Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers for 2010.
At this time of year, most of us make New Year’s resolutions such as have more fun, learn something new or lose weight and get fit. As a motorcyclist, if you are fit you will have longer endurance without fatigue, be more alert to dangers around you and in general be a safer happier rider.
With thanks to Mr. Lee Parks (National Endurance Champion and Founder of Advanced Riding Clinics), here are recommendations for becoming that safer happier rider. For the street rider, Mr. Parks recommends for general conditioning three days a week doing a cardiovascular workout and two days a week doing weight training. For the cardiovascular workout he suggests a 20 minute routine, running, bicycling or swimming that gets your heart rate up. (Ideally to approximately 200 minus your age.) He suggests that you can work up to an hour depending on how much endurance you wish to achieve and to vary the routine to prevent repetitive stress injuries.
For weight training, he recommends starting slowly and lightly to avoid injury. He suggests starting with 15 reps per set and slowly working up to 3 sets for good muscle tone. If one set doesn’t cause soreness move up to 2 sets etc. More sets and heavy weights are not necessary as they just increase bulk and don’t improve riding. For his workout, he does the following-calf raises to build up foot to knee; knee squats to build up quads, hamstrings and gluteus maximus; leg extensions and leg curls. Situps and crunches for abdominal muscles; bench presses for chest muscles; seated cable rowing and lateral pull-downs; military press for shoulder muscles; tricep cable press down for triceps ;arm curls for biceps and wrist curls for hands wrist and forearms.
Always check with a physician or physical therapist prior to starting vigorous training. Strong and functional hands, wrists and arms are especially important for riding well. Grip strength is important to avoid fatigue from throttling, clutching and braking. Squeezing a kitchen sponge repetitively can help with this. Lower back strength is important to support the torso and take the load off the arms. (Back extensions and situps). Thigh strength is also important to support the body and to help lean the bike. (Gripping the bike).
Also, this is a good time to get your eyes tested. Good vision including good peripheral vision is important to riding well. Maybe time for new glasses if scratched. And what about those windshields.
With diet don’t go crazy, use good sense and moderation . Remember to keep hydrated.
If we can get fit as one of our New Year’s Resolutions, we will all be happier healthier and safer riders. Cheers!
Hi Everyone. It’s February and motorcycle season is slowly getting here. This month, on Peggy’s Pointers, I thought I’d talk about items to carry on the bike for Emergency Care of your bike and Emergency Care of yourself and your riding companions. (Feel free to make suggestions.)
After you’ve broken down, try to move you and your bike to a safe place away from the road. Ideally, a well lit area/ parking lot. After you are secure, use your Emergency kit.
EMERGENCY KIT FOR THE BIKE
1) Cell phone- maybe best solution to call for help and notify family that you are delayed. CAA has a good plan, but must have CAA Plus to get motorcycle coverage.
2) Owners Manual/ Service Manual to remind you how to test/ access and replace parts. (Of course, you’re already familiar with this important book!)
3) Flashlight (plus spare batteries)- Consider headlight or clip on to bike, so can work hands free.
4) Toolkit- Usually need something more than the basic kit on the bike. Get familiar with your bike so you have the appropriate size tools. Usually need different kinds of screwdrivers, wrenches (Allen, Torx), Pliers (regular, needle-nose and vice-grips). I have a kit made up by Cruz Tools which I like a lot.
5) Multi-tool/ Utility Knife
6) Duct tape/ Electrical Tape/ Zip Ties
7) Spare Parts- light bulbs, fuses, spark plug. Consider voltmeter, spare wire, stripping/ crimping tools, clutch cable, master link for chain, spare screws and bolts.
8) Consider light weight jumper cable for battery
9) Fuel siphon for when you or a friend run out of gas. Donor cycle needs to be higher (possibly up on curb).
10) Tire Repair Kit with CO2 Cartridges or air pump to reinflate tire, & tire pressure gauge.
11) Rags, latex gloves, possibly hand cleaner. Bungie cords.
FOR YOU …
12) Emergency Information stored in a waterproof container (ziplock bag). Should include your health history, medications, allergies, important contact information. (for when you can’t speak for yourself). Let your riding companions know where to find it.
13) Emergency Cash, & spare key in safe place.
14) Water and Snacks. Important to keep self hydrated. Can also use water to clean cuts, windshield etc.
15) Road Map, notepad,& pen - useful in an emergency for alternate destinations and notifying help of location and taking instructions.
16) Rainsuit, waterproof gloves (consider rubber), boot covers.
17) Reflective vest for nighttime riding. Spare ear plugs.
18) Space blanket- Helps keep an injured person warm.
19) First Aid Kit- The most common injuries for motorcyclists are burns (sun and heat from exhaust pipes), eye injuries and abrasions.
Consider the following: antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages of various sizes, steristrips, ace bandage & triangular bandages for slings and splinting, burn dressing (4x4), large sterile gauze pads, 2-3”roller bandages, tape, large abdominal pads, sanitary pads (both have great absorbency for heavy bleeding.)
Also eye wash (small individual), Q tips (can wipe eye/lids with moistened q tip), tweezers, scissors.
Also consider having small amounts of medications such as pain relievers, anti- histamines, ant- acids &anti diarrhea tabs.
You should also have latex gloves, heavy duty Ziplock bags (for storage of materials or wastes).
Consider also A CPR mask (to avoid direct contact), a glow stick to signal for help or to direct traffic and trauma shears (you might have to cut through clothing to control bleeding- sigh!)
Carry a good first aid book- Try Basic Essentials Wilderness First Aid, 3rd by William Forgey. (Available from Chapters & Amazon.ca/.com)
Also, this time of year is a good time to take a CPR or First Aid Course. (Possibly through St John Ambulance, the Life Saving Society of Nova Scotia, Spirit Us Training in Kentville, or Active Life Adventure &Training in Truro.)
The Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance both have first aid kits available.
Remember to distribute the weight of these items as low and as central as possible on your bike and to balance it side to side.
Can’t wait to get riding again. KEEP SAFE!
YIPEE! It's March. It's almost time to go riding. In Peggy's Pointers this month, I'll review getting your ride ready for the road after extended storage and several cautions before going hog wild.
Your Owner’s Manual will have a checklist for a standard service.
1) Consider adjusting your valves, oiling the cam lobes and tourquing the cylinder head.
2) Check your battery. If it has been charged on a regular basis it is probably ready to go. Check fluid level/ specific gravity.
3) Check your oil. If you replaced before storage you’re probably set. Otherwise do it now and change the filter.
4) Check your fuel. Hopefully you used fuel stabilizer in the fall. Suggest replacing old gas with fresh and putting the old gas in your car. Clean your fuel filter and check the gas tank for rust.
5) Check your engine. Check your spark pugs, including gaps. Lubricate the cylinder walls with oil through the spark plug holes to protect the walls and rings during the first few revolutions.
6) Check your brakes. Consider replacing fluid. They may be spongy from absorbing water all winter. Check your pads for thickness.
7) Check suspension and steering for abnormal movement and clunking.
8) Remove any corrosion and wax your bike thoroughly.
Finally before riding, do all your normal pre- ride checking. (T-CLOCK).
THREE CAUTIONS before getting out there. Remember you're rusty. Consider making the first few rides close to home and get out in the parking lot with cones and practice your emergency stopping and swerving.
Second, the Cage Drivers are not used to seeing you, so be extra careful.
Finally, early in the spring, there is often winter salt and sand accumulated in the corners so be a little less aggressive in your turns. Beware of potholes!
HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE ROAD SOON!
Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers for April. It’s time to remind everyone about safe group riding strategies. There are variations on this, but here are the ones from the Motor Maids.
Motor Maids, Suggested Guidelines for Safe Group Riding
Lead: Lead Bike should be positioned in the left half of the traffic lane in the front of the group.
Sub-Lead Bike: The 5th, 10th, 15th, etc…bike in the group.
Anchor Bike: The last bike in the group.
1. All Riders: Prior to arriving for a ride, check the operating condition of your motorcycle and FILL YOUR GAS TANK.
2. All Sub-Lead Bikes should mimic all hand signals given by the rider on the Lead Bike.
3. Trust in the person on Lead Bike. For example: Follow the Lead rider’s decisions even if the turn is a wrong one. Better to be together and lost than to be separated and lost. Example: Don’t assume you know the Lead rider’s decision to change lanes. Wait for the hand signal – it can keep us out of accidents.
4. Bottom line – your safety is your own responsibility. Exercise caution and common sense at all times when riding with the group.
Rider on Lead Bike:
1. Verify that all riders are ready to depart before leaving the starting area. Rider’s meetings are helpful.
2. Make sure that everyone knows the route (or at least the destination point) in the event that the group is separated.
3. Signal changes with left hand signals. Do not assume that the other riders see your blinker or the traffic ahead.
Rider(s) on Sub-Lead Bike(s)
1. In the event the group is separated, assume all responsibilities of the Lead Bike Rider until the group is together again.
2. If riding in a heavy traffic area, the rider on Sub-lead Bike shall create a break in the group should another vehicle need to cut in.
Rider on Anchor Bike:
1. Should someone experience difficulty with their motorcycle, pull off the road with them to assess the situation, then safely ride ahead to inform the Lead Rider.
2. In the event the group becomes separated, ensure that the new Lead Rider knows the route and destination.
3. Should the entire group need to change lanes, the person riding Anchor should move into the new lane first. (After communicating with Lead Bike)
Guidelines for Safe Group Riding
1. The group should ride in a staggered formation allowing for safe lateral movement in the event of road hazard or emergency. Common sense should dictate safe spacing between bikes. In town, decrease the distance to keep the group together. On the open road or at higher speeds, spread out a bit to allow adequate stopping distance. Stay in your half of the traffic lane. If someone drops out of formation, MOVE UP not over to close the gap. (Trying to have everyone change sides of the traffic lane sets the group up for an accident.)
2. In heavy traffic areas, the group may become split up trying to enter traffic flow. Exercise caution and catch up only when it is safe to do so. Rider on lead bike should avoid “blasting off” and stringing the group out.
3. The rider on Lead Bike should pass only when absolutely necessary. If at all possible, wait until the entire group can safely pass together. If this is not feasible, pass in smaller groups and catch up when safe.
4. On roads with more than 2 lanes, the rider on Lead Bike should signal the intention to change lanes. All Sub-Lead Riders should then also signal, essentially passing the signal back to the person riding Anchor. When the person riding Anchor determines it is safe to pass, the rider will then pull into the passing lane, and the group will pull over from back to front. This will allow the group to pass in a safe and orderly fashion.
5. If you experience difficulties with your bike, DO NOT immediately dart to the side of the road. Instead, raise your left hand to signal that there’s a problem. Then slow and pull off the roadway when it’s safe. The last two riders should also pull off. Once the difficulty is determined, the Anchor Bike Rider should safely ride forward to alert the Lead Bike Rider of the situation.
Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers. I’d like to discuss further the dynamics of group riding. Here are two excellent articles.
First from Mr. Bill Andrews and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Group Riding - Seventeen tips to ensure everybody has a great day
The engine purrs beneath you as a string of 20 motorcycles snakes through the hills in front of you. With a quick look in the mirror, you see your buddy following close behind with a smile on his face that matches yours. The camaraderie forms because, at just this moment, you're all on the same page.
That's what a group ride is all about. It's an opportunity to share the open road and wonderful scenery with other like-minded people.
But like most motorcycle experiences, this one is best enjoyed by following a few simple guidelines that keep everyone safe. And that's the idea behind a new videotape put out by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that focuses on group riding. You can get your own copy by visiting the MSF website at: http://www.msf-usa.org/ , but here's a few tips from the country's foremost motorcycle safety experts.
1) The first thing you want to do is organize the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as complicated as a special meeting to hand out maps and cellphone numbers.
2) Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going.
3) When picking your route and the stops you'll make along it, consider the stamina of the group, the experience of all the riders, and the limits of the motorcycles in the group. Remember, these are your friends. If it's going to be a long ride, be sure to have a few break stops along the way.
4) You'll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you'll use.
5) When creating your formation, it's wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep. Consider positioning the less experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.
6) Ideally, the sweep rider will have a cell phone to call for help if a motorcycle is disabled, or if there has been an accident.
7) If the goal of the ride is to keep the group together, the leader should only go at the pace of the least experienced rider.
8) While riding, don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go.
9) If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the sweep rider know you're dropping out and ride at your own pace. So you may reach your destination a few seconds behind the others, but you will get there, and that's what's important. Keep in mind, it's all about fun.
10) All riders are also responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. Not sure what to check? Use T-CLOCS . You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.
11) If it's going to be a large group, consider establishing a buddy system among the riders, or divide the group into smaller five- or seven-rider packs. That way, if something goes wrong, you don't have 25 motorcycles sitting on the side of a busy highway. Also, smaller groups can more easily navigate through city streets.
12) On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them. If you want to keep the group tight, consider a staggered formation. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Avoid side-by-side formations as they shrink your space cushion.
13) Trikes and sidecars should stay in the center of the lane, and should be given the same amount of cushion as if they were a car.
14) As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You'll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.
15) At intersections where you've come to a stop, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through first.
16) Remember we share the road with many other vehicles, and it's against the law to block an intersection.
17) When parking, try to get the group off the roadway as quickly as possible. If you can, arrange in advance to have pull-through parking at your destination, or at the very least, make sure there is ample parking for your size group.
Want more group-riding tips for your club or group? Order the = MSF Guide=20 to Group Riding video at http://www.msf-usa.org/ , cost is $15.00 for a = video and=20 a handbook.
2003, American Motorcyclist Association
I believe Christine sent me this second great article. Thanks Christine.
Riding Your Own Ride
By Jennifer Hort Sandridge, NREMT-P; WITW Safety Coordinator; Sisters of the Moon Chapter
Motorcycling brings joy to our lives in so many different ways. It can alternately provide excitement, tranquility, challenges, alone time or camaraderie amongst friends. Many of us joined Women in the Wind to further our enjoyment of this sport with like-minded women. For the most part group rides go well and I’ve written several articles with suggestions on how to improve group cohesiveness. But what happens when there’s a glitch in the group’s dynamic?
Each rider must contribute to make a group ride fun and safe while also remembering to ride her own ride. So what do you do if you don’t feel safe in your group? Perhaps the rider behind you is riding too close for your comfort level, or the rider in front of you is inattentive, abruptly swerving or unable to maintain speed and group spacing, or maybe the leader of the group is behaving in a way that makes you question your own safety like riding too fast or too slow, not signaling turns, or ignoring traffic laws.
What do you do? Well, if you’re comfortable speaking with the rider making you nervous the best thing to do is talk about it. It’s easy to confront someone with accusations when you’re scared or angry, but that is hardly productive. Maybe the tailgater is just used to riding really close with other friends and doesn’t realize it’s too close for your comfort. The inattentive rider ahead of you might just be too tired to be riding safely and needs someone to suggest she take a break, stretch, get some water or a snack. The unsafe leader could be new to leading a group and just might be nervous and unsure about how to do it correctly. In these cases it’s best to see if you can find out the cause of the behavior making you feel unsafe in a non-threatening manner and possibly offer assistance as a concerned friend and fellow rider.
Another possibility for these behaviors is a bit harder to handle. This is if the above mentioned riders are indifferent to your safety concerns. They may or may not be aware of their riding habits and perhaps don’t care either way. In this case talking about it with the rider is still a good idea. But if they aren’t objective enough to listen to your concerns and if you truly feel it would be futile and possibly create tension you would otherwise like to avoid then you have two other options. First, bring your concerns to the leader of the organization or chapter and have them deal with it or assist you in dealing with it. If an immediate resolution isn’t forthcoming maybe you can move your position within the group for the duration of the ride. In the third case, if others agree that the leader is acting in an unsafe manner possibly a leader change could be made, again for the duration of the ride. If you fear a possible conflict the request could be disguised as, “Sally hasn’t led a ride in a while and would like to lead us home, if you don’t mind.”
The second option is to leave the group. I hate to suggest this as we joined Women in the Wind to ride with other women. But if you feel your safety is at risk, and you cannot find resolution to your satisfaction then, yes, you may need to go your own way for the day. This is certainly a last resort but if you choose to do so be sure to let the group leader(s) know you’re leaving the group for the duration of the ride. If you take off without telling anyone you will be missed and cause the group to needlessly worry and spend a lot of time trying to track down what happened to you.
Communication is so very important – I can’t seem to stress that enough. Learning to communicate is hard; practicing good communication skills can be harder. Each of us deserves to enjoy a group ride but each of us must contribute to safety and personal awareness of the group to make it enjoyable. To be safe in a group you must ride as part of that group; it is very different from riding alone. But always remember to ride your own ride within the scope of your experience. Take an experienced rider course. It will improve your riding and make you feel more confident with your own skills to make a group ride more comfortable for you. But when it comes down to safety and if you fear for yours then you have a big decision to make. Be smart and ride safe!
Well summer is almost here and many are considering road trips. Whether the trip is for the day or a month, here are a few of Peggy’s Pointers to make your travels more enjoyable.
1) Beware the redneck! Remember when you are suited up, the backs of our necks can still get sunburned. Apply ointment to face and neck. Be careful when applying around the eyes, when you sweat, it may run and irritate them.
2) Keep muscle cramps at bay! At the end of a long ride, do muscle stretches. If you’ve overdone it, consider massage and a hot bath to relax them. Also using ibuprofen or aspirin early can help to decrease inflammation. If you anticipate a hard ride ahead, taking anti-inflammatories before can decrease your discomfort later.
3) Keep hydrated! Another common cause of muscle cramping is an electrolyte imbalance through inadequate fluid or salt intake. If you have a headache, feel nauseated and aren’t peeing every 4 hours, you may be at risk for heat exhaustion or stroke.
4) Beware of monkey butt! If your rear gets damp, after a long ride it might be red and sore. Wear synthetics to wick the moisture away. Cotton unfortunately keeps moisture next to the skin. Make sure your seat is comfortable. And if you get this condition, calamine lotion can help.
5) Finally, wear earplugs! You’ll hear warning sounds better, save your hearing long term, enjoy your ride and arrive more relaxed.
Everyone, go enjoy your rides!
With summer here, we are all out on the road.... travelling.....looking for adventure..... To make your adventures safer, here are a few travel tips.
When we travel, we all consider where do we want to go, what do we want to see and of course how much time do we have. Will it be super highways or lots of wonderful secondary roads.
However on two wheels, we need to be alert to road conditions, construction zones and detours, traffic patterns and perhaps most importantly your driving range. With construction you can end up riding on scarfed surfaces or dirt and gravel. Even stopped for construction, if your bike is aircooled (as mine is), you can risk overheating it. To help you know in advance where these areas are, contacting organizations such as CAA for there Trip-Tics can give you valuable information on problems and suggested detours. Also with the advent of online motorcycle oriented forums, you can often get useful detailed advice from the locals.
To plan your trip you need to know how many miles you can ride safely and comfortably in one day....your range. Some people start late and stop frequently for sight seeing or “Butt Breaks”. To work on your range, consider riding ever increasing loops, starting and ending at your home. Its often useful to ride with a fully packed bike so you get use to its weight and maneuverability.
Remember the basics- do continuous scans for dangers, keep a buffer zone around you, have an escape route and remember your shoulder checks! (On my recent trip to New Hampshire, I was passing a slow vehicle in a passing lane. When I went to shift back to the slow lane, an aggressive truck hot on my heels was already trying to pass me on my right. He was in my blind spot..thank goodness for shoulder checks.)
When travelling long distances, there is a good chance of encountering rain. Remember if it hasn’t rained in awhile the roads may be greasy and slippery for the first half hour or so... consider a Butt Break.
Animals crossing the road tend to be a hazard more at dusk or dawn but can cross at any time. If you see deer, slow down. They are unpredictable and often travel in groups.
On high speed highways, try to look for spaces in traffic clumps to ride in, and don’t ride between cars and exits (this may mean shifting out of the slow lane near merging and exiting areas). Don’t follow trucks. Your visibility is reduced and you’re in danger of being hit with pieces of blown tires.
And finally, at those construction sites, if going over an edge... uneven pavement heights, do so at as close to 90 degrees as possible to enable you to countersteer your bike. In gravel try to pick the most compacted spots and keep your bike speed up so you don’t sink into soft spots.
Enjoy your safe adventuring!
Hi Everyone! The fall is some of Nova Scotia’s finest weather and I’m out happily riding. As a continuation of advice for safe riding and travel, I can’t think of a more expert source than the Iron Butt Association. This group is dedicated to safe, long distance riding and has some of the most seasoned and experienced endurance riders in the world.
They have an “ARCHIVE OF WISDOM” which contains 29 very useful tips and techniques. The following is the list. Go to http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm for the list and an in depth discussion of each point.
1) Know your limits and plan your trip around them.
2) Forget about high speeds.
3) Leave your drugs and coffee supply at home.
4) Prepare your motorcycle before the trip.
5) Avoid adding accessories or doing maintenance immediately before a trip. (I really know about this one.)
6) Use an electric vest.
7) Pack wisely. Keep personal supplies handy.
8) Be ready before you leave, don’t waste time shopping on the road.
9) Learn how to avoid boredom.
10) Join a towing service!
11) Learn to stop and go faster.
12) Know when to stop.
13) Maintain a good mental attitude.
14) Eat healthful foods.
15) Eat at the right times of the day.
16) Separate gas stops from food stops.
17) Get gas before you need it.
18) Put on your rain suit before it rains! (A lot of us know this one)
19) Carry a flat repair kit and know how to use it.
20) Carry a cellular phone.
21) Upgrade you tool kit.
22) Carry at least one-half gallon of water.
23) Carry aspirin for ache and pains.
24) Pack a variety of vitamins.
25) If you own a computer consider purchasing a mapping program.
26) When riding back roads, be extra cautious about crossing county lines.
27) Never ride faster than you can stop.
28) Do you want to live? Stay away from trucks!
29) Eliminate all distractions/irritants.
Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers for October. This month I would like to tell you about my experiences on a recent group ride and the things I learned from it. I want to stress that this is from my perspective and I’m stretching things a little so I can make learning points. I’m not the most experienced rider in the group, so would value all input and suggestions to make our future rides safer. (And we did get better as the weekend progressed.)
As we occasionally do, we met at Fall River Tims with full tanks and empty bladders and were ready to ride. After general greetings, we had a short meeting where it was determined where we were going for our first stop &that some people knew how to get there. We set off with 10 in the group and rode in a loose staggered formation on a 4 lane highway north. As the group was large and strung out it made passing messy with at times riders riding long distances in both lanes. We regrouped north of Truro and rode on to Tatamagouche Train Station where a nice lunch was had by all.
Leaving the train station for our next destination, the back half of the group was delayed getting out of the parking lot. They lost sight of the leaders and set off on one of the 2 ways to get to the destination. As I was in this second group and recognized early that we weren’t going the same way as the leaders, I tried slowing/ honking my horn/ flashing my turn signals to get the group to stop. Because it was foggy and the road was a double yellow, I was reluctant to try passing.
Eventually we stopped, tried calling the other group and then retraced our steps to try to rejoin our leaders. We weren’t totally sure of our way but after some trial and error and eventually phone directions we arrived at our destination and rejoined the rest of the group.
THINGS THAT I LEARNED:
1) It’s very important to have a thorough pre ride meeting. Discuss exactly what the route will be. Having handouts so all know the way, would be terrific. We need to discuss way points/ food/ gas stops. Exchange contact phone numbers. We need to review hand signals and if someone has an emergency how do they let the group know. How should the group react? What about if it’s the last rider of the group?
2) We should ride in smaller packets- 5 to 7 riders. Easier for the leader to see if anyone is missing and less messy with passing. Leader and sweep might wear colourful vest. Denise was very visible.
3) We all need to be aware of the riders around us front and back. If someone is lagging behind, they may be in trouble. Watch out for signals of any kind and pass them forward.
4) If part of the group goes missing, it’s important for this to be recognized early and signaled to the leaders. The leaders can then pull the group over in a safe spot and try to make contact.
5) If part of the group is delayed by traffic and the leaders make any deviation off the main route, a signpost rider could be left to show the way.
6) When passing on multilane highways, the leader should signal her intention to pass with her turn signal. The tailgunner/sweep secures the lane. When leader is sure the lane is clear of cars, she signals with her arm for a pass to occur. This can be all riders moving with the leader or from back to front. ( Decided in pre ride meetings.) If the road is too busy or it’s a 2 lane road, the leader can signal single file for passing and each rider does so cautiously.
7) We have more highway presence as a cohesive group but everyone must ride their own ride. AND HOPEFULLY HAVE A LOT OF FUN!
Here is a video site for tips on group riding put out by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (on Youtube): www.youtube.com/watch?v=erpkyD75Mfw
It’s a beautiful time to be riding. Wonderful colours, clean crisp scents, less bugs and more comfortable temperatures.
However, the days are shorter with drops in temperatures as evening progresses and the weather is often more unpredictable. Here are a few reminders, so you can ride safe and enjoy your autumn riding.
1) Watch the weather forecasts carefully, and dress for the weather- multiple layers, & heated vests and gloves for the cold. Rain gear can also be used as a wind barrier. Recognize early signs of hypothermia. You may start to feel stiff, shiver, have to think about control placement and make minor mistakes. If this is happening, stop in a warm environment and drink hot fluids.
2) Be alert to road conditions. Often the roads are wetter especially in low lying areas. Usually there is more debris on the roads often wet leaves making for slippery riding. Be less aggressive in your riding. Use gentler lean angles and brake more cautiously.
3) The days are shorter so remember to dress for more visibility with bright colours and reflective gear. Also because of shorter days you will have more shadows both on the road and at the edges. This will make it harder to see animals and to avoid debris in the road. Also be aware that in the shadows the debris/leaves will be wetter and possibly icy.
In spite of these risks, autumn riding is awesome. Go, enjoy yourself and ride safe!