The Three Elements of a Smooth Road Trip – Safety, Music and Health

Road trip

Wind in your hair, the rhythmic sound of the rubber on the tarmac, the charming melody of Clapton’s blues, the vibrations of the engine roaring, the feeling of the mind uncrinkling and the element of omnipresent excitement – That is all a biker lives for.

We were riding towards a theatre/place in Wisconsin which plays movies, in the field, on a large weatherproof TV. It is always good to reach the end of a road trip but it is the journey that you would take home with you. A good road trip comes not just from the good company but there are a number of aspects that a biker needs to prepare himself for before hitting the road.

Tips for the Trip: Not all those who wander are lost!

Some of the most beautiful paths are discovered by people who are not afraid of getting lost on their way. While the feeling of discovering new paths is second to none, it is essential to be prepared for surprises when you set out on a road trip. Your preparation is an important ingredient of the unadulterated fun that you’re looking forward to. There are a number of ways to ensure that you have a great road trip and some of these aspects can be summed up as follows:

  • Safety First: If you’re going out on a road trip with a group of friends, ensure that you carry a first aid kit or a safety kit to avoid any hiccups on the way. Have your bikes repaired and take along a repair kit as well to deal with any problems you may face on the way. There is nothing better than a smooth ride and in order to ensure a pleasant journey, safety first is the mantra!
  • Bring along your music: Riding for hours pleases your senses but your mood and soul simply dance around when the music starts to play in your ears. The way you look around you when on your bike changes into a new experience altogether. All those pastures you pass by, all those green hills you come across and the blue of the lakes that calls to you make for a totally different experience when you’re possessed by the melodies of your favorite songs. Make sure that you bring along a wireless Bluetooth speaker like a Boombotix Rex to make your ride even better.
  • Eat and Drink: So you did come across that lovely hillside lake that you saw on the map. As you lose yourself in the wondrous serenity of nature and treat yourself to some of the amazing views nature has to offer, your body needs the energy to get back on the path. Staying hydrated is an important aspect of a successful road trip. A lot of problems like headaches and exertion stem out from dehydration and therefore it is always good to ensure that you carry a lot of fluid and healthy food to support you on the way.

If you are out there on the streets and have made a number of road trips in the past, you would know exactly how important the three elements of a road trip are – safety, music, and health! As you plan your next road trip, keep in mind these words that may help you find your purpose in little things and may help you take home the blues. Some of us travel forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls but most of us travel far enough simply to meet ourselves.

Choose Your Own Motorbike!

Motorcycling used to be a young person’s game. But in the mid 1980’s to the mid 2000’s, there was a major shift in demographic based motorcycle trends. The average age of motorcycle owners went from 27 to 41 and the percentage of riders over the age of 50 skyrocketed from 8 to 25 percent.

In today’s world motorcycles are better and more specialised than ever. Lighter motorcycles are often the preferred choice when one is learning to balance, steer, accelerate and brake. The various categories of motorcycles and their pros and cons must be understood well.

The STANDARD bike is intended to do a little bit of everything. It looks basic but is limited only to imagination.

For many riders the word motorcycle is limited to CRUISER. The most evocative and legendary brand is HARLEY DAVIDSON. They have low seats, long wheel bases and loads of Chrome. While big cruisers can be heavy, expensive and intimidating, almost all manufacturer lineups include small and midsized machines.

SPORTS BIKES are high powered road rockets that demand the highest level of motorcycling experience to ride well and ride safely. There was a time when SPORTS BIKES were a type of motorcycle one advanced to rather than begin with. Road biking is a fiercely competitive sport. Major genres include road racing and off road racing ,both either on circuits or open courses and track racing. Now a days trail cameras can be used at the finish line to ascertain the position of the winner in close races. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials. Today several sportsbike models are designed for less experienced riders. This segment has exploded in the recent years with smaller models that combine sportsbike looks with beginner friendly power, ergonomics and cost. These include KTM RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 250R, Yamaha R3 and Honda CRB 300R.

The DUAL SPORTS BIKE, though a small  segment of motorcycling community are quite popular. They are light, nimble and versatile so that one can gain experience and explore a range of roads and terrain. These are built to be tough enough for the trails but comfortable on the roads. These are relatively inexpensive. The examples include Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki.

The ADVENTURE TOURER are dedicated touring bikes with large fairings and ample luggage. They are comfortable with good weather protection.

The most inexpensive and practical motorized vehicle is a SCOOTER. It is arguably the easiest to ride.

The future motorcycles will be more powerful, fuel efficient and clean burning.

Tips from a Biker

If as a kid you spent hours together on your balance bike, I congratulate you! You are one of our own and have the spark in you to be a biker one day. When you are possessed by a fiery sense of fernweh, there is nothing more exhilarating than to make a road trip and get lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Before you set out for a road trip, you ought to ensure that you have everything that would keep various kinds of problems at bay. Here is a list of the five most essential items that you should have with you on a road trip.

Might be good  better adjusted further

  1. Breakdown supplies: If you’re going riding in the night, a flashlight is extremely important. Bring along with you an extra flashlight and fresh batteries. Emergency supplies are very helpful in finding your way if in case you are lost.
  2. First Aid Kits: Road trips can be extremely adventurous and this brings into picture the risk of hurting yourself in a number of ways. You may slip or fall or have a bad headache and therefore it is always a good idea to take along with you a first-aid kit comprising of items like nicks and scrapes, anti-bacterial cream, bandages, pain killers and medicines.
  3. Music: Don’t forget to bring your music along with you. The joy of riding is multiplied ten times when you have your favourite artist playing your favourite songs right in your ears. Music adds to the fun of riding and a good playlist would come in really handy.
  4. Camera: A working camera would help you capture the memories of the trip and cherish them for the rest of your life. If you are going in a group, a couple of cameras would be more than enough. You want to travel light and when in a group, it would make little sense for each rider or pillion to carry a camera each. There is nothing like capturing the scenery that makes up the fantastic background for the road you’re travelling.
  5. Eatables and juices: Fruit juices help you stay hydrated and staying hydrated is an important aspect of any trip. It is always a good idea to take along with you food items that are sources of quick energy. Fruits, pretzels, granola bars and crackers are food items you can take with you without having to make much space.

The world of biking is a world of raw nature and dead rubber. Once you entered it, as a young child on your best balance bike or an old man on your beat up old hog, you are a biker for life and trust me, you would never want to leave and might perhaps be even happy to be living the life of an outlaw if at all!

Where you can look for Balance Bikes:

– BabbleBikes –

– KidsBalanceBikes –

Selecting a Good Motorcycle Backpack

Rider with Backpack
Motorcycle backpacks have been around for a long time, but in recent there has been some pretty cool innovation on this front in both design, comfort and additional utility like safety. If you’re looking for a new backpack to wear while riding then you’re basically spoiled for choice. Here are a few pointers to consider when selecting a new bag:

1) What will you be using it for?

The first question you should ask is what exactly you need this bag for. If you’re a long distance or road trip rider then chances are you’ll need something that that’s very comfortable and can carry a larger payload. If you use your bike mainly to commute to work then you may be looking for something smaller that can double as a day-pack and maybe even look good when you carry it into meetings. Additional features like water resistance and compartments for your tolls of the trade, like a laptop could should be considered.

2) What are you riding?

Let’s face it, the big bulky bag that effectively “sits” on the passenger seat of your hog while you cruise the back roads is not the same one you want on your back when speeding down the highway on a crotch-rocket! For the latter, you’re probably looking for something with a slim profile and low drag.

3) Safety considerations.

As any rider will tel you, riding with a backpack changes your dynamic on the bike a little. Your center of gravity and balance may be influenced and your drag may increase depending on the size of the pack. Keep these things in mind when shopping for motorcycle backpacks. As always, safety comes first! There are some great high visibility motorcycle backpacks available nowadays and even some hard-shell packs that are impact resistant and can help protect your body in the unfortunate event of a crash or fall. These, while still practical backpacks double as additional safety devices and is well worth talking a look at.

4) What will you do with it off the bike?

Unfortunately, you will not be riding forever and it makes sense to keep in kind what you’ll be doing with the back once you get off the bike. Again, if you’re a cross-country rider, you may have to stow it with the bike while you catch some frosty adult beverages or haul it with you into a diner of motel. As mentioned before, if you’re a professional and use it to haul your laptop and carry it into meetings then finding a pack that looks neat and professional may be important.

5) What do you like?

You have to pick a bag you can live with. Find something that fits your style, sits comfortably on your body and appeals to you and the people you ride with! There are some reputable companies like High Sierra that manufacture backpacks that, while not strictly motorcycle backpacks, may serve your needs very well. this opens the scope of packs you can consider up quite substantially.

6) What can you afford?

Finally, and this obviously drives a lot of purchase decisions you have to pick something that works for your budget. Motorcycle backpacks range from $200 to $29 on That’s quite a difference and in many cases you get what you pay for. That beings said, there are some ridiculously overpriced bags on the market and it makes sense to read a few good backpack reviews to ensure you don’t buy something you’ll regret spending your money on in a few months.

Life on the Hog: Working with Back Pain

One of the problems of long road trips the older you get is the toll it takes on your body.  When we were all young, we could ride for days with little or no pain.  Now the hand and back pain has taken a toll.  After our annual 3 week trip, that now has become a 3 or 4 day trip, all of us are down for the count.  With that being said, if you work at it you can prevent the pain.

harlIn 2012 after a trip to Sturgis Bike Week I started a few things to help from the wear and tear of time on the road.  I wrote this up below as a way for people to work through their lower pack problems.

Lower back pain is becoming a troublesome issue and an increasing work-related health problem. It not only stems from lifting heavy weight but general bad posture caused by prolonged hours of sitting in the office chairs. The principle of ergonomics, yoga and Inversion therapy help to prove the workplace, bettering the standards for employees. If we look in detail at the lower back pain, we can discuss some of the ways to prevent it through ergonomics and make the working environment more comfortable and in turn, more efficient in terms of productivity and output.

Here are some guidelines to prevent employees from suffering with lower back pain in the office:

First and foremost, the most important thing is to identify the causes of lower back pain in any work environment and then take steps wisely to eliminate these causes. Prolonged periods of static posture are one of the major causes of lower back pain as many office employees spend hours at their computer desks. Factually speaking, the body should change position every twenty minutes so that there are some benefits in frequent breaks or an office setup where employees are required to move between stations. Stretching your body from time to time can help prevent stress a static posture can create on muscles and ligaments.

Ergonomic balance ball chairs are proving to be extremely beneficial for employees who have to spend long hours sitting in the chairs. Although they are a little expensive, these chairs help you to align your spine and give the user an opportunity to change positions frequently.

Yoga has been around for a very long time and is a revolutionary exercise for an office worker. It has been recognized lately to prevent lower back pains. Providing for yoga class or yoga breaks between working hours sounds like a sensible idea for employees who sit in a static position for hours.

These days, the most effective treatment for preventing lower back problems is called the Inversion therapy. The Inversion tables are designed in such a way that a person’s feet are placed higher than the head. Therefore, it helps to reduce the negative effects of gravity since gravity helps to stretch the backbone. This treatment helps in increasing flexibility and reduces the effects of gravity, improves posture and better blood circulation. Thus, this is a very effective treatment for curing lower back pains. And can be used at offices for people who have to spend long hours sitting in a static position.

Resources – 

Inversion Table Guide –

Forbes –

Guide to Purchasing Spray Paint for Cars

I was looking for a cool way to add some color and customize my car.  My best friend gave me an awesome idea to spray paint my car.  I decided to go with Montana acryclic spray paint in shock red.


Bright and beautiful color-  I was looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade my ride but I wasn’t expecting amazing results.  The color and finish of the spray paint was bright and bold.  I feel like everyone is looking at my car when I drive down the street.carsss

Can be used on multiple surfaces-  After I finished spray painting my car, I still had some spray paint left.  I was able to use the extra paint on a wood bird house.  The bright red color attracts birds from miles away.  This spray paint can also be used on concrete, metal, plastic, glass, and more.

Easy to change the pressure output for different projects-  By simply changing the cap, I was able to switch from a low-pressure to high-pressure output. The low pressure output is ideal for creating lines and details and the high-pressure output is perfect for filing in large areas.  By using the high pressure output, I was able to spray paint my car in a short amount of time.  And when I used the low pressure output on the birdhouse, I was able to create some custom details.

Dries extremely fast-  The fact that this spray paint dries extremely fast allowed me to change the color of my car within a short amount of time.  This was ideal because I wanted to upgrade my car within a couple of days.  If I would have taken my car to the shop for a paint job, it would have taken at least one week.

Affordable way to upgrade my ride- I was able to paint my car instead of taking it to the shop which saved me a couple of hundred dollars.  The new color covered up some minor scratches.

Color ring at the top of the can makes it easy to identify-  I loved this spray paint so I decided to purchase it in a couple of other colors.  There is a ring at the top of the can which allows you to easily identify the color.  This is a great feature because it allows me to easily find the color that I am looking for.

Doesn’t take up a lot of space-  The small spray paint can doesn’t take up a lot of space.  This is perfect because I don’t have a lot of extra storage in my garage.


Hard to clean up-  I disliked the fact that this spray paint was difficult to clean up.  Because it dries so quickly, you definitely have to be careful about where you are spraying.  You need to set up an adequate paint station before you start.

Should be used in open spaces- Even though the manufacture claims that you can paint in indoor spaces, I would still recommend using this product outside.  However, the atomized spray reduces the odor.  I always recommend researching the best paint sprayer for your car before moving forward.

Overall opinion

Overall, I would give this spray paint a nine out of ten.  I loved the color and finish but I wish I had made a paint station before I started.  I would definitely recommend this spray paint to all of my family members and friends.  And will never pay a car dealership hundreds of dollars to spray paint my car again.

Trips Through the UK

One of our greatest adventures ever as the V4 Riders as we use to call ourself was our trip through the United Kingdom in 2008.  After initially keeping to mostly continently United States trips, we got together with a few MCs in the London area and decided to set something up overseas.

Now when you travel overseas it is an ordeal in itself, when you do it and need to transport your own motorcycles, it becomes even more pricey.  Not only is everything that you ship needed to be checked through customers, but there are a hell of alot of fees that you must pay for that you never thought of before.   Besides the shipping fees, which costs all of us in the thousands, we had to providespare tires, helmets, licenses and several other things.  What we decided to do was inquire with a local manufacturer that was carrying cargo from the States and was able to get this over for a relatively ($4,500)  cheap price for 7 bikes, 9 spare times and a few other oddball items we through in.UK

The Trip

The trip itself was probably the greatest 14 days of my life on the road.  Besides my daughters being born, this definitely has taken the cake as one of my greatest moments.  We started off by picking up our bikes outside of Newquay and started our adventure from there.   When comparing riding the United States vs. the UK there is a few similarities but so many differences.   The actual amount of people that are “riding” in the UK seems to outweigh the number of people in the States.  It might not be more overall, but the roads definitely have many more bikes out there than the United States.

We drove our bikes to Stonehenge on our first two days and was taken back on how great that experience was for all of us.  Thank God we had a couple extra spare tires with us as Big Al and Zack both hit some bumpy roads and had to swap out our tires.  Luckily we found a little tire shop right outside of Stonehenge that had some spare motorcycle tires that we could use to replace the ones that were flat.   Thank you Grady !


The highlight of our trip was definitely hitting London and the surrounding areas.  For those of you who have experienced the UK, but have not experienced it on a hog, please do so before you die.  Not only is this one of the greatest trips ever, but you just have a calm feeling driving through the old scenery around the UK.  While the United States has its great parts, the UK’s tradition is several thousand years old and many of these places are still intact.

While I’m not much of party animal as I was in my younger days, the London night scene was truly amazing.   It is like the city never sleeps and you are truly amazed in each and every pub that you enter.   Also, the different MCs that we met up with were truly awesome and accepting of our American ways.

Overall I cannot say enough about the United Kingdom and their hospitality.  If you are looking for a once in a lifetime trip through the UK, I would highly recommend it.  Make sure to pack some extra tires, helmets and cash as it will run you close to five figures but it is well worth it.

The V4 Club Expands

The original V4  club was four of us from the Roanoke, Virginia area who decided to embark on a three week road trip on our bikes over a summer in 2002.  After three years of this pace, we made a pact to do this as long as we were riding and on God’s green earth.

Over they years the original four has kept at it for the most part, with a few of our members, mainly Al leaving us for a year or two do to conflicts with other things in life.  Since that time we have expanded our group to up to six riders and have made it more of a one weekend a summer thing, where we would travel across country or hit up something like Sturgis Bike Week.  With that being said, we are looking forward to 2014 and to add a new member to our group,  my brother-in-law Jason Rhodes.nas

Jason joins our biking and traveling team after getting the “bike bug” as we call it, at the age of 32.  Now 34 with two years experience as a “biker”, Jason is ready to join us for our summertime adventures.   Jason, who owns and operates his own pressure washer business, just recently bought a new Harley Davidson 2013 Road Glide and is ready to take this hog on the road.  With summer being the busy season for Jason’s pressure washing business he is making a huge sacrifice by taking 4 days out of his busy schedule to join the other V4 members.

Next year we are looking to expand our ride to perhaps North Carolina area and our looking to find a bike show to attend.   After Sturgis last year, we realize that the trip through the Dakotas isn’t something that is advised year in and year out.  It is not only very taxing on the pocket book, but it also takes a toll on our aging bodies to ride 10+ hours a day in hot conditions.   We might take a look at the NASCAR schedule for next season and maybe revolve our trip around one of their events in the area.

Jason was given a history on the V4 Club and is ready for what he calls the most exciting thing that he has done in years.   Luckily being an owner of power washing business has its perks, as Jason is having one of his workers meet us with a RV so that we can get the full experience of staying a couple days at a NASCAR event.

The best thing about next year’s run is that the orginal V4 club are all in line to go and barring any setbacks we should have about 8 guys on this year’s run.  I can’t wait !