The dangers of fatigue while driving a car or motorcycle are real. The vast majority of us have experienced some sort of fatigue while driving a car, but what about motorcyclists? You may think it is impossible for a rider to fall asleep at his handle bars, but this is a large misconception. A rider has a much more taxing job on their hands while operating their motorcycle as they have nothing protecting them from wind, weather conditions, etc.
Here are some helpful tips to make riding less exhausting:
Physical Preparation: If you are an avid rider, than a long distance ride should be no problem. However, for those who ride only once or twice a week, the physical fatigue will set in quickly. It is important to have a comfortable seat – often riders will trade in the “stock” seat (original seat) and upgrade to a more padded, larger seat to give them a more comfortable ride. If you know there is a long trip ahead, prepare yourself physically by riding more often. Whether or not you ride long distances, it is important to take breaks every two hours to stretch and walk around.
Caffeine and Alcohol: No, these do not go together; especially while riding a bike. However, having a little caffeine won’t hurt you in the short term. Don’t ever rely on caffeine to help you make it through a long distance ride – it lasts so long and then you can crash (literally and figuratively). And alcohol is a no-no! Never drink and ride – not only is it against the law, it is extremely dangerous.
Rest: Allow yourself enough time to get to your destination. This means that you should plan ahead for rest stops. When a rider is on the road, their entire body will feel exhaustion and pain – therefore, they may not get the best night sleep when they are making their stops. We suggest increasing your hours of sleep before you start your journey. Experts suggest that riders will have “tired times” during every 12-hour cycle and mostly between 3:00pm-5:00pm.
Proper Gear: The sun is draining! Therefore, if you know you will be riding in the hot sun, it is crucial to wear protective gear and sunscreen. It may seem logical to wear less clothing and an open face helmet, but it can actually do more damage. We suggest wearing a helmet that has a visor and a mesh jacket to keep you cool, but protected.
Silence: Sounds strange, huh? The sound of wind, exhaust noise and the whirr of the engine will not permanently damage your hearing, but it will cause fatigue. A small skull helmet compared to a full/open faced helmet will only amplify the fatigue if you use the latter. We suggest earplugs as it will not only help with your hearing, but also with fatigue. Additionally, we suggest a windscreen for your bike as this will help to protect you from the elements and road debris as well as reduce wind noise.
Our hope is that every rider takes precautions before they go on long distant rides. When we are alert, refreshed and protected, the odds of us getting to our destination increase drastically. However, no matter how much you are prepared, the very moment you feel fatigued, we ask you to get off the road. On behalf of Kaine Law, we wish you a long safe ride!