As the end of winter gets closer, 'spring-like' fluctuations in the weather present the opportunity to get out and enjoy the open road. A warm, sunny day tempts even those of us who normally don't ride until April or May. However, the ups and downs in temperature can present a series of potential challenges.
Warmer temperatures and heavy rains can create unexpected flood zones and landslides, leaving roads in a dangerous state for those on two wheels. These road conditions can become more dangerous when the temperature falls below freezing. At night, road crews put a thick coat of salt on the road as a preventative measure against cold morning temperatures. Locations with increased run-off get a heavy dose of salt that often resembles a small mountain. Heavily salted roads may be a simple inconvenience to those in cars or trucks, but it can be more dangerous for a motorcyclist.
Being aware of changing road conditions this time of year is your first defense against a ride gone bad. Keep an eye out for potentially dangerous areas when traveling in your four-wheeled vehicles, especially when travelling your favorite bike routes. Previewing a ride is a great way to ensure you won't be taken by surprise. When riding, be alert to hill crests ('unknown at best what lies beyond the crest') and curves. Those mini mountains of salt seem to prefer hiding in areas that aren’t readily visible, waiting for the right moment to pop out when our attention is elsewhere.
Keep in mind that most other drivers are not accustomed to looking for motorcycles in the middle of winter. As riders, we all know how often others fail to recognize us during the warm months, and in the off-season, that risk may be doubled!
Needless to say, it's always a good practice to ATGATT—wearing 'All the Gear, All the Time'. After all, our gear is our only equivalent of having air bags deploy, wearing a seat belt and having crumple zones in place to reduce the injuries associated with impact.
Before getting out for that first ride of the season, refresh your skills by checking out our extensive catalog of videos on our YouTube channel. There you will find a multitude of information on maximizing your riding experience and staying safe while out and about.
While you’re there, check out the rider training options listed on our website. Classes are already up and ready for enrollment with the PA motorcycle safety program. The ProRider and Stayin'Safe options will be opening soon! Register now and be ready to ride with new or refreshed skills when the 2020 season 'officially' begins.
Saturday, Feb 29th / 11am - 6pm
Chili Cook Off / Three Rivers Harley Davidson
Saturday, March 28th / 11am - 3pm
Ladies' Day & Women's Self-Defense Workshop / Three Rivers Harley Davidson