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Riding With Power

Most people enjoy power. As Tim the Tool Man says, “More Power!” Many people seek power for themselves while others seek the strength of others because the leadership that powerful people provide. But power means different things to different people. They try to obtain power in different ways.

"Performing effectively while operating a motorcycle means getting to our destination without problems."

To some, power equates to strength. They think of physical power. They go to the gym and work out regularly. They build their muscles through weight training and protein enhanced diets. They realize that the stronger they are, the more powerful they will be. To some the strength of power may not be physical, but may come from controlling their emotions and appearing cool and calm regardless of the situation. 

To others, power refers to their bikes and the engines that drive them. They look for biggest bikes with most powerful engines or they increase the performance of their current engine. They may install hotter cams to increase horsepower or rebuild the engine with oversize pistons and greater compression to get still more power.

For others, power comes from having others follow them. They position themselves politically and assume leadership roles so they can have more power. They relish feeling in control and being in a position of influence. Often this is driven by a desire to use their abilities to help others, but sometimes it may be for self-gratification.

One dictionary definition of power is “the ability to act or perform effectively.” What does that mean for us? Performing effectively while operating a motorcycle means getting to our destination without problems; without hurting others or ourselves. To do this means riding with control. It means riding responsibly.

Riding responsibly requires proper preparation. We must prepare our bike to make sure it is mechanically sound and ready for the ride. A pre-ride inspection that verifies the operation of our controls and lighting systems, assesses tire condition and inflation pressure, confirms fluid levels, adjusts the suspension as necessary and visually examines the entire bike will help ensure our bike id ready to go.

We also need to prepare ourselves mentally and physically. Responsible riders ensure their mind is sharp and free of distractions so they can make the quick, sound judgments required as we ride. Physical preparations include making sure we are healthy and well rested, unimpaired by alcohol or medications and wearing the proper riding gear for comfort and protection.

Riding with control also means knowing our capabilities and the limits they contain. We must appreciate our own mental and physical capabilities and realize they may diminish as the day and ride wear on. We must be aware of the capabilities and limitations of our bike and how those change with a passenger or loaded with gear for a long trip. We must also understand the limitations of our riding environment and how it is affected by weather and traffic conditions.

The capabilities of and the restrictions posed by our bike, our environment and ourselves determine our envelope of control. We need to use these parameters to define how we ride so we don’t exceed them. We must learn to ride with control. We must be responsible riders. We are responsible for the outcome – and our future.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!