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Long Distance Riding Iron Butt or Endurance rides.

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Old November 12th, 2008   #1
zldrider
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Default Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

Everyone has their own little methods for doing things. Some work for everyone but some are personal.

Here are mine (YMMV):
  1. I like to start out early in the morning around 4 or 5am. I get tired at night around 11pm and, although I've ridden throughout the night, I prefer to stop and get a hotel room for around 3 - 6 hrs depending upon what type of ride I am attempting.
  2. I like to do isometric exercises to stretch my muscles and to keep my joints from aching or hurting. It also helps to wake me up if I'm getting drowsy or my attention wanders.
  3. I shift sitting positions a lot before my butt starts hurting to avoid hot spots, etc.
  4. I use custom seats for more comfort. The companies I recommend are: #1 - Russell Day-Long, #2 - Rich's Custom Seats, #3 - Rick Mayer Custom Seats or Bill "Rocky" Mayer Custom Seats.
  5. I customize my bike so that it is ergonomically perfect FOR ME by using bar risers, custom windshields, heated grips, wind deflectors, and a backrest (to name a few things). It is very important to eliminate any small little annoyances as they can become BIG problems over time and distance.
  6. I wear "dew rags" inside my helmet to keep my scalp from itching.
  7. I wear special glasses (more like goggles) to help keep my eyes from drying out. I also use lubricating eye drops. My glasses are now prescription as I get older. ;-)
  8. I use custom ear plugs to reduce wind noise and to listen to music and the CB. I use neosporin to lubricate the ear plugs and to help lessen irritation to my ear canals over time.
  9. I use the CB for traffic info ahead and for entertainment.
  10. I listen to music to pass the time and for entertainment.
  11. I use Dentyn peppermint ICE gum when I get "the nods" as it helps wake me up.
  12. I try to avoid using coffee or caffeine when I get drowsy. Although, I do like the Red Bull energy drink because of the Taurine and Ginsing as it keeps me alert without the "drop off" as it wears off. I don't over-do those, however.
  13. I've converted my headlights to HID to make me more visible and to extend my lighting forward and to the sides at low beam.
  14. I've added PIAA 910 driving lights to see farther down the road at night at high beam. These can also be toggled off for on-coming traffic.
  15. I've added an on-board hydration system to keep my body well hydrated constantly.
  16. I use heated clothing and cool vests when needed.
  17. I use a gps for navigation aid.
  18. I use a radar detector to warn myself of speed traps.
  19. I carry an extensive tool kit, a first aid kit and a tire repair kit for emergencies.
  20. I carry a cell phone for the same reason.
  21. I ride everyday to work, rain or shine, to practice and to get used to all kinds of weather. This ensures that I KNOW what my gear is capable of doing and how to use it.
  22. I practice by riding long distances many times a year.
That's some of what I do in an abbreviated list. Ron Ayres wrote several books on this subject which you can obtain through White Horse Press. One is called, "Going the Extra Mile" and is more of a 'How to' book where he compiled ideas from many people (many of which are listed above). He goes into much more detail.

I especially like his book, "Against the Wind" which is a story of his 1995 Iron Butt Rally ride. It's what got me interested in this sport.

He also wrote one named, "Against the Clock" which detailed his 7x49 world record ride (touching all 49 states in record time). I was one of the witnesses in WA State and suggested the name for the book. It was a very exciting time for me early on in my LD Riding "career".

I would love to hear tips and tricks from any other LD Riders here and am sure some other members would like to also. There is just so much to talk about with this sport it is hard to know where to begin.

So, list your thoughts and ideas.
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Old November 12th, 2008   #2
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

Honda provided us with warm fairing pockets, use them to your advantage.
The right fairing pocket is the finest Fig Newton warmer ever developed and since I like my Gummy Bears soft and mushy it does double duty.
Baby wipes in a zip-lock bag warmed in the fairing pocket. Nothing refreshes like being able to wash your face and hands at 3am.

I learned several valuable lessons at this years LOE rally dealing with a flat at night.
First and foremost you don't have enough flashlight. Does not really matter what your carrying you need two and better.

Your going to be laying on the ground fixing this and it's raining. A plastic drop cloth is worth it's weight in gold and is easily packed. Even if it's not raining the side of the road is usually real close to dirt.

Digital tire gauges are not worth the powder to blow them to pieces at night. Get a good quality stick type gauge and mark the stick at 42, if you can see the mark move along your close enough.
Today's tires are tough. T Handle repair tools are the way to go. Get a reamer for your repair kit that has a aggressive shaft. Monkey Grip has a T handle set I highly recommend.

Dish washing soap mixed with water in a nasal spray bottle will help with clean up and could help find a hole that does not have a nail sticking out of it.

Spare valve cores in your repair kit and a remover/installer are a must particularly if you have a hole you can't find. You will need to put air in the tire to find the hole then it will either leak out or you need to get it out to fix the hole. Your going to use up the CO2 cartridges fast, in my opinion a 12 volt pump is better, you never run out of air.

Get both saddle bags and the rear fender off first. You need as much light as you can get if it's dark. Your laying on the ground with the fender on, your sitting with it off, sitting is better and worth the minute or two to remove the four bolts.

Paul
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Old November 12th, 2008   #3
zldrider
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years



I like my beef jerky dry, not moist. The ST1300's fairing pockets are great for drying out jerky too. Clapping

Nutrition is important, but not so much to me. I eat mostly beef jerky and drink lots of water. But, I sometimes get a hankering for Hostess Cherry Pies and salted Pistatios. I should get better at this and eat right.

Advil is your friend.

There is no such thing as "waterPROOF" gloves. Anyone that says there is is either lying through their teeth or haven't ridden very long through a REAL rain storm (I'm talking hours and hundreds of miles). Lots of water-resistant gloves, though.

Best way to avoid wet, soggy hands is to use Rider Wearhouse three-fingered Gortex Overgloves over your favorite pair of riding gloves. I prefer riding gloves that are also water-resistant and have a draw-string gauntlet. AlpineStars makes some of my favorites.

Lights, lights, lights. As Paul says, you can never have too many. I carry several different kinds of flash lights and used to have a built-in map reading light called the "Littlelite" that you can order through Police supply web sites. I plan to put another on this ST.

My favorite totally waterproof and comfortable boot is the SIDI On-Roads followed by the SIDI Canyons.

LDComfort shorts, tights, and shirts are DA BOMB! No substitute. Padded bicycle shorts are a joke.

Fill up with gas BEFORE you need to.

Too high of a speed uses up gas too quickly and gets you pulled over. A time waster.

GPS's are ok and useful but no substitute for knowing how to read a map.
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Old November 12th, 2008   #4
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

Pack light, don't carry anything you buy easily at a truck stop or gas station if and when you need it.

Spare keys, I carry 3 keys for the ignition and 2 top box keys at any one time.

A place for everything and everything in it's place. Be consistent with how you pack and you'll be able to find anything in the dark.

Make sure your clothing is functional and comfortable, I wear a I piece Roadcrafter, C2, Held gloves and use a Summer version when it's hot. Heated clothing by Gerbing and a spare controller along with LDComfort shorts and shirts. I also carry a cool vest for the odd day that the sun comes out to play.

As Paul says light is important, I carry a large Maglight for bonus hunting and use a smaller one when needed. I also have a lamp that will strap to my head for working on flats etc so my hands are free.

I've worked hard to keep my farkles to a minimum, everything is neatly integrated and does it's job. The only redundancy is a spare GPS 'just in case', I'm not a map guy and the lack of signage here on the East Coast renders them largely useless anyway.

The best thing I think you can carry with you though is a positive attitude towards the people you meet and the places you visit, riding a motorcycle gets you a lot closer to things than 'normal' travelers and people seem to gravitate towards helping you more than they do in other walks of life. The kindness of strangers at odd time of the day and night when I'm looking for a bonus or simply stopped for fuel or a rest never ceases to amaze me. It's truly been a eye opener for me as to just how kind the great American public can be.



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Old December 13th, 2008   #5
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

I haven't done any LD riding in quite a while but I noticed the comments about the "Hotpockets" and have a solution for that. Pull the covers off and use a bigger spacer than the washer Honda put in. I used a nut (as in screw and..), approx. 3/16" thick. This raises the cover about 1/8" which allows the air to escape more readily. No more toasted wallet, extra ear plugs, etc. It barely felt warm in there when I put my hand in with outside temps over 100f. Thanks to Bert for the idea.
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Old January 4th, 2009   #6
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

I am new to this forum and a new ST 1300 owner. In fact this is my first bike. I’ve owned it for about three weeks now. Yesterday was the first time that I went on a rider for longer than 30 minutes (I am still learning to ride). Well, after about 45 min of riding my back and bottom began to hurt. I also noticed that the wind noise while riding was really loud. I purchased the bike because I am 6’ 7” and this was the only bike I felt comfortable on.
Any advice on how to relieve the stress on my back and bottom will be greatly appreciated.
Dillon
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Old January 4th, 2009   #7
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Spare valve cores in your repair kit and a remover/installer are a must particularly if you have a hole you can't find.
Paul

A simple remover/installer tool consists of a tubeless tire stem with a metal valve stem cap, the kind that has the valve stem remover on it.
We used these in tireshops and gas stations, in my far distant youth.
They were more ergonomic than the smaller diameter removers and easier on the hands.
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Old January 4th, 2009   #8
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

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Originally Posted by dillond123 View Post
...........new ST 1300 owner. In fact this is my first bike. I’ve owned it for about three weeks now............ after about 45 min of riding my back and bottom began to hurt. I also noticed that the wind noise while riding was really loud. I purchased the bike because I am 6’ 7” and this was the only bike I felt comfortable on.
Any advice on how to relieve the stress on my back and bottom will be greatly appreciated.
Dillon
Welcome Dillon,

The ST1300 is a very big jump into motorcycling. After 15 years without riding, my concepts and skills were quite rusty. The best thing I did was do some rider training courses. I understand the AirForce has mandated training.....do it. You won't regret it. If you get a chance, go to a Ride Like a Pro session. And a great read......Proficient Motorcycling by Hough.

Is the pain in your back in the shoulders or lower? New riders tend to grip the handlebars to tight. By lightening your hold, the muscles may not become as fatigued. The ST13 does have a slight forward lean and every spring, the first few rides my back is a little sore from trying to keep the weight off my hands. For me, a few hours in the saddle firm up the abs and the lower back pain goes away. There are mods to extend the handlebars up and back also.

Now the butt soreness is another issue. The stock seat leaves a lot to be desired. For me, more than a 100 miles without a break would become nearly unbearable. Many, if not most.......have made some kind of change to the saddle. I chose Rick Mayer Saddles as my fix. Others have found that modifications to the existing seat foam does the trick...
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Old January 4th, 2009   #9
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillond123 View Post
Well, after about 45 min of riding my back and bottom began to hurt. I also noticed that the wind noise while riding was really loud. I purchased the bike because I am 6’ 7” and this was the only bike I felt comfortable on.
Any advice on how to relieve the stress on my back and bottom will be greatly appreciated.
Dillon
Hi Dillon, without knowing a bit more about what and why things are hurting it's tough to give any kind of meaningful advice. Not that that is going to stop me trying you understand

With respect to your backside, make sure you are wearing the right clothing, tight or ill fitting pants and underware can and will cut off the blood supply, create hot spots, rub and chafe you where you would rather things not rub and chafe. Make sure you are wearing things that are not tight and do not have seams on or close to any pressure points.

The stock seat is not renowned for all day comfort but a fully customized seat is expensive and a big step. I made a very uncomfortable KLR 650 stock seat comfortable enough with a sheepskin rug from Ikea. You may want to try something similar. There is the Airhawk cushion as well as 'semi custom' seats from people like Corbin and Sargent. Try and find an owner who has one so you can sit on it before you order. A full custom seat is not a lot more expensive and there are a lot of people very happy with adjustments being made to the stocker, Spencer has a good reputation as far as I know http://greatdaytoride.com is his web site.

Other things to consider, wind noise is a fact of life on a motorcycle, wear hearing protection or ear plugs. The quietest helmets are still allowing something like 85db through which is a level that can cause damage to your hearing, if you are exposed to it for 8 hours or more. What;s more is it can be very, very fatiguing. You can experiment with the windshield height to adjust the position of the wind blast and of course there are many after market windshields to chose from.

With respect to your back, I have risers that bring my bars up and back which takes some pressure off of my wrists and back. Something to remember is to keep a light grip on the bars and try to move around a bit on the bike so as to keep the blood flowing and some of the aches at bay a little longer.

Remember, long days in the saddle are the sort of thing that most of us have worked up to in stages, don;t hurry things, make your bike as comfortable for you as you can and it'll all come together.

For days when it doesn't, and there have been a few, there is always Acetophenamin/Paracetamol (Tylenol).

I hope that helps?

Andy
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Old January 4th, 2009   #10
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Default Re: Here are some of my tips and tricks for LD Riding I've used over the years

I have lots of respect for those of you who like to do the LD riding, but it's not for me at 74. (actually it never was).

Here is my idea of a perfect multi day ride. Up around 6:30, do the continental breakfast at the motel and on the bike at 7:00. Ride for an hour or two and stop for coffee and a sweet roll. A perfect day around 65.
300 or more miles of twisty two lane road with almost no traffic. No freeway, no close calls, no cops and no deer. Find a nice motel walking distance to a good bar/eats around 5:00. A few beers and a nice dinner. Repeat as required!

Ed
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