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Old 02-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
Mala Lingua
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Beware the Ides of March

Spring's around the corner, and it's inevitable; we're going to start seeing more texts/posts about riders down.

Some of us leave cold/wet riding to the youngin's and garage our bikes through inclement winter, so I'd like to see some experienced riders' thoughts about considerations as batteries are charged, tires are aired up, and we collectively re-emerge. I can't speak about mechanical issues, but I do have a bit of general advice:

1. Make certain that the skill level you believe you're riding at and what you're actually currently capable of are in line. None of us forget how to ride, but it's like shooting-- it's a maintenance skill.

2. Spend some significant solo time out riding before jumping back into group riding.

3. Actively think about some of your close calls/previous mistakes--those things we all experience and make adjustments to our riding to account for.

4. Make sure your license, inspection, and tags are current, etc. If there's anything that's likely to draw unwanted attention and cause you to even consider running from the popo, get that chit straight before you ride.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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great thread!
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #3
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Now that I think of it,,,the longest I have been off the bike is 5 weeks...when i broke both my ankles after hitting the deer in Ohio...

Yeah..getting back on the bike after that was awkward for a few days....still fear hooking my foot and twisting it in low corners..
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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Main things I repeat to myself over and over are countersteer and look where you want to go.

I am off my bike for a month at a time on average for work, so the first couple rides are knocking the rust off, and exaggerating the body and head into the turn to get everything back to riding again.

Simple habits that disappear while driving a cage.. all your instincts are wrong for a bike and that is what gets 90% of the people into trouble.

Other things are simple bike maintenance:

check the tires
look over the forks, brakes, engine for obvious leaks/wear
clean, lube and adjust the chain
if it's been parked long enough, give it a good going over for any loose or missing fasteners
check all the lights
make sure registration and inspection and insurance are up to date
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Last edited by texlurch; 02-20-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Been riding all year around so far. The longest between rides has been 5 days. This mild winter has been great.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Practice emergency braking
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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pee every chance you get....think about your riding, not having to go to the potty
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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One of the hardest things for people to grasp is LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!
Sounds easy, but takes awhile for some people to learn. I know of 2 different things to practice to learn this.

Another thing to practice is COVERING YOUR CLUTCH. It can be your lifeline in certain situations or when the bike is seemingly getting out of your control.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:20 AM   #9
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In the city cover your clutch AND brake.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
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In the city cover your clutch, brake, AND .
fify
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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I'm not an experienced rider, but I'll add: always keep something in reserve on the street. There are too many variables, even out of the city, to ever warrant riding at your %100.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:55 AM   #12
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Any opportunity you get, get a knee down to promote even tire wear.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Any opportunity you get, get a knee down to promote even tire wear.
:gesture :
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #14
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great thread!
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
In the city cover your clutch AND brake.
I can't much ride without doing this. Makes me feel too vulnerable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obed View Post
pee every chance you get....think about your riding, not having to go to the potty
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #16
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I am closing on one year of riding, the most I have missed is ten consecutive days while on vacation. Normally I get out twice a week, lately the rains have reduced that.

I suggest: get your head into the "zone" those first few minutes on any ride. Focus and think about what you are doing. Forget the bitchy wife or girlfriend, work problems, and why the Texans lost. Warm up a few miles before twisting the throttle hard, and practice your correct curve technique, swerves and braking.

Every ride: examine what you learned, do a post-ride evaluation. An emergency swerve saved my a couple weeks ago.

Watch for squirrels on the road....and relax.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
One of the hardest things for people to grasp is LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!
Sounds easy, but takes awhile for some people to learn. I know of 2 different things to practice to learn this.

Another thing to practice is COVERING YOUR CLUTCH. It can be your lifeline in certain situations or when the bike is seemingly getting out of your control.
do share. I've been teaching my girl to ride, in the dirt. I explain this but as with most newbies it's tough to get comfortable with. Maybe a fresh perspective or new drill would help.
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Anyone wear chaps with fishnet shirts? My friends give me for it, but I feel most comfortable this way. Just seeing if anyone else out there feels the same. Also looking for other men interested in riding.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #18
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I usually glance over my safety manual from time to time , just to stay current.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:25 PM   #19
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I use to not think about this, but now that I am getting older:

Stretching and bending like you do while riding. Head turns, waist turns simulating looking to the sides. Bending your knees and calf stretches.

If you ride a desk for work, you'll feel better when your out riding your bike, if you stay limber!
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
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do share. I've been teaching my girl to ride, in the dirt. I explain this but as with most newbies it's tough to get comfortable with. Maybe a fresh perspective or new drill would help.
First one is to show what not to do, can do this in a driveway, or street. Take their hands on either side of their face, like they are "horse blinders". Them them to fixate on an object directly in front, and then you stand way off to the side, create a walking path that would be like taking a turn or curve. Show them out if you fixate and not look through the corner, she will never be able to walk directly to you, as she is fixated on the "object" instead of following you. Might get close, but it should be a crazy drunk man's line "in the viscinity" of you.

Second part is "finding the exit". When you're getting ready for a turn, and setting up your entry speed, the next thing I was told to practice was to find the exit. I would mentally ask myself "Where do I want to be at the end of this turn". Naturally, while scanning to find this position out, your head is already turned in the direction you want to go and consequently where you'll end up of course. Instead of just REactively looking 10-20 feet in front you as the road changes, you're PROactively deciding where you'll be.
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