Guest article by Julie Adams – theridersmarket.com
When you first get your motorcycle, the feeling of freedom is overwhelming. You’re now part of a tight-knit group of people who show love even if you’re a stranger.
When you’re riding down any road and you come across another biker, the “wave” is something you have likely come to know and love.
If you have the time, you’ve probably considered taking a road trip on your motorcycle, as have all of us.
Motorcycle touring can be incredibly tempting, but it can go one of two ways. It can either be a life-changing incredible trip, or an uncomfortable, unorganized mess.
Here are a few tips for your first motorcycle tour.
1. Know Where You’re Going
Now, you don’t have to plan out every turn of the trip, but you should have a general idea of where you want to end up, and how you want to get there. It might be a worthwhile investment to get a waterproof motorcycle GPS to take along with you if you’re going out of province.
Getting lost a long way from home is not a pleasant experience, so having a good route planned that leaves room for a little adventure is the best way to stay on track, but leave room to explore.
2. Stop For Food At Weird Times
This is one of those things that I have learned from experience. When you’re riding (even in the most beautiful locations!), long trips can start to feel overwhelming. The last thing you want is to stop for food, only to find you’ve hit the breakfast or lunch rush.
Everyone is going to be stopping for breakfast around 8-9, so plan on going either before or after those hours. Same with lunch or dinner. You can check Google Maps for the restaurants you want to stop at and see when they are generally the least busy. Make sure to stop during those times.
3. Be Prepared, But Don’t Overpack
Only bring the items that you know you’ll need. It is very easy to fall into the “oh I MIGHT, need this, let me bring it” then you end up with saddlebags full to bursting with a bunch of things you don’t ever touch.
Be realistic about what you’re going to need for the trip and don’t overpack. On a motorcycle, you don’t have as much space to bring things along with you to be sure everything has a purpose.
4. Plan For Bad Weather
Even if the forecast says it’ll be a beautiful sunny day, don’t forget to bring rain gear. Depending on where you go, the weather can be unpredictable. If you aren’t prepared to ride in the rain, you can lose hours of travel time which can throw off the schedule for your entire trip.
5. Leave Time For “Nothing”
Motorcycle touring is as much about the journey as it is the destination. If you’re taking a road trip, get comfortable with the idea of not having to have every second on the trip planned out. Leave yourself some time to take detours, to see local attractions in the area and to relax.
Remember — Have Fun!
Motorcycle touring is not like taking a road trip in your car. You’re closer to the road, which means you get to experience much more than you would inside the cage.
Remember to enjoy the journey, as well as the destination. Be prepared but don’t over plan, and focus on taking in the sights and sounds of your trip.