The riding season has begun and motorcycle rallies can be found all over, from sea to shining sea. The Laughlin River Run approaches on the hot heels of Daytona, Arizona Bike Week, and MotoGP. Unfortunately, already this year has brought some casualties at these events in the form of theft and the loss of brother and sister riders. In this light, we thought that a few safety tips on how to keep you and your bike safe at motorcycle rallies will help keep us all in the saddle and the party going.
Getting to Motorcycle Rallies
Preparing for a rally starts months in advance, especially if it’s like this year’s 75th Anniversary of Sturgis where hotels are booked up over 6 months in advance. Once you know if you will be staying in a tent, hotel, or RV, you can plan to bring a few items that will keep you and your ride safe.
- If you don’t already have one, purchasing a wheel lock is a good idea. Using a regular lock like a Master Lock works just as well by feeding it through one of the holes on the front brake disk. This is small enough to carry with you wherever you ride and you don’t need saddlebags. Consider adding a cable for added security; bicycle lock cables are generally sufficient and compact enough to fit under a seat.
- The key to getting there safely is to give yourself enough time to enjoy the ride, take the appropriate gear, and keep your communication device charged and dry.
- Download the Law Tigers app to be prepared in case of an emergency. You never know when you’ll need to locate a repair shop, tow truck, or a Law Tigers motorcycle lawyer.
Once the rally has begun and the party is hopping, enjoy the festivities while keeping in mind a few things:
- Local residents know what is going on; some are not happy to have so many bikers in town and others are waiting to take advantage of having so many bikers in town. Be a courteous rider when traveling in the community, and always park your bike in a well-lit area that is always in the line of sight of someone.
- Group rides are fun to participate in while at rallies, however, they can be deadly as we saw this year. Be aware that if the group does not have a police escort it is illegal to stop traffic to allow the group to go through the intersections together. Getting separated from the group for a bit is better than rushing through the intersection and getting hit. Know the group’s route beforehand so if you do get separated you will be able to catch up on your own. Ride in a staggered formation while group riding and be familiar with hand signals that the group is using. Familiarize yourself with safe group riding techniques.
- Stay hydrated and wear sun protection. You don’t want illness to ruin your fun.
- Try to minimize riding at night. Alcohol will most likely be a factor with motorists. If you can camp or stay near the event to minimize your night traveling you will greatly reduce your odds of being involved in an accident.
The Ride Home
All good things must come to an end. When the daylight comes and it’s time to pack up and head home, keep in mind:
- Everyone will be rushing to get home the morning after the last day of the rally. Relax and try to wait until the afternoon or even the next day.
- Don’t leave at night. Whether it’s the last night of the rally or the night after, the best practice is to get a full night’s sleep and leave in the morning or afternoon when you’re well-rested and ready.
- Make sure to schedule sufficient time to drive home at a good pace so you can enjoy the last little bit of freedom before heading back to reality. Ponder the good times you just had and ride safe.
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