Here's my 50CC ride report from a year ago. I was successful in completing the ride and getting the certificate.
50CC Attempt Travel Log
I got up at 5:00am to take Kendalia to the airport to get her on her way to Ozona, TX to visit
with her family, and meet me at the overnight portion of my trip.
When I got home, I sorted out a few things for the trip, and decided to take the bike to work. I
left early, with big plans for breakfast at a favorite diner. Around 2 miles from my house, two
large trucks were heading towards me, one passing the other. To be safe, I pulled over the
right to allow them to pass. As I braked to a stop, I put my feet down, and was surprised when
my right foot sunk into mud, and the bike leaned over to the right. Just before the bike landed
on me, I jumped off, right into a foot of wet mud. The bike came to rest gently on it’s right side.
A couple of guys from a construction company nearby saw what happened, and helped me
get the bike upright, and back on the road. I went back home, showered, changed clothes,
and rode to the office.
But luckily, no bike damage 2 days before departure!
I got up at 4:00am to help rest my body’s internal clock. You sure can get a lot done in the
morning if you get up at 4:00. By 8:30, I was at the office, but during that time, I ate breakfast
(twice, made up for thursday), did a load of laundry, started packing my clothes, dropped off a
car at the mechanic’s for while I was gone, and filled up my truck with gas.
Work went by quickly, but by lunch time, I felt like I’d already worked a full day. By 4:00pm, I
was done, and headed home.
I finished the last of my packing and got everything loaded onto the bike. A little trial and error,
but I got 2 weeks worth of clothes, laptop, shoes, and some tools loaded up for tomorrow’s
I woke up at 3:00am which was not easy, because I did not get good sleep. I tossed and
turned thinking about things I’d forgotten to pack, which I’d already packed. I got on the road
close to 4:00am, and headed for Baltimore, MD to visit Henry, Lisa, and Josh. It got cold for
around two hours in Pennsylvania, especially when I was passing through the Pocono’s. I had
the liner in my jacket and cranked up the grip heat and seat heater, so I was comfortable. I got
to my sister’s house around 9:00am, we went out for breakfast, and visited for a few hours,
and I was back on the road around 2:00pm. There was some traffic through Washington, DC,
and it rained for most of the trip, but by 7:00pm I was checked into my hotel in Rocky Mount,
I had a light dinner in the hotel restaurant, and went to bed around 9:00pm, for another
3:00am wakeup call.
Mileage: 643 / 643
Sunday 9/22/13Up again at 3:00am, which was easier today. I checked the weather and it predicted rain from
Rocky Mount, NC to Jacksonville, FL. Sure enough, the forecast was right. Hard rain for the
first 2 hours, and light rain for the rest of the trip down. My new gear works, with some
limitations.The Aerostitch suit kept me dry, the Sidi boots kept me dry, and the pinlock visor
inventor is a genius. My new Held gloves kept me dry for most of the first 2 hours, but
eventually the goretex started to feel saturated. I cranked up the handgrip heaters, and they
got a lot more comfortable. I guess you can only expect so much from a glove. When it rains
hard, I get the occasional splash upward into the helmet, which seems to be rain bouncing off
my jacket. It gets the bottom of the helmet liner wet. No traffic hangups today, just easy riding
down I95. The speed limit goes to 70mph, traffic goes at 7580mph. I don’t see much
difference in fuel mileage between 70 and 80. I I got my Waffle House fix for breakfast, and by
noon, I was in Jacksvonille. I replaced the memory card for my camera that had been left at
home, and picked up my container of Atlantic Ocean sand and water. I’ll get another container
of Pacific Ocean to take home with me when I get to San Diego. I spent a lot of time on the
bike today thinking about the long ride to Ozona and trying to plan out a better timetable. But
in the end, I’m going to stick with my plan for a Monday, 2:00am departure.
At 2:00am the alarm went off and I hit snooze about 5 times until it was 3:00am. I was
definitely excited to head off, but not as well rested as I would have liked. I got dressed,
loaded the bike, and went to the Shell gas station which I had programmed into the GPS. Of
course, I picked one that wasn’t open at 3:15am. Luckily, there was another one nearby, and I
got my receipt at 3:21am. Now I was on the clock, and time to head off. The GPS guided me
out of town, and I cycled on all the electronics to make sure they worked. About once or twice
a year, the bluetooth module fails to connect, and to reset it, you have to pull the master fuse,
wait 5 minutes, and then power everything back on again. Of course, this was it’s time to fail.
I pulled over, took off the saddlebag, the sidecover, pulled the fuse, and waited ……. 5
minutes later it worked, I put the bike back together, and headed for Interstate 10. As soon as
I got on the interstate, the rain started back up, and it would persist until I got to Pensacola.
Not bad rain, but enough to slow things down. Once the rain stopped, it got hotter close to
90 during daylight hours. By 9am I had crossed Florida and Alabama, and was getting gas in
Mississippi. After 1, I was through Louisiana and into Texas. Texas is a really long state, 880
miles wide on Interstate 10. My early departure got me through Houston before 3:00pm, and I
rode through on the HOV lanes. Houston is a big, heavily trafficked city. Home for me is
borderline rural, so I’m not used to the traffic. I got through San Antonio after 6:00pm, which
should have avoided most traffic, but there was a bad car wreck. I rode 5 miles or so on the
shoulder to get around it. I got to Junction, TX just around 8:00pm after the sun had set. It
cooled off, and I drove the rest of the way to Ozona, and arrived around 9:30pm. I was only
30 minutes late on the timetable I had made months before when I planned the trip, but I had
also left an hour later than planned. Kendalia was waiting for me at her sister’s house, and
her mom had fixed me a plate of fried chicken for dinner. I ate my dinner, took a shower, and
went straight to bed.Mileage: 1321 / 2475
I woke up around 4:00am, and was gassed and back on Interstate 10 heading west by
4:30am. It was COLD! Down to the low 40’s. I had to stop and put the liner into Aerostitch
jacket. I cranked up the grip and seat heaters, but really wished I had those warmer gloves to
wear. I did shorter trip segments this morning, since I wasn’t pressed for time, and West
Texas is a little sparse with gas stations. I stopped in Fort Stockton and Van Horn. I skipped
El Paso, but got gas in Las Cruces, NM instead. El Paso had a lot of morning rush hour traffic
when I got there. In my planning, I never though about morning traffic, only afternoon. Still, I
made decent time through El Paso, and only slowed to a slow crawl a few times. No long
stops. About half way through New Mexico, the temperature went from COLD to REALLY
HOT within a few hours. I kept my segments between gas stops short, because the
temperature went over 100 degrees and I was drinking a quart of water plus a sport drink at
each stop. The section between Gila Bend and Yuma, AZ and then just before the mountains
near El Centro, CA was the hottest. Once I started going up the mountains, the temperature
dropped backed down and remained comfortable for the rest of the trip. I got my final gas
receipt at the Ocean Beach Shell station and rode over to the beach to get my sand and
water. My end receipt was for 7:21pm. Exactly 45 hours to cover 2418 miles from Jacksonville
to San Diego.
In no particular order, here are my thoughts on completing the ride successfully.
Your clock time to finish the 2400 mile trip is 50 hours. At a 65mph average, that's 37 hours of
riding time, or, 13 hours for gas, food, and sleep activities. On my trip, I had 38 hours of
actual travel time and a 7 hour stop in Texas for sleep, which left me with a 5 hour window,
and an "on the clock" time of 45 hours. With luck and some planning, I avoided most traffic.
Traffic not only kills time, I personally find it exhausting. Unless you are willing to ride through
West Texas at night or do the entire trip in one stretch with no sleep, you are going to have to
ride through the desert when the sun is up and it is hot.
Service your bike and yourself thoroughly before the trip. I had all fluids changed and new
tires installed. I also took a 500 mile shakedown ride the weekend before wearing the exact
gear I planned to wear on my trip, and practiced my gas stops. I wore the LDComfort tights,
under armor socks and wicking shirt, a full face Arai with pinlock visor, Sidi touring boots, and
an Aerostitch Darien Light pants/jacket. I changed my shirt, socks, and tights once when I
stopped, otherwise I wore the same thing for 2 days. Avoid having to change clothes, it's a
I planned my sleep stop in Ozona, TX and my wife flew out to meet me at my sisterinlaws
house. Ozona is about 100 miles west of Junction, TX which is the more common stoppingpoint. I had food, a shower, and a secure place to leave the bike. I realize not everyone has
relatives in Ozona, but they have plenty of hotels, just book early due to oilfield workers.
Ozona is 1300 miles from Jacksonville which means you only have 1100 mile to do on day 2,
instead of doing 1200 and 1200. Make sure you plan your sleep stop, unless you plan to
sleep at a convenient rest area.
I did not plan my gas stops before the trip. My GPS can find gas "along the current route", and
I used that feature to stretch my trip segments out. Most of my stops were 2 hours apart
because that's about how long I am comfortable sitting on the bike without getting off. I try to
use Pilot, Flying J, Love's, or other truck stops because they are almost always right next to
the highway. I did wind up with a total of 19 gas receipts, so some more planning probably
wouldn't have hurt.
Plan around traffic as best as your can. I did OK in Houston but had minor issues in San
Antonio and El Paso. Texas traffic is funny, they build the whole city on the sides of the
interstate and access roads, so it seems to go on forever.
West Texas is essentially the wild kingdom of animals. Be careful. Lots of lights or tuck in
behind a tractor trailer and stay put.
Get a routine for your stops. For my receipts, I got one of those plastic dayplanner type
calenders that's 1/4" thick and clipped a pen to it. I tucked each gas receipt into the plastic
sleeve and wrote my odometer reading on it. I kept this in the inside pocket of my jacket. So
I'd pull into the gas station next to the pump, dismount, take off my gloves and helmet, unzip
my jacket, pump gas, get my odometer reading, and store the receipt. I even practiced this
the weekend before when I took my shakedown ride. Then I'd go inside, use the bathroom,
get a drink and/or snack and then head back off. I made an effort to keep my stops to 10
minutes or less.
Be aware of time zone changes. My GPS changes time zones automatically, but doesn't tell
I didn't eat a lot during the trip. The truck stops have yogurt, fruit, and a nice selection of
protein bars. In Ozona, they had a plate of food waiting for me when I arrived for dinner, but
everything else was small snacks at the gas stops. I normally drink a couple of cups of coffee
during the day, so I had hot coffee each morning and iced coffee in the afternoon when it was
hot. I tried to avoid eating or drinking anything that I wouldn't normally eat or drink at home. I
drank a lot of water and zero calorie sports drinks. General advice is probably to avoid
caffeine and sugary foods entirely, but it may not be realistic.
Watch your urine output, you are at risk of dehydration on trips like this. Make sure you are
urinating at each gas stop and it is clear or light yellow with little odor. If your urine is dark,
smells strong, or is painful, you have dehydrated. Dehydration is extremely dangerous doing amentally intensive task like riding a motorcycle.
Have a "Plan B". The guys that started out after me had a tire problem. You could get stuck in
traffic. A rock could smack your face shield. You can run into horrible weather. You could eat
something that makes you sick. Think about what you'll do and how you'll manage some of
those situations. For me, it's an AAA Premier Membership, credit card, flashlight, duct tape,
zip ties, a tool kit, and one of those Slime tire repair kits with a compressor. A mechanical
failure that takes more than 4 hours to repair on a certification ride will make it very difficult to