Safety tips for mo­tor­cy­clists dur­ing win­ter

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

WIN­TER has ar­rived and one of the hard­est (and most fre­quent) con­di­tions we ex­pe­ri­ence here in the UK is rid­ing in high wind, es­pe­cially while the road is wet, too.

In ad­di­tion, these con­di­tions can blow or turn rid­ers off course.

Here are some tips to pre­pare rid­ers this win­ter sea­son from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards Richard Glad­man.

Be­ware of the wind – gusts when emerg­ing from build­ing lines or be­side high-sided ve­hi­cles can catch you out.

If there are any trees, use them as an in­di­ca­tor of the wind strength. If they are whip­ping about slow down.

A sud­den change of di­rec­tion at speed can be fright­en­ing for other road users.

Plan for both parts of your jour­ney – out and re­turn – and try to make a habit of check­ing the weather fore­cast be­fore rid­ing.

Dress cor­rectly in warm but com­fort­able bike at­tire.

Good gloves and boots will help you stay warm and alert.

Check your vi­sor; those lit­tle scratches will show up on the dark nights and head­lamps in the rain make vi­sion al­most im­pos­si­ble.

Choose your route care­fully as well as where you po­si­tion your­self on the road.

Wet leaves are like ice and ice is like noth­ing you have ever rid­den on.

When grip is zero your mo­tor­cy­cling skills make lit­tle dif­fer­ence. Be aware of where wa­ter col­lects – a dry line is bet­ter and safer.

Pot­holes get worse in win­ter and, de­spite being al­most in­vis­i­ble, de­velop a mag­net at­trac­tion for mo­tor­cy­cles in the dark.

Slow down and be pre­pared. If the weather is ex­treme don’t chance it on two wheels – noth­ing could be worse than dam­ag­ing your­self, your pride and joy or an­other road user.

Richard said: “As with all things mo­tor­cy­cling, prepa­ra­tion is key.

“Hav­ing the right equip­ment makes all the dif­fer­ence.

“Mo­tor­cy­cles are sup­posed to be fun.

“By plan­ning your ride along a route that will have seen some at­ten­tion from the coun­cil you are likely to ar­rive home safely with­out hav­ing any mo­ments.”

Prepa­ra­tion is key for mo­tor­cy­cling dur­ing the win­ter

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