Posted on 10/28/2021 at 08:00 PM by The Biker Lawyers
Thinking about making a fall leaf run? First, check out these three tips!
The Great River Road running north from Iowa into Minnesota and back down the Wisconsin side is a spectacular fall ride. Any motorcycle enthusiast can tell your their favorite road to take in the Autumn views, just ask! We all want to get in that last ride before we put the bike away for the winter... just one more ride, we tell ourselves. Although the leaves colors may fade, the thrill of the ride never will.
If you've taken your last ride or plan to soon, here are our top three tips for staying safe riding your motorcycle as we shift into Autumn.
1. Beauty can be Dangerous
Who doesn’t love the breathtaking beauty of the changing colors in the fall? While the scenery is beautiful, keep in mind the unique hazards when hitting the road for fall touring.
The roads are soon going to be filled with vehicles marveling at the scenery. That means less chance those drivers are going to see bikers. As always, ride as though invisible, and assume the other guy is going to do something dangerous.
Bottom Line: Skip viewing the scenery while there is oncoming traffic.
Vibrant color in the trees means that leaves have begun to fall. Leaves on the road present a variety of dangers. When wet, leaves on the roadway create a slick surface, not unlike frost. Don’t lose sight of this fact while checking out the scenery.
Even dry leaves pose a hazard on the road. An accumulation of leaves can hide dangers such as potholes, limbs, rocks, or other debris. While not as slick as wet leaves, a pile of dry leaves can also cause a motorcycle to lose traction or even cause the tires to “come out from under” a bike.
Any time there are leaves on the road, be on point!
2. Keep an eye out for Grass
This one is actually good for just about any season but especially as the summer season dies and the fall season is born. People love to get that last mow in before all the grass starts to die off.
Grass clippings on-road pose a unique danger to motorcyclists.
We’ve all seen it – grass clippings ejected from a lawnmower onto the roadway. The sight of somebody having spread grass all over the roadway is annoying, but more importantly creates a potentially deadly hazard to motorcyclists.
Just last June, an Illinois motorcyclist was killed in a crash caused by grass clippings on the roadway. The motorcyclist was a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. Her death was completely avoidable.
Grass on the road is like ice when a motorcycle passes over it. While some communities have laws that prohibit this dangerous practice, many do not.
Most people have no idea the hazard created when they spew lawn clippings on the roadway. By sharing this article, perhaps some of those otherwise well-intentioned folks can be educated. Perhaps one motorcycle crash can be avoided. Perhaps somebody’s loved one can be saved.
3. Dress for Success (and Safety)
The Choice: Sweat or Bleed
Who hasn’t watched a motorcycle race, and seen a rider hop right back up from a sliding, high-speed crash? Even more amazing is when the rider runs over to his bike and speeds back into the race. Ever wonder how they do that?
The answer is protective gear. We should all learn from these motorcycle racers. If a biker with no protective gear hits the ground, the road will act like a cheese grater, shredding the skin. Road rash can vary from first-degree, which is much like rug burn, up to third-degree, which is very painful and requires immediate medical care.
In these approaching weeks of riding as temperatures start to drop, riders are generally well-protected, if for no other reason than to stay warm. We can, however, protect ourselves from unnecessary injury year-round by simply donning safety gear.
Get this: In a drag test of various fabrics at 35 mph, normal jeans wore through after being drug on the road for less than four feet. Kevlar jeans will up that number to 22 feet before fabric wears through to skin. Heavy leathers keep skin and pavement apart for about 86 feet of sliding.
Some bikers complain that safety gear is too hot. While adding gear generally will increase body temperature, it doesn’t always have to be leather. If it’s too hot for a leather jacket, try switching to a mesh textile jacket with body armor. Amazingly, it’s cooler with a mesh jacket in hot weather than riding in a sleeveless t-shirt. Of course, once stopped, get the jacket off immediately, as lack of airflow makes it get hot in a hurry.
If it’s too hot for chaps or riding pants, a pair of CoolAir Mesh Bohn armored pants is the ticket. These armored pants are invisible under jeans, just like long johns (but a lot cooler), and have body armor at all the crucial points. Take a slide in these, and the chance of skin loss becomes negligible.
The same considerations apply to gloves and boots. Heavy leather and padding over feet, ankles, palms, knuckles, and joints will spare the biker considerable skin loss and pain in a crash. There are numerous glove options depending on weather conditions.
Learn more about the value of a good pair of motorcycle gloves as protective equipment to avoid motorcycle accident-related personal injury by clicking the image below!
If a biker wants to keep skin unscathed, there are protective gear options for all seasons. The gear isn’t cheap, but compared to the pain, medical bills, and lost income, well … ‘nuf said.
Do you have questions about your motorcycle-related personal injury case?
The Biker Lawyers are the Midwest's most trusted personal injury lawyers for three reasons:
- We're the real deal. Not just some law firm who happen to weekend as bikers. We live and breathe the community first, always.
- We're local- with Personal Injury Attorneys in Cedar Rapids, Ia, and Minnetonka, Mn, we'll ride to you, and ride the road to recovery with you.
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