Fall Motorcycle Riding Tips
The hot temperatures of summer are gone, and it is great motorcycle riding season. With the change of the season, however, come some additional safety concerns that riders need to be aware in order to avoid motorcycle accidents when riding during the fall. Here are just a few to keep in mind.
- Leaves on roads. Dry leaves can camouflage potholes and other road irregularities. Wet leaves are slippery and can appear unexpectedly in shaded areas. Use caution particularly during those scenic autumn rides as conditions can change.
- Shorter days. If you do much riding at all, you’re likely going to be riding in the dark. Wear high-visibility and reflective gear to make yourself as obvious as possible.
- Sunlight glare. The sun is lower in the sky and glare can be an issue for much of the day, unless you’re facing north. Along with this, as trees become barren of leaves, the patterns of light and shade can be like riding in a strobe light and may be very distracting.
- Deer. Deer can become more prevalent in the fall. The best defense is to stay aware, particularly while in rural areas. Scan the roadway and just off of the shoulders and watch for deer crossings. Typically deer movement will peak at dusk and dawn.
- Fewer riders out. This means that car drivers, who don’t see us at the best of times, are now expecting to see motorcycle riders even less often. Be more cautious and alert. Make yourself as conspicuous as possible and assume they don’t see you.
- Isolation. Scenic back roads which weave through quaint small towns, particularly in tourist areas have a whole different feel to them. Seasonal businesses close and rest stops and favorite watering holes may not be available. Plan accordingly for gas, food, lodging and emergency contacts.
- Cold Fall Nights. Don’t get left in the cold. In the fall, temperatures can run the spectrum from warm to below freezing. In most cases, regardless of midday temperatures, the temperature will significantly drop once the sun starts to set. It’s always a good idea to keep cold weather gear with you just in case you get detained or ride longer than you anticipated. Also, make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out on a long ride.
I hope you never have to call me about being involved in a motorcycle accident, but I am here if you need me.
“On The Side Of Those Who Ride”