Watch Out Rounding a Curve

Black Hills National Forest

When riding your motorcycle, danger possibly lurks everywhere.

Riding through the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota on my first day, I came across wildlife on or near the road numerous times. Luckily for me, the deer took off running in the opposite direction when I neared them. However, on this particular curve, there was a cow in the middle of the road.

Had I been speeding or not focused on the road before me, this could have resulted in a very serious accident, if not death. The simple secret is to ride the speed limit and if a turn ahead seems sharp, slow down significantly because you will not know what is around the bend until it is too late. For long, sweeping turns, I also slowed down.

New roads means lack of knowledge. I know it is tempting to see the open road and hit the throttle hard, but remember, it is a numbers game. The more you do it, the more you increase your odds of coming up hard and fast against an obstacle in the road such as a car around the bend that stopped to take photos of wildlife and is now slowly getting back on to the road.

I am aware of this even when driving, so I make it a point to park far enough ahead to avoid any issues, but the reality is most people do not give it much thought, especially in a new town and where they are fascinated by the sites.

A few weeks ago our group, M.S.A.R., participated in a large group ride for the annual blessing of the bikes. On the highway, near downtown Miami, tourists parked in the emergency lane and stepped out of their rental car to take selfies with the Miami skyline in the background. Not a smart thing to do with cars whizzing by at 55 mph.

Make sure to stay focused on the road straight ahead. Ride looking straight ahead and use your peripheral vision, not twisting your head to the side for extended periods of time.

Remember, at 60 mph, you are traveling at approximately 90 feet per second. Imagine hitting the throttle, now 90 mph is 135 feet per second. Three seconds later, you have traveled a total of 405 feet.

Remember, the best rides are the ones where you make it back home in one piece.

Ride safe, ride smart, and just ride.

MC Atty


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