Cruisin’ the roads safely
Mar./Apr. 2009 California Country magazine
By John Valentine
Whether you’re cruising on a full-dress hog or leaning into the curves of a country road on a sleek sportbike, two-wheeled touring offers an experience you just can’t get from the confines of a car. But without the protection of airbags and a passenger compartment, the risks of injury are greater if you’re involved in a crash or collision.
Although touring can make for great memories, you can only savor what you survive. Help keep your ride smooth and free of road rash by taking these safety tips to heart:
- Be seen. Bright clothing and reflective strips are good ways to make your presence known. Stay on the defensive by keeping away from the blind spots of other vehicles, especially trucks.
- Give fair warning. Use your signals to give larger vehicles a clue before you change lanes or take an exit.
- Stay ahead of the game. Consider the other driver’s stopping distance when you’re ahead of traffic.
- Get training. If you’re new to riding, attend a rider-training course even if local licensing laws don’t require it.
- Watch the wind. If the wind can move a panel truck around, it can swat your bike into the next lane with no problem. Pay attention to wind direction and velocity.
- Wear the right clothing. Start with a helmet (mandatory in many states). Round things out with the boots, gloves and other gear that can come between you and the asphalt. Definitely wear protective eyewear to shield yourself from flying debris and bugs.
- Check your bike before every ride. Always remember to check your clutch, throttle, brakes and brake lights, shifter, headlight, signals, oil level and tires before you take to the open road.
California Farm Bureau Federation members may be eligible for special savings of 5 percent on Allied or Nationwide motorcycle insurance. Call an Allied or Nationwide agent today to find out more about savings for Farm Bureau members on other products and services, too.
John Valentine, CLU, CPCU, is sales director for Nationwide Insurance. He can be reached at 800-552-2437 ext. 4393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.