I have found there are generally two prevailing philosophies on pleasure riding. You know, those Saturday mornings where you leave behind the troubles of your work, house, and family. When you get on your bike and just dissolve into the machine for a good 3 hour ride. Those magical moments where you truly just exist in the now, not worried about what you need to do or what you didn’t do.
The two schools of thought I encounter are Plan It Out or Follow My Nose.
People who tend to have the Follow My Nose attitude just want to get on their motorcycle and ride. They know it is not the destination that matters but the journey of getting there. Their motorcycle is their only place of true freedom and where they go to escape the world and all the high tech cell phones and gadgets that come along with it. Getting lost? Ah…Yeah…that’s the point, duh!
I can respect that attitude but, 90% of the time, I am definitely a Plan It Out type of guy and let me tell you why. I understand the call of the unknown and the fun of no restrictions. However, I only have so much time to dedicate to riding and everyday it seems there is less and less. The time I do get, I don’t want to be spent riding through strip malls, stop lights or urban sprawl. I would rather take the time to plan out a route through countryside. Twists and elevation drops? Yes please. The thing that makes me think I have the right outlook? You can always go off your planned route and improvise if you want, but it’s a lot harder to suddenly make a plan when you have none.
This feature column will look at different aspects of Route Planning each month and discuss the pros and cons of each approach. There is no right way. Whatever philosophy you choose and whatever method you use to implement it is what works for you. Let us know if you think you have a better way.