Travel the country on your motorcycle without killing yourself

Traveling around a country on your motorcycle without killing yourself is never a 100% guarantee. There are basic steps to take to minimize the risk of death or dismemberment. In this article I will walk you through the two step process of identifying fears and listing solutions to those fears. At the end of the day, if you can’t find practical solutions to your own fears, you may want to re-think taking on such an endeavor.

Step 1

Identify your fears:

-Riding through the rain (hydroplaning)

-Hitting a large bird

-Chain snapping and lacerating your leg

-Getting cut off in traffic

-Getting shoelace caught in chain pulling you off your bike and sending you under a semi-truck

-Slight lower back discomfort

Step 2

Solutions to your fears:

-Motorcycle tires, believe it or not, do remarkably well on wet roads. In fact they grip to the road better than any car tire. If you look up videos online about motorcycles riding through puddles you’ll see how the thin tire slices through the water.

-Hitting a large bird is unfortunately going to be a risk. You can take steps to prepare for this event. Make sure to wear protective gear, especially your helmet. More specifically, button up your jacket all the way to cover your neck, especially when travelling through the country side. Birds seem to fly out into the road in grassy areas more than wooded areas. That’s all to say you should probably be on the look-out for large animals in general. Know the difference between turning and (quick) evasive maneuvering.

-Chain snapping and lacerating your leg (assuming your bike has a chain). I can’t stress enough, the importance of keeping your chain greased. Every other riding day you should grease AND after riding through rain or dust, especially dust. Dust and dirt are probably worse for your chain than rain.

-Getting cut off in traffic is another danger that will never completely go away, unless we come to our senses and implement the self-driving car system. Try to avoid blind spots. Try to ride where you can predict traffic more than react to it. That may actually be in the quicker passing lane. Remember to flick off the driver who is on their cell phone.

-Getting your shoelace caught in your chain is an entirely avoidable danger. There are no excuses here. Double knot the s*** out of your laces. Turn your laces into dreadlocks if you have to. Bunch them up. You should be wearing boots anyways where the laces are high above your ankles.

-Slight lower back discomfort or any discomfort can be distracting. Depending on your bike and luggage packing system discomfort may vary. For me strapping the large bag close to my lower back actually gave me lower back support.

So there you have it. If you have any questions or comments or helpful info to add please comment or message me. And I’ll keep updating this article as needed. Please like and share.

Look for my new book on March 18th, 2016. THE Trip; 10,000 miles 2 Wheels, 1 Camera

Ride safe, drive safer.

  • Josh Bowe
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