Maybe you are planning on signing up for one of the many organized rallies that take place year round in the motorcycling community or maybe you are just going to start her up and go for a nice long solitary spin around the neighborhood. Either way – and no matter how boring this may sound – it is really important to think about safety and to take the time necessary to assure you and your bike are ready to take that next adventure and to ride safe.
- Get your bike in for proper servicing. Don’t let things slide – the small things more often than not lead to bigger things (yeah – that’s what she said….I know).
- Make sure you have the proper riding gear for all road and weather conditions. Nothing worse than freezing fingers or icy sharp rain pounding down on exposed skin. Be ready for harsh conditions as our summer fades to fall.
- If you are new to group rides – keep alert at all times – stay closer to the middle/ back of the pack and keep a safe distance from the rider in front of you. Try to relax and learn from the more experienced riders – it’s all good.
- Know your bike – the ins and outs – the hiccups and coughs – the rough and unexpected are better handled when you have intimate knowledge of that machine you are straddling. Just saying….so true….so true.
- Test your brakes baby – make sure you use your front and back breaks in harmony – too many riders are heavy on one or the other – and with 70% of your stopping power located up front – it is important to use a combination of both to maximize control in an emergency situation.
- Focus and think ahead – not a particular target – but the big picture. Sometimes when I ride behind a real bad ass it might be hard to focus – but I make myself – you can to.
- Take road conditions into consideration every single time you hop on that bike. In the fall wet leaves and strong winds are hazards we don’t always think about. Those leaves can be damn slippery (and not in a good way) and taking those turns will demand more of your attention.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as our summer season of riding comes to an end. I will be out there until the snow falls – dressed in all my layers and leather just daring the change of seasons to take away my fun!
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.