I decided to write publicly and publish my motorcycle riding trip notes now.
Montarey Trip notes
Need to learn to plan when to pee. This is important to do! Can’t just get off any exit, as that often doesn’t actually lead to wilderness but to more concrete jungles.
Need to learn more about lane splitting and how and when to do it safely. I did it for a little bit while stuck on CA-1S, but was avoiding it for most of the ride. Feels like it’s only safe to do when traffic is almost at a standstill, and I can go at least 5mph faster than traffic. Also, I don’t wanna get hit by other motorcyclists lanesplitting. More research needed.
I need to adjust my levers to see if it helps with my skin near thumb getting sore.
Get a different seat maybe for more comfort? My butt does hurt and is sore.
I definitely need to feel much more confident in curves. Taking the TC class is a good next step.
DO NOT BELIEVE GOOGLE MAPS TIME ESTIMATES!! I am much slower than that haha.
I need to work on my core strenght, back to the Gym. I think without that, long rides are going to be painful.
Need to plan meals better too. I’m eating ‘lunch’ at like 4:30, after having only eaten 3/4 cup of oats and 1 butter croissant all day. That isn’t enough. Partially this is because I couldn’t leave on time either - as usual. Still meant I left at 12 rather than 2 - but could’ve left at 10!
Post trip notes
This is at night. The ride back was all interstate, and quite different!
Food makes a huge difference. I think I need to eat more than I think too. Just everything was better after food. I should just always eat, and eat on time.
I am getting more confident about turns at speed. I think by default I end up slowing down for each turn from fear. That is pretty dangerous! I need to have a better understanding of how much traction is available, and just turn. Which way to lean is also important - but I think my current intuition (counter lean or neutral) is good enough for me. I saw some guy shred the twisties when I was up in the berkeley hills, and he had to lean quite a bit. Not what I’m doing though.
I should take more classes and read the total control book properly. Towards the end I was feeling pretty confident, and that was quite nice!
The way back was north, with the sun directly into my eyes for almost an hour. Was intense, I could barely see! I had sunvisor down and transition glasses and that wasn’t enough at all. I was in a trance. Looking back, how did I trust myself enough to go through that?! Would I have been able to see hazards on the road? Stopped cars? I was able to control speed pretty well. I was a bit tired too. But I did Montarey to San Jose in one go, and stopped - my body basically forced me to stop and rest. I don’t entirely know how I feel about this. I think it was mostly safe, as it was just on the interstate and I was on the left-ish lane. I also think I could actually mostly see - what I see in my memory now, hours after the fact, doesn’t seem quite right - feels filtered. It really was just an intense trance. I don’t mind interstate riding.
I should strap my bag down and not carry it! I think that will definitely help my back hurt a lot less. I had 2 bottles of water, laptop and ipad - I think that’s a lot. I should consider a smaller bag too.
A more comfortable seat would also help. My butt was pretty sore.
Physical strength is an important component of safety, and I must get back to the gym. Particularly, while turning I could feel my core was not strong enough several times, and I would like more trust in my muscle strenghts.
I lane-split a little! Just for parts of CA-17S, when in otherwise almost stopped traffic. I need to learn way more about it.
I should understand trail braking better. I think my understanding of it right now is dangerously flawed, as it contributes to me slowing down excessively in turns. Could get rear ended.
Really need a windshield. I can hardly even look at my mirrors in the interstate, because I can’t bring my torso up at all.
I drifted into next lane almost in one turn I think because I wasn’t braking and I was tired. I was trying to ‘push through’ and at some point even didn’t want to break in San Jose. WTF was that, compromising safety for challenge! No way.
I need to leave earlier so I can have more time at my target spaces. In fact, I should look for nice target spaces first and then travel - flip my currnet model a little. I don’t think I need to just haul miles anymore. Past that stage now.
The bananas in my backpack were smushed to death and the inside of my backpack is a banana smoothie. Would not recommend
Concrete action items!
- Always eat before a ride
- Get a better helmet. I’ve spent months looking for the right one, time to look again :(
- Start going through Champ U that I already bought
- Look for another intermediate mototrcycling course I can take.
- Plan time at conclusion of journey better.
- Get a windshield for the bike.
- Experiment with getting luggage off my back
Author Yuvi Panda