This post contains affiliate links**
It somehow happened that I went from a total whimpy scaredy cat to an actually pretty competent motorcycle passenger. I'm not entirely sure how.
Of course, I have put on over 5000 miles on the back of a motorcycle now, over the course of six or so years of little trips and much, much bigger trips. And I love it. Love, love, love it.
I've learned some stuff along the way, too. About me, about Trevor, about God, about riding through high-speed winds and rain... and about the gear that makes riding easier or more convenient or just plain better.
Note: I didn't include the "basics" in this list.
Here are some of the things that are super important for being a biker chick:
A trustworthy/responsible/EXPERIENCED/licensed driver (if you're a passenger)
Leather or armored jacket
Sense of adventure
This contraption is probably the best purchase Trevor has ever made. Seriously. It's awesome.
A bungee net is basically just that- a net made out of bungee cords, with hooks at the edges. Sounds simple, but oh, what a concept. The one we have is very similar to this model.
We use our bungee net for everything. It holds bags and other stuff tight and secure to the motorcycle rack, which makes it possible to take just about anything on the bike. We've used it to hold down styrofoam coolers, a box containing Trevor's dirt bike boots, luggage, groceries, leather coats... and of course, our obnoxiously bright Hawaiian print swim bag just in case we find a lake somewhere.
Best invention ever.
Nicknamed "the puppy," because it feels like petting puppy fur. It's so soft, it keeps your bum from burning on a hot leather seat that's been sitting in the sun, it naturally grips to the seat, it's cool in the heat and warm in the cold, it's extra cushion for the tush. What's not to love?
I really like our sheepskin. It sits right over the regular seats on the bike, which is really handy (and it's really easy to take on and off for when we trailer the bike.) This is probably the most expensive piece of motorcycle "accessory" that we've got right now, but it's really worth it. My bum would be far less enthused about bike trips without it.
I take a lot of pictures from the back of the bike. I feel like there should be some category of photography for those of us who take pictures while traveling 50 miles per hour around a curve.
Because it's tricky.
And is also why so many of my pictures are blurry.
It just wouldn't be possible without my camera case. I don't want to be holding on to a camera the entire time, but messing around in the saddle bags on the highway is no fun, either. I don't have to worry about dropping the camera, but it's still really accessible for those funny moments or stunning views.
Zeke added a backrest for himself to the motorcycle several years ago for our longer trips, and the camera case straps right to it with both a velcro strap and a strap that snaps for extra security, so the camera sits right in front of me all the time. Before we got the backrest, though, I hooked the case to my belt or belt loop, and that worked great, too.
This is the camera case that we have. It's supposed to be pretty watertight, too, but I haven't tried out that feature much- it's usually protected from the rain by Zeke's back, or if it's really raining I'll stick it in the dry bag just in case.
Speaking of rain...
Riding through rain is just something that happens, especially on long trips, but also in areas with uncertain weather. The Black Hills is kind of notorious for that.
In any case, you'll want something along to keep the important stuff dry. That's where our dry bag comes in- this is the kind we have.
I really like this particular bag because it's not bulky, so it fits great in the saddle bags without taking up a ton of space, and you can really pack stuff in there if you need to. We actually keep two of these around. The first is for the insurance card and registration, as well as copies of our driver's licenses and emergency contact cards. On longer trips, I put a small first aid kit in there, too.
The second one is usually empty until we hit bad weather. Then, the cell phones, my camera, and anything else that we need to keep out of the wet weather goes straight into the dry bag.
Okay, I have a confession.
I didn't know that this was a favorite piece of gear until last summer.
See, I'm not very committed to "looking the part" when it comes to being a biker chick. I mean, leather coat, yes; helmet, yes; Sturgis t-shirt, sure.
But the whole "motorcycle boots" thing never really clicked. Most of the time, I wear hiking boots (until those bit the dust last year- which, I mean, I'd had them since 8th grade, so okay), but I'm not even really dead-set on those, either.
I've ridden motorcycle in tennis shoes, Chucks, sandals, Crocs, flip flops, heels, and even these beauties...
But last year. Last year, I bought a pair of cowboy boots. I've always kind of wanted a pair, but riding horses in the Black Hills in tennies really pushed me over the edge. And they're so comfortable, and I'll wear them quite a bit, so okay.
I wasn't anticipating the change they'd make in riding the motorcycle, though.
Riding with a pair of boots (I got these ones) was great! I thought it was all hype, really, but a pair of boots does make a difference. The little heel to them keeps your foot in the right place on the pegs without being too much. The fact that they go over the ankle keeps bugs from getting up your jeans (yep, it happens), and also provides a little more support to your ankles while you ride.
Note: The link up there takes you to kid size boots. I'm little! (And kid sized shoes are way cheaper.) But I would recommend stuff from the women's line of Ariat, too-- they're INCREDIBLY comfortable. Seriously. I liked this pair a whole lot, too, but they didn't have 'em in my size at the store, and I'm impatient.
I just love riding motorcycle- it's a kind of freedom that's hard to describe. I hope that the few tricks of the trade I've learned through the years will help keep you on the road and make the ride a little smoother!
This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products that we use and think are pretty darn great. Affiliate links mean that if you click my link and purchase a product, I'll get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
This post is linked up at Call Her Happy
This post is linked up at Call Her Happy