With shorter days and colder temperatures, motorcyclists are being reminded how essential it is to check that lights are working properly and that any kit they wear is in good condition.
Weather conditions are changeable at this time of year; cold nights can catch you unaware and lower temperatures bring morning frost and ice. In its latest blog, Wales by Bike is reminding bikers to never be complacent because shaded areas and bridges take longer to thaw and could still be wet and icy long after the sun starts shining.
Dressing appropriately is a must as it can get particularly tiring when riding for long periods in cold weather, so keep warm! Avoid kit that’s too bulky - it can make you even more exhausted and the added weight may affect how you ride. Investing in some heated gear can make a huge difference on a long journey, even if it’s just a pair of heated gloves.
Whatever the season, regular breaks and staying hydrated will help to keep you alert. It might seem obvious but make sure you’ve always got enough fuel, or charge if you’ve got a new electric bike, and if you’re out on your own then tell others where you are heading; remember that your phone signal can be intermittent, particularly in rural parts.
This time of year brings particular challenges for bikers, it's almost deer breeding season, so deer will be more mobile than usual, bringing them onto roads and increasing the risk of collisions. Please stay especially vigilant at dusk and dawn.
The sun is much lower in the sky and glare can be blinding. Watch out when riding on tree lined routes; as leaves are shed the ‘strobe-effect’ patterns of light and shade created can be particularly distracting. Leaves on the road can hide potholes and manhole covers, and wet slippery leaves can linger in shaded areas – certainly something nobody wants to encounter on two wheels.
Generally, fewer bikers will probably be out over the next couple of months, therefore drivers are possibly less likely to be expecting to see you. Make yourself as conspicuous as possible and help avoid the dreaded “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You."
Above all, enjoy every ride, enjoy the beautiful scenery across Wales and get home safely! For more advice on safer motorcycling visit walesbybike.com.