December 2006 Safety Thoughts

Preparing for the First Ride of the Year 

by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer 


Our next Chapter Ride is the annual Frostbite Ride.  This ride presents us with many special challenges.

Most obvious of these challenges is the need to stay warm.  With all the various pieces of heated clothing Harley has available, along with heated grips & heated seat options, electrically supplemented warmth is readily available.  Add leathers, helmet, shield, a good face mask to cover any exposed skin & you’re all set.

The next challenge is special seasonal road hazards that come with the cold weather.  First is the frosty road condition referred to frequently as "black ice".  Moisture can accumulate on roadways overnight & when temperatures & humidity levels are right, this sneaky hazard can put a motorcyclist down in an instant.  It is a particularly nasty hazard because it can be invisible at first glance.  Exercise caution.

Another, but more obvious special seasonal road hazard is salt particles left undissolved by moisture from rain or snow.  This can act like sand on the roadway, causing loss of traction.  This is particularly hazardous if you’ve been riding unsalted roads and just happen to travel into an area that has been salted starting with the corner you’re about to enter or intersection you need to make a turn or stop at.  

Be alert to these challenges & changing sets of road hazards and you'll be able to experience additional saddle time and start the new year off on a high note.. 

Tip - Clean the bike immediately after each ride this time of year to prevent corrosion. 

Ride Safe!