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Bike cop blog

Bike cop blog

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Tip of the Month

January

Poor weather conditions will affect your visibility and the handling and grip of the machine making skids and aquaplaning more likely. Be mindful of this and only ride if you have to. Look out for microclimates. Ice and wetness can linger in shaded areas. Ride to the weather conditions.

February

This is the month for high winds and heavy rain. Beware of cross winds as they can blow you off course. Check the weather forecast before you set off. If you're already out on the road and the wind picks up, look at the weather socks and other vehicles. Keep your speed low and plan your course to give additional space to your downwind side. Larger machines are more at risk in strong winds.

March

For some of us, bike season is around the corner with many machines coming out of hibernation for the warmer, drier months. Make sure your bike is prepped and ensure it's fully functional and legal.

April

As well as your bike coming out of hibernation, so are you. The Easter holidays are a busy period for bikers in general, especially those who have not ridden much through the winter. Brush up on your skills and ability - consider a BikeSafe course, which launches this month.

May

After clocking up some miles in March and April and getting your skills polished, make sure you carry out the POWER checks regularly as you use your machine more during the summer months. The POWER check will ensure your bike is in tip top condition and safe.

June

Keep your observations up. Unlike the winter months when the wet weather helps emphasise poor road conditions, you need to be more alert with your observations as increased traffic on the road means oil spills and diesel spots are more likely.

July

Many bike enthusiasts will go off on their summer holidays in July, loading up their bikes with equipment and luggage. Ensure that you do not overload your machine and make sure that the load is secure and in suitable luggage. Read your manufacturer's recommendations for carrying capacity and check those tyre pressures because of the extra load.

August

Because of the nicer weather, your bike rides may be longer and further afield. Ensure you take adequate rest breaks to keep your concentration levels up and take on plenty of fluids (non alcoholic). Don't be tempted to wear less protective clothing in the heat as there are more hazards on the road because of the increased traffic, making you more vulnerable.

September

End of the holiday period but still a high volume of traffic on the road. Keep your observations sharp and ensure that you are always riding in the right position, at the right speed and the right gear for that speed. Last BikeSafe course this month so think about signing up to further your skills even more.

October

The most frightening thing for a biker at this time of year is when the sun is lower in the sky. A number of accidents have happened because other drivers have been blinded by the sun and not seen motorcyclists, causing a collision. Make sure your headlight is always on, is clean and you wear some form of reflective jacket/bib. Always look for eye contact with other drivers. If you haven't got it, use your horn or lights to alert them to your presence on the road.

November

The cold, damp weather is here so make sure you're wearing the right kit to keep you dry and warm. Once you start getting cold and wet, you'll end up losing concentration and get fatigued, putting you at further risk. Autumn is here which means fallen leaves on the road so golden rule - if it's shiny, stay off it. Don't forget your POWER checks and make sure your tyre pressure (as recommended by manufacturer) and depths (1mm) are correct.

December

The weather doesn't get any better with fog, mist, snow and sleet - not the best conditions for being out on the bike. Make sure your visor is clean, use anti-mist sprays on visors and mirrors and check that your lights are clean and working so you can be seen by other motorists. Ride at a sensible speed and double your stopping distance.