Dedicated to the women who RIDE THEIR OWN motorcycles  


by Robster

1. Travel light, but take essentials like tools commonly used on your bike (spark plug wrench, common sockets, screwdrivers etc), paper towels, windshield cleaner etc. (a buggy windshield really bites at night).

2. Dress in layers. . .and include a rain suit regardless of the forecast (I'm glad I had one when we hit the foggy area) you WILL encounter temperatures and conditions that will vary greatly--you have to be able to put on and take off layers to stay comfortable.

3. Take all documents related to the motorcycle (registration, insurance, HOG membership card, H-D warranty ID card etc.--just in case of breakdown or accident.

4. Take a cell phone--in case of emergencies and to keep loved ones informed during your trip--they WILL worry about you!

5. VERY IMPORTANT! Take with you some sort of pain-reliever medicine for aches and pains--regardless of your age or level of fitness, you will be glad you have this. If you're over 40 (like me), I'd recommend taking a dose at departure time to stave off the aches for a few miles.

6. Avoid caffeine drinks before departing and while doing the run--caffeine is a diuretic; do you want to be the one in the group to stop prematurely during a leg of your run? Water is the best thing to drink during the trip, with Gatorade or similar drinks taking second place. Drink small amounts at every stop, rather than 2 qts. all at once.

7. Don't drink alcohol the night before the run. I had three drinks the night before my run, and wished I hadn't. I woke up with cotton-mouth, and I'm sure, partially dehydrated--that really doesn't help much to keep you alert. I drank A LOT of water before I left the house and it helped to boost my energy level, but it still took me a few miles to really feel alert. Remember, your body is a machine (maybe an antique machine) and you must give it what it need to perform optimally--on this trip you will be demanding a lot from your machine!

8. When traveling at night, take turns being the "point-man" (lead rider) of the group. The point man has to be extra alert for road-hazards to warn the rest of the group with a swerve or brake signal. It's hard to maintain that heightened sense of alert for very long without eventually lapsing into day-dreaming or getting "white line fever". Switch off every hour or after every stop.

9. If riding alone, make sure somebody at home knows your route and approximate time of return. More than once, m/c riders have left the road and died because nobody saw them or searched for them in a timely manner. Once a motorcycle leaves the roadway and goes off into the brush, it is essentially eaten up by the foliage. (I know this from personal experience--investigated fatal accidents where mc's and cars disappeared when they left the road).

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Thank you to Robster for submitting these tips. Learn more about the Iron Butt Association by visiting their website.

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