Even though it may seem that summer is almost over, we still have over a month and a half until the fall equinox, which means more warm weather, and with it, more bikers on roads and highways. As both experienced and novel riders know, safety is paramount when riding, as a small mistake can be costly--even deadly.
With that in mind, here are some safety tips aimed at motorcycle riders. Most are common sense. However, even riders with decades of experience can use a refresher on taking basic safety precautions.
Be appropriately dressed
One of the chief concerns of any rider should be equipping him or herself with the right clothing and gear. It should be both protective and reflective. Helmets are a must, but riders shouldn't skimp out on long-sleeved jackets as well as pants consisting of strong, durable fabric such as leather or heavy denim. Ideally, your helmet should be approved by the Department of Transportation, and feature a face shield.
Some California riders may balk at wearing leather in the summer, but there are alternatives which may be more appropriate for the climate and feature tough yet breathable material.
In addition to wearing light-colored or reflective clothing and accessories, riders should make sure that they're seen. Some riders use their high beams during the day, while others alternate which part of the lane they ride in, in order to make themselves more visible to other drivers.
Be realistic about your abilities
To put it simply, riders shouldn't push their abilities. This goes hand in hand with observing the rules of the road and not breaking any laws--speeding or otherwise--when riding.
While most riders treat this as common sense, it bears repeating: roads are for transportation, and not for stunts, tricks or other dangerous riding.
Another tip that should go without saying. Even though this is common sense, motorcycle DUIs still exist (much like regular, automobile DUIs). However, motorcycle riders are far more exposed to risk than automobile drivers, and a small mistake can have significant consequences. Avoid imbibing alcohol when riding, and consider arranging for a ride share or taxi.
Source: The Press Enterprise, 30 July 2017.