The tours that classic rite of passage journey novels and especially such movies make seem a breeze, actually represent something of a logistical nightmare for even experienced riders, if you don’t also happen to be half pro- drifter and political inspiration, and half scout and expert explorer of the outdoors.
My Honda sports touring bike and I have built up good relations over many shorter and medium length trips, but touring puts a whole different spin on things, and especially on back muscles as, contrary to the ‘youthful boy becomes self-reliant man’ narratives of the epics, some of us start touring even after we’ve discovered our place in the world – which would explain our desire to leave behind the stress of everything that implies for at least a few weeks.
There’s something increasingly attractive about the back of beyond to those in, shall we say, middle life. Again, more silver fox than silver screen, but as I said, the artistic impressions of tours can be somewhat distinct in real life, as so many other things.
To try to give some more practical, and less Forest Gump style, tips you’re obviously looking to be far better equipped for the road, for taking care of yourself in reduced circumstances, and especially for recuperating during the tour when you’re off-road overnight in your tent or B&B.
Whipping up a tree house in a clearing and wrestling your dinner onto a stoking fire isn’t you; you’re not that person, it is essential to realise. If it is you, you’re either Bear Grylls and you don’t need these tips, or you’re not and you need a reality check, which a night contemplating tasting bugs and the potential adverse health impacts of mild dehydration and TV withdrawal symptoms will be sure to bring home. We’ve all been there. So you’ll want to check out the best motorcycle insurance for a Honda you can obtain.
Practice assembling your tent if it’s a new purchase. Some models are far more challenging than the road map’s proved to memorise, and if you’re on a tight schedule to see the most sights during your break from reality, you don’t want to waste it on teenage scout frustrations.
If you were a scout in younger, more hopeful, years, take greater heed. We’re the ones guaranteed to be attempting the whittling of tent pegs out of overhanging branches with our pen knives – just to make a point. We’re also the ones who’ll be found grumpily orating on the virtues of the old days’ approaches to adventures, even as we crave the home comforts to which we’ve become accustomed in the hundred years that have passed since we last demonstrated our hardcore explorer abilities for the sweet prize of canvas badges.
Don’t skimp on supplies – I need more fuel than my Honda on long trips, especially in climates that are too cold or hot for comfort on the road, but that you endure to feel even more of a hero.
And that’s when you’re reminded that your journey is worthy of a movie, and you add a screenplay to your bucket list of long lost ambitions. At least you’ll be out touring again, however tough the road, adventure is one ambition realised.
About The Author: Iain Miller is a digital marketer, former recruitment consultant and petrolhead based in Scotland. He contributed this article on behalf of Motorcycle News.