THE SWEEP RIDER
A guideline by John Del Santo
a ride is being planned and set up, one rider takes the responsibility
of being the Ride Leader. The Leader's job is to set the rules,
and also chooses a responsible, experienced person to be the
Sweep Rider or Back Door
last bike in line. There should be an alternate Sweep so that
if the main Sweep needs to stop for someone, the alternate then
takes over right away. Ideally, the Sweep rider has some means
of communication with the Ride Leader. The Sweep will be keeping
their eye on the group in front of them and if someone in the
group is riding unsafely and endangering other riders, should
not hesitate telling them to behave or leave
worry, their feelings have been hurt before.
Sweep should know the route of travel or the final destination
for the ride. At the pre-ride talk, all riders should be told
that if they need to leave the ride unexpectedly
should wave-off the Sweep rider so the Sweep knows that there
is not a problem. At the pre-ride meeting the Leader and Sweep
should discuss what method they want to use to accomplish lane
changes. When riders in the front of the group make Right-turns-on-Red,
that tends to leave riders in the back of the group stranded
its a good idea to avoid this practice on group rides.
the Freeway some riders act as if permitting a car to cross
their column of bikes is a violation of their religious and
constitutional rights, and can make a driver already in a panic
about missing his exit quite dangerous. Do address this problem...
It's best to ride in sub-groups of four to six bikes and provide
a gap of four or more car lengths between each sub-group. We
are not a convoy. We are individual vehicles. Even
Army convoys and funeral processions lose their right to individuality
once they enter a freeway. Anyone leading a ride should be aware
of a strange quirk of Physics that happens. In one big, long
. If the lead rider is going a steady 65 MPH, then
the riders in the back of the pack will be going 85 MPH. ? ?
? Maybe an Engineer could explain that. Regarding group rides
read more at : http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/streetsurvival/group_motorcycle_safety/viewall.html
(thanks for the info).
Ride Leader will always signal early, and slow down gradually.
Periodically riders should check the riders following in their
rear view mirror. If you see a rider falling behind, slow down
a little 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 the unsafe pressure of doing the 100
MPH Catch-Up Trick.
youre separated from the group, dont panic. Your
group should have a pre-planned procedure in place to regroup.
Dont break the law or ride beyond your skills to catch
each others company, but ride your own ride.
more at on group rides at : www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Group_?Ride.pdf
the event of one of the group riders having a breakdown, a slip
& slide, an unplanned dismount, a collision, or a medical
.. Thats when the Sweep rider becomes in
charge of the area. He or She will send someone to call for
whatever help is needed, will send another rider at least a
quarter-mile down the road to stand OFF the roadway and slow
down oncoming traffic, and then the Sweep sends everyone else
away from the scene
.Up the road to a wide safe area
Everyone will want to stand around the scene and be concerned,
but you dont need a big clump of people standing next
to the road waiting to be slammed into by an inebriated or distracted
driver coming around the bend. The only riders that stay will
be someone who is a Nurse, Doctor, EMT or Mechanic
on who is needed.
for the Day : There is no bigger pain in the butt than
someone who shows up for a group ride with an almost-empty gas
WHERE THE RUBBER
MEETS THE ROAD
by John Del Santo
ideal riding situation calls for our tires to be nestled firmly
against the roadway, responding as we ask them to. We should
start with a good tread pattern on properly inflated tires.
Improper inflation will cause our tires to cup or crown, and
less tire will be touching the road. Balding tires and canoes
go sideways in the water. But, you dont always get what
.There are the common items that cause us
some concern, like rain on the road
Dry road will exhibit
a coefficient in excess of 0.7, (3/4 of a measuring unit), while
the same pavement when wet may exhibit friction values down
to 0.25 (1/4 of a measuring unit). When you are on a ride up
in the mountains and the water starts to ice up, the available
friction may be as low as 0.05
Slip Slidin away !
are also aware of the danger of those steel construction plates
we get on one of those, we dont even think of touching
our brakes ! The ability to stay off our brakes when necessary,
is one of the reasons that we always keep a good following distance.
Some of the other hazards that sneak up on us are sand, gravel
and steel sewer covers. When you come around a corner and find
your front wheel on either gravel, sand, or steel, if you gas
or brake at that moment, the front end and back end of your
bike will want to react differently and move off in different
there is that substance that the highway crews put down to help
but very often does just the opposite
Paint. Paint markings are put on the pavement to guide drivers,
but the degree of skid resistance that they provide is of increasing
concern with the growing use of plastic materials. Painted markings
generally lower the skid resistance of a pavement and when applied
over large sections, will increase the distance it will take
you to come to a stop. There is a multitude of different paints
that can be used; Fast drying white paint with beads are ok;
Hot plastic with beads are not as safe; and the worst
cold plastic with no beads. Non-beaded plastic has the friction
level of Hydroplaning or melting ice. Unfortunately, as we are
approaching a painted pavement marking, we have no way of guessing
which paint was used !
one of your tires is on pavement and your other tire is still
on a painted marking there will be differences in Friction Coefficients
and will create difficulties in controlling your bike when braking
or accelerating. There is even a difference in Co-efficiency
of Friction between Blacktop and Concrete. Marking materials
generally lower the skid resistance of a pavement, and differential
friction caused by marking materials may also give rise to hazardous
situations, such as excessive vehicle yaw during locked wheel
skids. ( I looked up yaw, it means side-to-side
Thats different than Yall
sum it up, when we are approaching any painted surface we should
probably assume that its the more dangerous type, and
do most of our braking before we actually get our tire on the
.Or to avoid doing any big-time acceleration until
our back tire is off the paint. . Smooth
Easy does it !
by John Del Santo
Emergency Organizations tell us that in a severe emergency
flood, earthquake, we should be prepared to be without water,
electricity and other essential services for at least three
days. As motorcyclists we are already more resilient, rugged,
and practical, and therefore further ahead in the Survival game
than the general public
..but here are some suggestions
and a checklist.
up a specific emergency meeting place with your friends and
family, a park or a motorcycle shop. So that everyone in your
crowd will know where to find each other, a place to reunite,
if they get separated in an emergency
.and have a pen and
paper with you so that you can leave them a note.
we have to consider the items we would like to have with us
to make the next three days go well. Rather than wasting hours
wondering what to bring with us, We should have an emergency
kit packed in a knapsack, closed in a plastic trash-can and
sealed with duct-tape to keep it clean and dry for years
but ready in a time of crisis to open the can, pick out the
and GO ! We keep our trash-can-kit stored under a
big bush in the back yard. If we keep it in the house and the
building collapses, we have just lost our kit and now become
dependant on other people.
most important need is one gallon of drinking water per person
per day. Once packed in a dark place, bottled water will last
at least two years before needing replacement. We prefer 16
ounce plastic water bottles which pack nicely in the knapsack.
There is a good selection of freeze-dried foods (with a six-year
shelf-life) at the camping stores. Pick up a cheap, folding
Sterno stove and canned fuel, a Boy Scout Mess-Kit, one big
serving spoon, and some plastic dinner-ware. Anti-biotic hand
cleaner is good
infection is bad. Pack a couple of disposable
..or you will get to just sit around and
stare at the dry, cold food. A bag of Protein bars from the
health-food store takes up very little space, but comes in real
handy. You should pack a good knife, if you dont already
have one on you. If you are at home when the crisis occurs,
and you have any domestic animals, leaving a big bag of dry
food and a big pot of water before you hit the road, will surely
be appreciated by the animals.
there someone in your crew that has a need for a daily medication
? They should have a three-day stash with them. Its also
nice knowing that someone in your crew knows CPR and First Aid.
If you dont have a sleeping Bag that you normally tie
to your bike, a few of those aluminum space blankets
in your kit is good. Many motorcyclists already carry a First
Aid Kit, but if you dont, you really should put together
a minimum for your emergency kit. Infection travels fast. Other
Goodies ? A couple of small flashlights., 50 feet of parachute
cord, a roll of quarters, a small packet of toilet tissue, a
siphon hose and a small cheapo AM radio to keep up with news
You will have food and drink
a lot of other people wont
aware of your surroundings for your safety and security.
is common practice after a long days ride to leave enough gasoline
in your tank to get to the gas station in the morning, park
your bike, kick-off your boots, crank up some tunes, and relax.
If an emergency happens during the night and the whole area
loses electric service
.then the whole area loses the ability
to pump gas
In a perfect world, the last stop of each
day would be to top off your fuel tank.
this list, it sounds like you would need a pick-up and a small
trailer to haul everything around, but NOT SO !
listed here will fit in a knapsack !
TIME TO RE-TIRE ?
by John Del Santo
good set of properly inflated motorcycle tires with good tread
keeps us attached to the road and separates us from being just
another flying object. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
estimates that hundreds of thousands of crashes could be prevented
if vehicle owners kept their tires properly inflated. This agency
recommends checking your tire pressure at least once per
month. When youre on a trip, checking the pressure
every morning is not a bad idea. According to the U.S. Department
of Energy, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve
your gas mileage up to 3.3%. And this quote was made before
gasoline prices reached four bucks a gallon!
MSFs T-Clock Inspection advises us to check
: (TIRES) Tread depth, wear, weathering, evenly seated,
bulges, imbedded objects. (AIR PRESSURE) check when cold.. adjust
to load/speed. If you do a lot of one-type riding, such
a lot of Freeway, your tread will wear unevenly
the tread can wear down while other parts look deep enough.
Watch for the wear bars in the tread. When you change
a tire, invest in a new valve stem.
on the shape and size of the wheel and the valve stem, it can
be a pain in the butt to check the air pressure on your bike.
.what the heck
the tire looks round, it must
be OK. I bought a small, brass, right-angled valve stem
from San Diego BMW that attached to the valve stem on my wifes
bike and made her life easier. Some Hondas come with a
large L-shaped valve stem that sticks out and simplifies reaching
the stem with a gauge or air hose nozzle. That stem comes with
a plastic support to keep the stem from vibrating, and if the
stem is installed without that support, road vibrations can
cause a crack in the stem
..and cause an instant Air-Out.
That was an exciting experience !
sells a valve stem cap that changes color when the tire pressure
starts to get lower. If your tire pressure is too low, or too
high, the tread will start to cup or bow and not make proper
contact with the road
..that kinda defeats the whole purpose
of having good tread. The recommended pressure printed on the
side of the tire is there for a good reason.
time a tire starts showing ozone cracks in the sidewall, it's
time to replace them right away. Sidewalls operate at some pretty
high temperatures due to the fluctuation of the sidewall and
any separation on a sidewall can cause catastrophic tire failure.
A tire has a wax-like preservative in the rubber compound to
keep it from hardening and splitting. This material is like
It's that off-color material that seems to
show up on your sidewalls for no reason. It protects the compound
against ozone which is produced by the sun and also by electric
motors. This protectant helps the compound to stay soft, but
It can be worn away, washed away, and chemically washed/leeched
out of the tire.
NOT clean your tires with stuff like Armor All. There are a
few solutions that Detailers use on tires that will not harm
if you are into pretty instead of
. but when applying even these, you can use
it on the sidewall but not past the line that separates the
sidewall from the tread area.
are many important Round Things in life
.like Silver Dollars
and Crispy Donuts
.but the most important are our motorcycle
tires ! They keep us alive and keep our knees in the Breeze
! Take good care of your tires and they will take care of you.
IN THE CONE ZONE
By John Del Santo
riding down the road, wind in our hair, breeze on our knees,
and there appears a sign that could spell trouble for a motorcyclist:
ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD. If we knew the road work
was happening there, we probably would have picked another route,
but it often comes as a surprise. How we get through it depends
on how we read the road ahead.
and Foremost we need to show attention to, and care for, the
construction workers. Give em a Brake as the
sign reads. There is usually plenty of warning when lanes are
closing and traffic is merging together. Plenty of warning that
is, for those drivers around you who are bothering to look down
the road. A lot of them dont aim high, and spend most
of their time being surprised by things that happen. Use your
hand signals when slowing in tight traffic
to see that sooner than they see your brake light. You know
there are a lot of drivers out there with a me first
mentality who get impatient and selfish and meaner than snakes
whenever theyre forced to slow down for anything. Be ready
for them to do something radical. If everyone just followed
the rules they learned in Kindergarten
You know, Be
nice Share Dont hit, then
merging would happen smooth and easy. Cars in the lane next
to you that dont have a decent following distance will
suddenly swerve one way or another when the traffic slows down
stay in anyones Blind Spot any longer than necessary and
be ready with your throttle, brakes, and horn. Work zones are
famous for rear-end accidents
So in stop-and-go traffic
it can be a good idea to position your bike near the outer edge
of your lane and keep an eye on your mirrors
is stopping and the guy behind you doesnt seem to be paying
attention, you can make a move out between the rows of traffic
and not be smushed like a bug.
keeping a Giant following distance, much more than usual, so
we can see far enough ahead to spot any hazards in time to handle
them. Were watching for unevenly paved lanes, you know
the dreaded Edge Trap
you can probably ride off the edge,
but trying to ride up the edge will drop you in a flash! These
are especially dangerous at night when all blacktop looks the
same and our depth perception is poor. Were staying alert
for loose gravel, which will lengthen our stopping distance,
holes in the road, and steel trench plates
! We dont even think about touching the brakes while on
a trench plate ! Be watching for paint lines that used to guide
traffic in one direction but now go somewhere else
off the road or into the next lane of traffic. Watch for the
driver in the next lane being confused by that, and drifting
into your lane.
were out of the Work Zone, were prepared for other
drivers jackrabbiting up to speed and jumping around from lane
to lane trying to make up the time they lost. Tires, especially
truck tires, can pick up stones in a construction area, and
then as they get back up to speed will slingshot those stones
back at you. By keeping a healthy following distance we stand
a better chance of not being in range of those thrown stones,
and not be feeling like a duck in a shooting gallery. Following
distance is like Money. You can never have too much, but if
you have a little bit less than you need
you can be in
to avoid turning a Construction Area into a Destruction Area,
avoid the Cone Zone if you can
and if not, Be Alert, Ride
Easy, and Ride Safe !
Former ABATE Safety Officer
SAY WHAT ???
by John Del Santo
to a conversation between a bunch of motorcycle riders, and
the phrases youll hear repeated most often are what
? and Say that again. Along with other things
weve done in our lives, riding a motorcycle can put a
lot of strain on our hearing. Usually its not the sound
of the bike that does the damage, but the sound of the wind
passing our ears for thousands and thousands of miles year after
year. A full helmet doesnt guarantee hearing
protection, and some helmets increase the noise in our ears.
A good set of earplugs is a great way to protect our hearing.
loses some hearing over the years depending on genetics, our
trade, or the sports weve been involved in during our
lives. Folks who listen to music with headphones and the volume
cranked up can expect trouble down the road; people who exercise
at the gym with earphones on and the volume high can do excessive
damage; . Are you one of the I-POD crowd ? Hearing
experts recommend never having the volume set higher than ¾
on the scale.
who spent a lot of time at rock concerts or clubs will probably
spend a lot of their later years not being fully included in
many conversations. If we add motorcycle riding to any of those,
the earlier we start to protect our hearing, the better.
people, (like this writer), dont give the subject much
thought (what, me worry ?) until they start hearing tones or
sounds like theres water running in the next room 24 hours
a day, or find themselves saying what ? an awful
lot. You can pump iron to get your muscles back in tone, or
even do exercises that will improve your eyesight, but like
.hearing loss is Forever.
can find good washable, reusable earplugs, custom fitted plugs,
or good disposables. If you use a computer, try (www.webbikeworld.com/Earplugs/earplugs.htm)
You can also try safety supply houses, motorcycle shops (I dont
think they make earplugs in chrome, yet) or at sporting goods
stores. If you are not a user yet, try out a pair; follow directions
putting them in, and take them out slowly and carefully to avoid
damage to the eardrum. Keeping the right and left plugs separate
is considered to be a safe thing to do to prevent the transfer
of ear infection.
are a little weird when you first start using them
engine sounds different, and youll be concerned that you
may not hear that car moving into the lane next to you. But
after all, we should probably save whatever we can, or get used
to writing notes to each other somewhere in years to come.
Be Alert, Ride Safe,
WHAT COST, THAT DRINK?
By John Del Santo
shop for a good deal on a bike, search for a good mechanic who
does reasonably priced repairs, and compare prices on accessories
and gasoline. Saving a buck can be tough these days. Being cost
conscious should also make us concerned about that car waiting
to make a left turn at the next intersection. If the driver
has been drinking, he or she could cost you thousands and thousands
or cost your family way more than that to pay
off your funeral expenses
and even way more than that
for your family to support themselves for the next forever without
you around. That person who has been drinking and jumps in the
car or on the bike has their own expenses to be concerned about.
They can be arrested for a DUI/DWI after only four drinks. The
average DUI arrest will end up costing about fifteen thousand
dollars before its over, and cause tons of grief to the
family and friends. If they cause a collision while they have
been drinking, they may have to live forever with the memory
of the kid whose death they caused because of a couple of brews
or some nice table wine at dinner.
someone has a couple of drinks, that alcohol should theoretically
be out of their system in a couple of hours. Four drinks, four
hours. Thats how the average body processes alcohol. Tests
have shown that only two drinks causes from 35% to 50% longer
reaction time to an emergency situation
not to count longer
perception time and the possible inability to make the correct
decision on what action should be taken.
National Safety Council reviews arrest records and estimates
that on any given day, one out of every fifty drivers around
you is drunk
that number changes to one in every ten drivers
around you on Friday and Saturday nights! Is that the one approaching
you at the next intersection? In half of all single-vehicle
motorcycle accident fatalities, the rider had been drinking,
and alcohol is involved in half of all motor vehicle fatalities.
Even if the pedestrian down the block looks directly at you,
dont trust them to make the correct decision; Of all the
adult pedestrians killed by cars every year in this country,
forty percent of the pedestrians were drunk at the time they
were killed! And twenty five percent of the adult bicyclists
were drunk when they were hit by other vehicles and killed.
be careful out there! Hey, were adults
you want, but ride sober, and think defensively so that youre
not trusting anyone around you to make the right move. Ride
Safe, Ride Sober, and Ride Smart.
is dedicated to the memory of Jim Mitchell.
HAS A WHOLE DIFFERENT MEANING ON A MOTORCYCLE
by John Del Santo
A recent nationwide study showed that at least 100,000 collisions
happen each year caused by people falling asleep while operating
motor vehicles. I knew a man called Bear who fell
asleep three different times on motorcycle trips from Arizona
to San Diego, so it can happen to us, too. After each incidence
he woke up in the sand, lying near his bike . If you were to
ask a large gathering of motorcyclists for a show of hands on
who has Dozed behind the Handlebars
for a few seconds or worse
. You would be surprised at
the large percentage of riders who have experienced that. There
have been several newsworthy incidents about excellent long-distance
highway riders, who just rode right straight into the back of
big trucks, without any apparent reason.
a lot can be a sign that we are getting sleepy. Yawning is a
sign from our body telling us that it needs more oxygen
this is usually not a problem on a bike, because we are getting
plenty of air, so if you are yawning while riding
body is telling you something important.
One of the disadvantages while riding is that the excess wind,
noise and vibrations can wear our body out sooner than while
driving a car. If we recognize that fatigue sneaking up on us,
then we are ahead of the game. If we are traveling in a group,
remember that different riders have different abilities, habits
If one of your group needs to stop, the whole
group should stop.
falling-asleep accidents happen during daylight hours. People
18 20 years old have the highest incidence of falling
asleep behind the wheel, and commercial truck drivers have the
least. Adequate rest, planning and preparing for your trip and
consuming the right food and drink are considered ideal steps
toward having a safe ride. Traveling during hours of the day
when you are normally asleep is asking for trouble. If you are
drowsy, and figure that the wind will keep you awake on the
ride home, then you will find that as bad an idea as the sleepy
car drivers who think that rolling down the window will keep
to recognize fatigue while riding ? Inability to focus; yawning;
loss of concentration; poor memory of the last few miles that
I traveled. If my head nods ONCE, or if I close my eyes and
they feel sticky and dont want to open, happens ONCE
Get off the road RIGHT NOW
. That may be the only warning
that I will get before falling into deep sleep
forever. Thinking that we are only a few miles from a good destination,
and that we should be able to make it that far, would be a big
fool yourself with stimulants
Using caffeine-based over-the-counter
stimulants may get my brain awake, but when the buzz wears off,
we will crash into sleep immediately with no warning.
to do next ? Pull over and get a nap
. many riders can
sleep stretched-out on the tank of their bike, and there are
many places like gas stations who will let you stretch out on
one of their office chairs, if you explain the situation to
them. When you wake up, have a cup of coffee, walk around some,
have a high-protein snack, and see if you feel like going on.
If you are really tired grabbing a motel is always do-able
There is nothing in the world that cant wait another day.
You would just need a really good story for your Significant
Other explaining why you stayed away in a motel overnight.
Helmet Law / A PERSONAL REQUEST
you like California's mandatory helmet law ? If not, are you
doing anything to change it ? I have heard repeatedly that there
are riders around the state who are receiving helmet-law tickets
for one reason or another, and who just roll over and pay them.
anyone that you know gets a helmet ticket, please have them
make a good clear copy, include their phone number and e-mail
address and send it to me for safe-keeping. I will hold them
until we make some type of a stand.
the copies to:
Or, by USPS Mail to: Brian Trum 4602 Sauk Ave. San Diego, Ca. 92117
John Del Santo
GOTTA HAVE HEART
By John Del Santo
No ! Elizabeth, This is the BIG One ! Most of us have
heard about heart attacks, and some of us have experienced
them or the results of them with family or friends. How the
situation ends up can often depend on what we know and how
we use it.
I started feeling like someone parked a motorcycle on my chest,
it would make me feel a bit better knowing that someone I
ride with, or live with, had taken a CPR class in the not-too-distant
past. There have been some changes in the method of administering
CPR. You could arrange a class within your group, or call
a local hospital and ask if they know of a CPR class happening
somewhere in town. Doing a search on your computer will show
you a whole list of local classes. They usually only cost
a couple of bucks, (less than a new piece of chrome) and having
that kind of information, knowing that you have the ability
to save the life of a family member or friend, can give you
a good feeling. You can carry a small bottle of childrens
chewable aspirins on your bike or in your first aid kit
word is that chewing on three of these little babies could
even stop a heart attack thats already in motion. This
could give someone time to get to the hospital before its
too late. We can do preventative maintenance on ourselves
by getting a check-up, and if our blood pressure is too high
or cholesterol count is out of whack, we could get ourselves
into better shape
. climb some stairs, throw away some
cigarettes. Being in good shape is not a surefire guarantee
though, because heart problems can happen to someone who looks
like the least likely candidate. Want some more info ? Check
movie image of a heart attack is a middle-aged man clutching
his chest and falling over onto the kitchen table
attacks are not just a guy thing, they are The
Number One killer of women ! Recent research has shown that
women can show completely different symptoms or warning signals,
than the traditional signs that we expect to see in a heart
attack victim. Some of the signs that women will feel are
sweating profusely; dizziness; vomiting and diarrhea; a bloating
just below the sternum; or high gastric pain. Some of the
typical male warning signals include: Pain in the left arm
and chest; a little ache that can radiate to the back and
one or both arms; and aching in the jaw or neck, then squeezing
, burning and crushing. Not all signs occur with every heart
attack, and most will start slowly. Sometimes they go away
and then return. On the road we react quickly to brake lights
coming on in front of us, and we try to react in the correct
.We should do the same thing in the presence of
cardiac warning signs
CALL 9-1-1 fast ! Many people experience
the beginning signs of a heart attack, mistake the signs for
food poisoning or indigestion and then the dont follow
up. Toughing it out may be an admirable trait in most parts
of our life
but we need to use common sense in matters
of the heart, and dont get carried away
by six of your best friends).
is Power. Ride Healthy, Ride Straight and Ride Safe.
IS YOUR RIDE
READY FOR THE ROAD ?
THE T-CLOCK MOTORCYCLE INSPECTION METHOD
TIRES AND WHEELS: (TIRES) Tread depth, wear,
weathering, evenly seated, bulges, imbedded objects. (AIR
PRESSURE) check when cold.. adjust to load/speed. (WHEELS)
(SPOKES) bent, broken, missing, tension
check at top
of wheel, ring means ok, thud means
loose spoke. (CAST) cracks & dents. (RIMS) out of round/true
spin wheel, index against stationary pointer.
(BEARINGS) grab top and bottom of tire and flex: no freeplay
(click) between hub and axle, no growl when spinning. (SEALS)
cracked, cut and torn, excessive grease on outside, reddish-brown
- CONTROLS: ( LEVERS) broken, bent, cracked, mounts
tight, ball ends on handlebar lever. (PIVOTS) lubricated.
(CABLES) fraying, kinks, lubrication, ends & length.
ROUTING: no interference or pulling at steering head, suspension,
no sharp angles, wire looms in place. (THROTTLE) moves freely,
snaps closed, no revving.
LIGHTS: (BATTERY) Terminals clean & tight,
electrolyte level ok, held down securely. Vent tube not
kinked, routed properly, not plugged. (LENSES) cracked,
broken, clean, securely mounted, excessive condensation.
(REFLECTORS) cracked, broken, securely mounted..(WIRING)
fraying, chafing, insulation, routing ok, pinched, no interference
or pulling at steering head or suspension, wire looms and
ties in place, connectors tight, clean. (HEADLAMP) cracks,
reflector, mounting and adjustment system, aimed properly.
- OIL: (ENGINE OIL)
Check warm on centerstand,
dipstick, sight glass. (HYPOID GEAR OIL)
rear driver, shaft. (HYDRAULIC FLUID)
reservoir or sight glass. (FUEL)
tank or gauge. (COOLANT)
and/or coolant recovery tank, check when cool only. (CHECK
FOR LEAKS AT:) ENGINE OIL: gaskets, housing, & seals.
HYPOID GEAR: gaskets, seals and breathers. HYDRAULIC FLUID:
hoses, master cylinders, calipers. COOLANT: radiator, hoses,
tanks, fittings, pipes. FUEL: lines, fueltaps, carbs.
CHASSIS: (FRAME) Cracks at gussets, accessory
mounts, look for paint lifting. STEERING HEAD BEARINGS:
No detent or tight spots through full travel, raise front
wheel and check for play by pulling/pushing forks. SWINGARM
BUSHINGS/ BEARINGS. Raise rear wheel, check for play by
pushing/pulling swingarm. (SUSPENSION): FORKS: Smooth travel,
equal air pressure or damping, anti-dive settings. SHOCK/(S):
Smooth travel, equal preload/air pressure/damping settings,
linkage moves freely and is lubricated. CHAIN OR BELT TENSION:
Check at tightest point.. Lubrication of belt/chain sprockets,
check side-plates when hot..(dont let lubrication
get on belts.) SPROCKETS: Teeth not hooked, securely mounted.
(FASTNERS) THREADED, Tight, missing bolts, nuts. CLIPS:
broken, missing. COTTER PINS: broken, missing.
KICKSTAND: CENTERSTAND cracked, bent. Springs
in place, tension to hold position. SIDESTAND cracked, bent
(safety cut-out switch or pad if equipped). Springs in place,
tension to hold position.
by John Del Santo
a day ! In the wind ! the sun is shining and youre rolling
down the highway without a care in the world
. and then
an evil force grabs hold of your front wheel and starts shaking
it like a dog with a bone !! Youre in a treacherous
High Speed Wobble !
are a number of things that can contribute to the creation
of this attack, including an uneven lane drop; worn steering
head bearings, worn front wheel bearings, or worn swingarm
bearings or bushings; front or rear shocks that are uneven,
under-inflated, or which have leaked; narrow front tires on
ruts in the road or on freeway rain grooves; improperly balanced
tires; Riding a tire which has been under-inflated and which
has caused the tire to cup; handlebars which are
not balanced because of a previous fall; or a sudden loss
of air in the tire.
wheel wobbles can happen, too, when a tire goes flat, but
theyre usually easier to handle, as long as we dont
hit the rear brake.
the front wheel is affected, it can at first feel like the
wind is starting to push you around, and then it becomes apparent
that something bad is happening
. and the front wheel
starts to be yanked hard right and left and right, trying
to rip the grips out of your hands. At this point there is
still a chance that you might salvage the day. Get a good
hold, and roll off the throttle gently
it off suddenly or weight will transfer to the front wheel
where youd rather not have it. Lean back, Dont
touch the front brakes ! Start applying the rear brakes gently
but firmly, but dont lock them. This can be a real touchy
situation if your bike has an integrated or linked brake system.
If so, you may need to decelerate and let your engine slow
you down. If you downshift, youll need to let the clutch
out smoothly, which is easier to say than do with the handlebars
whacking back and forth. Thats an awful lot of decisions
to make in a very short period of time, and the evil spirits
may decide now to push you through the final gate
the front end starts slamming back and forth all the way to
the stops, you are in the dread Tankslapper. At
this point it would be a good thing if you are wearing clothing
that allows you to slide on the roadway rather than clothing
which will cause you to tumble, because there is an excellent
chance that you and your bike will now part company. Being
relaxed and ready to slide instead of tensing up will allegedly
lessen your injuries when you land
. that sounds good
in print, but I dont think most riders remember that
last couple of seconds anyway. I guess we could lessen the
chances of being hurt if we stayed home on the couch, but
most Riders feel that its better to wear out than it
is to rust. So
be prepared, and do your best to handle
whatever comes along.
yourself, Ride Sober, and Ride Safe !
RIDES AND SUMMER RUNS
by John Del Santo
spending a lot of time on the road, and Loving it ! Knees
in the Breeze ! The weather is fine, but there are still hazards
around. Summer temperatures overheat tires and batteries
Are yours in good shape and not too old ? Hows the tire
pressure ? Many people who are broke down on the shoulder
of the road are struck by cars
.That can be a Major Bummer
on a nice day. The heat also affects the tires of other vehicles.
Even though you will see big pieces of truck tires, Road
Gators, on the road all year long there will be a lot
more during the hot weather. Point down to give the road
hazard signal to riders following you.
Rides can be fun. We should be considerate of any riders with
us who are less experienced
They may try to stay up to
the speed of the pack even if it is beyond their ability.
Breaking the pack into two groups, with the less experienced
riders in the rear pack, works. Each pack should have several
of your best riders bringing up the back door
so they can keep an eye on the group and one of them can drop
out to assist anyone with problems. Ideally, they should have
cel phones and phone numbers of the Lead Rider. Bikers dont
desert their comrades. Everyone should know the exact destination
you have planned so they can find you if they need to drop
riding pulls a lot of water out of our system. You can ride
naked if you choose, but the more skin you have exposed, the
more dehydration will occur. For extreme hot weather riding,
some people soak their shirts with water, and then put a dry
jacket on over the shirt
. this helps keep the body temperature
much lower, kind of a Swamp Cooler effect.
frequent breaks is a good way to stay well watered, or our
reflexes and reaction can drop off just when we need them
most. If we stop to fill up our tanks, and someone doesnt
need to use the restroom
thats someone who is
probably dehydrated. Just a cuppla cold ones sounds
. but beer is a diuretic that will drain more out
of our system than it puts in. Heat Exhaustion is serious
stuff that can make us feel like just stopping and laying
down next to the road and going to sleep. Maybe forever. Drink!
Drink! Water and Sports drink, Get in someplace cool, dump
water on your head and down your shirt, rest
next in line comes the worst
can worsen from heat exhaustion with little warning. The bodys
temperature-control stops working
. Feeling hot dry skin,
severe headache, exhaustion, hallucination. THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE
POSSIBILITY OF DEATH. First call 911 Move the victim to a
cool place, douse with water, fan breeze onto the victim.
If we act quickly and correctly, maybe we can prevent permanent
brain damage or death. Once someone has suffered a heat-related
illness, the chances of it happening again in the future are
you see someone parked on the side of the road, off their
bike, jumping around doing the Bee Dance ? If
you have (non-drowsy) Antihistamines in your First
Aid kit, it could help them out. Is there anyone on the run
with special medical problems ?.... They should tell at least
one other rider about it. There are many riders who will be
carrying a small First Aid kit, and the Leader should know
who in the group is qualified for CPR. We dont go around
looking for trouble (most of the time) but its nice
to be prepared.
Enjoy the weather and the road and the company of good people.
.Ride Safe !
WANTED: MIND READER
by John Del Santo
Opportunity: Men and women needed who are able to operate
motorcycles over long miles through all weather conditions
also be a qualified Mind Reader. Sounds like an awful lot
to ask, doesnt it ? But thats what a rider must
do to avoid being caught in the mistakes that other drivers
make on the road.
probably heard the statistics that the average road-user makes
one and a half driving mistakes per mile, and that at any
time of day at least one out of fifty drivers around you is
the Pro, must spot these people before
they hurt you.
Dusk and theres a car in the left lane going 10 mph
under the speed limit Dont trust him ! Dont pass
him on the right unless you are sure that he sees you
may panic and move right into your lane as you start by
he could spot his exit and make a dive for the off
ramp. Passing on the right is a hazardous move in any situation,
and its not a good idea to make this move near an on
ramp or you could be mousetrapped between the merging car
and the one in the left lane.
right lane is blocked up with traffic heading for a major
off-ramp or junction, and you are passing them by. Anticipate
one of those cars jumping to the left
right in front
of you to gain a few car-lengths. Watch for their head moving
to look in the rearview mirror or for their wheels starting
to float towards your lane
Be ready with your gas, brakes,
and horn. As you get near an exit, the car on your left speeds
you know that hes going to make a dive for the
right across your nose. We have to keep in mind
that they cant see us !
night a car near you keeps the high-beam headlights on
probably dealing with a drinking driver. Because many of them
are so bagged that they dont see well, they think those
high-beams will help them. And drunks tend to drive toward
what they are looking at ! Watch out for the car that stays
behind you no matter how your speed varies
thinks the cops wont spot him is he stays close to you
do every thing that you do
Except Stop !
mind-reading act can be enhanced by checking out your surroundings.
Are you near a school ? Senior Citizen Housing ? Or a couple
of saloons ?.......Near a business area around lunch or quitting
time ? Are you approaching an intersection that is painted
with a lot of brake-skidmarks ? A good healthy following distance
and keeping the space around you as clear as possible will
go a long way toward insuring your escape routes and protection.
Title ? Biker and Mind Reader ! Anticipation and Defensive
Riding should get you home in one piece and with the Shiny
side up at the end of a run.
by John Del Santo
Sharing the road with big trucks can be an advantage because
most truckers are better trained and more experienced than
the other drivers around us. A large percentage of truckers
are also motorcycle riders, and are more conscious and considerate
of bikes around them in traffic. To keep from becoming a hood
ornament on a Peterbilt though, we need to show the proper
respect for the vehicles length, width, and weight.
Semi, bus, or RV traveling at any speed is creating big changes
in the air around it
.the vehicle is pushing a wave of
pressurized air out in front of it, like a bow-wave in front
of a boat; there is accelerated air lifting along the sides
(the same effect that causes lift on an airplane wing); and
there is a vacuum swirling and filling behind it. When you
pass a Semi going in the opposite direction at highway speeds,
there will be a big rush of tumbling air following the truck
about two seconds behind it. If there are heavy crosswinds
blowing, the crosswind will be blocked by a passing truck
and will hit you again at the other end
be ready for
creates an optical illusion that distorts sense of speed and
Expect that truck coming at you to be moving
faster than it appears, and expect the one you are approaching
from the rear to be going slower. Dont attempt sharing
a lane with a vehicle that already fills the whole lane.
trucks drive off the paved road and can pick up rocks in their
tires. When they get back up to speed on the highway, those
rocks can shoot loose and zero in on you like a duck in a
shooting gallery. Dont hang out behind open-topped rigs
or empty, the high speed airflow will sweep almost anything
out in your direction. If youre following a truck and
a small piece of tire tread seems to fly out from the wheels
Off ! Theres more, and bigger, pieces on the way !
an eye on their turn signals. Tractor Trailers need a lot
of room to make a turn; The back of the truck will cut in
closer to the curb, and the driver cannot see the area by
the back wheels in the mirror. There are many blind spots
around a Semi. The worst are
a blind spot a hundred
feet long behind the truck, and another big one just off the
..If I cant see the drivers face
in the mirror
The driver cant see me ! !
massive weight and velocity of a truck creates the need for
the driver to keep a HUGE following distance. If the driver
loses his or her following distance, and is forced to lock
up the brakes, the rig can jackknife across four lanes of
..So if I cut in front of a truck and steal their
following distance, I am digging my own grave and probably
putting other drivers in serious jeopardy.
lets share the road properly with the Big Rigs. The
old (and incorrect ) saying is those airbrakes can stop
on a dime. We need to Ride Smart so the dime they stop
on is NOT the one in the pocket of our jeans.
NEVER TALK TO ME ANYMORE
by John Del Santo
many times has that line been used when a relationship was
headed downhill to disaster? Communication is important. Communication
is very Important when you are getting ready to change directions
on your bike. The more you let the other drivers know what
you are going to do, the less chance there will be that theyll
do something unexpected and get in your face. Signal your
intentions. Naturally, people being what they are
should keep our eye open for those me first drivers
who will see our signal, and then will try to beat us to the
opening that we are heading for.
we are slowing or changing lanes, many of us feel that hand-signals
are noticed quicker than directional-signal lights by the
cars close to us in traffic. A brain picks up motion quicker
than light. A California law reads that if our bike has (working)
electric directional signals, then we must use them; we arent
supposed to just use hand signals alone. But we could certainly
use both if we want to
.clicking on the directional signal,
and then using a hand signal to communicate to the drivers
that are near us in heavy traffic. Whatever works.
we are downshifting for a stop or turn, a couple of flashes
on our brake light should wake up the driver behind us to
the fact that we are slowing down so that we dont surprise
well reduce the odds of being mowed down
by someone whos not paying attention. In the early morning
and late afternoon when the Sun is glaring low in the sky
and most of the other drivers are squinting, trying to see,
having our headlight switched to High-Beam will make our presence
a little more evident. And
.dont hesitate laying
on your horn (AND being ready with throttle or brakes) if
someone near you in traffic looks like they might change into
your lane without checking their blind spots. Wake em
up ! A rider that I know has an interesting technique
the traffic suddenly slows, she puts her left hand, in a fist,
straight up into the air! That really seems to catch the immediate
attention of the following traffic.
There are a lot of different ways to communicate! Hand Signals;
Horn; Directional signals; Brake Lights; High Beams on during
heavy daytime traffic; Modulating Headlights; Reflector Vests;
Whatever fits your style! Communication! It will help us avoid
disaster, and help us keep the Shiny Side Up !
KEEPS ON PASSING
by John Del Santo
we decide that the car in front of us on that two-lane road
is going slower than we want to go, we have several observations
and decisions to make that can result in a number of different
..Such as: Making a successful pass, being passive
until a nice space comes along, Lying in a hospital bed with
life passing us by, Or maybe even
poorly done pass can result in a Head-On collision which is
the most deadly type of collision we can be involved in. At
only 50 MPH, two vehicles approaching each other are closing
the gap at 150 feet per second ! When we decide to pass, IF
the other cars dont speed up, and IF the slower car
is aware that we are starting to pass, and IF no one pulls
out of a driveway down the road, and IF we havent misjudged
anyones speed or distance, then it will still take us
about a quarter of a mile to make a safe, clean, pass. If
I dont have that much room, or if I cant see at
least that far down the road, then I dont start the
pass ! Another opportunity will come along in a minute. If
the approaching car appears to be standing still, then that
car is at least a quarter-mile away from me. If the car looks
like it is moving towards me, if I can see motion, then its
closer than a quarter of a mile, and its probably too
close to complete a safe pass !
everyone uses their signals for one reason or another. That
car in front of you that is going slow, or slowing down, may
be preparing for a left turn
Surprise ! Surprise ! Most
of them dont use their mirrors except for shaving and
combing their hair, and they dont even know that youre
waiting for a good spot to make a pass, some Riders move in
close and tailgate the slower driver to demonstrate their
impatience. This action gains nothing, doesnt leave
much room to accelerate into a passing run, and limits their
visibility of whats happening up the road. It would
also take only a small, sudden mistake on the car drivers
part to transform the tailgating motorcycle into a big dent
on the back of the slow guys car
and then the whole purpose
of the trip would become passé.
it is against the law to pass over solid-yellow centerlines,
the main reason we shouldnt consider passing over them
is that they are pretty good indicators that we dont
have enough space or visibility to make a pass, or that the
possibility for interference from cross-traffic is high.
we do it right, then our Pass will have become past history,
and we will have done it with a passing grade.
DRIVERS AND RIDERS
SHEEP IN WOLVES CLOTHING )
look big enough to be adults, they seem like theyre
old enough to be responsible, and they are coming down the
lane right next to your motorcycle. While only four percent
of the cars around you are driven by young people, they are
at fault in Sixty-Six percent of the deadly collisions. We
cannot assume that any of the drivers around us will make
the correct driving decisions at any given time, but there
are ways we can try to improve those statistics.
is also an important decision time for you if there are children
in your family who are reaching that driving or riding age.
As the new-driver laws stand at the moment, www.dmv.ca.gov
someone age 15 1/2 to age 17 1/2 must first finish a Drivers
Education Class before they can apply for a learners permit.
Once they pass the DMV written test and obtain a permit, The
Permit does not become legal until they have taken at least
one lesson with a State Licensed Driving Instructor. I have
seen the reason for this in my many years as a driving instructor
a new student gets practice with Dad or an older
brother first, and then starts the six-hours of mandatory
training with a professional licensed instructor. The instructor
has to waste valuable training time trying to correct improper
techniques and misinformation already fed to the student.
Also keep in mind that many teenagers start off wrong if Dad
or Mom are not safe and legal drivers
.If Dad speeds
and Mom tailgates and doesnt use her signals, how do
you think the new driver is going to start his or her career
on the road ? Any teenager has been learning how to drive
for twelve or thirteen years, just by watching
setting an example for them every day of their lives. Do it
right and their lives may be longer. Cellular/Text phones
are Weapons of Mass Destruction and should be locked in the
is a new law for young motorcycle riders. It is called Jarrads
Law, named after a deceased teenager who had a learners
permit, but no proper training. Fixing the Loophole in response,
Jarrad's Law took effect in California on January 1, 2011.
Now anyone from age 15 1/2 to age 21 who wants to obtain a
motorcycle license must first complete a 15-hour safety course
overseen by the California Highway Patrols California
Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP)
www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/programs/california-motorcyclist-safety . From age 15 and 1/2 to age 18, they must also either have
class C licenses or complete regular drivers education and
training classes. After the motorcycle safety course, they
must pass a written test to receive a permit. The learner's
permit must be held at least six months to become eligible
for an actual motorcycle license. While operating a motorcycle
with a permit, a rider may not carry a passenger, ride on
a freeway, or ride at night. Have you read the drivers manual
that the DMV gave to your son or daughter ? Knowledge is Power.
of us with young Drivers or Riders in the family, should try
to put them out there with a better chance of getting to be
old Drivers and Riders.
:This guide attempts to provide accurate and authoritative
information on this subject. If expert assistance is required,
the services of a competent professional person should be
John Del Santo
IN THE WIND
By John Del Santo
you want to talk about exciting !! Youre toolin
down the road on your bike on a beautiful, sunny day when out
of the blue comes a 4 X 8 piece of plywood, flipping
off the roof of a car, tumbling through the air at you! Wow
!! Super Adrenaline Rush !!! Do I have time to move to another
lane? Is someone in the next lane? Will the plywood shift to
another lane before it lands? If I have to hit it, at what angle
should I try to hit it? If I brake hard enough to avoid it,
will the car behind me have enough room to stop before he squishes
me? Decisions, decisions, decisions, and you only have about
one second to make them. Seeing the problems a little earlier
would be a definite advantage. Are you aiming far enough up
the road to see cars swerving around something, or to see a
bunch of brake lights come on all of a sudden? Just about everybody
is driving a van or SUV these days. If youre following
one of those, you cant see through it, so leave enough
following distance to see around it? Do you have enough space
to stop or accelerate out to someplace safer?
most common foreign objects to find laying on the road are bungee
cords, and the hook on those can puncture a tire. The next most
common things to find laying on the road, are the things that
bungee cords were holding down. As were riding down the
highway, we check out the cargo on the vehicles in front of
us. If we cant see any visible tie-downs, we dont
stay there! The average driver has no clue as to how much force
the wind can create.
watch the news on TV and see a 65 mph gale blowing down houses
and tall trees on the Florida coast, and yet theyll put
wooden chairs, a mattress, or an empty garbage can in the back
of a pickup and drive down the highway at 65 mph and expect
the stuff to stay there! Expect sudden attacks by beach chairs,
empty coolers, barbecue grills, couch pillows, living room chairs,
and aluminum ladders. When this stuff appears on the road, how
will the car in the lane next to you react? Will they brake
in a straight line, or will they get all Freaky and Swervy?
If youre in their blind spot when things go bad, be ready
to alert them with your horn. You can run across these anytime,
but more so in the hotter weather youll find big pieces
of truck tire, road gators, on the highway.
If you see a piece fly off a truck, expect more pieces to be
launched at you real soon.
that foreign object is on the road, will it stay still where
it is? Big plastic Bed Liners have a nasty habit of popping
out of the back of pickup trucks. Recently, a rider saw a Bed
Liner laying in the next lane of a freeway as he approached
.Whew, got lucky on that one! And as the van
in front of him passed the Bed Liner, the vacuum in the air
behind the van sucked the Bed Liner into his lane where his
motorcycle smashed into it. Major Damage!
sure would be nice to expect a clear highway in front of us.
But until we can fence off a couple of hundred miles of road,
and not allow anyone else on it, well just need to stay
alert and be ready for just about anything thats out there
where it shouldnt be.
be aware, get your knees in the breeze, and
CANT BREAK THESE LAWS !
By John Del Santo
are a bunch of laws written in a lot of books, but there are
certain laws the good rider knows cannot be violated. These
laws are : Friction, Momentum, Centrifugal Force, and Gravity.
A rider wont get a ticket for breaking these laws, but
will end up in a ditch or up against a big tree.
or traction, is the one that keeps you stuck to the road. The
first step in insuring traction is a good set of tires with
good tread and proper inflation. If the air pressure is too
low, the tire tread will cup or bow, and will lose traction.
What looks like wet road can be Black Ice.
Youll often find this first on the shady side of the hill
and on or under overpasses. Is it an older road that is not
banked ? Or worse yet, banked the wrong way ? Hit your brakes
hard in there, and its adios traction and hello
centrifugal force. Whats around that curve ? Does the
curve get tighter halfway through ? Is there a cow or a bunch
of stopped traffic just around the bend ? If you need to brake
hard in a curve, you need to brake through it in a straight
.. Straighten up so that you are not tipped, and hit
the brakes as hard as you can. If you are running out of room
and heading toward the apex of the curve, point your front end
more into the curve and brake again in a straight line. If your
back brake locks
..Leave it locked ! If you unlock a skidding
rear wheel, you are looking at a severe change of balance, a
terrible loss of control, and a Highside Crash. Depending on
who you talk to and what kind of riding they do, there are different
braking techniques. Concerning braking, you can never get enough
practice. Even taking an Experienced Rider Course again would
certainly be a plus before the day that you really need to stop
on slippery roads, anything that changes the smooth flow of
your forward momentum can cause your bike to head off in a direction
you had not intended. Easy acceleration, light braking, and
smooth steering are necessary. If you double your speed, you
will need almost four times the distance to stop because of
the increased velocity (Inverse Square Law). Triple your speed
and you will need nine times the stopping distance ! Following
Distance is like money
. You can never have too much, but
if you have a little less than you need, youre in trouble.
your bike in shape and yourself in shape. The good rider will
know when to call for a break
. While your reflexes and
reactions are still sharp. Kenny Rogers said it best in a song;
know when to hold em and know when to fold em.
Follow that advice and you wont end up like Paul Simons
song; Slip Slidin Away.
the laws of Physics and
.Ride Safe !
TO ROLL !
by John Del Santo
prepared for the Big Ride ! Over the mountains, across the desert,
Through the Heartland, and Beyond. Wow !
pretty sure that Im prepared for the trip. The last time
I had the Bike tuned-up was last year at that neat little shop
we found in Cache Peak, Idaho. The altitude was about 12,000
feet, and I am going through Death Valley next week, which is
about 280 feet below Sea level, but I dont think I need
to be concerned about the carburetor setting. What the heck
! This baby just takes a kickin and keeps on tickin
! I changed the air filter just last year, just before that
dust storm in Arizona, the oil and filter were only changed
about 8,000 miles ago
this modern oil really lasts ! I
did check the oil level last month, so it should be O.K. And
the tires look round, so the air pressure is probably fine.
have pretty much just described a rider who must spend a lot
of time sitting next to the highway, and spends so much time
in the back of a Pickup Truck that he gets Frequent Flyer Miles
there. All of us recognized what the rider was doing wrong,
and none of us would start a trip this way
.But how often
could we start out when our physical condition is less than
it could be ?
possible results are:
That sounds like a pretty fancy term, but if I spent a lousy
night on that lumpy mattress, but then ended up getting
a few good hours of sleep, and started out on a long days
ride, then that is sleep deprivation. Our body needs the
and we didnt get enough of it to last
Is one that can sneak up on you. Lower or higher elevation,
hot or cold temperature, Drink! Drink! Drink! Gallons each
day ! And not diuretics like coffee or alcohol drinks
they just make it worse. Our body needs the liquid, and
if we dont get enough, gallons, our body will let
us KNOW about it, sometimes with
That can make us feel like just stopping and laying down
next to road and going to sleep. Maybe forever. We can fall
asleep as easy on a bike as we could driving a car
and falling asleep has a whole nother
meaning when it happens on a bike. Drink! Drink! Water and
Sports drink, Get in someplace cool, dump water on your
head and down your shirt, rest. Because next in line comes
which can worsen from heat exhaustion with little warning.
Our bodys temperature control Stops working. Hot dry
skin, severe headache, exhaustion, hallucination. THERE
IS AN IMMEDIATE POSSIBILITY OF DEATH. First call 911 !!!!
Move the victim to a cool place, douse with water, fan breeze
onto the victim. If we act quickly and correctly, maybe
we can prevent permanent brain damage or death. Once someone
has suffered a heat-related illness, the chances of it happening
again in the future are higher.
like the road is beating you up? Take a day off ! ! ! Sleep
late. Sit by a brook with water running over your feet. Look
at some scenery. Take a nap. Sack in early. And start the next
day as a whole new person. We may get there a day later, but
So What! The Journey is the Goal.
then as we climb up the mountains, up to 12,000 feet
Cool, Its Beautiful, but if you dont live at this
altitude for most of the year, then Altitude Sickness may be
the next thing to affect you. From what I know, you cant
beat it, you cant stop it, Its just THERE until
it decides to go away, maybe in a couple of weeks. Theres
a fuzzy kind of feeling, your timing is a little off, when youre
walking, the ground is just a little bit further down than your
head thought it would be. Your Perception and Reaction time
is just a bit off, and your Blood Pressure goes DOWN.
the old rule found on medicine bottles: Dont use
any power tools or operate heavy machinery. The local
Pharmacist said there is an over-the-counter med that might
help a bit. Any one of these maladies can affect us and be a
serious health problem. If we are traveling and we ignore the
symptoms, and these sicknesses double-up on us, we can expect
Big Time Trouble.
Drink, Drink, Rest, Rest, Rest,
the heck are we supposed to get any riding done ???
WILL get it done, and finishing the ride in good shape will
make the Journey that much better.
WELL, RIDE HEALTHY, AND
RIDE SAFE !!
John Del Santo
John Del Santo was a Champion in the Motorcycle Rights world, sadly he passed on, he still is missed.
IS MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS MONTH