Cross Country in a Locost
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Author:  nick47 [ November 24, 2015, 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Cross Country in a Locost

I know it's been done, I'm just looking for ideas on how I would plan for it. I'm figuring 500 miles a day, with 200 miles to the first gas stop, 100 to lunch, 100 to the next gas stop, and 100 to the motel. Plus stops at each state border for photos. 8-10 hours per day.

I've done 300 miles in a day, and it was easy and fun except for the eyes. Too much wind. I have goggles, but they're not comfortable after the first couple of hours. I was thinking I'd wear my helmet.

All this would be predicated on rebuilding my engine this winter. I might make it with the current engine, but not without bringing along a 55-gallon drum of oil.

Author:  ngpmike [ November 24, 2015, 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Well, as one (relocated) Californian to another, if you get near Southern Missouri, give us a shout! Have fun with the preps, and enjoy the adventure, whenever you get around to it.

Author:  rx7locost [ November 24, 2015, 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Cross country? Like as in ~3,000 miles. Would you have to drive back? That is 6,000 miles in a Locost ? Are you insane?

I've done 12-13 hours in a day, ONCE! It was a big blow to my body. That included stopping every 1-1/2 hour for a break and body fluid intake and disposal. It was 90+ degrees and 90% humidity that day. Not that the car isn't comfortable, but the noise, wind and heat really, really, really wears you down. That weekend was my first Gathering. After arriving, we drove some more over the next couple of days and then drove the 12 hours home again. WOW! just WOW!!! Both exhilarating and tiring.

The 400 miles to my next Gathering in MN was much more easily done, as was my next 400 mile to the Gathering in Cuba MO. So I guess you can do 400 miles a day. Although I'd recommend planning more on 300 miles and if you feel good near the end of the day, keep going to the next motel, or the next. Life is so much more fun when you are not trying to make time or hit a specific targeted city. I will say that interstate driving in a Locost is boring, with a big B! It can be done, but why??
Take the back roads and lots of them. 300 miles on state highways would probably be about 8-9 hours driving including food and gas stops. It shouldn't be too bad on your body after the 4th or 5th or 10th day!

If you run into a day or two of inclement weather, your 8-10 hour days would likely become 1-2 hour days. Getting up in the morning to rain is a real downer. You can only get so wet before calling it a day. So plan on being flexible for situations like that.

Slather up with plenty of Sun Screen, and then reapply some more. Take plenty of fluids in the car (water etc to rehydrate yourself). If you don't wear the helmet, then I'd recommend "Global Vision" goggles. I use them all the time at sustained speeds above 50 MPH. They fit fairly well over my prescription glasses. And I also use one earplug on the left ear to reduce the wind buffeting on the eardrum. For me, a helmet would hurt my neck after several hours, let alone days. That reminds me that you should also take plenty of Aspirin or Ibuprofen.

Sounds like a trip that would be worth following on the board here. So leave time at the end of the day for writing. :cheers:

Author:  TooBusy [ November 24, 2015, 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

I did 1100 miles or so in an MGA; that was a LOOOOONG weekend

sunscreen, eye protection, earplugs, and a bottle of NSAIDS

Author:  rx7locost [ November 24, 2015, 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost


I did 1100 miles or so in an MGA; that was a LOOOOONG weekend
Cool. Me too. Small world! I did prob'ly about 1600 mile rt to the GT in Charlottesville, VA. When was that? 2002 or 3?

Author:  benny_toe [ November 25, 2015, 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

1,100 one way in an Alfa Giulietta. Return trip 2 days later. No interstates then (1960) Fun trip. Wouldn't even begin to think of such a thing in my Locost. Too much wind, noise and a much stiffer ride. Plus being 55 years older.

Author:  Tundra 7 [ November 25, 2015, 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

All the wind abuse will almost all go away with earplugs. I"ll bet the rest of it you would be fine. Looks pretty planned out. If its anything like Brent's Stalker I drove this last fall I could have driven that car all day no problem, and your seats are nicer. Go for it Nick.

Author:  TRX [ November 25, 2015, 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

I think Jack McCornack has done it. Maybe more than once...

500 miles a day is a good round number. 60mph is still a good number for average speed; if you have to make a few fuel stops, that's a mile a minute. 500 minutes, that's about 8-1/2 hours behind the wheel. Most people can do 12-16 hours the first day, but the second, third, and fourth days get exponentially miserable. 8-9 hours, you can start Day 2 without being wasted.

From my experience at long-distance motorcycle touring and long car trips, I offer the following:

1) noise can wear you out. Bring some *good* ear plugs. Muffs are even better, but illegal in some states. (in Arkansas, for example... for "safety", though there are no restrictions on deaf people driving...)

2) people might stare at you for wearing a helmet in a car, but in an open car it does a fine job of protecting your eyes from grit and rocks, and your ears from windburn.

3) on a bike or a sporty car, you're basically locked into one position. It's not like you can shift around on a nice bench seat. After a while you'll find pressure points that hurt. I used to bring a cheap thin pillow with me. Nowadays I'd use one of those shaped Sorbothane wheelchair pads. No, they won't prevent soreness... but they'll move the pressure points slightly, and that's often enough to let one sore spot recover while the other is holding you up.

4) stop at *every* rest area, whether you need to or not. Just get out of the car, walk to the water fountain, and get back in the car if you don't have any other business to deal with. You can do it in less than five minutes. Just being able to stand up and move around for a minute or two helps a lot.

5) boredom can be a big factor. I used sound-blocking ear buds inside my bike helmet; the helmet quieted the wind noise enough I could listen to audiobooks or music with my little MP3 player.

6) if you're not pressed for time, don't make it a race. Some people push to make as many miles as they can every day. The way I look at it, once you have to stop to sleep, pushing for miles starts looking silly. If you only drive 5 hours, fine. If you feel like rolling on for 10, go for it. There's no need to run exactly 8 hours.

7) and when you get miserable, STOP and get a motel. Conversely, if you wake up ready to go at 3AM, there's no need to sit in the room until 7 or 8AM.

8) people will probably see the car and your luggage and ask questions. Budget some time for that.

9) remaining seated for hours in hot weather, it's possible to get heat rash. Also, windburn.

10) if you have a specific destination, you only need to bring what you need *for the trip*. Extra clothing, etc., you can mail to your destination. And back. Don't carry anything you don't have to, particularly in an open car. If you have an urgent need for underwear or socks, Wal-Mart and K-Mart are everywhere. 3-packs of underwear can be had for $10; some bikers just throw the used ones away each night. Which sounds wasteful, but that's the price of one cup of coffee, some places.

11) if you're planning a specific route and stops, make motel reservations ahead of time. I got burned by that more than once, when there was some kind of ball game or convention in the area. For a large event it's not unusual for even small motels a hundred miles away to be booked up.

12) don't forget your phone charger. And don't forget to use it each night. And don't forget to put it back in the bag when you leave...

13) bring your medical insurance card, and a list of contact numbers, drug allergies, and the contact information for your primary care physician. *And* the contact information for someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf should it be necessary. Not just a wreck; my wife rolled in from a week-long trip once, very ill, and was on the operating table a few hours later. The degree of formality required for this sort of thing varies a lot by state; while you can use a lawyer for that, your local hospital's admission desk should be able to provide you with a boilerplate document you can fill out. Don't forget to leave a copy with your designee.

14) bring a ziplock bag for your wallet, watch, phone, etc. if it rains

15) rain gear is only slightly effective on a bike. When you're seated in a car (my old Spitfire had no top) it's worthless. Embrace the wet. You'll get blown dry quickly when it stops raining.

16) don't carry everything in your wallet. Split your cards and money between your wallet and one of those ID card holders that hangs around your neck.

17) if you take prescription medication, bring the bottles. There are actually some fairly nasty Federal laws about that. They're normally only enforced with regard to narcotics, but they apply to everything with a prescription. Bring what you need for the trip plus a few spare doses, leave the rest at home. If your trip bridges a refill date and your insurance carrier won't authorize an early refill, call your doctor and ask if he can give you some samples. Drug vendors drop off pounds of "sample size" drugs at doctors' offices; if you're on something common, chances are there are some samples around.

18) post your route here and any other appropriate forums; you can take the opportunity to meet some people you've only talked to on the 'net.

19) if you're touring, there's a lot more to see than just "Interstates and Cheap Motels of the United States." Upside: intermediate destinations. Downside: you need to shedule around check in/out times so you can leave your stuff at the motel. (and some places are nice enough to let you park your bags behind the counter outside of check times)

addendum: Iron Butt Association "Archive of Wisdom" http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm
A 7 is way closer to a bike than a normal car...

Author:  bob [ November 25, 2015, 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Nick make sure your dentures are secure, with the kind of urban mileage you are contemplating they will probably leap out and eat the dash. :)


Author:  nick47 [ November 25, 2015, 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Wow, great feedback. Thanks, it's greatly appreciated. This is only a 2000-mile trip, so four days. It's something I would do next summer. I'm not really concerned about driving 500 miles a day. My Locost is very comfortable. If it had a bubble canopy, it might be the best car I've ever owned.

As I mentioned, I've done 300 miles in a day a few times and it was pretty easy, with no ill effects, other than the eyes, which took a few hours to recover. I don't seem to get sore a lot. I used to do 200-mile bike rides, 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., without much pain. As for freeway driving, it's not my favorite, but I drive from the Bay Area to Sacramento every week, 100 freeway miles, and it's not bad. I like being out on the road, any kind of road.

That said, I can't do 60 mph. If I plan for a mile a minute, I'll be way early. For me, 500 miles is 7 hours. Stops might add 3 hours, but honestly, I've always found on trips like these that I can't just hang around at rest stops. So 500 miles is more like an 8-9 hour day. OTOH I can really sleep in when I get a chance, so eight or nine hours might start at noon and take me to sundown.

I hadn't considered the possibility of rain. I live in California. I suppose I can keep tabs on the weather beforehand. In any case, several things have to fall in place for this to happen, including getting time off from work and the aforementioned engine overhaul. If I do this, and the odds are (optimistically) only about 25% right now, I'll definitely chronicle the journey here.

Author:  horizenjob [ November 25, 2015, 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

I'd say give yourself an extra day so you can have a day off driving to recover.

Author:  ngpmike [ November 27, 2015, 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Ya know, bikers have the "Iron Butt Award", the National T Bucket Alliance offers a "Toughest 'T' Award". I think maybe the 'Locosters' need something like this!

Author:  JackMcCornack [ December 3, 2015, 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Nick, I think you're going to love it. I'll add a bit from my experience (both in MAX, and in a Miata-powered Locost) to TRX's sage advice (+1 on TRX's comments).

Take the time to find alternates to the freeways; there are lots of lovely roads running semi-parallel to the Interstate Highway System. For one thing, the road less traveled has better food and better conversation--at a truck stop (or a Denny's) on the freeway, they've seen it all by now, and they know they sell more food and turn over the seats quicker if they don't have distractions, so the parking lot is usually out of the field of view. At Dolly's Diner in Pavement Narrows, Nebraska, you can probably park near the front door, and Dolly likes big windows, and your Locost is the coolest car anybody there has seen all year, and they'll want to hear all about it. For another thing, the secondary roads are more fun to drive; even with my 32 horsepower Kubota I can have a good time zipping through the twisty two lane county highways where the 18 wheelers don't go.

Regarding rain, put your luggage (dufflebags are good for Locost luggage; they can conform to the shape of your car better than Samsonite) inside high quality (get 'em at a building supply store--they're called 'construction grade' or something) garbage bags. That way you'll have dry clothes when the rain stops.

When I take long cross country trips in a Locost (and yeah, I've done a bunch) I'm usually "on the road" for 12+ hours, from first drive to final park of the day, but I take lots of breaks to enjoy the local museums*, see the sights, and talk with people. Also I carry a sleeping bag and a tarp and a yoga mat, which can save a bunch of motel money (motels are my main expense when going cross-country with MAX--my fuel cost for 500 miles, even cruising at 70, is less than twenty bucks). In nice weather, sometimes I'll camp out, plus a sleeping bag indicates you'll be low maintenance if somebody you just met is thinking of offering you shelter for the night.

*The local oddball museums, and there are plenty of them out there. If you take Hwy 24 west out of Topeka instead of I-70, don't miss the Wizard of Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas. And there are over 100 automobile museums in the US--see http://www.naam.museum/museum-search/ for most of them.

Author:  TRX [ December 3, 2015, 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

> museums

There are museums for things you might actually be interested in, not just boring history and dinosaurs.

My wife and I are becoming cave tour junkies; they range from "here's your hard hat and flashlight" to motorboats and Jeeps. Just the thing after four of five hours in 100+F summer heat.

Or you might want to drive. There's the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap in North Carolina and the Little Dragon in Arkansas, Pike's Peak... there are sites that list "most fun roads in the US."

Author:  JackMcCornack [ December 3, 2015, 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cross Country in a Locost

Oh yeah, and wear a helmet. Don't go for full face, which throws off the Locost's old-timey style, but an open face motorcycle helmet looks just fine and does not draw the attention of the police.* It's much more comfortable than a bare head; less wind, less noise, less sun...it's like driving a tiny little coupe. And it probably adds a bit of safety, too.

*If you wear a helmet in town in your BMW/Civic/WRX/Mazda3, your likelihood of winning a going-41-in-a-35-zone ticket will rise.

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