Fall is a wonderful time to be outside on your bike, thanks to the crisp, cool weather and changing colors of the landscape. Staying safe on the road in autumn requires some special precautions, however. Because we at First West want you to be around to enjoy the beauty of the open road, even in the fall, we’ve put together some great tips for you.
Be vigilant about visibility
When fall rolls around, the days are getting shorter, which means your late-afternoon ride can turn into an evening ride very quickly. Make sure you carry proper reflective gear, along with replacement bulbs, and any other basic equipment that can help ensure your visibility. And keep in mind that the sun is lower in the sky, so the glare may make it harder for you to see the road – and for other drivers to see you. (Those drivers may well be distracted by the scenery, too, so look out!)
Keep cool, but not too cool
In California, you know that conditions can change quickly. Even on a warm day, a cold night might be just an hour or two away. So pack your cold-weather gear when you head out, and beware of frost and ice on roadways if you’re in an area susceptible to freezing.
Consider the conditions
Roads in the fall can present a number of dangers. Rain can make roads slick, and standing water can cause you to hydroplane or lose control. Lower temperatures can bring frost, ice and even snow. In the latter two instances, it might be best to just leave the bike in the garage. But if you’re already on the road when it starts getting cold, remember that certain parts of roadways, such as bridges and overpasses, will frost over more quickly. And even those beautiful autumn leaves can be a hazard when they start to fall off the trees and onto the road.
Beware of deer
Fall also brings an increase in deer activity, so be extra vigilant, particularly in rural areas. Deer tend to be most active around dawn and dusk when visibility can be limited. Pay attention to deer crossing signs and always be alert to your surroundings.
Fall can be one of the best times to ride, but also one of the most dangerous. So take a little extra care and maybe a little extra time. Doing so will help you stay safe while you take in the scenery.
Other safety resources
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a great resource to learn more about safety gear and motorcycling in general, as is the American Motorcyclist Association. Remember, we’re here to help too! If you have questions about insurance coverage for your bike, or want more safety resources, give us a call at 714-842-2523.
At First West, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 714-842-2523, or send us a note at info [at] firstwest [dot] net. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!