Motorcycle Road Tripping - 1st long ride

Went on my first long ride a week ago. Rode from Columbus, OH to Burnside , KY in a whirlwind only stopping for gas, running hot and fast. Stayed in the lake cumberland area for a week and then returned. The return was slow and measured and much more enjoyable.

A couple of quick observations. While motorcycles are fast, they aren’t really for rushing. Go fast, be fast, but also go slow and slow down. Running as fast as traffic and not really getting any curves or speed changes in, wore me out really quickly.

Interstates, even curvy toll roads in West Virginia for cars, are all just giant flat runs for bikes. I knew this from commuting and riding around, but in your 3rd hour of not really turning if you aren’t on an exit ramp, your mind craves some variety.

Windshields on bikes look and feel strange to me for commuting, but I can see where not having to hold yourself up against 80 mile an hour winds is appealing, in the 4th hour of running hard. Also, I appreciate the aesthetic of the stereotypical harley with it’s front fairing now. It’s not for me, but I get it much more than I did. Also, having speakers somewhere that can play music would be nice. To this end I’m looking into bluetooth helmet systems for future riding.

If you are planning a motorcycle trip. Plan it as if you could only go 90% of the speed limit, or pad the time by like 20%. When you get gas, stay there for a few minutes, take in the stop and remember why not being trapped in a bubble is what you ride for in the first place. That will give you a chance to refuel, and stretch a bit.

That is the real difference from the trip down to the trip back. When I stopped I stayed stopped for a little bit. I drank a lot more water. And I took what google claims to be a 5 hour trip, in closer to 7. It’s about the same planning as with kids that need to stop and use the bathroom or just walk a bit. The trip back restored my faith that I like riding enough to ride distance. I wouldn’t have ridden the day after I got down to Kentucky if you’d have paid me. But I rode the day after getting back and am planning on riding again this weekend.

The moral of this story; Pace and the climb are as important as the summit, if not more so.


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