©2018 by Elizabeth Littrell

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We do what we think and practice. Be prepared!

 

  1. Assume you’re invisible to others— be prepared with an escape plan.

  2. Look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid—your bike follows your eyes.

  3. Don’t let another’s driving influence your own. Avoid road rage.

  4. Focus on the ride; don’t let your mind wander.

  5. Don’t ride distracted, tired, or intoxicated. Take breaks often.

  6. Load your bike securely and check it often. Bungie cords and nets break.

  7. Practice with your new bike or when your bike is altered by accessories or a heavy load.

  8. If it looks slippery, ride as if it is. Rain washes loose debris into the road.

  9. Don’t blindly trust the GPS. Routes change. Watch the weather ahead—A GPS can help you reroute to avoid the worst.

  10. Check your bike before riding; T-CLOCS: Tires and wheels, Controls, Lights and electronics, Oil and fluids, Chassis, Stands.   The most common cause of motorcycle tire failure is low tire air pressure. Perform regular maintenance.

  11. Two lanes by day, multi-lanes by night if possible to avoid nocturnal wildlife

  12. Always carry a first-aid kit, flashlight, raingear, and tools.

  13. Ride your ride, don’t outride your experience or confidence.

  14. When pulling into traffic, take another look before making your move.

  15. Take check-out rides with seasoned riders; ask for feedback.

  16. Use both brakes to slow. Avoid using front brake in slow turns.

  17. Constantly sweep the area ahead with your eyes. Don’t stare at any object.

  18. Maintain a gap of 2-4 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. Look for conditions 12 seconds ahead. Flash your brake lights when slowing.

  19. Practice emergency swerves and stops often. If you are going to hit it, stay straight to the obstacle.

  20. When approaching a blind curve or cresting a hill, stay away from the centerline.

  21. Wear boots, helmet, and gear to cover what you want to protect. Your choice, your risk.

  22. Get training, practice often, and encourage others to do likewise.

  23. Set a safety example for others. Coach your backseat rider before starting off.

  24. Don’t trust your mirrors— look. Stay out of vehicles’ blind spots.

  25. Look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid.

  26. Avoid big trucks, loaded pickups and trailers. Watch for signs of distracted drivers and put distance between you and them.

  27. Slow down going into a curve and power through it.

  28. Don’t outdrive your view of the road ahead.

  29. No matter who has the right-of-way, the cage wins in a collision. Bikers seldom survive an accident without serious injury.

  30. Keep your headlights on high beam in the daytime. Wear bright colors and use running lights to improve your visibility to others.

  31. Keep both brakes covered, especially in traffic or hazardous conditions.

  32. Carry gear appropriate for potential weather.

  33. Look for obstacles in front of the vehicle ahead of you. When possible, be in front.

Defensive Riding Tips