Many factors can make or break a day out on the open road for a biker. Most of these tips are reasonable and, once you make them a part of your riding routine, they do not really involve a lot of effort.
It’s important when operating any motor vehicle to have focus! This means being aware of your surroundings, mindful of the fact that changes to current conditions can happen quickly (a person or an animal crosses the road in front of you, for example). Being mindful and on alert will give you the resources you need to be ready to react to any changes in conditions, whether it be road obstructions, weather, mechanical issues, etc.
2. Slow Down!
Hey street racing can be fun, but you would be better off spending a day at the race track or some other event designed for this type of road behavior. Remember the higher the speeds, the more time it takes to stop, which means your reaction time might not allow you the space and time you need to avoid a disaster. Particularly if you are on city streets, remember there is so much going on around you and many situations that lend themselves to obscured visibility. Don’t take chances…it’s just not worth it.
3. Do a Bike Check Before you Go!
Mechanical issues are another variable – it’s recommended that riders do quick check of the basics, like checking all fluid levels, brake function, headlights, tire pressure, etc. it may mean the difference between losing control over your bike due to malfunction and finding yourself in a wreck.
4. Be Mindful of Seasonal / Surrounding Changes!
This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. Focus and concentration are so important when riding, and considering any potential issues depending on the time of year can be a big part of maintaining your safety. Do you live in deer country? Be aware of mating and hunting seasons – deer can run out into the road so fast, that you don’t have time to react. And they can not only damage your vehicle, but are potentially life-threatening forces to be reckoned with. Nature is another variable that changes conditions for riders. Do you ride near cornfields? During growing season they can get tall enough to obscure animals and even oncoming traffic particularly around curves / bends in the road.
5. Know Your Terrain, Know Your Limits!
Are you riding on unfamiliar roads? If so, proceed with caution – not being fully aware of bends in the road, or lights or even a traintrack can be dangerous, particularly if your speed starts to climb! Again, factoring wind or rain or fog or snow into the mix presents added elements of difficulty and potential hazards. Don’t be afraid to pull over if you are feeling nervous about weather conditions, and try to wait it out. It ultimately becomes not only SAFER to wait for weather to pass, but you’ll find your enjoyment level rapidly decrease when trying to navigate bad road conditions and trying to focus hard on staying safe.
Do you have any motorcycle riding safety tips you’d like to share?
Be careful, Ride Safe, and Have Fun!