Home Inspector Bob Corsini thinks there is something romantic about the idea of taking a trip across the country by motorcycle. If zooming along new streets, alone with your bike and your thoughts, sounds like something you’d like to try, consider these tips before heading out.
Match Interests With Abilities: Start by making a list of places to go and things to do on your ride. Look it over and see what you can realistically accomplish. If your itinerary has you riding through terrain or weather patterns that you’re not used to, it’s best to skip those places until you’ve had experience with similar conditions.
Plan Your Budget: Motorcycle trips have the potential to generate more unexpected expenses than pre-booked vacations. As you plot your course, check out hotels, eateries and gas prices along the way. Services like Google Maps and Gas Buddy can help you determine basic costs. Always stash away extra money in case of emergencies.
Be Safe: Emergencies are much less likely to happen if you wear the right gear and bring the right accessories on your trip. Motorcycle enthusiasts differ on which gear is the “best,” but you can find suggestions on many riding and travel websites to help in creating your packing list.
Limit Your Miles Per Day: It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of covering as much ground as possible every day of your ride, but you need to be realistic about how many miles you put in at once. Not pushing yourself to ride too long of a distance in any one day gives you a chance to take it easy and enjoy the sights. Plan for stops, talk to people, make new friends and focus on the ride as an experience rather than a race.
Know When to Relax: You don’t have to ride every single day of your trip. If there’s a special location along the way that you want to take time to explore, do it. Rest a while and recharge in a beautiful wooded area or get excited about a city you’ve never seen. Planning a day or two of time to have fun will make the trip that much more enjoyable.
Know Where (and What) to Eat: One of the worst things you can do when embarking on any kind of trip that requires endurance is to eat bad food. Chain restaurants, especially fast food chains, offer little more than empty calories. Stick with small establishments where the quality and food selection is likely better. If you’ll be riding for a long time without a stop, consider packing nutrient-dense snacks such as fruit and nut bars.
Consider Roadside Assistance: As with your car, it’s a good idea to have some kind of roadside assistance plan for your motorcycle. Nobody expects to need help when on a cross-country trip, but the reality is that you never know what might happen. Consider signing up for a service before traveling a long distance, especially if it will be your first long motorcycle trip.