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Mountain riding tips


Capt-D
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HI folks, after doing some searching I have found no riding tips for when your in the mountains dealing with inclines and such. Having never spent anytime in the mountains at all, I am looking forward to this summer as I will be living up in the NE for five months and look forward to spending a lot of time in the mountains, so any riding tips would be much appreciated.

I also did some searching on Ironbutting, as I will be making some really long trips this summer also, so any tips for when you are going to be in the saddle all day would also be very helpful. Thanks for your time guys, really do look forward to the advice you have to offer.

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HI folks, after doing some searching I have found no riding tips for when your in the mountains dealing with inclines and such. Having never spent anytime in the mountains at all, I am looking forward to this summer as I will be living up in the NE for five months and look forward to spending a lot of time in the mountains, so any riding tips would be much appreciated.

I also did some searching on Ironbutting, as I will be making some really long trips this summer also, so any tips for when you are going to be in the saddle all day would also be very helpful. Thanks for your time guys, really do look forward to the advice you have to offer.

 

Interesting ... most of my riding is or has been done in the mountains. I guess I do most things so "naturally", I'd have to think about it in order to articulate.

 

First thing that comes to mind is use a lower gear when going up or down. Lower of course if appropriate to what gear you're in at the time. Using the lower gear going up prevents you from lugging and loosing power when you need it. Going down it helps for braking.

 

I'll think of more I'm sure.

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HI folks, after doing some searching I have found no riding tips for when your in the mountains dealing with inclines and such. Having never spent anytime in the mountains at all, I am looking forward to this summer as I will be living up in the NE for five months and look forward to spending a lot of time in the mountains, so any riding tips would be much appreciated.

I also did some searching on Ironbutting, as I will be making some really long trips this summer also, so any tips for when you are going to be in the saddle all day would also be very helpful. Thanks for your time guys, really do look forward to the advice you have to offer.

I live in the coastal flatlands, so I don't know all that about mountain riding. I believe it is important to ride within your capabilities, and when riding in a group, leave plenty of room in front of you. My bike (and me) seems heavier than whoever is in front, so I tend to coast into them downhill. Someone else will chip in, I'm sure.

 

I have done some LD riding. One great resource is the IBA's Archive of Wisdom (AOW). Well worth the reading.

 

I personally give up caffeine for a month before LD riding. For one thing, it allows me to sleep more deeply, building up a rest reserve. And caffeine is more effective if I need it... in an emergency.

 

For you, I think investing in an electric vest is wise. Riding all day in the sun makes riding at night in mountains feel very cold.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Dave

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Its funny, I have never been to the mountains, ever. All my life has been spent on the water, so it is all new to me. I have run boats from Maine to Panama, and all points in between, but am absolutely clueless when it come to mountains and the dangers and problems they may be present. :confused24:

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Dave brought up an good point, or at least eluded to it. When riding the mountains, you can go from warm to cold real quick so plan ahead for that and wear your gear.

 

Corners can be deceiving. Generally you can do 10 over the posted "slow to" limit easilly but there's the odd case where you can't.

 

ALWAYS be aware of the surroundings. for instance, if you're approaching a right-hand corner that is banked by a rocky hill, EXPECT to encounter gravel or rocks, even if you don't ... just be on the lookout for them.

 

When approaching the crest of a hill, EXPECT that there might be someone passing someone else and IN YOUR LANE ...

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Watch out for wildlife especially deer and small critters. Take it slow till you get use to it and always expect something to be in your way around the next corner.

Heck, the only critters I ever see is igaunas!!:rotf::rotf::rotf:

And they eat them down here in Mexico!!

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SilverT said it also..when riding in the mountains at least I for one found myself overreacting going downhill entering into a curve. It is a different feeling in my opinion until you get use to it. If pulling a trailer just slow down especially going downhill and entering a curve.. One more thing Expect the unexpected. Several times I have been going a little too fast and enter a curve in the mountains just to find a boulder or large group of rocks in the middle of the road. We had that happen on our recent Big Bend Trip,no one hit them but it could have been messy.Just ride your bike to your level of experience and the rest will fall into place.

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Be prepared to go from deep shadows to direct sunlight when rounding curves and mountain sides. On my full face helmets I have added a couple of strips of black electrical tape to the upper inside which allows me to quickly tilt my head down a bit to shade my eyes. Beware also of dark glasses and entering mountain tunnels as the entrances can be extremely dark.

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Speaking of corners, slow down BEFORE you get to the corner and as you start going into it, then apply some throttle to power through it. NEVER brake while in the corner if you can help it. And on that note, don't try to follow the other guy if you don't feel totally comfortable blasting through a corner at HIS SPEED. And forget about the jerk behind you! Drive at your own comfort level.

 

Set up your approach on the outside of your lane and take the corner on the inside, following through to the outside as you leave the corner .... this cuts down the angle.

 

In a corner, stay out of the centre of the lane where all the oil slick might be.

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Be prepared to go from deep shadows to direct sunlight when rounding curves and mountain sides. On my full face helmets I have added a couple of strips of black electrical tape to the upper inside which allows me to quickly tilt my head down a bit to shade my eyes. Beware also of dark glasses and entering mountain tunnels as the entrances can be extremely dark.

 

Good point and tip there Barry!!

 

Speaking of tunnels ... ALWAYS BLAST YOUR HORN SEVERAL TIMES while inside the tunnel. (just coz it's fun!) :sign20: :sign just kidding:

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Be careful of wet and shady areas especially if in the snow line, they may be icey. I would obey the speed limit signs on curves, I have found them to be very accurate. Try not to stop on the steep grades and watch how you park on the same as you have a good possability of 1) not getting the bike back off the kickstand and/or 2) the bike falling over 3) park the bike IN gear on a grade facing UP HILL. Leave plenty of room between vehicles, Leave plenty of room between vehicles. Leave plenty of room between vehicles. Enjoy the ride.

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk100/aharbi/Montana%201%202009/P8081893.jpg

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OH YEA...watch for crotch rockets taking your lane coming at you in a curve..The 3 sisters area(Big Time Curves 10 MPH) in Texas claims several lives a year by the guys running way over their ability and taking your lane to do it.

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Be careful of wet and shady areas especially if in the snow line, they may be icey. I would obey the speed limit signs on curves, I have found them to be very accurate. Try not to stop on the steep grades and watch how you park on the same as you have a good possability of 1) not getting the bike back off the kickstand and/or 2) the bike falling over 3) park the bike IN gear on a grade facing UP HILL. Leave plenty of room between vehicles, Leave plenty of room between vehicles. Leave plenty of room between vehicles. Enjoy the ride.

We had someone hurt on our last ride to Big Bend that did exactly this. A scenic overlook is situated on a hill, with nowhere level. The rider put her foot down, but the ground sloped away and by the time she made contact, the bike was leaned over too much to hold up. We've scratched this overlook off our two-wheel-approved list, since the same thing almost happened the previous year too. We're slow learners, but we eventually do learn.

 

I don't know if it is true everywhere, but my experience on scenic mountain roads is that they are particularly crumbly. The shade/sun freeze/thaw cycle plays havoc on them. The pavement may not be good, and you may find that out at the inside of a curve. Expect it, and be pleasantly surprised when the pavement is great. Every turn.

 

Dave

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If it's a hairpin turn, get into first gear, especially if going up-hill. If you keep slowing, and then want to accelerate out of the turn, you need to be in a gear that will allow the heavy machine to accelerate. Add the weight of you, the machine and your gear to an up hill slope, and second gear may not do it!

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Thanks everybody, what you had to offer you don't find in the books, and Dave, I went to the website you suggestedand it was very helpful and learned a lot, even bookmarked the site so I can go back to it. Thanks again everybody. Capt-d:thumbsup2:

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Here's one that I did hear.

and this comes from when I rode in the Adirondack mountains, in Upstate NY. Now that I live down the road from you. I must admit, riding on flat roads these last 17 years, I find it very hard, to figure out distance, or if the road is going up or down, into a bank turn. Its hard to judge distance, for us flat land riders.

Capt. D, just take your time ( You see how I ride) LOL......

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Dave77459, same thing happened to my wife. Luckily my 650 V-Star was 2 feet away and downhill from her.

 

We can all use that example to become accutely aware of whats on both sides of the motorcycle as we're coming to a stop.

 

Always put ones weight and foot down on the upper/higher side. Do not get into a habbit of having to put, say, only your left foot down.

 

Make the decision which to use as your coming to a stop. Normally, if there are no uneven conditions, and I always, use both brakes to stop, I wait till I'm just about stopped and put both of my feet down.

 

As its pointless to stop at a place where the left side is lower, to park...(don't)

 

Stopping perpendicular to a Hill, beside potholes, driveway edges, mud puddles even wet ground can do you in, and you'd be surprised at how little of a drop will do it... momentum is a #$%^&!

 

Which reminds me, I need a Kickstand puck with a nylon retrieval cord... for those wet/soft ground conditiones. Glad I read this post...

 

Also, slow down towards dawn/dust. Thats when the deer like to travel. In WV around dusk, I've even heard of more than one rider striking 20lb turkeys. And that leaves a mark! Oooooouch! At least it did on the mechanic in PKB rv's in Parkersburg...:cool10:

Edited by CaptainJoe
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For this Florida, flat land, boy my first real mc mountain experience was in the Blue Ridge Parkway. First thing I learned, on the fly you might say, was to ignore the posted speed limit. My skill level was not up to par for that. I quickly started driving for my limited skill level. I also was surprised by how intense I had to pay attention to what I was doing especially on the North Carolina section. I don't remember much scenery there since I always seemed to be setting up for the next curve, adjusting my speed, and angle of approach, and then exit angle from the curve. I found "blind curves" (those i could not see through) harrowing till I got use to them. Locals seemed to drive to fast and have little tolerance or patience for us less experienced drivers. I would not let anyone tail gate me and at the first opportune safe moment would pull over to let them pass. First for my own safety and second just to be courteous to whoever wanted, or needed, to go faster. By the time we reached Virginia I started getting the hang of "Mountain Riding" and those mountains were less severe then their NC neighbor!

 

I now reside in Chattanooga, which is surrounded by mountains and love riding them! ENJOY!!

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Remember outside inside outside path of travel, turn your head and look where you want to go not just in front of tire. Slow before curve, watch for blind corners with rocks, leaves, or sand in the curve. If you want to look around stop then look at the scenery. Have lots of FUN!!!! Use counter steering in short sharp curves.

 

tew47

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Living in the area of the Great Smoky Mts. of Tennessee be prepared for driveways at blind spots. (curves and crest of hills)

 

Not only can there be cars pulling into roadway but gravel/sand washed onto the roadbed.

 

IF you think that no one could be living in an area then be REAL careful. If we can get one corner of a house on "solid" ground then we build. Many homes have gravel drives because in the winter asphalt/concrete will freeze over and make access impossible.

 

I put my 83VR (Tent Peg) in the ditch and did a flip, back over the front because of just such a condition. (amazing how little damage to the bike and me - even rode it home)

 

While not a danger make sure you pack a camera - take pictures - and show us all the great riding!

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