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Salt Causes Rust

Those of us who live in the Northern climes have seen and understand the effects of road salt on cars. When winter comes, we know the salt will fly and eventually coat our vehicles with a dirty grey covering. Left to its devices, the salt will find bare metal and accelerate the corrosion process.

Cars and trucks driven in the Snow Belt often develop the bubbles and holes as the rust eats away the steel body of the vehicle. Many people spend sizable sums of money to prevent the rust by applying rust resistant coatings and washing their vehicles often. They want to protect their car or truck from winter rust.

"What can we do to ensure our skills stay reasonably sharp during the seasonal hiatus."

What about us? How do we rustproof ourselves so our riding skills don't get rusty during the annual weather-induced hiatus from riding? What can we do to ensure our skills stay reasonably sharp during the winter so we are ready to ride when the warmer days of spring arrive?

This is a concern for many, especially those who just began riding this season. It should be a concern of all of us. New riders often worry about remembering the physical skills after not using them for the winter. Experienced riders tend to relearn those skills rather quickly in the spring.

With the increased traffic composed of the hurried, harried, and impatient drivers of today, any delay in regaining our mental skills should be a major concern. This is especially true early in the season when others may not be expecting to see us on the road.

Because riding is more a function of the eyes and the mind than it is of the hands and the feet, our mental skills must be sharp all of the time. To ensure they don't go south over the winter, we just need to keep using them all winter long. The street strategies we employ while riding will work in our cars just as well as they do on our bikes. In fact, they may even make us better drivers in the process.

To help new riders keep their physical skills fresh over the layoff, they can visit their beloved ride in its winter home. Sit on your bike and put your hands on the grips. Close your eyes and visualize one of your favorite rides from the now gone season. See yourself rounding that left hand corner as you turned onto that winding country road. Picture that sweeping right hand curve as the bright summer sun warmed your back. Feel the bike lean with you in your mind just as it did on that ride. Relive the feeling of control as you brought your bike to that controlled stop with your eyes fixed on the horizon.

We may have a difficult time protecting our cars from the winter salt and the rust it causes. But we can rustproof our riding skills so they are ready to go when we are in the spring. Don't let the rust build up on your skills. Keep them sharp.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!