Friday, 11 December 2009

Tips for new riders #1

There are lots of little things you learn from riding motorcycles for 35 years. Things that have saved me from having innumerable accidents, and that you only find out yourself.

Here are a few:

When you pull up at the lights, don't pull up in the middle of the lane. That's where all the oil from countless cars ends up. If you don't slip on it when you're taking off, you might find that it sticks to your tires and causes problems at the next corner. Also, try not to stop with your back tire on the white line. That line is a lot more slippery than the bitumen, and once the tire breaks loose, it tends to keep going - especially in the wet.

If you're cruising along next to a car, make sure you're not sitting just back from the drivers window. That's a blind spot, and I've had hundreds of drivers just pull into my lane without seeing me - even though I was almost right beside them. If you need to be next to a car, go past the driver's window, even only for a second, so that they clock the fact that you're there.

Make it a rule that you always change lanes gradually. Even though I've tried to ensure that I always glance back over my shoulder (as well as checking the rear-view mirror), that one rule has saved my life many times. Doing things slowly gives other vehicles a chance to react, or to sound a warning.

There's three useful tips right there. Hopefully they can help someone stay alive.