As I sat at the computer twittering away, I read about every ones pending motorcycle rides and drooled. Especially Sturgis, which starts the day of my “50 something” birthday, August 3rd. I am stuck at home making arrangement to find the right school for my 17 year old grandson, figure out how to help my daughter and granddaughter after a Christmas time fire, keep my head above water in these tough economic times and build a fledgling motorcycle travel website. I was blue (even though I am very blessed). That, however, didn’t stop me from doing what mommys/grandmommys do, and that is worry about every ones well-being on these very hot days in the sunshine. I twittered this tip and twittered that tip. Then I began to ponder the many things that I learned from my years of fun in the sun during sports, enjoying the great outdoors and, yes, riding in the sun. Well, you know where that went! It was time to blog about it. So, here we go….
On my website I have “beat the heat suggestions” and what to do in the event of sunstroke ( http://ow.ly/hPMR )and was planning to put motorcycle specific advice in as well. There are actually quite a few that don’t always pop into your mind until you’re out there and in trouble. The sun can be a nasty fellow if you’re not careful! Hope these tips help!
1) Always remember to rehydrate! Caffeine drinks are diuretics and you need at least two non- caffeinated drinks to make up for one caffeinated one. Salt helps you absorb and retain water so put a pinch in your water bottle or eat a salty snack. A camelback water backpack ( http://ow.ly/hPPb here at webBike World) is a great way to carry water and sip as you go. If you fill it half full of ice, it lasts a bit longer while being more soothing when thirsty. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrating! A headache wont be far behind, so drink up. As gross as it sounds, be aware of the color of your urine! Pale yellow is perfect. Anything darker is a sure sign that you are headed for dehydration. Also, and this one is gunna hurt….lay off the alcohol!
2) Consider clothing that allows you to sweat and your body to breathe. My buddies at Motosport ( http://ow.ly/hPQC ) have a great selection of hot weather riding gear but you can even consider some of the better work-out clothing to achieve the same results. Long sleeves keep you from sunburn. I always take any opportunities to drench myself, my clothing and, even the inside of my helmet on very hot days. Wetting your head is one quick way to cool off after your helmet has trapped the heat in. Also, consider one of the neck bandannas that have the absorbing crystals inside (here’s instructions to make your own called “Cool Ties”. http://ow.ly/hPUG ). “Cool Ties work on the principal of evaporative cooling. Once the polymer is hydrated, the fabric surface of the Cool Tie draws the moisture from the polymer to the fabric surface, which evaporates resulting in an effective body cooler”.
3) Remember that your air and oil cooled bikes are going to get hot! You may want to ride forever but the bike is going to need breaks to cool off. Its better on the open road but, pay attention to the bikes temperature just to be safe. Along with the heat comes soft asphalt! When you park your bike, go for the shade of course but, when you can’t find any, remember to take something along to put under your kick stand. I have seen them get pretty buried in that soft black mess and be plenty tough to wiggle free. Left long enough in asphalt that is soft enough and the asphalt actually wraps around the kickstand like the “blob”! My friends at Whitehorse Gear have these trick little things called “kickstand feet” ( http://ow.ly/hPXe ). They are very reasonable so if you get stuck leaving it, you wont be TOO unhappy although, I have never had to. If you get in a pinch, crush a soda can and use that. I used to laugh about it every time I would find one in a parking lot, buried in the asphalt. Its what the motorcycle boot was designed for….drink the soda and crush it with the boot, viola’!
Always remember to carry your medical and emergency information with you. Bring something for a headache and wear a hat, sunscreen, and good sunglasses. Take your time and have fun!
If there is anything I am forgetting, please let me know. I would love to hear suggestions so that I can include all your fabulous ideas when I update the website. Experience is the key and passing the good ideas along to our motorcycling brethren is what we do at Motorcycle Travel America ( http://ow.ly/hPZu ).
I am anxiously awaiting the time that I can travel down to Dallas, Texas and have the guys at Mystery Designs ( http://ow.ly/hQ06 ) build me a “Tiltster”. Then I will be back on the road again and gone………
Lady Godiva on wheels wishing everyone good, safe and healthy summer riding!! You know where to keep that shiny side, my friends.
P.S. Will say a prayer so that everyone gets a little motorcycle angel ridin with them…….