I’m really hoping that my spring motorcycling touring trip happens. I’m doing everything I can to make sure it does.
Part of my preparation is making sure my newer riders are up for spending all day on a motorcycle. To test this I planned an all day 350 mile ride for us to go on.
Let’s say that I learned a lot, and I think they learned something too. (e.g. don’t ride with the MotoCynic, he’s crazy)
Of course it has been a long time since I took my first long motorcycle trip. Just about nine years ago, so maybe I forgot how much it takes out of you. My riding companions where wiped out after it.
This wasn’t helped by the fact that one of them had a minor get off, (decreasing radius left hand turn) and in hindsight I probably should have cut the trip short after this and headed back. He kept on insisting he was OK and I took him at face value. I should have gone with my stomach, luckily we didn’t have any further problems and we all made it home safely.
- For me as organizer to call it when a rider has a crash even a minor one, no matter what they say.
- I need to make sure to have an afternoon break planned to relax and get some caffeine.
- I need to make sure they know how many hours we’ll be riding so they get a good nights sleep and come properly prepared with water etc.
- Focus on getting an earlier start, the miles are always easier in the morning before lunch.
They learned a few things too.
- Get a good nights sleep. (they were both up late the night before)
- Don’t try and keep up with me on a good twisty section.
- All day comfort is a tricky thing. It’s worth looking into bicycle shorts and throttle helpers. Warm gloves and layers are good too.
It was a long day of riding and I could tell just past the halfway mark that they were lagging, sadly there is no way to just stop for the day when you still are a hundred miles from home. For me it was a 435 mile day, on the longer side but nothing I haven’t done before and wouldn’t do again. However I think the combination of my physical and mental experience with riding motorcycles made it much easier on me.