Your first bike trip to America has just been arranged or finalized! The excitement is so palpable we can almost feel it in Los Angeles. Here are our Top Ten Tips For Long Distance Rides in USA while we prepare your bike for pickup. You are about to board an unforgettable experience.
Top Ten Tips For Long Distance Rides in USA – Top Rated
1. Acclimating to a new motorcycle
Even the most experienced riders need time to adjust to the bike’s characteristics, which are different from what they usually ride. Even within the same brand and category of motorcycle, models can vary significantly in terms of power delivery, braking, and handling characteristics. Some people think that all Harleys ride the same, but while Milwaukee eight-engine bikes feel similar, each model differs in weight, a center of gravity, and ground clearance. When the motorcycle is heavily loaded with passengers and two-person luggage, these traits become more apparent.
2. Riding on the other side of the road and roundabouts
When riding on the right side of the road for the first time, many riders worry about how long it will take to get used to it. In our experience, most riders adjust to riding well in just a few hours and ride flawlessly in a few days. Any rider unsure of himself can always approach his tour guide and ask to accompany them for a while so they can practice. In America, circling is uncommon, and when you see it, it’s usually in a place where traffic is moving very slowly, like a town center.
3. Stop signs and Red Lights
Compared to the UK, Europe, and other parts of the world, the most significant difference you’ll notice when riding in the US is the few warning zones you see before a stop sign. The road often lacks painted lines or flashing lights to warn you when a stop sign is approaching. The same goes for stop lights, with the added problem that you must stop before the signal because they hang between junctions. When you stop at an actual traffic light, you often find yourself in the path of oncoming traffic.
Therefore, it is the rider’s responsibility to take special care of these distinctions.
4. Cars not looking for bikes
The majority of American drivers are mainly blind to bikers, even though the country has a long history of motorcycle use. It is not the case that they are blind to you. Some people see you but still don’t feel the need to give motorcyclists any extra space or take safety into account. Again, it’s your responsibility to ride more defensively, sharpen your reflexes, and anticipate hazards. Although it is not a given, many drivers will assist you when you are in a tour group due to the size and presence of the group. You can rest easy knowing that your tour leaders have extensive training to properly guide large groups of riders over many days and thousands of kilometers.
5. Don’t be distracted by gadgets
Full-dress touring bikes are equipped with unique features, including cruise control, audio and communication systems, adjustable suspension, traction and stability control, and navigation, all of which can enhance the rider’s experience. However, they can also be a distraction, the last thing you want while riding a bike. You move 88 feet per second at just 60 miles per hour.
When scrolling briefly through a menu, consider the risk you expose yourself and other riders around you to. We’ve all been tempted to adjust the GPS or check our phones while riding. But if you let technology distract you while you’re biking, please consider the implications for yourself and others.
Most US gas pumps require a US zip code to use a credit card, making it challenging to fill up. A pre-authorization for a specific dollar amount on your card must be obtained at a frequent gas station before you can start filling up to that limit. It can be tough for the first few days because you don’t know how much petrol you’ll need, so you’ll be allowed more than you use (which is fine because you’ll only be charged for what you pump.).
7. Climate variations
Everyone who rides a bicycle in America exclaims, “Wow, this country is big.” Additionally, if you travel long distances through varied terrain and changes in altitude, the climate will be very different. On certain days, you can wear a fleece in the morning and a T-shirt in the afternoon. It is essential to pack appropriately. When making a tour reservation, ask about the temperature differences you will experience and dress appropriately for the conditions. In another blog post, we talk about packing essentials.
For the safety of both you and your rider, it’s essential to stay properly hydrated while riding. If you start to feel thirsty while depending, you may already be dangerously dehydrated. It is crucial in summer and desert climates. Drink plenty of water before riding your bike in the morning, and bring a water bottle for yourself and your passenger.
Refill at lunchtime or add coconut water as a supplement. It consumes more than water but replaces lost electrolytes. And be sure to cover your skin because when you sweat to cool down, the sweat immediately evaporates on the exposed skin, making you sweat even more.
9. Filing a “Flight Plan” & Communication Best Practices
If you are on a guided tour, your tour guides will have the phone numbers of your loved ones in case an emergency arises, and they need to contact you. Additionally, they have first aid training and know how to deal with crises. Be sure to share a “flight plan” with your loved ones, letting them know where you’ll travel each day if you’re taking a self-drive trip or renting a car.
Outside of large population centers, cell service can be sparse, so it’s always a good idea to have someone at home monitor your progress. Motels almost always have Wi-Fi available, and if not, you can ask about possible nearby cafes or restaurants that might offer it.
10. Leave Room In Your Suitcases
Last but not least, you’ll probably want to bring back a variety of souvenirs from your trip. Make sure you have room for them in your luggage! Bringing used, disposable clothes that we throw away along the way is one of the strategies we have adopted over the years. Wear an old, tattered outfit for a day or two and throw it away because your suitcase will be empty when you reach your destination! You’ll have plenty of room for duty-free shopping, hats, shirts, and biking gear!
Top Ten Tips For Long Distance Rides in USA – Top List
|Top Ten Tips For Long Distance Rides in USA
|Acclimating to a new motorcycle
|Riding on the other side of the road and roundabouts
|Stop signs and Red Lights
|Cars not looking for bikes
|Don’t be distracted by gadgets
|Filing a “Flight Plan” & Communication Best Practices
|Leave Room In Your Suitcases