The weather is going to change. Bring layers that you can put on and take off as needed to stay comfortable these two pictures are less than an hour apart.
Ride your bike a lot before you go on any long trip. That way your bike will tell you if anything is about to go bad while you are still close to home and won’t cause you to spend your time on the side of the road waiting for help.
Maintenance. Service your bike a lot! and often and don’t wain until the day before you leave.
Clean your bike. I know this doesn’t sound all that important. Trust me when I tell you the best way to become intimate with your bike and get to know all the nuts and bolts and hoses and cables is to rub your hands all over it and keep your eyes open you will see things that are rubbing or not looking just right.
Tools. If you service your own bike or just put a new set of pipes or any other parts take the tools you used with you. Chances are if something comes loose its the bolts or screws you just screwed with, and use some Locktite.
Zip Lock Baggies. Keep your valuable electronics and paper print materials, i.e.. insurance policy, maps dry. You may just be lucky enough to discover something along your trip that you want to keep with you that may need a Zip Lock Bag. I know your thinking what could I ever find on the road that I would need a Zip Lock Bag? In my case it was GOLD! Yep in Colorado we pulled over to take in the scenery and looked down in the river there it was.
Get a bag! I shouted to Carla. Now I have a bag of black sand with possibly some gold in it.
Pack smart! You don’t need to bring everything you own ladies.. if you forgot something you can pick one up along the route. I lay a pair of pants out flat lay a pair of good underwear onto of the pants and then a pair of socks onto of the underwear. That way when I change clothes I don’t have to dig everything out I just grab a pair of pants and I’m covered, except for my shirt which I will choose separately for two reasons 1) Layering and weather demands. 2) I will probably buy souvenir shirts along the way. For me the strategy is not to pack to much but make sure I have enough for any weather. Always put the heavier items, the bulk of the weight down low instead of up high. If you notice the pack on top of my tour pack it has only a change of clothes for each of us a map and miscellaneous personal hygiene items. That way when we stop for the day I can grab that bag and go to my room with all I need for the evening and next morning.
Don’t rely completely on the plan! Things change thats one thing you can count on. The weather or mechanical issues and even health issues can dictate the days events.
Manage your time You know how long you have before you have to be back to reality. Prioritize places or events incase you have to make adjustments to the route or destination you can do so without ruining your whole trip. This works both ways sometimes you get farther sooner than you expected and you can add things to your trip, like small bonuses. Take time to smell the roses. I am getting better at this one. If you get to a place that has a lot to offer don’t blast by it fi you don’t have to stop and take it in. Remember the journey!
Sun Screen Yep thats what I said. I know you want to be tanned and all bronzed over but remember on nice days depending on your location and altitude the sun doesn’t feel near as hot when you are traveling at 70MPH as it does if your standing still. Don’t forget you are going to be out in it for several days for long periods of time. I even go as far as to cover my face and arms, no I don’t wear a long sleeve shirt in 90 degrees F. But I cut the legs off of a small pair of tights I found at the local store for $2.49 and they work great as sleeves while the air still gets up my short sleeved shirt and cools me. A bandana around my face protects my nose and lips from the sun. Adding a little water to these help keep you cool on the hottest of days.
Give people their space While riding and parking. Otherwise you may be mistaken for an idiot! See the photo thats all I’m saying about that. Yep thats a scratch after it was 3 weeks old, still a tiny baby to me and some DUMMY did this.