Thursday, August 27, 2009
Hitting The Road
There's a great little book, a pamphlet really, published by Aero Design and Mfg. entitled "Lightweight: Unsupported Motorcycle Travel for Terminal Cases" It's a great resource for anyone thinking about taking a motorcycle road trip. It's a book a could have written myself.
The first road trip I took on a motorcycle was from Decatur, IL to Chicago, two-up on a raggedy Honda 305 Scrambler. It was loud, rough riding, with an uncomfortable seat. Every mile felt like it took an hour. By the time I got to Chicago I was beat up and exhausted. And, I was hooked.
Since then I have traveled thousand of miles by motorcycle, some with good friends, some with people I didn't know, and thousands more by myself. I've ridden coast to coast 5 times, including one time solo. I am more comfortable in the saddle of a motorcycle than anywhere else in the world.
I'm leaving today for my first road trip on the Piaggio MP3. I'm headed to Indianapolis to meet up with my son and and old riding buddy [we've known each other for over 30 years, we are OLD riding buddies] for the US Motorcycle Grand Prix. As I wrote recently, more than half the joy of any journey is in the preparation.
Whether you're going a hundred miles or for weeks, the time spent thinking about what you'll need - and what you'll wear - are worth their weight in gold. On smallish motorcycles, and certainly on the MP3, there's not much room for carrying extra stuff. You need to distill your needs down to what really matters, and that's it.
So, my packing list includes a couple of pair of socks, a couple of changes of underwear, my running shoes and gear, and that's about it. I'll wear my Aerostich Darien jacket with jeans and carry a good pair of rain pants. My only extravagance is an extra pair of gloves. I'll have a warm pair, a cool pair, and a lined pair in case it gets cold.
I'm excited, a little bit nervous, but eager to hit the road. Come back next week for photos from the trip and the race.