Tips & Hints
NONE OF THE MOTORCYCLES IN THIS PICTURE CAN BE SEEN IN THE TRUCKER'S MIRRORS!
KNOW THE TERRAIN
The five most important road craft skills are:
- Have a suspicious “on-road” attitude—trust no-one and assume nothing
- Scan for hazards by looking well ahead, behind and beside you
- Maintain a safety zone free of all hazards
- Identify an escape route in front of you
- Ride and corner at a safe speed—no faster than a speed at which you can stop in the clear space ahead of you
If you must ride at night, ensure your lights work BEFORE EVERY RIDE. Keep your headlight glass and helmet visor clean and free of scratches.
Get into the habit of reading the road reflectors and you'll have an early warning of the direction of an approaching bend long before your lights illuminate the road itself.
Look to the left of oncoming lights and be guided by the left roadside reflectors. If vehicle lights blind you, look more to the left momentarily without making steering corrections.
Glare can make seeing the road properly more difficult. Tinted helmet visors do a fair job, but good quality optical sunglasses are better.
Avoid using tinted visors and sunglasses. When riding just after dawn or just before dusk watch for motorists without headlights operating and for feral animals and birds which are more active at these times.
Invest in a vented helmet, jacket, gloves & boots. Whatever you do, don't discard your protective clothing, even in stifling heat - raw flesh is much worse than being temporarily uncomfortable.
Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water. Avoid alcohol, coffee & tea altogether.
Insulate by clothing yourself in polypropylene underwear. Put on your riding gear and stand in the sun or a heated room for a few minutes before setting off.
Stop more often for rests to warm up, and to eat and drink. Avoid very long rides as fatigue sets in quicker when you burn energy trying to keep warm. Reduce your speed to decrease the wind-chill factor.
Treat the inside of your visor with an anti-fog agent; there are also helmets with effective anti-fogging ventilation and breath guards. Increase your following distance to provide for generous braking.
Ride slowly and with your headlight on low beam. Running lights help you to be seen by others, as their orange colour breaks through the fog. Open your visor a little!
Avoid riding in extreme wind, as it can be very uncomfortable, tiring and dangerous. Precise steering is almost impossible. If the wind is too strong, pull over and wait for it to drop. At the very least, stop more often and ride for shorter distances.