If you’re mad about cycles, you might be wanting to get on two wheels as much as you can… but when you’re facing a long haul trip there are many things you might need to take into consideration.
I have done a few trips on motorcycles, and they’re not like your Sunday ride, they’re way more fun, dangerous, tiring and demanding.
90% of the things you pretend to take with you, you do not need. From what you need, you can really call a must have half of them, that’s what you should take, understand?
Only those who have taken extra luggage do, so you’ll learn it the hard way probably.
Rain, extreme heat and even snow can play an essential role. Get the proper gear for the kind of weather you might encounter, which is basically any type of weather. I normally dressed up for the slide, not for the ride, and I don’t really care about what I’ll find out there.
I am next to a lake in the French Alps, from my Ducati ride to Switzerland a month ago. I was so bloody hot I had to stop and swim in my underpants. You have to drink regularly and don’t forget snacks between major meals. You don’t want to faint when riding.
After three or four days riding non stop, you get so tired you really need to care about it. You cannot pretend it doesn’t affect you no matter how much you love riding. I have a problem, I get used to this. When touring around Spain in a six day nightmare on my old Kawasaki Vulcan 500, I couldn’t even feel my limbs, but just wanted to go on riding.
You lose the sensation of feeling tired, and that’s the very best moment to take a nap. We need to refresh ourselves, and I’ve got that problem. When I stop, lay down on the grass and see the clouds above, I really get better for the ride.
How you handle accumulative tiredness, luggage and weather have a lot to do with your physical condition. You don’t have to be as fit as a gym instructor, but you must have a certain fitness level. It varies according to the bike you’re riding, as some rides are more physically demanding, but don’t forget to work out if you’re a biker, it can save your life.
For many of us, money talks. Travelling on motorcycles is an expensive hobby as you’ll be eating, sleeping and doing all kinds of stuff around. With the fuel on top it can get really tricky for a short budget.
You can always save some money by avoiding accelerating or competing against other motorists, so you get a more efficient mileage.
Don’t go to restaurants, take your camping stuff and get food from supermarkets and eat it outside. It can get really beautiful to stop and get a salad at a mountain slope in a solitary road.
Sleep out, not in… the quintessential of motorcycling is camping, or even sleeping next to your bike anywhere, why do you think cool choppers always carry a blanket rolled and tied to handlebars?
As you’re riding, you can forget about spirits and alcohol consumption of a while. Take a little bottle of Jack Daniels and get a drink before you go to bed.
Never forget the benefits of not taking a navigator and get lost anywhere in this vast world. I’ve got lost so many times I kinda think of when will I get lost every time I travel on a bike, as I know I will. I sometimes carry my navigator, but only if I really have to get to a place on a certain time.
But I’d rather get lost a million times than getting distracted looking a that bloody screen and not at the road! When I went to Switzerland, the bike I rode up had a navigator, but not the one I brought back, so I had to improvise.
I didn’t even have a single problem, I confused one road, but I managed to do well asking a kind lady who works in the toll road with my fantastic French!