Yes, it is that time: spring. This can only mean motorcycle riders all across the north will be taking to the now snow-free roads and wearing out some tires once again. We recently examined how to get your bike up and at ‘em after winter, so now let’s take a brief, but vital look what you can do for yourself out on the road.
Motorcycle Riding Tips For Spring
1. If you haven’t done so, go get trained!
You’ll probably get sick of having this bit of advice thrown at you. News flash: the best way to stop hearing about it is to actually go and do it. If you’ve never taken a beginner’s course, they are worth the cost, even if you have some experience. If you’ve already taken a beginner course, then seek out an intermediate to advanced course. What you learn will help you.
2. If you need to, replace your helmet
Another thing we’ve recently examined is why helmets wear out. Remember that using a helmet affects it just as much as letting it sit idle (and hopefully you haven’t left it hanging it on a hook or something like that!). If you’ve only gone through a couple of seasons with your current helmet, then you’re fine. Remember that some people like to replace their helmets after three to five years. Decide what school of thought you fall into, examine what kind of life your helmet has led, and then take the necessary steps.
3. Remember to stay visible
This is generally important, but even more so in spring because those who have been driving through the winter will have forgotten that motorcycles exist…and that’s assuming they are that attentive to begin with. Don’t remind them that motorcycles come out to play in the spring by getting into a collision early into the season. That’ll likely spoil things for you.
4. Look out
On the flip side, keep your own eyes open. If you haven’t gotten the mental snow out of your senses before you even hop on your bike, then you’re in trouble. Using every bit of your awareness is another thing that is generally important, but much more so in this transitional period. Remember the places and situations you want to avoid while you’re out on the road. Look out, because you can’t expect everyone else to. Simple.
5. Take it easy
If you lift weights to work out, but haven’t done so in a while, you don’t pick up where you left off. You have to take your weight down at least a couple of notches to bring yourself back up to speed, otherwise you’ll hurt yourself. Northern motorcycle riding is the same way. Thus, take your time to get re-acquainted with not only your motorcycle, but your riding environment. Even if you’ve spent the winter in a car, really demand extra care from yourself. Pacing yourself will also help ease non-motorcyclists into the fact that the road is no longer solely for their use. You don’t want to shock that soccer mom in a minivan by screaming by in a loud wheelie right now…or ever, really…
We want motorcycling to stay enjoyable, and since we haven’t been at it for a few months, we need to take necessary steps in order to make sure it stays enjoyable in the long run. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and go all gung-ho now that the snow’s gone, as tempting as it is. Think about the bigger picture. Take thoughtful steps to ensure your transition back to motorcycle riding is a safe one, and you’ll help yourself have a great riding season. Have anymore motorcycle riding tips for spring? Let us know in the comment section below.