I had a business trip to Greenville SC last week where I had to be there on Thursday for an installation I was managing. Greenville is close to family that has been asking me to come down and do some salt water fishing in Charleston SC, so I decided to ask my boss if I could put in for mileage rather than fly and rent a car. That way I could hang out for the weekend with my cousin and go fishing over the weekend. He agreed with the plan and I started packing. I had just purchased my 2010 R1200RT and it is 100% stock and I put about 3 thousand miles on it in the past couple months. I was looking forward to a long trip and mixing business with pleasure is a great way to squeeze in a little bit of fun.
I live about 35 miles outside of Boston, Mass. My route was from central Mass to Greenville using Mass Pike - Rt 84 to Scranton PA's Rt 81 down to Rt 77. I had to be there Wednesday evening to check into the hotel and be ready for an early work start Thursday morning.
I had to work Tuesday so I got a late start at 4:30pm. I knew I wouldn't get too far but if I could get 1/2 way down I would be happy. I figured I would stop in the Virginia state line as the riding down through that Shenandoah Valley should be done in the brightness of day. It's just beautiful country even from the interstate. The ride was hot as this summers heat wave was going strong. My thermometer was reading in the high 90's. I had jeans and a BMW touring jacket with all the vents open. My full face is the Shark convertible helmet. I really like the ability to ride open face and full face with the hidden tint drop down lens. I rode with it in full face mode but with sun glasses on to get more flow. The heat sucked the life out of me and I was drinking water I carried.
The stock seat in high mode gave my legs a lot of room. The stock seats comfort was limited but not as bad as I thought it would be for the trip. I found the ability to move around changed the surface I was sitting on quite a bit. I could get 3 hours without much pain then I would start moving around quite a bit until I either had to stop for gas or bio.
When I got into Greenville I checked into my hotel and then went to verify the location of my work for the next day. The ride to the location was about 2 miles from the hotel. On the way there I noticed a ton of bikes riding by. I figured I would follow them to see what was up. It turned out to be the local H-D dealers Wednesday night "Bike Night". Live band and lots of people/bike watching. A nice free evening and a bonus feature to my ride.
Friday after finishing working the day before I checked out of the hotel and rode up into the eastern mountains just north east of Greenville. I went to Caesars Head state park in NC and did a loop through the mountains before meeting my cousin in Columbia for the ride down the the coast in his truck pulling the boat. I love those TN/NC/SC roads. No broken pavement or frost heaves. Just smooth and lots of elevation change and turns. Great views and exciting riding. It's the east coast's California mountain roads.
The ride from the mountains to Columbia had the hottest temps I have ever ridden in. I saw temps in the middle 100's topping out at 106 a few times but hovering around 104 for long stretches. That's Jacuzzi temps. It was brutal. I could only take an hour of the heat and when I pulled into a gas station/Wendy's I felt the initial signs of heat stroke. A little light headed/dizzy and nausea. I didn't notice it while riding. It was evident when I was walking though.
After a great weekend of fishing in Charleston and hanging with my cousin I had to head home yesterday.I decided to do the entire return in one sprint. The start at 7am had temps in Columbia in the low 90's. I decided to run to Target and purchase some bungee cords and ride without the jacket. I know the gear police may want to chastise me for riding without a protective jacket on. The heat was so severe that I decided to pick up a white long sleeve compression lycra shirt. That way the wind wouldn't flap it and annoy me. It worked great keeping the sun off my skin while allowing great air flow. I'm glad I lost 30 pounds recently :-).
The ride home was a lot better than the ride down. I found I could ride the whole tank in one sitting. That was over 220 miles multiple times. One trick was to stand on the pegs every now and then when safe to do so. Sort of like adjusting my pants stretch. Maybe 20 seconds of standing a couple times during the tank burn had me cruising.
I have never ridden that far before and put that kind of mileage on in that short a window. As a testament to 1200RT I went out today and took my RT. My past is filled with long days in the saddle followed by a week of never wanting to ride again.
I think this bike just changed my idea of long rides.