Temptations of Spring

Everyone is anxious to get back out on the road in the spring, especially those who live in colder climates like me. (not to mention pandemic restrictions)

I’m not one to preach being careful. Being safe, taking precautions, plan for possible issues, sure, but I generally don’t advocate for all out “being careful” because I think it is the wrong attitude to go into an inherently risky activity. Too much caution can be just as devastating and too little.

There are always exceptions, as there are for anything. This is my exception, this spring when you go out for your first ride of the year, be careful.

Yesterday (my second ride this spring) I was about three miles from home when I came up on a single bike accident that had happened before I got there. The bike (which looked nearly new from what was left of it) was laying on it’s side about 30 yards from the road, over a ditch, among some boulders. Pieces of it were everywhere.

The rider was being loaded into the ambulance. Flannel shirt ripped open in the front, his bare arms laying across his chest. No helmet, at least not on him or near the scene. I supposed they could have removed it, but I didn’t see it anywhere. The guy was at least in his 50s from the grey hair, and riding what appeared to be a newer sport touring bike (maybe a BMW S1000R).

I don’t know his experience level. But what I do know is he made a mistake. Obviously he wasn’t careful enough. I hope he is OK, but from what I saw he didn’t take precautions like equipment (or a helmet), I bet he was on his first outing of the year when around here drivers have “forgotten” about motorcycles, there is still sand (or ice) on the road, and our skills and reaction times may be less than optimal from months off the bike. Look, accidents happen. Hopefully we are as prepared for them as well as we can be. Hopefully we took precautions, and analyzed the situation we are about to put ourselves in. And for that first ride of the year, we are a bit more careful than usual.

Stay safe out there!

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