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50 States Training





"Really? You need to train to ride around the country?"
Absolutely.
It takes practice to figure out a number of things when traveling. For instance, how long can one ride comfortably? Actually, until the next gas stop. How far can one ride until the next gas stop? We've had a few close calls, but we're good for around 150 miles.
What about rain gear? There's no replacement for riding in an actual cloudburst to see what works. Our works great. The one glitch is shoes. We need more training!
How does one set up the pop top tent? Practice, practice, practice. The Little Woman and I can set it up or take it down in around ten minutes, minus all the luggage and debris- I mean, very valuable belongings- scattered over the campsite.
Even riding the bike requires training, which sounds silly, as I have ridden bikes for 45 years. Yet the Gold Wing is a tank and requires special handling. From five to zero and zero to five miles per hour is sketchy just because it weighs almost a half ton. Should I lean over too far or my foot slip at the right time, it will lean. At a certain point, the mass simply overtakes me and down she goes. Three times, so far. With the crash bars, it only leans over at a 45 degree angle, but getting it up again is daunting.
Different surfaces take skills. Riding up Pike's Peak, large sections of road were dirt and under construction. Bonus, we followed the water truck up the hill. Sketchy indeed!
Another practice to prepare is one's tenacity. Thunderstorms, hail, rain, excessive heat can be the acid test to see if we want to once again saddle up and ride.
Some practical lessons we needed to learn with practice:
When you fly into a flock of birds, it doesn't hurt a bit- but you better have your face shield down. (Yes, she did.)
Riding up a steep dirt road with a steep cul de sac at the end takes some forward thinking.
Continuous side winds cause an aching neck from the helmet's sail effect.
If the hail is big and descending rapidly, find any cover. Now.
Without windshield wipers, riding in big cities in the dark is daunting.
But the good side:
Nothing beats riding outdoors on a nice, or even rather nice day.

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