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The best advice I can give you is to know your limitations.

Sleep - it's not a good idea to ride when you are having a hard time keeping your eyelids open. They say your reaction time driving tired is the same as when you are driving drunk. If you find yourself on the road being drowsy, pull over somewhere and take a 15 minute power nap. They work wonders. I work third shift, and as much as I'd like to ride all day long, I must ask myself, do I need a nap first or am I ok. Most of the time, it's a nap first ride later....sleep a little more, ride some more. It's easy to lose focus when tired, and on a bike if you lose focus, well, bad things happen.

When riding with friends, ride your own ride. Don't feel you have to impress them. There will be plenty of time for this later. Start off with just one or two people at first, don't try to go out doing a poker run in your first season of riding.

On those long runs, take the time to get off the bike and stretch a little bit. If you find your shoulders and arms are hurting alot, it could be that you may be feeling a little tense riding, which is common with new riders. Just try to tell yourself to relax a bit and you will find your shoulders don't feel as much pain. Your rump roast will appreciate a break from the seat every now and then.

Know your limitations, ride your own ride, learn at your own pace, and most of all, have fun!!!!
 

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Well done Zippy. Thanks for the reminder. I am going on a 5 1/2 hour ride next Tuesday morning quite early for a tune up on my bike. I need to remind myself that if I arrive 15 minutes later than I want to the world will still be just fine.
 

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the advice on being careful with sleep and fatigue - is particularly good Zip.

I have that problem myself. Sometimes my sleep is messed up. I have a VERY firm rule that if I have not slept well, I just wont get on the bike. Those MC keys need to stay hanging up, and I will take the cage instead. I believe that "lack of sleep" is just like drinking 2-3 beers or alcoholic drinks. It is an impaired state. We have to avoid it.

If I am going to be doing a long ride, I always aim to turn into bed early on the night before. And usually I keep some OTC sleep meds around ... so I am guaranteed to conk out.

so you're absolutely right!!

dT
 
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