30+ Adventure Packed Days
Each tour is a work in progress. We hope to incorporate your ideas, expectations and needs into our plans, making this a unique motorcycle tour for each Ridetour traveler.
information on this site is the starting point for one of the greatest adventures
of your lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the objectives of this tour?
(1) Travel East to West across China by motorcycle.
(2) See that China has already taken many steps to develop their country outside of the Eastern cities and that as with the US, progress will mean that the native cultures are fewer and harder to see.
(3) See that the Chinese cities are also a picture of Chinese history. The group will receive books about China and maps before we come so that what we see is expected and understood.
What kind of riding will we get?
Mountains, Desert, Plains - Dirt/Mud
or asphalt, two lane roads. In China most bikes are 250cc or less and not permitted
on the expressway. Although ours are larger they will probably not be permitted
on the expressways either. We will share the road with farm animals and trailer
/ semi trucks, motorcycle families and others.
Competent, responsible riding is important.
What will we see each day?
You'll know what sites we're going to see each day, at least by the night before. On
the days where you have free time in a city, we'll try to have city guide material
ahead of time.
What about hotel quality?
have selected the best hotels that offer protected motorcycle parking
and the amenities we'd all like after days of riding. John and Anne Stapsy of ridetour.com
have visited all of the hotels and verified their quality. However, in
some cases best is the only choice available. Keep in mind that we are visiting a country that is very slowly loosening their rules about tourism, especially with private motor vehicles.
Who are the Tour Guides?
national tour guide we are using is experienced in leading motorcycle groups,
friend and very familiar with the cultural and economic history of China. The local guides are motorcycle riders, mountain climbers and historians - each brings their own viewpoint to their province.
What food can we expect?
at this as an intense culinary adventure, an opportunity to experience a range
of ethnic Chinese dishes, prepared with local products. Nowhere in the US including
the Chinatowns of NewYork, San Francisco or Los Angeles will you experience closer
to the real thing. Most US restaurants do not offer food from the provinces where
we'll be. Vegetarians should have no worries. When available, we will treat your palate to a taste from home.
Will we have internet access everywhere?
Most of the hotels have access. Often the connection is slow but the rates are low.
Is drinking water available?
Bottled water is a must. It's available everywhere.
You need vaccinations to protect from diseases.
check with your physician. You may also want to check with your
county health department. Vaccinations are often much less expensive from the
county health department than from your physician. Also, the health department
may stock them while the physician must order them. You can also check with the
CDC (Center For Disease Control) for their recommendation.
There should be adequate time to take photographs or shoot video of the Ridetour. Bring enough film, tape, digital media!!, and spare or rechargable batteries for the entire tour. Assume that you will be unable to buy film and batteries outside of the main cities. When available they may be expensive and old. Please keep in mind that cameras and equipment will add to your total weight load and volume for packing you bike. Before leaving on the Ridetour, make sure you really know how to work all of the equipment you are bringing.
Don't take a camera or accessory that is untested.
You don't want to return home from your once-in-a-lifetime trip with only words.
Pack each piece of equipment to survive vibration, rain and a fall. You WILL experience vibration, it WILL rain and you may drop something.
Digital Still Cameras
Digital - If you bring a digital camera you must be able to 'unload' your chips/images or have enough chips for the entire trip.
Unless you are shooting digital ONLY for the web, you should plan to shoot at the highest resolution so you can make the best quality prints.
High resolution images use the most memory in your digital camera. You can buy portable hard drives onto which you may unload your chips.
Check out: http://www.dpreview.com/
Photos of locals
It is important to treat the locals with respect and ask their permission to make a photograph of them. If you choose to send them a photo, have them write their address and the local guide will help you convert the information to what you need for an address label to be mailed when you get home. Model releases are suggested if you wish to publish your photos for profit.
Do NOT take photos of women in Moslem countries or the Moslem areas of China unless you have their permission.
During the day you should wear a comfortable riding suit, sturdy, weatherproof riding boots, gloves and helmet to protect you. We'll be riding in areas far from modern health care facilities where we may not be able to contact rapid-response emergency services or rescue units.
Western-style medicine isn't practiced everywhere in China. EMT's and med-evac helicopters are not usually available. When they are it may take many hours for help to reach the scene of a mishap. Therefore, wearing protective gear is vitally important to every RIDETOUR traveler.
We urge you to dress responsibly to protect yourself and the group. Because of the limited storage space and weight limitation of a motorcycle, your packed clothes should be kept to a minimum. The fabric should be easily hand washed and dry quickly although most hotels can wash and iron over night.
There are many other reputable online sources for travel clothing and accessories such as:
We suggest the following as your initial list of clothing to bring on the RIDETOUR:
2-3 pairs of socks for under your riding boots 1 or 2 pairs of other, lighter weight socks sandals, sneakers and/or running shoes 1 pair shorts for wearing under your riding pants 1 long sleeved shirt, with pockets 1 or 2 additional pants/shirts outfits for apres ride tours, dinners, etc. fleece or similar warm jacket/sweater 2-3 changes of underwear 2 bandanas rain suit or waterproof riding suit waterproof gloves baseball cap or other hat to protect you from the sun kidney belt money belt A spare face shield for your helmet
Attention - Women Riders / Passengers
Parts of China are predominantly Muslim societies where women are expected to dress modestly. RIDETOUR respects the cultures we visit and urges you to do so too. Plan to dress appropriately while we are in Asia.
Attention - All Non Muslim Riders / Passengers Please do not wear anything that suggests any religion other than Muslim.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Global Positioning System (GPS)
A GPS is optional but not needed. If you use one please install your GPS on your bike where it is in the same field of view as your windshield.
We suggest you 'hard-wire' the GPS unit to your bike's electrical system and that it always be powered, even when the ignition key is turned off.
TRAVEL INSURANCE OPTIONS
Medjet Medjet has a good reputation among motorcycle riders.
Aero Medical Evacuation Insurance
Comprehensive, professional travelers emergency evacuation protection available.
All Aboard Benefits
A travel health insurance company providing medical insurance for family or tour groups, international student travel, immigrants, & corporate business travelers.
GlobalCare Insurance Services
Provider of travel insurance products and services.
Online portal for researching, comparing, and purchasing travel insurance. Located in Commack, New York.
International SOS Assistance
Professional assistance for individuals living and traveling outside their home countries.
Travel Sourcebook: Choosing Travel Insurance
Information on selecting travel insurance.
Specialty Risk International (SRI)
Provides medical insurance for travelers & global citizens.
TFG Global Travel Insurance.com
Providing quality travel insurance to citizens around the world.
Travel Assistance International (TAI)
Travel insurance program offering coverage throughout the world.
Online services available: pricing and purchasing of protection plans.
Travelers Emergency Network
Direct link to global travel security. Members receive services ranging from pre-trip travel advisories to lifesaving emergency air evacuations.
Travelex Insurance Services
Provider of travel protection and assistance services.
TravelMed Assistance Group
Provides medical insurance for travelers that includes world-wide medical evacuation.
Universal Travel Protection Insurance
Sells travel insurance online.
Sells travel insurance online.
Tools, Spares & Modifications Checklist
Determine the service intervals for your bike. Check the owner's manual and bring what makes sense. We will have a vehicle to carry people but NOT personal luggage. Pack only what you can keep on your motorcycle. Check your battery. Buy a new one if it's more than two-years old. Install fresh, new dual-sport tires. Break them in.. Ride a few hundred miles before shipping your bike.
You may be unable to buy replace tires of suitable size along the road, so you'll either have to depend on the tires on your bike or bring spares.
If you are not sure what to bring, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the tour group develops we may find that each of us can bring some parts or tools that are shared e.g., oil filter wrenches and miniature air compressors.
Ridetour travelers should bring:
A complete set of Allen wrenches Tools to change spark plugs Tools to change all of the oils and fluids.
Everything needed for chain care - spare chain, links, lubricant, link tool, etc.
Tire irons, Tubes and tube patch in case the tube is damaged. Plugs for tubeless tires, CO2 inflation system, extra cartridges Tubes in case the tire is damaged beyond repair
WD-40, Locktite -red, JB Weld
Spare Control cables - clutch, throttle and brake plus cable lubricant. Spare things that break if you fall down. Spare nuts and bolts that may vibrate out.
Oil filter, Fuel filter, Feeler gauges, Brake pads Duct tape Wire ties, Spare plug(s), Fuses, Wire; bailing wire and about 10' of 12 gauge stranded/insulated wire. Multi meter, Spare bulbs - headlight, stop and turn signal. Bike Modifications One of the best investments you can make is better than stock shock absorbers.
Other Useful Items To Consider
Small gifts - pictures of you - momentos to give to the children and adults who will be excited and pleased to see us. Old club ride pins, city pins, postcards, etc.
Flashlight(s). One of the Buddist grottos is completely dark.
Extra tie-down straps - hard side bags/cases take a beating on trips like this. You may want to hold them on with extra straps, just in case.
Spare keys Hydration system - nice but not critical Leatherman or similar all-purpose tool
Attention - IMPORTANT NO GUNS
Do not bring any weapons or any item that may be considered a weapon.
Official Documents & Paperwork
Bring several copies of your passport, birth certificate, international drivers license, immunization certificates, and motorcycle registration, and title certificate.
Make sure your international driver's license and motorcycle registration are up-to-date and will be valid through the entire RIDETOUR.
Make sure that you are the owner of your bike and that it is not financed. If it is financed, you will need a letter of authorization from the finance service to move the bike across international borders.
Collate the sets and seal them in waterproof zip-lock type plastic bags. Pack each set in a different bag. Hide one set somewhere else on your motorcycle, for instance in the frame under the gas tank.
Customs agents at many US ports and at international borders are very particular about the ownership of a motor vehicle. It is best that ONLY your name appears on the title of the bike that you are riding. If, however, you have a loan on your motorcycle, the lien holder's name will also appear on the title and you will need to get a notarized authorization from him to "export" the motorcycle.
Border and Customs agents often want to compare the paperwork to the actual serial number of your engine and or frame. Make sure you know where those numbers are located.
Check yourself to verify that everything matches.
You'll need to be relatively self-sufficient and bring everything you need for thirty+ days in countries where there aren't shopping malls. Oh, don't forget to bring your own roll of toilet paper or a copy of "Gone With The Wind" or "Marco Polo's Dairies"
TIP: Carry enough personal and prescription medications for fifteen more days than you expect to use on the entire RIDETOUR. Pills, though small, are hard to replace in a hurry.
ALWAYS keep all medications in their ORIGINAL labeled bottles to avoid customs problems and for potential (but rare) searches by the police and other authorities.
Also carry copies of your prescriptions, and for your eyeglasses or contact lenses; your health care practitioner can usually provide copies for you.
Diarrhea medication - ask your doctor about CYPRO and LOMOTIL and/or buy IMODIUM at your local drug store, it's available over-the-counter.
RIDETOUR travelers also report excellent results with chewable PEPTO-BISMOL.
Other suggested toiletries: Toothbrush Toothpaste (also works for polishing scratched windshields)
Dental Floss Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and/or Tylenol Athletes foot medication Sun block (25 SPF or greater) Anti itch cream Antibiotic cream Insect repellent (DEET) Nail clippers Scissors Ace Bandages Band-Aids, antiseptic ointment and other personal first-aid supplies If you bring an electrical appliance it should be 110/220 volts - 50/60 cycle and you should have a power plug adapter kit (http://www.magellans.com/) or it should recharge from 12v on your motorcycle.