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Author Topic: First FCT Planning
crowgo
Newbie
Posts: 12
Post First FCT Planning
on: June 15, 2016, 08:58

I don't think I've ever put more planning into a M/C trip than this. After talking about it for years it's coming to fruition. Planning on starting San Ysidro first week in August ending in KW, a couple of concerns. I have read about the congestion on the 401 in Canada, increased fuel cost and border crossings. Thinking about I-75 down from Mackinaw City to Toledo then around the South side of the lakes. Any input appreciated. Additionally, I seem to recall somewhere, what I will call, a suggested packing list for the FCT but now can't find it, any guidance on that subject would be equally appreciated.

Thx
Dennis

fjim
Beginner
Posts: 48
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: June 22, 2016, 08:12

Hey Dennis,
Good luck on your Four Corners run. Since it's been a week and nobody else has replied, here's my two-cents. Maybe this will spark a couple other replies.

1. Yes, gas is considerably more expensive in Canada, there is no getting around it. On the plus side, they price it in Canadian, they measure in liters and they drive in kilometers so you never really know how much it was.

1c One caveat, in Quebec the gas pumps only speak French. Good luck. Most places will take USD if you ask nicely. At worst, if they take it 1:1 you’ve paid about 25% too much. Not great but in a pinch it will work.

2. The road north of Lake Superior is very scenic, it's a lovely run and fairly remote so traffic shouldn't really be a problem. If you've not seen it, or the Mackinac Bridge, they are worth a visit.

2a Instead of making the corner at Toledo you might consider crossing into Ontario on I-69 at Port Huron / Sarnia. It’s an easy crossing and it cuts off all that traffic between Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland.

2b A lot of guys go south of the great lakes and follow Lake Erie north crossing into Canada somewhere around Montreal. Others choose to stay in the US the entire way. On my last 4CX I had to zig-zag a little to finish riding in all 49 states. It depends on what you want to see along the way.

2c A run along the St Lawrence on the US side, while a bit slower, is much more scenic and would let you avoid the 401. But you live in SoCal, how bad could it be?

2d In general, I find smaller crossings are faster than major ones although exceptions occur. Other than trying to cross back into the US on I-5, I've never had to wait very long.

What to pack? In general, less is better. Pack your extra clothes and spares in one bag and leave it locked in your saddlebag overnight unless you need it. Carrying everything into the hotel every night is exhausting.

Pack some light shirts and a wet neck wrap, it’s gonna be hot, Hot, HOT crossing the plains in August. (And wet-vests don’t work east of say Denver.) Bicycle shorts. This ride is a LOT of hours in the saddle and if you’ve never worn bicycle shorts under your riding pants, you need to try it.

Smart phone and / or a laptop. Make up an email list of friends and family and try to post them a note every so often about where you were and what you saw. It will be nice to hear back from them while you’re traveling and, when you get home, most of your trip report will already be written!

Rain Gear. Tire repair kit with an air pump. Minimal tools. You won’t have much time to fix anything serious.

Finally, drinking shoes for Key West. Start with a beer at Sloppy Joe’s, it’s a classic. Then cross the street to the Hog’s Breath for some of their magical rum punch and some good food. That’s my favorite. Eat at the bar if you’re traveling solo, nobody’s really aver alone at the Hog’s Breath. Then maybe a nightcap at Schooner’s Wharf or Captain Tony’s. By then you will have earned it! Cheers!

Good Luck!

fjim
Beginner
Posts: 48
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: June 22, 2016, 08:13

And some sun screen. You're going to be looking into the sun the whole way back from key West.

sandman
Newbie
Posts: 4
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: June 25, 2016, 08:10

Dennis, I just finished my 1st 4corner ride last Saturday. I agree with all FJIM said. Don't forget your passport or even better is a passport card. Less is more and most motels have washing machines & dryers. I stayed a HoJoes that had a washer & dryer in the room. I did wash twice on the trip and retured home with almost every thing clean. I have undies from Duluth Trading Co. that will dry overnight if you wash then the night before. Take a set of light long johns or electric clothes. A riding suit will not be enough if it turns to winter as in Northern Maine. Sunscreen every day, watch your nose. if your not like me don't you won't use spf 15. I even moved up to spf 30 as the Fl. sun is a killer. Be safe and most of all have fun.

crowgo
Newbie
Posts: 12
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: June 27, 2016, 00:25

Hey, sandman and fjim,
Thx for the input, my plan is to pack as light as possible and I was planning on doing laundry so I don't have to carry as much, I generally don't go on trips near the boarder without my passport as I am never sure what route I'm going to take even though I plan a route. Cool clothing is easy and I plan on taking my heated clothes as well although mI don't think they'll be needed except in the Cascades, Glacier and Maine. My biggest concern was handguns and Canada although I got that figured out now. I found the packing list I was looking for, it was on SCMA proboards from back in 2012. I think stuff from it and your suggestions will work out. I got an idea fro hildan a couple of weeks ago and have installed a LiveViewGPS tracker on my bike so those interested can track me on the go. I will be posting the userid and password here closer to my departure.

crowgo
Newbie
Posts: 12
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: June 27, 2016, 00:26

Hey, sandman and fjim,
Thx for the input, my plan is to pack as light as possible and I was planning on doing laundry so I don't have to carry as much, I generally don't go on trips near the boarder without my passport as I am never sure what route I'm going to take even though I plan a route. Cool clothing is easy and I plan on taking my heated clothes as well although mI don't think they'll be needed except in the Cascades, Glacier and Maine. My biggest concern was handguns and Canada although I got that figured out now. I found the packing list I was looking for, it was on SCMA proboards from back in 2012. I think stuff from it and your suggestions will work out. I got an idea fro hildan a couple of weeks ago and have installed a LiveViewGPS tracker on my bike so those interested can track me on the go. I will be posting the userid and password here closer to my departure.

Guest

Posts: 57
Post Re: First FCT Planning
on: July 1, 2016, 13:53

You are not going to need the heated gear. Glacier, the Cascades and Maine still have summers.
Check the 10-day weather-dot-com forecasts for a few cities the week before you go. It won't necessarily tell you the weather for the days your passing through but you will get an idea of what their seasons are like. My first trip to Alaska I took a lot of cold weather gear. What I needed was more warm-weather stuff. Even in Alaska summer days in August are in the 80's or higher.
For the email I send a note to a small group of people telling them what I'm doing. Then I just grab my sent email each day and "reply-all" to send updates. That way I don't have to recreate the list each time or risk missing somebody because somebody didn't reply all. You never know what somebody on your list might know about your upcoming locations and suggest. On one trip a friend told me about Ocracoke Island on the NC Outer Banks while I was there. Would have been a shame to miss it. You just never know what people know.

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