Spring through fall the mountains are likely to hum with the sound of motorcyclists coming around the bend. They flock to the area to enjoy the twisting and turning of the mountain roads; not to mention the beautiful views! Western North Carolina is one of the best motorcycle destinations in the United States. North Carolina provides you with miles of fantastic roads.
Many people do not realize how different mountain roads are from flat roads most are used to. When traveling along the mountains there are often tight twists and turns most riders are not used to. Everyone who rides knows there are already some real dangers. When you throw I all the turns through the mountains, and the other cars on the road who may not know how to drive; things become even more dangerous.
You can find a list of helpful hints to keep yourself a little safer on the road.
- Make sure you have on full protective gear. As most riders know, road rash is not fun! When dealing with crazy mountain roads, you never know what is around the next corner.
- Always use proper lane placement to make you as visible as possible to the surrounding traffic.
- Wear bright colors during the day. There is a reason many Harley Davidson shirts are bright orange. Also, make sure to wear reflectors if traveling at night.
- When you are traveling downhill, use your right brake. This is opposite when going uphill. You want to make sure when you are descending to use your back brakes, so your bike doesn’t slid out from under you.
- Take you time. Remember this is supposed to be a relaxing trip through the mountains. There is a high percentage of motorcycle accidents in the mountains. Many of these are attributed to inexperienced bikers. Slow down and take your time!
- Keep a full tank of gas. When you are in the mountains you never know when you are going to come across the next gas station. You could spend hours in the middle of nowhere! Take a break to stretch your legs and fill up on gas when you can.
- When stalling, avoid the clutch. In tight hairpin curves you need to go faster than your stall speed and avoid using the clutch. If you feel as though you are about to stall, pull over to the side of the road, hit your rear brake, and let it stall. If you use your clutch, you will begin to roll backwards. Therefore, stalling on your right brake is safer than rolling backwards.
- Always bring rain gear. You never know when the weather will change in the mountains. As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” Also, when it is raining the roads can quickly become dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings and know where you can pull off for a bit until the rain dies down.
- Per the usual in the mountains, you cannot rely on cell phone service. Because you will spend the majority of your journey taking in the scenery of the middle of nowhere, there is the possibility you will not have cell service. Print out directions of where you are going or bring a GPS device to navigate your journey.