Spring has officially arrived! Motorcycle enthusiasts are hoping for a mild season with great riding weather. With longer days, you can also look forward to more hours of daylight.
On the flipside, road hazards often emerge after the long winter season. In addition to brushing up on your skills and performing bike maintenance before you head out, also keep your eyes peeled for the following hazards.
Rough, Damaged Pavement
Winter conditions can take a serious toll on the roadways. Although issues are often addressed by the town or state within the first months of spring, they still pose a hazard to riders. As a general rule, always look ahead to anticipate potential risks and avoid losing control or puncturing a tire.
While potholes are a big hazard, they are not the only one to look out for. Riders should also be mindful of the following:
- Leftover sand and road salt used to melt snow and improve traction.
- Melted snow making the roadways slicker.
- Patches of ice and frost from leftover snow that melts and refreezes.
- Corners where winter debris has been gathering all season long.
- Rough patches, which give the pavement an uneven surface.
Car and truck drivers have not seen a motorcycle in months. As a result, they’re not likely to be on the lookout for riders behind or beside them. It may take some time to remember to share the road.
Bikers should ride defensively and follow the rules of the road. Never lane split and always give cars space to avoid getting caught in their blind spots.
Whenever you approach an intersection, make sure other motorists see you before pulling into traffic. If you’re entering a multi-lane road, be mindful of the car drivers around you who may be changing lanes.
Animals By the Road
Animals are coming out of winter hibernation, which means you’re more likely to spot them alongside or crossing the road.
They might appear suddenly, causing you to sharply apply your brakes. To anticipate this risk, slow down and pay attention to your surroundings, especially around dawn and dusk.
Cold, Rain and Frostbite
This time of year, days might feel warmer but the weather is still unpredictable. For this reason, you need to anticipate colder evenings, the potential rainstorm and the risk of frostbite.
Any exposed skin is at risk, but particularly fingers. Pack a few extra layers of clothing and protection for your hands and face. Also be prepared to make more frequent stops to warm yourself up with a hot beverage, which can help fight cold-induced fatigue.
Where are you planning your first spring rides? Share your favorite destinations on our Facebook page.