FNG advice please

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    • #5125
      BullBull
      Participant

      Hello my name is Dan,  and my wife and I will be riding our 2008 Goldwing on the Midway Route All The Way and would like to hear from anybody with advice on…..

      1: how much clothes to pack

      2: camera equipment we should take

      3: extras we might want to think about taking

      4: any information that you think would help a FNG

      Danny “Bull”Cox
      USMC
      FNG MIDWAY ROUTE 2017 All The Way
      PLT 4 Tailgunner 2018
      PLT 4 Leader 2019
      PLT 4 Leader 2020
      Southern Nevada PGR

    • #5127
      The MayorThe Mayor
      Participant

      Welcome Dan.  First… go through previous newsletters.  “We” could write a book, strictly with personal opinions, answering all of your questions.  Most have been covered in prior years.

      One of the prior suggestions, since your gorgeous wife will be with you, is to find a vest with extra pockets since she’ll be using the saddle bags and tour pack.

      A second, years ago, was to lay out all of your stuff in the driveway.  Load your bike, and then take all of the extra stuff back to the house.

      Rule One:  whatever you take, 1/3 of it will NEVER be used, and you’ll simply haul it across the country while wondering why you took it along.

      On a Run, in 2005 I think, my son and I compiled a checklist of possible needs.  ‘Trimmed it down, and upon returning to So Cal, checked off what we didn’t use, and what we should continue to take anyway.  The challenge for us was the return home; headed east, you’ll have all the support in the world including chase vehicles to deliver you and your ride to the next appropriate point to the east, for my wife and I, it was Las Cruces H-D for a new stator.  Headed back home, it’s another story; what do you need if you’re on your own?  Maybe minimum tools or a compressor?

      Whatever you do Dan, there are few “right” answers!  Talk to those who have Run experience; use what works for you, and nod politely when you hear stuff that you’ll avoid; it’s all good Dan.  Welcome to a mission that will change your life, and perhaps give your wife a deeper understanding of your inner soul.

      Jim "The Mayor" Frost
      USAF SSgt 66-69
      Bien Hoa AB, RVN 8/67-10/69

    • #5133
      DocDoc
      Participant

      Dan, welcome to the Run, and especially to the Midway Route. My wife, Snapshot, and I always do the Run tw0-up, and she’ll be happy to hear your wife will be riding with you as well.

      The Mayor has given you some great advice when he tells you to read everything you can in the prior newsletters. They have a world of good information.

      Because of weight and space you and your wife, like Snapshot and I, really have to watch what we pack.  Like the good Mayor said, you should pack and repack a few times now. Figure out what fits and what doesn’t, and do it all over again. For us, we found it easiest to pack a small bag that sits on top of our tourpak that goes in with us at night (watch your weight because of high c.g.), and everything else stays locked in the bike. That being said, we have rarely found ourselves wanting for something, and each night where we stop there is always a Walmart, Best Buy, or drug store close by with plenty of time to run out and pick something up.

      We keep our rain gear accessible (the Run doesn’t stop for rain). Day 1 on the Midway Route is the toughest day as far as temperatures go because we can start out cold in Ontario, be at 100 degrees crossing the desert, and down near freezing as we climb up to our first night in Flagstaff. Layering your clothes works best, and I’ve found a bungie net works well for quickly stuffing our jackets and/or sweatshirts under during a fuel stop.

      One thing you can’t forget is a camera! There are literally thousands of photo opportunities. I know, Snapshot sits back there while I’m driving and takes them all. She has a small point and shoot camera that does a great job. She wears it attached to an ID lanyard around her neck, so that there is no concern that she might drop it, and keeps it handy in her jacket pocket or the pocket of her vest. She does not use her cell phone for that reason. You do not need a tripod because there is always someone around willing to take your picture.

      I’ll keep this short, but just end by saying read all you can, and when you get to Ontario wear your FNG pins proudly front and center, and don’t be shy about introducing yourself to other riders and asking questions. Definitely, come look for Snapshot and me!

      Only 19 days to go!

      Doc

       

      USAF 70 - 74
      Vietnam 71 - 73
      Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 41-2 Reno, NV
      Midway Route FNG ATW 2015, TG 2016, TG 2017, TG 2018

    • #5135
      PelicanPelican
      Participant

      Welcome Dan & Wife,( She who must be obeyed),

      You are in for an experience like no other & words cannot explain it. You are joining a family, you are just going to have sisters and brothers from another mother. Ask questions, read everything you can, ask questions.

      The Mayor & Doc have provided good sound advice, but everything is based on your individual needs and desires. I might add, be sure to use chapstick and a good sunscreen.  My FNG year, I read everything and asked a lot of questions concerning a multitude of subjects. I did the pack – re- pack drill, and still took way to much stuff. If you find you are “acquiring” to much “stuff” on the Run, ( for some reason there is a tendency to buy souvenir t-shirts and such), if you start getting to much stuff, you can always mail a box home .

      Be prepared to receive a lot of hugs, and the eyes to get watery at times you do not expect them too. Contrary to what training you may have receive in another life, volunteer for everything you can, particularly the Missing Man formation, the Ride to Riverside National Cemetery & Arlington National Cemetery.

      WELCOME HOME & THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

      Welcome to the Midway Route, we would happy for you to join us in 4th platoon.

      I am looking forward to meeting you in Ontario and giving you both a hug.

      16 days for me….KSU for Ontario

      Ride safe

      da Pelican

      "I never met a man I didn't like"...will rogers

    • #5139
      BullBull
      Participant

      Thank you all for the advice I have spent time reading all the post but thought maybe by starting this new one I might get even more.(which I have)

      And Pelican we are riding in 4th platoon because we have meet a few times and talked on Thursdays. Between you and Leo we have decided to do this mission.

      Dan and Zoe

      USMC

      Southern Nevada PGR

       

      Danny “Bull”Cox
      USMC
      FNG MIDWAY ROUTE 2017 All The Way
      PLT 4 Tailgunner 2018
      PLT 4 Leader 2019
      PLT 4 Leader 2020
      Southern Nevada PGR

    • #5141
      SidewinderSidewinder
      Participant

      Welcome home, Dan, and welcome to the Run to you and Zoe. You couldn’t have picked a better route for your FNG mission, except the Southern Route, of course. Nonetheless, you will have a memorable and emotional experience and I know my good friend the Pelican will take good care of you.

      There used to be a suggested packing list on the web-site that made a good starting place for planning. It had way too many things on it and I always pared it down to suit me. I took a quick look around and I don’t see it anywhere, but I have it on my computer. If you would like a copy, send me an email at [email protected] and I will send it to you.

      Enjoy your ride,

      Sidewinder

      Remember, the price of freedom is written on the Wall.
      U.S. Navy '68-'74 USS Gridley DLG-21
      FNG ATW SR 2012, Part 2013-14, ATW 2015-16-17-18, APL3 SR 2016, APL3 SR 2017, PL5 SR 2018, PL2 SR 2019

    • #5142
      Avatarwhereshomer
      Participant

      One important thing to remember is make sure you notify your bank that you will be traveling across America. If not yourbank cards may be suspended till you notify them.

      Where’s Homer.

       

      Where's Homer
      FNG2012
      Tail gunner 2013/ 2017
      Ambassador 2014,2015. 2016
      US Army Medic 1966-1971

    • #5144
      LuckyLucky
      Participant

      My wife and I ride a wing and were FNG 2016, the saddle bags were used for quick to get to items (coat, chaps, rain coat, ect.) one side for each of us. Trunk for supplies. Our suit case was made for our luggage rack so we packed all the cloths we could in it. Rolled all the cloths and put rubber bands around them to keep them tight. Tighter they are more will fit in.  If you suit case doesn’t have a rain cover put in a heavy trash bag to keep everything dry.

      Bring a roll of quarters and pod laundry soap to do laundry as needed in the evening. We would normally wear outer clothes more than one day.

      We take the central route and some places gave us free t-shirts, and we purchased a couple along the way, so try to save some space in your suit case.

      2006 GL1800 Goldwing
      FNG 2016 Central Route JC-DC
      2017 Ontario - Wentzvlle
      2018 JC - DC
      All the way...... Hopefully soon.

    • #5145
      blallen58blallen58
      Participant

      Lots of quarters to do laundry with.   Along with everything everyone else has already stated.

      Welcome home and have a great ride.

      Central Route Staging Team 2019
      Southern Route Fuel Team 2017
      Central Route ATW 2016
      FNG 2016
      HM1 (FMF) Ret. 1979-1999

    • #5146
      LuckyLucky
      Participant

      I’ll add another useful object for the wing. A second key handy to unlock your gas tank. I have my spare key attached to a retractable key chain I fasten to my belt loop.

      Your first trip into a gas stop you’ll see the importance to this. They will move you fast, this way you don’t have to fumble around to remove the key and replace it back in the ignition.

      2006 GL1800 Goldwing
      FNG 2016 Central Route JC-DC
      2017 Ontario - Wentzvlle
      2018 JC - DC
      All the way...... Hopefully soon.

    • #5151
      The MayorThe Mayor
      Participant

      Dan, there’s a “What to Pack” list on the January, 2016 newsletter.  I’m sure that there are others.  If you packed all of the suggested stuff, you’d need a trailer.

      I’d mentioned it on another thread, but if you’re taking the Central or Midway Routes, there’s a possibility of an 80 degree temperature swing on Day One.   Leather up for the chill as you leave Ontario… and take most of that stuff off in Barstow or Ludlow because of the heat.  (One year it was an unusually cool 90 degrees in Needles for the Central Route lunch.)  When you stop for lunch in Kingman (Midway), or fuel (Central), you’ll notice the experienced riders putting all of that morning stuff back on, without regard to the heat.  When you climb the mountain into Williams, you probably won’t see the 4″ of snow that we rode into in 2011, but it WILL be chilly.  So, plan ahead how you’ll pack the stuff that you take off, and have it handy to put back on a few hundred miles later.

      Jim "The Mayor" Frost
      USAF SSgt 66-69
      Bien Hoa AB, RVN 8/67-10/69

    • #5155
      GonzoGonzo
      Participant

      1: how much clothes to pack:  I have revised my packing over a few years, and have found that 7 t shirts and 2 pairs of jeans (other than the pair I start out wearing) gets me half way through the run so I only have to wash clothes in Ontario and once while on the run.  I ride Southern, so I don’t pack as much cold weather stuff.  My riding jacket has 2 liners that I pack in a compression bag “just in case”

      2: camera equipment we should take:  Again, I have revised this over a few years.  Now I just use my cell phone.  It takes better quality pics than a typical point and shoot, and I always have it.  I added a micro SD card so I don’t run out of space, and it syncs with my Google Drive account.  I know a lot of people still prefer a “real camera”

      3: extras we might want to think about taking:  I have some basic tools (yeah I know, I ride a Harley), a tire plug kit and compressor just to get me off the side of the road, and a jump starter just in case I leave something on.  I also carry a rain suit, and have a half cover to cover my bike at night and keep the dew off.  (you don’t have to carry all that stuff – I’m just OCD and like to plan for Murphy’s Law)

      4: any information that you think would help a FNG:  KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS!!!!  My first year was emotionally and physically overwhelming, but I found that the leadership and other riders welcomed me with open arms.  You will not make any new friends – but you will add a LOT of people to your family.  Keep asking questions and WE will all complete the mission – TOGETHER.

      Road Guard - Southern Route
      --------------------------
      Operation Iraqi Freedom
      CVMA Chapter 6-3

    • #5157
      BullBull
      Participant

      Thank you all for the advice this is some great stuff.

      1 got the roll of quarters ready

      2 Rain gear packed along with riding gear. Using saddle bag suggestion mine on one side hers on other.

      3 spare key made from radio button to stay in gas cap door for easy open

      4 camera has wrist strap and will also clip on lanyard around her neck. Long enough to fit into pocket on vest. (Her job)

      5 as far as clothes we have decided to only pack 4 days worth of clothes(all darks) and do laundry a few times on the ride there and back. (Her job)

      6 small bills in plastic bags for gas stops (her job)

      7 throttle control, no braking, hand signals, no eye contact with people on overpasses, left hand salute, keeping it tight to rider in front. (My job)

      8 riding missing man formation on day 6 for All those MIA/POW (what this mission is all about) most important to us.

      Dan and Zoe

      USMC

      Southern Nevada PGR

      Danny “Bull”Cox
      USMC
      FNG MIDWAY ROUTE 2017 All The Way
      PLT 4 Tailgunner 2018
      PLT 4 Leader 2019
      PLT 4 Leader 2020
      Southern Nevada PGR

    • #5166
      AvatarScooter Magoo
      Participant

      I can tell you what works best for my wife and me. We wear polyester “Tactical pants”, fishing shirts, underwear, t-shirts and socks. Fishing shirts have sun block built in. All can be washed in tub or sink, hung over air conditioner, and almost always dry in the morning. We wear a set of cloths, pack 2 extra pair of pants, 2 shirts, 5 under shirts, underwear and socks. Our favorite tactical pants are Spec-4. Like the pocket configuration. Everything is in front pockets hence I’m not setting on a wallet and less chance of losing anything.  My wife doesn’t need to take a purse anymore. As a side note. Don’t laugh, but I sometimes wear a athletic supporter. Helps keep “the boys in place” We share the top bag in tour pack, use 1 saddlebag for overflow, and dedicate 1 saddlebag for cold weather gear. Top bag on tour pack is for rain gear. We take 1 set of  wicking type long underwear, a fleece vest, and fleece jacket. It’s all about layering and light weight. Plus all insulate better when wet, and dry the fastest. Extra cold weather  gloves. Wet is bad enough, but COLD and WET with a hundred miles to go is not pleasant.

       

       

       

    • #5171
      PelicanPelican
      Participant

      Dan & Zoe,

      It looks like you have a pretty good handle on things. Don’t forget the meds, sunscreen , chapstick and stuff.

      I might also add, have a spare bike key made and keep it in your wallet, or close to your DL, you will always have it on you.

      Don’t forget to roll your clothes and put them in those 1 or 2 gallon ziplock freezer bags, to keep them dry…..not that it ever rains in Oklahoma or those parts….just sayin….

      "I never met a man I didn't like"...will rogers

    • #5175
      DocDoc
      Participant

      Dan & Zoe,

      It’s obvious you’ve listened to the great advice given to you by these very experienced riders. You’re going to be as well prepared as any of us, and you’re going to return home with some incredible stories to tell your friends.

      On a side note, my wife Valinda (Snapshot) and I had the honor and privilege of riding side by side in 2nd Platoon with Leo in 2015. Last year we had the honor and privilege of riding as Tail Gunner in 4th Platoon with Pelican as our APL. You couldn’t have met two better riders to share their experiences, and encourage you to join the RFTW mission.

      Finally, I want to welcome you to the Midway Route, and specifically to the 4th Platoon. As Battle Born residents from Reno, Snapshot and I are both very excited for you, and as one of your 4th Platoon tailgunners, we will able to witness first hand the amazing experience you’re going to have.

      See you in Ontario,

      Doc

      USAF 70 - 74
      Vietnam 71 - 73
      Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 41-2 Reno, NV
      Midway Route FNG ATW 2015, TG 2016, TG 2017, TG 2018

    • #5177
      Tech DogTech Dog
      Participant

      Welcome Home Dan and Zoe! You have some awesome advice from the best. You are going to have an experience you will never forget and it will touch your soul to its core plus test you personally. I am still in awe over my FNG year last year. I am glad I made it an ATW year as well. My experience has been that just like in the military travel with the essential. I packed way too much last year. Since the Southern Route stops where I live I’m taking a lite load this year and if I need something I’ll buy it on the way.

      A basic tool kit, first aid kit and a qt of oil along with a bike cover and security system goes in one saddle bag. My daily clothes goes in zip lock gallon or two gallon bags with the air removed to save on space and Toliet kit I put that in my trunk. The other saddle bag carries gloves scarfs, Neck gatters, hat, chaps and stuff for road protection oh and a light jacket. I will have a small ice cooler for water and snacks. Finally for things like electronics and journal’s or important docs I’ll have an assault pack on my back. I also have a tank bag to hold small loose items like lip balm and sunscreen. Benji cords and things I need easy access to. I’m trying to travel as lite as practical since I’ll not return home for almost a month. Keep in mind if you are on the Southern Route it gets very hot in the open high Desert typically 115 in Phoenix. The Permian basin accross Texas is flat wide open Prarie heat. Be careful and hydrate hydrate hydrate. God Speed see you in Ontario!

      USAF Dec 74-Jul 95
      SR ATW FNG 2016
      Advance Team 2017
      "Imagination is More Important than Knowledge" Albert Einstein
      "Shoot for the Moon, even if you miss you'll land somewhere amongst the stars!" Ken Brown

    • #5182
      PawkeePawkee
      Participant

      Every year I pack less. Last year I packed the day before I left.

      Three jeans, 4 t-shirts-long sleeve, 7 socks, LD underwear.  CPAP, extension cord with multiple plugs, mess.  Carry as many tools as you know how to use.  One year I rebuilt the rear end of my bike in the hotel parking lot.  lol

      Prepare to be blown away. Missing Man is one of the highlights of my life and is the reason I keep coming back. Lots of healing happens on The Run. Don’t be afraid to show emotions in front of others. You will get lots of hugs and shed many tears.

      Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE.

      I wish I could be there to give you a hug. Next year.

      Pawkee
      RFTW Southern Route FNG 2007
      RFTW Southern Route Road Guard 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
      RFTW MIDWAY Road Guard 2015, 2016, 2018 (remote), 2019 (remote)

    • #5187
      The MayorThe Mayor
      Participant

      Dan, I missed the obvious “What to pack” location.  It’s on the main RFTW page under “Run Info” as one of the “FAQs”

      One item that I didn’t see listed was iron wire.  I wrap a few yards of duct tape around a toilet paper tube, a few yards of iron wire on the other end, flatten the tube, stick it on the bottom of one of the saddle bags & hope I don’t see it again until I empty the bags when I get back home.

      You can make a temp repair on almost anything with duct tape, iron wire, or zip ties.

       

      Jim "The Mayor" Frost
      USAF SSgt 66-69
      Bien Hoa AB, RVN 8/67-10/69

    • #5233
      PostPost
      Participant

      Hello All,

      FNG here also on Midway route, Platoon 4.  and looking forward to doing this ride also.   I have read all the replies and I am taking some pointers on all this great info.  Thank you for sharing!!!

      1 – tissues, as I have been warned many times this can be an emotional journey.  Especially with doing the missing man formation also on Day6.

      2 – Great tip Pelican on not only rolling clothes but also put in zip lock bags.

      3- packing as minimal as can, although i am also packing tent and related items.

      etc….

      Look forward to meeting you all !

      Steven "Post" Boyd
      USMC Veteran 1994-2002
      RFTW Midway Route (FNG '17, Top Platoon '17, Road Guard '18/'19)
      S. NV PGR ('16-present, RoadGuard '17-present)

    • #5254
      DutchmanDutchman
      Participant

      Pawkee mentioned an item that may or may not work for you – Works great for me…. It’s LD Comfort Shorts (google it). Similar to bicycle shorts, they wick moisture away from your bottom region, and with no seams, make distance riding much more comfortable. Best part is, I wash them in the shower at night, hang them out to dry, and by next day they are ready for another day on the run. You can leave a LOT of cotton underwear at home this way.  They sell for about $50 on the LD website.

      USMC In-Country I Corps 69-70

      RFTW "Participant" 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018
      ATW 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019

    • #5262
      DataData
      Participant

      Welcome home Dan and all FNG’s.  And also welcome to the Run.  Just remember that the Run gets you to the Wall but then you are on your own back to your front door.  I see Dan that you ride with PGR in southern Nev.  Don’t know if you plan on going straight home or riding a different route on the way home, but you might want to use a weather radar ap on your smart phone.  I was the last one on my block to get a smart phone and now I use it a great deal to check where the rain is at on my route.  It worked great as I was able to see where the rain was rather than where I thought it would be.

      One year I wanted to take the 40 through OK but went south and took I10 though TX instead because of possible tornado’s.  I shared this on a forum and other RFTW rider’s stated that they had tornado’s in their rear view mirror’s as they exited the 40 going home.  So watch the weather going home and get updates on your smart phone.

    • #5271
      Jim McCrainJim McCrain
      Participant

      Hello my name is Dan, and my wife and I will be riding our 2008 Goldwing on the Midway Route All The Way and would like to hear from anybody with advise on….. 1: how much clothes to pack 2: camera equipment we should take 3: extras we might want to think about taking 4: any information that you think would help a FNG

      Howdy Dan!

      I’ll let others chime in on most of your questions, but I WILL take a stab at #2; Camera Gear!

      As a professional photographer, I NEVER take enough gear!  I am always saying “I brought the wrong lens” or “I need a larger tri-pod.”  My first year on the Run, I brought a big DSLR and an extra 100-400 zoom lens.  I never used the big lens, even though I lugged it all across the country and back.  I was “up close” at all events, so it wasn’t needed.  Also, there just wasn’t a lot of time to take “photos.”  Instead, I just took “snap shots.”  The difference being that I just documented the trip and didn’t take the time to “create” an image.  It may sound like semantics, but the results are different.

      I suggest that you just bring something that will satisfy your own need to document the event.  (Whatever level that may be.)  For me, I still carry a large DSLR, but I only bring one lens and leave the tripod at home.  That is what I feel is necessary.  Others are fine with a point and shoot or their camera/phone.  Remember, Each Route has a designated Photographer that will be shooting everything, and these photos will be available after (sometimes DURING) the Run.

      In other words, don’t over pack on the gear.  Bring the “basics” and then share your photos with everyone else.  You will be amazed at how many photos there are going to be!

      Cheers!

      Jim “Hoofer” McCrain

      Jim "Hoofer" McCrain
      Photographer, Midway Route (2019)
      Road Guard, Midway Route (2017, 2018, 2019)
      Road Guard, Southern Route (2016)
      Tail Gunner, Southern Route (2015)
      FNG, Southern Route (2014)

    • #5440
      DrZDrZ
      Participant

      You have received some great suggestions.  Simple things next.  Never skip a fill up/top off on your Wing even though you hold more fuel than the majority of us.  Never skip a head call because I promise it will be 5 minutes later and you will regret it.  Stay hydrated!!!  Avoid caffeine because it will want out about 15 minutes after you put it in.  There is no shame in tapping out.  We all get tired on the Run but when you get over tired….bad things happen.  If needed….take a break.

      We were all FNGs once and we all had questions.  Your brothers and sisters here will always be available to you….before…during….and after the run.  Stay smart and stay safe.

      Semper Fi,

      Z

       

      2013, 2015,2016, 2017 and as many more as the old body will handle.

    • #5445
      The MayorThe Mayor
      Participant

      Outstanding stuff Dr. Z!  See you in Ontario next week?  If so, please hunt me down!  I’m just a few miles up the street from the host hotel, (I live in Rancho Cucamonga), and would love to meet you before we all split up on Wednesday morning!

      Jim "The Mayor" Frost
      USAF SSgt 66-69
      Bien Hoa AB, RVN 8/67-10/69

    • #5455
      DrZDrZ
      Participant

      Mayor,

      I will not be riding out to CA to start the run but rather will pick up the SR in Grand Prairie Texas.  I can’t take the heat of the desert nor the length of the ride from Tx to CA to Tx to DC to Tx.  Sadly…. as we all are…I am getting older and these bionic parts can only take so much.  Not sure what route you are taking but let me know.  If not the SR, then we will attempt to meet up in DC.

      Semper Fi my brother and welcome home.

      Z

      Ssgt USMC 1969 – 1978

      Danang and Chu Lai

      2013, 2015,2016, 2017 and as many more as the old body will handle.

    • #5461
      AvatarHawgwash
      Participant

      Welcome, Dan..look forward to meeting you and your bride in Flagstaff where I will join Midway Route.

      No input on what to bring because for you it is too late….You have received sound advice from many.

      For me..well, my business must continue even when I’m On the Run so I’m bringing my office with me on the bike….

      Safe travels.

    • #5526
      The MayorThe Mayor
      Participant

      Thanks Dr. Z!  Maybe next year?

      I’ll be leaving the Run in Cisco this time.  Staying with friends until they throw me out, or my wife says that it’s “time to come home.”

      She plans her first ATW next year, so we both hope to see you then.

      Welcome Home!

      Jim "The Mayor" Frost
      USAF SSgt 66-69
      Bien Hoa AB, RVN 8/67-10/69

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