During the long lazy days of summer, seasoned motorcyclists are tempted to take long road trips on their bikes. It is also the season to attempt challenging long distance rides like the Colorado Classic 1000 and the infamous Iron Butt.
Long motorcycle rides are wonderful, providing picturesque views of the Colorado landscape and endless adventures touring small towns and truck stops, but they can also be dangerous. Fatigue can lead riders to drive erratically as they fight to stay alert, increasing the chances of an accident.
Inadequate preparation can leave riders exposed to the elements, at a greater risk for sunburn, dehydration and temporary hearing loss. These and other minor health problems could make your ride significantly less enjoyable.
Tips to Stay Safe on Long Motorcycle Rides
If you are planning a long trip on your bike this summer, here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared for all possibilities:
Before the Ride
Prepare Your Bike – Change the oil and filter, and check all fluid levels. Inspect the tire pressure and tread, and check the bike all over for worn or outdated parts.
Physical Preparation – If you are not used to long hours on your bike, take a few extended trips before the big event. That will help you get an idea of your limits, and get a feel for how your muscles fatigue while riding.
Rest – While coffee and energy drinks may do their part, do not try to use them as a substitute for sleep. Riding while tired can be just as dangerous as riding while drunk, so make sure to get enough sleep before you hit the road.
Gear – The right equipment can make all the difference on a long ride: CamelBak packs for quick hydration, earplugs to muffle wind and engine noise, light jackets to prevent sunburn and windburn.
During the Ride
Prepare for the Elements – Summer heat can encourage riders to wear less clothing in an effort to stay cool, but exposure to the elements can speed up dehydration and fatigue. Wearing a vented or mesh jacket can help protect the rider’s skin while keeping him cool.
Clear Vision – Struggling to see clearly can encourage fatigue and lead to a headache. Make sure that windshields and visors are clean, and free from scratches or distortion before a long trip.
Good Habits – Resist the temptation to pig out on fast food and energy drinks. Keeping healthy snacks like trail mix, sandwiches, fruit and bottled water handy can keep you feeling energetic and alert on the road.
At Metier Law Firm, we know the love that motorcyclists have for their bikes and the open road. Longer rides require more preparation, but done properly they can lead to a once in a lifetime experience. Make sure to travel safely.
Metier Law Firm, LLC – Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Representing Clients Nationwide