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October 17, 2019

Day 2: Amarillo,TX to Tyler/Lindale, TX

Day 2: Amarillo, TX to Tyler/Lindale, TX

Starting Odometer: 31,776
Ending Odometer: 32,249
Miles Traveled Today: 473
Departed Amarillo, TX at 11:00 a.m. CDT.
Arrived in Tyler/Lindale, TX at 6:30 p.m. CDT.

Miles Traveled this Trip:
Day 1: 458 miles
Day 2: 473 miles
Total Miles this Trip: 931

So, I decided to plan my day out for today. It's not a long day, really. I think yesterday I rode 458 miles. Today, it looks like I'll ride 368 miles, roughly.

My planned fuel stops for today (I filled up last night):
1) Amarillo to Quanah. 146 miles. (Requires 4 gallons of gas at 36 mpg).
2) Quanah to Decatur. 154 miles. (Requires 4.2 gallons of gas at 36 mpg).
3) Decatur to Dallas. 68 miles. (Requires 2 gallons of gas at 36 mpg).

Weather forecast for looks good all along the route. Clear, sunny. Warm enough to ride at about 11:00 a.m., I think.

So, I take off from Amarillo, Texas at about 11:00 a.m. I would leave earlier, but it's seriously like 50F and, even with my long johns on, I'm not overly excited about riding when it's that cold.

I ride from Amarillo to Quanah. It's really hard to descibe the country out here. Just flat as a table. Nothing growing. No rivers. No water. Nothing but endless windfarms and every 15 minutes I'm passing an 18 wheeler hauling more blades down the highway to assemble into yet another useless windmill.

I come through lots of small towns. Towns that are abandoned by people that move to Dallas or Denver or wherever. Very sad to see all of the failed towns.

Between the abandoned towns, the speed limit is usually 75 mph, so I'm running between 90 mph and 100 mph all day long.

You'd think that, if you sat on your bike and rode 90 mph for an hour, you'd travel 90 miles. But alas, it seems this is not the case. Even though I open the throttle and run triple digits all day long, it hardly seems like I'm making progress in my journey across America. Who thought this was a good idea anyway? Who's idea was this journey.

As I ride, for some reason, my iphone constantly runs down. I'm not clear what the issue is. It appears to be getting power from the bike through a cigarette lighter I wired to the battery, a cigarette lighter to USB port that I got from God knows where, and a USB cable. So, in theory, it should be getting power. But something is amiss. I've already replaced the cable. That didn't help. At some point, I just stick the USB cable into my macbook air to try to charge it that way as I'm riding down the highway at 90 mph.

But this only postpones the inevitable, and eventually it dies. I still have my Garmin Montana, and it seems to be working very well, surprisingly. So, it's not like I'm lost.

When I finally get near Dallas, I don't really have anyone to meet with, I think. Tom's father is in the hospital in Wichita Falls. Alex's parents are in from out of town. So, I decide to check out some of my old haunts. I find where I used to live at 18809 Lina Street. Then I find where Michelle and I used to live: 5300 Keller Springs Road Dallas, TX.

Then, I ride up Preston Road and find Dominion Plaza at 17304 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75252. I'm reasonably sure that this is where we used to work, back in the day. This would have been 1991 or 1992, I think. I was working for EDS and our client was SnyderGeneral, I think.

After that, I decided I'd had enough sight-seeing, and decided to make a break for it. Instead of spending the night in Dallas, I figured I'd get a head start on tomorrow's ride and head east on I-20 towards Madison, Mississippi.

So, basically I took the George Bush Turnpike around the north/east side of the city, to I-30 to 635 to US 80 east to I-20 east.

Fuel Planning:

I'm not carrying extra fuel on this trip. so I'm watching my fuel consumption very closely. The goal is to go as far between fillups as possible, without running out of gas.

But there are a couple of parts to this.
1)How much gas does your bike hold.
2) What gas mileage do you get.
3) Where are the gas stations.

So, I've determine, by careful observations and calcuations, that my bike generally gets around 40 mpg.

I've also determined that I have roughly a 5 gallon tank.

So, in theory, I should be able to go roughly 200 miles between fillups. However, it gets tricky.

If you don't know where the gas stations are, then you can never really be certain/comfortable that your ride won't end with you stranded in the Punta Prieta desert.

So, I've been planning my fuel stops every day. Today, when I was riding from Quanah to Decatur, my fuel light came on and started blinking. According to my calculations, what this means is that I've burned 4 gallons of fuel, and I'm down to my last gallon, which means I can go 40 more miles, and then that's it. So, I chickened out and stopped short and filled up, but my numbers are good. I'm getting better at planning my fuel stops, and getting better mileage because of it. Today was a pretty big day, at 573 miles.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 17, 2019 at 6:25 PM


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