Riding Free in the Age of Coronavirus
Unless you’ve got axle grease packed in your ears, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the COVID-19 global pandemic. It’s all over the news and for good reason. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to keep yourself safe during this crisis (so long as you follow the CDC’s guidelines), but keeping yourself entertained while social distancing is another thing entirely.
For many motorcycle riders, the idea of social distancing means hitting the road on their trusty steel steed and perhaps literally riding out the storm. It’s hard to deny the appeal, but it’s not a great idea. Interactions at gas stations might leave you with an infection, and one false move could end up with you in the hospital, taxing an already strained health care system. So the best thing you can do right now is to stay home and stay safe.
Of course, it’s that edge of danger that makes motorcycles so appealing to so many. So how do you balance your love for all things on two-wheels with the need to stay safe? Don’t worry. The team at Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles are pros at more than just taking care of your bike. We’ve mastered the art of beating boredom.
Get Caught Up On That Reading List
“Knowledge is power” or so they say. At the very least, a good book is a great way to watch the hours go by. Of course, when we say “read a book,” we’re sure many of you are reaching for that maintenance manual first. Easy fella, we’ll get there. But until then, take a peek at a couple of these classic books about riding:
- Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Hunter S. Thompson is perhaps best known for his liberal drug use and casual familiarity with firearms, but he was also a life-long motorcycle rider. In Hell’s Angels, he chronicles the early days of this infamous gang of riders.
- Jupiter’s Travels. Essentially the first book any ADV rider ever read, this is the real-life story of Ted Simon, who traveled the world on his trusty Triumph Tiger. Traveling more than 78,000 miles over four years, Simon just might be the original road warrior.
- The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles. Melissa Holbrook Pierson celebrates the history, science, and culture of the motorcycle in this impressive volume. Pierson’s work explores the bond between “man and machine” and captures the essence of why we ride.
Update Your Riding Gear
The fact is, that worn-out, sun-faded brain bucket you call a helmet is probably way past its retirement age. While you can’t ride, motorcycle shops can still make sales over the phone, and delivery drivers can still drop packages off at your door. That means it’s a great time to update your worn out riding gear.
Good riding gear is essential to staying safe while on a motorcycle, and it should be replaced every few years.
- Helmets should be replaced every five years or after an accident.
- Riding jackets and pants can make it about seven years before they need to be replaced.
- Replace your riding gloves around that 12,000-mile mark.
- Your boots, however, are timeless. Unless you’ve crashed in and damaged your boots, you can ride in those things to the grave.
Think About Upgrading Your Bike
Admit it, you’ve thought to yourself “gosh if only I had more time, I’d do XYZ to my bike” at least once this season. Well, here you go. You may never have this much free time again, so take advantage of it. In case you missed our post on some cool upgrades you can make, here’s a quick recap:
- Ride in luxury with a new seat. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the saddle when all of this is over, so why not be comfortable?
- Let your bike sing with a new seat of pipes. You can let your engine roar with some slash cuts, or have it purr along with some new silencers.
- Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool. Frame sliders and engine guards go a long way in protecting your bike in the event of a crash or drop.
- Put new rubber on the road. A new set of tires improves your riding experience and your comfort.
Most of these upgrades, along with others like new handlebars or turn indicators can be done at home. If you’re stuck on some tasks like new tires, give us a call!
Plan Your Next Trip
Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, so make sure you’re ready to go for your next trip as soon as the need for social distancing ends. Take some time to explore a couple of map sets, pick a few dream destinations, and start thinking about what it will take to get there. If you haven’t already, make sure your insurance plan offers things like road-side assistance should you find yourself half-way to nowhere with a broken-down bike. You’ll find a bunch of other great tips about planning a road trip in our blog post on long-distance trips.
We’re Proud to Serve Odessa
Here at Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles, we’re proud to be a part of the Odessa community. The support we’ve seen friends and neighbors offer each other warms our hearts more than a Harley Davidson Ironhead engine warms our exhaust pipes.
When things settle down, we’ll be happy to get you riding on a new or new-to-you bike.