#1 – The foundation
This is where the dreams starts to come alive. You need to answer the following questions;
Where do you want to go? What is the objective? Is this a riding trip or a sight-seeing journey or both? It is up to you it is your dream. Is this a basecamp trip or will you be on the go each day to a new location.
How many days are you planning for this adventure to last?
Is this a group ride or will you be solo? This is a big one as you will need to plan the journey differently depending on your answer.
Lodging. Will you be camping? Staying in Hotels or both? Making Reservations or playing it day by day?
#2 – Doing the legwork
Now that you know where you are going and all of the foundation is set, it is time for the legwork. Here are a few things to consider or resources to use to help make your trip planning more efficient.
Google Maps, Basecamp or any other website that you like for mapping routes. Plan your route utilizing back roads, Highways or a little of both. This will depend on your foundation.
Actual paper maps, Delorme Atlas & Gazette, Rand McNally and my personal favorite Butler Maps.
Book lodging or campsites in advance if you are that kind of planner (Yes I am ) or forget this step and play it by ear. I would say during these challenging times of COVID, the latter may not be the most favorable way to go. Just be careful when planning that way.
Get online and secure tickets to any areas that you want to visit that require admission. This beats standing in line when you get to your destination. One of the best values for travel is the the National Parks Annual Pass. There are many discount ticket sites, so take some time and do your homework.
#3 – slow down and smell the roses
So now you have the foundation and the tools to start mapping out your epic journey. Now it is time to fine tune the details. Are you getting excited? The trip is coming together! let’s continue;
When looking at mapping out your trip, you will need to figure out how many miles you want to put in each day. Will you slab it out to your destination, to set up a basecamp or will you take your time and do the backroads? It all depends on your time allotted for your trip. Remember 300 miles on a highway is much different than 300 miles in the twisty backroads of the Smokey Mountains. Plan carefully. I personally don’t like riding after dark if it can be avoided. Take daylight hours into account when planning the trip.
Remember 300 miles on a highway is much different than 300 miles in the twisty backroads of the Smokey Mountains. Plan carefully. I personally don’t like riding after dark if it can be avoided. Take daylight hours into account when planning the trip.
One of the highlights of road trips for Jamie and I are getting to visit local diners and food establishments. It is a great way to learn about a particular area. Stop and eat lunch where the locals eat. You will not be disappointed!
#4 – putting it all together
The trip is starting to get real. The routes are planned, lodging secured. Your EPIC trip is coming together. Let’s finalize the plan.
Now the hard part is over. You just need to put the routes in the GPS, or mark up your maps so they are ready for the road.
Give your bike some attention. Nothing can put a black cloud on an EPIC road trip, faster than having to stop and get a tire or do some maintenance that should have been completed before you put the kick stand up and headed on your way.
Start Packing! Look at the weather. Remember if you don’t pack the rain gear, it is almost guaranteed that it will rain so hard you will think you need an ark. If close to fall, remember that the heated gear takes up little room. You will thank me when you get stuck in an early sleet storm outside Leadville Co. Yes it happens. It is a memory that I will never forget, but it could have been avoided. I have never been so cold… brrr
Don’t forget the camera! You want to ensure that you can capture this EPIC journey, that WILL offer up great views, stunning sunsets and wonderful images, that you will be able to share with your friends, after you return home from your trip. While on these trips I like to live by the motto;
Don’t answer your phone, but take pictures with it! They will call back later!
#5 – Let’s Ride – Life is short!
I hear so many people, that say they want to hit the road. They want to head out on their motorcycle to lands unknown. To feel what it is like to all of your senses overwhelmed with images and smells that only the open road can offer…. But then they find an excuse not to go or plan the adventure. They say they need a better or bigger machine. They throw out the excuse of not having the time or the money to go on a journey. I get it! I have been there. However there is always a way to get out. Don’t worry about having the latest gear or the newest motorcycle. You can adventure on any machine. Just get out and do it!
I will close out this article by asking you, to comment on the steps you do to prepare for a trip. Tell me about that trip that always makes you smile. In these colder winter months, the only way I can stay sane, is planning the trips that will happen when the days are longer and the temps are a little warmer. So tell me where you are planning to ride in 2021. Maybe our paths will cross. Make sure you stop us and say hi! Ride safe everyone!