Planning the perfect road trip

When is the last time you got up, walked away from your desk, and put all your worries behind you with no notice?

I'm not talking about the kind of trip where you stress out about getting to the airport, going through security, and getting to your gate on time.

I'm talking about just hopping on your bike, pointing it in a given direction, and going.

56Motorcycling in Spain57

You'll probably want a few essentials with you, of course. At least some shirts, socks, clean underwear, and a stick of deodorant. (Some packable rain gear might help if you get caught in a downpour; that is, if you can get it on over your gear fast enough.)

This post also assumes that you're the type of rider whose bike is in pretty good shape (chain and oil maintained, any major mechanical issues taken care of ASAP). An under-seat toolkit is always a plus for a quick roadside repair, or at least a credit card and decent cell phone signal. 

A few practical tips:

Have a rough schedule in mind, but don't have it micromanaged down to the minute. Leave yourself time to stop and look at any astoundingly beautiful scenery you find that inspires you to take a photo. Bring a compact selfie stick if you want shots of yourself on your bike against any gorgeous mountain backdrops, or those all-important helmet selfies.

Track your fuel use and have a rough idea of where there's a gas station nearby when riding in unfamiliar territory. When you get out into rural areas, gas stations can be few and far between. You might be the kind of rider who carries a spare gas can with you, so this might not apply to you. But if you're not, don't let your adventures catch you high and dry. Modern technology is great for letting you scan for fuel stops in advance and plan accordingly.

Image: Thesupermat

If you're riding to a big event, like a MotoGP round, make a hotel reservation in advance. Flying by the seat of your pants is great, and sometimes you can find excellent last-minute hotel deals the same day, but not during crazy huge events like that.

Don't forget your phone charger. Many riders stick their phones in airplane mode to conserve battery, but long rides can still suck the life out of your smartphone. Dead batteries can't take pictures, or call for help if you need it. You might also want to bring a precharged spare battery pack if you don't have the capacity to charge your phone on your bike. If you have a Powerlet unit installed on your bike, just make sure you have the right cables for your devices and none of this should be a problem for you. 

If you're traveling outside your home country, a good universal adapter is a must (and a space-saver).

Don't overpack. Just about anywhere you stay will have shampoo, soap, and even a toothbrush if you forget your travel one at home. Unless you absolutely can't live without your favorite hair products, don't be picky and just take whatever is at the place you're staying the night. You'll get clean and you'll save on unnecessary weight/space in your luggage. 

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