It’s already started… the motorcycle rallies of the year are underway. At Rider’s Claw we don’t typically setup vendor space at the big rallies for our Motorcycle Smartphone Mounts but we do enjoy attending. With the Daytona Spring Rally passed and Myrtle Beach Spring Rally this weekend, we thought it might be cool to share some survival smarts for attending motorcycle rallies.
If attending a rather large rally be sure to secure your lodging well in advance, most particularly Sturgis 2015. Since it’s the 75th anniversary folks are already having a hard time finding lodging and goodness knows the costs are through the roof this year.
Check the 7 and 10 day forecasts so you know what the weather has in-store for you. And no matter if it shows sunny for a month; take your rain gear.
Get your motorcycle serviced and if you are trailering, do the same for your tow vehicle. Don’t forget to check the tires and suspension of your trailer as well.
Find a route that suits you. Make some notes you can keep handy and be sure to bring your paper map. We love having our GPS right on the handle bars via our Motorcycle Smartphone Mounts by Rider’s Claw, but let’s face it…from time to time you encounter a bad signal and unless your GPS is already running, you may not be able to pull up a route. Furthermore, if you don’t have a waterproof case for your Smartphone you may end up putting it in the pocket during rain.
Check out the event website and register early for activities that require such (ie: test drive events, concerts, etc.)
Bring a spare key that can be kept on your person.
Keep your registration and insurance cards in your wallet. Also consider taking a photo of each and storing in your Smartphone in case of loss. You can even email the images to yourself as another backup.
Have some cash available that can be kept securely on your person. Not everybody takes plastic and if you are stuck somewhere in God’s country, you might find you get faster service and better deals if you use cash. (NOTE: Don’t keep all your cash in your wallet. You may choose a shoe for one or two emergency Benjamins or even a belt with a hidden pocket.
Grab some local maps and brochures on activities once you arrive. You can find these usually at rest areas, restaurants, local stores, etc. You can learn a lot about the area from these publications and might find something to do you had not thought of yet.
Be sure to secure your bike in all means possible at ALL TIMES. (ie: LoJack, factory security, ignition lock, fork lock, whatever it takes.) You’d be surprise at the statistics on stolen motorcycles at these events and with so much man-power around it would be nothing for a few dudes to pickup a bike a go.
Cash again… Do some wheelin’ n dealin’ with the vendors; most particularly on the last day of the event.
Wear bright colors and/or a safety vest. Yeah Yeah… we like our leathers but typically they are black and not easily seen. These events lend themselves to crowds first of all (goes without saying) and secondly many in those crowds drink libations. Be seen!! Don’t drink and drive!! And always pay close attention to your surroundings. Most of us don’t want to miss the great night-time concerts but if it’s possible to leave before the masses are toasted, then do so. Enjoy some fun at your lodging or at least closer to it and away from the thousands of event goers.
The Road Home
Don’t forget, whatever you buy you have to either ship home or carry with you. Make sure you have space if you want to save on mailing costs.
Keep those emergency Benjamins for the ride home.
Here are a few cool websites / apps that might help in your adventures:
AllStays Camp & RV – Find all types of camping and related amenities. (App & Web)
Biker InCite – Maps for the territories surrounding most major rallies and then some. (Website)
Cycle Fish – Motorcycle Events listing for the USA. (App & Web)
EveryTrail – Record, Share, Photo Document, and Save your ride routes. (App & Web)
Hotels.com – Find great deals on hotel accomodations; even 24 hours HOT DEALS. (App & Web)
Motorcycle Maps US – Find cool routes based on your expertise, biker friendly amenities, and more. (App & Web)