Motorcycle Safety Tip->
The Good, the Bad and the Really Ugly
Traveling On Two Wheels
When on a motorcycle, roads take on a whole new meaning. Let's face it, roads are just a way of getting somewhere when in a car, but on a motorcycle - roads are exciting and fun.
How often do you hear, at the end of a great day of motorcycling: "Wasn't that a GREAT road?"
Some motorcyclists like hair pin turns like we encountered in the Alps. Others prefer great sweeping curves. Some motorcycle riders even prefer to ride in the dirt - although I am not in that group.
Some riders like speed, others like scenery. There's a wonderful road for everyone.
One thing is for sure: Once you've encountered a great road for motorcycling, you'll never forget it. And that's a good thing.
I like to think that in every state, and certainly in every country, there is at least ONE superb road for motorcycle riding. Some regions of this country are blessed with numerous roads that are delightful.
Unfortunately, there are also roads that are not so great - the worst of which, at least in my experience, was a mountain road in California - 26 miles of thick medium sized freshly-placed gravel. That road was responsible for a few flat tires, and much swearing. We all got through it, but for most of us, it wasn't much fun.
No matter what type of road, unless you are absolutely guaranteed that you are the ONLY vehicle on that particular road, or on any intersecting roads, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when riding on public roads.
What You Need to Know for Every Road
* Any road can change at any moment - asphalt can become gravel or mud - keep looking ahead.
* Keep aware of what may be happening on the side of the road - watch for animals, turning vehicles, bicycles - police.
* Watch out for potholes, railroad crossings, rounded roads, and curbs.
* Usually speed limits are indicative of how curvy (and dangerous) a road is - pay attention.
* Pass only when you are clearly able to see ahead of the car you are passing (never in a blind curve).
* If you are tired, pull over. It's not worth it to ride tired.
* Alcohol and motorcycling don't mix. They just don't. You need all the reaction time you can get while motorcycling.
* Be respectful of other drivers - don't give them any reason to mess with you.
Without a Doubt, Some of the Most Challenging Roads are Gravel Roads
Sometimes I don't mind hours of highway riding, other times I find it extremely tiring. Highways are for families in station wagons and minivans, stopping at rest stops for potty breaks and ice cream. Not for motorcyclists.
Unfortunately, if you want to travel by motorcycle, you are going to spend some time on highways - in the States and in Europe. It can't be helped. So find a way to cope, and put the miles in.
I used to fear highway riding because of the wind, speed and the unpredictability of the other drivers.
Read My Tips for Surviving On the Highways
Share the Road:
In every state, and in every country, there are animals that share the road with vehicles and motorcycles. In the west, I was wary of bears, moose and deer. When riding in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin, especially in the Fall, I watch out for deer - especially at night.
Watch Out for Animals
In Spain, we encountered a bull in the middle of a road. And proceeded very cautiously by.
When riding in the Scottish highlands, we encountered sheep, sheep and more sheep in the road - and we learned how to ride by them without spooking them.
we came across some extremely un-sheep-like creatures. Creatures with really big horns.
Yep, we rode by very slowly.
Country roads and twisty roads are particularly challenging, but equally fun. Learn, from my mistakes, how to navigate the most fun roads - the Twisties!
Traveling by motorcycle IS an adventure sport. I love the exhilaration that comes with cornering a turn well, or after riding down a wet muddy gravel road with no instability or insecurity. I feel as if I could conquer anything after riding through some particularly challenging curves.
Roads are wonderful...if you are a motorcyclist. Especially if you are a woman motorcycle rider.
Go forth, ride and conquer!
Submit Your Own Great Motorcycle Road!