Preparing for all types of weather
We are blessed here in Australia with some of the best riding weather in the world. However, like anywhere, the weather can, and does change fairly quickly. It’s for that reason we like to make sure our rider friends come prepared.
Riding in summer in Australia is, simply put, awesome. But it can get hot under those leathers! Dealing with the heat is one thing and not so bad once you’re on the bike with the wind swirling around you. The thing to look out for in the heat, is heatstroke. When you’re on the bike focusing on the road and enjoying yourself, it can sneak upon you without you noticing and before you know it, headaches and nausea can kick in.
It sounds obvious, but the best way to avoid heatstroke and having your day ruined, it to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Something that we can all easily overlook when you’re out there having a good time. So remember to hydrate whenever you take a break, even on overcast days, when you’re not feeling particularly thirsty. Also keep your head and neck covered from the wind and the sun when you’re out there to avoid heatstroke creeping up on you without warning.
Speaking of covered, sunscreen is a must! The sun here in Australia can be brutal on your skin and it’s easy to get sunburnt while you’re on your bike with the cool breeze running over you all day, as you won’t necessarily feel the sun’s rays on your skin as you ride.
If you are feeling ‘crook’ as we say, stop and take a short break. Don’t push yourself through it for the sake of keeping up with the group. Recover with a buddy, or one of the Steel Horse Moto team on your ride. Then when you’re ready to roll out again, you can rejoin the group a little later up the road. You won’t be left behind!
When it comes to riding in winter on the other hand, there are other considerations to keep in mind when packing. Pack right and you’re in for a great time. Come unprepared and you’ll pay the price. We at Steel Horse Moto run all of our tours when the weather is best, but best come prepared none the less to guarantee a great time every day while you’re on tour.
Now all you seasoned riders out there will know this already, but having a decent set of thermal gear to pop on under your clothing is a must! We like to carry a spare jumper and/or shirt with us on our bike too, so it’s easy to stop and rug up if you’re starting to feel the effects of the cold.
Wet weather gear. Not only is it good for the obvious reason of staying dry in the event of rain, but it’s also a great idea to pop it on in colder weather to stop some of that icy wind from getting through to you. And stay dry! Never get on the bike if you’re already wet as it can really take the heat (and fun) away from you. Best dry off in a‘borrowed’ bathroom under the hand dryer first, if possible.
One of my pet peeves when riding in the rain, is getting a wet crotch. It’s uncomfortable, cold and well, can look bad for all sorts of reasons when you’re off the bike. If you don’t have proper waterproof pants, the next best thing is to remember to stand up (or at least get that bum up off the seat) every now and again to let that water pooling up, clear away from your lap.
Speaking of cold and uncomfortable, a close second would have to be wet socks. Pick yourself up a pair of Gore-Tex socks if you can, not only do they help keep your feet dry, but the material allows your feet to breathe. Thank us later.
Last but not least, and this goes without saying, but a good set of gloves and boots to keep those hands and feet warm and dry is a must as well. Here’s a handy tip if you do find yourself with wet gloves. Don’t take them off! This might sound counter intuitive, but wet gloves get cold very fast once you’ve removed them. So short of stopping and drying them out properly, leave them on and let that last remaining body heat keep things from getting too cold in there.
When it comes to motorcycle riding and being prepared for extreme weather, there’s plenty to consider, but as far as the rest goes when you’re on tour with Steel Horse Moto, we’ve got you covered.
Iva Madderom - Steel Horse Moto