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October 16, 2019

Day 1: Denver, CO to Amarillo, TX

In the morning, I get up. I have to drive one of my vehicles to South Carolina. I've gone back and forth between the Tahoe, the BMW X3, and the Jeep Wranger TJ. But, in the end, the only vehicle I have that's licensed, plated, and insured, that I I trust to make it across North America is the 2017 1000cc Honda Africa Twin.

So, in the morning, I start packing up some things. Some clothes. Tools. Cameras. It's funny to think that last time I went on a big adventure, I rode the AT to Colombia, South America. But this time, I'm riding to Columbia, South Carolina.

The shortest route would be to head east on I-70, but I decide to go south, down through Dallas, as the route will be warmer. Less chance of freezing to death on the bike.

Leaving the neighborhood, I run into Neb Bailey at 10:56 a.m. MDT. He's kind enough to snap some shots before I roll off into the wild.

I-25 is basically under construction from Denver to the border with New Mexico.

Now up Raton Pass. I remember doing this pass before, but I couldn't guess when that was. A long time ago.

At Raton, I leave I-25 and head east on U.S. Highway 87. For some reason, there's a Des Moines, New Mexico. I'm following U.S. Highway 87 when I cross into Texas. A big sign announces that we've crossed from the Mountain Time Zone into the Central Time Zone.

I follow U.S. Highway 87 to U.S. Highway 385 to Tascosa, where I take the fork and follow 1061 into Amarillo. This is sort of where my plan ends. I roll into Amarillo around sunset, and I start looking around for a place to crash. I find a Motel 6 that's pretty cheap, and decide to crash for the night.

Sun sets at 7:00 p.m. here, and I'd say that's about what time I got to the hotel.
I asked the lady at the hotel. She said I checked in at 6:45 p.m. CDT. So, that means I checked in at 5:45 p.m. MDT. That means that I rode from 11:00 a.m. MDT to 5:45 p.m. MDT. So, I rode pretty for 6 hours and 45 minutes, stopping only for gas.

Miles Driven Today:

Starting Odometer Reading: 31,317
Ending Odometer Reading: 31,775
Distance traveled today: 458 miles
Trip Meter A: 454.5

So, I rode roughly 450 miles today.

Fuel calculations from today's ride:
Refueled in:

1) Pueblo, CO. 3.295 gallons at 12:39 p.m. MDT
Mileage: 31,438 - 31,317 = 121 miles
121 miles / 3.295 gallons = 36.7 mpg

2) Raton, NM. 2.91 gallons at 2:17 p.m. MDT
Mileage: 31,555 - 31,438 = 117 miles
117 miles / 2.91 gallons = 40.2 mpg

3) Dalhart, TX. 3.18 gallons at 4:26 p.m. MDT / 5:26 p.m. CDT
Mileage: 31,684 - 31,555 = 129 miles
129 miles / 3.18 gallons = 40.6 mpg

4) Amarillo, TX. 2.503 gallons at 10:09 p.m. MDT /11:09 p.m. CDT
Mileage: 31,776 - 31,684 = 92 miles
92 miles / 2.503 gallons = 36.7 mpg

The 2017 Africa Twin reportedly has a 5 gallon gas tank, so in theory, I could go further between fill-ups, but I didn't plan my fuel stops in advance, so I wasn't feeling like pushing it. In theory, if I'm getting 40 mpg, I should be able to go 200 miles between fill-ups. But, I'm also not carrying any spare gas on the bike at this point, mainly because I forgot to strap a gas can onto the bike, I think.

So, I'll go ahead and try to plan out my fuel stops for tomorrow:
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).

36 mpg * 4 gallons = 144 miles.
36 mpg * 5 gallons = 180 miles.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 16, 2019 at 8:42 PM

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