For many motorcyclists the fall season in the Northeast means a ride with crisp days and a colorful display of leaves. Here are some tips for safe riding this season.
Fall Riding Tips
Leaf-covered roads = poor traction.
Wet leaf covered roads = even less traction.
Frosty roads = zero traction
So ride accordingly. Your approach toward fall riding should be enhanced from your everyday riding. Not only do you need to observe obvious road hazards, those same hazards and more can be hidden by leaves and low shadows.
Just the opposite of shadows, the sun’s angle this time of year can cause issues with visibility. In “The Outlaw Josey Wales” Chief Dan George told Clint “it might be an advantage to have the sun at your back”, but that might not be the case if sun glare prevents other drivers from seeing you. Not to mention the restricted vision when you are headed in the sun’s direction.
Be acutely aware of the “Sunday” driver. “Leaf Peepers” have been known to park on blind corners and stop anywhere for no apparent reason other than to observe nature in its splendor. Be wary of those same drivers sneaking into your oncoming lane while their eyes are off the road. That being said, be aware of your own “gazing at the pretty colors”, and don’t be tempted to ride through a leaf pile, you never know what’s lying at the bottom.
Roads may be frost covered when you first start out on that early morning ride. Keep your lean angle higher and your speed down a few notches until the frost burns off. And speaking of frost, this time of year remember that old rhyme “When the frost is on the pumpkin, that’s the time for Dickey to wear the proper clothing when he goes riding”. Wear the proper gear and dress in layers. That way you can remove or add layers as needed.