If you’re a biker, you don’t have to tell me that your bike is like your baby. You take care of it. You know the drill for getting it ready for the coming riding season.
Maybe you’ve already checked each part: each light, each mirror, checked the fuel, the tire pressure, and test-run the engine. Even if you have, it is a good idea to run through that once more before you get out on the open road.
But that is not what this post is about. This one is about
the other things that go beyond the bike.
First, every two years it is recommended you take some kind
of motorcycle training, if for no other reason than to tune-up your reaction
time, and awareness of surroundings. Even then, ease into it with short rides.
You are more likely to have accidents when you are still regaining your skills
on the bike.
Other drivers get so used to motorcycles not being on the
road the rest of the year that they literally don’t see them when they are
there. As hard as that is to believe, the mind is a mystery like that. Cyclist must
be very aware, even assuming other
drivers don’t see them.
You should consider your equipment – gloves, helmet, riding
clothing. – to be an extension of your bike, and get them ready accordingly,
making sure they are secure, intact and still fit well. You know how things can
go over the winter.
If you are like most people, when it comes to seasonal
items, when that season ends the items get tossed in a closet. The rest of the
year, they get shuffled around until at some point you forget where everything
is. But if you can manage it, when riding season comes up, you will be glad you
kept all your riding supplies and gear together. It will prevent you from
leaving anything behind when you go out.
Even if it is unseasonably warm for spring, when you go out
there, over-dress for it. Over the
long winter, being indoors or in a vehicle with a windshield and a roof, you
forget how cold the wind alone can make it on the bike even if it’s a seemingly
warmish, sunny day. Your fingers, arms,
ears, or face can quickly get frostbite.
If it is NOT unseasonably warm, you should remember that
most sports and recreational vehicle tires are not designed for use in cold
Along with your riding gear, put together a kit of spare
fuses, bulbs, wires, nuts and bolts to always have on hand, and put it in a bag
that straps to your ride.
This spring, water on the roadways is particularly hazardous. And potholes and frost heaves are a much bigger hazard to cyclists than they are to drivers of larger vehicles. While sand, salt and gravel can be of big help to motorists in the winter, after the thaw, that leftover muck is just plain dangerous, especially to cyclists. So even if you are itching to get out and ride, wait for a couple of rainfalls to wash it away.
As a motorcyclist, it is nice to be in the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet and serene. But there is often little road maintenance in such areas. You may want to avoid them until spring repairs are made.
Lastly, you should not even consider going out for a ride until you have in place the most complete insurance (motorcycle, gear, carried contents, liability) to match your planned use of your bike. Call your nearest Horihan Insurance agent and we’ll get the wheels turning for you.