(Ottawa) – Ottawa Police Service motorcycle officers are reminding fellow riders to be aware of spring riding safety.
“With warmer weather, more motorcycle riders are on our roads and spring riding has its own particular hazards and dangers,” says Constable Sean Ralph. “When getting your bike back on the road, please keep safety and potential hazards top of mind.”
Potholes: Riders be aware of damage to road surfaces in the winter months caused by frozen asphalt and snow plows. The best way to deal with them is to remain attentive and avoid them until road crews can make repairs.
Road Debris / Sand and Gravel: They’re necessary to keep the roads safe during our winters, but they create a safety hazard for motorcyclists in Spring. Salt leaves a fine film, which reduces traction, making it harder to control your bike. Sand accumulates on roadways in corners, intersections, and between tire tracks. Residue is more prevalent on low-traffic roads, but prepare for it to be on all streets, especially in turns. Better yet, wait until after a heavy rainfall or street sweepers to clean the road before heading out.
Rusty Skills: It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been riding or how fantastic a rider you think you are, these are perishable skills that decline when they’re not used. Your first Spring destination should be a vacant parking lot where you can practice slow speed maneuvers, quick braking, and swerves. Develop the muscle memory to make your reactions automatic and controlled.
Car Drivers and Other Traffic: They haven’t had to share the road with you for five months. Drivers don’t see you at the best of times, let alone when they’re not expecting you. Assume you’re invisible. Give yourself plenty of space, pay attention to what other drivers are doing, anticipate their next move, and make yourself as visible as possible by wearing a bright fluorescent jacket.
Motorcycle Readiness: Even if meticulously winterized, give your bike a thorough inspection before taking it out the first time. It’s carrying precious cargo! Tires will likely have lost air pressure and need a top up. Check cables, fluid levels, and tire treads.
We are also reminding drivers and other road users and drivers to watch out for motorcycles by following all traffic laws and sharing the road.
More motorcycle safety tips are available online.