How often are you truly alone with your thoughts? In today’s world of constant social media dialogue and 24 hour news, having that type of mental quiet is rare, but heading out alone on two wheels gives you the opportunity to reclaim some headspace. A solo motorbike trip is an uniquely thrilling experience.
Everyone should experience travelling alone at least once in their lifetime. The prospect can be daunting, especially for a first-timer, but the rewards are so worth it. As with most things in life, preparation is the key to success. Taking a few simple steps ahead of setting out can put your mind at ease and help you to have a safe, comfortable journey so you can concentrate on the adventure ahead…
Heading out alone. Image licensed under Creative Commons.
Plan Your Route
Tempting as it can be to see where the wind blows you, setting out a route ahead of time is important for a number of reasons – first of all, safety. You should let at least one person know where you’re going and the route you plan to follow, especially if you’re wanting to have a digital detox as you travel.
Second, knowing a destination and a distance lets you pre-book accomodation at your stops. There’s nothing better at the end of a long day’s ride than knowing a comfy bed awaits. Once you have your route, you can use it to map out where to stay and book online to find the best located stops – so if you’re planning a tour of the Great Lakes you can book ahead at that hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois. This will also help you save money and plan a budget, rather than being held to ransom and trying to find a bed for the night.
Learn To Pack Light
Even with great luggage carriers for your motorbike, space will be at a premium. Maximise what you can carry with tail bags and tank bags, as well as panniers, and invest in a high quality, large capacity rucksack as well. Buying too cheaply here can be a false economy – you need something study that can stand up to some wear and tear. When packing, make a list so you don’t overpack. Choose light layers of clothing that can be adapted to all weathers – light cotton t-shirts, riding pants, a fleece etc – and choose disposable travel options for toiletries like wet wipes and sachets of shower gel. Don’t carry lots of changes of clothes- find a laundromat along the way instead.
Know Your Bike
Travelling long distances on two wheels, you need to know your bike inside out and be able to trust it. If it’s your own, it my be worth considering some pre-trip modifications for comfort. If you are renting a motorbike, do your research into what model best suits the demands of your route, and find one you can handle easily, especially if it’s your first solo road trip. Comfort is key as you want a smooth ride with the minimum of disruption.
With a little foresight and planning, you can have the most incredible adventure seeing the world on two wheels.