By Grey Shawger @whiskeysolo @greyshawger.
Some things are a given when going for longer rides: getting dusty, getting sunburnt, making friends, putting miles on your moto . . . and riding in strong winds. On your journey to the campsite or on your ride-outs you will most likely encounter some powerful winds. There are ways to think ahead, be proactive, and ride safety through the wind. I interviewed several of my experienced friends at Harley-Davidson of Glendale for tips on battling those blasts and received some good advice:
· Be fully geared up. The first way to protect yourself is to be fully geared up, especially by wearing a full face helmet with eye protection. It’s important to stay focused and keep your eyes alert and open instead of squinting through dust and debris.
· Keep your eyes up and look far ahead. Do not look down at the road in front of you. By putting your focus farther away you can better judge your surroundings. Being oriented on the goal ahead also makes the tough part of the journey go faster rather than feeling as though you’re inching along.
· Lean into the wind. Counteracting that push will keep you moving in a straight line. Be alert so when that gust let’s go you’ll remain in control and move back into an upright position. Which leads to the next trick…
· Loosen up and don’t forget to breathe! The bike will move around in the wind and that’s okay. Drop your shoulders, take a deep breathe, relax your hands and let some blood back into those white knuckles. By staying loose and agile you will be able to feel your bike and make corrections smoothly.
· Stay in the center of the lane. This gives you room to maneuver in the space without heading over the line or into the gravel
· Finally, keep moving. Don’t slow down to a crawl, it will tire you out and cause you to lose focus. Maintain your speed and push through, you will get past the wind and, if you’re on the way to enjoy BRO, there are good times waiting at the end of the ride.
Rides an Iron 883