18 October 2020

CC20 - Day 35 – Back Home

Today was the last day of my cross-country ride. Sunnyvale to the East Coast and back. It was a great trip! Yesterday I met up with Andrea and we rode the last section together. Along the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Maria to Sunnyvale, CA.

California Backroads, near Paso Robles

We started with a nice section going from Paso Robles to Cambria. Then on Highway 1 along the coast. Weather was like it so often is along the coast:

Fog along PCH

It was foggy and wet most of the way close to the ocean. Whenever we were more inland, it was sunny and warm. 

A short stop along the way

Fog rolls in

A few hours later we reached our home, from where I had left exactly five weeks ago.

Back home

My route took me 15.430km or 9588 miles across the country. One rear tire change, one service (12k miles), thousands of splattered bugs, lots of curvy roads, endless miles across straight roads, long days, interesting days, and countless memories! 

CC20 - The Full Route

Proof ...

Home, Sweet Home

And here's the last route picture. Day 35, fives weeks after leaving.

Route Day 35

17 October 2020

CC20 - Day 34

Artistically not a great photo – but it was soooooo good to see my lovely wife again! I didn't ride today, but Andrea did. She came South on the Pacific Coast Highway and met me here in Santa Maria, CA.

Together again

Tomorrow we'll ride home, probably the same route she took today, just the other direction.

Andrea's Route

16 October 2020

CC20 - Day 33

Second to last riding day – tomorrow I won't be riding, just waiting for my wife to arrive here. I rode through some burned and non-burned landscape today, it was very interesting to see how fast nature is already taking over again. The burned areas (not from this year though) were sprinkled with fresh green everywhere. It gives hope!

Burned California Landscape

More ...

Overall, it was a good day. I rode about a mix of maybe 60:40 straight roads and twisties. While I'd love to have a more twisty mix, it's hard to achieve during a trip like this.

Route Day 33

15 October 2020

CC20 - Day 32

Since Andrea and I agreed to meet up in Santa Maria, CA, and I wanted to have one day without riding in the next few days, I had some options: I could ride from Palm Desert to San Diego, stay a full day to have the non-riding on Friday and then head North to Santa Maria, or, option two, ride towards Los Angeles on some nice roads, stay overnight somewhere, ride to Santa Maria and arrive a day early and take my non-riding day on Saturday.

This morning I decided to take option two. Part of it was that I wanted to ride Angeles Crest highway again tomorrow, this time East to West, but I hadn't planned with fire related road closures (welcome back to California). So, I'll plan some mixed riding for tomorrow to get to Santa Maria.

Today I had a beautiful riding day, wonderful roads, it's really worth taking a closer look at the map and zoom around in it on Google Maps.

I took only one photo while being stopped at one of four one-lane road construction stops:

Typical California Mountain Landscape

It was a very hot day, even in the mountains it rarely dropped below 30C/86F, so I wasn't all too inclined to stop in the sun (not much shade here) and take photos. I'm in GoreTex gear and stopping in this heat feels like I'm wearing a non-ventilated plastic bag ... while riding it's okay with the air moving, but even traffic lights are not nice.

Route Day 32

14 October 2020

CC20 - Day 31

California – I'm back. At least back in the state. Right now I'm in the South, Palm Desert to be precise. The route from Kingman, AZ to Palm Desert, CA brought me to my "traditional" destination I always visit when I'm in the area: Oatman, AZ. I just can't get around this town, first the road to get there is a lot of fun and also the last chance for some nice cornering before heading 150 miles West into California.

I have this photo probably a dozen times ...

Not many donkeys roaming around today

No comment ...

I hadn't seen these before

There were a few donkeys roaming around, not as many as there are normally. These were along the road to the South of Oatman, but I didn't get a photo of these. In Oatman, I scratched a few ears and then headed on, it was just too warm to stick around.

The way into California was rather sad, temperatures up to 42C/108F were challenging and the road was rather boring:

Through the desert into California

Made me beat my own record in freehand riding (Disclaimer: professional rider, closed course, don't try at home),which is rather sad since it means that the road was mostly straight for around 90km without any curve worth mentioning, only a single stop sign at an intersection in the middle ...

Route Day 31

13 October 2020

CC20 - Day 30

Riding today was super nice. Beautiful scenery between Flagstaff and Sedona, although quite some traffic (that's why I didn't take photos there, it was just too busy), then some beautiful riding in more remote areas. 

Lonely Backroads in Arizona

Some nice curvy riding

I rode from Flagstaff to Kingman, both in Arizona. There is a direct freeway connection, but I took a nice detour and had a lot of fun doing so.

Route Day 30

12 October 2020

CC20 - Day 29

My route today was supposed to be "not too bad". I use Butler Maps (or the Rever web app) for planning and they have roads marked in yellow, red, and orange to mark super nice sections, great sections and ... yeah, that "and" is a good question. Today was a lot of orange – and it was booooooring. The first 30 miles or so out of Los Alamos were really great (yellow and red), the rest of the day, which I clicked together from mainly orange sections was not any more exciting than a freeway, only less traffic.

Anyways ... I really enjoyed the first part and after that it wasn't too bad since I didn't have to fight into the wind again. Wind was manageable today, other drivers were a different topic though. From time to time I seem to run into a person which seems to be "slightly" unhinged, which I just can't explain any other way than "used the last two brain cells they had left to start the car they are sitting in and now it's all instinctual idiocy". Today it was some crazy woman in front of me at a light regulating single lane traffic in a construction area. Suddenly she put her car into reverse and started backing up towards me (yes, she had seen me). I honked and she started screaming like a banshee ... I got off the bike and asked what she tried to do and all she did was keep up the screaming. The driver behind me saw it too and when we looked at each other we made the same hand gesture – indicating what we thought about the mental state of said woman. It wasn't flattering.

I've had about four or five encounters with weird people like this on the trip now, and it just confirms my general opinion of humanity.

I'm obviously in the West again

And this was some of the less interesting landscape to ride through (because it looked like this for too long):

Arizona, near Cameron

A long, but not very exciting day today.

What I've noticed for the last two days is how much the dry air can affect me. I drink a lot more again, my nose dries out significantly more. On the other hand, the clothes I wash in the hotel room sink are dry in the morning ... 

Route Day 29

11 October 2020

CC20 - Day 28

Today was a rather miserable day. I was basically heading into a strong headwind for 300 miles through rather desolate landscape. Midway, I decided to cut out the backroads, since they weren't that much nicer and only took longer and were just as miserable to ride. Had my worst fuel mileage today with 7L/100km (33.6mpg) and that was while going way below speed limit and crouching behind the windshield. I was happy when I was at my destination. 

Backroads in New Mexico

Route Day 28

10 October 2020

CC20 - Day 27

Nothing special today, Tulsa, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas. It was a boring freeway ride.


It wasn't a long day, about 370 miles.

Route Day 27

09 October 2020

CC20 - Day 26

After yesterday's long distance ride, I wanted to take it a bit slower today and ride some backroads as well. So, my extraordinary routing skills got me into miles of this again:

Unpaved Backroads

It was mostly hard packed gravel, only a few sections were deeper gravel or a bit softer underground. Overall I managed okay, although my really worn front tire certainly didn't help. That tire has 7000 miles on it now and has only marginal tread left. Okay for dry roads, but certainly not anything else. It'll likely get me home but will then be at the legal limit or even worse. Shouldn't be a problem though. Straight home would be around 1700 miles or 2700km, but I'm likely taking some nicer roads, which will add some distance and I believe the tire will manage that. If not, I'll find a shop to change it along the way.

Now, back to today, I didn't want to ride all that much, so ended up doing 335 miles / 540km, some backroads, some freeway, and I ended up in Tulsa, OK. For the next day or two, I'll have some really boring roads in front of me to cross Oklahoma and the Northern part of Texas, then I can find some nicer roads again in New Mexico and Arizona. 

Missouri was interesting, I didn't expect the variety in scenery. 

Missouri, West Ozarks

Missouri, West Ozarks


Regarding Hurricane Delta, I successfully avoided rain/wind or even getting stuck somewhere. I'm now west of the storm and should be okay for the rest of the trip.

This is the projected storm path for tomorrow, I'm safely West of it:

The storm path from there will be going East, I'll be heading West. 

On the practical side, since I was too tired to clean my windshield and lights from bugs last night, I ended up with some wet rags this morning and found a good way to dry them while riding. Just strapped to the top case and all was good after a very short time:

Drying microfiber rags while riding

Overall, it was a decent ride today. 

Route Day 26

08 October 2020

CC20 - Day 25

If you are following the news, you might have seen the reports on Hurricane Delta reaching the US. I was East of it and didn't want to get into massive rainfall on my way west, so the motto today was: get west of the storm. 

And that's pretty much what I did:

Day 25 Route

I had this as my guide:

NOAA Screenshot for Delta

The NOAA app gave me a prediction for the storm path for Thursday and Friday and I planned my ride accordingly.

And since I already had quite a distance to ride, I decided to turn it into a full 1000 mile day. I didn't get the witnesses to make an IronButt Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles in 24 hours) ride, but that wasn't my goal anyways, I don't need the "badge", it was just fun to complete the 1000 miles. I had done this distance before, but that's a long time ago.

Here are the statistics:

Day 25 Ride Statistics

It was actually fairly easy. I left at 5:40 in the morning in Alexandria and arrived around midnight in Lebanon, MO (I got two hours back due to time zones). Had a good lunch break and most fuel stops turned into a short break. And since I was pushing the bike on the freeway I had to fill up quite a few times, six to be precise. Could have been okay with five, but I didn't "optimize" it, instead just filled when I felt like it.

And since I didn't stop much, I only have one photo from the day:

07 October 2020

CC20 - Day 24

This was a day without actual riding (other than about half a mile around the block).

Since I rode nearly 6000 miles on this trip so far, the bike was due for a service. This was actually the "large" 12k miles (20.000km) service, including valve check. All of the valves were within specs. So far so good. 

The cam shift mechanism isn't as complicated as I though it would be, the cams have two lobes and the shift mechanism just moves the cam over to the one that is to be used for the current riding condition:

Shift Cam Valve Train

The engine does a great job hiding the shifting process in terms of power delivery, but certainly not in terms of sound. It can be especially annoying when riding under cruise control and going at a speed that has the engine close the typical shifting point and then every slight incline/decline in the terrain will make the engine shift over the cams and mine makes a "popping" noise when this happens. Slightly annoying, it sounds like it has digestion issues ...

Tomorrow I'll try to get an early start to beat Hurricane Delta – I need to ride across its projected path and be west of it by Saturday. Otherwise I might get into some seriously bad weather. Shouldn't be too much of a problem though, I just hope my ears won't give me issues.

06 October 2020

CC20 - Day 23

Nothing special today, I rode from Virginia Beach, VA, to Alexendria,VA – just short of Washington, DC. Tomorrow I'll do the 12k miles service that is due now and then on Thursday will start my way back home. This will likely be a much quicker and more direct ride, especially since I'll be trying to beat Hurricane Delta through part of its predicted way ...

Day 23 Route

05 October 2020

CC20 - Day 22

On a cross-country trip I really had to go to the coast, there was no way around it. So I bit the bullet and rode the roughly 200 miles of rather boring roads to the coast at Virginia Beach, VA. It took me just over three weeks to ride this:

Sunnyvale, CA to Virginia Beach, VA

So far it has been an awesome trip. Some problems (ears, cuts), but overall it was an enjoyable, fun, just great motorcycle trip. 

Virginia Beach, VA

It was great to see the ocean again. I just love sitting on the beach and staring at the water. And leaving my mark:


Virginia Beach is a VERY touristy place. Touristy in the meaning of "cheap tourism". Right now, most of the restaurants are closed, but when looking at the selection and the feedback on them, it becomes very clear what type of location it is. Didn't matter to me, I just needed a destination close not too far away from my last in Lynchburg. 

Since it's out of season right now, I was able to find a reasonable deal on a nice Bed & Breakfast place, where I got my first decent coffee in three weeks:


It was about time ...

The route today was really just to get me here:

Day 22 Route