I had been riding for several years and the time had finally come for me to take my first overnight road trip!
Up until that point I had ridden on day trips, sometimes up to 300 miles or so. We would ride in a group ranging from a dozen to somewhere up to forty bikes, hit some place for lunch after riding all morning and then circle back.
But this trip would be different. This time there would be three solid days of riding to the Outerbanks of North Carolina and back.
Overall it was an amazing trip! I would encourage anyone to give this a try at least once.
What attracts most of us to riding is the freedom we experience. An overnight trip enhances that feeling.
See, on a day trip, you know you are headed home. Part of the ride is spoiled by that thought. You start wanting the last part to be over with because you “have things to do” when you get home.
But when you know that this day all you are doing is riding to your first destination, a sense of freedom takes over. The clock doesn’t matter; you’ll get there when you get there. You know the next day will be the same. You loosen up and relax.
That is how this trip was for me, but I did learn a few valuable lessons I want to pass on.
I made the mistake of wearing a helmet I had only ridden with a few times. At that time I was wearing a half helmet and this one was too loose. The helmet would catch wind and start to push back. I finally had three bandanas wrapped around my head to try to keep it snug!
So two lessons there, on a long trip only take equipment you know fits well. This is not the time to test something new. And also, bandanas can be a great asset. They store easily and can also be used to clean lenses, dipped in water and worn around your neck they can cool you off, or as you have seen here, they can make a loose helmet fit better!
Know the next meeting point so you can move on
Part of our journey the second day of this ride consisted of sitting on a ferry for a few hours. It was scenic and peaceful, but when the ferry ride was over, I was ready to hit the road. However, twenty minutes later we stopped for lunch, then after about forty-five minutes we stopped again, for a few hours, while some of the group toured some lighthouses.
For some of us this was a little frustrating. We wanted to RIDE, not sit. The longer our companions took to return from sightseeing, the more frustrated we got.
Two lessons here: First, when the group breaks up, discuss how long you are going to stay there. Second, on most trips you have a road captain, this is the person who leads the ride. In this case we should have chosen a temporary road captain to take those who wanted to ride more to the next stopping place. This would have allowed those who wanted to take their time at the lighthouse to do so without forcing the others to wait.
My last piece of advice would be this, on an overnight ride, leave as much of the world as you can behind you . Pack light, unplug by leaving computers and tablets behind, and enjoy the ride!
My next blog will be on riding your own ride, becoming the kind of motorcyclist you are meant to be.
Until then; remember, ride safe, ride smart, and have fun!
David Ianetta was born and raised in Boston, MA. After moving around in his younger years, he now lives in North Carolina. David has a passion for riding motorcycles,often exploring the scenic back roads of NC with is wife, Rika, who rides her own along side him.
David also writes a Daily Blog for Freedom Biker Church called, “Daily Rock“ located at www.freedombikerchurch.com and is a contributing writer for Southeastern Rider magazine.