Riding Tip- From the Back Roads to the Highway

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Somewhere in Louisiana

This is a simple tip, but an important one since I have caught myself doing this many times.

A few months ago I had my dream trip of motorcycle riding cross-country to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I went as far west as Estes Park, Colorado, north to Wyoming, across the middle of the country, and as far east as the Carolinas.

Most of the trip was riding through the back roads, but I did have to jump on the interstate every so often, especially if I was short on time that day. One thing I noticed is that after taking long winding roads by myself, I was not ready psychologically for the highway.


Think of spending a few days on vacation, relaxing, doing nothing, sipping margaritas before noon. Then all of a sudden you are told to hurry up, get dressed, fight traffic and get to work!  Chances are you would not be ready to go from cruise control to 100 mph in seconds. The same applies to motorcycle riding where the stakes are much higher.

When riding through the back roads, you are on mental cruise control. You slouch more, you are taking in the sites, maybe you have your feet resting on the highway pegs or crash bars, and you may have one hand on the grip.

You have no one behind you, in front of you, or coming at you from your sides. You let your guard down. When riding in a congested area or on the interstate, your guard is up and your focus is intense. But if you don’t realize you are in cruise control, then it could be dangerous.

Next time you ride the back roads and hit the highway, don’t forget to make a mental note to sit straighter, put both feet on the floorboards, both hands on the grips, and start focusing again on the traffic around you.

Ride safe,

MC Atty

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