Riding Tips

RIDING TIPS:

1. Biggest rule is to treat all others as though you are their target and act accordingly;

2. Always obey the traffic rules and stop, yield, obey red lights etc, because I can almost guarantee that the other driver is looking at running the red, not yielding, or doing a rolling stop, the only exceptions to this are when there is a Police car clearly evident monitoring the intersection, and sometimes even that is not a guarantee;

3. Beware the left turner, even though they may be looking right at you, for some reason they do not equate the big glaring headlight with a moving vehicle;

4. Always signal when making lane changes and I cannot emphasize enough to do a shoulder check as well;

5. Read the Riders Handbook that was put out by the CAV Road Captain, lots of good tips in it that don’t only pertain to group riding.;

6. Treat your ride like it is your second wife, pamper it accordingly, unlike the first wife though, do regular oil level checks, tire inflation and wear checks, and also what a lot DON’T do, light checks, especially turn signal and brake lights;

7. Carry a spare headlight bulb and fuses, but if you do get a failure, try to figure out the reason first, nothing like putting a new fuse in only to have it go again, you run out of fuses quickly, ask me how I know;

8. If you have spotlights on your bike, wire them into their own circuit, that way if the headlight does go out, you will still have the spotlights;

9. Remember it is Spring, and the other drivers are light headed due to the return of warmer weather, they are thinking of the beach, the camping, the cottage, and in some cases the men or women on the beach in all their glory, or in some cases, gory. So their brains are not accustomed to seeing that small object get bigger at a high rate of speed, plus we sometimes tend to get lost in the headlights of the vehicle behind us, so pay attention out there, it hurts when you go sliding down the road or hit hard objects when moving, done both so I know first hand;

10. A couple of tips I have learned from being a Chief Instructor for the Canada Safety Council,

  • a. When approaching a vehicle attempting to enter the roadway from your right, move to the right of the centerline if you are not already there, on a multilane highway or road way, move to the left lane if safe to do so, that will give you extra time to react just in case the other driver gets impatient or “fails to see you” ( I hate that phrase);
  • b. The same can apply when approaching a vehicle waiting to make a left turn across your lane, this time I would go to the right side of the road, this gives me the extra room to use the roadway as an escape, the chances are that the other vehicle will see you at the last minute and brake, if you are in the part of the lane closest to the centre line, you may have no room or time to maneuver, if you are in the right of the lane you may have time to accelerate and swerve around to your right.
  • c. Another point which some will disagree with, is that the first reaction is to grab a handful of brake when faced with a collision situation, that is sometimes your only alternative if you have nowhere else to go, the best method is (if safe to do so) accelerate and go around the vehicle. That is why it is always prudent, if possible, to make sure you do not have a vehicle directly beside you on a multi lane highway, or to take the shoulder if possible on a single lane highway.
  • d. Always scan ahead, I try to scan ahead at least 300 metres when traffic permits, while maintaining awareness of what is around you;
  • e. Watch oncoming traffic, and don’t always think that just because it indicates no passing, that some twit coming at you won’t do it, or for that matter someone behind you as well.
  • f. Emergency sirens are not a reason to panic, remember the rules is to pull over to the right and stop IF SAFE TO DO SO, I have often not had that option but have slowed down and pulled as far to the right as possible and waved the emergency vehicle past. The wave indicates to the emergency operator that you have seen him and are aware of his presence.
  • g. Lastly, have fun out there and don’t be paranoid but do be aware, if you are tired, pull over and take a stretch break or stop at a timmies, if you still have a long way to go, consider stopping for the night, better to be rest in a hotel or motel, than a hospital bed.

11. Put together a tool kit and a first aid kit if you can, chances are if you have them you will never use them, whereas if you don't have them, I can guarantee that at some point you will be wishing you had heeded this post and had them.

12. Loose gravel - especially dangerous after winter, like sliding on ice. Also look out for gravel that is thown out into the road by farm vehicles that often will use the shoulder in the country areas. I have also found that country junctions are bad as vehicles will often cut the corner which results in gravel and sand being thrown out into the road, the graders also make a mess. Curves are also a place to watch for.

13. Road kill, always a sign that spring is coming, some of that road kill can be quite big, and remember, as disgusting as it sounds, blood and entrails can be be very slippery and dangerous, especially on corners.
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