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Going the Extra Mile: Insider Tips for Long-Distance Motorcycling and Endurance Rallies [Paperback]

Ron Ayres

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When Ron Ayres first competed in the Iron Butt Rally in 1995, a hardy, but loosely organised group of endurance riders took the field to participate in a sport that barely existed at the time. Ayres' riveting account of his sixthplace finish, Against the Wind, would introduce countless motorcyclists to this virtual community for whom mileage means nothing - and everything. And naturally, many readers became hooked. Best-selling author Ron Ayres has written the first book that shares the proven advice of long-distance veterans with all riders who want to extend their range on a motorcycle. Those hard-core motorcyclists who aspire to participate in endurance rallies will find all the basic information they need to get off to a great start, but touring riders and less ambitious travellers also will be well-served by this book - as would anyone looking to learn a few tricks for enjoying more time in the saddle. To ride long distances, first one must be comfortable riding in a wide range of conditions and situations, and long-distance riders typically choose and modify their gear with these goals in mind.

Preparation is also key to success, and you'll learn how to make the most of your ride before you even mount up, utilising the latest techniques for computer mapping and GPS navigation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
104 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary reading 6 Feb 2003
By Tom Murphy, author - Published on Amazon.com
Coincidences? Sure, they happen.
Picture this. I planned a 2500 mile 4-day ride through sUtah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Needed something to read and Ron"s book had just shown up from the publisher, so I threw it in the saddlebag without even opening it.
I finally got to it while parked for the night in a dirty motel in a seedy town in southern Utah. Imagine my surprise when I saw Ron on the cover traveling the same sort of roads I had just been on.
After reading this book, my advice to you is buy it, read it and follow it. If you plan on covering a lot of superslab on your rides, you need this book.
My only complaint (small) is that Dan Kennedy at Whitehorse Press needs to use more color in these books. Some of the scenery in Ron's book deserves to be seen in glorious 4-color.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid advice for the long distance rider 30 Mar 2007
By Craig Libuse - Published on Amazon.com
Although most of what the author tells you here should be common sense, I still gathered enough good tips to make the price of the book well worthwhile. If you plan to do any long distance riding, even if you are an experienced rider, you will no doubt learn something too. The author has done a lot more touring than most of us, and his experience is worth listening to. For me, the most important chapter is on proper gear for riding, as being comfortable is the key to being able to stay on a bike a long time. It doesn't matter how soft the seat is, if you are freezing or too hot you are not going to last long. Other tips on gear to carry for various types of trips can save you a lot of time making checklists. It may even inspire you to take a long trip if you have never done so. When you are properly prepared and comfortable the miles go by a lot easier.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Grows in Value as you increase your L:ong Distance Riding 4 April 2008
By John R. Tubb - Published on Amazon.com
As an additioal post comment to my review. As I have begun to get more involved in Long Distance Riding this book has increased in value to me. It is a common book that I carry with me on all my trips to open and reread areas to remind me of things I need to improve and ideas on better approaches. If I could I would bump my rating to a 5 star now for those that want to get serious about Long Distance Riding.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get IT If You Are New or Interested on Long Distance Riding 12 Aug 2009
By Historic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a self taught motorcycle rider that's been riding for over 15 years. Long distance to me meant riding from Los Angeles to San Francisco. A friend decided that it was time to go cross-country and during my planning I came across this book. It is a must read for novices like me. The book is full of valuable advice, insight, and recommendations.

What it offers...

1. Riding a motorcycle for many hours does not have to be an uncomfortable affair. Ron dedicates a whole chapter on 'comfort'. After reading this chapter I became aware of how grossly unprepared I was. He discusses in great detail what experienced long distance riders wear and modifications they do to their bikes. For example, I would never have consider wearing ear plugs or buying a seat cushion. The benefits of both of these items are now very apparent to me. This was the most valuable chapter in the whole book for me.

2. The next chapter is all about 'safety'. A lot of it is good old common sense, like stop if you are drowsy, wear reflective gear, stay hydrated, etc.

3.The third chapter is about planning and maybe the most out-dated chapter of the book. It is not his fault. It's the nature of technology. He discusses the use of GPS and mapping software, and a few other electronic devices that can make your trip safer and easier. It is a good chapter if you have never used a GPS device or computer software, but most people have been exposed to them by now. The last part of the chapter is very useful. Here, he proves a rudimentary packing list, the importance of following your motorcycle's carrying capacity guidelines, and some organizations you can count on if you should get in trouble on the road (worth the price of the book).

4. The next chapter is called "Building Mileage". The title is a bit deceiving. For example, it isn't a program designed to help you build your stamina and endurance on the bike, but a list of associations that give out long distance awards. The most famous is the Iron Butt Association Award(for more info do a quick search). The members of this association are a very exclusive bunch. Tips are given at the end of the chapter for long-distance riders. The most valuable advice in my opinion deals with riding at night. This is something I 'never' do. You never know what creatures will cross your path. Here, Ron provides tips if you should encounter deer on the road.

5. The last two chapter are of no interest to me. For example, I don't intend to compete on endurance rallies and I won't be traversing the country on unpaved roads. Furthermore, I won't be traveling to undeveloped countries on my motorcycle any time in the future. If these are of interest to you, then you will find these chapters useful.

Last Note...

The book is filled with practical advice, commentary from 'professionals', websites, gear reviews and recommendations, and a page full of additional reading material. It reads fast and easy. The pictures are not color, but it didn't matter to me. Get it before you go on your next trip.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not great 29 May 2007
By John R. Tubb - Published on Amazon.com
Most of this information was pretty basic and common sense, some of it is outdated due to technology advancements too. Still, it had some good tips for planning long distance trips / competition. Most info can be found online on various long distance sources if you want to put in extra time at the computer.
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