Touring on two wheels is one of life’s greatest freedoms; you take your bike, load it with some gear and head off into the distance. But some people overthink things, and end up going nowhere.
When you strip it all back, it becomes a question of a few simple factors such as bike choice and what to pack. Nathan Millward has done it all, from travelling the world on a 105cc Honda to exploring Iceland on a BMW R1200GS; he knows how to get the most of his trips, and is currently running his Garbage Runs, where he takes groups of riders – on any bike – to explore the UK. Meet one of the riders who’s done the ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats with him…
Rider: Dom Barnes Bike: Moto Guzzi V7
Why that bike?
After 33 years of riding it's my favourite, at least so far. And it’s my only bike that’s suitable for a long trip.
How was that bike suitable/unsuitable for the trip?
It was perfect as far as I was concerned; light, great at low speeds and great on the faster roads and motorways. I was a bit jealous of heated grips and USB ports but I'm an old-school biker so, meh!
What luggage solution did you use?
Panniers and a roll-top rucksack. I eventually realised that strapping it all down with ratchet ties was best.
How did you arrive at that set up?
Blind guesswork at first. It's been 20 years since I last rode over 50 miles in one trip.
What did you take that you needed and couldn't have managed without?
That's tricky, but good waterproofs. When I finally got them in Matlock I found them pretty important. And ear plugs!
What did you take that you didn't need and could have managed without?
Fishing rod and hammock, but I'll definitely take them again! The one night I got to use my hammock was heaven.
What would you do differently next time?
Pack lighter and splash out on really good bike clothing and boots. My tent was ace but I think that if it's not too heavy, a Lone Rider bike tent would be better.
To read BikeSocial’s advice on how to tour on any bike, click here