A road trip on a motorcycle can be an uplifting, exciting, and invigorating experience. It can also be physically and mentally draining—especially on longer trips. But there are ways to reduce the risks involved.
Riding a motorcycle puts you in a physical position that’s relatively static. If you ride a motorcycle that’s built primarily for style, that position can become uncomfortable very quickly. Optimally, a bike for long-distance riding—like a touring motorcycle—is well customized to support the rider’s unique ergonomic needs, making for more comfortable body positioning. But no matter how well you set up the arrangement of the saddle, handlebars, and foot rests, you still won’t change your body position much. That leads to cramped and weakened muscles after hours in the saddle on a high-mileage day.
Motorcycle riding requires great mental concentration, constant visual scanning, and continuous decision-making. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation breaks it down into a policy they call “SEE”—scan, evaluate, and execute. Mental fatigue can feel like your mind is in a fog. Some people would call this tired feeling as being “spacey” or “groggy.” You may even feel like you’re in danger of falling asleep while driving. However you describe the drowsiness, when your mind is fatigued, you lack the mental clarity needed to SEE and avoid hazards. Some of the causes of mental fatigue are:
Today’s roads and traffic are an ever-evolving landscape of hazards that we need to navigate every time we ride our bike. This is why we arm ourselves with the best motorcycle safety training, excellent riding gear, and a well-maintained motorcycle—including the tires. Ultimately, how we handle the hazards that we encounter on every ride and avoiding crashes depends on being mentally sharp, alert, and focused. Here’s how mental fatigue affects us:
So how do you know if you’re suffering from mental fatigue? Here are some warning signs:
Fatigue can find us anywhere at any time. The pressures of work, caring for family, or any number of stresses that pop up can be exhausting. For many of us, fatigue is just part of life. Learning how to reduce and manage fatigue can help support us not only in life, but on the road, too. Here are six tips to help:
Of course, in addition to protecting yourself from the dangers of accidents and crashes, it’s also important to protect your bike. A number of insurance coverages like roadside assistance are out there to protect you while you’re on your ride. Discounts can also help make insurance coverage even more affordable.
Till next time, ride safe!
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Before you hop on your motorcycle, there are four things you should do to get ready for riding.
It’s time to ride. Are you in shape for it? With a few regular exercises, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable ride.