|June 29, 2018|
Prepping for the Long Haul
This blog details the triking adventures of Red and Big Guy, and their inaugural trip to the
2018 Sturgis Rally.
Unless you live in Meade County, South Dakota, the Sturgis Bike Rally is going to require some road time to get there. And by “road time,” I mean HOURS --- and in some cases, DAYS --- to earn one of those cool I RODE MINE patches.
That much time pounding the asphalt, and you’ll want to make sure that the road gremlins don’t jump up and grab you. Keep your chances sharp for a breakdown-free ride by spending some time checking things over on your scoot before you load your saddlebags.
Here’s a list you might find helpful:
Check your brakes. Master cylinders, check levels, both front/rear. Brake pads, both front/rear, inner and outer pads.
Look at your fuel system. Fuel tank full? No cracks or leaks in the hoses? Throttle cable should be smooth, without sticking.
Drive train next. Check all your fluid levels: engine oil, transmission oil, primary chain/clutch oil. Take a look at your primary chain and check the chain tensioner adjustment. Make sure your clutch lever is properly adjusted (it will be getting a lot of use, both on the way and after you arrive in Sturgis).
Don’t forget your tires and wheels. Measure your tire tread wear; be sure you’re safe for all that riding you want to do. Tire pressure is important, too; inflate those to recommended specifications once your bike is fully loaded.
Lighting, lighting, lighting. Can’t be too safe out there on the road. Part of safety is not only operating your own bike in a safe manner but being seen by other folks sharing that road. Take a look at your headlights (both high and low beams), tail lights, brake lights, running lights, turn signals, spotlights, and any decorative/vanity lights. Be safe – be SEEN!
Annnnnd here comes the part Big Guy hates…the packing event I like to call “Saddlebag Lotto.” (He also calls it “What the hell do we need THAT for?”) All I have to say is, he’s damn grateful when I produce sunscreen, water, ibuprofen, and granola bars in the middle of a rest stop. Or a first-aid kit. Or a cell phone charger. WHATEVER…
I suggest the following items be included on your mega-mile trip, for both comfort and necessity.
Cell phone charger - Rain suit (pants, jacket, gloves, boots)
Sunscreen - Spare hoodie/spare sweatshirt/spare jacket
Sunglasses - Drinking water
First-aid kit (essentials) - Tool kit (basics, including tape & zip ties)
Paper road map - Snack food (trail mix, protein bars, etc.)
Spare change of clothing - Wet wipes
Toothpaste/toothbrush - Deodorant
Chaps - Dry towel
Last but not least, I always include a bandanna handkerchief (aka do-rag) and a baseball cap. Ladies, helmet hair is no joke.
Remember, look for us on the streets of Sturgis – we might just buy you a beer!