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gottaBKD

Tis the Season!! For Two-wheelin’ Fun!

Posted by gottabkd on Sunday, April 6, 2008

Motorcycle season that is…. Spring is in the air and the snow is almost gone. The temperatures are rising enough to give you that “wind in your face excitement” that you anticipate after a long winter, and that means that the motorcycle season is finally upon us. You’ve waited all winter for this and if you live anywhere where this past winter was especially hard, that anticipation is more than you can handle right now.

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Your baby has been in the garage waiting to be ridden, snug in it’s winter confines. Now you want to ride….. But hold on there buckaroo, there are a few things you should do before you get back on that horse. Last April I wrote about completing a motorcycle tune-up for you bike, but what about a tune-up for you?

Yup you! After all it’s been at least one season since you’ve been on your bike and for some, longer. What is it you should do once your bike is tuned-up properly.

Asses your equipment. Chance are you have donned your helmet while walking around your house and pretending your on the road. At this point you can decide if the helmet still fits. Check for snugness: no more than a fingers spacing between the ear and the helmet. Check the strap; are the D-rings still attached? Is the strap frayed and chaffed? If so you may need to replace it. Check your boots for proper fit and decide if new ones are in order. Find your gloves, jacket and pants; TRY them on to ensure that winter’s hibernation allows you to get into them. If not check your budget as replacements may be in order.

If you are a novice rider, someone that either received a license late in the season last year or at the end of it. Assess your skills and experience level. Do a check-up from the neck-up and honestly ask yourself if you feel you have enough experience to jump on and go. If you are completely honest with yourself chances are you’re not really ready. Remember how much riding you actually did? Not much right? Once the tune-up is done, take yourself to a large parking lot and practice the skills you learned from the course. This will go a long way in building confidence for the up-coming season as well as give you an opportunity to decide if more practice (or another course) is needed. Take a friend with you and practice together. Asses each Perspectiveother while making it fun. The more you practice, the better you get. Just remember, it’s not a competition between you, it is building on the skills that could save your life one day, so keep the egos at home for this one OK. Experienced riders can also benefit from the above advice, the only difference is that they may not necessarily spend as much time practicing as the novice may.
Practice is good for everyone, so go ahead and just do it!!!

Let’s assess our Ego as well. All riders should remember to leave those at home, every day at every ride. Ego is something that will eventually get us all into trouble. Ego goads the brain to push ourselves beyond the physical capabilities of our skills. Remind yourself that you’d rather “Arrive alive” than get into an argument with the pavement. Leave the ego at home every time you ride your bike! Simple, really.

Take a course!!!! All new riders should take a basic rider course. Why? Because it gives you 20 some odd hours to learn basic skills that allow you to ride in a parking lot and truly only a parking lot. In a basic rider course, you will not receive any actual “road time”, thus no real life road skill, but you will receive great instructions and practice on a small(ish) motorcycle. All in a controlled environment.

Now-a-days, most rider training schools offer a wide range of courses from basic to pro, scooter to maintenance, refresher to group riding. So check your local College or University, or the links to the right and see if there is a course near you. Some schools will even offer special classes for women only, thus ensuring there is no extra outside pressure while in the learning environment.

You’ve checked you gear, given your bike a spring tune-up, given yourself a check-up from the neck-up and even practiced your skills in a parking lot…. are you ready to go? Almost. Always remember that early spring riding (and late fall riding) offer different challenges than summer riding. Although the sun may be shining during the day, the wind chill factor at 100kms is greater than just standing still and once the sun goes down, temperatures can drop far enough to present new road hazards. Aside from being colder, or the typical spring gravel accumulating in the corners, run off water from left over snow can freeze once the sun goes down. Black ice is not fun, but common, should the temperatures drop far enough down. Being prepared for it can make your ride a safe one.

So there you have it… prepare yourself and your motorcycle and your jump on spring riding should be a safe one. The more practice you get the better you become. Start safe…. ride safe….. stay safe….

Keeping the sunning side up and the rubber side down 🙂

Till Next Time …..Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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2 Responses to “Tis the Season!! For Two-wheelin’ Fun!”

  1. jayleen said

    I had my own bike for several years, but sold it a few years ago. I still love motorcycles and hope to have another some day.

    Good article!

  2. gottabkd said

    Hi Jayleen, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I love your art… it’s so awesome. I highly advise my readers to pop over and take a looky… you won’t be disappointed.

    Cheers 🙂

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