Part 3 offers ideas and preparations for that trip you’ve planned. Since the previous post – Part 2 – I’ve come across another reference for planning; Butler Maps is similar to Destination Highways, but in map form only. What they do offer is “Road” maps and “Back Country” maps of the US.
Once you’ve planned to ride, Other questions to ask are;
- Am I doing a loop or staying in one location?
- Am I camping, Hotel or renting a temporary accommodation – house or condo?
- How long am I going?
- What time of year is it and what geographical regions am I riding?
This last one is important when considering weather and temperature. Check forecasts a few days prior to leaving.
I recently rode to Bend, OR in mid September. The days were sunny and mid-high 20’s, but the morning were around 5 degrees C. In fact the morning we left it was +1. Regular riding gear didn’t cut it for most of us.
Answering these questions will determine a few things to make the trip that much more enjoyable. What do you need to bring vs. what do you want to bring. How much distance will you travel on any given day. Do you and your bike have the requirements to make the trip** (see page bottom).
Adding a few bits of extra kit can help. Rain gear packs small and goes a long way to keeping you, not just dry, but warm. A thick pair of gloves are easy to bring. Electrically heated things like grips, vest or gloves are amazing.
Staying in one spot can also reduce the amount of stuff you need to bring along. With the addition of knowing you’ll be going home (your temporary accommodations) at the end of the day.
All these along with a little bit of extra preparation make for a wonderful trip.
Below: Great friends, a nice location and motorcycles made for a fun trip. Bend, OR.
** Your requirements: Are you physically in shape for the type of ride you’re doing? Injuries, being tired or other health issues can make for a hard ride. Be healthy and alert for the ride. A little bit of physical training before and during can give you more saddle stamina.
Bike requirements: Does it need any service? Will your tires do the distance? When was your last oil & filter change? Brakes? The list can go on.
Have it checked a month or so in advance, especially if you’re not sure. Tell your shop that you are planning a trip, they can make recommendations. Don’t wait till the day or even week before a long trip. It may ruin your vacation.