Country roads give the exhilaration many bikers crave, even when commuting to work during lockdown, but they often have sharp or blind bends that can hide countless potential hazards.
Bushes, trees and even buildings can block our view and obscure oncoming hazards, and there’s always the potential of being faced with animals in the road as we enter or exit a bend.
Consider this: you may have done the same route a thousand times, you know how sharp the next corner is, you even know the location of a pothole that you've noticed getting bigger over the past few weeks. But, unfortunately you’ll never ever know 100% what’s around the next corner until you get there. A broken down vehicle, a piece of debris, pedestrians in the carriageway, a horse rider...anything.
Most of us already do this, but it’s worth remembering that we should always ride at a speed which will allow us to stop in the distance we can see to be clear.
Speed limits are an absolute maximum - on many occasions it could be inappropriate to ride at that speed, so we need to use our own judgement.
We all know that roads are not the place to be catching the apex or getting our knee down as close to the tarmac as possible. If you’d like to do this sort of thing, consider attending a track day to get professional tuition in a safe controlled environment.
As bikes are most stable when the weight is distributed evenly and travelling in a straight line, always be aware of what you’re expecting your bike to do in a bend – going in too fast and just expecting the tyres to grip is a recipe for disaster. Throw in rain or icy conditions and some wet drains or manhole covers, and the outcome may not be what you hoped.
Please remember to 'Brake Before The Bend, Not On It'– this one simple step could help you prepare for what’s around the next corner, and hopefully get home safely.