20 all the way around, and then before you know it, you're out of Dallas County. Heck, if it's not a clear day, you won't even see the downtown skyline from 20. But I wouldn't worry at all about it.
 
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Jun 26, 2005
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Longview, TX.
The route north from San Antonio is my starting route. I did that route last year, but this time I changed it to run into NW Arkansas.

Right now its 281 to 67 east to I30 into Texarkana.

Which way would you go? I'd like to just ignore Dallas and go around it, but that would add considerable mileage the first day.
Run up as you planned and then at Waco head over to Tyler, Gladewater, Atlanta and then Texarkana. Much more fun and has a few curves thrown in for good measure and the speed limit on the two lane is 70 :mrgreen: and not too many LOE's to contend with.
 
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Houston
In response to the original poster, it is always good to have your "Living Will" completed and filed. Recall that Terry Schiavo situation. Her parents filed a lawsuit to assert authority over her care. Under the relevant Florida law Terry Schiavo's husband is her sole guardian and has the right to terminate her life support and that was the judgement of the Florida courts.

A "Living Will" also lets your beneficiaries know where all your assets are and how you wish them to be distributed. It's not a replacement for a Will but a good start. You may wish to consult an attorney regarding how to set up a "Living Will" since the attorney would know any relevant laws that may impact your decisions.
 

DaveC

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In response to the original poster, it is always good to have your "Living Will" completed and filed. Recall that Terry Schiavo situation. Her parents filed a lawsuit to assert authority over her care. Under the relevant Florida law Terry Schiavo's husband is her sole guardian and has the right to terminate her life support and that was the judgement of the Florida courts.

A "Living Will" also lets your beneficiaries know where all your assets are and how you wish them to be distributed. It's not a replacement for a Will but a good start. You may wish to consult an attorney regarding how to set up a "Living Will" since the attorney would know any relevant laws that may impact your decisions.
Welcome to the forum.:mrgreen:
 

Tourmeister

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ATGATT really doesn't do anything but prevent rash in most crashes, and in the end all the unplanned for details will probably work out. Also he proved my reasoning for wearing a full face helmet, almost every motorcycle wreck I have ever seen the rider ends up face first on the pavement, as did he. (I have even seen low sides with shield damage.
:tab I forget now where I was reading it, but the article in question discussed the nature of motorcycle related injuries and their seriousness. One of the big points they kept making was that short of nasty head injuries, the body can often recover from a single major injury. However, the ability to survive starts to go down dramatically even with one other major injury. Most people may not think of road rash as a major injury, but the article pointed out that it is literally a burn wound and if there is very much of it, the cumulative affect of it can rapidly add up to a major injury in terms of its impact on the body's ability to deal with trauma. Their conclusion was that ATGATT has a very large impact on the body's ability to handle accident related trauma.

:tab Obviously, they were totally also in favor of full face helmets for their ability to reduce head injuries because of the potential for real life threatening damage. I think it was the Hurt Report that showed that in motorcycle accidents the front of the head and face take the impact in something like 50-60% of the cases, while the top and back of the head only impact in about 15-20% of the cases. So a skull cap helmet, while legal, is not much use. Even the 3/4 helmets were not recommended. I have been down twice at speed, once at 70 mph and another at about 35-40mph. In both cases, I was face down for part of the time. In the first case, the entire front of the helmet, chin to forehead was ground up pretty good by the chip sealed pavement. I have no doubt I would not be here but for the full face helmet! Also, in both cases, I suffered absolutely no rash. The worst injury was a minor ankle break in the slower crash.

:tab Getting to the BIG trip route posted above... Is there a reason to head up through Arkansas and Missouri before cutting West? If not, I would highly recommend heading West right from the start into New Mexico, Eastern Arizona, and then heading North up through Colorado. The riding is FAR better! Besides, you can do Ark & Mo in a nice 4 day weekend ;-) Also, once you get over to North Carolina, you are gonna really wish you had a few days to play in that area before moving on :trust: Unless you just want to see the Gulf Coast, I would head West while still up in North Carolina, cutting across Northern Alabama and Mississippi. It is much nice scenery and the roads are better. Then when you reach Jackson, cut South on the Natchez Trace to Natchez, and then cut West through Alexandria, La., and East Texas. It might take a bit more time than just slabbing along I-10, but you also won't go insane... :-P I can recommend many great roads in the NM, Az, Co areas as well as the NC area and the ride back West from there.
 

Wes

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Harlem, GA
Scott:
I agree, and don't get wrong, road rash isn't something I ever want to repeat. I wear my gear because I have gone down with it and without it. I prefer to never dig gravel out of my leg again while trying not to pass out. I go into shock pretty easy I found out. :lol2: I did learn from my brother's wreck it isn't a cure all, but it does help.

I normally get irritated by the preachy nature of most ATGATT nazis but none the less, I am big on preaching full face helmets myself, for all the reasons you stated. But the wonderful thing about life is that some people will never learn till it's them laying face down on the road.


BigJnsa:

I'm excited about the ride report on this lil' adventure. Please tell me you plan on updating as you go?
 

Tourmeister

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I go into shock pretty easy I found out.
:tab Ditto. I am good until I know there is someone to take over for me. Then I tend to go into shock. After hitting the deer in October, I warned the EMT's. They did not believe me. I could feel my hands and feet starting to tingle and asked them to lay me back and elevate my feet. They still did not believe me. Then they finally checked my BP and it was 80 over 40 and they freaked out :roll: They finally elevated the feet and laid me back, and gave me some kind of shot that brought the BP back up again. I can usually just lay back and wait it out. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes to pass completely once it starts. I have an aunt that has the same problem. I've no idea if it is genetic or just psychological.

:tab BigJnsa, if you do plan a report. At a minimum, jot down some notes each day. On a ride that long, you are likely to forget a great deal and/or to start blurring days together. I used to use a digital camera that had a memo feature. When turned on, it would take the picture and then as long as I held down the button, it would record what I said and store that with a thumbnail in mpeg format. That way I had a thumbnail of the image with audio attached. This was great for refreshing my memory when later working on a report! It is also great because I suck at remembering people's names, so I would take a pic of people with their bike and say their name, bike model, and where they were from. Then I would save all those pics in a directory for later reference. Unfortunately, my current cameras do not have that memo feature unless I actually shoot video with them. I also used to have one of those little mini digital audio recorders that I could just dictate notes into for later reference. I used that a lot back when I would go out scouting routes for future organized group rides, but not so much for doing my ride reports. It was nice and small, easy to carry in the tank bag or pocket for quick access.
 
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May 29, 2008
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Bedford
May I suggest this . . .

May I suggest something like this from a company called Road ID? You can get it as a braclet, etc. It has a way for EMS to contact family, doctors, etc. I think it's about $10 a year.

Just a thought. I've used it the last few years and I've been in all the lower 48, Canada and Mexico.


Bruce
 
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I'll answer that one for him...

Sportster Rally in KC
Thanks Hemibee... that's correct, this all revolves around leaving KC on the 13th to head West. But now, I don't know if I can get all the time off. They are renovating our labs and offices some time this summer, but nobody can give me a clear date when they are starting. If they start my area while I'm gone, I'm the only IT person for the department, servers have to move and set up some place else during the renovations, etc... I doubt anybody would want to be left emailless for a month.

But we'll see.. I'll keep you guys/gals posted.
 
Joined
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Re: May I suggest this . . .

May I suggest something like this from a company called Road ID? You can get it as a braclet, etc. It has a way for EMS to contact family, doctors, etc. I think it's about $10 a year.

Just a thought. I've used it the last few years and I've been in all the lower 48, Canada and Mexico.


Bruce
Somebody gave me (I forget the name of it) a thing you tape to her helmet. Inside this little bag is a piece of paper with contact info, blood type, allergies, etc...
 

Tourmeister

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Have you considered the issues raised by the original poster in this thread? Have you updated your life insurance, written a will, done a power of attorney, thought about who would raise your kids if something were to happen to you and your spouse, etc,...? These aren't always comfortable issues to consider, but they are important.
 

Jarrett

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Yup. I waited until my daughter was self sufficient before buying my first bike. Didn't really have a choice being a single dad.

Got my stuff in order. Even have those little cards in my Klim jackets. Got 911 on voice activated speed dial on my Sena units.

Need to get a Spot though. Before I set off on any big solo trips.
 
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