Mates they make you laugh and they make you cry, they make you want to tear your leg off and beat them to death with the soggy end, they make you want to walk over broken glass to help them…they are contradictions but they are your mates and life would a lot less interesting without them.
So when the holidays come round the idea of all going away together is without doubt a good one. You have to remember some important points when you are planning for a trip together and, as I have just recently come back, those things are pretty obvious to me now and so I’ll share my observations with you.
When you plan your trip remember that the distances you can travel everyday will depend on the roads, the state of your heads the morning after the night before, the state of your butts after many days but also, and most importantly they will be limited by the speed of your slowest rider. It is ok to plan to do 250 miles thinking that it will take you three hours but what about if it takes the slowest rider in your group 5 hours to do it? This difference in speeds can cause big fallout if you are not aware of what can happen, however if you are aware of it and the fastest is happy to compromise in some way and the slowest is willing to try harder it can be a good learning experience.
For distances travelled you also have to factor in stops, personally I am happy to fill up with petrol after 130 miles, have a piss and get going again, but some want to stop for coffee and a cigarette break every 50…you can imagine how much time that can be added to a journey like that. Again, you have to remain Zen, neither way is correct, they are different and there is nothing wrong with that.
Then there is the question of where are you going to stop, five star hotels or a tent in a farmer’s field with no facilities at all? Very often guys are happy with a lot less than girls, a field with a bar within crawling distance is usually acceptable but some people want their creature comforts and that doesn’t always mean cuddling up to a cow to keep warm.
And that leads me to another important consideration, money, not everyone has the same budget and what you regard as cheap somebody else might have to sell their body on the side of the road for, twice if they look like any of my mates! Doing things on the cheap can be fun, but those with less have to realize that maybe they will have to splash out a couple of times, it is after all fair and it can make the holiday memorable for all.
The most important thing however is remembering to engage your brain before opening your mouth. In reality no one is there to intentionally annoy each other, because if they were you would not be mates. You might be pissed off waiting for a couple of people to catch up, but equally they might be pissed off because they are having to ride at the edge of their abilities to keep up…neither of you are happy but none of you are being vindictive.
For me, on our last road trip, we had to adjust our route because we weren’t making the millage we thought we would, and because of that we effectively lost a day in Italy…but instead we found a great little campsite in Austria and an almost empty mountain pass with beautiful smooth asphalt….all because one of the guys was a little slow, excellent!