Advice For An Overnight Road Trip

There is something unique and special about going on an overnight motorcycle trip.  Most of the time when we plan to ride for the day, we can get what I call the “Sunday evening blues.” You know, that feeling you get knowing you have to work Monday?  Sunday evening is partly ruined just at the thought of the clock ticking away the final hours of your weekend.

The same can happen on a ride.  The last few miles as you ride home, your mind begins to think about the clock and things that need to be done that day.

An overnight trip can relieve us of that pressure.  Knowing all you need to do is ride the miles set before you can bring a liberating sense of freedom to the ride.

But, before you leave, here are a few things to think about when planning your first overnight ride.

Overnight Road Trip

Have your room reserved in advance.

Overnight trips normally imply many miles, and knowing where you are going to stop for the evening is essential.  It is one thing to ride 300 miles or more on a round trip and then after spending a good night’s sleep in your own bed, doing something different the next day. It is quite another to ride those same miles, only to do that again the next day.

A good night’s sleep in a decent room should not be left to chance.  An unrested body can make for a miserable ride home.

Also, make sure the place you are staying is motorcycle friendly.  If possible ask for a room on the first floor with your motorcycle parked close enough to be seen (and heard) from your hotel window.  Being able to check on your bike can bring quick peace of mind and a better night’s sleep.

Pack light.

An overnight trip is a chance to unplug and get down to the bare essentials.  My advice is to pack this way as well.  Bring only what you absolutely need.  The point is about the ride, not really the destination.  Try to plan that evening’s activities in places where you don’t need to wear nicer clothes. Sure, you can get a lot into saddle bags these days, but why not, for once, try to remove as many “trappings of convenience” as possible?  I have even gone as far as wearing t-shirts, underwear, and socks that can be discarded in the room.

A good rule of thumb, if it doesn’t fit in a small barrel bag, don’t bring it.

Now, that being said, having a complete extra change of clothes can be a lifesaver if you run into foul weather.  There are few things worse than putting on damp clothing when you start your next day’s ride.  So even if the weather calls for sunny skies, prepare for the worst.

But again, keep it light.

Plan for a breakdown

Chances are you will be going someplace you haven’t been before.  That’s half the fun of escaping on the motorcycle.  However, if something were to happen to your motorcycle along the way or at your destination, having the phone number of a local bike shop can bring much-needed peace of mind.  I would even recommend calling the shop before the trip, introducing yourself and making sure they are familiar with your bike.  Ask if they can tow bikes, or at least, give a recommendation for who to call should the need arise.

In my next blog, I will be sharing some experiences from one of my own overnight trips.

Until then; remember, ride safe, ride smart, and have fun!

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