By Doug Westly | Safety Editor
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.
- Thou shalt honor ATGATT, lest ye be struck by the pestilence of rash and fracture during the moment of unwanted communion with Mother Earth.
- To thy own bike be true. Thy steed shall carry its rider (and passenger) valiantly, and asks only of thy care and maintenance.
- Honor thy tires, as they are the hooves of thy steed. Pressure bears thy ride, and rubber the ethereal connection to glorious pavement (or dirt…). Do not forsake them.
- Caress thy mount, but do not force. Thy ride is like the butterfly. It responds to controlled, yet relaxed grasp. Punish thy steed with over controlling force and it may turn against thee.
- Thy brakes are the most fragile of all. Squeezed firmly when need be and they shall obey, but grabbed without care and they may bite. (“All Hail ABS”).
- Respect the Goddess of Traction. She is gracious but fickle. She may be shared through speed and cornering, but never exceeded. Anger her at thine own peril. For those so in need, ye may seek the protection found in the wizardry of Traction Control.
- Commune only with those who share thine own vision of the Perfect Ride. Forsake those who stray from your path (Literally, at times…).
- Thine eyes are the Path of the Ride. Remember this, lest ye wander from the Path (Again, literally).
- Observe the sanctity of T-Clock. Fail not to adhere to its tenants, lest ye violate Golden Rule #2.
- Respect and honor thy sport. Offer it well to all who observe.
The preceding was brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood safety guy. Sure, there are probably about another dozen or so Golden Rules we could put down without a lot of effort. The challenge we face is actually remembering them all as we prepare to venture out, or when actually on the ride.
The reality is that as experienced motorcyclists, we can become complacent about things as simple as ride preparation, or even basic aspects of motorcycle control. Basic techniques can become stale, again through complacency and a lack of attention. Practice, practice, practice.
As for honoring thy sport, this is perhaps where we fall short most often. We need to remember that we are all ambassadors of motorcycling. When we ride, we need to see ourselves from the perspective of the other motorists on the road as well. A positive impression will perhaps result in a little more consideration from them, either towards you or perhaps other motorcyclists in their future.
I wish you safe and happy riding!