Some things remain in our control while others stay out of our control.
Elements like the weather, distance and track or trail closures ruin the chance of having the perfect riding day. Putting those factors aside however, much rides on your ability to adequately prepare for a flawless day on the track or trails and quickly make corrections when things go awry.
And it all starts at home prior to leaving.
Whether you plan a week prior or wake up Saturday morning and decide to head out, before committing to a riding venture make the necessary phone call or website check for operating hours. Sometimes trails close unexpectedly and tracks have maintenance days. Motocross tracks or riding trails generally don't operate down the street from your house therefore don't waste a Saturday morning to simply turn around and go home. Don't forget weather, either. If the forecast calls for rain and you don't enjoy mud baths, stay home.
Now that you have the green flag...
Pack Your Tool Box
Don't leave home without it. A former tagline for a popular credit card proves true for the tool box which carries all the spare parts necessary to perform minor repairs or fix malfunctions. The tool box should include (but hardly limited to) T-handles, Allen wrenches, suspension air pump and screwdrivers as well as tubes, chain, levers, grips and spark plug (without tools expect to come home early). Issues (i.e. blown engine) more involved than what fits inside a portable tool box requires a garage, more complex tools and an afternoon or two.
- Need a tool box? Click here.
Don't let a minor crash ruin your day. Bring the essential...
Quick Bike Rundown
We don't mean, "Do you need a top end?" Planning for the perfect riding day reflects a healthy bike and the general maintenance and maintenance checks that keep the bike sound and ready to ride. Tighten nuts and bolts, ensure fresh oil and filter and check the air filter for cleanliness. Check tire pressure BEFORE leaving and if your final destination brings a significant elevation change, check the pressure again upon arrival.
- Check out this printable pre-ride checklist.
Grab the Essentials
Essentials mean a gear bag full with riding protection - boots, gloves, helmet, goggles, pants, jersey and gloves. Don't forget gas for the dirt bike and your car, truck or van - gotta get there, right? Food, water and cash, too. Plus an OHV permit if riding on public lands.
- Need a gear bag. Click here.
- Need riding gear and protection? Click here.
- Need cash? We don't give away money but we certainly help you save it!
...tools to make the necessary adjustments and repairs that keep you riding.
If you belong to the working class of people who survive on two cups of coffee for breakfast or have joined that group who cooks up something to eat at their work desk, dismiss this habit on ride day. Have a solid breakfast, not an instant breakfast smoothie. You need fuel to enjoy a long day of riding and a hearty breakfast helps prevents a fatigue-induced crash or you gassing out with fuel remaining in the tank. EAT! Coffee is OK as long as you hydrate.
- Turn any weak smoothie into a powerhouse of nutrition here.
Round Up Your Riding Buddies
Injuries happen so don't ride alone. Coordinating schedules seems nearly impossible these days explaining the need for a pre-planned trip. Nevertheless, how often does ride day come and Riding Buddy #1 calls and cancels? This makes the case for last minute trips. You available? I'm available. Let's go!
However you plan and with whomever ensure someone rides with you, preferable two or more but one suffices. Roost fights and banging bars make for a perfect day of riding and if things don't turn out well, at least someone can get help and hopefully you home.
By the way friends also ruin plans so when sending out invites pick the most reliable - both in keeping dates and maintaining their bikes. Also, if you extend an invite to a friend who just welcomed home a baby and they cancel on Saturday morning don't say we didn't tell you so. Give them six months then offer a reprieve from their now hectic life.
End of Day Treats
When the riding day concludes, feel free to pull out some frosty beverages to relax after a long day and discuss who beat who and perhaps share some roost marks.
Go With the Flow
Remember that plans don't always go as planned. You can only control so much and so much is out of your control. So, don't let the small things ruin what is otherwise a perfect day of riding and learn to live with whatever the track or trail throws at you.
Written By: AndrewT