Summer's over, but in Northern California, the arrival of fall doesn't mean it's time to put the motorcycles away. We're lucky that the California climate allows us to ride all year.
Motorcyclists are some of the most "at-risk" drivers on the road. That's because they can accelerate and travel at high speeds, yet their bodies don't benefit from any kind of protection in the event of a crash. Yes, motorcycle helmets help. Yes, armored riding pants and jackets help. However, if a motorcyclist gets into a serious collision, there's a good chance he or she could suffer a catastrophic injury or death, so it's vital for cyclists to do everything they can to avoid getting into a collision in the first place.
Even the most experienced California motorcyclists - and drivers - need a reminder about the rules of the road.
You wake up in a California hospital bed, groggy, and have no idea why you are there. Your family is at your bedside.
The California road system is quite a remarkable creation, from small, neighborhood streets to interstate highways. And what do they all have in common, despite their differing sizes and speed limits? They get a variety of motorized and nonmotorized vehicles from one place to another every day.
Motorcycles are one of the best ways to get around California. Anyone who has lane-split on a bike down a crowded freeway can attest to the freedom and convenience of two wheels over four. But biking can also pose dangers to riders that can prove life-changing or even life-ending.
Motorcycles are a big part of life on the roads of California. Anyone in a freeway traffic jam has envied the freedom of bikes, and thousands prefer the scenery of the Golden State from behind handlebars. Although they can be more fun, motorcycles often present hazards to drivers and riders alike, and all types of drivers must be on the lookout for them.
Spring brings motorcycle season to the nation at large and specifically to California. The Golden State is home to the largest population of motorcycle enthusiasts in the country, and many more come to the deserts and shores of the region for the extra thrill.
Many drivers in California choose to own a motorcycle because smaller vehicles are more maneuverable and can move faster through freeway traffic, passing between cars and using HOV lanes. There is also the attraction of feeling free; i.e., the thrill of the ride is not the same behind handlebars as compared to sitting in the driver's seat of a car. Nonetheless, motorcycles come with hazards and risks as they are often harder to see in the lane by drivers of nearby cars and trucks. There is little protection for motorcycle drivers and passengers, so accidents caused by careless drivers who are not aware of traffic near them, or motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause serious injury or death.
With favorable weather and thousands of miles of quality roads, California has one of the highest populations of motorcyclists in the United States. Bikers are rarely alone on the road, and they have to be mindful of the cars, trucks and buses nearby to stay safe.