Safety first. That's our motto. Even if we melt to death .....
The last trip was a long one, which provided me endless miles and miles to think while driving. You think driving while drinking is bad? Driving while thinking comes in a close 2nd.
Among the gazillion things that went through my mind was a list of important things I need to remember when I suit up and roll. Perhaps something here will help you think about the things you do for fun and tips you've learned along the way that you can share.
NEVER RIDE WEARING A BUTTON-UP SHIRT: I've only done this once, in Arizona. I narrowly escaped a wardrobe malfunction of the Janet Jackson kind. That was very early in my motorcycling riding days. I discovered why one needs a leather vest on hot days. It keeps all the flapping material (and fat!) tucked close to the body. Along with this tip, I cut off all the ties on my hoodies. It's so annoying when they come flying up in my face.
IF A BEE FLIES UP INTO YOUR FULL FACE HELMET, DON'T PANIC: I had this happen twice last year. Buddy, you just gotta man-up and take the sting cuz you can't do squat about it. And hope your mama doesn't hear the string of 4 and 6-letter words coming out of your mouth. While riding last week I decided to open up my face shield and I took a bug hard on my face. What doesn't make you squeal like a girl, makes you tougher. I hope that bug died fast.
SAY A PRAYER TO THE UNIVERSE: This is personal to me. When I start my bike, I get myself mentally prepared to ride. I always say "Please let me ride safely today. Let me leave all my worries right here in the drive-way so I can focus on my surroundings, enjoy another day of riding and return home in one piece to ride again." I have to do this. Motorcycling requires focus and attention. I can't go out there with a bunch of heavy stuff on my mind. I'm serious as a heart attack about this.
TAKE HYDRATION AND SNACKS: I usually fill a thermos full of coffee and a container of water or Gatorade. When we ride with a group, our destination is usually some cool place that welcomes bikers for lunch. I still like to have something that will give me quick energy if I have a hypoglycemic moment. A granola bar, an apple, peanut butter, anything with some sugar in it.
GO BIKING WITH FRIENDS: We have many friends who enjoy biking. I can't think of a much better way to spend time with them than rolling over the hills and around curves and then sitting down over a hamburger and Diet Coke to catch up with them. Big smiles!
KEEP A MAP ON YOUR BIKE: For obvious reasons. Around here, there are miles of country roads. Not all of them show up properly on the maps but you can get darn close if you have a guide.
ABOVE ALL THINGS ..... GO WITH A LIGHT HEART: There is nothing worse than starting out a ride with stress. I've taken to asking Gene to fill my tank and wash my bike on Monday while I'm at work. It makes Sunday morning rides so pleasant to start with a clean bike and gas. Who wants to take care of those chores at the last minute? Not me. Makes me cranky.
Okay, now it's your turn. What recreational activity do you enjoy and what tips can you tell me from your experience?