Safety & Survival: the Art of Getting There

Ultimately the goal of riding is finishing the ride safely. The type of ride has no impact on this fundamental goal.  A spirited ride through the twisties followed by a beer on the patio with some friends, or a hum drum commute the most important part of the ride is safe arrival at the end. Around the community, more often than not we see and hear this concept addressed in all the wrong ways.

More often than not, we see the mantra about All The Gear All The Time.  While gear is good, it doesn't do much for the ride, it's is there to protect you when you fail at riding.  What I am talking about are the actions that need to be taken to not fall, and reduce the risk of failure. Unfortunately, if you spend much time in many of the online forums, or at at bike nights you hear all kinds of things about how people stay safe.  Unfortunately, they are almost all justifications for bad riding habits, or just plain crazy.

Really, safe riding boils down to a few things; 

1. Slow Down if you are traveling slower, you have more time and higher chance of avoiding a crash than if you are traveling fast.  There really isn't an argument here, this is math.   The faster you are traveling the less time you have from the time you 'see' something until you are 'on' something.

Faces in the Crowd

There is a shared experience that becomes a common ground among riders.  When you ride every day, you come to know the other 'regulars' you see on the roads.  At first, you exchange the same wave that most riders exchange, but after weeks or months of waves, on the same roads, those waves become something more.  Eventually, you bump into each other at a stop somewhere along the way, the gas station seems to be a common one for me.  A quick chat, and a shared bond of being crazy enough to ride no matter what the weather is.

Somewhere along the line, you get to put names and faces to the bikes we see on a daily basis.  Red DL-1000 becomes Dave from the tire shop.  Skull and Crossbones face mask with a pony tail becomes Emily, an ER nurse.  You get to know the people and not just the riders.  They may choose different bikes, but in the end, we have all chosen the same experience, and that does more to cross the boundaries of the type of bikes far more readily than the weekenders that spend more time talking about their bikes than actually riding them.

Content by dru_satori, edited on a Mac using SandVox (because I'm lazy)