How to ride 2700 miles on a motorcycle trip when it’s hot enough to kill you.
First thing is you take your bike to your trusted mechanic for a complete and thorough inspection, including tires and everything. Do I do my own work? Don’t be silly, I want a tech with experience who knows what to inspect.
My route has been planned for months, so have my motel reservations. I’m going to ride across the Rocky Mountains, then the deserts of Arizona and on the Zion National Park. Each day has been planned regarding miles, availability of fuel and food.
The blistering heat is a recent development. When the temp gets above 96, the air is putting heat into your body and people die from heatstroke.
I started drinking lots of liquids for several days prior to departure. I put the towns through which I will pass each day into my phone under Weather. I pulled up each town and studied the temperature curves. Overnight lows, how fast does the heat build and what time is the peak daily heat are all studied for each location.
This information will determine if I live or not. Most of the time, the peak temp was around 1 or 2 pm. That means leaving at 4 am could get me 8 hours of riding in before the peak heat. This is probably important to know, even if traveling by car. I saw a LOT of stalled cars on the side of the road. Once your car quits, you have no AC and no shade, either. The interior gets super hot.
I went to Walgreen’s and bought bottles of Pedialite for maximum hydration. My daily regimen would be 20 oz of Pedialite and 80 oz of other liquids with electrolytes.
I also carried a cooling vest. Specially designed to keep a person cool, this would be soaked for 10 to 15 minutes in a sink to absorb enough water, then you wear it under a mesh jacket. This provided great cooling effect. I also packed a “camelback” bag that could be packed with ice and water, for sipping as you rode.
I brought an insulated squeeze bottle useful for drinking while riding that would also keep drinks cold.
Day one, I would ride 600 miles from Lincoln to Pueblo, Colorado. My route was even so completely planned so I would go through Denver during mid morning, to avoid rush hour and traffic jams.
I had two people monitoring me. I would text them each morning, advising departure times and roads of travel. I would also text at each stop.
Day one opens with rain. Terrific. I decided to just ride in my mesh jacket and forget the rain gear, as the temp was high enough to make the rain somewhat warm. I got off at 5am.
The big Gold Wing bike is perfectly suited to ride in the rain. All the body work directs the water around you. I didn’t get all that wet, I just set the cruise on 80. The bike loves to run.
After an hour and a half, the rain cleared, the sun came out and the wet mesh jacket was my air conditioning.
At each stop, I got another 20 oz cold drink. I bought bags of nuts for snacks as I took breaks. I stopped for lunch at an Arby’s at 11:00. Ate a milkshake and a sandwich.
I rolled into Pueblo around 2:00. I rode 600 miles in 9 hours. I had several gas stops and a quick sit down lunch. It was just reaching 100 deg. on arrival and would get up to 113 for the day.
I beat the heat and didn’t need my vest or camelback.