September is already turning out to be a promising month to get out and ride. This month look forward to continuing the SR Rider IQ Challenge and announcing winners for both it and the second round of the Safe Riding Pledge. If you haven't yet, this is the perfect month to get your free Snyder's Riders shirt at a Bike Night!
Here's what you need to know this month:
Beginning Sept. 18, all motorists in Pennsylvania will be able to legally proceed with caution when faced with a malfunctioning traffic light. The Ride on Red law was originally designed to protect motorcyclists, with hopes that it will help to prevent rear-end crashes that often occur at malfunctioning lights.
A “Pro” or just a “Joe”? In other words, how PROactive are you when riding as opposed to reactive? How often do you find yourself in a hard braking situation? Caught off guard by a vehicle stopping in front of you? Or, swerving at the last moment to avoid an object lying in the road, or a huge pothole that lies in wait for your expensive rims to explore?
How many times are you scrambling for your brakes in a tighter-than-expected curve, or being surprised by a vehicle that begins to pull out, requiring all your riding skills to avoid it?
If you found yourself nodding your head yes to one or more of these, perhaps it's time to refine those conflict recognition skills and become more of the PRO we are all striving for.
In the martial arts we are taught that action is always faster than reaction. As a motorcyclist, we strive to take control of our ride and the situations we encounter (ACTION) rather than allowing situations or rides to control us (REACTION). This requires a constant and ever-changing awareness of the roads, other vehicles, and the potential conflicts that may be presented to us.
Accident studies have shown us that intersections are the most likely place for a conflict to occur. So we can begin by getting our eyes up and making use of the information that is readily available to us with an emphasis on searching for cues of approaching intersections.
Intersection cues can include: dangerous intersection signs; street signs as you approach a hill crest; traffic lights in the distance; an angled stop sign to your right; indicating an intersecting roadway; breaks in guard rails, tree lines, hillsides, curb lines, fences, or sidewalks; a mailbox, indicating a driveway; a “stop ahead” sign; and more.
These are just a few of the clues we should be searching for allowing us to adjust our lane position and/or speed (read: SLOW DOWN in most cases) to create space and time, ultimately enabling us to turn a potential conflict into a non-issue.
“Good bikers tell boring stories” is a mantra we use in the Stayin'Safe on-road Advanced Rider Training Program, which speaks directly to this PROactive riding style. Good bikers weave stories of the places they rode, the sights they have seen, and the interesting points of interest they stumbled across during their travels.
If instead you find yourself describing tales of screeching tires, near-misses, mystery vehicles that required super-human feats of riding to avoid ... then perhaps it truly is time to rethink your riding strategy and become the PRO you are capable of!
For these and more tips on riding well, check out our Facebook page and our current Ride Safe IQ Challenge! Bonus - Members of Snyder's Riders receive a 5 percent discount on StayinSafe.com tours and our Sept. 12 prize package includes a $25 gift certificate to a ProRiderPittsburgh.com class. These are both highly recommended while pursuing that “Pro” level of riding!
Our “SR Rider IQ Challenge” giveaway is still active!
Questions are still being released on social media – remember, every time you answer a question, you receive an entry to win our September prize pack, with gift cards and perks from our partners. Did you miss a question? Don’t have social media? Don’t worry. On the day the final question is released (Sept. 9), we’ll be sending out all the quiz questions, giving everyone a second chance to answer and be entered into the contest! The contest will close at noon on Monday, Sept. 12.
If you joined after July 1 and haven’t already done so, you still have a chance to sign the Pledge and win a $100 Visa gift card. The Pledge has been extended until Friday, Sept. 30 at midnight to accommodate any new members! The winner will be announced the following Monday, Oct. 3.
*SR* designates events where Hal & Snyder’s Riders will be present. Check social media for any updates, cancellations, or additional events.