**All credit for this blog goes to Rob (Lawdog) Layman**
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Blog-Ok so you ride motorcycles. The big question is do you ride to dinner once a month or do you enjoy really putting the miles on?
I enjoy really putting the miles on. Unfortunately, I live in eastern Washington State (it’s not all rainy). During the winter months it can be downright cold. We haven’t been above 30 for a high in about three weeks.
So what do you do with your winter? You can only polish so much and eventually the money for modifications dries up. I spend my time dreaming of places to go see and planning how to get there, afterall half the fun is getting there when you are on a bike.
Currently, we all ride Street Glides or Road Glides. I like the baggers for a couple reasons. I can go long distances, my luggage is dry and can be locked up and you are protected by a fairing from weather. When you are on a trip you don’t always have the luxury of saying “it’s raining, I will ride tomorrow’.
I plan my trips using the Harley Davidson Ride Planner. Go to the website http://rideplanner.harley-davidson.com/rideplanner/ridePlanner.jsp then log in (this is done in the upper right corner). If you have a wish list or a log in for Harley it works here too. You don’t haveto be a current HOG member to use this feature. It works just like Google maps with a couple of nice add-ons.
On the left, first type you’re starting point. Then as you add locations, just keep adding them. Once you are done you can select save at the bottom. For planning and searching ease I suggest you name your trip; my latest is Sworn Few 2013. You can also add notes, I use this for hotel names as all I have for locations are addresses. Input the dates you plan on taking the trip and then save it. Every time you log in now your trip will be at your fingertips. You can also e-mail the trip with other riders.
I zoom in to the day’s route and move slowly across the route to see rural roads that parallel the route the computer selects. If you want to change the route click on the red line indicating the route and drag it to the road you want to take (tip if you change a route zoom in on the change and make sure you dropped the pin on the road you want to take. I have dropped the pin on what I thought was the route and when I was driving it would tell me to get on a side road for 10 minutes and end up back on the road I was on). I don’t know about you, but I avoid freeways unless I really need to get somewhere.
If you click on the 4 diamonds at the top; roads (shows scenic roads you can also check rider submitted roads to see others ride routes), Dealers (shows Harley dealers), Hotels (shows Best Western hotels), discount with a HOG Membership) and finally events (shows events Harley has going on).
then hook up my Harley Davidson Zumo 660 GPS and click on GPS Synchronization right below where you log in and it’s uploaded right into my GPS for the road. Synchronize right before you leave, because if you are like me, you are changing little things here and there right up to the last minute.
Riding long distance for repeated days can take some getting used to. I try to limit my days to 500 miles when on the freeway and 350-400 miles when on back roads. This provides me plenty of time to stop, eat, gas up, see the sights, etc. Key to long distance riding; make hotel reservations, especially in the summer and heading to tourist areas (Yellowstone). Make sure you are ready for weather. Pack sun screen, rain gear, warm gear,etc. If you make your hotel reservations, most places need 24 hours to cancel. I have ridden in some bad weather to make that next stop. Just because you have a place to be, leave time to get off the bike, walk around, maybe grab a beverage, and enjoy the ride.