Getting on the bike again – Part four

Thinking of getting back on your bike this Spring after some time away?

If you are, there are some golden rules to follow if you are to do so in safety…

It may be as recently as autumn when you were last out on your bike – or it could be even longer than that. There are plenty of riders who love their bikes but give them up for family reasons, only to return to two wheels in their 40s and 50s.

Whichever it is, a few months or a few years, we want to get you thinking about what you need to do before you ride off on your first adventure. Here are some hints and tips…

Watch your spacing

Car, van and truck drivers don’t mean to make mistakes around motorbikers. It’s just that when they do, as a vulnerable road user, motorbikes, scooter and moped riders can pay a hefty price for their carelessness if they fail to spot us, turn into us or stop abruptly in front of us.

That’s why it’s important to build some safe space into your ride. Don’t assume you’ve been spotted by other, larger road users, particularly if they are looking to emerge into your path. Never ride too close to the car in front – even if they are driving slowly. Hang back, don’t get frustrated and wait for a safe opportunity to overtake.

Watch your cornering

If you haven’t been out on your bike for a while it’s easy to forget the golden rules of cornering. Remember the maxim, slow in, quick out, when it comes to taking a corner. It’s always easier to put speed on when going into a bend than to take it off. Accelerating into a corner is just about the most dangerous thing you can do.

Look to open the throttle up slightly as you enter the bend, and then roll the throttle a bit more as you finish your bend. This will get the bike back to an upright position and let you cruise along your way.


Good observation is critical for a smoother cornering. You want to look through the corner. Don’t just look where you want to go, position your head so that you are physically looking in the direction you want to go. Doing so will allow you to focus better on the turn and see it through correctly instead of misjudging your movement.

Remember your line(s)

We’re not talking amateur dramatics here, rather, the line you pick when you take a bend. Pick a line that gives a good view and a safe, sweeping line through the corner.

As soon as you see a bend ahead, position the bike over to the left side of the road for a right-hand bend, or nearer to the centre line for a left-hander.

How far over do you go? Only as far as you feel comfortable. By spotting the corner and setting it up early, you have time to make preparations.

But each bend has its own requirements. For instance, if there is a lot of debris in the gutters, don’t venture too close for a right-hander; similarly, if there is traffic coming in the opposite direction, don’t ride too close to the central white line.





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