Don’t be that guy or gal who ruins the ride.
How do you correctly prepare for a motorcycle event or group ride? For new riders or those looking to make sure they are best prepared for a group moto-activity, we will go over the basics of choosing your perfect group ride or event, and the best ways to prepare to ensure a fun and safe experience on the road.
Preparation Before the Motorcycle Event
Here are the 5 things to think about before looking for a group ride or event to attend:
1. Event Scheduling
The first thing is to consider is how much time the motorcycle event is going to require. You want to make sure that you have enough available time to safely enjoy the moto activity. And it’s always better to overestimate because, when riding with a group, things that are normally fast when alone take longer in a group. Think breaks, gas stops, lunch, etc.
Then you want to take the above and add in the amount of time you need to ride to meet the group and the amount of time to get home after the ride. In the interest of safety, you want to avoid rushing to or from the event.
The last consideration regarding time is that if the event lasts longer than expected and it starts to get dark, are you comfortable riding at night? If not, you need to budget in a possible overnight stay in a local hotel.
Remember, don’t rush. Makes sure you have enough time to be comfortable.
When picking a ride, you should pick one where you are comfortable with the amount of distance that the ride plans on covering. It’s important to pick a ride with a ride distance and duration that is within your endurance level. For example, if you are only used to 25 mile lunch rides signing up for a two-day 500 mile sightseeing tour is probably not good idea. You will quickly get tired and will be out of your comfort zone as miles start to pile up.
Riding a motorcycle is mentally taxing activity and doing more of it in a single go needs to be practiced. If you want to do a big ride, it’s a good idea to build up your endurance and work up to that distance first.
3. Your Skill level
When choosing an motorcycle ride, you should find events that match your abilities. Riding is a learned skill and it takes experience and practice to get better. For example, if you just got your license, you probably aren’t yet skilled enough to sign up for a advanced level track-day. So, make sure that you are aware of your personal skill level and only participate in events that you can comfortably complete. And if you are not sure about the event or ride difficulty, ask the organizer for their opinion. They would be happy to steer you in the right direction to make sure you stay safe and to make sure that the other event participants can have a good time.
It’s healthy to challenge yourself, but know and stay close to your limits.
So, you found a great event. You got a riding buddy or two ready to go with and you have a route all planned out. What did you forget? Ah, the weather.
The weather is hard to predict these days, but you have to make sure you and your bike are ready to face unexpected weather. Riding up the mountains? It might get cold. Bring an extra layer. Think it might rain? Better check those tires and get your rain gear.
And if you think the weather might be big issue? Plan for an additional stop to wait it out or play it safe and go for a different event.
5. Route and Location
If you are going to ride in an unfamiliar area, you should get on your favorite map application and get a sense of the area you will be riding in. Note the direction from home, major landmarks, rest stops, highways, etc., so in case your are without mobile phone service you won’t be totally lost (Pro-tip: In the Google Maps app you can download a map area that you can use offline) Know before you go!