5 Spring Riding Tips – from Aerostich

Here in the Mid-Atlantic there has been a few of the usual warm “false-spring” days so far. When it’s 80°f and sunny in February you can’t help but get out and ride. I even took a day off to do some riding and fishing. The warm days and the actual spring that follows unfortunately also bring an increase in motorcycle accidents.

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Testing my new hammock on a beautiful February afternoon

I received an email from Aerostich recently that I think is a great reminder for everyone who doesn’t or isn’t able to ride year round. Our skills as motorcyclists are degraded by disuse, please use caution when you get back on the road this spring. It’s never good to hear about one of our fellow motorcyclists getting hurt when they’re just doing what we love.

And now, here is that email I got from Aerostich:

springridingtips

Spring Riding:  Fluency comes with Frequency
If you don’t ride year-round, you should know that the rate of motorcycle accidents and injuries is higher in the early part of the year than later. Four primary reasons, not in order of priority: 1. Car drivers don’t expect motorcycles or understand how they move as well. 2. Residual sand and winter debris on the roads. 3. Riders are more likely to ride overly ‘enthusiastically.’ And 4. Riders’ skills are rusty.
The last one is easy to address. Even if you are a very experienced rider, spending anywhere from ten minutes to an hour simply riding around a vacant parking lot playing with the capabilities of your bike makes a difference you’ll notice in the days that follow.
Set up some imaginary games using the car-space (or other) lot striping. Repeat controlled hard-breaking panic stops from low and medium speeds to pre-defined spots. How close can you come? Do some slow extreme weaves.  And some faster turns. Again and again and again. The trick, because you are not learning this stuff for the very first time, is forcing yourself to repeat these made up maneuverability exercises over and over, trying to better your results a little each time.
It can be hard to practice something you already ‘know,’ but forcing yourself to do it will bring incremental improvements that may make a difference in some traffic situation later on. If you have time and want to improve even more, take an organized rider-skill class if one is available in your area.
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