Contributed by: Ryan Boehm (Sales Manager- High Road Langley)
Ever wanted to go for a ride but had no one to go with? Or go for a road trip and all your buddies are busy? Well, what is stopping you?
There is something liberating about taking off on your own and not being on anyone else’s schedule. Stopping when you want or pushing that little bit extra to get to the next town. With the exception of a few rides and one big trip with 2 buddies, I have generally always ridden on my own and I have to say I wouldn’t change a thing.
Now is the perfect time to plan your solo trip. Most people are starting to put the bikes away so this gives us plenty of time to plan and get ready for next season. And gives you something to work towards for 2019.
There are a few safety factors that come into play when going it alone. Locally, I follow the same rule as heading into the backcountry; let someone know when you leave when you are expected to come back (give yourself some leeway here) and roughly where you might be heading. For the multi-day trip, well that is a whole different animal. I personally think that everyone should have an emergency beacon such as a SPOT or In Reach, but at the very least we all have a cell phone that will work in MOST locations. I say most locations because as you head off into the unknown you will find out quickly that your cell phone does not always have service.
Get to know your bike intimately. By this I mean poke around, see what is where dig out that owner’s manual and yes bring it with you. Get to know how to change a headlight/tail light bulb because you wanna be able to see at night. Find your fuses (yes, your bike has a fuse box) and learn how to patch a tire or replace a tube. None of these are mandatory, but it will sure make your life easier if/when things go wrong. Bring tools (you would be surprised what a stock toolkit can do for you). I always have a small roll of black electrical tape, a bit of duct tape and some safety wire and zap straps. I have fixed some good crash damage and kept going with these simple and inexpensive items. There are many more things you could bring but these would depend on how long your trip is and where you are headed to.
Prepare for the bad weather. We all know how reliable the weatherman is, so be ready. A light rain jacket and pants won’t only protect you from the rain, but it will keep you warm in the wind and cold. You would be surprised how cold the Oregon Coast can get in the evening in summer. It can go the opposite way as well, Picture Baja Mexico, mid-summer with 40-degree heat and full gear, definitely No Bueno! Mesh gear would have been really nice. The moral of the gear story is plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected, but don’t over pack (that is a whole other story)
I could tell you what to bring and not to bring, but these are just from my personal experiences, and every plan and route are unique. As I said, use your judgment and learn by trial and error.
I will leave you with this, try going solo at least once. You owe it to yourself. I have met some amazing like-minded people on my trips. Some riders, other not, but all great people looking to make new memories.
Let me know if you have any questions or would like some more information. From time to time High Road holds evening seminars. If there is enough interest, we can arrange a night on trip planning and packing your bike for your next adventure.
High Road BMW/Ducati Langley