How to plan for a long ride
Wow!! Planning for a long ride, that’s Amazing!!
With my experience i have noted down few points on planning as i always do. Please read it and if its good for you then feel free to share with you friends.
1. Advance Planning is must
I suggest you to plan at least 2 days prior the trip. Last moment we try to be very urgent and forget few thing, which is not good for long rides like this.
2. Plan the route.
Because KM matters. Check the Google maps for better route and latest news about the route for any road blocks.
Just an example from my experience – I do Bengaluru to Mangaluru frequently, regular route will be Via Shiradi ghat. But few time Shiradi ghat was closed due to maintenance, Google map suggested to go via Charmadi ghat. Knowing things like this is always better.
Another example : When I planned Bengaluru – Murudeshwara ride the regular route was via Haveri, Sirsi, Kumta. But that time there was a strike and road block in Sirsi which could have made me to take another route from there and waste too much of time. Another route suggested was via Shivamogga.
I recommend you to keep an alternate route in your plan, if anything happens you can confidently take the other route. And avoid night rides, as they are very dangerous and risky. I personally don’t ride at night. Headlights from opposite make me very tired. And if anything happens it is very difficult to take help at night.
And also keep a list of petrol bunks and service centers on your route. In case of emergency they would come handy.
3. Plan timings, breaks and food.
Leaving early morning keeps us energetic for almost 70% of the ride. Early morning in the sense around 4:00 AM. I always leave home by 4AM or 4:30 AM. If the ride is too long (700 km – 800 km) then I will leave by 3 or 3:30 AM.
As an average timings for 500 km ride would take 8hr to 10hr depending on road conditions. If it’s a highway then any 150cc or 200cc bike can do it by 8 to 10hrs. Giving periodic stops are necessary for doing long rides.
I suggest you to ride maximum distance till 8 AM. After that it would be hot.
Give break every 50 to 70 km. Ride should not end up painful, there should be a lot of fun in it. So don’t make it painful by stretching more km in one shot. I always stop for every 60km or where ever there is a good nature. And yes never hold up your pee. Find a good place where the plant is dried 😛 Just kidding Or you can find any hotel. Not just that, even you can have a cup of coffee for refreshment.
On National Highways it is not difficult to find hotels, but on State Highways it is difficult. I personally carry snacks in my bag, if I face this kind of situation then I will grab that and eat it. On planning route itself we need to find out where are the hotels, so that you will never miss food.
Do not avoid food. It will make you lose energy. And drink plenty of water or else you will be dehydrated, which will make you feel very tired. And then you lose confident. Check this article on dehydration.
4. How about Bag?
We are riding long distance so backpack doesn’t work out here. In fact it will cause you shoulder pain. It is always better to get saddle bag or tank bag. They are build for tourers like us. If you don’t have saddle bag or tank bag then don’t worry, you can even take your normal bag and tie it with bungee cord. Even I don’t have saddle bag, I too do the same.
What all are very important to carry? Water is compulsory, at least 1ltr. Snacks are also must, it helps to keep you energy level up all the way. I always keep 2 parle-g biscuits every time. Carry a tubeless tire puncture kit and essential toolkit for your bike.
Pack everything neatly, the essentials you need on the way, like water, snacks, towel, keep those in easily accessible place, so that you can take it out and keep it back easily without removing the bag from the bike.
5. Bike must be in good condition.
Servicing the bike before the ride is always a good thing. I majorly use my bike for long rides, it doesn’t mean I should service my bike every time. But checking the bike if it’s in good condition or not is must.
Check with Engine oil, tires condition, air pressure in tires, brake pads working properly or not, battery condition, chain lubrication and coolant if your bike is liquid cooled. If everything is good then good to go.
Always keep a list of petrol bunks and service centers on your route. It will come in handy if anything goes wrong.
6. Riding gears are must for safety.
If you don’t plan properly then its not a problem but if you don’t have riding gears for the long ride then you must postpone the ride plan and quickly buy it. Necessary riding gears required are – Helmet, riding jacket, gloves, knee guard and shoes. I use Spartan Aspida riding jacket, MT Mugello helmet, prorider gloves and normal sports shoes. Riding pants are optional, using them definitely add more safety.
These riding gears not only protect you but also gives you more confident for riding.
So this all about planning a long distance ride, plan properly and then just go for it. Ride safe J