Things We Learned On The Road

After riding over 2600 miles over the course of our 10-day road trip to Charlotte and Charleston, there are a number of lessons we learned.

Double-check the mileage between your hotels.  Nothing sucks quite like having reservations 50 miles past where you planned to make them, and 45 miles past your comfortable riding limit.

GPS is nice, but it’s also a good idea to print out or write down directions just in case.

When your route takes you through a major city, allow some extra time (and hassle) for detours.  Try to avoid arriving right at rush hour, it sucks.

Towing a trailer has far more advantages than disadvantages. You’ll pay a small gas mileage penalty, but you sure can pack a lot of stuff.

Stock seats wear out. You don’t notice it happening on shorter rides, but when they do, they get really uncomfortable after a while.

Long sleeves really are the best option regardless of how hot it gets.

You can’t carry too much cold water.

The tools you have along are never enough to do what you need to do if you need tools. I suspect this would still be true even if I were towing a complete tool chest.

An MP3 player is the way to go. Trying to find radio stations that don’t suck is a major challenge.

We’re far more aware of weather when we ride. Sometimes you can avoid bad weather by waiting a while; other times you avoid it by leaving right now. Sometimes not stopping to get rain gear on will keep you from needing rain gear. You kind of develop a feel for it.

Hotel reservations are a two-edged sword. They get you a good rate on a hotel room, and you know you have a place to stay. But they also require you to be in one place at the end of the day — whether it’s just right, too far or not far enough.

Rain suits are nice. Really nice. If you’re willing to dodge bad weather you don’t need them as often. You’ll especially want to do this if you don’t have waterproof boots or boot covers.

You really don’t need a lot of cold weather gear for the Smoky Mountains… they’re not high enough to be cold in the summer. It’s safe to leave the chaps & heavy gloves at home.

There were a lot more… I’ll be adding some as I can remember them.