Geared to Ride

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By Shane ‘Rossey’ Ross

Hey bike fans, I’d like to talk to you about Motorcycle rider safety, especially for middle aged and return riders.

I have been riding motorcycles for 40 years, and I am an accredited motorcycle rider trainer.

Queensland suffered 74 motorcycle related fatalities this past year, which is the highest in Australia. These figures are accompanied with 463 hospitalised casualties during this time frame. A high number of motorcycle crashes are resulting from middle aged and returned riders.

Having proper motorcycle rider training, learning new skills and techniques to ensure your survival on the road is vital for safe riding. There are some videos you can view online, such as the Queensland Government initiative titled ‘Ride Craft’ which will give you some pointers, however grass roots face to face training will win every time.

As a middle aged or returned rider, there may be some things you forgot about motorcycling, not to mention years of studies and development of new techniques to keep you safer on the road…

“But I’ve been riding for years”, I hear you say….

I get that, but roads have become busier, time has become less, patience has become shorter, and throw in the fact that motorcycles have become more powerful mixes a nice little cocktail causing more and more crashes.

What can you do about this?

Jump online and check out the videos, and if you’re serious about learning some new skills to improve your safety, hit up your local rider training organisation and do a course, or get some lessons.

But just to kick you off, here is some advice that might just save your life.

1. Get your posture right, keep your head up and eyes level and grip the tank with your knees. This will improve balance as your bike will naturally go where you’re looking.

2. Don’t ride fatigued, if you’re tired, stay off the bike, you don’t have the luxury of 4 wheels to keep you upright.

3. Don’t mix alcohol or drugs with your ride, this can impair judgment, reflexes, coordination and depth perception.

4. Try not to ride at night, in the rain or during fog. This can affect vision and riding cold or wet affects concentration and the ability to judge situations. Not to mention slippery roads. And,

5. Don’t Ride angry or upset, this affects concentration and the ability to judge situations, causing inattentional blindness. This means seeing a potential hazard, but not perceiving it.

I hope this helps you stay safe on the road. And remember… Stay shiny side up, and ride your own ride… I’m Rossey, and I’m going to get you ‘Geared to Ride’.

Shane ‘Rossey’ Ross

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