The classic motorcycle journey through the countryside and around the side of mountains, still has it’s usual allure. There’s something about heading into the hills, on your own with your machine, that just makes sense. Away from the busy 9 to 5 world, you get back to nature and become free once again. On a long distance journey, you’ll find out many things about yourself. With so many hours of riding to do, you’ll have time to ponder and think about your life. The autopilot in your brain kicks in and your thoughts whisk you away. That’s part of the attraction with motorcycle riding, because you just forget about the world and have quality time to yourself. A sharp wind or a sudden downpour can snap you out of your daydreams and make life miserable; especially while riding. Mother nature doesn’t have to disrupt your journey if you can plan ahead and get some things for your mile-munching trip.
Where you lay your hat
Long distances mean hours and hours of riding. On your path to each destination you have planned to visit, there could be a myriad of problems that stop you from meeting your schedule. This is why you shouldn’t rely on staying in a hotel or some kind of bed and breakfast at the end of every day. Although that would be the ideal scenario, you should have a small tent which you can erect quickly to get some sleep in. One of the most popular small portable tents is the Vango Omega 350. Enough room for two people, it’s a lightweight waterproof material with pegs and tools which all comes packed in a small bag. Made from Protex 70D flysheet, it’s a versatile lightweight sheet of synthetics material. Great for those on expeditions up hills and into forests, but easily able to be transported in a motorcycle rack box. When you’re too tired to carry on riding, stop and fix this tent up in mere minutes to sleep in or simply to get out of the rain.
Braving the cold
If there’s one apparent disadvantage to riding a motorcycle it’s the fact that you are exposed to the elements. So, keeping warm is in itself a tough task to accomplish. Wearing multiple layers does keep you warm, but can limit your movement. The last thing you want is a restriction of your range of movement while riding. Buy some quality motorcycle clothing that has heated panels inside such as Keis X10 heated body warmer. You simply plug the warmer into your bike while riding and using the electricity from the bike’s battery the electrical panels inside warm up. In all there are 3 panels, 2 over your chest to keep your vital organs warm and 1 at your lower back to keep your kidneys and lumbar spine nice and cosy. If you’re heading into a mountainous region where snow and ice are prevalent, this is a great lightweight solution to keep your body warm.
The simple things
Riding for hours on end will make you thirsty. Instead of having to stop whenever you want a drink, you can where a hydration system on your back. Acting much like a small backpack, you can store many litres of water in the internal pouches. A plastic tube is fitted to the pouch and at the opposite end is a small suction tip. Wrapping the tube around your motorcycle suit and placing it underneath the rear of your helmet, you can have a drink of water any time you need it. The tip is not intrusive, even though it’s just a few millimeters away from your mouth and chin. Carry on riding while having a hydrating drink to keep you cool while riding for many hours.
Dried and sugary foods
Dried raisins, apricots, sultanas and berries are great sources of energy while on a long distance journey. A pack of dried fruits doesn’t take up a lot of room but is packed full of nutrients and fast burning energy. Take some nuts and chocolate bars with you to keep your calorie count in check also. It’s not often that you will stop to have a good lunch while travelling far, so rely on these creature comforts to satisfy your cravings and restore your energy levels.
The feeling of freedom you get while on your motorcycle cannot be replicated by a car. You’re open to the world and can feel the wind and sunshine. However, remember to keep yourself warm as winter months and rainy days can lower your body temperature quite a bit sometimes.