Riding in the Autumn

Motorcyclists generally fall into two categories – those who dust off their bikes when the weather gets warmer and the days get longer and those who battle the elements, riding their motorcycle all year round.

It doesn’t matter when you ride.  You have to be alert at all times and deal with the hazards encountered; which is all the more difficult in some weather conditions, or at different times of the day or year.

Being on two wheels means that you are more vulnerable than other road users and reduced visibility at night means you need your wits about you even more during the months of reduced daylight.

The clocks going back and shorter days brings more riding in the dark, so we need to check that all lights are clean and working correctly and wear kit with reflective features to make ourselves as visible as possible.

Autumn weather conditions are notoriously changeable; cold nights can catch you unprepared and lower temperatures bring morning frost. It’s wise to remember that shaded areas and bridges will take longer to thaw and may still be wet or icy long after the sun makes an appearance.

Another consequence of shorter days is that the sun is much lower in the sky and glare can be blinding at times. Watch out when riding on tree lined routes - as leaves are shed the strobe-effect patterns of light and shade created, can be very distracting. Leaves on the road can hide potholes and manhole covers, and you can come across wet slippery leaves and debris unexpectedly in shaded areas.

With fewer riders venturing out over the next couple of months, drivers are possibly less likely to be expecting to see us out on our bikes.  So make yourself as conspicuous as possible and help avoid the dreaded “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”.

Monday, 07 November 2022