With traffic levels in most cities at all-time highs, and growing fast, it is more important than ever that all of us take the time and steps for safe riding in an urban environment. Here are some good rules to follow when riding your motorcycle in high traffic areas.
- Don’t ride more bike than you can handle – be sure you can handle the power of whichever bike you decide to ride. Today’s bikes are putting out more power than ever, and we constantly see people purchasing motorcycles that are way beyond that riders capabilities to safely handle. Weight is another consideration. How heavy of a bike do you want to be stuck in rush hour with?
- Wear the appropriate gear – shorts, t shirt and sandals is not what you want to be wearing around town, or anywhere for that matter. Invest in some good motorcycle gear. The cooling and heating technology that they are putting into new gear is unbelievable and makes riding comfortably easier than ever. Don’t forget the helmet!
- Stay alert for road hazards – potholes, speed bumps, grease, oil, leaves and so much more are common sites in the city. Stay back from vehicles in front of you, not only so you have room to stop, but room to make your way around hazards that may surprise you.
- Always check blinkers, lights and brake lights before each trip – with so much traffic around you it is imperative that all your lights be working. It takes less than 2 minutes to check your lights before taking off.
- Avoid riding right next to vehicles – many drivers do not take the time to check their blind spots before moving over or making a turn. If you are right next to them you may not have time to react. Stay away from drivers talking on cell phones.
- Stay on the far side of the lane when going by parked vehicles – You never know when someone may throw open their car door.
- Watch other drivers eyes – if you do not see a driver make eye contact with you or turn their head and look over at you, you can assume they have no idea you are there. Be on the offensive, never really trusting anyone, even if they do see you.