Sometime around late February or early March of every riding season, I start to think about what road trips I want to take this upcoming riding season. I always seem to try and plan my road trips around an event or rally like Sturgis, Daytona, or the J&P Cycle open house in Anamosa Ia. and I know other riders who plan a road trip the opposite way, they will plan with the intention of not being anywhere near an event or rally. either way, the lessons I learned from the motorcycle road trips I’ve taken can still be applied. So now on with the tips:
Tip #1 Don’t over pack
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten ready to take off for a road trip on the bike and end up taking something out of the saddle bag or the passenger seat bag because there’s no room for something essential. If you’re like me most places that you take a road trip to will have a Target, Walmart, Shopko or some kind of superstore. So there’s really no need to pack things that you could get at one of those types of stores.
Tip #2 Don’t throw away those old socks and underwear
When my wife and I first moved in together she noticed that I had multiple pairs of underwear that weren’t exactly in like new condition. She asked me why I still owned underwear that was passed it’s prime, I simply told her those of the underwear I bring when I go on road trips. I explained to her that I would “pack the old draws” and when I was one the road I would throw them away. Once I got home I would buy a new pack and then the rotation would continue. That would allow me to have extra room in my saddlebag bag on the way home.
Tip #3 Pack a paper map
Now, why would you need a paper map when you have a small computer with navigation in your pocket most of the time? Have you ever been in a small town that your carrier doesn’t have coverage in? I know I have and guess what your smartphone’s data service will be out as well. I always jump on Google Maps on my home computer and print out my route or throw a fold-able map in my saddle bag and I’ve had to use it more than once. In fact, I have been known to use the smartphone and the map together to get a better idea of where I am.
Tip #4 Bring a helmet
For the record, I’m not trying to be all preachy and tell you to always wear a helmet, truth be told I really wear mine. What I am saying is when you head out on a road trip the weather is always going to be a factor and I have been able to push through a bad storm or two because I had my full face helmet. Also, check the helmet laws in the states you plan on traveling through because the last thing you want is to get stuck with paying a fine for no helmet in a helmet state and the fine is more than an entry level helmet would have been.
Tip #5 Don’t over plan
You are on a motorcycle…It’s about the journey and the road, don’t over plan, enjoy yourself.
Do you have any tips that you want to share, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Ride or Die,
The V-Twin Blogger