Education is the cornerstone to becoming a better and safer rider. Many of us seek out knowledge on how to be better at riding. You’ll often hear us talk about major and more minor changes to our riding styles because we’ve learned something new and have started to apply it. Braking and cornering are probably the two most critical skills to have. Over the years our club members continue to practice skills to become safer riders. Some members excell in skills and are always approachable to assist guests and/or new members.. We always remember to remain teachable and pass on to other riders what we have learned.
On our rides, we always have a riding skill that we are going to focus on for the day. During the morning’s safety talk, we take time to discuss and explain the skill and how to execute it. We believe that riding should be safe as well as fun.
Rules of the Ride
- Never ride under the influence of any substance. No alcohol or drug use permitted on all Homoto rides for the complete duration of the event. Lunch is included in this duration.
- Ride with a clear head and don’t ride angry.
- Ride at your skill level. If you fall behind don’t worry, you’ll catch up.
- YOU are responsible for the rider behind you.
- If you come to a turn or confusing intersection, stop and wait until the rider behind you sees you. Be sure that this rider is from our group.
- Never share the lane with another rider (except when stopped).
- Do not pass another rider in the same lane unless they signal you to pass.
- Always pass on the left and only when you have a lane to do so.
- Do not tailgate.
- Designate a ride buddy, exchange contact numbers and text them when you arrive home
- Ride Safe. We’re all at risk when you don’t. Enjoy the ride.
- Complete a comprehensive check of your motorcycle (TCLOCK). This includes tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis, and kickstand. http://frederickhog.org/tips/tclock.htm
- We expect you to be riding a safe, street legal motorcycle. We do not permit bikes that are not safe, ride ready, and/or legal to join our rides.
- Be sure you gas up prior to arriving at the Meetup location. It is your responsibility to know your gas consumption and be prepared to ride the distance to our first listed gas stop. Typically, we stop within 120 miles for rests, gas, and hydration. Know the route for the day.
- Make sure to get a proper fitting helmet, one that pinches, squeezes, or rolls around on your head will be a distraction while riding.
- The helmet should be a snug fit and comfortable for hours.
- Helmets have a lifespan. If the helmet is dropped or banged against something it should be replaced. After a few years of use, it should be replaced.
- Always protect your helmet, always store it where it will not get bumped, knocked, or dropped.
- Clean it with only approved products, water and mild soap works well. Avoid harsh chemicals.
- Wear gloves appropriate for the riding conditions (if it’s hot wear well ventilated gloves, if it’s rainy wear waterproof gloves).
- If your gloves are damaged replace them. They are often the first impact point.
- Make sure your gloves are a good fit and comfortable for hours.
- Always wear motorcycle gloves, not gloves intended for other activities
- Keep your gloves clean and in good condition.
Jacket & Pants
- Have different gear for the different seasons, it’s important to be comfortable while being safe and protected
- Keep your jackets in good condition, any damage may mean it doesn’t protect the rider properly
- Gear that has removable inserts can add value and comfort as conditions change
- Make sure to change out the armor when it becomes oder
- Always wear proper motorcycle boots
- Make sure they are a proper fit, boots that are uncomfortable at a short time can distract you from riding and put you at greater risk.
- There are plenty of safe gear with lots of air flow
- A wet vest or neck piece can help keep you cool
- Wool socks are of great value
- Tight fitting sweaters that provide warmth are of value
- Wool long underwear
- Heated gear is a real bonus
- Gor-Tex rules – you can get everything in Gor-tex materials today
- Pay attention to waterproof vs. water resistant – it will matter
- Staying dry is extremely important when it’s cold, carry a set of rain gear
Dangerous gear: scarfs, shoe laces, gear not intended for motorcycle riding (sneakers, winter gloves, only jeans, etc).
- So you are the Q in Moto LGBTQ, i.e. curious about riding a motorcycle? Here some really good advice from a cis heterosexual dude (and where he talks about group rides: Homoto explicitly says, “ride your own ride”, as he does, at your own speed, always sober and with full gear)
- Don’t drop your motorcycle: 5 tips and 3 riding exercises (if you need cones to practice, turn to Andreas)
- Emergency and other braking
- Slow & tight U-turn on any motorcycle
- A beginner’s guide to cornering, a better way to turn your motorcycle
- How to prepare for and deal with sand or gravel in corners
- If you like to get some more individual beginner rider training, turn to the year’s Ride Captain or another club member.
- To prime your mind with the theory of good riding, consider Doc Wong’s “clinics”
- For improving your skills as an advanced rider try out some of the schools at regional race tracks, like e.g. Carters@theTrack, Superbike Coach, California Superbike School.
You can learn these and more skills in Alameda County Sheriff Academy Civilian Motorcycle Basics, or all over the US at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.