Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Co-Rider’s Handbook

So you’re the co-rider this trip. What could you do to make the ride more pleasurable for both you and the rider?

The Look

No, The Look is not a style of clothing. It’s even easier (and cheaper) than that. The Look is looking at the right place as the bike makes a turn. Why not take advantage of the same technique a trained rider uses to keep oriented in a turn? The place to look is over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn. As you look over the rider’s right shoulder in a right turn, look all the way through the turn and keep your eyes level with the horizon. This means tilting your head away from the direction of the turn. If you’re turning right, lean your body right but keep your head vertical. Using The Look keeps you leaning with the rider and keeps you oriented properly so you can enjoy the turns even more.

A Sense of Direction

Wouldn’t you like your rider to pay more attention to the road and less to the map? If you think it’s hard to read a map while driving, it’s even harder to read a map while riding a motorcycle. The rider is usually glad to have someone else navigate. As a co-rider you can concentrate on the navigation, allowing the rider to concentrate on riding.

Preparation

A very short checklist can make any ride a lot more pleasant. Do you have rain gear, sunscreen, a map and sunglasses? These items are often not in plain sight but will be sorely missed if they are needed and not there. Of course, there is much more that can be put on your checklist for the trip. You do have a checklist, don’t you?

Not all preparation can be done just before the trip. Was the trip planned so the rider had a chance to get adequate sleep before starting? Working all day and riding all night is probably not the best plan for rider or co-rider.

Results

Investing a little time on preparation beforehand and a little effort on The Look and navigation during the ride can make it more pleasant for both the rider and the co-rider.

by Robert Vaughan

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