10 tips for going the distance
MCN’s #ride5000miles members share top secrets to destroying big distances.
1. You don’t need a sat-nav
Just use your iPhone or Android in a case. Use the CoPilot app – it’s customised for motorcycles. I’ve never had a problem in 10,000miles of trips. Nicholas Gibbs
2. The week before you leave
Load your bike up as you intend to tour and go for a test ride. Then set your suspension – even if you have a posh bike with auto or press-button settings. It will make your ride a lot easier if you have distributed the weight and suspension correctly. John Ireland
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3. Sticker to the right side
If you’re worried about riding on the wrong side of the road. Put a small sticker on the bottom right hand side of your visor (view looking out of your helmet) then when you put your visor down or look at your instruments, you remember to ride on the right. If you can’t remember what the sticker is for, should you really be riding the bike.
4. Know your own limits
Be realistic with your daily mileages. Remember 200 miles of motorway or A roads is easy, but 200 miles though Alpine passes will be hard and constitutes a long day. Ian Speight
5. Get your preparation right
Is it worth servicing your bike before a big trip? Look at things like brake pads, chain and sprockets and tyres. It’s amazing how many people wheel out their bikes the week before a trip and realise they need loads of things doing. If you’re off to remote parts can you use Google Maps to find petrol points. It’s also worth carrying a syphon tube between a group just in case you need an emergency top-up. Jon Ashley
6. Get bike-fit
If you’ve never done any big distance riding before, spend a couple of months going on longer and longer rides to get used to the time in the saddle. There’s only one thing worse than getting to your destination in pain, and that’s the realisation that you’ve got to do it all over again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next... Geoff Blackburn
7. Keep your blood sugar level high
All the bike preparation in the world is wasted if your blood sugar level crashes. I carry an emergency bar of chocolate and some fizzy pop if I’m doing a long run. If I haven’t got time for breakfast I’ll grab one of those chocolate fudge brownie bars from a petrol station – loads of carbs and sugar in them. You can eat healthily at home once you’re trip’s over. Alan Storey
8. Never forget the important things
Always take with you; a sense of adventure, a credit card and a sense of humour – for when the first two let you down!
9. Cycle shorts will save your backside
I wear padded cycle shorts under my kit for extra comfort. It works a treat – even on mega trips. Go on, try it!
10. Watch where youre going
As the great philosopher Ferris Bueller said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It’s easy to chase the miles and get fixated on getting to the next place. Chill, take a look around. Talk to folk. You’ll enjoy the trip a lot more if you do.
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