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It's Always Halloween

Ah, Halloween! The flickering glow given off by candles through the devilish grins of curiously carved pumpkins barely illuminates the tombstones that pop out of the ground like big, flat weeds unwavering in the cold fall winds. Ghosts and goblins dance in the breeze as they hang from leafless limbs overhead while monsters and other creatures of the dark protect the carefully decorated yards like ghoulish guards waiting for an opportunity to add another marker to their graveyard collection. It's an eerie setting of spiders, bats and black cats with witches, warlocks, and other evil spirits thrown in for good measure. No wonder so many find it chilling.

But as frightening as Halloween might be, its scary spirits pale in comparison to what we face every time we light the candle in the belly of our two-wheeled creature and venture out amongst the poltergeists on the roadway. We deal with eyes, noses and wide open mouths carved out of the road on all but the freshest of surfaces. Vehicles are piloted around us by phantom drivers busily chasing things going "bump" in their car or eerily communicating with distant ghosts with mysterious hand held devices.

The first nips of frost signal a change in the seasons as Halloween approaches; often adding a cold fall rain to the spine-chilling and sinister environment and dampening the annual festivities. Throw in well worn or improperly inflated tires to mix in with the rain slick pavement and a sinister sensation creeps into our riding experience. If we haven't been nurturing and improving our skills, they may tend to erode like the fading rays of a dying candle in a neglected jack-o-lantern and a strange sensation sneaks in as we're bombarded by the bizarre events occurring around us.

With all these ghastly situations, and more, lurking to introduce a mysterious twist to our adventure, we're dealing with scarier situations than Halloween can conjure up on every ride we take. The primary difference is that the supernatural activities of Halloween are nowhere near as real as the happenstances we face on the road. For us, every day is Halloween and the ghosts and goblins we're experiencing are much more detrimental to our well-being.

There are three things we can do to manage these scary trolls that seem ready to cast a deadly spell on us. First we must recognize and be aware of these risks as we ride. It's hard to contend with circumstances we don't see. Secondly we need a strategy to address these alarming happenstances before they become a huge problem for us. The third calls for our physical skills to be as sharp and as ready to use as Count Dracula's teeth when something unexpected does slip through our mental defenses and threatens to put an eerie end to our ride.

The uncanny and unknowing spirits lying in wait to spook us with their devastating powers require we maintain a vigilant watch for anything appearing out of the normal. We can't afford to slip into autopilot mode and expect everyone else to behave on the road. Halloween is about tricking and treating. If we want to be treated to an enjoyable ride, we've got to have the mental and physical skills necessary to avoid the tricks. Continuously learning, practicing and improving our riding skills will help keep the ghouls away.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!