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Ride Safe! Ride Often!

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We’ve seen and heard an awful lot about distracted drivers on the road. You know, the ones doing almost everything except driving their vehicles as we share the road with them. They are readily identified by the use of their cell phones, computers, reading materials, razors, and curling irons while sitting in the driver’s seat of their moving vehicles. With their minds drawn away by their other activities, they are less focused on their driving and less likely to see us.

Have you ever become one of them while you’re riding? Has something ever drawn and kept your attention while you’re riding? It can happen very easily if you let it. Because of our vulnerability, we can’t afford to become one of them and allow anything to steal our attention from our riding.

"Because of our vulnerability, we can’t afford to allow anything to steal our attention from our riding."

I’ve seen motorcycles sharing a lane, riding side by side on the road, while the riders discuss important issues like world peace and where to stop next. Throughout their conversation, these riders are less than fully focused on their riding and what’s happening around them. They may not see the truck snaking down the driveway getting ready to pull out in front of them.

Sometimes it’s a passenger that grabs our attention and diverts our interest. We may turn to ask our co-rider a question or to respond to one from the back seat. Regardless of who initiated the conversation, we chose that moment to become distracted and may miss the car turning left in front of our bike. Occasionally the distraction is caused by our unrealistic expectations. We assume everyone else on the road will continue to do what they’re doing. Then we get surprised when we aren’t watching the brake lights of the vehicle ahead of them and it suddenly stops for no apparent reason.

 Distractions can even be caused by other traffic. We can become so focused on an erratic driver or on something happening near by and be unaware of another hazardous situations developing directly ahead. Problems at home or at work can also rob us of our ability to fully concentrate on riding. Our mind can only process one thought at a time so while we’re sorting through our problems, we can’t be thinking about what else is developing on the road.

 Often these distractions result in us facing unexpected situations; conditions we might have seen developing if our focus had not been diverted. Because we’re caught off guard, we have little time to react to these potentially hazardous conditions. We can’t let anything distract us from our riding. Being distracted can present a serious risk to our health and our riding enjoyment. We must keep our focus and continually pay attention to what’s happening around us. The consequences of distracted riding are too great.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!