Friday, July 20

Travels tips from Whitehorse Press

Hot off the press, from Whitehorse Press--a major motorcycle publisher and retailer--is The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel: Tips, Technology, Advanced Techniques by Dale Coyner. I’m reading it now and will finish before August 3, when I depart for my Lake Superior Circle Tour. I saw this book and didn’t think I needed it. I feel I’ve gotten the three “Ps” down pat: preparation/planning, packing, and patience. Last year, I remember that someone emailed me and said they had been following my preps and enjoyed my stories but he felt that I “plan too much” and that I should just get on with the trip. I’ll admit to a touch of anal retentiveness when it comes to trip planning. We do what works for us. He’s sounds like the type who enjoys hopping on his iron horse and taking off into the sunrise. I like spontaneity too. But as a female, there are some things I need to consider that he might not because he is male. I’m not being sexist here. I believe both genders face similar challenges but let’s be honest. Statistically, men assault women far more than the reverse. Some men, if they think they can get away with it, are always up to exerting power over the less powerful.

Physically, most women cannot easily drop a man. Without a little “something extra,” to help me, I am no competition for the average male. The chances of a lone man being confronted by evildoers are less than that of a lone woman being confronted. Riff-raff prefer easy targets and unfortunately, children, women, the disabled, and elderly are perceived as easy marks. (Notice to all riff-raff men: I never leave home without something to protect myself. I will use it. Moreover, I will fight to the death if forced to defend myself). And, don’t get me started on some folks' archaic cross-racial dispositions and behavior! I won’t elaborate here but trust me, some folks are still living and thinking like it was 1955. Thus, there are things and issues that I, because of who I represent to others, need to be cognizant of before I head out. Hopping on my iron horse without being deeply prepared is downright irresponsible. We all have our crosses to bear.

Back to the new book. When I saw it, I figured it would be a good read. Besides, I’ve been impressed with other Whitehorse Press publications, such as, Mark Zimmerman’s, The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance: Tips & Techniques to Keep Your Motorcycle in Top Conditions; Ron Ayers’ Against the Wind: A Rider’s Account of the Incredible Iron Butt Rally and his, Going the Extra Mile: Insider Tips for Long-Distance Motorcycling and Endurance Rallies. Like these titles, Conyer’s Travel book is exhaustively research and fun to read. Section III on “Outfitting Your Bike,” is cutting edge with info on mounts, adhering cameras to your motorcycle and using camcorders, entertainment and communication systems (e.g., satellite radio) to accompany your on your trip. The chapter on “Cockpit Instruments” is worth the price, particularly if you’re a novice when it comes to navigation devices. Tons of product information and clear instructions, for example, on soldering and modifying one’s ride before heading out.

I will say more about this book as I continue to read it. For those about ready to take their first trip or for those seasoned travelers who want to streamline their packing and planning, don’t wait on my review: get this book now!