Lockdowns are a terrible time for those that want to ride petrol motorbikes, quad bikes, and buggies.
No matter how many precautions you take to keep your machine in the best condition possible, rust is inevitable with regular use.
It's important to shake off that lockdown riding rust and get back out on the road where you belong!
During the past 12 months, we’ve all ridden far less than normal, but now the weather is better and we're coming out of those pesky lockdowns, it's to dust of those machines and get out and about again.
Be Honest With Yourself
Riding a bike can be invigorating, but when it's been a while since you've ridden one there will inevitably be some rust on the skills.
But this is just an excuse to have fun riding and learn again how your body reacts in different situations with each ride.
So don't worry about getting back into shape or feeling rusty; rather enjoy every moment of learning something new.
The quicker you get back on the saddle (for want of a better term) and ride, the quicker you'll shake off that lockdown riding rust.
It might be worth going out with others or a group to help you get back up to speed and build your confidence.
On the other hand, it might be worth riding solo for a bit
Even though things have opened up a lot more and you are now able to meet with other petrolheads, it might be worth riding solo for a bit to re-discover yourself.
This will allow you to work on your skills and improve at the things that are really important or just fun. It's about feeling good again and getting back into those intricate movements.
This will really alleviate the pressure of always having to ride with others.
When riding in a group, there's a tendency to want to go faster or do something more technical.
All of this is great, but it might be worth taking the time to go slower and work on your technique rather than racing around at a million miles per hour doing wheelies all over the place.
Ensure You Have Your Bike or Quad Serviced
If you're just venturing back out after the lockdowns, ensure you have your bike serviced before you go.
It has probably been a while since you last checked the oil or tyre pressure so it's important to get that done before you set off.
It's a good idea to give your mechanic a call or stop by for an inspection so they can tell you what needs to be serviced or maintained.
Practice braking in a controlled manner that avoids skidding (this is important)
Since you haven't been out for a while, it might be a good idea to practice breaking in a controlled manner that avoids skidding.
This is such an important thing to do because it retrains that muscle memory and you'll find yourself breaking more smoothly.
You need to do this because when you're riding on a motorbike, quad bike or buggy and the speed is higher than usual, your reaction time is going to be shorter too so it's imperative that you have control over your braking power.
Start with short rides of about 10 miles at a time
It might be a good idea to limit the number of miles you go at the beginning. This will allow you to build up your confidence and help you get used to the new feeling of riding again.
The first thing that I would recommend is going for short rides, about ten miles at a time.
This will give you enough time to evaluate how well your bike is performing after being in storage or if there are any issues with it from wear and tear during the lockdown.
Are You In Shape?
This is is a really hard question to ask, but are you in shape? If not, now is a good time to start.
If you are in the position where you think that maybe your fitness levels have gone down, it might be worth investing some of your free time into going for a run or taking up another aerobic activity. It's important to keep yourself as fit and flexible as possible.
Riding a motorbike or quad bike means you need to be physically fit and you also need to have flexibility in your joints.
You should think about how much time you are going to be sitting on a petrol quad bike or motorbike when it's not moving, which can lead to backache and other physical problems like repetitive strain injury (RSI) that will affect your ability to ride for long periods.
The more you exercise, the more mobile and flexible you will be.
Go Somewhere New
If you travel along the same old routes, you're not going to see anything new.
You're also going to take things for granted and feel too confident in your ability to get around.
With any luck, you'll discover some new places to travel along that you don't normally visit.
You might find some routes you'll want to revisit and that will help keep the ride fresh for a while longer.
No matter if you're riding on the road or an off-beaten trail, don't forget to look for potholes.
They can be tricky to spot if you're not paying attention, but it's worth taking a few minutes on the bike just before start off to check your route and dodge any potential hazards that might get in your way when riding.
With so much time passing, new potholes have popped up and old ones have disappeared.
So even if you were familiar with the area, it's worth taking a few minutes to check over your route again before setting off on your ride.
Get An Eye Test
You may or may not have been working from home this past year and probably didn't realise that your eyesight may be deteriorating.
It's important to monitor your eye health and get an annual eye test, so you can identify any vision problems early on before they become a serious issue for you or anyone else who rides with you.
It might also be a good idea to get a new visor for your helmet as the other one might have been scratched from flying debris and dirt, previously.
If you’re ready to get back on the bike, don't be afraid to admit it.
You'll never learn how long it takes for your body to get back in tune with riding if you don't get out there and do it.
Be honest with yourself about what feels right for YOU and take it slow again once the time is right. Overcoming this challenge will only make you stronger in the end.
It’s important to ride on your own and learn how to make adjustments for yourself after a long time out of the saddle.
If you're going to get back on a bike after not riding for some time, it's important that you practice braking in a controlled manner.
A sudden jerk of the handlebars could cause an accident and put your safety at risk.
Practice stopping with smooth pressure applied gradually through the brakes until you feel steady again.
It's amazing how quickly you can get out of practice when you don't ride as often.
It's never too late to get back on your bike. Remember that it can take time for the body to adjust to cycling again, so don't be discouraged if you need breaks after a few rides before continuing on with an increased distance.
The key is patience and persistence; as long as you're persistent in getting out there every day, even if it's just 10 miles at a time, over time you'll find yourself feeling more confident and ready for longer distances!
It's also important to ensure that the bike or quad has been serviced.
Not doing so can lead to problems in the future with parts wearing out and not working properly.
It also increases the risk of an accident happening which could be costly for both financial reasons as well as emotional ones.
Contact us anytime - we're always happy to help get you up and riding again!
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