Long distance riding is a wonderful way of finding yourself in the middle of nowhere, a way of enjoying the whole trip and not just the destination, or an adventure out in the wild. But do we know how to do it?
1: Packing and Unpacking
Packing your stuff is essential, but bear in mind you also have to unpack it nearly every night, if not even more often than that. It’s not the same to pack your stuff at home or in the middle of the Himalayas, so take only what you need.
Use appropriate bags, saddle bags or whatever you use, the last thing you want is to lose part of it while riding, which can cause an accident.
Leave extra space, not just because you might collect new stuff during the trip, but because you might not organise your stuff as well as you did at home and things tend to use more space after a couple of days on the road.
Whatever it is you need more often, like your wallet, a towel or toilet paper, put it in the most accessible space.
2: Ask the locals and other riders
They know more of the area than any tour guide, tourist or traveller, which is obvious. But most importantly, locals can tell you the secret things that would not appear in a guide or you would not expect.
Things like where to find the proper and cheap food in that place Pilot Guides does not have a clue about,
You can also get to know about seasonal festivals or recent works being carried out in roads.
And it is needless to say that other riders are the only ones who would help you at difficult moments or can let you know what you’ll find following the route. Sometimes other riders will be the only ones to understand your concern about something.
Don’t waste that such knowledge!
3: Ride with your brain, not with your body
When it comes to a real long distance, it is not your muscles or your physical strength which will keep you riding, everything is in your mind.
The only true way of keep on riding for a long distance despite the pains, fatigue and the monotonous road is to have the right mental state.
It is only the strongest mind who makes it happen, as your body can actually resist it, but it might be harder if you are not determined.
I have seen very fit people in need of a desperate stop to stretch their legs, and not so fit people who can actually go on as long as the tank allows.
Every time I am riding a long distance I feel happy, and I rely on the tank’s capacity for stops. When it comes to refill it’s also time to stretch limbs, go to the loo and get some fresh air.
While on the bike, singing inside your helmet is a great thing to do and it will keep you entertained. The good thing is that nobody’s listening!
4: Some mechanics won’t hurt
There was a time in which a motorcycle rider was a synonym of a mechanic, but we’ve forgotten about it.
Modern day motorcycles have so much technology that only experts with appropriate tools and the right computer can dare to repair a broken motorbike. However; there are things we can still do ourselves.
Keep close some tools as you might need to work our mirrors, wheels, clutch cable or something that may break and we have the capacity of repairing. You’d be amazed to know how much money you can save once you’ve done it yourself.
Get your hands dirty!
A certain degree of preparation is compulsory when travelling far, but try not to get to much to it and improvise a little. Much of the fun will come with it.
Following a map and making some stops is one thing, and getting obsessed with that would be another totally different experience.
The last thing you want to do is getting stressed with what was going to be something fun.
Improvising is at very core of travelling, especially on a motorbike, as you never know what to expect or what you’ll find.
Improvising funny things will make you flexible enough to face the difficulties to come on your road.
A motorcycle traveller is much a philosopher, a mechanic, an adventurer, or a daredevil as much as a human being with fears and phobias. The motorbike can exaggerate any feeling, so get ready for a whole lot of yourself inside your helmet.