Rider Safety, Are you Prepared?

Once you are physically riding, rider safety is about a whole lot more than what happens on the road

Being safe starts with preparation. How you prepare is just as important as the skills you need once you are on the road.

Before you get on your motorcycle for the first time each year, keep in mind that 5 to 7 months of inactivity, is not healthy for you or your motorcycle.  

Give your bike a thorough going over and some TLC before demanding it perform, and yourself a good stretch.

Here are a few things you need to remember:

#1 – Check your motorcycle’s fluids, brakes, signals, tire pressures and belt/chain tension.  Check the health of the battery in your bike and your key fob.

Check your saddlebags to make sure you have your tool kit, an extra liter (quart) of oil with you, and a liter of water for yourself to stay hydrated.

#2 – Unless you were lucky enough to ride all winter, YOUR SKILLS ARE RUSTY!!

Practicing in a parking lot to refresh your skills is a good idea. Practice the fast stop and going around an obstacle, your very life depends on your skills.  It’s amazing what a half hour of parking lot time can do to get you prepared for the drivers who have forgotten you exist!

#3 – Pick the time of day you are heading out wisely.

You can ride at pretty much any time of day, the choice is yours. Remember that mornings and evenings are frosty, slippery and can be foggy by rivers and large bodies of water. Let’s not forget rush hour traffic at both of those times if you live in or close to a community or city. 
In March, April and May, the four-hour window between 11am and 3 pm, is generally the ideal opportunity to head out for a little wind therapy. The traffic will be settled, and the roads will be a tad warmer.  If you’re lucky the snow will be gone where you live. (Not this winter where I live, there is still three feet of snow on the ground, insert pouty face here).
Also remind yourself that painted roads surfaces and manhole covers etc. will be frost covered in the mornings and evenings.
As long as you are aware of the potential dangers and remain hyper vigilant, everything is likely to be just fine.

#4 – Dress and pack appropriately:

The evenings get damp and then become frosty. But the afternoons can get very balmy.  You may want to pack a sweater of some sort, a toque, rain gear, socks, long undies, lip balm, water, powdered electrolytes to go in it, and sunblock. Yes my friend’s sun burn can happen all year round.  You’ll want extra gloves especially if it’s cooler out.  If you have heated gear, pack it you will appreciate its warming abilities during spring and fall.  Protect your eyes and face by wearing good sun glasses or goggles with UV protection, and a good quality bandana for your face. You’ll want this if you don’t wear a full face helmet because there is still gravel and sand on the roads, and there will be bugs soon.

You will also want to be on the lookout for pot holes, remember to be mindful of those who are trying to avoid them in their cages.

Stay warm, stay hydrated and wherever you decide to venture off to and please remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you!!

AND Remember to use the "NEVER RIDE ALONE PROGRAM" sponsored
by Intercon Messaging from Drayton Valley AB.
The "Never Ride Alone Program" can be accessed by being a registered member of and using your membership ID Number in your digital membership card and then calling the toll free number: 1-866-765-6719 - Good in Canada and the Continental US, the "NEVER RIDE ALONE" Program is simple and free to our members to use.

Call in, answer the questions about you, your ride and your journey. Agree on a time to check in, if you don't check in, Intercon Messaging will attempt to raise you on the numbers you left with them, if they can't raise you, then they will dispatch 911 to go find you from your last known location!  Stay safe and enjoy your ride and remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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