Clarksville, Tn — I’m a relatively new biker. I’m still learning. Things that come naturally to veteran bikers are still working their way into my routine. I’m thankful that none of these “forgetful” moments have caused me any problems, because they can.
In the beginning, I didn’t seem to pay attention to the rear view mirrors like I should. I would glance over my shoulder and drift into the passing lane. I would just be in a “zone”during the ride and not notice someone in my blind spot. This almost cost me one day when a car I had just passed a few miles back, had suddenly appeared over my left shoulder as I was about to pull into the passing lane. I was INCHES from the car when I realized he was there.
Obviously, I pay better attention,always keeping the traffic behind me in view. I know that sounds like something basic that a biker would never neglect, but I’ve learned that even the most basic safety protocols, in the beginning, would slip my mind. When I’m driving the car, I’ve always got the traffic behind me in check. But this ain’t no car!
Properly parking my motorcycle, in the beginning, has gotten me in some predicaments. I would just “whip” into a space, even though it was downhill, and park. Then all of a sudden, I would think, “Uh oh, you just messed up. How you gonna get outta here?”
After struggling to back out of a space, UPHILL, a couple of times, I finally got it. There’s the right way and the wrong way to park my bike. Also, after hearing a couple of veteran bikers call another biker an “amateur” for parking head first, I understood that you should back in and have the bike pointing out.
The little things.
I used to always forget to latch my saddlebags. That is until someone reminded me of how much it would cost to replace one of them. I remember traveling through Texas one day, when a car appeared in my rear view mirror flashing his lights. I pulled over and he pointed to one of my saddlebags that was WIDE OPEN.
When you make stupid little mistakes, not only do you feel like a fool who shouldn’t be allowed to have a motorcycle, but you realize that you MUST be on point at all times to avoid damage or injury.
I wear ear plugs and hope you do too, and I’m constantly forgetting to put them in. I usually put them in my jacket or shirt pocket. I’ll get all “geared” up after a stop and take off down the road then realize I forgot to put them in. Now I realize it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t wear them and can put them in at the next stop, but it’s ANOTHER one of those things that make me feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to ride.
I’m O.C.D and that makes it worse. LOL!
I’ve forgotten extra gloves, rain cover for luggage, extra warm clothes, another jacket etc.. Just in too damn big of a hurry!
I think we ALL have had a little luck along the way, but this is serious business and you can’t take your focus away from what you’re doing for even a second. We all make mistakes, but don’t push your luck.
Be safe and enjoy the ride!