blank 08/20/15 07:10AM Motorcycle Safety, Mountain Terrain Safety, Mountain Weather Safety, Road Trip

Keeping Safe While Motorcycling Through the Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Outdoors

Thereís more to cycling than open, flat plains. Motorcycling is often thought of as something you do surrounded by vast, empty spaces, and cyclists sometimes complain about starting and stopping on steep inclines, but adventurous and skilled bikers might want to consider a mountain ride to experience variety. The breath-taking Rocky Mountains provide rideable roads and jaw-dropping sights. Biking through the Rockies presents a number of unique challenges, though, so itís best to be prepared. This page will guide you through some of those challenges.

General Motorcycling Safety

Itís always good to review the basics. Pay attention to speed limits, complete maintenance regularly, wear your helmet, donít drink and drive, watch out for cars, and bring an atlas. Remember, ď66 percent of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were determined to be Ďat faultí in 2013,Ē according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. And Sawaya Law tells us that accidents have increased over the last few decades.

Rocky Mountain Weather

Before motorcycling through the Rockies, itís crucial that you be on top of the weather. Colorado has a wide variety of conditions, some of which can pop up quickly. Download a good weather app, watch news reports, and collaborate with locals as you travel about upcoming conditions. Coloradoís Department of Transportation (CODOT) has a helpful website which lists, among other things, road conditions and travel alerts. And, obviously, avoid driving through the Rockies during rainy and snowy seasons.

Rocky Mountain Terrain

Again, CODOTís site will help you identify and plan for your trip. The Rockies offer serious terrain for drivers. Long, steep hills, narrow roads, and unique wildlife could all give you some trouble while youíre up there.

  • Hill biking. The State of Colorado has a program called Ride Wise, which is specifically designed for bikers. They offer training courses to provide riders the skills and knowledge needed to keep themselves safe and happy. And itís created by Coloradans, ensuring that youíll be getting information very relevant to your Rocky Mountain ride.
  • Narrow roads. Other motorists may be tempted to squeeze in next to you on narrow roads. Be careful; this is very dangerous. Make sure there is enough space between you and other motorists.
  • Wildlife. Mountain creatures can wander onto the roads. Watch for deer and other animals that could potentially be a factor in your journey. Common crossing spots will frequently have signs posted nearby, but remember that these animals can pop up where you least expect them. Remain vigilant even in places without warning signs.

Helpful Technologies

Thereís a great deal of gadgetry out there nowadays to help you drive through the Rockies.

  • Phone apps. Always have a reliable weather app, a good map app, and important phone numbers handy. These will help you remain knowledgeable, on your route, and connected.
  • Bike tech. BMW unveiled hill-start technology a little while back. A bike equipped with this could keep you happy and speedy. Failing that, youíll need to brush up on your hill start technique. There are tutorials available online.
  • Safety gear. This is a basic field of technology that people forget about way too often. Thereís nothing flashy about a helmet, but it could save your life. Wear it!



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