5 riding skills to brush up on #ride5000miles

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It might not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner. This is what you need to do to make that first ride back a success.

To get you in the mood for better weather riding here are five tips to improve your riding.

1. re-read the road

Don’t assume your favourite road will be the same as when you last rode it. There can be new potholes, road repairs etc. Treat it like a new road. It’s bound to have changed even if only slightly so have a good recce and make sure you know it before riding it like you did before.

2. Approach the first corners with care

It’s a case really of just getting yourself back into good habits: good corner approaches, good lines and just being ‘steady as you go’ in a safe, sensible way until you’re up to speed.

3. Sharpen your stopping

It’s worthwhile practising your braking. One thing I’ve found out in my years of training is that a lot of riders aren’t that good if they’ve got to brake hard or in a hurry because they don’t do it very often. ABS helps but it’s still worthwhile practising somewhere quiet,especially after a bit of a lay-off, and get a feel once again for your bike and its brakes.

4. On manoeuvres

Sometimes you get back on your bike after a lay off and you’ll find your skills have dulled. So brush up your basic, slow riding skills before you start riding a little faster. That doesn’t mean going round and doing figure-of-eights or cones, but just honing your skills when you come up to junctions or stops. Skilful slow riding is key.

5. Keep your eyes peeled

You’ll really need to think hard about how the traffic’s moving and so on. At this time of year you particularly want to keep things smooth, and not be caught out, so you need to plan ahead as best you can. You need to get your road sense back up to par, particularly if you’ve just been riding around in cars for a couple of months. So that means looking as far into the distance as possible, hunting out clues as to what’s ahead.

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Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Retired police motorcyclist, now Class One certified instructor for Rapid Training