Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Jacksonville, Arkansas
I Ride: 2014 zx6r 636
Made the trip from Arkansas to California
A little over a month ago I made a thread about me making a trip out to California from Arkansas for my grandmothers wake. Although my family is waiting for everyone to become available for the service which is going to be held in September sometime, I can not make the services during that time. With a blessing my boss was already in works for buying a truck out in California for work so I was able to come out now. Which has given me the opportunity to see my Aunt and cousin for the first time in over 20 years (they were the one that lived with my grandmother and gave me the news of her passing).
Now onto the trip itself.
I was able to get enough money together so that I wouldn't have to worry about not being able to get a motel for at least one night, because I knew that I probably could not make the trip without resting once. I left my home (which is near the Little Rock Air Force Base) on July 28th at 5:30am trying to leave as early as I could to get as much ride time in the first day. I didn't bring my tail bags because they are not that big and even packing my backpack light, I still would not have had enough room with my tail bags. So I ended up just bungee cording my backpack to the passenger seat and also brought my tank bag for use as a pillow. Even though it is the dead of summer I still chose to ride with my leather jacket (which I now need a new one because of the shrinking that happened on the way out, explanation will be further down). I brought my hydration bag knowing that I would get thirsting while riding and as the heat kept building during the day it was a good thing that I did.
I was making great time made OKC around noon and Amarillo around 4pm. Everything was going great until I made it up to the New Mexico border, and that's when I seen the storms starting to move in. I pulled over at an abandoned gas station about 20 miles from the New Mexico state line so that I could check the weather, and it was showing a bunch of rain rolling through the state. I brought my rain gear just in case I ended up running through some rain, but I forgot to grab a trash bag to cover my backpack as well as my other gloves. I ended up wrapping my rain jacket around my backpack in order to try and keep my clothes dry. After riding in torrential rain for about 10 miles I was able to find an overpass to hide under. My rain pants ended up having a tear in them so my pants got soaked, my gloves soaked up more water than expected, my boots did nothing but catch water, and my poor leather jacket probably picked up another 10 lbs in water. Not to mention my sorry ass HJC helmet let more water in than it deflected.
After waiting for over an hour just praying that the rain would let up for a little bit, I decided to just go for it while it was only sprinkling. Since I could see the New Mexico line from the overpass I knew I only had about a half hour ride to get to Tucumcari, NM where I was going to get a room for the night. It rained the entire time I rode to the motel, sometimes hard other times just sprinkles. By the time I finally got there not only was I soaked but my back back was now drenched along with all my clothes. I had to call it a day at just 7:30pm which upset me because I knew I still had a good 4 to 5 hours left in me for riding.
The next morning I woke up at 6am and took my time getting ready for the days ride. Took down all my clothes that were hanging to dry along with my leather jacket. Once I got everything packed up and secured to my bike I put my jacket on, and wouldn't you know it had shrank from a medium to almost a small. I didn't get going on the road until about 7am and I was hitting it hard. Blowing through New Mexico at probably 90mph on average I was making even better time than the day before, and since there was an overcast all through the state it was actually fairly pleasant to ride. As I got into Arizona I decided to go south once I made it to Holbrook in order to get to L.A. through Phoenix, and its always nicer to go through some curves instead of just hitting straight line desert roads. About 30 miles outside of Phoenix, AZ another bad storm was hitting in the mountains. As I was coming around corners and going down the mountain I could that it was heavy rain. I decided to just blow through as fast and safely as possible instead of waiting for it to pass (I wasn't going to loose anymore time to the rain). Thankfully the rain only lasted a few miles and my last 10 miles through the mountains to Phoenix was fun and twisty.
Once I got into Phoenix it 4pm and what a horrible thing that was. Thinking that rush hour wasn't going to start for another hour I thought I was in the clear of getting stuck in traffic, I was horribly wrong. It ended up taking me an hour to get through Phoenix and by that time I noticed I lost my headphones, so it was not thing but wind noise and exhaust sounds for the next 6 hours to Riverside.
The rest of the ride to Riverside was pretty uneventful other than the surprise I saw in California, the gas. Riding out here only putting premium in the tank I averaged about $11 a fill up, but once I needed gas to make it to Riverside from Palm Springs for regular unleaded. To say the least I was dumbfounded to see a hike of almost $2 a gallon when I got into California, but since my fuel light was already on I had to get a couple of gallons just to make it to my aunts house. What cost me to fill up in the other 4 states I was only able to get 2 gallons. I ended up finally making it to my aunts house in Riverside at 11:30pm.
In all I road for a total of 30 hours, 14 hours the first day, and 16 the next. The ride itself was not as bad as I thought it would be after riding out here for Christmas last year. With the forward sitting potion that the 636 has I was expecting back trouble, and the only real discomfort I really felt was, my neck was a little stiff from trying to keep my head still without having a touring screen, and my ass was numb. I know a lot of people on here have told me that the 636 has probably the most comfortable seat out of the 600 class bikes, but I don't know if they have done a cross country trip on there 636. Before I make this trip again I will be contacting Corbin to see if they have made a seat for the 2014.
All in all this trip has made me love the 636 even more than I already do. Maybe by Christmas this year I will be able to get a GoPro or some other kind of action camera, so that I can document my little adventure with video, instead of making everyone read the "Adventures of Jeremiah". I hope y'all enjoyed this little adventure story sorry it is a little long. As always Be Safe and Ride Free.
Oh yeah and before I forget. I don't know if it just me or if the other California riders that I seen could just smell the hillbilly on me, but no one would wave. Now I understand if someone did not see me but I made eye contact with at least a dozen riders and not one of them put there hand up back to me lol.