As I’m ex-biker, I thought I’d steer away from four wheels for a moment and share some riding tips I learnt – sometimes the hard way.
Anyway, I hope my words below will help guide motorcyclists through the cold, wet and windy weather.
There may be rubble ahead
When you’re riding in the rain look well ahead; make sure you have enough following distance to avoid large puddles or drain covers. And watch out for potholes that fill up with rain water because you never know how deep they are, and they are not always easy to spot. Changes in road surfaces can be very slippery and dangerous, so make sure you’re riding at a steady pace – giving yourself enough time to slow down if you need to.
Sprays of water
Large vehicles and lorries will throw up a wall of spray. To avoid the worst of it avoid overtaking or rushing passed large vehicle, especially when you’re on the motorway. Spray can also affect your ability to see clearly, misting up your helmet. Use an anti-mist spray or have a visor insert fitted into the inside of your helmet to keep out any water.
Pools of water
Heavy rain forces pools of water to form across carriageways – forcing motorcyclists to either brake sharply into the water or accelerate through it. While pools of water are unavoidable you should avoid braking or accelerating and simply ease off the throttle for a bit. Hold onto the handlebars firmly and steer ahead in a straight line to pass through the pool as smoothly as possible.
Fallen trees and branches
Be wary of narrow roads where large trees and branches fall, which will unsettle your bike. If you can, avoid travelling on roads that are affected by high winds, and take a route that is less likely to be affected – even if it means you’re on the road for a little longer.
Gaps in buildings
Watch out for any gaps between buildings and trees where large vehicles can force motorcycles to shudder. Remember, strong winds will affect other vehicles too – large and flat sided vehicles are usually more affected. See that you give them more room, and if you plan to overtake them make sure it is safe to do so when winds are less blustery.
You might want to check out http://www.bikesafe.co.uk/ for further advice.