Packing effectively for a motorcycle trip is a learned skill that challenges even the most experienced riders. Carrying capacity is finite and your load needs to be able to withstand the weather. A lopsided load makes the bike harder to handle, affects performance and requires more energy from the rider. Keeping the weight to a minimum and the center of gravity as low and close to mid line as possible makes the weight easier to manage.
Learning to recognize a load that’s out of balance, drawing on alternative resources and jettisoning that which isn’t necessary alleviates pressure and creates a much more enjoyable ride. Taking on additional responsibilities, whether you choose them or the Universe delivers them, can create stress, anxiety, fatigue and illness.
The choices you make and how you balance the needs of body, mind and spirit determine your level of joy and fulfillment.
9 Ways to Pack for Balance
- Set a goal. Know your destination, how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to need. It’s like anything in life. The more time you have to prepare, the better you can plan. The more experience you have, the easier it becomes. And the only way to gain experience is to get started.
- Take only what you need. Easier said than done. While you don’t know exactly what your Road is going to deliver, you’ll have a good idea. Prioritize depending on your route, the likelihood of needing something and the probability of being able to pick it up along the way. You can’t prepare for every possibility that life throws your way. You can however, acquire the skills and resources you need, based on where you’re going.
- Simplify. Get creative. Some items you’re taking can serve multiple purposes. Complexity can creep into your life insidiously. The more you have, the more you have to carry and care for.
- Have the right equipment. Luggage on your bike should be waterproof, secure, durable, light and aerodynamic. You don’t want to have to worry about your load shifting. Know what you’re going to need for the next leg of your personal journey. If you’re not ready for it, reduce your expectations, or delay your plans. Use the time to acquire the resources you need.
- Share. Traveling with others allows you to reduce the collective load. You don’t each need to carry the same tools or camping equipment. Besides, someone else may have more capacity than you do. It’s easy to think you’re alone in life, yet there are resources all around. People who share your Road are willing and eager to lend a hand. All you need to do is ask.
- Organize. Part of the challenge of packing a balanced load is keeping things you’re going to need accessible and convenient. Ask anyone who’s had to dig for rain gear in the pouring rain. The better organized you are at home and work, the more time you’ll free up for family, adventure and play.
- Be versatile. The more flexible and resilient you are, the less you need to carry. Expect you’ll need to rearrange your load along the way.
- Leave a buffer. Start out with available space. You’re going to pick up things along the way and you definitely want to be open to serendipity. If you’re about to start a new project at home or work, make sure it’s not cramming your schedule to the breaking point before you even start. Leave room for unexpected events.
- Make mistakes. Not intentionally. But don’t be afraid to make them. They’re your greatest teachers. Plan wisely, make safety a priority so when mistakes happen, damage, if any, is minimal. Pick yourself up, readjust your load and be on your way.
Do you want to feel less stressed and more fulfilled? Would you like to spend more time having fun and less time worrying? Take a look at the load you’re carrying and how you’re carrying it. Then take the steps to balance it, leaving room for serendipity.
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