Here is a riding tip in honor of motorcycle safety and awareness month.
Ride well everyone, and Be Crash Free!
Not surprisingly, I have a Be Crash Free patch on my riding jacket and a few Be Crash Free stickes on my helmet (gotta fly the company colors!). The purpose of the patch and sticker are to be physical, visual remindrers to members about the pledge and commitments they have made to themselves; to support them in making choices that are in alignment with those commitments and values.
Last week, that patch and that sticker provided ME with that reminder and probably kept me from poor riding performance and an embarassing (and likely painful) crash. Click the short two-and-a-half minute video for the story.
Members - it is my wish that YOUR patch and YOUR sticker serve you in the same way (and many times).
For those who are not yet members, this is why I started Be Crash Free. To support riders in making choices and taking action to prevent and survive crashes. I am very pleased to report that it works! (At least it did for me...I believe it can for you, too.)
Ride well, and Be Crash...
As you are out and about riding your motorcycle:
• Have you ever felt anxiety about “what if that car pulls out in front of me?”
• Have you ever made a braking mistake or hit a slick spot, putting you into a skid?
• And have you ever worried that if something goes wrong in front of you (like the car brakes hard or even rear ends the car in front of them), that you may not get stopped in time?
Yeah …. Me, too!
In fact, thousands of riders have had those experiences. The data show us that braking problems are common in motorcycle crashes. Regardless of whose fault a situation might have been (a car driver’s fault, the rider’s fault, both, or neither), the ability to get your bike stopped quickly—or even slowed down quickly—is critical to avoiding crashes (or turning a major crash into a minor crash.)
Unfortunately, maximum braking is a skill that many of us haven’t been taught and don’t use very often. And for those...
I spent last Saturday at a motorcycle safety instructor update training. This is something that happens in every rider training program I am aware of and the purpose is for instructors to continue to get better at the business of teaching riders.
It was a day well spent and I took away a few "nuggets" that I look forward to applying in my teaching. But more than that, I was reminded of the passion and commitment of the hundreds and even thousands of motorcycle rider training instructors around the country. These are men and women who spend countless hours standing on the asphalt in the heat, the cold, the rain, and sometimes in the snow, to serve motorcycle riders in their efforts to get their license, learn basic skills, learn advanced skills and to prevent and survive crashes.
I would like to say "Thank you" to all of those people out there who are in the business of motorcycle rider training and education. You give your all for a day or a few days to these riders to have an...
Hey everyone, this is Ax, founder and president of Be Crash Free (www.BeCrashFree.com) where our mission is to inspire and empower the motorcycle riders of America to prevent and survive crashes.
So just what IS Be Crash Free?
Be Crash Free is a web-based motorcycle rider membership program. To be eligible for
membership, riders make “the Pledge” – a pledge to Ride Legal, Ride Sober, Ride Protected, Ride Skilled, and Ride Informed. The pledge is to themselves, for themselves. Members receive a membership card, a sew-on patch, and a reflective helmet sticker. Every month, members will get a riding tip as well as a reminder of the pledge they have made. In addition, members get discounts from a variety of partner companies.
Be Crash Free is based on a philosophy represented by 3 main principles:
In my home state, we have had several motorcycle crashes in the news lately. Some were fatal…some were not. The crash factors reported have been varied: animal strikes, gravel, tailgating resulting in a rear-end crash, running wide in a corner, car violating the rider’s right-of-way, etc. Some riders were wearing gear…some riders were not.
What I find interesting is that when these news stories are posted on line, people comment. A lot of those comments have the form of “Well, the rider was….” Or “That rider should have/shouldn’t have been…” and then all kinds of reasons come out. At first, I thought some of these comments were kind of harsh and were blaming the rider for the crash or for the injury – regardless of the facts of the situation. But then I stumbled on another thought…perhaps these comments represent our natural human tendency to come up with a reason that although these people crashed, we...
People (riders and non-riders alike) will often talk about a crash in a similar way – "Oh, that rider didn’t know how to corner/brake/balance/etc. THAT’s why they crashed.’" The assumption seems to be that if the rider had more knowledge (how to use the front brake assertively, how to press on the hand grip to increase lean, etc.), the crash would not have happened. In this article, I will suggest that this is not the case. Here is my story of a crash – a crash on the river in an inflatable boat.
In 2006, my wife and I wanted to spend some time on the river. So, we signed up for a beginner level kayak class. The class was an entire weekend of time in the water. We started with some briefing, then we got in a very calm lake, then on a pretty calm river, then the next day progressed to a more challenging river. This follows a very similar pattern to motorcycle rider training in a "learn to ride" class.
It was a good class and the Instructors did a...
Many of us remember Inspector Callahan’s famous quote from “Dirty Harry” (1971). We may not often think of it this way, but there is a certain amount of "luck" involved in riding a motorcycle and whether or not we are involved in a crash. Motorcycle rider training folks like me typically focus on the factors that are within the rider’s control, but the reality is that there is a luck element to our crash risk.
Consider our natural response when we hear someone is involved in a car crash. Among others, I’ll bet that we all feel or think some version of:
Similarly, when people hear...
So, I’m outside riding bikes (bicycles) with my 3-year old son in the driveway. He has his bicycle helmet on – as do I (doing my best to lead by example) and we are riding pretty quickly in tight circles. He rides a Strider Bike (no training wheels, no pedals), so he is pushing himself with his feet. In the middle of a turn, he catches his heel on the axle nut of the back wheel, pops the rear wheel off the ground, and presto – low side and face plant.
He wasn’t hurt bad, but he did take a pretty good hit to his nose and lips and there was quite a bit of blood. If you’ve ever had a low-side crash on your motorcycle, you know how fast you can find yourself on the ground. Between the surprise of finding himself on the ground so fast, pain to the face, and the sight of so much of his own blood, he did freak out a little. I took him inside, cleaned him up, and he was fine.
But it was a real life reminder of how unforgiving asphalt is. His face was only about...