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Bonneville Speed Week is on my motorcycle-related, travel bucket list. I am a vintage bike nut, but I also appreciate the time and effort that goes into customizing vehicles for speed (not to mention the fact that I have watched the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian” a dozen too many times – one of the very best on my motorcycle movies list).
The bottom line is that the idea of taking a few days off work, walking around the race pits, and watching some motorcycles go really fast sounds amazing!
With that said, I have started putting together my Bonneville Speed Week Packing List. I lived in Las Vegas for many years, so I am very familiar with how unforgiving the Southern Nevada desert can be.
Bonneville in August will be no better. Therefore, I plan to do a lot of research and careful planning ahead of my trip.
Below are the 12 items I have so far on my Bonneville Speed Week Packing List.
Most of the items on my Bonneville Speed Week Packing List are comfort related, but a few are there to make sure I also get the most out of the experience.
1) Tons of water in coolers. This one is sort of obvious, but I am also adding to the list those Yeti-Style Tumblers (the ones with a plastic coated exterior to prevent the metal from burning your hands).
I recently bought myself a couple of these for wrenching in the garage, and it is amazing how long they keep things ice cold (and how refreshing a cold drink can be after hours of working on my bike).
2) Overhead coverage, whether it be one of those pop-up portable canopies or tarps that you rope together and stretch between two SUVs (I’ve attended a few outdoor weekend concerts in my day). This is something you are definitely going to want.
3) Ground coverage, both tarps to walk on and camping chairs to sit in.
The tarps will separate your stuff from the salt, which gets everywhere, and camping chairs will prevent sitting on the ground (which you simply can’t do without burning your legs). Also, make sure your shoes have a heavy duty sole.
4) Skin coverage. This comes from my experience riding motorcycles in the desert for the better part of a decade. It is better to wear a long sleeve t-shirt and be a little warmer than to try and sunblock those problem areas (hands, wrists, etc.).
A wide brimmed sunhat is also a good idea. It’s not a fashion show out there. This is about comfort and survival. Finally, avoid clothes with metal parts (blue jeans have metal rivets, zippers, and belt buckles).
5) Sunblock!!! Yes, you still need this too. You need to get the strongest you can find (I found SPF110) and put it everywhere, including places you have never thought of before. Nothing is worse than getting home and realizing you forgot to sunblock the tops of your ears.
6) Sunglasses. I would go as far as to say aviator-sized ones – again plastic over metal frames. The salt flats are highly reflective and you want to minimize the reflections getting to your eyes. Without sunglasses you could actually experience snow blindness at worst or headaches best case.
7) Some sort of transportation besides your feet. Bicycles or mini bikes are ideal. The race area and pits are huge, and the environment is harsh. You are not going to be able to walk everywhere you will want to go. Since I will be flying in for the event, I am probably going to have my friend pick up a few cheap bicycles off Craigslist or borrow them for the weekend from local friends.
8) CB radios and AM radios. Things are spread out and in order to know what is happening, you will want both of these.
9) Heavy duty binoculars with a wide field of vision. Vehicles will be going super fast and you are never allowed to be closer than a quarter mile along the sides of the track.
10) Similarly, a camera with a serious telescopic lens if you plan to document things. An iPhone camera won’t cut it.
11) Ear plugs for walking close to these monster engines. No shame in protecting your ears.
12) Cash for vendors. Some do not take credit cards.
Okay folks, that is it folks: my Bonneville Speed Week Packing List. If you enjoyed reading, please share this post on social media.
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