TRAVEL & RECREATION — Whether you’re new to the open road or a seasoned veteran, remember to follow best practices for safe riding and always considering safety, the environment, and riding etiquette from highways to city streets and everywhere in-between. As a rider, you are part of a global community and a steward of the open road.
To keep your ride safe and comfortable, consider these additional tips:
Wear the Right Gear
While your fashion statement is largely a matter of personal preference, there are some safety items designed to protect your health and well-being that should be worn. Protective riding gear helps keep you safe while enjoying the open road.
Full-hand gloves, riding boots that cover ankles, pants and jackets help protect against wind, sun, cold, heat and flying objects such as bugs or rocks. Drivers and passengers should also wear an approved helmet and eye protection to prevent injuries to the head, brain and eyes.
Choose a Proper Helmet
Every rider should wear a helmet, and the abundance of options available can make it tough to decide what’s best. Start by looking for a DOT Certification sticker, which means the helmet meets the strict safety standards of the Department of Transportation.
Full Face: This style of helmet provides protection for the head and neck with a fixed chin that helps absorb impact. Simply slip it on and adjust the visor.
Open Face: Helmets like these are usually worn with goggles or a small integrated shield. This option provides ultimate freedom on the road.
Crossover: These helmets are easy to personalize based on ride intensity and weather conditions. Crossover helmets can be configured in numerous ways by transforming from full face to jet, which keep it breezy with a full field of view.
Maintain Your Hairdo
Keep hair out of your face. If you have longer hair, choose a hairstyle that’s high and away from your eyes like a low bun, simple braid or ponytail. Secure hair at the nape of your neck and, when possible, wear a neck gaiter around the back of your head and across your nose to keep loose hairs secured.
Bonus tip: Keep a compact brush on your ride so you can brush your hair upon arrival at your destination.
Prepare Appropriately for Riding Conditions
Weather is unpredictable, and you should be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Regardless of the forecast, always make a plan for unforeseen conditions like wind and rain. An easy way to stay prepared is to keep a small packable jacket on your ride so you’re never left without an extra layer.
Cooler conditions call for warm yet lightweight gear such as a base layer with additional light layers over the top like a jacket or thin vest. Hotter days require vented clothing that allows airflow to keep you cool and dry.
Consider Your Passenger’s Safety
The most important rule for packing a passenger is ensuring your bike has a specific seat intended for a second rider. Be aware of how the added weight can affect the handling and behavior of the vehicle.
Generally, riding with a passenger requires more gradual riding from acceleration and braking to steering. Instruct your passenger how you prefer him or her to ride with you to ensure the most enjoyment possible.