If anyone’s happy about this long, cold winter finally coming to an end, it’s the bikers. Everyone’s glad to finally feel spring in the air, but motorcycle riders love the warm weather just a little bit more than ordinary folks do – because it means the riding season is finally back on.
As the time for your bike to hit the road again approaches, we’re all eager to get out there and experience those mind-blowing first several rides this spring. However, that much awesomeness never comes without a bit of a risk, and experienced riders know this.
It’s important for newbies to understand what they can expect and what they should look out for. Older bikers are aware of the dangers that may lurk on your spring ride, but a little reminder never hurt no one, so here’s a list of things you need to pay attention to when you start riding your bike this spring.
We’ve had salt, sand, and gravel covering the roads over the winter to keep them functional despite the monstrous snow, ice, and cold many countries have experienced this year. These traction-aiding substances stick around for the first couple of weeks after the snow has melted and they pile up in corners and intersections. Hitting this stuff can have tragic consequences, so watch out for sand, salt, and gravel at all times, especially in intersections and corners.
This year was filled with heavy snow, and the rains didn’t go easy on us either. After snow melt, it’s not unusual for erosions to occur in spring time. An erosion can undermine the footing of roads, especially on biker’s favorite roads – the ones that get little road maintenance. Be extra cautious if you’re headed for a mountain road, always keeping in mind that ground that was once firm can easily crumble away at the verges and at the edges of asphalt.
Snowmelt and busted water pipes often create powerful steams of water that run across road in totally random, unexpected places. Even if there is no actual water present at this time, there could have been a previous flow that may have swept debris across the road.
As water expands and contracts during winter time, it creates potholes.
Small potholes aren’t dangerous, or at least they aren’t life-threatening as long as you don’t hit one while cornering or braking. However, you need to pay special attention if you’re riding in the Northeast, where potholes can get big enough to swallow a truck, let alone a bike.
With spring time come new flowers, new leaves, and new baby animals. With baby animals comes frequent migration in search of food and water. You will see animals and animal families everywhere, especially in the countryside or along those long, scenic roads bikers love to visit.
Pay special attention when you’re riding near places with running water, such as springs and rivers, especially during dusk and dawn hours. We don’t want to kill a baby duckling, do we?
Even with the winter gone, it’s still pretty darn chilly out there, and while we know you’re eager to start riding, you shouldn’t forget to dress accordingly. Many countries still experience low temperatures, and even though it might look like spring, it’s still chilly enough to go down with a cold after riding your bike, and that’s never fun.
Spring is awesome, but it’s not summer and most sportbike tires are not designed to work at a temperature below fifty degrees, so keep that in mind, too.
It’s been a long, cold winter without many (if any) rides for many bikers, so if you feel like your skills might be a little bit rusty, be aware of the fact that you’re not the only one.
Sure, you’ve been riding for years, but never forget the fact that all bikers are waiting for the first signs of spring to take their bikes out for a ride. Watch out for other bikers, especially on popular riding roads. Many of them need a ride or two to get their skills back a hundred percent. Everyone is excited to feel the breeze just as you are, and there might be new riders, too, so it’s always good to pay attention for fellow riders.
Photo by Giulio GMDB