So you have decided to go to a MotoGP race weekend this season.
How to be comfortable?
What do you pack?
What’s the best route?
Should you bring luxuries?
How to deal with the weather?
Whether you are arriving by bike or car will impact greatly on your ability to carry the extra bits so here are a few tips if you are a first-time traveller by bike which I have learned from many years of riding.
How to transport your gear
The first thing if you have never travelled by bike for long distances is to find the right kind of pannier, bags or backpack.
Make sure it’s waterproof in case you get rained on and lockable for when you need to leave it unattended.
It goes without saying with this mode of transport you will be packing light.
The longest trip we have undertaken is 800 kms from South Australia to Phillip Island Victoria. All up 5 days away and it takes some planning as you will see below
To help with this you can purchase padded or sheepskin seat covers – we wish we had.
My biggest error was buying new boots for the journey – bad idea – this is not the time you want to be breaking in new boots for example.
You want your gear to be comfortable for long journeys.
Be strict with the luxuries and break down larger items such as shampoo etc into the smaller generic bottles you can buy from the chemist.
To save on space check, how far your accommodation is to local shops and purchase any extra items you may need when you arrive – you can ship anything back with your other items as mentioned above if needed.
Check with your accommodation if they have things on site e.g. you probably won’t want to use the space on things like hair straighteners or large cosmetic cases.
Don’t panic ladies (which is what I did when I saw the tiny space hubby said was for ALL my stuff), many hotels and even campgrounds these days have straighteners or at least hairdryers that can’t be removed from the bathroom.
It is worth checking on this with your accommodation. (intentsGP accommodation have hairdryers available in the shower blocks so already space saved).
Also check if they have a laundry facility with dryers so that you can wash clothes rather than packing many sets – or in the case of bad weather you may need to dry items if you get caught in the rain.
Know the weatherWe rode through all the seasons it seemed, sweltering hot, to rain, to icy cold Victorian temperatures.
This impacts what you are going to need. It’s hard to pack light and take cold or wet weather gear but it can be done.
I found taking layers of thinner clothing and only one warmer outfit was the way to go.
The reusable ponchos in the packets are useful for this too as they take up almost no room, are cheap and you can reuse them if you get the right ones.
As we were attending the MotoGP we purchased an extra jacket and a few other needed items as part of our merchandise shopping.
This brings me to my next tip – don’t sacrifice your shopping trackside because you have limited space available.
Find out where the local postal service is and before heading back ship to yourself the extra items you won’t need for the ride home.
We did this, it worked out perfectly and meant the ride back was a little lighter.
Know your route
Plan your route, have it handy not just in your device but a real paper copy in case something happens to your network connection or device.
Remember you will weigh more so may require extra fuel stops.
This can be to your advantage as long distance riding will make your backside numb quickly on the open road.
Tools and other items
Take a few basic tools and a puncture repair product suitable for your bike – the last thing you need is to be stuck roadside.
A power bank for your phone just in case.
Toilet paper and hand sanitiser for obvious reasons.
Practise packingMake sure you do a practice run with everything you intend to take.
Make sure it fits and does not exceed any weight restrictions if using panniers.
It is also important if using side panniers that you have your items spread between the two for even weight distribution
So, you got it all in – now we need to make sure it’s all going on the bike correctly.If you are taking a pillion with you make sure they can still get on and off OK once everything is on your bike – seriously you need to check this!
There is nothing worse than being unable to sit on the bike comfortably – rider and pillion both.
Now we test ride – we personally did a few day trips to be sure everything was in order and get an idea of fuel consumption with the extra weight.
You will be surprised how a bit of conditioning to longer and longer rides will help.
While the above tips are general and can be applied to any destination if you are planning to go to Silverstone for the MotoGP then intentsGP have a great guide that they send to all their guests with some important things you need to know to ensure your weekend is a memorable one.
1. Where are the campgrounds?
IntentsGP uses the Whittlebury Park campground which is right next door to the circuit.
It is however only a few minutes by shuttle or for those who feel like the exercise it’s about a 15-minute walk to the track.
You can expect a detailed map and instruction in your confirmation pack. The area used for IntentsGP guests is well signed, so you won’t get lost.
2. What facilities can you expect during your stay at Whittlebury park?
Everything you would find at a campground is available including large communal BBQs, some very decent shower/toilet blocks (they do provide toilet paper, but they suggest you bring some extra with you), car parking next to your tent and free Wi-Fi just to start.
There is an evening entertainment tent (heated!) for IntentsGP guests as well as licensed bars and restaurants… and in case you have time a golf course.
3. Let them take care of you
There are some creature comfort differences such as bedding provided for the glampers, but you will require your own if camping in the standard tents.
Sleeping bags are also available for hire for the standard tents but must be pre-booked (this is really handy for anyone riding instead of driving).
All bedding is included in the glamping tents.
Other extras for glampers are towels, a cool bag/icepacks (non-glampers can access these on a first come first serve basis each day), a table and chairs and a welcome bottle of wine.
Whichever you decide it will all be set up before you arrive so all you have to do is enjoy the racing.
To ensure you are well taken care of staff are available 24 hours should you require any assistance.
4. Food…let’s face it it’s important
As part of your package you will be able to help yourself to unlimited cereal and toast (breakfast only) and tea and coffee (available all day), also available at a small cost are bacon sandwiches at breakfast. Yum!
Your other meals are not included in the price although they do have evening meals available.
There are also plenty of facilities on the grounds such BBQs and utensils provided, as well as re-useable crockery and cutlery.
Don’t forget to bring your can and bottle openers though.
It is advised to bring with you the food you wish to cook for yourself as the nearest Tesco is about 15 minutes away but due to traffic can take much longer.
To make it easier as mentioned above Whittlebury Park has several restaurants and bars you can enjoy instead.
5. Weather savvy
Face it it’s England and therefore the forecast and reality may be worlds apart.
Be sure to have both a hat, sunscreen, bug repellent and wet weather apparel such as umbrellas, raincoats etc. if you are travelling light see our top tips above for travelling by motorcycle for some space saving ideas.
You will walk more than you think so bring comfortable shoes – and keep in mind the points above regarding weather and bring two pairs in case one gets wet.
Remember to bring some flip flops for the shower blocks as well.
7. Personal items
Items such as shampoo, toothpaste and soap are not provided and since the closest large store is 15 minutes away (without the traffic) it is best to bring it with you for your stay.
A first aid kit is also suggested however a first aider is on site should you require one. (we hope not!)
Whether it’s your phone or your camera you are welcome to charge it in the marquee. Ladies you are welcome to use your straighteners etc. too all they ask is this is not done between 6 am and 10 am when the power is required for the more important tea and coffee. Hairdryers and power points are also available in the shower blocks.
Most of the packages will include lights (the glampers will have fairy lights sorry I love fairy lights haha) but it is advised you bring a torch or two – remember the batteries! (and the spare batteries).
For first timers or for those bringing children the racing is loud. It is a good idea to have ear protection with you.
The kind where you can still hear the commentary are useful, this way you can follow what is happening.
This brings me to another point. The audio available trackside is not very reliable so having your own access to FM radio is the way to go.
With all that out the way the only thing for you to do now is get settled and enjoy your racing weekend.
If you’re lucky you may even get a selfie or two with one of the riders who stay at or frequent Whittlebury Park too. If you do, we’d love to see them!
NOTE: intentsGP packages do not include your MotoGP circuit tickets. You will need to purchase these separately.
If you have any additional tips please add them below. I would love to read them!