Tag: riding tips

Help Wanted: Motorcycle Travel-Friendly Undergarments and Socks

Help Wanted: Motorcycle Travel-Friendly Undergarments and Socks

Womens Underwear - Corset ModelWomen’s undergarments have a long history of being cruel, hateful things. Whale bones, laces, wires – all of them evil, all of them found in ladies intimates. Sitting on a motorcycle all day can really showcase just how uncomfortable a pair of underpants can be.

For an upcoming trip, I am looking to find some new travel-friendly socks and underwear that provide all day comfort in the saddle. With luggage space being a premium, I’m specifically looking for items that can easily sink-wash and dry overnight so that I can pack less of them.

Wash and Wear

For underwear, the Ex-Officio Give-N-Go bikini briefs on REI.com get great reviews as do the Patagonia Active Briefs. I think they’ll be on my short list. See what I did there? Hopefully the elastic in the legs openings don’t become a problem after sitting all day. If you have experience with either of these pairs, brands or fabrics  – please comment below!

The same applies for sports bras. I’m looking for a sturdy and supportive wash and wear options that can carry me through the week on the road. I welcome any suggestions.

For socks, I’m a little up in the air. I don’t know what to pick. I like SmartWool socks very much but the ones that I currently have are a little bulky to pack several pairs. Also, I’ve yet to wash them in the sink to see how quickly they dry. Is there something better, something slimmer, something that can do a fast wash and wear overnight? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Let’s hear from you:

  • Do you have tips or tricks on how to bring less clothing without “suffering” on a road trip?
  • Do you have any experience with any particular products that we should know about?
Avoiding Animals While Riding Your Motorcycle

Avoiding Animals While Riding Your Motorcycle

When I first started riding, one of the sage pieces of advice that I received regarding dealing with animals out on the road was: “if you you can eat it in one sitting, you can ride over it.” Sure appetites may vary, but there’s probably some truth to that.

Tip: Dealing with Chasing Dogs

Don’t kick or swerve towards the dog. Vary your speed by slowing down and speeding up until you can put it safely behind you. This technique keeps the dog unable to estimate where you will be in relation to them.

I’m happy to report that has worked for me when I needed it.

Avoiding Bambi – Deer

Being a NY Metro girl, the biggest animals I usually have to deal with are deer. Such a sweet looking animal can strike terror in your heart when you see them up close and personal on the roadways.

If you see deer signs posted, here’s an idea… heed their warning! Slow down and scan the shoulder as you ride. Deer often move in groups so if you see one, expect to see another.

Be extra mindful during the early morning and at dusk, this is when deer are often active. One good thing to note is that a deer’s eyes will often reflect light to give them away when they aren’t in plain sight. The Blue Ridge Parkway Journeys blog has some good tips for avoiding deer collisions.

Brake for Moose

Moose are huge. If you see moose crossing signs, slow down and keep your eyes open. They won’t necessarily be frightened by the sound of your bike so be prepared to stop.  The Heart of New England offers some advice on how to prepare yourself to ride in moose country.

Moose spotted in Maine
Moose spotted in Maine

In 2003, I took my first ride to Maine. I can still remember sitting at lunch saying “I hope we get to see a moose.” I wish I knew then that it would put a check mark in the foreshadowing column of my scorecard.

As the dark settled in, Mother Nature unleashed a storm on us as we worked our way across the unlit Kancamagus Highway. I sat tucked behind the anemic headlights of my Ducati 996 following Kenny. With no streetlights helping us along, we rode through the dark rainy night. Suddenly a hulking, dark shape stepped towards the roadway. As Kenny applied his brakes, my wet visor went red with the reflection of his taillight and I saw nothing for a moment. My only thought as I began to brake was ”Oh God, please let it keep moving.’

Luckily, the moose did just that and continued it’s walk across the road. I saw my first moose but it was nothing like I’d planned.

Kenny and the Bear in Cooke City, Montana
Kenny and the bear in Cooke City, Montana

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

On a trip through Yellowstone in 2005, Kenny and I used a minivan as cover to get around three ornery looking buffalo that were in the roadway.  We did our best to improvise by putting the van between us and them.

Though buffalo appear to be docile and minding their own business doing buffalo things, it’s important to remember they are wild animals;  2,000 pound, unpredictable wild animals.  It’s best to keep your distance.

Buffalo in the road - Yellowstone

In Sequoia National Park, I nearly peed in my pants after almost hitting a bear. I was entirely unprepared to even see a bear let alone be what felt like a few inches away from one on the bike. That also cured me of “wanting to see a bear.”

And then there was this other time I was riding with Kenny and he swears he saw a Jackalope… but that’s a story for another day.

Let’s hear from you:

  • Do devices like deer whistles work?
  • What’s the most biggest and/or most interesting animal you’ve encountered on the road?
  • Do you have any safety tips to share?
  • What’s the weirdest animal crossing sign you’ve ever seen? Turtles, Grizzly Bear, etc.
On the road of life you can never completely insulate yourself from danger but you can take steps to minimize your risk.
Tips for Hot Weather Motorcycle Riding

Tips for Hot Weather Motorcycle Riding

On Sunday, I slipped out for a quick mid-morning ride. By 10am the temperature had already risen into the 90’s where it stayed for the remainder of the day. As I rode along the merciless black tar of the Long Island Expressway, the heat radiated all around me. I don’t often wish I were just going right back home instead of riding on… but yesterday was one of those days. It was utterly miserable.

How hot is too hot?

At some point, you have to ask yourself if it is simply too hot to ride your motorcycle. It is an entirely personal question to which the answer is sometimes, yes.

Today when I got into my car after work, the outside temperature read 104°F and crept up to 106°F while moving on the Expressway. I blissfully drove along in the cool of the AC. It was simply too hot to ride.

If you Decide to Brave the Heat

Hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate some more. Skip the caffeine, soda and alcohol. Go for water or a sports drink.

A good option to keep your fluids at a healthy level is to ride with a Camelback and sip as you go. It’s important that you try to stave off any of the symptoms of dehydration before they occur.

WebMD’s Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness, even fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output: Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.

Keep Cool with Evaporative Cooling

Wear a wet bandana or maybe Aerostich’s Evap-odana around your neck. There is also the option of using a cooling vest or the old-fashioned soaked t-shirt method.

Insulate your Body from the Sun and Heat

ATGATT helps with the heat too. Keep your skin fully covered and insulated.

Soundrider.com also notes that if the air temperature is below your regular body temperature, keep the vents open on your gear or opt for mesh garments. Once the temperature rises above your body temperature, close up vents to fight against the hot air. The moving hot air will heat up your cooler skin.

Use your Head

If you decide to ride in the high heat, listen to your body. If you feel a little woozy or maybe just a little “off”, do yourself a favor and pull off somewhere. Try to cool down by getting off the hot motorcycle and finding a shady spot, an air conditioned store or gas station and just chill out. By the time you feel the symptoms, dehydration could already be settling in.

Your Hot Weather Riding Tips? Do you have some hot weather motorcycle riding tips to keep to share? Put them in the comments, please!

How about you?

  • What’s the hottest temperature you’ve ever ridden in?
  • How hot is too hot for you?
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