Motorcycles, Camping, and Nerding Out! Everything To Do During COVID-19
Good day everyone!
Seeing as we are in this for the long haul, I am going to work on my blogging skills a bit, and hopefully bring you some good content and information along the way.
Most of us are stuck at home while prime moto and camping weather moves in, but there is still a lot that can be done to keep busy and get prepared to be freed into the wild. Seeing as this is Moto Camp Nerd, my 3 main passions in life, I’ll cover each of those below in various ways so that you have plenty to keep you busy during the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic/time/era/etc.
Alright, it’s warm and sunny and if you wear as much gear as I do, spring and fall are the prime riding seasons because it’s not too hot, and not too cold. IF, you are staying home awaiting your stay at home orders to be lifted due to COVID-19, you can make sure you are fully prepared to get riding ASAP! Keeping it simple, make a list of all the preventative maintenance items that can be done, that you have neglected all winter. Even if you ride year round, there are probably some minor things you can take care of:
-Check your oil / fluids
-Keep your battery on a tender
-Check your tire pressure
-Tighten your chain
-Lubricate your chain
-Check your bike for lubrication points that you never lube (swingarm?)
-FIRE IT UP! Let it idle and warm up the engine and check for oil/coolant leaks.
-Test all the buttons and make sure everything is working
-Check all the lights, hi/low beam, brakes, turn signals
-Check your brakes lines for leaks or cracks
-Verify your insurance and registration are on the bike
-Check your toolkit has everything you need. Replenish used items like zip ties/tape.
I’m guilty of never cleaning my bike BUT I know I need to clean it frequently. Keeping it clean is nice when it’s time to wrench on it. You won’t be getting dirt and grease all over yourself before you even get the tire off. But just like in industrial maintenance, its good to keep clean so you notice when you have a fluid lead, its not caked up and baked on, and most importantly, you don’t want little pieces of dirt working its way down into the nooks and crannies of lubricated moving parts, like bearings, swing arms, and steering. Washing will prolong the life of the paint and the lubricated bits, and keep it looking good. There are several types of coatings / waxes out now that make dirt and road grime slide off with a quick rinse with the garden hose instead of having to do an all out wash.
Pretty much go over your bike with a fine tooth comb and make sure the moment you are able to ride, you can fire it up and roll out without having to spend another moment waiting to ride because you procrastinated your maintenance. Plus it’s a safe habit to build.
If you have done everything to keep your bike happy and safe and you are still waiting for a ride, plan one! I’ve spent hours on google maps planning out routes and rides. Visit your favorite forum and get ride reports from others in your area. Hell, plan a whole trip via free camping spots. That way when the parks are open, and you can move freely across state lines, you’ll have an epic trip ready to ride and you won’t have to worry about making reservations ahead of time or worry about them being cancelled due to recent events.
If you do decide to ride during these times, make sure you stay somewhat close to home. Plan a rural route and ride during the off peak time. People are more worried about what the news on their phone and not the road they are driving on.
I had a full tank land nice weather last Sunday. So we got up early and made a big loop through the rural areas around us for a total of about 90 miles. It was extremely nice to get out of the house and into the open air to shake off that cabin fever. We took water and snacks with us, and we never stopped anywhere, we just ride at a decent pace to enjoy the view, and looped back home without being in contact with anyone.
And for some free stuff, ADV Moto magazine is offering 50 issues available for 6 months with the free stuck at home subscription linked HERE.
So, you know all that camping gear that has been sitting in your closet or garage all winter waiting for that first camping trip…it probably stinks! Air all that stuff out. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Pick a warm sunny day, put your tent together, and give it a good look over. Make sure there isn’t any damage and if you didn’t clean it before you packed it away, now is probably a good time to do that. As well as put another coat of whatever type of rain protection you use to keep it dry.
Put new batteries in all your flashlights, lanterns, or whatever battery powered gear you may have. If you use battery packs, this would be a good time to set them up on the charger and get them ready to go.
Overall, you want to unpack everything, make sure it all is in good condition and working order, and set your mind at ease. You do not want that spur of the moment camping trip to dramatically end in the middle of the woods when you find out your tent has a hole, or it is growing a science experiment of mold/mildew from storage, just sayin’.
And just like from the motorcycle category, if you have got all your gear ready to go, plan a trip, with free camping spots. Sure, many of the parks are closed now, BUT, you can plan a trip with camping spots and adventurous destinations that do not require reservations. Again, so when we are allowed to venture out, you can hit the road without worry of reservations or worry about losing your reservations. There are plenty out there, trust me!
NERD = GAMES
This is the easy one. I have a bookshelf full of games, from euro style board games to the RPG in a box style Dungeons and Dragons games, and our new favorite, Gloomhaven! We usually spend our winter with the kitchen table covered in a neoprene battle mat, and the entire box of Gloomhaven spread all over the kitchen. This past winter was very busy and we never got to break it out, until quarantine! Well, not really quarantine for us per say, but an opportunity for us to be home for 2 weeks without leaving the house for any reason, and binge play Gloomahaven.
For those without any type of games at home, DriveThruRPG and the Dungeons and Dragons team is here to the rescue. Drivethrurpg.com has a section for “Free” and “Pay What You Want” games from all sorts of publishers. During this time many of them have changed the price to “pay what you want” so you can download the manuals, stories, and scenarios for free. One of the more popular finds for younger kids was “Amazing Tales” which is linked HERE
The rules are very simple for younger kids, and even parents who have no idea about being a DM/GM can run with a story that their kids will love.
From the D&D team, HERE is the link for their resources that they are making temporarily free for download. Even they have included items for the younger kiddos with coloring books, and simple play rules. Each day they will be releasing something new, and I am one who is definitely stocking up on the resources available.
There are plenty of other free resources for DIY games out there, a quick google search and a scan through reddit will return hours of searchable results, but this is what I present you with today.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and let us know how we are doing so far.
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Links to above mentioned.
ADVMoto Mag - https://adventuremotorcycle.com/magazine/subscribe
DriveThruRPG - https://www.drivethrurpg.com/index.php
Amazing Tales - https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/307521/Amazing-Tales-Quickstart
Dungeons & Dragons Free Stuff - https://dnd.wizards.com/remote/freematerial