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Rider Tips

This version was saved 12 years, 5 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by PBworks
on July 1, 2008 at 4:21:39 pm
1. Road rule # 1 should be, never drive anything while intoxicated.
2. Don't be afraid to ride slow
3. Ride like you’re invisible. Assume that nobody sees you (except the highway patrol).
Always... always... expect the car, truck, van etc. to pull out in front of you. Always believe that they DO NOT SEE YOU. Even if they are looking directly into your eyes. *Watch the tires of the vehicle not the eyes of the driver. The driver’s eyes might be looking one way and telling you he is stopped but if that car moves you will see it while looking at the tires.
4. There's gravel/sand lurking on every unknown curve, and it is waiting for you.
5. A trick for tailgaters. A little gentle swerving in your lane helps keep the cell-phone wielding commuters off your tail. I think it just reminds some people I’m there, and makes others think I’m just a bit crazy, but after a few weaves, I usually get at least two seconds’ distance behind me.
6. Proper lane positioning. Let other people know you’re there by how you position yourself in various circumstances. Stay out of blind spots.
7. Never get confrontational on a bike. The car is bigger, and you will lose. Park your ego and vanity at home. Both will get you dead in any confrontational situation. Better to let the idiots achieve a steady-state. Someone else will judge them later.
8. When it just starts to rain·· Stop ·· have a cup of coffee or a soda and wait for the rain to clean the slime from the road..
9. Wear bright colors and reflect from all angles... lest you become a nosee'um.
10. If the rider or driver in front of you is slowing down, be damn sure you know why before you pass him. He may have hit the brakes for (1) the squad car looking for speeders (2) the idiot in front of him who is about to make a U-turn in front of you or (3) the steer in the ditch that is getting ready to cross the road.
11. Always wear a helmet even if you are just going around the block.
12. Never cross railroad tracks at an angle. They are slick! If possible, cross straight on.
13. When you are following semi-trailers (or cars) on the interstate... always follow directly behind their wheels. Reason: If they straddle the dead animal, brick or block, etc.. in the road, you will not have enough reaction time to change directions if you are following directly "centered" behind them.
14. Toll Booths! Oil drippings mixed with AC condensation makes it impossibly slippery exactly where you want to put your foot down to pay the toll.
15. Car phones!! If you see someone talking on a car phone... be afraid. She is your enemy!! She is not paying attention to you or the road.
16. When traveling for long periods in wet weather applying the brakes slightly every so often will reduce wet lag in an emergency..
Braking Part 2. Always complete your braking BEFORE you enter a curve. Example: On any approaching curve.. do all your braking before you start to lean into the curve. In the curve you have the choice of either coasting through it or accelerating through it.
17. Counter Steering. Learning this technique will save your life! In a nutshell.... push lightly on your left handlebar and you'll go left.. or push right... go right. Learn it until it's second nature because many times in an emergency situation, you have only reaction time... not thinking time.
18. One simple rule is eliminating the blind spot to zero. Knowing who’s around you at all times without having to turn your head all the time is one way to stay alive. Adding little blind spot mirrors on the bike can do that.
19. Always wear gloves. In the summer..at the very LEAST.. wear fingerless gloves. WHEN you do go down.. your hands will take most of the impact. We're talking serious road-rash.
20. Check the tire pressure often.
21. Stay focused! This is not the time or place to be worrying about your upcoming divorce, your dead-end job, or your receding hairline. Relax; take in the sights, sounds, and smells.
22. If you ever hydro-plane... do not hit your brakes. Ride it out and keep it straight. Sometimes it helps to tighten the anal muscles during this maneuver.
23. Always wear some eye protection. A gnat in the eye at 55mph feels like a baseball.
24. If it's early morning, or late evening, and the sun is positioned such that you can see YOUR OWN SHADOW in front of you, that means you’re pretty invisible to oncoming traffic.
If you're riding directly into the sun you might notice it's hard to see vehicles in front of you, so imagine what a car driving behind you might not see. If stopping in this situation, split between any cars in front of you or least stop to the side if you're first in the queue. 
25. Don't allow yourself to get cold on a bike. Hypothermia can impair your judgment / abilities as much as alcohol or drugs.
26. In hot weather, stay hydrated, you dessicate quickly on a bike. Drink plenty of fluids.
27. There's no such thing as a "fender·bender" on a bike.
28. If you do go down, try to ride out the slide; DO NOT try to get up while you are sliding
29. Avoid deer like Ebola. They will hurt you and make your beautiful bike real ugly real fast. Be particularly aware of them when the light is changing; Dusk and Dawn
30. The safest place in traffic is in front of it.
31. Learn from your past experiences/mistakes and hopefully those of others as well.
32. Keep your mount clean. It'll be easier to maintain because you'll be able to spot the source of that fluid leak readily or see that bolt missing from the front of your otherwise road grime encrusted engine case.
33. Leathers are great but it's a blessing either to have a rain suit handy or a set of some sort of synthetic riding suit available for riding when the weather is uncertain.
34. If you tend to breathe heavy or if it's going to be cool/cold on your ride, applying some sort of anti fog coating to your glasses and/or face shield will work wonders in letting your eyeballs do their job unhindered.
35. Nutrition: Make sure you get a proper meal and appropriate amount of shut·eye the night before an epic journey. Also, don't eat heavy meals during break stops on the ride. Try to eat a snack or light meal. You want as much blood as possible to stay in your brain and not be digesting food. Besides, did you ever notice that after a grand meal you feel like taking a grand nap?
36. If you do end up taking your mount to get dealer serviced you'll want to go over it thoroughly before riding off. Hey, are you willing to bet your life that that young kid mechanic or even old salt mechanic didn't overlook the fact that the break fluid reservoir cap was not properly tightened or that the bike was even properly filled w/oil before putting the fairing back on or that the tires are appropriately inflated after having been renewed?
37. Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go. Everything else we do to control a bike is secondary to this. Some situations can be avoided by slowing down, driving defensively, being more visible and so forth. But these only help prevent a bad situation; they don't fix it after it has occurred. And once in a bad situation, while there are many different ways to move a bike to help get out of that situation (weight transfer, sliding tires, handlebar control, throttle control, etc), the bike does not know instinctively where it should go, it has to be told. Before it can be told, however, the driver must make the decision of where he/she wants it to go. That means looking to that spot. Target fixation is real!
38. When riding in mountains you really need to understand how your direction of travel is linked with the sun; you'll be comin' round the mnt. rubbernecking or whatever and then BLAMMM sun in face. Wind, the wind generally follows the Sun. The thermals cause wind to "rise" with the Sun and set with the Sun. Ridge lines are usually swept clean with high winds cutting a right angle to the road. Moisture, sun, and wind play a great role on surface moisture. Combine this with natural springs, condensation, or people pissing in the road and there can be a big puddle right around the bend.
39. Whenever stopped in traffic, NEVER put the bike in neutral. Keep the tranny in 1st gear and get used to holding in the clutch lever. This allows the rider to simply release the clutch and go if you need to move out of the way of danger.
40. Emergency gear to carry in your pockets at all times: A cell phone, a whistle, so you can attract the attention of a rescuer from the bottom of the canyon after you're too weak to yell; a pencil and piece of paper to take phone numbers, or instructions from an emergency operator. If you carry a cell phone while you ride, make sure you have it on your person, not in your tank or saddle bag. If you crash, and your bike ends up on the other side of the road from you, and you can't crawl or otherwise get to it, you'll be unable to call for help. You should also have the number of your phone taped to the phone somewhere it can be easily read, since someone may be using the phone on your behalf, and therefore won't know the number, and the emergency operator would really like to be able to call them back.
41. ALWAYS be extremely paranoid when riding alongside parallel parked cars, or even worse, stopped traffic lines. When the idiot, who's in a parallel spot, or in line, pulls out, or does a U TURN (!!) out of her parking spot, you'll be flying over her car onto the pavement.
42. On the highway, if you're on the leftmost lane, and cars abruptly stop ahead of you, PULL OFF QUICKLY AND CAREFULLY ONTO THE SHOULDER. Let the moron behind you who isn't paying attention rear-end the car in front, not sandwich you between his car and the car ahead.
43. When it’s wet, watch out for man-hole covers in turns and intersections. They're always in the worst spot for motorcycles. Also, painted lines at crosswalks and those great big painted arrows at intersections are really slippery when they're wet.
44. Bikes can slow down awfully quick without using brakes, so when decelerating by engine compression alone, tap on the brakes to let the driver behind you know you are slowing down.
45. Heavy rain: It’s begun to rain so torrentially that you need shelter fast. There’s a bridge underpass up ahead. If you stop, stop at the far end of the underpass. If you stop at the near end you may be run over by a car or truck that decides it needs to stop beneath the underpass, too. It may be raining so hard that the driver doesn’t see you until it’s too late
46. Quitting time! Be incredibly alert around quitting time, people are tired and hot to get home and come sailing right straight out of those parking lots straight for the left lane. Friday afternoon ahead of 4th of July, they're also towing a trailer and coming at you twice as fast!
47. Late Apex! Keep repeating that as you ride the twisties and it will keep your line where it should be. As any rider with experience knows if you ride early apex's it's just a matter of time before you hit something in the road or hit a curve that is a reducing radius and you find yourself in the wrong lane!
48. Go on extra HIGH Alert anywhere in the vicinity of Farm equipment and related vehicles, most especially those big Drop Deck heavy haulers with the Big Cats, etc on board. All kinds of shit can come flying off the trailer deck from between the dualies, etc.. right at YOU with little or no warning !! This will occur more often when something makes the vehicle bounce. ex: RR Tracks, bridges, chuck-holes,etc.
49. When approaching a cross road at high speed on a highway----try to stay behind something large (like a car or truck)----and then the idiot who is attempting to get on the highway (in rush hour traffic)-----will see the big vehicle---and NOT---- pull out in front of YOU! At least if he does-----he'll get T-boned by the car or truck-----and not you!
50. Many riders crash out when they are learning . One of the main contributing factors to this is over confidence and peer pressure. If you are new to motorcycling and are riding with a group of experienced riders don't feel you have to keep up, ride at your own pace and well with in your own ability. For experienced riders that have a novice rider with them be considerate, don't all blast off and leave him/her, have some one hang back and offer helpful hints.
51. The safest place for idiot drivers is in front of you (you can keep track of them if you can see them).
52. When sitting at light, as a car approaches from rear, pump the brake lever couple of times quickly and then hold. This way you stick out.
53. Keep other riders informed by pointing out if there is upcoming debris on the road.
54. Be very careful behind open top dump trucks and other haulers. The things they haul have a tendency to want to escape.
55. When you are about to pull out to overtake the vehicle in front of you, check your mirror again. The car in the lane you are moving into may be going much faster than you expect and you cannot see this from a single mirror check.
56. What's the most unused button on your bike? Other than the emergency flasher.. your horn. Many of us can ride for days or weeks without hitting the horn. This is NOT good in an emergency situation as you could very easily find yourself fumbling for the horn button while that 28,000 lb SUV is merging on you. Re-familiarize yourself with the horn button. Hit the horn a few times. Feel the horn button while not looking. In an emergency situation one or 2 seconds fumbling for the button can mean the difference of being safe and being in a pine box.
57. When approaching an intersection, honk and wave at the cross traffic. They'll think that you're crazy, but they'll be looking at you and less likely to run you over.
58. Always look at driver patterns in front of you, and then open up your spacing if anything looks out of the ordinary.
59. Use hand signals. No, not that one. ALL the fingers. Say you've got a tailgator. Hold your left hand out downward, palm open. Notice the response? 99% of drivers will immediately give you more space. Give 'em a big OK (thumb and forefinger together, fingers wide) and they STAY back! I have no idea why this works for bikes but not cages, but it does.
60. While traveling behind another vehicle and when you see an oncoming vehicle wanting to cross your lane from your left, like when they are making a left turn, get as far to the left side of your lane as possible. When you see someone trying to enter your lane from the right, like from a driveway or side street, get as far over to the right side of your lane as possible. This will make you more visible from behind the vehicle you are following. Moving to the extreme left or right side of the lane makes you more visible to the drivers waiting for a gap in traffic. If they can't see you, the space you are occupying looks like a gap they can pull out into. If you follow too close, all they can see is a GAP between the vehicle you are following and the vehicle behind you.
61. Be wary of the hiss of the Tar Ssssnake. When traveling over the tar poured into the cracks of the road, you will hear a Hissing noise instead of the usual road noise. If you hear the hiss you maybe about to be bit, select a track that takes you as far away from the Tar Snakes as your path safely allow you to.
62. When riding in a hilly area with a lot of blind hills, always approach the crest of the hill in the rightmost part of your lane. You never know when some pickup truck full of punks is going to come sailing over that hill mostly in your lane.
63. "Use your sense of smell." You can avoid vehicles that were about to "blow" a tire {smell of burning rubber} or cars with e-brakes on {burning brakes} and vehicles with that sweet smell of anti-freeze leaking {soon to burst a hose or pull over or even stop immediately!}
64. Watch out for the lack of grip near farm entrances and gas stations. Manure and diesel are very slippery indeed, especially when wet. Use your sense of smell - the rain brings out the odor too. Also wet diesel causes rainbow patterns on the road. Any corner near a gas station is especially risky as trucks often spill with full tanks when rounding bends.
65. If another biker pulls a wheelie or otherwise shows off, leave him to it and hang back. If he comes to a sticky end you won't be caught up in the debris.
66. If temperature is questionable, dress for colder weather, rather than warmer weather. A human can accommodate a little bit of sweating a lot better than a little bit of freezing. If you get cold, your brain stops working well. If you get hot, you start sweating, to offset the heat.
67. A good opportunity to actually *practice* avoidance maneuvers is when you change lanes on expressways. Practice "avoiding" the white lines when changing lanes. It teaches me to look to where I want to go (the unpainted section of the road) while observing the white lines. I'm hopeful that this has helped on those occasions I've had to maneuver out of harm's way.
68. When touring, let the sun's position factor into the route plan. If you have to go southeast in the morning, head south first (when the sun is low in the sky) and the sun will be off your left shoulder. Later in the morning (when the sun is higher in the sky), turn east. You won't have to fight the sun as much.


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