Autumn is a beautiful season, replete with colourful leaves covering the roads and crisp weather that many motorcycle enthusiasts want to take advantage of. It’s also that time of year when people begin to prioritize their Thanksgiving plans. And who wouldn’t be excited about the taste of cranberry slathered on succulent turkey and mashed potatoes? Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget that motorcycle safety must always come first and that means planning well ahead of time when it comes to meeting family for a festive meal. While autumn may be a beautiful time of year to reconnect with family, it also brings quite a few obstacles for motorcyclists, including but not limited to:
- Ice and/or Frost
- Heavy Rain
- Colder Temperatures
- Falling Leaves
Indeed, the dropping temperatures make things complicated if you’re still hoping to saunter about on your bike. Without proper attire, the cold is both uncomfortable and dangerous. Shivers can quickly overtake a motorcyclist travelling at high speeds, if their clothing isn’t appropriate for the season.
With the cold, shivering is usually accompanied by stiffened limbs, which makes it very difficult to react to unexpected obstacles in the road, such as stray animals and reckless drivers. If your limbs are stiff, it’s more likely that an accident is going to occur.
At the same time, frost and ice can make the roads far too slippery. There are many things that you need to be cognizant of while on the road, but here are a few things that seasoned riders love to remind themselves daily.
1. Let oncoming traffic know how many riders are behind you if you’re traveling together in a group, otherwise they may be blindsided. Whether you’re riding in a group of Suzuki motorcycles or a gaggle of traditional Harley Davidson lovers, the size of the vehicle or design doesn’t matter.
2. Ride with trustworthy people, lest you get distracted or impeded by others’ lack of caution.
3. Wear gloves that are appropriate for biking, meaning ones with good enough grip to properly maneuver the clutch.
4. Be sure to have enough room for an escape route amongst oncoming traffic.
5. Be cautious when it comes to riding near trucks.
6. Don’t operate a motorcycle when you’re tired – you need to be as alert as possible.
7. Keep at least 20 feet between you and other drivers, especially on the highway.
8. Don’t get cocky – abide by all the rules of the road. Just because you feel like you own the road while your hog is humming, doesn’t mean you should act erratically.
9. Be a responsible driver and if you have someone riding with you, make sure to be extra careful.
With the season once again changing, it’s time to give your family something to be grateful for, namely your safety and adherence to these guidelines as a motorcycle enthusiast. Don’t throw caution to the wind, even if you’re rushing to a family get together. Never let urgency get the best of you, especially in the dangerous conditions of a leafy autumn road.