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Old 11th October 2017, 14:13   #31
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

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Originally Posted by livetodrive View Post
Unless I am driving on a good quality highway like Bangalore - Hyderabad where I kept an average of 100KMPH (7am Hyderabad - 1 PM Lunch at Bangalore), I generally divide the distance by 60 and start from my home accordingly. Target is to reach the destination hotel latest by 8 PM. Now reverse calculate and just enjoy.
This is a very good rule of thumb. I divide the distance by 60 and add 1 hour for breaks etc. and try to reach by 3-4 pm. If there are ghat sections or lot of state highways you should be more conservative.

That way you will generally reach in time or before time and feel good about it.
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Old 11th October 2017, 20:28   #32
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Nice thread and some nice best practices shared by the Bhpians.

I would like to share some of the points that I usually to share in my friends circle,
  • Do long stretches/drive only if you love driving or you are passionate about driving.
  • Don't do it just because someone else has done it. Take your own decision based on your capability, car, type of passengers etc.
  • Your speed coming down drastically is a hint that you are drowsy and it would be ideal to stop for a nap.
  • Don't hesitate to stop and take a quick nap even if it is very early during the drive. (I have stopped as early as 30Kms in to a 700 Km drive and at the same time done a 1200 Kms stretch without stopping for a nap). Respect your body. Some people think, stopping for a nap is a shame.
  • Always have a back-up plan to stop early, if required. No point is stretching beyond your limits.
Apart from this, as mentioned by others know your car, car's limit, have some good knowledge about highway driving etc.
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Old 12th October 2017, 09:42   #33
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I have an unconventional tip

Do not think much about next day's drive. Too much mental excitement about upcoming long trip can sometimes result in temporary insomnia (no sleep for an hour or two, even after you lie down on your bed).
I can relate to this completely, but it doesn't work for me. I try too much to "not think" about the next day's drive, and ofcourse, like the proverbial "don't think about the pink elephant", end up tossing and turning anyway, because at the back of my mind, I do know about next day's drive

Last edited by PearlJam : 12th October 2017 at 09:43.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:43   #34
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

Do not think much about next day's drive. Too much mental excitement about upcoming long trip can sometimes result in temporary insomnia (no sleep for an hour or two, even after you lie down on your bed).
I can relate to this tip very well ! I used to wonder while reading travelogues in which people invariably mention that they could not sleep the previous night of a long drive due to the excitement or rather the adrenaline rush, which keeps them awake. I have never experienced this at all. In fact I sleep more soundly the night before a long drive.

I guess it is because I don't think much about the up coming drive i.e. the specifics like the driving time, breaks, fuel stops, reaching the destination on time, etc. I have a broad plan, like hotel bookings, packing, vehicle preparation etc. but don't usually think about the minor details. I let the day take its own course.

I also keep cushion of about 1 hour on starting time, to accommodate delays of family members. If I have to start by 5:00 AM, I inform family members that we are leaving sharp by 04:00 AM, and I guess that they understand it as, they have to leave by 05:00 AM sharp

The only night I was super excited and was unable to sleep, was the night before my marriage
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Old 12th October 2017, 13:05   #35
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Would like to share my two cents; kindly ignore the chronology. Also, its not an exhaustive list and includes my experiences, does and donts.

a) As pointed out by fellow BHPians, a comfortable piece of clothing during long journey is of utmost importance; I usually prefer driving in a round neck Tee and comfortable track pants. Also, i prefer my light sneakers/sport shoes over sandals for better grip.
b) For a journey of ~700 kms, i usually divide the same in three parts, pre-breakfast (target is ~300-350 kms with an early morning start), post-breakfast and pre-lunch (target is ~200-225 kms), post lunch and pre-checkin (~200-250 kms). During my onward journey to Goa (from Bengaluru), i was able to cover the first target in ~4 hrs owing to less traffic, while the remaining targets were covered with an average speed of ~60 kmph in mind owing to dense traffic with villages enroute.
c) I usually engage cruise control at 100 kmph instead of 110-120 kmph. A slightly lower speed helps in reduced fatigue and better control. It also results in a better mileage.
d) Luggage is packed and loaded in the boot well in advance (at-least a day prior to the journey).
e) Route map is finalised (well in advance) and downloaded offline. The pit stops are identified and marked.
f) I keep myself sufficiently hydrated during the trip and avoid fried/junk food during the course of journey. I prefer tea over other beverages during my pit-stops; it rejuvenates me. However, i refrain from tea/caffeine overdose (i usually have tea twice during my course of journey).
g) I drive with my windows up; i seldom lower it down. However, i usually switch on the fresh air mode for atleast 20 mins on a good stretch of highway for the air to get replenished; this is repeated every two hours/as and when required to have good air quality.
h) The car is taken to the service centre and is thoroughly checked for any issues/top-up etc before the commencement of journey.
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Old 12th October 2017, 14:38   #36
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Hi,
I don't take any tea or coffee as stimulant to overcome drowsiness. If one has a tendency to feel drowsy during long drives, then there is a medicine called "Modafinil", available by the name Modalert in India. Other generics are also available.

I pop a 200 mg pill. It works for me. Alert and sharp reflexes. This drug is the only one authorized by USAF and also IAF for their pilots to stay alert.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/50894363.cms

However, it is a medicine, and hence please make sure of the facts before you take one. Consult a doctor if required. While you can get it without prescription, it is a prescription drug. Used/Misused by students when preparing for exams, which is not a good thing.

I am not prescribing it or promoting it in any way. I sometimes use it if i have to go to office for meetings immediately after a long sleepless night flight or a sleepless night.

Mods may delete this post if they feel it is not something to be discussed on this forum

Rgds
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Old 12th October 2017, 15:12   #37
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Love this thread!

Another important point to remember - the driver will wear out well before the car (usually). When doing multiple days of driving, spread it out like a working day, a max shift of 8-10 hours depending on the challenges faced. Start early though. There is a reason that truckers (in more advanced economies), pilots and the like have restricted working hours. It allows optimum and efficient travel from point A to B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post
If some one wants to race with you on the highway slow down and let them pass. The world is round he/she will be right behind you after some time . Driving at your own pace for 1 hour is less tiring than unnecessarily racing someone for 5 minutes.
Well said Tazmaan. All too often people mistake speed for pace. Even in the city, I often meet speedsters who go crazy overtaking, only to meet at the next red light. I like to think of a long drive as equivalent to a song. It has an intro, verses, a chorus and an end. If you're really lucky, you'll get some cool riffs in too! Each part has its' place, and anticipating the next phase has a special vibe. Speedsters just get the chorus, on repeat. If your joy comes from the song playing out, you're set to be a long-distance tourer. If you prefer the chorus on repeat, the track is probably your thing. Nothing wrong with either, just know your strengths on the long haul. After all - on the highway - the driver's energy and attention is a depreciating resource and should be preserved wisely.

As for breaks, I am mindful that a 1 hour break is notionally 2 hours lost. 1 hour for the break, and 1 hour for where you could have been by then. When solo, I carry my meal and eat on the fly. With family, that isn't advised. Some journeys need more breaks, and some don't. Pace is what matters, and building pace is recognizing the fine balance between energy and time.
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Old 12th October 2017, 15:48   #38
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

I would like to make a small contribution to this topic.

Mental preparation
Destination - I try to gather maximum information about the route ( though GPS can help to a certain extent). If any permissions to be taken to travel on those roads, Prep the vehicle in advance.

Physical preparation
Personally if it is a bike trip i believe we should focus on fitness. I have noticed if you have a laid back attitude towards health and diet you cannot keep up with your plans, as your mind wants you to do it but physically you cannot. On the contrary if you are fit you can sail through as you can focus as fit lifestyle tests a person physically and mentally.

Regards
Sagar
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Old 13th October 2017, 01:32   #39
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

I did many long drives till date. Before every long drive I ensure, my car should be in good condition. Also I will check on myself, whether I took proper rest or not. Generally I drive it in a relaxed manner, never hesitant to take break. If I am feeling drowsy, I will stop and also will try to avoid night driving as much as possible.

I recently changed my 6 years old Ford Figo which served 1 lakh happy kilometers, with S-Cross 1.3 Zeta. With my new S-cross, I did a 1400 Km (to and fro) long drive The Biggest difference I found with my S-cross long drive experience is, the 'Cruise Control' option.... When you know how to use the Cruise Control and when to use it, your long drives will be much more relaxing for sure.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:24   #40
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

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When you know how to use the Cruise Control and when to use it, your long drives will be much more relaxing for sure.
Could you please elaborate this part.
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Old 13th October 2017, 16:26   #41
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Cruise control definitely does help but I always find myself more alert when using it. There is a sense of disconnect when using it and it's a bit unnerving at times especially on our roads where something can pop out of anywhere.
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Old 13th October 2017, 17:55   #42
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

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Originally Posted by vagabond128 View Post
Could you please elaborate this part.
During long drives, when we find an open stretch road, we can use the Cruise control option by setting the speed to our comfortable zone, I normally set the cruise control between 80 to 95 kmph, only when I find an open 4 line highway, with that at least for sometime we can rest our right foot.

On August 20th, 2017, I met with a minor scooter accident where my right foot got sever sprain and on August 30th, we started our journey from Hyderbad to Tirupati which is almost 600 kms journey, that time my right foot was not yet recovered, I was still feeling some pain. During my journey, I have used the Cruise control option extensively on the 4 line highways and that gave lot of rest to my right foot and I never felt uncomfortable throughout my journey.
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Old 15th October 2017, 18:59   #43
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

Really good advises one can see in the posts above. Below are my two cents based on what all long drives I have done.

Since the thread talks about physical and mental preparation for the drive, I will start from some practical physical exercises that could help preparing your body for that long drive. Although this is possible only when your trip is planned.

For long driving, think about what all muscles take the real beatings. They are your calf and lower back muscles. If your trip is well planned ahead, you could start a little workout (even at home) at least 2 minutes for each these muscles. They are:
1. Iron man/Planks
2. Superman / Plank with arm/leg lift
3. Calf raise

If I think of other exercises, will surely update this post. But for starters, if you do these three things, you can be rest assured that your drive will be less tiring. Given that you have had your quota of sleep and you are keeping your body hydrated and stuffed.

For the mental preparedness, nothing can beat the absolute joy of you being on the highways. If you are driving with someone, you can keep planning the trip with them (unless they start to threaten you not to bore them :P). If you are driving alone, then you can keep planning about the trip in your mind taking help from the internet.

Wear the track pants that have got the net inside. Do not wear lowers for long drives. It may cause rashes on your bum. All the other data points, others have covered beautifully.

Thanks
Abhinav
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Old 16th October 2017, 05:51   #44
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

As someone who did such rides at 21, and is still doing these rides at 35, despite almost half a dozen vertebrae that have given up, despite getting carpal tunnel from a manic ride etc, I have to say you are completely and TOTALLY overthinking it.

Here's what I did on my recent ride (2 days to Bairagarh from Gurgaon, on the third day, touched Sach pass and returned to Gurgaon as well, some 730km in the hills):
1. Ensure average 6.5 hours of quality sleep in the week prior to the ride. This is as measured i.e I spent 7+ hours in bed, and I left home only after ~4+ hours on the actual day of the ride.
2. Be regular with my medicines and back exercises. This too was because of some ongoing significant back episodes. Else that is not required either.

Nothing else - not even bike maintenance. Its a Honda. An Appliance. Fill it, shut it and rip it. Of course, I had re-formulated my packing list for the CBR back in Nov 2015. Just dumped the same into my bags and off I went. Literally.

PS: The only research I did, was to ask around online on a couple of whatsapp groups, about the extent of water crossings (none) on the route. That's it. Else you have fairly decent Airtel connectivity almost all the way.

Last edited by phamilyman : 16th October 2017 at 05:52.
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Old 17th October 2017, 10:20   #45
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Default Re: Physical & Mental preparation for a long distance drive

I have been doing 1000/1500+ kms trips for a long time now. The lesson would be not jumping to these long trips suddenly. One has to make himself comfortable with shorter drives first. You should only try 1k+ when you already have some experience of 500-700s.

There are some important points though :

1. Sleep WELL the previous day. You have to be well rested before you embark on such a drive.

2. Get good music for your ICE. The one that keeps you somewhat engaged.

3. Start early. For any 1000 km trip I start by 0300 hrs. This helps you reach your destination on time & tale proper rest for the next day.

4. Don't stuff yourself at the Dhabas. I know those Paranthas in the Dhabas look delicious, but don't stuff yourself with them. You might feel drowsy & you might have to take more toilet breaks.

5. Carry snacks & drinks in the car. Have some munchies & juices in the car so that you don't lose energy & don't have to stop for these on the way.

6. Drive steady. Driving too fast makes your brain very tired in a very less time.

7. Plan you breaks.

8. A 1000km+ drive will invariably involve some night driving. Don't stop at desolate places.

Happy Mile Muching !!

Regards,

Pawan
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