TIPS FOR HOT WEATHER RIDING

How hot is too hot?

At some point, you have to ask yourself if it is simply too hot to ride your motorcycle. It is an entirely personal question to which the answer is sometimes, yes.

Today when I got into my car after work, the outside temperature read 104°F and crept up to 106°F while moving on the Expressway. I blissfully drove along in the cool of the AC. It was simply too hot to ride.

If you Decide to Brave the Heat

Hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate some more. Skip the caffeine, soda and alcohol. Go for water or a sports drink.

A good option to keep your fluids at a healthy level is to ride with a Camelback and sip as you go. It’s important that you try to stave off any of the symptoms of dehydration before they occur.

WebMD’s Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness, even fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output: Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.

Keep Cool with Evaporative Cooling

Wear a wet bandana or maybe Aerostich’s Evap-odana around your neck. There is also the option of using a cooling vest or the old-fashioned soaked t-shirt method.

Insulate your Body from the Sun and Heat

ATGATT helps with the heat too. Keep your skin fully covered and insulated.

Soundrider.com also notes that if the air temperature is below your regular body temperature, keep the vents open on your gear or opt for mesh garments. Once the temperature rises above your body temperature, close up vents to fight against the hot air. The moving hot air will heat up your cooler skin.

Use your Head

If you decide to ride in the high heat, listen to your body. If you feel a little woozy or maybe just a little “off”, do yourself a favor and pull off somewhere. Try to cool down by getting off the hot motorcycle and finding a shady spot, an air conditioned store or gas station and just chill out. By the time you feel the symptoms, dehydration could already be settling in.

ATGATT or ALL THE GEAR ALL THE TIME

ATGATT

by Don Weyant, certified MCSI

R.I.P. Don Weyant

(Don passed away on Jan. 16th 2018 from a rare, aggressive form of cancer)

roadrashATGATT – What does this mean to you?  To me it means All the Gear All the Time.

We would hope that all riders look at this in the same light, however that is not the case.  We, as riders, see people every day riding their motorcycles in less than ideal gear.  We have seen people riding in jeans and t-shirts with sneakers.  We have seen people riding in shorts and flip flops.

I have to ask, do these riders understand how much damage your skin takes when sliding on asphalt?  At pretty much any speed, above a walking pace, you will get road rash.  As the pace increases the damage becomes more severe.  I spent 7 years as an EMT on a Trauma Life Support ambulance and I have seen road rash, 3rd degree burns, and skin and flesh being destroyed by motorcycle crashes.  These riders are putting themselves at great risk, not only from road rash but from severe burns if their legs touch the exhaust or engine.

To break down ATGATT, these would be my minimum recommendation.  Always wear a ¾ or full face helmet, a riding jacket that is either textile or leather, which should include armor as well.  Jeans or riding pants at the very least as well as over the ankle boots, and full finger gloves.   I personally will not ride in anything less than the gear described as I am required by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to wear proper gear at all times.

Most of you already wear proper gear, but for those that don’t I want you to think of your loved ones at home when you ride, because I know they want you to come home safely.

GROUP RIDING RULES

QUICK TIPS:
MSF’s Guide to Group Riding
Motorcycling is primarily a solo activity, but for
many, riding as a group– whether with friends on
a Sunday morning ride or with an organized motorcycle rally — is the epitome of the motorcycling experience. Here are some tips to help ensure a fun and safe
group ride:
ARRIVE PREPARED. Arrive on time with a full gas tank. Hold a riders’ meeting. Discuss things like the route, rest and fuel stops, and hand signals.  Assign a lead and sweep (tail) rider. Both should be experienced riders who are well-versed in group riding procedures.  The leader should assess everyone’s riding skills and the group’s riding style. Keep the group to a manageable size, ideally five to seven riders. If necessary, break the group into smaller sub-groups, each with a lead and sweep rider.
RIDE PREPARED. At least one rider in each group should pack a cell phone, first-aid kit, and full tool kit, so the group is prepared for any problem that they might encounter.
RIDE IN FORMATION. The staggered riding formation allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. The leader rides in the left third of the lane,while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern. A single-file formation is preferred on a curvy road,under conditions of poor visibility or poor road surfaces, entering/leaving highways, or other situations where an increased space cushion or maneuvering room is needed. Avoid side-by-side formations, as they reduce the space cushion. If you suddenly needed to
swerve to avoid a hazard, you would not have
room to do so. You don’t want handlebars to get
entangled.
PERIODICALLY CHECK THE RIDERS FOLLOWING in your rear view mirror. If you see a rider falling behind, slowdown so they may catch up. If all the riders in the group use this technique, the group
should be able to maintain a fairly steady speed without pressure to ridetoo fast to catch up.I f you’re separated from the group, don’t panic. Your group should have a pre-planned procedure in place to regroup. Don’t break the law or ride beyond your skills to catchup.