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Risk Hierarchy: Information - Rider Ed - Driver Ed - Conspicuity - Bike Defect - Ultra-Defensive Riding - Crash Avoidance - Injury Mitigation - Crash Scene

toolsReady to Ride

Assuming you have been with us this far, you are now ready to get on the road. Your have a bike, you've been maintaining it according to the technical schedule and it fits you, and you've done the pre-ride check..

Next, you get yourself ready to ride by putting on your riding gear, and push the bike onto the road. We cover riding gear in a later section.

Trip Preparation

Here's an article on trip preparation from BMW MOA Foundation. Any luggage needs to be securely attached, as close to the center of gravity of the bike as possible, and in such a way as not to interfere with the rider's movements, lighting visibility or hot or moving bike parts. If planning to ride with a lot of gear, consider getting appropriate saddlebags, top boxes, sissy bags and bungee cords as needed. It's a good idea to weigh your bags before a trip to ensure that the balance is even within ten percent or so, and load heavier items in the bottom. Once you figure out a good weight distribution before a trip, pack the same way until you get home. Incorrect weight distribution can contribute to wobble or weave.

Personal Ride Readiness

A personal riding checklist includes:

Getting In the Zone

The process of getting the bike checked and getting yourself ready to ride, once it becomes a habit, will help get you 'in the zone' and ready to make the mental transition into your riding state of mind. 'In the zone' is Lee Parks term for the ideal mental state for riding. It is a state of relaxed concentration and watchfulness, which supports the multitasking needed for riding.

Some bikers have a little ritual that marks this transition. That's important as a large subset of crashes occur in the first few minutes of starting out. We don't have time to transition into our riding state after getting on the bike.

See our page on multitasking, paying attention and consciousness.

On the Road Self Monitoring

Once on the road, bear in mind that these conditions may change during the ride, so we may need to repeat our mental checklist periodically when riding.We need to have situational awareness of the road situation while we are riding. Other items that we need to self-check on an occasional basis include: