Motorcycle Safety

“MOTORCYCLE SAFETY”

(This Is How We Do It)

The purpose of riding in an organized group instead of an undisciplined pack is to provide the additional safety that a well-organized group inherently generates. This comes from within the group, as well as the outside. When a group rides in an orderly fashion, people don’t get in each others way, and the organization of the formation itself discourages cars from attempting to cut in.

Once riding rules have been adopted by an organization, EVERYONE riding with the organization is expected to follow them. Anyone violating the rules, and compromising everyone else’s safety, will be warned, and if their actions continue, will no longer be welcome to ride with the chapter.

The following rules are compiled from a number of sources. Most organizations that ride in orderly formations follow similar rules. Details may vary from one group to another, sometimes because of a particular style of riding by the group, or sometimes because there are a number of reasonable options, so they chose the one they prefer.

    • Be considerate – have a full tank BEFORE arriving at the departure point.
    • Tell the Road Captain if you have any special concerns, i.e. speed, sharp corners, etc
    • Tell the Road Captain and Tail gunner if you plan to leave the group before the destination. Also tell the persons riding in front and behind you so they don’t think you are having a problem.
    • When a rider leaves the group while in staggered formation, the best way to compensate for the hole made by his absence is for each rider behind the missing bike to change lanes. Doing this eliminates passing in a single lane.
    • Tell the Road Captain if your bike (or bladder) has an unusually short fuel range
  • Bring adequate clothing for the weather conditions expected during the day.
  • Remember to take some clear eye protection if the ride will extend into the evening.
  • When exiting a freeway, keep up the pace so the riders behind you aren’t forced to slow down while still on the freeway, thus becoming a traffic hazard.
  • The position of new (inexperienced with GROUP riding) riders within the group is significant. New riders should be positioned as close to the front as possible
  • In the unlikely event of an emergency condition, the Road Captain will make every attempt to move the formation to the shoulder in an orderly manner. If a bike breaks down, let the rider move to the right. DO NOT STOP. The Tail Gunner will stop with the problem bike. The ride Leader will lead the group to a safe stopping place.
  • We started with consideration…lets end there. When riding with a club or the same group frequently, plan to purchase a EZ PASS so that the rest of the riders don’t have to wait for you to pay to come through the toll booth. Serious riders agree that EZ PASS is the greatest thing since black pepper! The Road Captain should be advised (in advance) of visitors riding with the club/group, or other riders, who have to pay tolls. These riders should split out from the group BEFORE reaching the toll plaza, so as not to hold up the group. When the formation arrives at the tollbooth, all bikes should proceed through the toll booth one at a time. The formation will reform on the other side of the tollbooth.

“SAFETY FIRST”

How much is enough when it comes to learning about the ‘art’ of motorcycling? Truth is, you can never know too much.

Collectively, we’ve traveled over a million miles, and one thing we agree on unequivocally, is…

‘The more you know, the better it goes’

 

“RIDE FIT”

Riding a motorcycle takes skill, concentration, and being alert and aware of your environment and options at all times.

Skilled riders:

  • identify potentially hazardous situations/conflict
  • make intelligent judgements about the best action to take
  • execute based on decisions, quickly and skillfully

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that your ability to operate a motorcycle optimally, perform and respond to changing road and traffic conditions is influenced by how fit you are.

There is a wealth of information in books, magazines, manuals and on the Internet. We’re going to talk about two factors that inhibit your ability to think clearly and ride safely:

  • Alcohol (and this includes drugs)
  • Fatigue

P.S. Make sure your horse is fit too.

“HEALTHY RIDING”

While surfing the Web and talking with other riders, we’ve picked up a few tips to share with you. If you have others, please pass them along and we’ll be happy to post.

The Ankle Sprain

As a motorcyclist, it is very important to have your feet and ankles in good health. It becomes a safety hazard whether riding in a group or solo.

If an ankle sprain is not treated appropriately, it leads to a chronic condition that can flare up at any time. Imagine not being able to change gears when necessary or loosing your balance when putting your foot down at a stop light or applying the brake.

With an appropriate examination by a Podiatrist, some ankle sprains can be avoided by the use of orthotics that put the foot and ankle musculature back in balance.

If you experience an ankle sprain make sure that you have it properly treated. Many times I have patients that come into my office stating that they went to the ER and were treated for ‘just an ankle sprain.’ After examination and further x-rays, I have found ankle fractures.

When a diagnosis of an ankle sprain is confirmed, certain treatments should take place that:

  1. Decrease pain
  2. Prevent further injury to the surrounding ligaments
  3. Prevent prolonged disability

Immobilization is important to maintain the integrity of the injured extremity. Free ambulation (walking) is not only painful, but also often risky. Appropriate treatment, surrounds, edema reduction, muscle strengthening, and proprioceptive exercises are required.

  • The primary goal of ankle rehabilitation is the return to normal activity and should:
  • Ankle should be void of swelling
  • There should be pain free ambulation
  • Muscle strengths should be symmetrical in both limbs
  • There should be no limp with walking
  • One should be able to run in figure eights or do a
  • one-legged hop without pain. These maneuvers place stress on the ankle.

Courtesy of PMBSMC Dennis ‘Doc’ Castillo, Podiatrist.