Posted by: Jessie | April 21, 2012

500 Miles From Cincinnati, OH to Macon, GA.

I have been thinking about taking longer motorcycle trips.  I really would like to go out west, but I don’t want to have to wait until I retire to do it.  I can’t afford to take a month or three off work.  So the only answer I can think of is to train to do more miles in a day so that I can cover long distances in a shorter amount of time.  When Jim came out to meet us at Bonneville he rode 1000 miles in one day, but it still took him two or three days to get out there.  I’ve been able to go 200 or 3oo miles in a day, but I had not tried to go more than that.  My dad and stepmother invited the family to visit their condo in Florida, so I thought this was a good opportunity to see how far I can go in a day.

I did some research on long distance riding.  I also talked to some people in the BMW club.  This is what I learned:

Stay hydrated.  Hydration packs are highly recommended.  It is easy to become dehydrated without realizing it, especially riding on a hot day or a dry day.  The wind can wick away perspiration so quickly you don’t even know you are perspiring.  When people get dehydrated they get more fatigued, concentration becomes poor, they may experience muscle weakness, headaches, dizziness, feel light-headed, irritable, sleepy, muscle cramps, confusion, decreased blood pressure, etc.

Take breaks before you get tired.  A short break can prevent you from getting tired.  Once you get tired it takes longer to recover.

Wear earplugs.  Things that fatigue long distance riders are noise, vibration, and wind.  Earplugs can reduce the amount of extraneous noise.

Eat light, but eat often.  Eat a piece of fruit or nuts when you stop for breaks.  This will keep your energy up and avoid post-heavy-meal sleepiness.

Avoid caffeine and sugar.  These things may give you energy short-term, but once they wear off it’s hard to keep going.

Armed with this information I got ready to set off on a 500 mile trip to Macon, GA.  Eric travels a lot for work, so he picked a hotel for me and made reservations.  I packed the bike.  I even had a little cooler with snacks like yogurt, fruit, nuts, and energy pars.  I geared up.  I had been advised to wear padded bicycle shorts for long trips, since my stock low seat has very little padding.  I thought I would give that a try.  It was also a little chilly and raining when I left, so I dressed in layers and put on my rain liners.  I knew it would be getting warmer as I got further south.  I put on my hydration pack and hit the road.

I rode for an hour and stopped and had a snack.  I rode another hour and stopped for gas.  After another hour I took my third stop.  By this time I felt pretty silly with a hydration pack, since it was still cold and rainy.  I took it off and bungied it to the back of the bike.

After a while I slipped into a rhythm.  Riding 500 miles was not has hard as I thought it would be.  The padded bicycle shorts were nice for the first 300 miles, they added some padding that my seat was lacking.  By the last 100 miles they were terribly uncomfortable.  The day had gotten warmer, but it was still humid.  The gel padding in those shorts just don’t breathe.

I used the navigation function on my phone instead of a GPS.  It said I would get there is 8 1/2 hours.  I figured it would take me at least 10 1/2 hours, maybe longer.  Even with all my stops, I got there in about 9 1/2 hours.  The hotel Eric picked for me was the Hilton Garden Inn.  This was much nicer then I would have picked for myself!  I would have picked something where I could park the bike right outside my door.  I was glad I let Eric pick!  I checked in, changed clothes, and headed down to the restaurant/bar for dinner.  I had the bar, and the TV all to myself!  The bartender put on the Superbike race for me so I could watch it while eating my grilled salmon and pasta.  After dinner I put on my swimsuit and headed to the whirlpool.  The pool area was full of children, all yelling and having a good time.  I didn’t stay long.  My head was still buzzing from the ride.  I just sat in the hot tub long enough for the hot water and the jets to relax my sore muscles.  Then I went back to the room to watch the end of the second Superbike race.  After the race I went right to sleep.

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  1. Congrats on the ride! With Old Rusty my daily mileage limit was ~250 miles simply because of comfort and my back; with the Zoom I’ve been able to do 500. It’s a nice feeling to accomplish those milestones 🙂

    • Thank you! You’re right, it does feel wonderful to accomplish those milestones! I think joining a gym and working out was also a part of that. My back doesn’t hurt like it used to.

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