Taking to the highway on a road trip is something everyone should do at least once in their life. And taking to the highway on a motorcycle will even trump that. And upping that once more, is taking this trip solo.
Now riding solo doesn’t mean you’re not going throw caution to the wind, but safety is even more important when you are riding solo rather than with a group. Your less visible, so taking every step to insure your safe on your journey is the first step.
Now a day they make an app for everything…you know Apples saying, “there’s and app for that”, well, there truly is. There are apps to help you prepare your route and stay pretty much on anyone’s radar that you are leaving behind at home. These apps come complete with wind variation, precipitation prediction, accidents on the route and where the nearest gas station, and rest stops are.
Next there is making sure your bike is tooled up for the road. Tires good enough to get you back home or at least to your destination without having to be changed. Bike fully serviced and mechanically sound. Equipped for the type of weather you are riding in. Making sure you have tools on board so that you can fix most minor breakdowns on the road.
Gear your bike up to make sure your equipment or items going with you will be safe an secure during your ride. This may include saddle bags, adding of a rack and pillion, a swing bar bag. Other useful tools include a GPS unit, a USB outlet or both.
Your ready then to gear yourself up. Remember, if your going on the road, the weather is going to change, its inevitable and you can’t stop it. Being prepared for all weather conditions is a must. Raingear is going to happen folks…it doesn’t matter how much you hate it…your going to eventually hunker down and buy it…might as well do it sooner than later. Usually if its later, its cheap (bad quality), expensive stuff.
Raingear can come in one of three types of gear…Three season gear, waterproof leather, or just rain gear. Three season gear is just what it states, its typically good for all the seasons you ride your bike. Cool weather, hot weather and wet weather. Typically, three season gear is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. You can tell if your gear is truly waterproof because it will have a flap that goes over your zipper making water impermeable to it. If you have a naked zipper, you do not have a waterproof jacket and you will get wet. And then rain gear is just that…its gear made to go on over the gear you are already sporting.
So you have the basics…and you are ready to ride on you solo trip. Don’t forget the basics of travel, make sure you have all your passports, id, insurance and proof of registration with you at all times. Make sure you have locks to safely lock your bike and helmet. And for extra security, a video camera.
Riding your first solo trip is going to be great, and at times lonely, but great none the less. This is a time you will learn what you can handle and what you can’t. This might also be a time to learn about what type of rider you truly are…traveler, weekend warrior, commuter, sport adventurer, cruiser, or enduro. It will also help you determine if your bike is fitted to you if not already.
If your riding for duration, make sure you stop for bathroom breaks and water. Hydration on a bike is one of the most important things. Stay away from caffeine, as it will make you have to go more, and because you need to stay hydrated, its already and issue, especially if your riding a bike that has a little bit more vibration than the next. Protein, its important! Nuts, some salt, you will lose a lot riding, you need to refurbish your supply, beef jerky, dried fruits, trail mix, granola bars. Try to stay away from big meals…the smaller the meals are when your riding a bike, the better all over you will feel. Eat more often if you have to…but heavy food will slow you down, make you sluggish and you will feel tired before you should.
Most important of all of this, enjoy your trip. Stop often to take in the beauty of the ride. Take pictures, you want to have more than just a memory you can’t touch. Take your time, don’t rush it. Watch the people around you, the city life, the country scape, the road set before you. Take in what gifts this land that your traveling, has placed before you. And remember, this is why we ride.
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