Warmer weather is on its way, and those who seasonally ride motorcycles across Virginia are excited to get them out of winter storage. If you have been looking forward to your first ride of the warm season for weeks, you may jump at the first opportunity when your time off of work overlaps with sunny weather.
When you decide that it’s time to head out for a spring or early summer ride, the three tips below will reduce your risk of something going wrong during your outing.
Give your bike and gear a spring overhaul
To keep yourself safe on the road, you need your bike in optimal condition. Months in storage can affect a bike’s performance. You will need to de-winterize your bike, perform routine maintenance like oil changes and then inspect it for issues like burned-out bulbs.
It is also a good idea to check your gear carefully after you have stored it for a few months. If you notice that the foam in your helmet has cracked or separated from the shell, for example, then buying a new helmet before your first ride of the season could potentially save your life.
Watch out for unique hazards on the spring roads
From higher levels of animal activity to late-falling leaves from hickory trees, there are plenty of risks on the spring roads that aren’t there in the summer months.
Potholes can also pop up, especially during times temperature fluctuation in the late winter and early spring season. A road that was clean just a few days ago could have multiple potholes when you go out for a ride.
Realize that most drivers won’t look for you
The people in bigger vehicles are arguably your biggest risk on the Virginia roads. Drivers often fail to mentally notice motorcycles unless they intentionally check for them.
When the temperatures have been low or the weather has been wet, drivers are much less likely to think of motorcyclists and check for them in traffic. Being aware you are of your visibility when crossing paths with other vehicles could help keep you safe.
Adjusting riding habits for the season can minimize the chances of a serious motorcycle collision.