The following FAQs were submitted by riders, both past, present, and hopefully future. Some are to be taken with a grain of salt, others with a healthy dose of humor. As always, if you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact us: info (at) lrlr.org.
• Q: I'm not sure I can ride elebenty-hundred miles a day. How hard is the actual riding?
A: We have significantly scaled back the mileage since the days of cross-country-just-for-fun. Normally our days consist of a good balance between a tank-ful ride in the morning and another in the afternoon, broken up by a good lunch, rest breaks, and lots of photo opportunities.
• Q: I've never measured my gas mileage. What if I don't get 150 miles on a tank?
A: Usually it's not an issue, unless your mileage drops significantly below 125 miles between stops. Although we may stop 3 times in 125 miles for photos if the scenery warrants it, chances are slim that scenery lines up with gas stations. If we're having to take a major road, there are obviously more gas stations available than, say, in the middle of Yosemite. If all else fails, there is a chase vehicle or two that you might be able to bribe to bring you gas if you run out. We won't leave you stranded, but we do reserve the right to tell you to rent a real bike with a real gas tank if it becomes a serial issue.
• Q: Hotel rooms can get expensive for a week, what options do we have to keep the costs down?
A: We begin by working with the hotels ahead of time to get a reduced rate on rooms, since this is for charity. We leverage our "group" status for reduced rates since we book more than 10 rooms every night. In addition, most riders share rooms. There are two beds, why not room with a stranger? You did it in college.
• Q: How are the room charges handled? Do we pay individually every night?
A: No, we use one of the charity AMEX cards to cover all of the room charges while on the trip and then you receive a bill for your portion once the ride is complete, usually within one or two days. This way, only 1 or 2 people will collect and distribute keys. Usually makes for a fairly smooth check-in. Since the charity is using an AMEX card, it's really important you square your bill ASAP after the end of the ride so that there are no interest charges accrued to the card.
• Q: Should I bring rain gear?
A: Depends. Do you want to get wet?
• Q: Should I bring cold weather gear?
A: Depends. On some rides we climb up into the mountains, and definitely need cold weather gear. Remind us to tell you about the snowstorm we encountered as we rode to the Utah Shakespeare festival one year. In June. If you have lightweight gear that can be layered, it's a good idea to bring it.
• Q: I see the LRLR sometimes ride into Canada. If we do, will I need a passport?
A: Depends. As of 2009, you have to have either a US Passport or an alternative travel document, such as a NEXUS card or EDL.
• Q: I have a small bladder.
A: Depends. (Okay, this was a joke suggestion but it was too good of a pun to leave out... we'll have bathroom breaks!)
• Q: Should I bring tools, or will there be a road crew?
A: The chase van is for water, beer (for _after_ the day's ride!), ride promotional supplies, and tired co-riders. It does not contain the tools or the knowledge to fix your bike.
• Q: I want to keep the load light. Will there be any time or place to wash clothes, so I don't have to bring as many?
A: We love to book ourselves at hotels with pools. And laundry facilities.
• Q: Though the series was canceled, the end of Caprica indicates the Zoe Graystone virtual world sentience is restored to the real world as the first Cylon "skinjob", but the equally important Tamara Adama sentience doesn't even appear in the last episode. What happened to her?
A: You need to get out more. Perhaps a nice long ride with the LRLR, maybe through the Pacific Northwest, around the Great Lakes, or through the twisties of the Ozarks.
• Q: Although I consider myself a good rider, I don't have much in the way of experience with group riding... like "none". What should I expect with a group ride?
A: Another very good question. Group riding requires a certain discipline, and a certain amount of trust. Here's a link to some helpful tips. We always go over our version of hand signals, etc, on our first night (called "gathering night") of each ride. MSF Tips
• Q: What's the deal with the kazoos?
A: Well, there are multiple answers to this question. First, kazoos are just fun. And if you've ever been on the receiving end of our kazoos you'll notice the LRLR logo and website are on it. They're kitschy and cool and a good advertisement for the ride. Besides, kazoos make for an easy introduction between a bunch of "unruly bikers" and terrified parents everywhere.They're a great icebreaker, and they're easy to pass out and draw a lot of attention.
• Q: How does one play a kazoo?
A: Super easy. Place the larger of the two ends in your mouth and don't blow. Say the words "doo-dah-doo-dah-doooo". It's really that easy. If you still feel intimidated, take a lesson from this young lady: tinyurl.com/8y2kk89
• Q: Will I have to drive on gravel on an LRLR trip?
A: We never plan to ride on gravel for extended distances, but sometimes we encounter it without warning in road construction areas. Imagine that beautiful machine is a dirt bike. Slow down, but not so much that a fat piece of gravel could take control of your tires. Keep moving at a steady pace unless and until the group stops. It may be scary, but it's really not that big of a deal unless the gravel is very very deep, in which case we'll find an alternate route. You may encounter dirt or gravel driveways leading to our stops for the evening if we stay in national or state parks, or lodges, etc.
• Q: Should I carry a few snacks and a little water on my bike?
A: Yes. Just in case lunch gets delayed or the chase cars with the cold water stash get delayed.
• Q: What if I drop my bike? Will I die of embarrassment?
A: You'll be in fine company. There are 2 types of riders: Those who have dropped their bikes, and those who haven't yet. We'll help you up, and we won't even laugh at you, unless of course you drop the bike while trying to flirt with 2 young ladies by passing them kazoos. Then we laugh and help you pick it up...
• Q: I live inconveniently far from the route. Is there a trailer for rent going my way? Or can I rent a bike?
A: Yes to both, maybe. We have several riders whose schedules will not allow them the luxury of riding all the way across the country and back. We have had in recent years a trailer that comes from the East, with space for 9 or 10 bikes, and a trailer from SoCal, with space for 4 or so. The other option, renting, is one that is taken into account when the routes are planned (and you thought it was all darts at a map, didn't you?). We will generally start and end very close to an Eaglerider™ franchise so riders have the option of flying in, renting a bike for the ride, and flying home. The contact information for this year's (2015) Eaglerider™ is: Address: 1096 West McEwen Drive, Franklin, TN 3706 Phone:(615) 771-1035:
• Q: I live inconveniently far from the route. Does the route change every year?
A: Yes, but... really? Are there no planes where you live? That's so sad. Did we mention the trailer possibility? Seriously, the route does change every year, and we're always open to good suggestions. Then again, we might not be closer to you next year. Why wait? Part of the fun of this whole endeavor is seeing new places and meeting new people!
• Q: How big of a bike do I have to have to ride with the group?
A: We expect that your bike will not be a slow hazard when we (rarely) have to get up to Interstate Highway speeds. While we do stick as much as possible to scenic routes, there will be times when we have to move fairly quickly as a group (or two groups) from Point A to Point B along a major roadway. We are not speed demons, but we will not be a moving roadblock contributing to truckers' road rage, either. Speaking of scenic routes, we also expect that your machine will be properly equipped and geared so that you can safely maintain your position and speed either in staggered formation (straighter roads) or single file (curvier sections) without having to use the downslope of one hill to overcome the rise of another hill. If your machine dies away at the sight of a hill unless you build up a full head of steam and speed before you get there... well, you're still more than welcome to come, but you'll either be assigned a position behind the support vehicles (safely away from the group), or we'll ask you to rent a bike that's up to the conditions of a group ride.
A2: If you can comfortably maintain 60-ish mph up and down hills, and can hit 75 or so if the need arises (with some oomph left over if needed...), then your bike is probably fine. If you're still wondering, send us an e-mail at info (at) lrlr.org .
• Q: How do the bikes communicate while on the road?
A: Usually at least two bikes, plus at least one chase vehicle, will have two-way CB radios. We also have riders who use proprietary systems, like the bluetooth-enabled Chatterbox™. The lead and sweep bikes communicate via CB with each other and with any other bikes in the lineup who are CB-enabled. Lane changes, turns, stops, etc. are all coordinated with those radios and relayed to the other riders by hand signals.
• Q: My bike doesn't have a CB radio. Should I invest in one?
A: If you want to participate with us on a whole different level, by all means buy one and have it installed professionally, or at least invest in a good Standing Wave Meter to calibrate it with. There are several good manufacturers of motorcycle-centric CB's and antennaes. Do not feel obligated however. We have a core group who have the radios, and if you'd rather listen to the wind and the road rather than us and the truckers, that's fine too.
• Q: How can I participate in the success of the ride if I don't ride a motorcycle/ can't get the time off work?
A: Talk about us! Share our website and our mission with friends, family, suppliers, clients and others interested in helping entertainment employees through difficult moments in their lives. Donate! You can donate to the cause without having to sponsor a specific rider. Don't worry about the amount, the support to the charities is the important part.
• Q: Can I put my bag in the van?
A: Yes. But remember that a lot of folks ask so don't get upset if your bag:
1) ends up in the bed of a pick-up rather than inside.
2) ends up under a bag with someone else's spare engine rather than on top.
3) Arrives at the hotel much later than you. The support truck stops to assist bikes and riders when necessary. This can include side trips that makes the van the very last to arrive.
• Q: Can I ride in the van?
A: If there is room sure. We like to keep a seat or two empty during the day for emergencies. The amount of lip provided to passengers will be in direct proportion to the reason you need a ride.
And the most frequently asked question to the chase van -
• Q: Where are we going today?
A: We just follow the bikes. Ask the guy at the front of the line.