Although some riders prepare their motorcycle for storage after Labor Day passes, many others look forward to the days ahead for cooler riding weather. As such, with the sun still high in the afternoon, many hit the road for a journey down Connecticut’s most scenic routes.
Yet, the seasonal changes of fall call for a need to adapt your gear and skills. As you continue to take your bike out over the next couple of months, keep the following safety concerns in mind.
Dress for Cooler Days and Colder Nights
Although autumn can bring the occasional Indian summer in New England, 60-degree afternoons and evenings in the 40s are more likely. As such, your riding apparel should anticipate these conditions:
- Always wear layers that you can easily put on and take off as needed.
- Rather than wearing cotton as a base garment, start with something thermal to trap warmth or a synthetic blend to control moisture.
- For your midsection, wear something substantial like a zip-up sweatshirt.
- Leather offers excellent wind resistance while still letting you move. Many pieces, including leather riding boots, have synthetic liners that let your skin breathe if you suddenly get warm.
- Never forget a pair of glove liners. When not in use, they can be easily stowed away.
- Always have rain gear ready – otherwise, you risk getting hypothermia out on the road.
- If you wear a helmet, make sure it has a half or full visor. This feature shields your eyes from blinding sunlight and helps prevent harsh, cold air from hitting you in the face.
Understand the Season’s Common Hazards
During fall, the terrain tends to have more potholes, leaves and animals crossing. You also have to contend with shorter daylight hours. In response, know to look for the following:
- Dry leaves – a common sight in New England – can camouflage road imperfections, like uneven surfaces, slippery patches and potholes.
- Longer hours of dark and bright sunlight. Riders should ensure their bike has fully working and clean lights and must come prepared with reflective and high-visibility gear.
- Icy Surfaces. Frost can appear in fall, especially in the mornings and evenings. Understand that roads may form a thin layer of ice – especially in shaded areas and along bridges.
- Riding alone. Drivers may not be expecting to see as many motorcyclists on the road when summer passes. Unless you travel with a group, you may be by yourself on some roads. In response, make yourself clearly visible and always be alert to other drivers.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur in all seasons and in all conditions. Even the most careful riders may find themselves colliding with another vehicle. If your insurance company refuses to compensate you fully for your injuries, Trantolo & Trantolo stands on the side of the injured rider. With several staff members involved in Connecticut’s motorcycle community, we have the riding experience to assist with your claim. To learn more, contact us today.