Motorcycle Forums » Off Topic

Need some advice for a friend

    • 84 posts
    January 19, 2015 5:38 PM PST
    To all,

    Had an afternoon ride/dinner with a group of guys and one told me he is planning a trip to the US in June.  Young guy mid to late 20s, speaks pretty good English, is (as most young Europeans) enamored with the image of Harleys and life in the US.  He's planned the trip out pretty meticulously and sent me a copy of the itinerary in Portuguese.  His goal is to holiday in the US every few years visiting a different part of the country each time but it is possible with age, wife, kids, economy, etc this could be his only chance to see the USA so he's trying to cram as much as possible into the trip.

    Since my only real experience with California and west of Texas consists of 2 months of basic training at Ft. Ord back in '72 (still have nightmares about eating ice plants low crawling through the sand), what I'd appreciate is having him come to this site and over the next few months you guys living in the areas where he'll be passing give some tips, pointers and advice about distances between his points of interests, places to visit, bars, eateries and maybe places to stay away from.  Also possibly let him use some of you as points of contact should any problems or questions arise as he travels.  Just trying to make his trip a little more than the usual tourist stops. 

    His primary objective is to rent a Harley for a day or so and ride some of Route 66.  (I think he ought to dump the rental car idea, rent a Harley for the entire trip, buy a rainsuit, couple of bike bags and ride.)  Route 66 holds kind of a magical image to folks over here and is kinda the holy grail of roads in their minds.  I've suggested he bring a girlfriend along as even if she doesn't speak English well with his language skills they'd have a great time. 

    So, here's his basic itinerary condensed and converted to English,

    5 Jun -    land at LAX, rent a car, spend a few days seeing some sights around LA (Hollywood Blvd, Santa Monica, Griffith Park/Observatory
    8 Jun -    drive to San Francisco, visit Malibu and Newport Beach on the way
    9 Jun -    visit Fisherman's Wharf, Marina District, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Painted Ladies 
    10 Jun -  visit Golden Gate, Palo Alto
    11 Jun - to Yosemite National Park via Madera or Bishop
    12 Jun - Madera or Bishop to Las Vegas visiting Death Valley (via bishop) and visiting the Vegas Strip
    13 Jun - depart Vegas middle of the day (good luck with that, like anyone could leave Vegas after 1 night) for Flagstaff passing through Winslow (probably need a picture standing on the corner)
    14 Jun - drive to Albuquerque along Route 66 passing by some Breaking Bad locations
    15 Jun - Rent a Road King and ride Route 66 to Amarillo visiting Cadillac Ranch and The Big Texan Steak House
    16 Jun - Route 66 back to Albuquerque visiting the Sandia Mountains and Sandia Peak Tramway and turn the Road King back in during the afternoon
    17 Jun - Route 66 back to Flagstaff visiting Grand Canyon and more Breaking Bad stuff along the way.
    18 Jun - Flagstaff to LA visiting whatever pops up interesting along the way
    19 Jun - Open day In LA to do whatever
    20 Jun - to LAX at lunchtime


    After being talked to by both myself and his brother (old bull, young bull thing) he's realizing this is a pretty ambitious plan and I believe he's becoming more open as he wrote last night he's thinking he needs to focus more on the experience and people than on the miles.  With a little help I believe he'll get a pretty cool trip planned out.  As I'm aware he knows no one in the US and gets all his info so far from Wikipedia and Google Maps.

    Regards,
    snake
     
    • Moderator
    • 16585 posts
    January 19, 2015 11:06 PM PST
    Looks like a great trip. June can be what is called the monsoon season in the SW. We get most of our yearly rain from it. More info on the nest couple of links.
    http://www.climas.arizona.edu/sw-climate/monsoon /> http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/abq/Briefings/2014%20North%20American%20Monsoon%20(NAM)%20Outlook.pdf

    Also it can get really hot although that is not the hottest time. I would also suggest Moab and Monument Valley Utah.

  • January 20, 2015 1:37 AM PST
    Snake that is a good deed helping your friend out, and his trip sounds like a real hoot. Rex is right that can be a wet ride through several parts of the Southwest at that time. I know he's not planning the Southeast but if he changes his mind let me know. I love meeting people from overseas. Couple of years ago in Texas a Couple from England was passing through my area and I just happened to be at the gun range. The Young man was a Police Officer in England and of course they don't carry guns, so he wanted to rent several guns to shoot. I had my AR with me that day and let him shoot it. You should have seen his eyes. He was like a little kid. Nice people loved the visit with them.
    Be safe
    Night Dragon
    • 5417 posts
    January 20, 2015 1:56 AM PST
    Well those are certainly lots of great places and sights to see, but looking at his schedule he is barely going to be able to glance at them as he goes by - aggressive to say the least.  I have riden the west/southwest a lot and that would be a hard schedule for even me to keep.  Kind of reminds my of National Lampoons Vacation when they got behind schedule and Chevy Chase parked the car at the Grand Canyon, took the family to look over the edge, counted to ten and back in the car.

    If it was me I would cut out a few of the destinations and take a little more time to enjoy the remaining ones. As for which ones to cut out, can't help there... depends on which are more important to him. But I think if he tries to do this schedule, unless everything runs like clockwork, he is going to miss a few anyway and they may not be the ones he would have chose to miss.

    • 84 posts
    January 20, 2015 2:43 AM PST
    Lucky wrote...
    Well those are certainly lots of great places and sights to see, but looking at his schedule he is barely going to be able to glance at them as he goes by - aggressive to say the least.  I have riden the west/southwest a lot and that would be a hard schedule for even me to keep.  Kind of reminds my of National Lampoons Vacation when they got behind schedule and Chevy Chase parked the car at the Grand Canyon, took the family to look over the edge, counted to ten and back in the car.

    If it was me I would cut out a few of the destinations and take a little more time to enjoy the remaining ones. As for which ones to cut out, can't help there... depends on which are more important to him. But I think if he tries to do this schedule, unless everything runs like clockwork, he is going to miss a few anyway and they may not be the ones he would have chose to miss.

    I think he's beginning to see it might be better to go for quality instead of quantity.  But, as they say, youth is wasted on the young.  I think it would be better for him to rent a Harley for the entire trip but weather might slow him down.  Except for a couple of days he's planning on being in a rental car.  I'm going to have him sign in here and start talking with you guys one on one.  If there's problems either with words or interpretation I'll be close to help him understand.  It's nice to help those wanting to experience the U.S. and I've been befriended and helped by many in foreign lands over the past 25 years as I traveled and worked.
    snake 
    • 2976 posts
    January 20, 2015 3:07 PM PST
    It is decent of you to offer to help. I agree with Lucky, too much crammed into too short a time frame,and realistically the driving times would not allow for much error or leeway in changing up the itinerary. A person would not be able to take in two beaches and hit the SF in a day unless they plan on a 8-10 drive, depending on the route could be even longer.If they take the coast.Seeing San Francisco in that short of a time wont do it justice. I am sure he will want to visit Golden Gate Park along with Alcatraz. My best advice would be for him to leave some of the time frame open for improvising,especially after he rents the motorcycle.Some of my best fun riding wasn't on any map.
    Besides that tell him to have a great time :)
    • 1 posts
    January 22, 2015 9:10 AM PST
    I'd change up the itinery and fly direct into Albequerque, grab a bike there and run it up to Vegas..then do the driving from there.why do a big loop when you don't have too.
    • 1 posts
    January 26, 2015 10:26 PM PST
    okay I know your friend wants to see as much as possible but…. That is not leaving time to enjoy any thing. Our nations parks are wonderful, I have spent weeks even months exploring them. ( hiking and riding) Yosemite is the one I have yet to make it to but I would plan on a few days there just to breeze right through. Vegas: Not really my thing but the ride to and around Hoover damn worth a trip, and I am sure some locals could give him some great roads. I have my picture standing on the corner in Winslow, other then that justtourist  trinkets. Any where on highway 101/ 1 is great for views and as I have riden it from Canada to Mexico I would say to haul ass and miss some great stops is a week out. (but I was also visiting friends) But to be honest do not listen to me as I point my bike in a direction and go, I never make plans but always have a great time and a great ride. I am sure your friend will have a great time with what ever he decides to do.