Some of us can’t stand the thought of putting up the motorcycle at the end of summer. The idea of not being able to ride in the winter and fall is a real and prudent plan for a lot of us in the north and the concerns are valid. For myself, I can’t stand going about town in my leather riding jacket while driving my pick up and I won’t put it away because I just need to ride. It is how I find my peace and my joy in life. Before you start, make sure that your motorcycle is ready for winter. So if you are going to ride at least through fall we both need to stay mindful and that is what I am going to go over next.
Watch the Other Drivers
With fall comes the start of the holiday season. That means you will be contending with the crunk drivers as well as the angry drivers. Or on the flip side, you are going to have those excited happy drivers whose team just won Friday night football. So while you’ve known from riding through the summer that other drivers are always to be carefully watched, that goes double for the fall. People just have too many reasons to act stupid on the road.
Watch for Wildlife
If you live near the Rockies you know that in the fall when the temperature drops the animals that have been getting fat in the high valleys to come down in the fall and winter. So not only will there be more deer and other wildlife on the roads, but this is also their mating season. The rut is more than something to just laugh off. Vehicle crashes go way up in November. The deer are high on pheromones and running around trying to find each other so keep your eye out.
Sun Sets Fast
Days are getting shorter and there is a good chance that bright afternoon ride you take after work is going to be in the dark now. That is not inherently bad, just adjust your speed accordingly.
Watch the Thermometer
Yup. As the sun sets earlier the temperatures are going to drop quickly too. Even if it is a mild forty-five degrees through the afternoon, it can easily drop below freezing as the sun dips down. That means you are going to need to watch for ice. Also just in case, it isn’t obvious that means you the beautiful afternoon weather will leave you out in the cold so even if it is a nice comfortable day take a motorcycle rain gear, some nice textile motorcycle pants but especially some insulated motorcycle riding gloves. You aren’t going to get too far if you can’t feel your hands.
Mind the Road
I already mentioned the ice but I’ll say it again and I’ll add another reminder. Every one of those leaves that fall from the trees and build upon the road will retain moisture. Even a bone dry road you are enjoying can harbor some wet leaves that will put you down in a split second if you aren’t paying attention. Overall wet roads mean less traction so mind your speed and the corners. You may also tripe check the tread of your tires and depending on where you live switching out the tires entirely to grip the road better.
So to sum up. Stay warm, stay focused, and mind the other drivers, and the animals too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves. For me, I remember what is out there and making sure I have the right gear. Take a look at our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well as the website at wickstock.com for any of that fall gear you are lacking.