With the improved weather, light nights and increase in visitors Orkney’s roads get a lot busier from now on. Many of the road users will be motorcyclists.
Police Scotland have launched their annual road safety campaign as the number of bikers enjoying our roads will rise over the coming months. They have advice specifically for bikers:
- Take time to negotiate bends on rural A roads
- Take extra care at junctions – remember in a busy environment or built up areas you could get lost to other drivers in all the activity
- Take care when overtaking and only overtake when it is safe to do so
- Know your cycle and how to manage it if you do start to feel like you are losing control.
Watch: Perfect Day
A motorcycle helmet is required by law and clothing is particularly important.
“Fall off your bike and tarmac will shred through your jeans in a second” Protective Gear for Bikers
Helmet: Helmets sold in the UK must satisfy either British Standard 6658: 1985 or ECE Regulation 22.05 standards. Look for a label inside the helmet or on the shell to confirm this.
Gloves: never ride without specialist motorcycle gloves
Boots: The lower leg is the most likely part to get injured in any accident. The boots you wear ought to be sturdy and above ankle-height to provide support and protection for
the ankle area. Ideally they should be made from good quality leather (at least 2.5mm thick) and be waterproof too.
Jacket and Trousers: “A short slide on tarmac – even at 30mph – will shred through clothes and then take skin down to bone in no time.”
Good quality biker leathers with internal integrated CE approved body armour will provide the best all round protection.
Alternative to leathers: a suit made from a highly waterproof material such as Cordura. Protection from the elements is coupled with thermal linings – which are often removable to allow for use in the spring or summer – and body armour too.
All clothing or gear must carry a permanently attached CE label with the number of the Standard.
- Boots – CE EN 13634
- Motorcycle jackets, trousers and suits – CE EN 13595
- Impact protectors and body armour – CE EN 1621
Watch: Safe riding from a police officer’s view
There used to be a safety slogan for motorists checking their rear-view mirrors –
“Think once, think twice, think bike.”
It’s easy not to see bikers, of all kinds, among traffic.
Many of my family are bikers, and they have lost many friends, to road accidents – it’s part of what they take on “Live to ride, ride to live”, but a bit of care, all round, does help.
You can’t miss a Harley – you can hear them coming!