It’s that time of the year again, you may feel as though your bike has been locked away, hibernating in your garage for far too long now, but finally it’s time to reunite with your beloved friend and take that long ride you’ve spent the best part of the year waiting for!
Before you set off on your journey there are a number of things you need to consider in order to prepare yourself for the adventure ahead. So we have put together a few tips that we hope you will find useful for your long distance rides this summer.
Plan your journey
It may sound obvious but you want to make sure you visit the places that interest you, so get out your map and mark the roads you want to take. If you have a GPS, even better! This will hopefully prevent you from getting too lost (although this is all part of the fun). But remember, don’t over plan, be flexible with your route – you may stumble across a town you have always wanted to visit, in which case go for it, that’s the beauty of exploring!
Record your trip
You’ll want to remember this journey for as long as you possibly can. So get yourself a smartphone and make sure you take plenty of photos and videos, take note off all the places you have visited; you could even write a blog throughout the duration of your trip.
Firstly, is the bike right for your journey? Does the bike suit the roads and route you are planning on taking? Touring, adventure and sport motorcycles are usually the preferred types of bike to take on a long adventure, offering comfort, room for luggage plus an additional passenger if need be.
Make sure you inspect your bike before you set off, are the tyres properly inflated? Check your lights, are they all working? Check the engine oil and brake fluids, bike stand and chassis.
Don’t ride on a full stomach
If you eat a heavy meal before setting off on a long journey you can start to feel sluggish and drowsy as your stomach needs energy for digestion. The key is to have something light like fruit or a sandwich before leaving. So don’t be too tempted to overload yourself with high carb foods that will leave you feeling bloated and tired. You can look forward to that well-earned pub grub with the rest of the gang when you arrive at your B&B at the end of the day.
Keep cool and hydrated
Warmth and comfort can also cause drowsiness. Of course it is important to be comfortable on your bike but more in the terms of maintaining good posture, checking the position of your feet on the foot peg placements and being able to stretch your legs and back to get your blood moving. It’s not ideal to be feeling too warm on your bike so make sure you keep cool, perhaps by wearing a damp neck warmer – the blood vessels in your neck are close to the surface of your skin, a cooling device in this area will cool the blood and eventually the rest of your body – replenish this water every now and then.
Also, make sure you drink plenty of water, staying hydrated is extremely important, ensuring you stay alert and sharp on those long journeys.
Never ride tired
You want to make to most of the journey that you have put so much time and effort into planning so what would be worse than riding it tired!? You need to be on top form! So make sure you are well rested before you set off and full of the right nutrition to give you as much energy as possible. And remember – if you are riding in a group then make sure you look out for one another.
Don’t up your caffeine intake
You may start to feel yourself getting tired, sluggish and drowsy and however appealing a large mug of coffee may seem, try to resist! Yes it’s okay to have a couple of take away cups full of your favourite caffeine beverage to give you a little boost of energy, but you will soon be brought back down. So make sure you’re not relying on the stuff to get you through the day. Water is always the best option!
Oh, and of course don’t forget you have the right motorbike insurance to suit you.
Summer is the perfect and most popular season for bikers to get out on the road, explore and make memories; so just remember to prepare yourself for your journey, get out there and have fun. We’ve barely scratched the surface with this one… what preparations do you find are a necessity before setting off on your road trips? We want to know!