Brake Before the Bend
Wales by Bike is highlighting how country roads can give the exhilaration some motorcyclists crave, even when commuting to work during lockdown, but pointing out that these roads often have sharp or blind bends that can hide countless potential hazards.
Bushes, trees and buildings can block the rider's view and obscure oncoming hazards, and there is also the potential of being faced with animals in the road when entering or exiting a bend.
Consider this: you may have used the same route a thousand times, you know how sharp the next corner is, you even know the location of a pothole that you've noticed getting bigger over the past few weeks. But, unfortunately you’ll never ever know 100% what’s around the next corner until you get there.
A broken down vehicle, a piece of debris, pedestrians in the carriageway, a horse rider...anything. Bearing this in mind, it is important to always ride at a speed which will allow you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear.
Speed limits are an absolute maximum - on many occasions it can be inappropriate to ride at that speed. We all know that roads are not the place to be catching the apex or getting your knee down as close to the tarmac as possible. If you’d like to do this sort of thing please consider attending a track day, when restrictions allow, to get professional tuition in a safe and controlled environment.
As bikes are most stable when the weight is distributed evenly and travelling in a straight line, always be aware of what you’re expecting your bike to do in a bend – going in too fast and just expecting the tyres to grip is a recipe for disaster. Throw in rain or icy conditions and some wet drains or manhole covers, and the outcome may be disastrous.
Please remember to 'brake before the bend, not on it'. This one simple step could help you prepare for what’s around the next corner, and hopefully get you home safely.