Angel City Motorcycle Rally is less than a week away!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I’m just a little excited. Okay, I’m REALLY excited!! We’ve had an increase in the number of friends who ride in the past few years, and last year ended up being a family reunion of sorts. 95% of our entire crew was there, even those who didn’t or couldn’t ride. We had SO much fun!
This year is set to be even bigger and better. We still only have 95% of our crew riding this year, but our crew is a bit bigger. Much to my delight, we also have more women going this year! Since my friend and I have been before and we’ve been inundated with biker culture for years, it’s up to us to show them the ropes. As I made my packing list and started trying to educate the new ladies of the group, I realized the number of female riders in general – not just in our group of friends – has increased in the past 10 years. Many of them may be attending their first rally this year. So, I thought, why not share my tips with everyone? It seems silly to keep it to myself when I could prevent another woman from being down and out because she forgot something.
This really ended up being a two part article, with the second one being posted this coming Monday. As I sat down to make my list, Mr. Cozy Cottage chimed in with so much information that I had to break it down! He does not look like the kind of guy who would have so much advice for female bikers, but he is fantastic!
1. Extra hair ties
Braids are your BEST FRIENDS on any motorcycle ride. It keeps your hair neat and tidy, prevents it from getting split ends and tangles, and looks super cute! I usually go with 2 French braids, secured at the ends with the little rubber bands that come in a pack of 100 at the Dollar Tree. The problem is that you can only use them once. I usually grab a small handful and shove them in the pocket of my leather vest just in case one snaps. By the way, it’s super embarrassing to have to pull into a gas station and beg the guy for an actual rubber band because your braid is coming undone. Regardless of whether you use the little rubber ones or actual ponytail holders, bring extra and have them on you at all times. When they break, it’s going to be at the most inopportune moment.
2. Baby Wipes
Most rallies involve camping. All rallies involve dirt and grime. While many of the them do provide shower facilities, do you really want to even go there? They’re usually portable and, by day 3, GROSS. Baby wipes are your answer. Not only do they feel quite refreshing while removing the day’s gunk, they are usually gentler on your skin since they are formulated for a baby’s sensitive skin. My preferred brand is Huggies, and I’ve used them as a feminine wipe, to remove makeup (they actually work better than normal makeup remover towelettes), wipe stains from clothing, clean my boots, and wet my hair since water facilities are sparse. Seriously, you’ll thank me.
We’re gonna get a little personal with this one. Y’all, it’s riding season, which means more than likely it’s hot and you’re sweaty. Especially down there. Long hours in the saddle or wandering around a rally, things get a little hot and wet…and not in a good way. Pantyliners are my go-to secret to handle this little issue. They absorb and pull moisture away from the body, meaning worse conditions for yucky bacteria. As someone who is very prone to UTIs, these are a lifesaver. I switch mine out about twice a day, more frequently if it’s REALLY hot. An added bonus, they make your underwear last a little bit longer. Not that panties really take up a whole lot of space, but it does free up precious space if you’re packing everything you need on the bike.
4. Disposable toothbrushes
I thought I was being ingenious with this little tip, but apparently, after talking with another female who has been traveling by motorcycle for YEARS, this is one of her biggest tips. Often, you don’t have access to potable water for consuming. Even if you stop and get a bottle of water, it’s still really hard to find facilities to brush your teeth. I buy little 2-packs of disposable toothbrushes to take with me. They’re really tiny and easy to pack. Even if you packed 6 of them, it would still take up less space than a regular toothbrush and toothpaste, and they’re a lot less of a hassle.
5. Cotton bandannas
I usually visit Hobby Lobby the week before a rally to stock up on new bandannas for both me and my husband. We go through a ton of these things each year. Hobby Lobby’s are cheap ($.99-$1.25 each) and are really cute. We obviously use them to tie our hair back, but cotton ones serve other purposes as well. They can be worn around your face to protect your skin from getting wind-chapped or from inhaling dust while riding, soaked in water and tied around your neck as a quick cool-down, a rag to wipe dust from the bike or to dry a wet seat. Last year, one of my clean ones became an emergency first aid item when our friend’s leg got burned on a hot exhaust pipe. It was a pretty ugly burn and she’s got a scar from it, but with quick thinking, we were able to make her an ice pack pretty quickly that served as a bandage later on.
6. Solar-powered charger
We bought one last year and love it so much that we purchased another this year so we could both have one. Ours are a little bigger than our phones and can be charged by plugging it into the wall or leaving it in the sun. It was enough to get us through a 5 day rally with no power. It held enough power to charge both of our phone and the cameras. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 that came with a turbo charger. In just half an hour, it charged fro 23% to 55%. That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but when you’re on the road with no power, that makes a world of difference.
I cannot stress this one enough. KEEP SUNSCREEN IN YOUR SADDLEBAGS! Our first ride this Spring, we forgot. A couple of us were a slight shade of lobster by the time we returned home. Needless to say, our sunscreen now lives on the bike. A friend of mine uses the Neutrogena brand formulated for use on your face, but I prefer the Coppertone Sport. For your face, make sure you’re using a moisturizer and/or foundation with an SPF factor. My favorite foundation is Urban Decay’s Naked. It’s costly, but a little goes a long way and I usually only purchase it every 6 months. Not only does it have an SPF factor, but it’s very light and doesn’t cake and it lasts nearly all day.
8. Vaseline and baby powder
When we went on the toy run in December, the wind was like ice! I really wish I had remembered my Vaseline. It protects your lips, for one, far better than any lip balm. For wind-chapped skin, it works as a healer almost overnight. The baby powder comes in handy for chafing issues if you choose to not use pantyliners. Just be cautious in using it (and always get the cornstarch kind) because it can cake and cause further issues.
For long rides, I carry protein bars in my vest, jacket, or belt pouches. I am one who gets hangry almost instantaneously, and you can’t always stop if you’re on the bike and riding with a pack. Not to mention, many of the rides we take are on back roads where there are no fast food chains (who wants to eat that crap anyway) and very few gas stations. Protein bars are easy to pack, last indefinitely, and can be opened and eaten by the passenger without every getting off the bike.
10. Spare parts
Always carry a few spare parts. Just like you should always carry an emergency roadside kit in your car, you should have one for the bike as well. It should include a basic tool kit, a tire gauge, a couple of spark plugs, and a quart of oil. When the bike breaks down, it’s usually an easy fix, but it’s never convenient and usually miles away from a parts store. If you are not the primary rider and just the passenger, a gentle reminder to your significant other should do the trick.
Of course, this is on top of all your other necessary items like a change of clothes, toiletries, makeup, and riding gear. My top 10 list seems to get added to and changed every time we have an event where we are staying away from civilization. If you’ve been to a rally, what are some of your favorite things? Or, if you’ve tried my ideas, let me know how you liked them!
Also, stay tuned for another article on Monday about the 10 things that every chick needs to know for rally survival!