How to Become a Motorway Master
Heading out on the motorway for the first time can be a daunting prospect for a new rider. This is for numerous reasons; the increased speed, lorries, side winds, traffic density, the list goes on... This guide will assist both new riders as well as more experienced riders who are open to new ways of improving their riding experience.
A key element is confidence, before you get on a motorway make sure you know your bike, become confident on the road and in making the gear changes, nobody wants to be travelling at 70mph worrying that something doesn't feel quite right. In gaining confidence off the motorway, you'll feel more confident when on it. Remember that you have as much right to be there as anyone else, and try not to feel intimidated by other users. In doing this you will relax and enjoy the ride, which is actually beneficial, as you won't exhaust yourself with worry.
However, caution is undoubtedly a factor that needs to be constantly considered, try to stay out of drivers blind spots, before overtaking try to make sure those around you are aware of the manoeuvre you are about to make. When filtering do it carefully, just because you can travel at 70mph doesn't mean that you're obligated to do so, give yourself and the others around you time to react, the slightest movement or hesitation can have varied consequences. Another point to consider is braking distance, at 60mph you'll travel roughly 70 meters before coming to a complete stop. Always think what's 70 meters in front of you, and the consequences of what would happen if that obstacle was to suddenly come to a standstill.
Finally, something that goes without saying, please wear the correct attire. When travelling at high speeds if you're in jeans and a t-shirt, not only if you come off is it going to be painful but also the debris on the road could cut and slice your skin. Wearing the correct gear could save your life and will certainly give you a much better chance of walking away from an incident.
On the road, it is true that confidence is key but remember to exercise caution whilst using it. Expect the unexpected and always make sure you respect the other people on the roads. But most importantly, enjoy the experience; it will make you a better and more cautious rider in the long run!
21.01.15 - Big Ed