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Old 11-16-2013, 05:44 AM   #1
Mastery OP
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Ten Tips for the Journey

I shared the following ten tips with somebody in private messaging a while back, and just found it in my Sent folder. Thought it would be beneficial, or at least bring about a good topic of discussion, among the inmates.

TEN TIPS FOR THE JOURNEY

1. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Don't forget to look around and appreciate what you are passing as you continue towards that end goal. Sometimes what we do not see when we are in a hurry would have been even better to view than what awaits us at the end.

2. On many journeys, you'll meet some very interesting random people. On one journey, I met a person who has become a very close friend of mine now for years. It started with a simple "hello" as I got off the bike to pump gas into the tank. Take a second to be nice to another person or to chat with an inquisitive soul; fate may reward you with a lifelong brother or sister.

3. Ride with a small notepad. You will eventually need it; whether to capture a name, phone number, or town name, you will want to remember something just hours later. Small flip notepads fit into any jacket pocket. Rite in Rain pads and pens allow you to take the notes in inclement weather conditions.

4. No matter what kind of hurry you are in, document the journey. Take a camera (video and/or still) with you and use it. Years from now, you are going to want to have physical reminders of your memories. Just do not forget to take a moment to actually capture something about your journey as you go. Throw a note on a pink piece of paper and affix to the corner of your windshield as a reminder. Document the journey. Start a blog (like I did in my signature below), write in a paper diary or a electronic journal on your computer. Memories get foggy over time, archive the adventure with pictures and words now.

5. Hydration is critical. Even when it's freezing outside, your body is losing precious water. Any time you stop for a rest or to get fuel, get at least a few swigs of liquids into you, and preferably a entire bottle. Did you know that around 90% of all headaches are caused due to being dehydrated? Tylenol and aspirin are great for headaches by the way, but the water you swig down with them sometimes is what really makes it go away. Back on track here...keep the body healthier by drinking plenty of fluids. Even on timed Ironbutt rides, it's OK to stop and get a drink and piss when needed.

If you can, install a water bottle holder on your bike. That way the Gatorade or freshly squeezed orange juice is never too far away. Get one of the water bottles with the one-handed openers on the lid. Reach and drink only when safe to do so of course; keep the alcohol away from said container.

6. Eating is important too. One of the best ways to fight off fatigue is to down an energy bar, or something with lots of carbs or sugar for a quick fix. Trail mix is an awesome energy booster, is very easily stored, and actually tastes great. Make it yourself and you can put in some caramel popcorn that no manufacturers seem to do.

7. SLEEP. Ever come close to falling asleep in your car while driving? It can easily happen on a bike too. You get fatigued and tired from your riding, the jacket your wear puts you at the perfect comfortable range of warmth, and the drone of the motorcycle exhaust becomes a beautiful hum in the middle of your brain. You suddenly realize you are going into a sharp curve at 55 MPH, and slam the bakes. If you make it out of the curve undamaged, it's time to get off the bike for a while and take a break and rejuvenate the body with some sleep.

Research studies show that even a fifteen minute cat nap can provide up to a 172% boost in performance after having completed the same activity for 7 hours. There's a reason why one of the foreign-owned factories I worked at many years ago had a mandated twenty minute quiet-time break period in the middle of our twelve hour shifts. They even advised people to take cat naps during the time. And it really worked to get you through the last part of your shift.

8. Get the right gear. Whether you are riding on a journey of a few hours, or a few months, find the appropriate gear to keep you safe, comfortable, and able to continue. Backpacking ultra-light gear is very expensive, but durable and space saving on a motorcycle trip. Find jackets, boots, gloves, helmet, and pants that will provide the necessary protections you will require.

9. If your body and spirit are willing, get out of the motels and camp off the bike. One of the best things I have discovered about motorcycle journeys is the easiness of camping out with nature. Bring mosquito repellent and bear spray depending on location. There's tons of portable cooking gear and methods, all easily packed onto a bike (see tip #8 above about backpacking gear). A decent tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag can provide many years of enjoyment; it costs quite a bit up front, but you get the money back quickly by not staying at that large chain hotel with the nasty continental breakfast. Eventually you will come out many dollars ahead, for you cheap riders like me.

10. Remember, it's about the journey. Elsewhere, millions of others are currently working, sleeping, or fighting with their kids over the fact they aren't doing their chores. Take lots of deep breaths, really smell that fresh country air for change, and listen to what that wind is telling you as it merges into your soul while you ride.

11. BONUS TIP - Take the road less traveled. When everybody goes left, go right. Find what the world offers around that curve over there that nobody else explores.

I purposefully did not give specific brand recommendations on equipment, due to the fact this should be documentation tips and not turn into a equipment debate (disclaimer: I mentioned Rite in Rain products since many people never heard of it).

If you have additional tips to share for those getting ready to take a journey, by all means feel free to do so.
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Mastery screwed with this post 11-16-2013 at 05:51 AM
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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A good post for riders.

Be open to adventure - new places and the different people you encounter.

If memory still serves, I've fallen asleep on a bike three times.
This is a very, very scary thing. There are different modes of sleep, of course, but to totally zone out is...well, scary. It's a real shock when you awaken.

This can happen when there is nothing spiking your interest - not from just being tired. My instances all occured on long intersate highways, and not caused by being fatigued.

It's about atitude when traveling. That rose...
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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Yes I'm guilty too of pushing too far and nodding off, riding all day then into the night did it to me. I won't let that happen again though and learned from my mistake....... Never adventure ride at night!!

Nice write up.......thanks for sharing

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Old 11-21-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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Great stuff. ALL great ideas.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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sheez!

do not want to experience falling asleep on a bike! thanks for the heads up!
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:14 PM   #6
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very good post!

I will add one,

research the road before going! I took a trip in 2007 and it was great, it could had been perfect if I had done my research!! too many interstate miles, missing on some of some very cool roads.

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Old 11-23-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtDancer View Post
do not want to experience falling asleep on a bike! thanks for the heads up!
Just remember that there are different types of sleep. If you are riding, and suddenly recognize that you don't remember the last 20 miles, you need to get off the bike for a while.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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Great list!

I fell victim to dehydration out west this year by not heeding #5. What a miserable day that was. Staying hydrated can't be stressed enough!
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Old 12-26-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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trip tips

This is very good stuff regarding the people who are going to plan a trip. This information helps for those who are going to plan trip soon.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:57 PM   #11
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Good info

Excellent information.

I guess most of us have had that moment when we didn't remember the past 10 or so miles. Most definitely time to get off of the bike and snooze for a bit or just talk a walk. I found that energy drinks are no replacement for 20 minutes sleep.

And yes, keep a journal of your ride. Memories fade quickly. I have kept a journal of my rides for the past 20+ years. When I'm done riding and I've taken up residence in a wheelchair or some such thing, these journals will take me back to all of those rides.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:56 PM   #12
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Question

How feasible is it to actually use a tent every night? I want to do a trip, but I would not be able to afford accommodation as I'm young and broke. Anyone know anything about camping out every night in SE Asia?
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:07 AM   #13
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Camping in SE Asia. Hotels are dirt cheap in most SE Asian countries expecially Thailand. I do not camp when touring SEA. I have paid as little as $3.00 for a room. It is a basic room but better than a tent. Average nightly rates are approximately $15 I would say.

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Old 12-31-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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I'll add that there will always be things you do not know.
You don't have it all figured out and completely understood.
Know that going in.
And maybe that's why you want to go....

Regarding tenting: people have been living in them full-time ever since fabric was first woven. There's an adjustment moving to this type of shelter, but is easily done with the right attitude.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
I'll add that there will always be things you do not know.
You don't have it all figured out and completely understood.
Know that going in.
And maybe that's why you want to go....

Regarding tenting: people have been living in them full-time ever since fabric was first woven. There's an adjustment moving to this type of shelter, but is easily done with the right attitude.

Some folks get by with a small backpacking tent but I found that, esp on an extended tour, I need more room. So I carry a 4 person tent that is big enough for me and all my gear and that I can sit up and move around and even cook inside in. There have been a few times where I have been stuck in the tent for a few days due to heavy rains. Not uncomfortable in the 4 man tent but would be unbearable in a 2 man backpacking tent.
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