Shaking Out the Moth Balls

Cogito ergo sum

Shaking Out the Moth Balls

Postby Kurt » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:25 am

As more consistent warmer temps approach, the desire to get our “knees in the breeze” will be more frequent. Motorcyclists across the country are rolling their bikes out of hibernation for this year’s riding season, but let’s keep first things first—remember your pre-ride T-CLOCK inspection—especially if you haven’t been out in awhile. Safety must be our highest priority, but in our enthusiasm to get out there again, it's easy to forget the safety basics. If you’re receiving this newsletter electronically, follow this link: http://www.gwrra.org/regional/ridered/Forms/N.17MotorcycleTCLOCSVersion_2011_06.pdf to T-CLOC Inspection Checklist, print it out, and use it regularly. Safety is a critical condition—for keeping you out of critical condition.

Before you blast out of your driveway, a few other safety reminders are worth going over as well. In wanting to get on the road again, you definitely don't want to take an early season ambulance ride due to not checking your bike out. For a variety of reasons, there are more motorcycle accidents in the spring than at any other time of the year. Here are some thoughts to consider before springing into spring riding.

Now—yes, right now is the best time to register for a Rider Safety Course. I promise that it will be money well spent, and it’s MUCH cheaper that any “crash course”. I’m registered for Sunday, May 8th. Let me know if you want to join with me in my class.

This past weekend (as I write this) Sue and I headed up into the NC mountains with some friends—expecting to enjoy a sunny day of scenic riding, as per the weather forecast; however, that’s not what happened! What we found is that it was true—that most of the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed (glad we checked ahead of time). In addition, when we got to the higher peaks, we rode through heavy salt deposits dumped there after recent storms, and water from melting snow and ice. With the beauty of the massive ice formations on the cliffs along the sides of the road also came the “iceberg obstacle courses” from huge chunks that had broken off, and were now scattered in the road giving us swerving practice. We also hit patches of fog that were so dense, it almost felt like we were putting the brakes on when we got into it. And of course the ride wouldn’t have been complete without a sprinkling of precipitation. Nevertheless, we still had a fantastic day with some great friends who braved the ride with smiles, and we did enjoy a great BBQ lunch as well. All of this is to suggest you use extra caution whenever you ride in high altitudes during the spring. Be careful, be cautious, and focus on your ride with a major dose of “Situational Awareness”.

In addition to the above, you may also find some loose sand in some of the intersections in the early spring. This accumulation presents a danger to anything on wheels—let alone on two wheels. Be watchful, and scan for the sand traps well ahead of time.

The road surfaces should now be warm enough to get your tires up to good “sticktion” temperatures, but since you’ve been takin’ ‘er over easy during the past couple of months or so—due to cold tires, you may want to work on achieving that full “knee-down lean angle” a little at a time. If you make the mistake of leaning way over and powering through that corner, you may find that the cobwebs between your ears still need some cleaning out. Road rash hurts, and sliding on asphalt (or “Body Surfing”) is a lot of things, but fun isn’t one of them. I’ll mention it again—right now is the best time to register for a Rider Safety Course.

The four—and more—wheeled “cage dwellers” have forgotten all about motorcycles over the past weeks. Even in peak-season riding, when there are more bikes out, we seem to be invisible to drivers. Good headlights and high visibility riding gear definitely do help, but it's crucial that you purpose to ride defensively, as if nobody sees you! The cage people really aren’t trying to kill you (well, most of them anyway), but tangling with anything is the last thing motorcycle riders want to do—and way too often it’s the last thing they ever will do.

Once your T-CLOCK safety inspection indicates that your ride is in good shape, it’s time to get yourself into shape before you head out on the road this spring! Be aware. Get enough sleep. Never drink and ride. Pay attention to what's going on around you and stay alert, doing everything possible to give yourself enough space to safely navigate around hazards. Motorcycle riding is one of the best ways to experience the beautiful scenery and great attractions we have here in the US, but please be sure to do everything you can to ride safely, so you can continue to enjoy it all for a long time to come. The best piece of safety equipment you have is right between your ears. Use it! Oh, and have I mentioned that right now is the best time to register for a Rider Safety Course?

Be safe. Be blessed. Be a blessing.
Kurt Repsher
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Re: Shaking Out the Moth Balls

Postby Sparkey » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:07 pm

I finished my maintenance on my Suzuki and rode my nephew around. I have instructed him on proper gear and awareness. He got off the bike with a big grin.
Lean it in Let it slide

Text is good. nineoneeightfourzeroeightzerosixtwozero.
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