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Motorcycling the Blue Ridge Parkway

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Fall is a beautiful time in Virginia, and if you are one of the Commonwealth’s many motorcycle enthusiasts, you may be tempted to take a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway this fall. The parkway is special because it changes in elevation and has east and west facing slopes. This variety helps to create the multi-color experience millions of yearly visitors enjoy.

The 100th Anniversary of the National Park System will encourage even more guests in the Shenandoah area. With more visitors, the number of vehicle accidents, and motorcycle accidents is likely to increase.  Accidents involving cars impacting a motorcyclist are the most common, but accidents from unsafe road conditions may also happen.

Here are some ways to make sure your outing is safe and enjoyable:

•  Slow down – Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the natural beauty. The falling leaves may make the road slippery for cars, bikes, and motorcycles. The serpentine roads, low temperatures, and wet foliage can be a dangerous combination. Driving the speed limit gives you more time to react to road debris.

•  Slow In, Fast Out  to help navigate twisting roads. Once you have entered the turn, you can speed up as needed. If you find you’ve entered a turn and cannot slow down, don’t slam on the brakes. A sharp break will cause the bike to lose traction, and can cause much more injury.

• Wear a helmet – Virginia Law requires all riders to wear a helmet.  Make sure your helmet fits correctly to lower the risk of traumatic brain injury.

• Wear protective clothing.  The Virginia DMV recommends leather jackets and pants, plus durable gloves and “proper footwear.

• Get a vision check-up. Not only will a vision check-up improve the autumn experience, it will help to prevent injury.

• Make sure your motorcycle insurance is up-to-date and comprehensive – In addition to having the minimum insurance required, make sure the insurance fits your family’s needs. If something were to happen, it is better to be prepared.

• See and be seen – Make sure you are visible to the other drivers. Try to make eye-contact when appropriate. Enjoy the bright fall colors while rocking some as well.

• Ride with a club. There are several motorcycle clubs in Virginia, and you can find one  that is right for you.  We particularly like the Winchester Chapter of HOG  because they are so active in the community, and the US Military Veterans clubs in Leesburg and Richmond.

We hope to see you out on the roads before the weather gets too cold!

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