Covid-19 has disturbed all aspects of life as we once knew it. While there is now light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to getting back to some level of normalcy, we’re not there yet. Escaping all of the tensions that the pandemic has created, and hitting the open road can really help you to blow off steam, as you unwind in fresh surroundings and cruise around in the great outdoors.
If that sounds like a good plan to you, then best to plan ahead and be prepared. You may find that you can enjoy clearer roads than ever before, but there may be some downsides, too, especially if you don’t think ahead.
1. Check location accessibility
Do your homework ahead of time to decide where best to head to. Motorcycle Safety Lawyers point out that there may be travel restrictions or other potential roadblocks in place. Even if such restrictions have been lifted in your area, the same may not be true of your intended destination.
To avoid issues with traveling bans, phone ahead to any hotels or local stores to see if they are open and to ask about the current restrictions or lockdowns in the area.
2. Prepare your motorcycle
Before you head off, you need to inspect your bike for any necessary maintenance or repair work. Due to quarantines and lockdowns, shops may only be open for limited trading hours or potentially even shut down completely, and you don’t want to get caught out with mechanical issues and no way to solve them. Make sure your motorcycle is in peak condition before taking a trip, including the life in your tires and your battery.
3. Practice social distancing
In most states and communities, healthy outdoor activities such as walking, running, hiking and cycling are allowed, so long as you follow the social distancing recommendations and stay a minimum of six feet away from others. Riding a motorcycle is an activity that automatically adheres to the social distancing rules, but if you’re taking a ride with others, ensure that you maintain your social distance whenever you stop.
4. Consider the dangers of empty roads
If you are taking a road trip during periods of social distancing, it’s likely that you’ll find that the roads have considerably less traffic. Whilst the idea of a virtually car-free road may seem attractive to a motorcyclist, it can have its disadvantages. When roads are virtually empty, it can be common for any remaining drivers to begin to feel like they have the road all to themselves, and this can lead to them becoming less attentive. As a motorcyclist, this makes it even more important to increase your following distance and be prepared for the unexpected. Be vigilant for drivers who fail to use their turn signals, stop suddenly, speed or ignore rural stop signs.
Take extra care while riding alone along unfamiliar roads. Exercise caution to navigate curves carefully, ensuring that you maintain enough traction to handle any unseen, twisting turns or unexpected driver-behaviors up ahead.
5. Prioritize hygiene
All motorcycle riders know that it can be very challenging to avoid touching your face when riding. Airborne debris, flying insects and even beard whiskers can make us touch our face, but the less you can, the better.
Most importantly, wash your hands frequently. It’s important to consider that any surfaces in public areas could be contaminated. This includes vending machines, door handles, and the gas pump.
6. Handling the gas pump
Gas pumps are public surfaces that are touched countless times each day by many people, some of whom you can guarantee have not washed their hands. This can cause the transfer of Covid-19. Leaving your gloves on when handling a pump could simply leave you with contaminated gloves, and then as you go about the rest of your ride, you could transfer the virus further over your bike, your gear, or your face.
Wearing latex gloves is a simple solution, and it’s simple enough to take a couple with you and dispose of them before riding on. Also, opt for contactless payment wherever you can.
Many restrooms at public facilities and gas stations are currently closed, so it’s really important to carry with you some hand sanitizer and use it liberally after touching any public surfaces. Your sanitizer should be made up of more than 60% ethanol or 70% (isopropanol) alcohol.
7. Leave it in the garage
When you return home, if possible, exercise caution and leave your gear along with your bike in the garage. This is especially important if you live with anyone at a higher risk of infection due to preexisting health conditions.
As for your motorcycle, use a sanitizer to wipe down any surfaces you may have touched with your hands or gloves. It may be best to test an inconspicuous patch of your bike’s surface to be sure that the sanitizer product is safe for your bike’s finishes.
By taking the time to exercise a little extra caution and prepare for your trip, you can get out and enjoy the freedom of riding your motorcycle with peace of mind during these stressful times. It may take a bit of effort, but it will be worth it!