Motorcycling is a fun, economical way to travel. There is nothing quite like the scenery, solitude, and freedom you experience while riding on the open roads of Ohio. If you plan on taking a long distance, multi-day trip, just make sure you are thoroughly prepared before hitting the road. You certainly do not want to get lost or injured. The following basic motorcycle road trip safety tips can prevent disaster and make your trip a positive one.
Tip 1: Pack well for your trip.
Think about everything you might need while on your trip and jot them down. Consider the weather when thinking about what to pack, and dress accordingly. And before you start loading up, make sure your saddlebags are in good shape and secure.
Pack smart but light. A few things you might want to bring include:
- Basic tools
- Water bottles
- Extra bags
- ID, directions, money, cell phone, and charger
- First aid kit
- Rain suits
- Essential toiletries
Tip 2: Plan and share your route.
Plan out your trip in advance. Some routes are safer or more scenic than others. Do not rely on your GPS alone. It can lead you astray and will not tell you which roads you should avoid on a bike. There are a ton of free motorcycle trip planning websites you use to plan your route. You can take a look at TripIt’s list of trip planning providers to get you started.
Once you have planned your route, make sure to share it with one or two trusted friends or family members so that someone will know of your whereabouts.
Tip 3: Practice safe group riding skills.
If you plan on riding with others, have a meeting prior to the trip to decide your riding order and route. You will need to discuss your riding formation and proposed breaks. Keep the least experienced rider in the group in mind; his capabilities should be your benchmark, recommends Esurance.
Make sure you and your group know the universal group riding hand signals before you head out.
Tip 4: Ride sober and attentive.
You cannot ride without sobriety and attentiveness. This should go without saying, but we reiterate it because it is critical. Never, ever ride while intoxicated, and always keep your eyes and mind on the road when riding.
When you are steering your bike at high speeds or around cars weighing 4,000 pounds, it is not the time to text, fumble with your earphones, or check out yourself in your side mirror. Distraction kills. Stay focused and safe.
Tip 5: Take regular breaks.
Fatigue is one of the leading causes of roadway accidents. In fact, fatigue causes an estimated 100,000 crashes each year, reports National Sleep Foundation.
When you are tired, your reaction time is compromised, your decision making skills suffer, and you risk nodding off. Take regular breaks along the way. It is far better to stop to walk around, rejuvenate, and delay your trip a few minutes, than to try to push through the tiredness, risk crashing, and not make it to your destination at all.