The 4-Step Plan for Bikers

If you have many bikers (as in motorcycles) in your MoveSMART® training adding a few practical applications may make their biking safer and more comfortable (and the training more interesting). The MoveSMART® 4-Step Plan For Taking Personal Control is a powerful strategy that applies to all safety – not just lifting or slips/trips/falls or manual work.

Here are some ideas to consider.

Shield Yourself:  Remember the real message here is to protect yourself from forces entering your body. With that in mind:

– Wear clothing, gloves and boots that protect against skin loss and blunt force trauma.

– Wear a helmet that meets code and fits snuggly. (Don’t bother arguing with those who refuse to wear helmets where it’s legal to do so.)

– Make sure your bike is mechanically sound.

– Keep tires in good condition and pumped to the proper pressure.

– Choose rides and ride conditions with safety in mind.

– Adjust your riding to the weather conditions and the road surface. Wind, heat, cold, and rain add to the challenge of safe biking.

– Ride with people who ride safely.

– Be physically fit for a ride:  take time for good eating, drinking (but not alcohol) and rest.

– Know your personal abilities and limits – both overall and specific to your ride and conditions (for example, be honest with yourself if you’re mostly a fair-weather riders and conditions look wet.)

Reenergize:  Recall that the message here is to replenish your energy when fatigued or when you’ve absorbed forces – to boost both safety and enjoyment.

– On longer rides, be sure to stop often enough to keep your body alert and mobile.

– Use MoveSMART® stretches during stops.

– Around the city, take advantage when you stop at traffic lights for Swimmers ShakeOut™ or other reenergizes.

– Keep well hydrated with water.

Save Yourself:

– Safety is the ultimate self-defense. Like a master martial artist, be relaxed, alert and ready for anything. Always assume that nobody on the highways sees you. As they say, “Drive defensively.” And don’t stop doing so when you are at a light or sign.

– A corollary to the point above:  If they do see you, don’t assume that they will cut you any slack because you’re on a bike.

– Make a habit of identifying escape routes/”bail-outs” for “what-if situations” – pre-set where you can safely move towards if something suddenly happens.

– Braking distances are about the same for motorcycles and cars (around 200+ feet at 60mph on good pavement and usually under perfect test conditions), but remember that braking a motorcycle takes more skill – and has more potential for critical end results if done poorly. Because of that you need great anticipation and should leave more space to work with.

– Note changing road surfaces as you go (in our MoveSMART® Balance module, we call these “Border Areas.”) The earlier you see railroad tracks, manhole covers, gravel dregs, directional markings painted on the pavement (slippery when wet), icy bridges, etc. the more quickly you can make changes in speed or angle.

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