» Getahead » 11 ways you can stay ALERT on a long ride

11 ways you can stay ALERT on a long ride

January 25, 2015 11:16 IST

Let's admit it, we've all had stifled yawns on long motorcycle rides and rubbed our eyes in vain. We've splashed cold water on our faces, hoping to regain the spark of our senses. Long motorcycle rides render your senses overused and take a toll on your mind.

As usual, we come to your rescue. Read on to find out methods to stay alert on long motorcycle rides.

1. Keep nodding!

Reuben NV/

One sure shot way to stay awake is to shake your head from side to side to get your blood pumping. In a car you could slap your own face for the same effect, but on a motorcycle that becomes a bit trickier using a helmet. By shaking your head, you force blood from one side to the other and back. That action will force you to regain a few minutes of attention and focus.

2. Chattering away certainly has a benefit

If you are riding with company, talking proves to be the best method out. Talking/interacting activates your brain, forcing you to think and in turn demanding your brain to stay awake; alert. (Listening does not necessarily work, since a smoothing voice will work the opposite way.)

3. Its wak-up time with caffeine!

Another obvious alternative can be caffeine. Always remember though, it can be useful for some people, though not all; it is not a wonder drug.

4. Stretching feels so GOOD!

Taking frequent rest stops, just for two minutes, to stretch your legs may activate your brain and boost some life into you.

5. Grab a towel

Taking a towel, t-shirt, or any wet woolen cloth and wrapping it around your neck in the form of a neck brace, between your helmet and jacket will cause the water to evaporate due to the airflow as you ride your bike, resulting in cooling your head off and help stay alert.

6. Get psychological!

Playing mental games can stimulate your mind as well, forcing your brain to remain sharp and in focus.

7. Grab those earplugs

Wind noise (and exhaust noise if you have loud pipes) will not only permanently damage your hearing, it will fatigue you quickly. Both noise sources are at their worst if you don't wear a helmet, but even a full-face helmet that seals your ears well won't attenuate these noise sources sufficiently on an extended ride, so you should wear earplugs as well.

If nothing else, you'll appreciate them when you try to go to sleep at night and the roaring in your ears isn't as loud.

A windshield can also reduce wind noise.

8. Its heavy metal for you

Listening to heavy metal music certainly does keep you alert. It certainly motivates you to bike harder. Listening to soft instrumental music can certainly lull you to sleep or dull your senses on a long ride and we are sure you don't want to be caught off guard on long road trip!

9. Exercise those gums with gum

Although it may seem obvious, but chewing gum on a long ride does help you stay alert. It moves your mouth and definitely keeps your salivary glands and taste buds stimulated. Avoid those extra sweet candies at all costs.

10. Load up with energy

Wouldn't it be tempting to just snooze away after that awesome lunch of chicken curry, steamed rice and parathas? Sadly it's not a luxury you can take very often on a long ride. Avoid heavy, oily and spicy food to keep at bay that lethargic feeling. Keep lots of nuts handy as they are a good source of energy. It's bound to keep you alert.

11. Exercise enough and keep hydrated

Those boring admonitions about diet and exercise also apply to fighting fatigue. They increase your energy level, which makes you stronger and more alert. Of course, drinking adequate water is important too, especially considering that you are being dehydrated more rapidly because of your exposure to the wind. I don't hold with the theory that you aren't drinking enough if you don't have to urinate every 30 minutes though.

Fighting fatigue provides benefits that go beyond safety. If you are alert and refreshed, the ride itself is more enjoyable, and you'll get more out of the sights and experiences that you came to enjoy. Happy riding!
Related News: ALERT, GOOD, Rediff, Reuben