Trailer Days “TD” (Combo Blog)
Each year when planning the tour there are three transportation components to consider. First, what is the target ride and how long do we need for the ride? Second where is a good “starting and end point” The starting and end point is where we all meet up to officially start the ride. Third, how many trailer days are required to get to the start and back home from the end. “Trailer Days” is my name for the portion of the trip focused on getting to the starting point, this year our start is Billings Montana.
Why “Trailer Days”? There are many ways to get to the starting and end point of your ride, many choose to load their bikes on a trailer and drive to the starting point, although this can help maximize your time touring the target area it also requires that your start and end point are the same since you have a truck and trailer waiting for your return home. Another approach is to fly to the starting point and rent a bike for the trip. In my opinion this is a great choice for very tours that are extremely far from your home or tough to get to, Hawaii and Alaska come to mind. Another benefit to renting a bike along the way is the ability to rent a bike fit for the ride and roads. In our case we choose “Trailer Days” so we can have different starting and end points, we can change the ride day to day.
All of the previous to say today marks the last trailer day, today we will end up at Billings Montana and start the trip. A quick recap of the trailer days so far:
TD Day 0 (427m): This was my pre-trailer day to get to Bentonville. I know it is getting a bit crazy. Started with a 5k service and a full day of work. At the end of the day I headed out to Bentonville to stage for the journey to Billings. Great 427 mile Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas ride. Ended up at Bill and Shirley’s for the evening, had a great evening together.
TD Day 0 (576m): Bentonville to Sioux Falls South Dakota. Met up with Dean and Richard at 7:30 to start the ride. It is always great getting back together, what a blessing to have such great friends to ride with year after year. This is a special group and this trip marks five years of adventures together.
TD Day 1 (460m): Sioux Falls to Deadwood South Dakota. This was an unusual Trailer Day, we actually stopped and did a few things but really when you are riding in South Dakota you have to stop and do a few things. We started the day with a short ride to Mitchel to see the world’s only Corn Palace. It is a cool stop, only 3-5 miles off the interstate, and worth the time. From Mitchel we headed west to Wall to eat at the world famous Wall Drug, then onto the Badlands loop. When we exited the Badlands we took 44 to Rapid City. 44 was a nice alternative to the interstate but be advised there was 12 miles of new tar and gravel to contend with just SE of Rapid City. Of course we stopped at Black Hills Harley and then caught 44 and 385 to Deadwood for the evening.
TD Day 2 (352m): Up and at ‘em for the last Trailer Day. Not much to say here other than I felt like I was back in Dallas, 103 degrees for the last two hours of the ride in Montana. Cindi and Sally flew from Tulsa and Bentonville respectively connected in Dallas, met up with Julie and onto Billings (well of course there was a delay in Dallas, go figure). We are all together now and excited to be heading to Glacier National Park tomorrow and then onto Canada and beyond. Well tomorrow we start……