It’s one thing to ride a bike for daily commute, but going on a longer bike trip is another thing altogether. Plus it’s one of those things that most of us riders always dream of. The ones who’ve never had the chance to do that dream about it even more so. There is a decent amount of planning and preparation that goes into long distance bike trips. So is biking on your bucket list? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Know the route
Learn as much as you can about the route. More is less. The reason behind that is you shouldn’t have to rely on google maps or any such apps while riding. Reduce your reliance on your phone as much as possible. Purely because it’s a safe practice and a lot more convenient too. Also, research as much as possible about the road conditions. Know what you’re getting into, so you’re not met with any unpleasant surprises you’re not prepared for.
If you think about it, why would you want anything to interfere with the alone time you’re having with your bike? Imagine riding against the wind on the open road, without having to look at your phone. Sounds amazing, right? It really can be that way with just a little bit of planning. While you’re at it, also research about facilities like restaurants and fuel pumps along the way. Plan properly to make sure nothing interrupts the sanctity of your bike ride.
See also: Bangalore to Hampi Road Trip on Bike
Choose the right bike
Now, you have to make sure that you have the right bike for the occasion. The factors you have to consider are the distance, the road conditions and which bike can comfortably endure both those things. At the end of the day, you have to make sure that the bike you choose is comfortable enough for you to ride. But also think about the mileage and other important factors.
Get a complete checkup of your bike done
You should also assess the condition of your bike. If it’s not in perfect shape, get it serviced. From the horn to the engine and everything else in between, check if everything works properly. Be it the rearview mirror or any indicator, if something is broken or doesn’t work, fix it all beforehand. A good exercise would just be to get a complete servicing of your bike done from a reliable mechanic you know.
See also: Motorcycle Maintenance Tips
Keep your luggage light
Always pack light. That should be the motto for travelers in general. But it applies even more so for bikers. What you carry would depend on where you’re going. Just make sure that you don’t pack a lot more than the essentials. When it comes to toiletries and cosmetics, stick to tiny bottles, little tubes and sachets. You have to take care of the weight of your luggage. This can often cause problems on the roads but it can be avoided by packing light.
It’s good to invest in a proper bag that’s designed for motorbikes. There are motorcycle trunks, tank bags and saddlebags. Then there are other kinds of hard and soft bags in general. Do factor in the weather and if your bag is waterproof or not. You should also consider how much does just the bag weigh and how easily it can fit in your bike.
Wear essential riding gears
What you wear while riding on a long trip makes a huge difference in terms of safety. Beyond the basics like a helmet and gloves, make sure you’re also wearing a proper riding jacket. You can also consider riding pants, knee pads, ankle guards, body armour or biking boots. Wearing so many gears might make you feel uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.
There’s no doubt that you shouldn’t compromise on your safety. But comfort is equally important. So if wearing too many gears will affect your ability to ride properly, you could strategically avoid wearing few of them. The body armour and biking boots can definitely be optional. Rest of the things are definitely important.
See also: Essentials for Multi-Day Bike Trips
Documentations & Permits
Do a thorough research on any permit needed for a specific type of bike or any other special permit your journey would require in general. Apart from this, make sure all your other documents are in place. This includes your 2-wheeler license, Bike Insurance Policy, PUC Certificate, Bike Registration Certificate (RC Book) and any other proof of ownership. Do check if all these documents are updated too and carry all of this without fail.
Plan for the journey
For the journey itself, make sure you’re constantly hydrating yourself. This is really important, so carry a bottle of water with you. Keep taking timely breaks for refreshments and just to take care of your nutritional needs. You shouldn’t ride on an empty stomach but don’t have a very heavy meal either. Especially avoid really oily food and eating from places that don’t seem hygienic. Do your best to avoid health concerns on your trip.
It’s also vital that you carry a motorcycle toolkit with you. There’s no way to know how many mechanics you’ll find on the road. And it’s even harder to predict if or when you will need it. So it’s always good to be prepared and self-sufficient in this regard. You should also carry some basic medicines and a first aid kit. Keep this in your bag itself as a precautionary measure. Most importantly, fill your tank up with fuel before hitting the road.
See also: Delhi to Jaipur Bike Trip
Take care of your health
This includes both your physical and mental health. There’s no harm in going for a routine checkup just in general, if you haven’t done that in a long time. If you have any physical injuries, allow yourself to heal completely before going on the trip. Besides that, if you have any health conditions that can affect your ability to ride, please get that checked.
Your mental health is just as important. So don’t ride if there’s too much stress or negativity that’s bringing you down, as it can affect you while riding. If you have any mental health conditions, make sure you’re carrying your prescribed meds. And the most important thing is to make sure you get proper rest and sleep before the journey.
Take care of these things and there is very little to no chances of anything coming in between you and the vast road ahead. The beauty of those long rides and exploring a new place to the sound of the engine is incomparable. We often share a special connection with our bikes and the road. So let’s not allow anything to get in the way of that.