10 Things you can do on a Motorcycle
So you learn to ride a bike. Now what? I learned to ride so that I could commute, but gradually realised there was a lot more on offer now that I could ride.
So I’ve thought of a number of things I can do on my bike (I’m sure there are many more) and so far, I’m up to number 6 in my list. Although I have not experienced all of the ones I’ve written, I intend to do as much as I can on a motorcycle in the years to come.
This was my reason for learning and I do this as often as I can, all year round. I ride in all weathers but I don’t ride when it’s icy or snowing. I don’t need to take the risk and I have the safer option to drive if necessary.
I also don’t ride if I am very tired, if it’s been a very hard week with long hours I may choose to drive – again this is about risk mitigation.
If I have to take things to or from work I save them up and pick a day with rubbish weather or one where the traffic might be less (e.g. a Friday) and drive on that day.
A group of friends go on a trip and you ride somewhere. You have a break, brekkie or spot of lunch, then you ride back (food is often bacon or cake related). Sounds pointless?
Yes it does until you’ve done it! It’s about finding great roads, improving your riding skills, enjoying the company of others and enjoying the freedom you can only feel on a motorbike.
You can also ride out on your own. Some people prefer this and sometimes you want to do this just to practise an aspect of your riding.
I always fancied this even before I passed my test. I remember discussing this with one of the instructors at the training school (who also organises advanced training tours) and I liked the thought of this.
I have been on organised tours with RMT Motorcycle Training, now Motorcycle Riders Hub Advanced Training Tours (which were excellent). I’ve also been on tours organised by friends (less reliable but fine if you take responsibility for yourself and don’t leave it all to others).
I have also toured with my partner which is ‘freer’ in that you can go where you like and are not responsible for anyone else. You can change the itinerary to please yourself whenever you want to.
Overall though I prefer a small group, this gives you company but also isn’t too big to keep together and is easier on the organisation regarding hotels and eating out etc.
4. Charity rides
These occur fairly often and there are some regular ones like Bike 4 Like (April) or Ride to the Wall (October). I have taken part in a couple of the big national ones and also have been on some of the local ones.
Personally, although supportive of the charities, I don’t particularly like riding in such huge groups.
5. Biker rallies and meets
These occur everywhere and frequently. A lot of the rallies cover more than one day with camping available. There are regular biker meets, often evenings in the week, there will be some in your local area.
Good if you want to meet other bikers for a chinwag. I’ve been to a few but this isn’t really my cup of tea.
6. Racing and Track Days
Either participation in or watching. There is track racing, road racing and motocross. Ireland is the place if you like road racing, there’s plenty of it and it is pretty cheap to spectate.
GET Regular RIDING TIPS
Sign up to get Riding Tips and advice directly to your inbox
Track days are available at a number of locations and via lots of different organisations. You need to comply with regulations relating to the bike and your own protective gear.
It is very easy to hire bikes and there are lots of companies that do this. If you want to go fast and test yourself, the bike or both, then this is the place to do it.
7. Off Road, green-laning & Enduro
I have experienced a trial day that was organised by the motorcycle industry and had all of the manufactures attending. I spent the day learning to ride off road, with all the gear and the bike was also provided.
This wasn’t long after passing my test but I am so glad I did this as it gave me confidence on riding on loose surfaces.
I think I liked riding on grass best of all. I wouldn’t mind doing some green-laning (something I have done a lot of on 4 wheels) but think I’d need another bike for that (oh dear, not another one!).
You’d probably most likely be involved as a spectator.
However there are places where you can go and learn this, it would be good fun as a group of friends I think. Riding a bike with no brakes! Again, a different experience that can only add to riding skills.
9. Moto gymkhana
I quite fancy having a go at this, but just haven’t got around to it yet. I am told that there are places where you can use their bikes as well.
Something I’ll be looking into in the future I think as, apart from the fun, it should improve my riding skills.
10. Chariot racing
This was a real sport in the 1920s and 1930s. I have to say that even if it was still around I don’t think it is something I’d do or consider doing.
Written by Moira Day (female rider)