Hello riding Divas……hasn’t the summer weather been wonderful for riding! Summer means many things to me—even now, the warmth of the morning sun, the bird’s songs announcing the coming of a new day, the sweet smell of flowers along the country back roads, the sun glowing on my face, hair blowing in the wind, evening breezes warm enough for tank tops, and the moon and stars lighting up the sky bring me back to the youthful excitement of days full of promise of fun and relaxation.
That brings us to the topic of over-exposure to the sun. I recently read an article by the
American Cancer Society (ACS) showing an increased need to educate people about the importance of wearing sunscreen. According to the study, almost three-quarters of those
surveyed reported getting sunburned in the summer. Of those with sunburns, only a little more than one-third used sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Most of the riders we ride with all have sunscreen in their saddlebags, but it’s not until someone else is applying it that they bring out theirs! My advice is to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every two hours or more often when swimming and perspiring. And don’t forget, you can still get sunburned on a hazy day, so just make it a habit to apply sunscreen every day.
I encourage you to take full advantage of these beautiful summer days and get out there and make lots of memories and Kodak moments!
It was so nice to meet you at Margarita’s bike night last month and I enjoy your column.
We briefly talked about several subjects regarding riding, but this came up with some friends of ours last weekend. I don’t like to ride at night and my vision doesn’t seem to be as sharp….maybe my age is a factor! I’m 42 years old; do you have any tips for night riding?
Thanks for your input on our magazine, it was great meeting you too and I hope to see you on some rides this summer.
In answer to your question, first I would definitely make an appointment for an annual eye examination. You are right—as we age, our eyesight begins to fail and you may need corrective lenses.
The ability to see and be seen is especially limited at night so here are a few suggestions for night riding: A clean, scratch-free windshield and helmet shield is a must for night riding.
Wear reflective clothing or light colors to make you more visible.
Reduce your speed at night, especially on roads you don’t know well.
Stay off two-lane country roads and be extra careful along river bottoms where the deer are.
Keep a greater distance between other vehicles and leave more space around you.
Be flexible about your lane position; change your position as your need to see and be seen changes.
Use your high beams when you are not following or approaching oncoming traffic. Other drivers have a hard time spotting your headlight and taillight due to the glare from stronger lights on other cars.
Use the lights on the car ahead to get a better view of the road ahead. If you see bouncing taillights on the vehicle in front, you can bet there are bumps in the road or rough pavement ahead.
Communicate with drivers in other vehicles by using the proper signals, brake lights and lane position.
Remain alert and always stay focused!
This is a good time to also talk about the following tips for using your mirrors: Check your mirrors every few seconds; this prevents you from getting caught off guard when someone is trying to pass you. Traffic situations change quickly.
When preparing for a lane change, use your mirrors and look over your shoulder.
Check your mirrors before slowing down or stopping suddenly.
Watch for cars approaching from behind when you are stopped at an intersection, and remember, the greatest potential for accidents is at intersections.
As I write this month’s article I am saddened to learn there were three motorcycle accidents this past weekend. One was a lady rider who was following her uncle; she didn’t make the exit or survive the accident. She also was not wearing a helmet. Her father passed away last June from cancer, and to honor him and his love for motorcycles she decided to take the MSF class and learn to ride. Riders, new and old….please be safe and always be a defensive rider… anticipate the unexpected.
If any motorcycle groups or organizations are interested in sponsoring a poker or dice run for your chapter or favorite charity please get in touch with me. The Liberty Fall Festival BBQ Contest is looking for a group to start and finish the ride at Clayview Country Club on Saturday, September 24, 2005. Your group would keep all the proceeds from the run! The committee will offer a few perks to the bikers who participate. Entertainment will be The Bob Harvey Band, the beer garden will be open and food available for purchase. Great opportunity for a group with few volunteers!
Check out their website at www.scbbq.org then e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for further details if you are interested.
“Never ride faster than your angel can fly”
Ride safe, ride smart
Tip of the Month: Keep an eye out for tailgaters. Keep moving, but pull over as soon as possible whenever another driver is following too closely.