As the darker nights descend, winter poses a big question for us motorbike riders – do we keep riding throughout, or should we put the bikes away until Spring? Dionne Darragh, Director (and keen biker) considers her options...
With our climate, we have become accustomed to riding in all weathers! It doesn’t hold me back, but there are just some additional precautions to take in the colder, darker weather.
As obvious as it may seem, checking the weather forecast and planning your route before embarking on a winter ride is crucial. If you need to ride the bike, try and stick to main roads. But if there’s ice or snow, try to use another method of transport or avoid making the journey, if possible.
If taking the bike out, one thing to bear in mind is wind chill. When you’re riding without any fairing, as I do, the wind chill you experience is a lot colder than the air temperature and must be considered before setting off on a journey and appropriate layers of clothing worn.
This leads onto wearing the right gear which is such a vital step to setting yourself up for a successful bike ride. Protective gear is a must – waterproof, lined jacket, trousers and boots. Be mindful of spray on the roads. Make sure your helmet visor is clean and you have chosen the correct visor for your journey, if low lying sun. If you are lucky to have heated grips, you won’t feel the cold. I can’t ride without my heated gloves or heated vest…even in the Spring! I am not sure if they have invented heated socks yet, but if they have…I need them!
Before setting off, make sure you carry out a final check on the bike. Remember the pre-ride check: T-CLOCs: this stands for tyres, controls, lights, oil and chassis. Additionally, don’t forget to look after your battery and always check your brakes. When you get home, I think it is just as important to clean and check your bike and to remember to stick the battery on the trickle charger so you are ready for your next ride out!
As I specialise in motorcycle accident litigation, I am increasingly aware that the danger to us bikers, are the other road users, but by carrying out our daily checks before and after each ride, we can take those extra steps to ensure our safety on the road.
If you have been involved in an accident, or have any queries you wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me.