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Long motorcycle trips can be very rewarding, with a lot of fun along the way. Whether you are travelling solo or with a companion, there are lots of ways to entertain yourself during those points where the scenery is not so thrilling. For those night stops, you can use these tips too.

  1. Listen to music

There’s nothing like the right soundtrack to make the road feel even more epic. Take care about playlist choice and volume – you can’t skip a track when you’re riding, and you don’t want to block out important noises which could warn you of hazards.

  1. Play counting games

If you start to get bored, you can initiate a counting game. If you’re travelling with someone else, you can make it competitive, but it works alone too. Pick something and count it – like the number of roadside pubs you pass, or so forth. You can also count decorations on houses that you pass around Christmas or Halloween.

  1. Watching films or TV

When you’re at your stop for the night, you can fill in some time by watching TV shows or films on your smart phone or tablet. If you need to download them, make sure to use a VPN connection for safety. You can also download them before you set off so you’re ready to watch.

  1. Listen to a book

A bit like listening to music, only more intellectual. You can load up an audio book on your phone and pop your headphones in to listen to a story which will accompany your journey. A lot of audio books tend to be many hours long, so this will work well.

  1. Film yourself

If you set up a GoPro camera and a microphone in your helmet, you can actually record a travel video while you ride. This is something you can edit down later and use to showcase your journey. You could even start a vlog for this purpose.

  1. Sing to yourself

If you don’t want to fill your helmet with music, how about providing your own? You can sing out loud on a long journey, especially if you’re on a long highway without much variation. It will keep you awake as you try to remember lyrics, too.

  1. Wave at people

If you’re travelling through populated areas, try waving randomly at passers-by. Especially if you spot kids, this is a lot of fun as they get excited! Only do this if it is safe, such as when you are stopped at a light. If you’re riding a long motorway or highway, you might not get a chance.

  1. Write a novel

You won’t be able to write it down, but why not make up your own fantasy world in your head? Make up a story with characters and decide what happens to them. This can be a lot of fun to stretch your creative imagination while you’re trying to find something to grab your attention.

  1. Think about life

Finally, why not use the long journey to think about life in general? You can do some real soul-searching and think about what you want out of life, and how you can get there. This is a time to answer the really big questions. By the time you reach your destination, you might have made an important decision about the rest of your life.

There can be dull moments even on the most exciting motorcycle road trips, and you can find yourself getting sleepy or bored because of the monotony. These techniques will help prevent that from now on.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Datastical, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future.

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I must say this was an unusual request.  Biker Coffee contacted me via Twitter (@ijustwant2ride  @biker_coffee) about doing a taste test of their product.  I told them that I had quite coffee quite a while ago but was willing to get a small group together to do the tasting.  They agreed and this is what happened….

We received two bags of coffee their “Original Blend” and their “Full Throttle Dark Roast”.   A may no longer drink coffee but WOW did this stuff smell GREAT!!!  The taste testers all agreed this coffee smelled awesome.  Biker Coffee could be a kitchen potpourri all by itself!

IMG_20180408_154329517_HDRAs good as it smells the true test was in the test.  Here it was a split decision for the “Original Blend”, some folks thought it was better than Starbucks but no one thought it was worse than Starbucks. The general thought was that it was good to very good but not special.

The Biker Coffee “Full Throttle Dark Roast” was what got everyone talking.  Before tasting I heard comments like “man that looks strong”, “they were not kidding about dark”.  I think folks were a bit intimidated by the strong look and smell.  Everyone tried it straight black for the first taste and they all said they were surprised how good it was!  After a few of them added their cream or cream/sugar I asked how it was then, the first response…. “I am taking what is left in the bag home with me!”

Over all everyone preferred Biker Coffee’s “Full Throttle” to the “Original Blend”.  No one IMG_20180408_160312550_HDRstated anything negative about the taste of either and all loved the smell of both blends.  But, to a person they all preferred the Dark Roast over the original.  While I don’t know if they placed an order, I did notice a couple folks with Biker Coffee’s website on their phones.

Speaking of their website, here is a tidbit that describes what they are about.  What makes Biker Coffee different is that the beans are roasted to order. That means when customers place an online order, the beans are roasted and the flavor-sealed bag is delivered to their doorstep. It also means our coffee is at peak freshness when you open the bag. The robust aroma, accompanied by a rich, bold flavor, will get you ready for whatever the road (or day) brings. Our beans are sourced from free trade, sustainable farms in the mountains of Costa Rica and Guatemala. We add the attitude in the states”.

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So why a 4 star review?  It came down to the enthusiasm folks displayed (in addition to their comments).  The enthusiasm over the “Original Blend” was no better than average (a 3) but as soon as the “Full Throttle” started brewing folks perked up (LOL) all the conversation after that point was about the Dark Roast (enthusiasm level 5).

4 out 5 stars

motorcycle vacation ohio WV www.ijustwant2ride.com

This time last year we had between 500 and 1000 miles in the motorcycle.  We had several all-day rides to different places in the region.  This year we have a little under 150 miles with nothing other than “ride to eat” jaunts.  When will the weather turn good?

The few times it has been nice on the weekends, which are rare for 2018, we have had to perform those yearly home owner chores and maintenance.

So, I just looked at the weather for this coming weekend and guess what … 100% chance for rain on Saturday and 50% chance on Sunday!  AND, if you have followed this blog for any time you know that a 50% chance for everyone else is a 100% chance for me!  Well at least snow is not in the forecast.

Now Saturday works out ok in that we have tickets to see the new Avengers movie (I hope they have motorcycles again).  But, come on…..IJustWant2Ride!!!!

 

 

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With April set as Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month I thought I would write a few different posts on the subject.  I am going to try and cover several different areas around helmet safety just for us to think about.

FITMENT

I am not going to try the case of wearing or not wearing the helmet.  But if you do wear a helmet you should make sure it fits properly.

The first thing, in my opinion, you should do is look at the sizing guides for the helmets you are most interested in. Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer has a slightly different way of sizing your head both in measurements and shape.

Sizing your skull

When you measure your head, wrap the tape measure starting about ½ inch above your eyebrow, loop around your head (at the largest point) keeping it above your ears.  I recommend that you have a friend help you with this to get the correct measure.  I also suggest doing it three times and then averaging the three to get the size of your noog’n.

If your melon falls between the two sizes, go with the smaller size.

 

 

Shape of your skull

This one is a lot tougher to deal with.  Most motorcycle helmet makers really, truly do not take into to account that our brain-cases are the same shape.

While all heads, for the most part, are oval some are rounder then others while some are more elongated.  The shape of your skull will impact how the helmet fits.  You will have to try on the helmets you are interested in to see how they fit your dome.

Trying the Helmet On

Does your new candidate helmet fill a little tight?  That is good!  Feeling a little tight or slightly uncomfortable is ok but if it should not be inducing any pain to the back of your gourd, your temples or your forehead. Any hotspots or uncomfortable pressure points will be a guarantee of a miserable ride.

Now try turning the helmet left and right and tilting forward and back.  If the helmet moves over your skin freely it is to big, try a size smaller.

If it seems to fit well, try to keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes.  Does it still feel ok?  When you take it off are there any hotspots or rub marks, if not maybe you have a winner.  If you are having comfort issues the helmet just might be the wrong shape for your head.

Try to Pull the Helmet Off

Last step, if everything else seems to be a-ok.  Reach over your head and grasp the bottom/back of the helmet.  Try and pull it over and off your head.  If it comes off, try a different size.

While these are my recommendation please do your own research on the fitment of motorcycle helmets.  There are many other suggestions out there, these are just the ones that I use. Just use these suggestions as a way to get started on assuring a good fit.  Look for other suggestions/recommendations on fitment of helmets.  Never trust just one website, look at as many as you can to make sure you fully understand. 

Also, you can use these fitment techniques as a starting point to determine if your current motorcycle helmet is still good to go.  Can you pull it over and off your head?  Might be a good time to replace your primary safety device.

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Example of bad fitment!

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Here in North America and in many other parts of the world, our motorcycles are coming out of their winter hibernation.  Along with the all of our riding accessories including helmets.

So what does that mean to you and me, the average motorcycle rider?h7

It means that you need to perform the safety checks for your motorcycle (tires, brakes, etc.).  You also need to check the condition of your helmets.  Some ideas on checking your motorcycle helmet:

  • Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?
  • Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?
  • The internal padding is connected and stays in place?
  • Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?
  • Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!

While your helmet might look clean and shiny it does not mean that it not ready for replacement. Worse yet, a single drop to the ground might be enough to cause you to consider replacement, according to the manufactures.

Here are some industry guidelines regarding your helmet:

  • Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years, h6depending on use, to ensure optimal protection.
  • Over time, UV rays, internal adhesive and component aging can deteriorate a helmet’s protective qualities by degrading the interior protection layer.
  • Exposure to gasoline, insect repellent, cleaning fluids, exhaust fumes and excessive heat can degrade helmet materials.
  • If a helmet has been dropped or suffered an impact, it should be replaced immediately.
  • A helmet is designed for only one impact, even a small one. An impact may fracture its outer shell as well as compress the inner liner, neither of which may be visible.

Now it is your head so you need to make the decision, but you should at least check out your lid to make sure there are no major issues.

When you get your lid out for the 1st time this year, or if you have let it set for while you might want to make sure nothing has crawled in there.  In the 1st photo that is a poisonous Black Widow spider.  How bad would it feel to get bitten at 50MPH?  Oh and in the second pic that is a miniature Mountain Lion, I am sure you can all see the danger in that!!!!

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Check your lid! That is a Black Widow Spider!

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Look! A cat!

 

 

Here in the US, as well as many other places, motorcycling appears to be in a major decline. Most motorcycle manufactures are selling fewer bikes, industry aftermarket companies are facing hardship, publications are reducing output or closing shop. The economy may be rebounding which gives me hope that our avocation is just lagging and all will be better soon enough.

But if not, is it our fault? There have been many articles, post, opinions shared about how the younger generation (those dang whippersnappers, get off my grass) appear to have no interest in motorcycling. Or that they can’t afford motorcycles, or they are afraid of motorcycles, etc. etc..

Harley Davidson appears to be the most hurt by this apparent trend. They also appear to be the one company attempting to change that trend as well. They are spending a lot of money and capital on coming out with new products and promotions. Heck, they were the corporate sponsor of a new Winter X-Games event, the snow hill climb. But, their efforts are all about the company not motorcycling in general, as it should be.

The reason I ask the question “Is it our fault?” is what are we, the current crop of riders, doing to promote our passion to the next generation(s)? Do we hang out with the same bike loving groups? Do we ride with the same group of friends?

Because of this I am challenging myself and you to get out of the 2-foot rut in which you

ijustwant2ride.com

The Grandsons out on the motorcycles

are riding. Find ways to talk with non-riders about what it is to ride, on-road, off-road it does not matter. Spread the gospel of motorcycle and see if you can convert, even one, to the world of riding. If only 50% of the riders out there can get someone up on two wheels in the next 5 years, we would have a 50% growth in the industry.

Here are a few ideas on getting non-riders involved, add yours to the comments:

* Take a non-rider out for several motorcycle rides (and don’t scare them).
* Going to the dealership? Take a non-rider with you to acclimate them to bikes.
* Have a stack of motorcycle magazines? Give a few to a non-rider, again acclimation.
* Have a track nearby? Take your non-rider to a race or event at the track.
* Know some young kids? Buy them any of the motorcycle themed video games out there.

Well that is my 2 cents on this discussion of the decline of motorcycling. The motorcycle brands can do a lot, but so can we. Don’t make it our fault.

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

WOW…. where do we start…. MOTOGP, Moto2, Flat Track, Daytona 200, Drag Racing, Supercross!!!!!

Hector Arana Jr becomes the 1st to break 200MPH on the Pro Stock Motorcycle tour.

Two red plates going into the 250 Supercross final, but only one comes out!  Phil was cheering Austin Forkner to get into a fight….WHAAAA?

Eli Tomac dominated the night but it is still Jason Anderson’s Championship to lose!  What is going on with Money Marvin Musquin?   OH, and Phil has a tweet liked by the GOAT!

Flat Track kicks off the season with the Daytona TT!  LOTS of great racing with a bunch of MotoAmerica and wild card racers doing well.  Wonder if Phil still wants to punch JD “Jiggy Dogg” Beach?  JD finished 2nd in the twins!

Oh and then there was MotoGP…. Moto2 was uneventful really but the finish of premier race was AWESOME.  Dovi and Marquez fighting into the last turn!!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS WEEKS SHOW

Ijustwant2ride.com

Kevlar Motorcycle Riding Pants

I currently have 3 pair of Kevlar reinforced motorcycle pants. I reviewed the pants in earlier posts, click here for the BILT Iron Workers, and here for the NEWFACELOOK Motorcycle Cargo Pants.

These pants are starting to show their age and I am in the market for new motorcycle pants.

I have a high preference for cargo pants over denim jeans.  Actually, make that a complete preference for cargo pants over jeans while riding my motorcycle.  The problem is there are not a lot of cargo style motorcycle pants out there.

As I was weighing my options when I ran across the Bohn Body Armor site.  They offer a different solution, what looks like armored underwear!

bohnThe concept is intriguing enough to me that I sent them a couple Twitter messages asking questions about their products.

They provided some quick responses and they are now in the top 3 of my selection process.

ALSO…. They provided a coupon code for this blog!  From now to the 30th of April 2018 take 10% off on orders over $150.

If Bohn Body Armor is for you use CODE: WANT2RIDE to save some dollars.

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Some expert motorcycle taxi riding in the Philippines!

3 Years living on a motorcycle!

Japanese Motorcycle Special Teams At Training with Kawasaki KLX250

How much will a MOTOGP Rider make in 2018

Going to North Carolina or Tennessee to ride this year, check this out!