My objective with this last blog post on my Four Corners Tour is to provide a summary, a little reflection, and lots of data for those that may attempt a tour similar to this one. Here are the stats on this ride.
States Visited: 35
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- New York
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- North Carolina.
Here is the route I took, although even by using Tyre, it was just not possible to get it 100% accurate (it’s pretty close though).
The landmark, scenic and/or touristy things I did were as follows:
- Historic square of Nashville, GA
- Southern end of US-1
- Zero Mile Marker in Key West
- Tampa Bay Bridge
- Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Hoover Dam
- Joshua Tree National Forest
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Big Sir
- Bixby Bridge
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Redwood Forest
- Crater Lake
- Columbia River Scenic Byway
- North Cascades Highway
- Glacier National Park
- Going-To-The-Sun Highway
- Yellowstone National Park
- Old Faithful
- Bear Tooth Pass
- Mount Rushmore
- Niagara Falls
- Four Corners Park
- Skyline Drive
- Blueridge Parkway
- The Tail of the Dragon
- Cherohala Skyway (missed Cherohala because of a flat tire).
Trip Days: 39 (had 8 days sandwiched into the tour that I did not ride, 5 for family vacation, 3 for a trade show)
Ride Days: 31
Tour Days: 23 (from the day I arrived at the first corner until the day I arrived at the last corner)
Campground Days: 24
Total Miles Ridden: 12,914 (Google estimate from plan was 11,903)
Average Miles per day: 417 (Google average was 384 miles per day)
Total Hours Ridden: 321 (this is start time to stop time, so includes lunch and all breaks)
Highest Mileage Day: 581
Lowest Mileage Day: 261
Average Ride Day: 10:22
Longest Ride Day: 14:05
Shortest Ride Day: 3:30
Average MPH: 46:16 (includes lunch/gas/rest stops, photo opportunities and sightseeing)
Total Campground Cost (25%): $775.28 (the average hotel cost per night for 2015 is $137.00 per night, which would have been $3,288.00 for 24 nights, so the Aspen Camper potentially saved me $2512.72 less the difference in gas mileage)
Average Campground Cost per night: $32.30
Total Fuel Cost (38%): $1,175.87 (fuel cost on the west coast was significantly higher than what I usually pay, with one tank costing me $5.99 per gallon, my average cost per gallon was $3.027)
Average Fuel Cost per day: $37.93 (I typically get 39 to 41 MPG on the Gold Wing, but with the Aspen Camper in tow, my average was 34.63 MPG)
Total Food Cost (15%): $462.81 (includes groceries for campsite meals, and restaurant meals)
Average Food Cost per day: $14.93 (your mileage may vary, riding apparently curbs my evening apatite)
Ice Cost: $71.43 (this one surprised me, and would have been at least twice as much if I had elected to go with the Igloo cooler instead of the Yeti)
Average Ice Cost per day: $2.65
Tolls: $119.90 (still reeling from this one)
National Park Pass: $80.00
Miscellaneous (1.3%): $368.95 (includes a $274.00 rear tire, for full details see link to spreadsheet below)
Total Trip Cost: $3,054.24 (I did have two ride day/motel nights that would have been $100.00 each prepaid through bartering for website design)
Average trip Cost per ride day: $98.52
I think the most frequent questions I am asked is what was your favorite part of the trip, second only to what would you do different if you could do it again.
To the first question, I have to say that my favorite motorcycle road in sheer beauty of the scenery, and awesomeness of the road was the Going-To-The-Sun road in Glacier National Park, but the Pacific Coast Highway was dang close, and was a multi-day experience as opposed to just a 2 hour experience (one hour each way if you do it like I did, up and back down rather than on through to St. Mary).
Up until this trip, Skyline drive/Blueridge Parkway was by far my favorite ride, and still has attributes the Pacific Coast highway can’t match (no stop signs, stop lights, intersections, cities or tractor trailers). The Tail of the Dragon is a cool ride, but just too many folks know about it, thus too much traffic to really have an awesome experience on it, not to mention it is pretty thick with troopers who would just love to give you a speeding ticket (the speed limit is set entirely too low at 35 MPH, but I understand why they did it. 12 people have died on the Dragon in the 2015 riding season so far). By the way, hauling a trailer on the Dragon does not really diminish your ability to ride fairly aggressively.
In response to the second question, I think I would have at least two daily mileage targets rather than a single 400 miles per day, and maybe three. I would definitely stay with the 400 miles per day on all interstate days, and would try to stay closer to that 400 number rather than exceed it as much as I did. I think I would drop the all scenic highway days to 300 or less, and the combination days to 350 miles per day. Those changes would probably add another week to the four week tour (keep in mind I was off the road for 8 days for vacation and a trade show). All in all, I never really felt hard pressed, or exhausted from any of my ride days, so I could do it just the same and be very content.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t think to make some business cards with my contact information and this blog address on them. It was amazing how many people would approach me at gas stations, restaurants, rest areas, campgrounds and just about anywhere else I would stop to ask me where I was going and where I had been. It sure would have been easy to tell them the short story, then hand them a card with the URL to this blog. If you plan to do a tour, make sure you make at least a couple dozen cards (I think I could have given away 100 cards if I had had them) to hand out when people ask about your tour.
The original reason for this ride was I needed to go to a woodworking trade show in Las Vegas, and wanted to make it a ride instead of just flying out. That ride just kept getting bigger as I found I could not make it back to Tennessee from our Florida vacation in time to do it, thus had to make the Florida vacation part of the tour, then realized I would only be a couple hours from two of the four corners when in Naples and Las Vegas, and it grew from there.
My primary objective in taking the bike on a tour of any kind was in hopes of Rebooting Bobbo. As a recovering government conspiracist (I still think there is a list, and Bobbo’s name is on it), I was in desperate need of some fresh thought processes that excluded any government influence (the tolls did not help on that front). Not seeing ANY news, or being involved in any politics definitely helped, and helped a lot. Being alone with God, with tons of time to pray, think, meditate and just listen for the whispers of God was the thing that triggered the reboot, and a flood of ideas on what is next for me (and riding sexy roads did not lessen the spiritual aspect one bit).
If you are a cabinetmaker following this tour, expect to see a lot of new things from me in the next year. The new generation of the Business Partner Estimating Software is just weeks away from being released, and I could not be more exited about what we have done, and what he have planned for this cabinetmakers tool for making more money now and in the future. I’m re-energized to completely makeover the websites I host, and hopefully produce an irresistible sub-contractor website offering. There will be a whole new online course that will fill the void of not having the True32 Training Workshops available anymore. There will be another online course on the True32 Library for KCD. I can also envision one for online marketing for sub-contractors. That’s just a small sample of the ideas that are rolling around in my rebooted head.
Keep an eye out for a totally new brand spin-off from my current Onethingology blog, one that I think will be very beneficial for small business owners of any type that deal with dependent events (which is almost every small business owner).
For everyone else, I will be working hard on my insurance career, as well as starting a new push on RingCentral (one of the best VOIP phone services for small business owners I am aware of). I’ve been selling RingCentral for at least 5 years now, but I have to say that initiative on my part was definitely lacking, if you asked me directly, or were referred by another user was about the only way anyone knew I did anything with RingCentral. That’s about to change.
So back to the tour, and the third most frequently asked question, would you do it again? If I ever have 4 weeks to spare, and $3,000.00 to burn again, yep, I would definitely do it again (it’s a good way to lose 5 pounds). What an adventure it turned out to be, and the sights, sounds, scents and spiritual renewal were welcomed bonuses. The most valuable lesson I learned was that spiritual renewal came by understanding that I don’t need to be heard by God, I need to hear God!
God bless all of you that stayed with the whole tour, reading posts done completely on an iPhone (every post during the tour). In light of the fact that every tour post was done on an iPhone, please grant me a little grammar grace and understand that I would have edited and condensed had I had more time (adequate sleep seemed more important than brevity, grammar and spelling at the time). All of your comments and support were truly valued throughout the tour, and lets not call an end to that part of this tour, I would love to hear your thoughts and questions about my Four Corners Tour.