Riding a motorcycle can be really fun. The high speed rides, leaning into turns, and the exhilaration on riding makes the experience exciting. It truly is never boring on a bike. However, the one thing people enjoy most about riding motorcycles is the sense of freedom it gives me. You are very often isolated, with no responsibilities other than controlling your bike in a safe and secure manner and finding your way to your destination. There’s no radio DJ to accompany you, no mobile phones, no car doors, and no windshields to enclose you. There is nothing but a helmet between you and the road. It makes you feel more in touch with the moment and your surroundings, but at the same time, it makes you more vulnerable to danger.
One thing is constant in all of your motorcycle ride. There will always be wind. Regardless if it is a heavy gust of wind or just a light wind, it will always impose challenge to riders. Here are some tips to bear in mind for a safe ride:
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This is not just a tip. It is a golden rule. One can’t stress enough how important it is to know weather conditions before you start your ride for the day. This is really is the best tip and is the first step in ensuring a safe ride. There are multiple websites available online that can tell you the weather conditions, wind direction, and wind speed. Moreover, you can even download mobile applications such as Windfinder, Zephyrus Wind Speed Meter, WindAlert. All applications are available for both iPhone and Android mobile phones.
This is one of motorists’ biggest mistakes, especially those just starting out. The first ride is always pretty tense when the wind would pick up. The wind would make them nervous and their brain would go frantic. Thus, this results to poor concentration and bad decisions on their end. So just always tell yourself to relax and loose the tense posture. It can be hard to do sometimes. However, if you are relaxed, you are more concentrated and you are fully aware of all the movements happening around you.
Have Extra Clearance
Give yourself plenty of room especially when passing other vehicles. The wind might make your ride a little tricky so it is best to have enough space as margin of error. When things go wrong, you have enough time to think and act accordingly to the situation to prevent any disasters from happening. This does not only apply to large vehicles as some people would think. Even if a motorcycle only takes up little space compared to a four wheel vehicle, to be a safe rider, you have to have enough space around your motorcycle.
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Light Grip on the Bars
Once the wind would start to pick up, people would normally grip tightly on the handle bars; afraid of falling off or losing the bike’s control. However this should not be the case. It may seem bizarre but you should really not have a deathly grip on the handle bars when the wind is strong. A tight grip on the bars might lead you in making steering inputs that you do not intend to do as the wind pushes against your body. To avoid this from happening, grip the motorcycle with your knees instead of the handle bars.
Always be alert. With the apparent global warming, weather patterns might change within the day. It is better to constantly assess wind patterns and weather conditions for any changes.
This may be uncomfortable but it is important to crouch down and be as close to your motorcycle as possible to minimize drag resistance since your body is the only other large area the wind is hitting aside from your motorcycle.
The most important thing you can do is to use your judgment and make a conscious decision if the risks present are worth taking. Do not take things too far especially in rough winds and inclement weather conditions.