This will be the first of a few blogs regarding Dezso and my recent trip to ride parts of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route. In contrast with the know-it-all-blogs, I definitely lack the proper credentials to tell you how to ride. Instead I thought I’d tell you some of my hastily put together rules for packing and riding.
- Space is limited on your motorcycle. You’ve got panniers and maybe a bag on top to fit your camping, cooking, photography, and computer gear inside where it’s safe and waterproofed. Therefore it’s essential to find compression sacks to squeeze and squash clothes and your sleeping bag down to the size of an atom allowing you to pack more things you’ll probably never use or pull out of your bags. However, do NOT put your shampoo, toothpaste, or any other squeeze bottles in your compression sacks.
- Don’t sneeze, spit, or vomit in your helmet without raising you visor first. This may seem like a given, but when you’re riding at highway speeds and feel a sneeze coming on, you don’t want to pull over to the side of the road to wipe your sneeze off from the inside of the visor, causing your riding partner to pull over and impatiently ask just what the hell you’re doing.
- It is a secret international conspiracy that when your helmet is getting manufactured, someone sews in a micro fiber near your nose so that when you ride it flutters around and tickles your nose. It always seems to happen at highway speeds causing me to raise my visor and scratch my nose every 10-15 minutes.
- There is only one haircut in the world that survives helmet hair: Bald. I spent the last week wincing at my reflection, scratching my head, and trying to get my hair to lay flat. And I only have about 2 inches of hair on top! How do the ladies do it!?
- There are many people out there telling you to put the inexperienced person in the front. These are the great pranksters of the motorcycle world. They are all behind you, laughing and betting as to when you’re going to fall over, flush out the cops, or spook out the roadside animals. What I’ve learned (especially whilst riding off road) is to put the experienced one up front and then listen for any curses or exclamations he makes. This will tell you when the road conditions suddenly change from hard packed to 6 deep feet of sandy silt that you’ll have to plow through. The rooster tail of dirt that suddenly spins up out of his tires is also a good indicator.