7 Safety Tips for Driving a Motorcycle in Colorado in Late Fall/Early Winter
Colorado is a popular place for motorcycle riding, and the late fall and early winter can be a wonderful time to take in the mountain scenery on your bike. Follow these tips to help keep yourself safe on the road as the seasons change.
- Plan Your Route
The Live to Ride project from the Colorado Department of Transportation offers a motorcycle skill-rating map. This resource can be handy for planning your ride and ensuring the route you’re planning matches your skill level.
- Check Road Conditions
Before you hit the road on your bike, check out what the current conditions are and find out where highway construction is happening. You can call 511 or 303-639-1111 to get the most up-to-date info via a recorded message.
- Dress for the Weather
Mountain roads start to get cold this time of year. A warm and comfortable rider is a safer rider. Invest in some lightweight thermal underwear for a layer of warmth without bulk. Also, protect your extremities with warm gloves, socks, and boots. And a helmet will not only keep your head warm, but it can also prevent fatal injury in case of an accident.
- Keep Your Bike Well-Maintained
Be sure to perform any routine winter maintenance your bike may need early in the season. Your antifreeze should be fresh, and make sure your radiator and hoses are in good shape. Check your owner’s manual and information from your manufacturer to find out what other winter maintenance your bike needs.
- Be Alert to Road Conditions
In addition to checking road conditions before you head out, stay alert as you’re riding. Colder weather can mean salt on the road, cracks from plows, and black ice – all of which present particular hazards to motorcycle riders.
- Increase Your Following Distance
When riding in fall and winter, be sure to open up your following distance, keeping several car lengths of space in front of you. This helps increase your reaction time should you spot a hazard up ahead.
- If it Starts Snowing, Go Home
Fresh snow on the roads makes them extra slick, the perfect recipe for accidents. If snow starts to fall, head home, and go back out again once the roads are clear and safer.