Oshkosh Trip: Epilogue

For those just finding this, click to start at the begining, or any other day: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19.

[ Click to go interactive ]

Some trip facts

  • Mileage: 5230 on the odometer (GPS was almost always on, but, not quite)
  • Stops for gas: 39, or ~134 miles per tank. (F800 range: ~230 miles, Goldwing range: ~150-160 miles).
  • Gallons used: 95.25 gallons which makes for 54.9 MPG average for the trip — not shabby at all.
  • Fuel cost: $262.03, or an average price of $2.84 per gallon for mid-grade fuel.
  • States covered: 13
  • State line signs successfully captured for the ride report: 3 — and it wasn’t for lack of trying. But, I wasn’t going to stop, just to snap a photo of a sign…
  • Family feuds: about 4 minor ones over stupid trivial crap like: being too hungry to function and not stopping soon enough when I knew better (sorry Dad); or wondering: what’s the next highway number? How far till that? How far till we get to such and such? What time will we get there? Where will we stop next for gas? (“I don’t know, look at the map. I don’t know, here’s the map” …. *long pause of indignant silence* …. “Feel free to lead if you’d like” — It’s OK Dad, pay-backs are a bitch and I’m glad you didn’t give me the indignant silence when I’d ask you a bazillion questions about things as a kid :) ); or pulling away from intersections too quickly and without waiting (Really? OK, sorry Dad), or staying up too late/getting up too early (I always knew that’d be an issue!).

(Hi Dad! — Don’t let me get away without you telling your side of the story! I love you too!)

Gear that rocked

  • The Airhawk seat cushion was the best money spent on comfort mods.
  • The silly o-ring cruise control. Just engage by rolling into the crack between the bar-end weight and the throttle grip and relax the right hand! I left it “engaged” for most of the highway miles, even with both hands on the bars.
  • Mesh pants/jacket — great in the heat. Although the trip was *much* colder than I ever would have anticipated, the ability to layer a wind-proof shell outside, and warmth inside worked out very well to stay comfy.
  • My home-brew GPS setup. It’s a Garmin car GPS inside of a RAM Aquabox with a homemade bracket mounting it to the homemade “dash”. I’ve got it hard-wired into ship’s power and an audio jack by the seat to plug into headphones to listen to music as well as the turn-by-turn directions. The best part about the mounting location is that it’s in front of the bars which make a perfect arm rest to steady the hand when working the interface.

What I’d do different

  • Skip the 6K service on the road. I’d have changed the oil prior to leaving, and then had the bike serviced some place I knew I’d be stopping at for a while (like the Boise area). That half-a-day in the Nebraska dealership could have been spent doing much more interesting things.
  • The tire situation certainly could have been planned better. While I’ll never buy another tire with no tread in the middle, I’ll also be more proactive once the tire has squared off.
  • I’d pack food/snacks and stop at some roadside places to eat a snack, rather than stopping for sit-down lunch every day. Anything to make the stops more flexible is a bonus as the majority of the stops are at the least comfortable/interesting places: gas stations.

Final thoughts

This was my third multi-day trip (first, & second) on the cycle, and by far the most ambitious. The first two were definitely helpful to get things dialed in and this trip worked out amazingly well in part because of already having 5 long days in the saddle to figure things out (BTW — Thanks, Mark, for helping make both of those other trips happen!)

I’d like to have left a day earlier and taken my time along some of the route, but, the cookie didn’t crumble that way. Although, it seams that we didn’t spend any time checking the sights along the way, the reality is we spent our sight seeing time on slower roads, seeing things that wouldn’t have been possible rolling the super slab. After all, the trip was all about getting some place, seeing the sights there (airplanes!), and then getting back. The only way to really do it more leisurely is to take more time — the miles still have to be covered one way or another.

Someday I’d like to do an open ended trip with no particular time to be at no particular destination. Probably spend several days touring the Rockies, amongst other places. Definitely do some camping along the way.

All joking aside about family feuds and such, I had a great time traveling with my father. We seamed to work well as travel buddies going down the road and our mutual love of the aviation made the destination all the more enjoyable to share with one another. This trip was too long in the making, and now I’m regretting not having purchased a bike sooner that was capable of doing the distance and joining in on past trips. Thanks, Dad, for asking if I’d like to go, year after year. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Which, leads me to my lovely bride — a big thanks to her for taking care of our three kiddos for the ~2 weeks that I was gone prior to meeting in Idaho. And then having the courage to take the 3 kids on a road-trip to Idaho all by yourself — I’m just in awe of how patient you are.

To the readers that have made it this far, thank you too! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I have putting it together. All thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated :)

– Fin –

1 comment to Oshkosh Trip: Epilogue

  • Valerie

    Awesome job, love. I’m so glad you took the time to share this adventure with all of us, the short chats from the road weren’t enough. Of course, this means you’re going to be the official family chronicler from now on. ;)

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