When I get a day completely off – no errands, no commitments, no work – I want to take my bike out, and go for a long ride. I want to feel the wind in my hair (OK, realistically against my helmet) and hear that engine rumble alongside a long, open road. Sometimes, I like to just go where my gut takes me, but as the weather gets colder I like to be more prepared. That’s where RoadCaptain comes in – it helps me plan a perfect ride! (You can download the incredible app for yourself in a couple of weeks!) But, that’s not all I use - read below to find out what you need to make your ride the best ride of your life!
Where do I Start?
To have a successful long ride, check everything about your bike! Fill up the gas tank before to save time, and check that your tires have the correct amount of pressure or tread. If you need something fixed you can find local repair shops or motorcycle shops using the RoadCaptain App. Confused about if something is wrong and can’t make it to a shop before your ride? Post about it on the RoadCaptain discussion boards for real-time answers and advice from other users!
Where Am I Going?
While being spontaneous is great, I’m guilty of getting carried away on a ride and ending up so far away it takes me much too long to get back, and by the end I’m on the verge of misery. How do I avoid this? I use RoadCaptain to plan my routes! I can preview them before, and download them right to my phone, so they come with me. I always get to try somewhere new, and can even check out what other users have submitted. If I’m feeling adventurous or serene, I know I can use RoadCaptain to find the perfect route!
What if I Get Hungry?
A rumble on the road is great, but if it’s coming from your stomach it might take away some of the joy of your ride. There are 3 main ways to keep your energy up, stomach full, and spirits happy when riding:
First, pack some snacks and water!
Most motorcycles have storage compartments and cup holders, so utilize them! Pack some granola bars, fruits, or a sandwich. You want to bring food that you could potentially eat while driving if you absolutely had to – but STAY SAFE – or on a quick stop on the side of the road, so anything you can eat with just one hand in a couple of bites is ideal. Try to avoid snacks like chips that come in bags, because you’ll need two hands to eat them and more time, if you are planning on only making quick stops. Water bottles with a sports top are ideal, because you can squeeze them into your mouth without having to use a second hand to un-twist the top.
Schedule your stops!
If you want to get the most out of your ride, stop at unpopular times. You can use RoadCaptain to check out what restaurants are on your route, and before you go check their open times. Try to stop by when they are less-busy – about an hour before rush times - so you can get served faster. Breakfast rushes tend to be around 7-9AM, so stop by before 7AM or after 9AM, lunch rushes tend to range from 11-2PM, so stop by around 10AM or 3PM, and dinner rushes from 5-8PM, so try to get an early dinner at 4PM, or a later one after 8/9PM on weekends. Or, try stopping by fast-food or fast-casual restaurants, so you can recharge without losing precious time.
- Plan A Pic-Nic!
If you planned your route in advanced, you can pick a couple places to stop along the way – and preview them using RoadCaptain – and enjoy your own packed lunch, dinner or snack. This way, you can enjoy the outdoors even more while stopping for however long you chose!
What if I Get Lonely?
Some days, all I want to do is ride alone in the peace of the open road. But other days, I want to get together with my friends and share in the experience. If you live near a large biker community, you can join a local motorcycle club – which are great for comradery and local events – but also tend to have membership fees. Don’t feel like committing to a group? Use RoadCaptain, and you can use discussion boards to connect with other users and create groups to plan trips, share meet ups, and locations in real time! You can meet up with other riders for all or part of your trip, if you want a mix of alone time and fun with friends!
What if I Get Bored?
In the extremely rare and quite possible impossible scenario of you getting bored, check out RoadCaptain.com for a list of events, or use the RoadCaptain App to check out restaurants, bars and local attractions nearby. Use these to help you plan your route, so you can be surrounded by plenty of places to stop. You can even create videos of your ride and share them with other users!
What Should I Wear?
Layers, layers, layers! Always bring layers! If your ride is going to be hot, make sure your bikes AC is working, that you have plenty of water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If it’s cold, try heated seats or grips to add to your bike, gloves, special cold-weather windshields (to block all the extra cold wind), jackets, boots, neck gear and face gear. Somewhere in between? Keep extra jackets, vests, and clothes in your bike’s storage department. You can check the weather on your route beforehand using RoadCaptain, as well as get updates – so if you need to pull over to change you can. Oh, and always remember to comply with state laws and wear your helmet!
What Should I Listen To?
If you’re taking a bike ride with some friends, form a group on RoadCaptain where you can share ideas for a playlist! Whoever has the bike with the best sound system can ride in the middle, and you can all jam out! If you want to ride by yourself, you can get recommendations for radio stations, playlists, or even audiobooks from other users if you post about it to the discussion boards! (Check with your local state laws to find out if you are allowed to wear headphones or helmets with built-in audio systems here.)
What If I Get Hurt?
Call 911 if it’s an emergency. If you’re going on dangerous terrain, try to go with a group as it’s true there are safety in numbers! (Just be sure to stagger out on your bikes so you all have enough space to stop.) Pack a first-aid kit in at least one parties bike storage compartment, and before you go note any hospitals and rest stops on your route. Going alone? You can download your route and share it with others, and even update your location on the RoadCaptain App in real time. Always be prepared with a safety plan, especially if you are going on a long ride!