Motorcycle Safety: Taking a Breather

Aug 27, 2016 View Comments by

Motorcycle Safety: Taking a BreatherHere’s the situation: the sun is shining, and you’re carving your way down a beautiful mountain road. The curves are exhilarating and plentiful. It’s a perfect riding day. You’re humming along having a blast when you slice around yet another spectacular bend and run straight into a bunch of gravel deposited by the previous day’s heavy rains. Your bike slides out from under you, and the two of you skid across the road. You come to a stop with adrenalin coursing through your veins. You leap to your feet and a quick self-assessment reveals no injuries—you were wearing full gear after all, and the crash happened at a relatively low speed anyway. You run over to your bike eager to see what damage has been done. The adrenalin is still pumping, so you yank your motorcycle up off the asphalt with little regard for proper technique and are pleased to find that aside from a few scuffs your beloved steed isn’t much worse for the wear.

What now? Do you dust yourself off and continue your ride? Or do you take a breather?

While it may be tempting to get right back on the horse after a minor spill, it can be the absolute worst thing you can do. When the adrenalin wears off after an incident, many riders experience shaking, become light headed, or even pass out—a mild form of shock. Obviously, if you’re on your motorcycle when these symptoms occur, you’re in serious danger of a second, and potentially far worse, crash.

This is why if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, it’s very important that you take at least 20-30 minutes to let the excitement of the moment subside before getting back on the motorcycle. This is a good time to make a more detailed assessment to ensure both you and the bike are fit to keep riding. If after you’ve cooled down for a bit you feel 100-percent ready to resume with none of the previously mentioned symptoms, then you’re probably in the clear. If, however, you have any reservations about yourself or your bike, it’s best to call a tow truck and/or a friend/loved one to come pick you up. Of course, if you have any physical injuries, you should immediately call 911 for medical assistance.

Have you ever had a similar experience?

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