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Riding Skills

Riding Rocky Terrain

I would longingly wonder where that road went and what adventures traveling it would bring me. Finally, five years ago I purchased my first dual sport bike and began exploring those less traveled roads; and on my, the adventures I have had!

10 Steps to Winterizing Your Bike

Whether you do it yourself or go to a shop for maintenance, there are a few things you need to take care of before you cover your bike for the winter months. Depending on how much you plan to ride during the winter (readers here range from “every time there is sunshine” to “the baby sleeps in the garage unHl spring”) you may have to adapt some of these tips, so you can access your bike easily and safely those sunny winter days you still feel like riding.

Getting in Riding Shape

For many sports (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, skiing, and swimming to name a few) being physically fit (defined as flexibility, strength, endurance and balance) improves performance while reducing the risk of injury. Initially, it may seem being physically fit is not necessary for riding a motorcycle, particularly when looking at some segments of our motorcycling community.


There are few things that put a smile on your face and enjoyment in your riding more than well executed cornering on a motorcycle. Putting together a series of sequential right and left hand turns on a twisty mountain road is sheer pleasure. Being out of sync with those turns can bring terror and intimidation to your riding.

To Solo or Not to Solo…

While pondering what I would share about last years Challenge, I stumbled across what is possibly a very common statistic among riders. Of the twenty-two challenge points collected last year, I ended up hitting eleven sites solo. Let’s do the math, twenty-two total, minus eleven solo, add the “post your own ride”, carry the Three Island Crossing that I lost my picture of, and we end up with a perfect 50/50 split.

Tips on Planning a Multi-day Ride

My preference for maps include the Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlases specific to each state. These are excellent detailed sources for both paved and unpaved roads. Also the AAA state and regional maps are good for overviews on highways less traveled.

Planning a Ride

The most reliable means of resolving the paradox is with the experience of fellow riders. Reports and plans at, and other sites provide routes and trail conditions in words and pictures. If you’re looking for adventure, it’s a great place to start.

Ride Planning

I do a lot of my ride navigation by GPS, so when I start planning, I use a mapping program that is compatible with my GPS. I start by placing the major locations that I want to visit as waypoints on the map. This will give me a basic idea of where my route is going to need to go. With the major points of interest on my map, I’ll usually let the program generate an “Auto- route” of the trip.


As a new rider, there are some simple yet important lessons that I have learned from which other riders just discovering this world for themselves or are transitioning from road bikes to dual sport riding may benefit. My first “real” motorcycle was a Suzuki DR350SE. I couldn’t have picked a better bike to learn on. It was small, yet could take me down the highway at a reasonable speed, and was quite manageable off-road. I was also very glad that it was not a heavy bike because of the fact that I dropped it almost every time I went off-road.

The Second Half of the Story

There is nothing about the aging of motorcyclists that makes them immune to the inevitable deterioraOon of both physical and mental faculOes experienced by the general populaOon as it ages. At age 40 or 50 you may say that you will never stop riding, but at age 60 or 70 you might find that your priorities are changing. Five to fifteen years down the road (depending on your current age), there are realities to face, such as lengthened reaction time, poorer balance, fuzzier vision, and ongoing medical issues. As you age, your priorities will very likely be shifting from motorcycling to health.