Russ Brown Motorcycle Lawyers – Preparing for those long distance rides.
While you scour the Internet planning this year’s long-distance trek across one of USA’s gorgeous routes, take note of travel tips, especially if you are a first-time motorcycle vacationer. This is hard-core travel, and you’ll get the most up-close and personal view of our country.
Stating the Obvious
We know you already know this, but in case you tend to procrastinate, we will remind you to give your bike a full maintenance check. Make sure it is road ready. Change the oil, repair gaskets, replace dry or cracked rubber seals and fill tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Get a bike repair kit that includes the standards (wrenches, sockets, flashlight, spark plugs, etc.).
Train for Your Long Motorcycle Ride
If your motorcycle tour will involve long hours on open roads, everyone in your travel entourage will need to work up to long-distance riding. Start out by taking two-hour rides a couple times a week and note where you feel aches and stiffness at the end of the ride. Imagine how you’d feel at the end of a 6 hour ride. Not very well, right? You need to build your body up to get used to the long ride. In the weeks leading up to your trip, add time to your local rides and get used to the feel of the seat being in the open.
When you do your motorcycle tour, plan a stop every couple of hours; remember, this is a tour, not a race, so stop and smell the flowers.
Think of this as your survival kit that will get you through any sticky situation. These are must-haves for motorcycle tourists:
- Pocket knife
- Lighter and matches
- Camera and batteries
- Zip-lock baggies
- Ear plugs
- Sun block
- Hair ties (even if you’ve got no hair, these can hold things in place)
- Eyeglass cleaner
- Tire repair kit (including CO2 cartridges and an adapter to fit your nozzle)
- Can and bottle opener
- Metal knife, fork and spoon
Prepare to Shop
If you think riding a motorcycle will stop the shoppers in your pack from hitting local shops and boutiques, think again. Your bike can only carry so much weight and cargo. Each time you arrive in a town look for the nearest post office or shop that handles package shipping. (Ask retailers if they’ll ship from store to home; many will do it for free.) Arrange for someone at home to receive the packages, so they aren’t left on your doorstep announcing to the neighborhood that you’re out of town. When you return home after your trip, you’ll have fun opening your packages and reliving the trip.
One More Obvious Tip
If you don’t have a smartphone, consider getting one now (and learning to use it). If your smartphone doesn’t have a GPS app, get one. If you don’t know how to download it, find someone in his 20s and hand him your phone. Some GPS programs lose satellite connections in remote areas, so an old-fashion paper map is a smart backup plan. And, please, don’t forget to pack your charger.
GPS systems offer added benefits of finding restaurants, gas stations, hotels and campgrounds along your routes if you’re the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of traveler.
Have a great summer and Ride Safe!
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®