Touring Do's & Dont's

Road wisdom can make all the difference between a good tour and a great tour. Here are some important Dos and Don'ts based on hard-won, real-world touring experience.

Don't be afraid to ask for directions.
You'll meet many interesting people and enjoy descriptions of topography that aren't bounded by the tedious constraints of the physical world. When they say, "You can't miss it!" that's your cue to pop the clutch and ignore everything they just told you.

Do take the road less traveled.
This great country of ours is full of adventure--so don't allow yourself to be hidebound by the humdrum road system. Be sure to explore railroad right-of-ways, Air Force Weapons Test Centers, radioactive waste facilities and the like. Adventure awaits!

Don't forget to bring along a few spares.
You never know what surprises the long and winding road will dish out, so you've got to be ready for anything. The American Touring Council recommends a minimum of two spare crankshafts, a set of contact breaker points, one signal flare and a gallon of peanut oil for each day on the road. These guys are properly equipped for a ride to lunch.

Do take advantage of the many fine features of the modern touring machine.
Fun-loving manufacturers build many hidden snack-preparation features into their machines these days in an effort to surprise and delight seasoned tourers. Be sure to jam baked goods, whipped cream or microwave popcorn into every available orifice of your glistening machine. A tasty surprise is surely in store!

Don't attempt to make eye contact with your passenger when riding.
Although psychologists agree that eye contact is a powerful tool in the world of interpersonal relationships, it's not well-advised on the road. Be smart about it: Simply adjust the small vanity mirrors located on each handlebar so that your passenger's face is clearly visible, and then speak in a loud voice.

Do observe the loading instructions in your owner's manual.
Typically, you may only carry two examples of any given species, though you can add additional members of the animal kingdom without restriction, provided you place them in a proper cardboard box. Safety first!

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