The best part of the new year for many of us is that time when winter is in our rearview mirror and the riding season is in full view.
We’ve been waiting for this for months, getting our bikes prepped, gear freshened up, and planned routes.
At the first available opportunity, it’ll be time to pack up our things and head out on that adventure touring ride you’ve been dying to do.
Before heading off on that trip, there’s one more thing to prep: You.
You might have been off of a motorcycle for a while. Maybe you’ve gone and pursued other hobbies during the winter. Are you mentally and physically ready for an adventure touring ride?
Let’s get our minds right and our bodies ready for what’s to come. Here are some tips to remember.
1. Eat Right
It’s surprising how much better your body responds when you put proper nutrients inside of it. We’re not saying to completely revamp your diet, but be mindful of what you eat because you might need proper nutrition to sustain yourself at times during your ride.
And when the body is feeling good, the mind is sure to follow. That’s important considering the task at hand.
2. Don’t Forget To Hydrate
It’s another obvious one, but sometimes people forget. Dehydration is no joke, and it can be especially scary when it creeps up on you. If you think you’re drinking enough fluids, it’s never a bad idea to drink more. Dehydration can slowly wear you out and cause your focus to fade.
Let it get really bad, and dehydration can cause some serious damage to your body – assuming you somehow haven’t crashed the motorcycle already. Drink, drink, and drink some more.
No, we’re not your doctor, but generally, being in good physical health will do wonders on a motorcycle. You probably already know that, but just in case some of you are completely sedentary during the winter months, this is your reminder to get your body moving again.
Granted, adventure touring isn’t that physically demanding, but should you find yourself getting into more of an adventure than you bargained for (an unexpected off-road detour, perhaps?), you’ll be glad to have the strength, energy, and stamina to focus and handle the motorcycle.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Assuming your mind and body are healthy and ready, let’s turn to practical advice. Unless circumnavigating the globe is a routine for you, odds are, tackling a super long adventure touring ride is not a good idea.
Maybe you’re rusty. Maybe the bike has an unforeseen mechanical issue. Either way, it’s best to go on a tune-up ride to make sure both bike and rider are ready. Be honest with what you and/or your machine can do, and just do that.
Even if you’re already on your ride, changing goals mid-way is fine. Conditions change. Things happen. Set a new goal and work towards that.
5. Plan, But Not Too Much
It’s always a good idea to have a general route in mind and have the basic essentials you’ll need like food, tools, and shelter (if you’re planning camping). But sometimes, the best rides are the ones you didn’t expect to take.
Have a general idea in mind, then let the road and the journey take you where it will. Maybe you’ll meet new friends along the way who have a better route mapped out. Maybe you find a new trail worth exploring. The point is to be flexible – but also know your limits.
6. Enjoy It!
Stop worrying about all the things you might have forgotten or all the things that could go wrong. Once the wheels start turning, it’s time to enjoy the scenery, welcome the riding and moto camping season back in, and rediscover the fun that comes with adventure touring.
Sure something could go wrong, but you have to roll with the punches, expect the unexpected, stay flexible, and be ready to deal with surprises or obstacles as they happen. Any experienced adventure traveler will tell you: That’s the fun of it all!
Adventure touring is some of the most fun on two wheels. But it does require an ounce of preparation for both the body and mind.
Once you put yourself physically in the right place, the moral of this story is to be flexible, smart, and just enjoy the moment. Happy travels!
Shots from Instagram:
- lead photo: @OnHerBike
- In-Text Photo: @Sleipnir_ADV