DO NOT PLAY WHILE RIDING!!! Sorry for shouting, but I had to say that first thing for all the people who will flame me without reading past the title, which is what happens with 59% of all articles posted on social media. By no means should you even think about playing Pokémon Go while operating any kind of moving vehicle, whether it’s a motorcycle, car, bicycle, chainsaw powered skateboard, Soyuz capsule, etc. From here on, let’s just assume that you’re a responsible rider that wouldn’t do anything so foolish.
I played Ingress on and off, Niantic’s geekier predecessor to the latest fad to hit our phones. Like Pokémon Go, there are real life locations – portals, rather than Pokéstops and gyms – that different factions battle for control over. This requires actually traveling to these places to play the game and do whatever it is you’re going to do. Both games are intended to get you outside and walking, and Pokémon Go seems to be doing just that. If you live in a densely populated area, this is great, because you have many of these locations within easy walking distance. But if you’re out in the ‘burbs or the middle of cow country, it could be miles between Pokéstops, making walking impractical. You can get in your car and drive, with the driver not actually playing while in motion, of course. Passengers can play all they want, even on the Nürburgring. But when I actually reached some destinations, I ran into a small but devastating problem – there was nowhere to park. I remember trying to reach one particular Ingress portal located toward the back of a cemetery, except I couldn’t stash my car anywhere safely. I couldn’t even do an ill-advised drive-by because the portal was so far away from the road, making it impossible for me to reach it without abandoning my car in the middle of the road and taking a walk. (I didn’t.)
The solution: a motorcycle. They’re much smaller than a car, and can safely park almost anywhere. You may want to bring a kickstand pad for parking on loose dirt just off the shoulder, but that’ll let you park out of the way and still catch a Clefairy.
There are other benefits as well. You can plan a ride to a series of Pokéstops to stock up on items, or to various gyms to train your critters or battle rival teams. Town centers often have plenty of both within short walking distance, so if you don’t live in a “target rich environment,” hop on the bike and go to one. And then another, if it strikes your fancy. Weather permitting (or not, if you’re hard core), isn’t it more fun to make the journey by motorcycle than by car? If you plan a particularly fun route between Pokéstops, going back to the same ones again to get more stuff after they refresh is a perfect excuse to attack the same twisties multiple times. Just don’t try to catch a Charizard while banging apexes.
Many have written about how Pokémon Go is getting gamers out of their mom’s basements and interacting with each other in the real world. If some of your biker buddies are also playing, why not gather them up and take a group ride to a Pokéstop with some lures to catch more critters together? You could even coordinate your efforts to take over a rival gym. Teams Mystic, Instinct, and Valor could become virtual biker gangs, with all the rivalries the stereotypes bring with them, but fought out by Pokémon in gyms rather than people beating or killing each other in real life. Then after the battle we can all go out for ice cream together, regardless of who’s on what team, because we’re all in it for the fun, right?
These are just a few of the ways I could think of off the top of my head that motorcycling and Pokémon Go could be safely combined. I’m sure there are more. Got any bright ideas? Let us know in the comments.
And go Team Valor.