The recent spell of hot weather has brought with it longer, lighter Summer nights. Hurrah I hear you cry! It has also brought with it more opportunities to get out there and finally rack up some miles on your motorbike. Inevitably with increased traffic on the roads accidents are bound to happen.
During the course of the last week, tragically six motorcyclists in Hampshire have lost their lives. The unusually high number is thought to be as a result of hotter temperatures. The Think Bike campaign has been rolled out already and car drivers are being urged to be extra conscious of motorbikes on the roads.
The weather conditions can impact a rider’s enjoyment. Notably fewer people decide to venture out during the winter months other than due to necessity but Spring and Summer normally offer the optimum conditions for a rider and the bike. Extended periods of time in the heat can be unbearable for some, unless you prepare.
Those forward thinking manufacturers, never missing a trick, have realised that there is a specialist market for clothing to keep riders more comfortable during Summer trips but there are other less costly measures a rider can take to keep cool.
• When choosing your route if possible try to avoids areas where you might be exposed to direct sunlight. Consider the following:
• Keep in the shade – a country road lined with trees can help to break the temperature and offer greater protection from the sun.
• Riders should try to avoid routes where there will be increased stops at pedestrian crossings or in built up towns. The motorbike engine will get hot very quickly and the heat from the road and the engine will rise, engulfing the rider.
• Check your route before you go. Look out for road works and listen out for traffic reports. Long traffic queues can cause unexpected delays and grueling waiting times in sticky heat.
• The conscientious rider will have a journey plan in mind but it can do no harm to pack some extras to keep you safe along the way.
• Packing a water bottle with at least half a days worth of water is good practice and will be a welcome treat when the sun has finally reached its peak and the nearest service station is a good 30 minutes away.
• Always let someone know where you are going and take a fully charged mobile phone. Although mobile reception is not always guaranteed at least someone knows what your intended route was.
Clearly we haven’t quite reached the temperature heights of the Mediterranean but you can never be too prepared!
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