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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New biker or not, make safety your top priority

Cycle Safety Gear‘Tis the season for cycles! As a rider, I find this time of year exciting and scary at the same time. Each motorcycle season brings out new riders who are eager to hit the road but ill-prepared to handle the challenges of operating a motorcycle safely. Unfortunately, many of the first-time riders that are involved in accidents are riding bikes that are not a good fit.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. I always ask other riders if they have taken a safety course. I don’t care if you are Evel Knievel, you can’t have too much training when it comes to riding a motorcycle. A motorcycle safety course will help you hone your skills and sharpen your riding techniques and strategies.

My motorcycle group had an unwritten rule that we lived by. We would always let any new rider that didn’t think a safety course was important go ahead of us, and meet them at the next destination. We didn’t want to take the chance that a rookie rider in our group would do something that endangered the rest of us.

We had a similar unwritten rule for anyone who didn’t want to ride with a helmet or the proper gear. Believe me when I tell you that a helmet is a motorcycle rider’s best friend. It’s the most important piece of safety equipment a motorcyclist can have.

Helmets protect you against all types of potential risks when you are on the road and increase your chance of surviving a crash, so it was always common sense for me. Plus, it is the law in many states. I could never understand why anyone wouldn’t want something that not only protects your noggin from injury, but also cuts down on wind noise, shields your face and eyes, and keeps those not-too-tasty bugs out of your mouth.

Protective gear such as leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles and gloves can protect your body and help minimize your injuries in case of an accident or a skid. Consider attaching reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.

Enjoy the open road, and be safe out there!

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