Plan your bike trip: how do I find my way?

Nathan Millward
By Nathan Millward
NateThePostman Round the world adventurer Nathan Millward rode home to the East Midlands from Australia on a 105cc Australian postal bike (he didn’t like flying). He’s since ridden across America to Alaska, writing two brilliant books about the experience.


Knowing where you're going on a trip is a big consideration. Some people use maps, others sat-nav. I've found a combination of the two works best; a paper map allowing some context to your route and for you to highlight possible detours or proximities to other places. A sat-nav is very good for getting you somewhere efficiently, and if you're riding in a place you've never been before then it's a huge help in calming nerves and getting you to where you're going.

But it's dangerous to rely on an electronic device. Batteries could fail, or a route might not be passable and you have no means of sourcing another. There was a recent case in Brazil of a sat-nav sending two foreign riders into the favelas – the locals thought they were police and shot them. More spatial awareness and less reliance on satellite navigation might have sent them another way.

We all have different systems – sometimes you have to rely on your instinct, which is more often correct than not. The main thing is not to panic if you do get lost. Even in a foreign country where you don't speak the language, if you remain calm you can still find your way through. And if you do get lost and panic, just stop, have a break and go again.


Read all of BikeSocial’s motorcycle adventure planning tips here.


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