The weather is finally getting good enough in most of the country to get out and ride. Here are seven tips to get you started.
First, check your bike. Fresh fuel, fresh oil, chain oiled, hydraulic fluids topped off or replaced, fresh coolant, tires in good shape, all bolts tight, and all lights working are all a must.
Next, check yourself: If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere you can ride year-round, great! But the rest of us can benefit with a bit of a mental and physical tune-up. Find an empty parking lot and practice hard braking, swerving and tight turns for an hour or so.
Third, SEE (Search, Evaluate, Execute) all the time. Search out and identify potential dangers, evaluate what needs to be done and execute your plan.
Fourth, consider your lane position. The left wheel track is a good starting place, but be open to varying your position within your lane to maintain a buffer between you and potential dangers.
Fifth, keep asking “What if?” What will you do if that car turns in front of you? What if that dog runs out? What if that van moves over into your lane? Be ready for anything.
Sixth, look where you want to go. If something goes wrong in front of you, don’t look at the problem. Focus on the path through it. The bike will go where you look.
Finally, get your eyes checked. If your vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be, what you see might not be what you get. If it’s been more than two years since you’ve seen your eye doctor, make an appointment and see if your eyesight has changed.