Ladies - Preparing for First Tour

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RocketGirl
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Ladies - Preparing for First Tour

#1 Unread post by RocketGirl » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:03 pm

Hi Ladies,

Any advice on how to prepare for that first big touring weekend?

I've got just about four weeks before the "blessed event". I'm getting used to the lifestyle adjustments for commuting: get plenty of rest, waking up earlier, work an 8-hour day and then head home in moderate rush hour traffic.

I clock most of my mileage during the week. I can and probably should squeeze a long ride at least on one weekend day. Not sure where to go from here. Any suggestions and comments would be much appreciated. Thank you! :)

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#2 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:38 pm

First things first. Do you plan to stay overnight?

Are you talking about getting physically ready or making sure you don't over do it?

Or do you mean, what to bring/pack on the bike?

OR all of the above?

P
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#3 Unread post by RocketGirl » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:50 pm

Yes, we're planning on staying overnight. Ride up to our destination. Tour around the area for half a day. Rest up. Then ride and see as much as we can during the daylight hours.

(1) How to prepare physically is my main question? What are some guidelines for the frequency of taking breaks? How do my husband and I keep an objective eye on making sure the other is still capable of continuing on or turning back to home base?

Now that I think about it, as an avid hiker I do have a 10-item list of basic gear that I pack. Haven't yet decided if we'll ride if rain is forecasted. I'm pretty sure still being a newbie that leaf cover roads and rain are not a good combination.

(2) How about items that have come in handy for basic road repairs?

I could also take page out of my aviation experience. Plan the flight and fly the plan. You know its been a few years since flying and although a lot of what we learned and practiced as far as safety goes translates very well to motorcycling. I'm hoping to touch base with the seasoned riders out there. Thank you for any and all advice. :)

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#4 Unread post by obfuscate » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:59 pm

http://www.visi.com/~dalebor/
This was posted elsewhere in a different forum, but wanted to pass it on. I found this site handy on my first (and sadly only) long trip. Lots of gems on how to prepare for a trip, things to look out for, and ways minimize the chances you'll need a repair kit.

If you're looking for a list of items that come in handy to do basic repairs the page you want is http://www.visi.com/~dalebor/pack_list.htm#Tools .

Enjoy the trip.
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#5 Unread post by RocketGirl » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:23 am

These links are great! I only had a chance to skimmed through them briefly last night. They seem very comprehensive at the very least provides a very good overview for a beginner like myself with so many questions and seemingly so little time. This will do a lot to settle down my first tour gitters.

Thanks so much! :)

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#6 Unread post by ErnCol » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:51 pm

Thanks obfuscate. Those links are great. I'd love to meet that guy, he's a real character.
The Motel 6 reference cracks me up. We stayed in one in Santa Barbara and I didn't sleep cause I was peeking out the window at the bikes all night to make sure they were still there!
I haven't finished reading the whole thing, but I'm sure there are many chuckles/good advice still to read. :D
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#7 Unread post by obfuscate » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:03 am

Oh good, I was reluctant to post it since it's not my advice, but I don't have the experience to justify giving my own thoughts, other than to agree with the guy's webpage that bees on a bike do in fact hurt to distraction. I remember both Blues2Cruise and Lion_Lady give good advice in this area that I used on my trip. Take advantage of them 8). Let us know how the trip goes and what advice was most/least helpful.
Last edited by obfuscate on Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#8 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:35 pm

How far, away, mileage wise/time wise? 200 miles, 300 miles, more? My first long day was over 350 miles. From Baltimore, to a picnic in lower central VA and home again all on the same day. The wind kicked up big time on our way home, to add interest.

What is the greatest distance you've ridden so far? And how did you feel? Any discomfort (seat, back, etc)? Stuff to consider adressing.

A good rule of thumb, to keep creeping fatigue at bay, is to get off the bike, take off the helmet, and walk around for 5-15 minutes, about every 60 to 90 minutes of riding. (Since gas stations can be so depressing, I'll make gas stops "short and quick," and plan to stop/refresh at the next rest area.

Since the first thing to go as you become fatigued is judgement, it is really important to not push yourself too hard while riding.
(1) How to prepare physically is my main question? What are some guidelines for the frequency of taking breaks? How do my husband and I keep an objective eye on making sure the other is still capable of continuing on or turning back to home base?
Why turn back? Why not take a hotel partway there, rather than bail out entirely? Verizon Wireless VZ Navigator can find you a hotel, if you don't have a GPS (surely the other wireless networks have some similar feature, if you don't have Verizon).

If you've got a looong ride, eat a good breakfast, start early and plan to take a fairly long sit down lunch mid-day. You'll be better able to continue the rest of the distance.

P
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#9 Unread post by IcyHound » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:42 pm

I just hopped on the bike last year and went to make my first long trip which was 10 hours from MA from VA.

Remember, goals are flexible. Stopping for a potty break and a stretch make a big difference. Drink lots of water, make sure you have at least three meals, and enjoy.
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#10 Unread post by RocketGirl » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:34 am

Been getting some saddle time in since the last post. I have to admit this almost 45year body is having to get use to the longer rides. So as a guide, I'm increasing my mileage by about 25% to 30% each weekend.

My biggest challenge so far is learning to relax. The first long ride and in unknown territory, I was pretty stressed out. It took me three days to recover; too many strained and sore muscles.

Our recent ride was better. We had a good mix of highway and secondary roads, riding through small towns where they are pretty serious about the 25mph zone.

My second biggest challenge now is how to keep my mind and attention from wandering. On one of those long stretches of road, I realized that I was slipping into a "zombie" state and to snap me out of it the first thought I had was to start singing a nursery school song.

Funny thing is that it worked. You know songs like "ABCD. . .EFG" or "This old man, he played one. . ." Silly kids stuff like that. Anyway, it turned out to be a really great riding day and hey I'm not so sore today either. Just a little sleepy and distracted at work from such an exciting day trip! :D

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#11 Unread post by dr_bar » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:17 pm

Sorry to intrude, but are you doing some stretches before you head out and during your breaks? This might help with the soreness...
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#12 Unread post by RocketGirl » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:55 pm

Sorry to intrude, but are you doing some stretches before you head out and during your breaks?
:oops: I have to admit that I did not. So, on these past few trips I thought I did give it a try. At stop lights, I'll stand up or stretch out the neck muscles. While riding, I'll check my posture, are my elbows tucked in, shoulders and hand grip relaxed. Also it helps to be observant for any little aches that happen after even my short rides. I noticed that my right knee feels a bit stiff at times, so I'm focusing now on how the lower half of me sits on the bike. As far as stretching before I head out, again I have to admit that I don't because I just want to get out there and ride!

Thanks for the input and please don't ever feel like you're intruding. Great tip! 8)

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#13 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:10 pm

Hubby and I hope to do a Saddle Sore 1000 in the not too distant future. That's 1000 miles in 24 hours. He realized that he hasn't ridden as far as I have in a "sitting" even though he's racked up more miles per year than me. He's been commuting to work the last 2 years and I've only just started to (took longer to gear up than to ride the 3 miles to my old job).

Anyhow... we decided to do "half a 1000" mostly for him to see how he feels after that long on the bike.

I realize that I will stretch and twist my upper body on the bike. Rotate shoulders, swivel them. Stretch the spine uuuup, and relax. But the real key is to take decent off the bike breaks. Got to be careful about not keeping the blood circulating in the legs.

As for the ride stress. Are you wearing earplugs? Please get yourself some (the foam disposable kind - you can find them at Home Depot and many bike shops, about 50 cents a pair). They will help with fatigue immensely. It may take a bit of getting used to, but you will be amazed at how UN fatigued you'll feel compared to riding without earplugs.

P
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#14 Unread post by RocketGirl » Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:55 am

Lion_Lady wrote: As for the ride stress. Are you wearing earplugs? They will help with fatigue immensely. It may take a bit of getting used to, but you will be amazed at how UN fatigued you'll feel compared to riding without earplugs.
P
Thank you Lion Lady! This was great advice.

I finally remembered to use the ear plugs before leaving for our recent ride. It was bad enough dealing with the cold temps and new terrain. I felt like I could have rode until sunset. Alas, the weather started to look ominous and we cut our ride short.

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#15 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:59 pm

WooT!! Glad they helped!!

Now, I've got to get into and around DE before it gets tooo cold. Our BMW club has an annual year long scavenger hunt, and I need to visit some spots in DE.

But not this weekend, heading down to Lynchburg with hubby. He's riding in The VOID IV - http://www.rallythevoid.org/

P
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#16 Unread post by MZ33 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:58 am

Never heard of Ralleys before. They look like fun! Have a great weekend!
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#17 Unread post by Yamaha Couple » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:31 pm

Thank you all for the helpful info.
My husband, daughter and I are going on some long motorcycle trips :shock: next year and was looking for info
on what to take :? and want to be aware of.
You had it all right here. 8)


Thank You for posting the links

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#18 Unread post by kawgurl » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:56 am

Just my two cents on this thread............just a mish-mash of 'stuff':

Preparing for touring gets easier the more you do it I have found. You learn to weed out what it is you don't really need - and generaly replace them with something that - oops - you maybe forgot the previous trip. Making a bike trip checklist is handy for this - we keep ours on the laptop so that we can edit it at any time.

Being tall (6') and a former athlete who now has low back/hip problems (nothing serious, just over did it when I was younger), I have a stretching routine I perform daily before I first get on the bike - a little stretching goes a long way when it comes to reducing any joint irritation or stiffness during the day. I pay special attention to my hip flexors (front of the hips) and make sure they are well stretched because those are the muscles that stay "flexed" all day when riding a bike (same as sitting in an office chair). Gets the blood flowing, clears my head and really does make me feel more loose.

I find that stopping every 200km (150 miles?) or so works best - for me I have no choice as at that point I have to get gas, too - as my tank is fairly small (hence the reason for selling the Meanie). A quick stretch, swig of water, snack and a yak during these breaks keeps me going all day long!

I travel most often with my husband - and we sometimes take our trailer (which he pulls with the Valkyrie) - so in those cases, I don't have to worry about "space" for stuff - we even take along the lawn chairs so we can sit and relax and have lunch at a rest area.

When I travel on my own for any distance, I feel the most important thing to have along is a (charged) cell phone. Second is a small (but well stocked) first aid kit. The cell phone I keep zipped in my jacket which in the case of an emergency I hope would stay with my body - it's useless in a saddlebag IMO.

There are things I keep handy in a little windsheild bag so I don't have to rustle through my saddlebags at every stop - these items are: air guage, sunscreen, lip balm, a spare contact lens, small camera, etc.

***CENSORED FOR LADIES ONLY*** - this is an idea my sister in law (who rides pilion) suggested for those really long trips - using pantiliners daily to reduce the pairs of underwear you may have to take along. I have never tried this myself, but it could be viable in certain situations. IMO if I have to pack THAT lightly, I'd find myself a new bike! :laughing:

One last thing and that's about the sheepskin - I thought my husband (who's had many more years in the saddle than I) was nuts - sheepskin? Looks goofy, gotta be really hot, etc.....well, it's NOT. It will keep you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cool. It breathes and keeps you comfortable - even if you already have a comfy seat. Make sure you get real sheepskin - and you can get them in a variety of colors (I have lime green)....cut it to size, and away you go. Sheepskin can also be washed (not dried) with mild detergent to bring back it's "fluffiness".

Happy riding - I won't be going on any long rides now until the spring!! :(
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#19 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:39 am

Here's a list from the ladies forum on sport-touring.net courtesy of R6Chick

- 1 travel roll of Charmin (I never worry about bathrooms lacking in supplies or emergency roadside needs)
- 1 travel back of baby wipes (these clean nicely and usually have moisturizer in them since dry crackly butt skin is frowned upon by babies and adults alike!)
1 - stick on 8 hour heat thing for neck (great when sore on long rides or caught in serious cold by surprise)
1 - stick on 8 hour heat thing for back (same reasoning as the neck one)
1 - travel size Vaseline
1 - travel size Bonds medicated powder
2 - tampons (1 regular, 1 super)*

*Now... instead of tampons for "Auntie Flo" - here's an alternative, that I love because I don't have to carry a box of anything. http://www.divacup.com/ Since I'm getting near to The Change" my periods are odd and irregular. A tampon is miserable if instead of a "real" period all I'm having is a little spotting.The Diva Cup is great for a real flow, because there are NO LEAKS!! Not overnight or anytime.

I pack two pairs of undies, no matter how long the trip. The silky kind for camping. You can wash them before you go to bed and by morning they're dry. Also, two pairs of socks.

Another thing I'd add is a small 'ShamWow' type of towel. They can be used to press the excess water out of those undies or socks and will dry quickly.

I've got an AlaskaLeather buttpad. LOVE IT!! http://alaskaleather.com/buttpads.html The "deluxe" is worth it. Keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

P
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