Planning Ahead vs Spontaneity?
Motorcycle Trips - Could there possibly be anything more fun that of a trip on a motorcycle?
Some of our motorcycle vacations are planned years in advance - like our trip to the Isle of Man for the 2007 TT races. We needed to secure a hotel and book passage on the SteamPacket ferry, and in order to do so, needed to plan ahead.
We have also left early in the morning on a weekday, with only a destination in mind - no hotel reservations, no intended route - nothing. Imagine the freedom of knowing that for the next few days or weeks, you can travel anywhere you want with no itinerary and no agenda. Just you, your motorcycle and the open road.
So is There a Better Way?
Is it better to plan ahead, put together an itinerary, or just hop on the bikes and leave on the open road?
Having done a bit of both, I think it depends on the type of vacation you have in mind, and the ultimate destination.
If you are leaving the country, you have to plan. You need to either find a way to ship your motorcycle, or you need to find a reputable rental company. You may need a guide to help with the language challenges and with the route.
If you need to cross a body of water - either in another country, or in the States, you probably need to plan ahead and learn about the ferry schedules and procedures for securing the motorcycle.
And, most importantly, you probably need to figure out how much everything is going to cost. Planning ahead for this type of bike vacation is essential.
Unless you are an extreme adventure junkie, save those spontaneous bike journeys for those weekends and weeks that you can grab during the motorcycle season. Explore the region in which you live, or travel to another time zone.
Even if you just hop on and go exploring, let someone know your general location - keep in touch with people at home by cell phone or email.
If you are not using GPS navigation, make sure that you have maps of the area, and don't be afraid to ask questions as you travel. We have found some of the best information from Tourist Centers right off the highway, or in scenic towns.
And keep in mind that really bad weather can ruin a trip quickly. It might be a great idea to at least research theweather, and have a back-up plan if you run into weather that is less-than-ideal for motorcycling.
Most of all, enjoy your motorcycle trip - whether planned or not! Take great pictures, and savor your adventure on the road.
Have had you had a great adventure on a motorcycle trip?
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Packing for a Bike Trip
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Big Sky Country