Most motorcycle riders are very well versed in the risks that come along with such an exhilarating sport. A difficult subject (that many tend to avoid talking about) is knowing when to hang up that DOT approved motorcycle helmet and take a seat on the sidelines. Some riding limitations are only temporary, while others may result in storing your bike permanently. Part of motorcycle safety is recognizing unsafe situations, whether they present themselves on or off the road. Always remember to take a step back to evaluate your riding capabilities, and keep these things in mind while you continue on your motorcycle journey:
Signs of Aging
Unfortunately, everyone reaches an age where riding a motorcycle, and driving a car, is no longer safe for them or anyone else on the road. There isn’t a magic number, so it’s important to always be aware of the signs that it might be time to retire from riding. A few things to look out for include slowed response/reaction times, frequent “close calls” that didn’t happen in prior years, difficulty concentrating, and feeling weak or tired (which may stop you from being able to move and pick up your bike).
Whether you’re fighting off the flu, recently pulled a muscle on a hike or are experiencing a flare-up of a past injury, if you can’t comfortably and safely ride a motorcycle, it’s time to take a break and recover. Motorcycle riding requires physical agility, strength and quick thinking, and if your body isn’t up to the task, you run the risk of being involved in a motorcycle collision.
Mental or Emotional Distractions
Whenever you gear up for a motorcycle ride, you should have mental clarity. If you’re sad, frustrated, extremely tired, or working to manage something a little more permanent, these distractions don’t mix well with hazards on the road. It is important to have a clear mind while riding a motorcycle so you can keep your eyes and ears peeled for anything that might get in the way of your safety.
Some riders stay away from winter motorcycle riding altogether, while others enjoy the cold and avoid motorcycle riding in the heat of summer. Everyone is different, so the key is to know your skill level and steer clear of riding if you’re nervous about the conditions. The best way to prevent weather from getting in the way of your riding schedule is to always carry the proper motorcycle safety gear and invest in advanced training courses to hone your skills.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.