Autumn is here! This time of year is widely seen as prime riding season, particularly for those of us fortunate enough to live in the South.
Here in Georgia, hopping on my bike in “the dead of winter” isn’t a stretch.
That being said, no matter where you live when you do decide to hop on your bike here 10 Secrets for Smart Touring, courtesy of our friends at the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA):
- A short metal cable with loops on both ends (like those made to keep people from stealing bicycle seats) is perfect for securing a jacket and helmet to your bike’s helmet lock.
- Carry a spare key. Hide it somewhere on your bike with a zip-tie or duct tape, or better yet, trade spare keys with a traveling companion.
- On high-mileage days, you’ll feel a lot better if you carry eye drops and use them every time you stop for gas.
- If you’re nearing the end of your riding day and want to set yourself up for a quick getaway in the morning, consider riding to the far side of the next city you reach before you stop for the night, eliminating urban traffic the next morning.
- You’ve heard it a million times, but we’ll say it again: look over your bike carefully every morning on the road. Checking the simple stuff—air pressure, oil level, loose or missing fasteners—can save you from big trouble.
- Wear a dog-tag with your name and contact info, especially if you’re riding alone. You can get them lots of places, including your local army surplus store.
- Do routine maintenance at home with your bike’s toolkit, so you’re sure you have what you need along the side of the road.
- Be realistic with your daily mileage. In really scenic areas, 150 miles may make a very full day. Don’t assume you can achieve freeway mileage on good back roads.
- It is possible to use a kit to make emergency repairs on tubeless or tube-type tires alongside the road. But before you count on this as your safety net, practice using the kit on an old tire in your garage.
- A packable motorcycle cover not only keeps your bike clean and dry overnight, it also discourages thieves. And don’t forget a stout lock of some kind for the bike itself.
It’s the perfect time to hop on your bike and take in the Fall weather and sights, but make sure you stay safe an prepared out there! Want more tips? Check out AMA Recreational Riding Rulebook