Being creatures of habit, humans usually fall into a routine anytime they repeat the same task or series of tasks day after day. The same is usually true for motorcycle touring. We may have adopted a habitual touring routine without realizing that the enjoyment factor of our trips is not being maximized. For this reason, it’s important to evaluate how your day is spent while on tour. As an example, here are the metrics of my typical day of touring, while on assignment for RoadRUNNER magazine:
Start the Day: Gear up, load luggage, wipe morning moisture off of seat (not applicable in dry climates), eat breakfast, check out of hotel, hit starter button, power up GPS unit. This routine usually takes from 1 to 1.5 hours.
Typical Day’s Mileage: About 180 to 220 miles.
Riding Time: On challenging, twisty tarmac, or when riding off-pavement, average speed is probably around 35 to 40 mph at best. This converts to around five or six hours spent in the saddle.
Lunch and Bio Breaks: 1.5 to 2 hours.
Time Spent on Photography: Four to six shooting locations for action photos, requiring at least 30 minutes at each, plus time spent taking panoramic still shots.
Stopping at Points of Interest: On average, 2 to 2.5 hours are spent in museums and other roadside attractions to tour them, gather information, talk to people, take photos and make notes. There’s usually not enough time in the day to fully explore and enjoy these locations.
End the Day: Check in to hotel, unload luggage, oil chain and perform any other minor motorcycle maintenance, shower and shave, go to dinner, download photos from camera to laptop, write down impressions from the day, pack bags for a quick departure the next morning. This takes around three hours.
Totaling it Up: All of these activities add up to a 15 to 18 hour day. And you probably thought that our job was all play and no work!
If you’re not getting as much enjoyment out of your tours as you would like, evaluate your typical touring day to see where your time is being spent. For example, let’s say you want to allocate more time to stopping at points of interest. To free up time for this activity, you could reduce your daily mileage and/or follow routes that allow a higher average speed. It’s all about setting touring priorities and making adjustments to maximize your enjoyment of the trip.