Rovin’ ’Rauder’s Daytona Report - 3/7/01
Rovin’ ’Rauder Report
March 7, 2001
On The Road Home
Some Thoughts And Observations
I left this morning a put in 500 miles, which puts me In Fayetteville, NC, and half way home.
It is getting cool out, but there is little more about today to comment on.
I do want to comment on long distance riding. Craig tells me that many people hesitate to make long distance runs on their bikes, and that is the subject I want to take a few minutes to address.
I have the advantage of being crazy, so I don’t completely understand, but I’ll explain what it is like, and how to do it.
First, it is safer than riding about town. You may not believe it, but think. No one pulls out of a stop sign, a gas station, a school or driveway on an Interstate Highway. You have really only one concern, and it is when you are in the fast lane and you are about to pass a car in the slow lane. You must remember he is behind someone going slower than he is. This dope WILL pull into your lane without so much as a turn signal or even a decent look. This is because you are invisible. Today alone, I anticipated this same move TWICE! (This also applies to people entering your highway via an on ramp, and you are in the slow lane.)
Second, you won’t break down, or at least no more often than a car of similar condition will. And help is easier than you think. To me safe, join AMA. They have a plan just like AAA for assistance.
Third, if you plan it right, you won’t need anywhere near as much "stuff" as you think. OK and extra change of clothes is OK, but be realistic. Minimalist is best. There are always Kmart in a pinch. A months worth of whatnot is not needed for a weekend. If you find yourself saying "just in case" too much, take a van. Believe me, you look better on a bike with less makeup <G> especially you guys!
Forth, expensive packs, etc are not needed. I use a $10.00 heavy canvas duffle bag from The Sportsman’s guide. It is, if anything, too big. It has a carry handle and two side straps. I tie it down with the side straps.
I’ve had my laptop survive two trips to Sturgis, two trips to Asheville and one to Daytona wrapped in clothes.
Fifth, get a throttle lock. I’ve used the bicycle inner tube on both Bessy and Bess so far, but many people love the more professional ones.
Sixth, take a small towel, like 18" x 32". Fold it into about 9 x 32" and drape it over your seat. Move it now and then to change the pressure points on your butt. When you stop for gas, stretch your back.
Seventh, don’t ride too long, or too short. I prefer 8-10 hours. I can do 14-15, but it doesn’t make me a better man. It makes me more dangerous and makes the trip less enjoyable. You may have seen this in my posts, where my fatigue is obvious on long trips. I’m much more fun the first day, or after a 350-500 mile day than after a couple of 650 mile days in a row!
Last but not least, don’t forget your bike maintenance. Chains (lube em if you got em), tires (air/wear), oil level and change, daily inspections for anything wrong. Even take an oil filter and fix-a-flat to be sure on long, lonely rides.
Hotel reservations in advance if there is a chance of being booked out
Cell phone is a necessity, plus phone numbers on a list
Basic Tools ( often enough in bike’s tool kit)
Bike lock (disc type is smallest)
Rain gear (a boating store has them cheap, but no "booties". I simply waterproof my boots)
Spare batteries for stuff (one set only)
A hat, for sun and helmet hair (floppy or ball cap for packability)
Sunscreen (tiny bottle)
Ear plugs (insert favorite reasons here <G>)
Extra gloves for driver, in case of rain
If camping, be minimalist, small tent, etc. DON"T plan on cooking, it isn’t worth it unless you have the right small, light equipment.
JimG, Official Long Distance Lucky Bastard signing off
(But Marc Dupont is the Long Distance King of MIGdom)