Two-Wheel Trekking: Planning Your First Cross Country Biking Adventure

Two-Wheel Trekking: Planning Your First Cross Country Biking Adventure

There’s no ifs and or buts about it, Australia offers the best terrain to be explored on a motorbike. From red, dusty plains, to shimmering coastal landscapes, there are so many diverse attractions to see, so packing your swag and heading out into the bush on your bike will allow you to take in many different experiences in one single, carefree trek.

If this is your first time going cross country on a motorbike, however, there are absolutely some considerations you’ll need to make and some gear that you’ll need to source well before you hit the road. Here are your cross country essentials for trekking across the Australian outback on your trusty hog. 

Protective equipment

Pack your best motorcycle helmet, leathers and trusty Fox gloves, including spares if you have room. Preparing for your cross country trek is also a good time to assess the condition of your safety gear and invest in new equipment if there are any rips, tears or other signs of wear in your existing biker gear. Even if you’re not preparing for a little biking getaway, it’s still a good rule of thumb to assess your gear routinely, especially if you haven't worn a few of your items in some time. They can become damaged in storage as well because of pests, moisture, or dust build-ups. 

If you are buying brand new leathers and gloves, however, you should get them a few weeks in advance and break them in first. In doing so, you’ll be ensuring that your gear is nice and ‘fits like a glove’ for the journey ahead rather than being stiff and uncomfortable. And don't forget your rain gear as well! The land down under is known for having a pretty temperamental climate, so chances are high you will be caught in a downpour at one point or another during your travels.

Saddlebags

You are going to need space to store your gear, and a trusty saddlebag is generally considered to be the best storage method by many seasoned bikers. Whilst there are a wide variety of different styles and makes, hard-case saddlebags are recommended for cross-country trips because they are the most durable and will hold a lot of equipment.

If you have not ridden with saddlebags before, it’s well worth getting some practice in before your big trek. A fully-stocked saddlebag will undoubtedly impact the weight of your bike, as well as its steering and handling, so it’s imperative that you get used to these altered conditions before tackling sweeping bends and corners in the middle of the outback.

Tools

Whilst you can't pack your entire toolbox, you should absolutely pack the essentials for running repairs on the road. A puncture repair kit, zip ties, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and spare parts (including bulbs, spark plugs and fuses) should be packed into a compact, mobile kit that you can store neatly in your saddlebag. Preparing this travel-sized toolbox will help ensure that you’re able to get yourself out of any trouble if you’re unlucky enough to break down in the middle of nowhere. Ideally, your travel-sized emergency toolkit should be able to handle most major repairs either entirely or at least until you can get yourself to a nearby town.

Maps

Although the majority of us may rely on our mobile phones for navigation when travelling, it’s highly recommended that you do not rely on your mobile phone for your navigation if you’re a solo traveller, and especially so if you’re travelling by bike. Believe it or not, cell towers only cover about 27 per cent of Australia's land mass so the chances are you won't be able to get a signal for long periods of time during your trip. Physical maps or satellite GPS units are recommended for areas you are not familiar with. 

For the same reason, it is recommended that you also pack a satellite phone or UHF radio in case you get in trouble and may require assistance. A trusty UHF radio will help you get in touch with nearby travellers or even truckers as they travel along their work routes.

Ear Protection

Most motorbikes produce noise in excess of 100 decibels when you factor in wind and rod noise - which is enough to require ear protection in most work environments. If you are going to be exposed to that level of noise for long hours, day after day, you can permanently damage your hearing if you are not wearing any protection. 

You can choose simple ear plugs to block out the noise, although a modern alternative is a noise-cancelling bluetooth headset that will allow you to chat with other riders or listen to music, podcasts or anything else to help provide a little entertainment during your long journey.

A Spare Key

This is one of those small things that is often overlooked but could save you from enormous inconvenience on the road. If you lose your key whilst camping in the bush, you could very easily find yourself stranded and needing to call roadside assistance or even be collected by a towing service.

Naturally, this will cause delays in your journey, robbing you of time that would have otherwise been spent on the road and could potentially even come at considerable expense to you in the event that you have accommodation lined up for the coming nights. Having a spare key stored in a safe place can save you from a mountain of inconveniences, and will ensure that you can stick to your itinerary with minimal fuss, even if you lose a few other things along the way.

Food and Water

Any seasoned biker never sets off without packing a few days worth of food and clean drinking water. This does not mean your regular meals (although those should be planned and packed as well). There could be situations where your bike breaks down or you are stranded in the middle of the outback and waiting for assistance.

You should always pack some snacks (protein bars are best) to keep your strength up and plenty of clean drinking water in the event that you do find yourself stranded somewhere awfully remote. A handful of water tablets for sanitising water could also be a highly useful supply to keep in your bike’s emergency kit. 

Plan Your Clothing Carefully

Your clothes are going to take up the most storage space but you can't just travel in the same clothes (especially if you are with other riders). You will need to factor in temperature changes, as searing hot days can make way for freezing cold nights in the outback.

You will also need rain protection and plenty of clean socks and underwear. If you’re having trouble making space for all of these clothing essentials, consider laying it all flat and rolling your travel wardrobe as tight as you can to make the most of your bike’s storage space.

Get a Good Sleeping Bag

A travelling motorcyclist’s most prized possession tends not to be their helmet, nor their gloves, nor even their bike itself. At the end of every day, the one item that you’ll find yourself turning to with fervour is indeed your warm and cosy swag. Swags do tend to be a motorcyclist’s best friend due to their warmth and transportability alongside the fact that they are incredibly lightweight, and won’t add extra weight to your ride. 

Although swags are a superb travel option for motorcyclists due to their lightweight design, it’s well worth noting that you should not opt for a cheap, thin sleeping bag simply for minimising weight alone. Let your swag be a little thick and comfy just to ensure that you can sleep comfortably on cooler nights. Remember that this is your shield against the elements so it’s well worth investing in a durable and comfortable option to keep you happy both on and off-road. 

Let People Know Where You Are Going

Finally, anything can happen on the open road and you need to know help will come if there is an emergency situation. Let people know where you are travelling to, when you expect to arrive, and that you will notify them when you get there safely. That way if you don’t reach your destination on time and are held up for any reason, you won’t find yourself having to deal with the situation - or any situation for that matter - totally alone.


Posted By JenniferA

Updated : 3rd June 2022 | Words : 1403 | Views : 105

RSS Twitter Facebook

Latest

Popular