The fall months in Connecticut are the perfect time to get out on the motorcycle to ride the blacktop – crisp and clear and beautiful. But there are those days when the rain hits and you are still itching to ride. You always play it safe and check your bike before heading out. When it rains, take extra time to prepare.
Weather is not a predominant factor when gathering statistics for motorcycle accidents. But when you live in an area where the average rainfall is more than the national average, it is best to take precautionary measures. Take these following tips into account to have a safe ride:
- Cover and pack your stuff
Items are bound to get wet, no matter what you do. Use a waterproof or water-resistant backpack. Switch out your leather saddlebags for hard saddlebags. Put items in Ziploc bags, even those going into your backpack or saddlebags.
- Go around the puddles
You can never truly know how deep puddles are. Go around, if possible. Otherwise, slow down and ride through them. Alternatively, try to find a dry line, an area of the road where cars drive the most. This part of the lane may be drier and cause less slippage. If you cannot avoid a puddle, be cautious. Brake and accelerate slowly.
- Watch out for the slick stuff
Oil tends to cause accidents, and rain makes it worse. Be careful at intersections. Oil slicks are usually multicolored, like rainbows. Try to avoid them.
- Keep yourself dry
Use waterproof gear. Wear gloves because wet hands do not handle controls well. Wear wool socks or, even better, Gore-Tex for warmth. Buy waterproof clothing that is reflective and bright enough for other drivers to see.
Riding in the rain may cause stress, so try to stay relaxed throughout your drive. Use your headlight and position yourself for maximum visibility. Increase your braking distance because you will have less traction due to wet roads. If there is lightning, you may want to pull over until the storm blows past.