Thoughts from an Early Season Ride

Published by Liane Langlois on

Or Any Ride for that Matter

by R. Bruce Thomas

Is my side stand up I'd hate to stall it on this first ride before everything becomes automatic again

Were all my lights working before starting this ride

Early season rides are perfect – no bugs

Is my visor clean

How about my mirrors

Did I do all the off-season maintenance that I had to do

  • Oil & filter
  • Engine coolant
  • Chain lube
  • New chain and sprocket
  • Final drive oil
  • Flush the brakes
  • Check the clutch cable or fluid
  • Air filter
  • Are my tires ok
  • Does the horn work
  • Levers
  • Tool kit
  • Tire patch kit
  • Tire sealant
  • Air pump

ATGATT because the skin graft clinic doesn’t sound like fun

  • Speaking of body parts have I been exercising enough?

Am I ready to ride

  • Did I buy new riding gear
  • Do I have all the gear packed that I need
  • Rain gear
  • Spare gloves
  • Tinted visor or sunglasses
  • Ball cap
  • Umbrella for shade after a breakdown or collision
  • Did I pack my spare eyeglasses
  • Can I remember how to work my comm system
  • Did I recharge all of my electronics
  • Have I packed the proper USB cables and chargers
  • Water bottles
  • Snack foods
  • Are the soles of my boots ok or should I get them re-soled
  • Should I buy new boots
  • When I carry a passenger do I have all the gear for them
  • How is the road surface
  • Am I scanning all my instruments
  • Mirror check

Is my lane positioning making me visible or invisible to other drivers

  • Am I using my high beams in a defensive manner
  • Be extra alert with traffic at intersections
  • Did they look at me
  • Did they see me
  • Is that car going to pull out in front of me
  • Remember I am the self in self-cancelling signal lights
  • Don’t ride behind that bus
  • Bus stops ruin your flow in traffic
  • Same for sitting behind big trucks at traffic lights
  • And when truck tires blowout you don’t want to be riding beside that truck
  • Am I staying out of the blind spots of other drivers
  • Am I giving a wide berth to those drivers with tinted windows
  • Can't see them shoulder check or reach for their signal light don't want to be nearby
  • Is that a lot of brake lights coming on up ahead better slow down
  • Speed differential in traffic is something to be mindful of
  • Do I have at least one finger on the brake lever
  • Fingers on the clutch
  • Is my thumb on the horn button when in traffic so I can make excessive noise only if I really need to

Am I at the back of a group ride

  • If yes are my high beams on so the leader can spot me easily
  • Do we have emergency contact info for everyone on the group ride

Better yet – does everyone have a medical data carrier (mdc) on their helmet

Have I re-stocked my first aid kit

Were last years photos moved off my camera

  • Did I pack my tripod

Am I making smart decisions

Neil Peart wrote that when riding “whatever happens, it must not be my fault”

  • Live by those words
  • Am I watching far enough ahead to facilitate merging traffic
  • Do I know where I'm going so I'm prepared for turns
  • Yes, it’s construction season
  • What is my plan b if I miss a turn or there are detours
  • Who knows where I'm going and when to expect my return

Man I love riding

  • It’s my happy place
  • Peaceful and focused despite all the stuff rattling around in my brain
  • Ride safe everyone
Categories: News