Huge Week For Harley Riders as Mid-America H.O.G. Rally Comes to Dubuque
And when I say huge, I mean HUGE! Like 500,000 members strong and over 1,000 pre-registered bikes already for the Mid-America H.O.G. Rally presents; Hollywood Dubuque; pre-party events start on Wednesday, July 20th, and go through Saturday, July 23rd. H.O.G. stands for the Harley Owners Group and yes, they are 500,000 members strong! And that's not all, McGrath Dubuque Harley Davidson will also be holding Bike Night on Thursday, July 21st, where the opening ceremony will take place; featuring, live music, good food, and cold beverages. With all the biker activities planned it might be a good time to go over some simple safety tips to keep yourself, 2-wheels down and to protect all our in-coming riders.
According to a study from the United States Department of Transportation, "Per vehicle miles traveled in 2020, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured. Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment."
1) First have a license, and if needed take a training course. Harley-Davidson even offers training for beginning riders which you can find here. And if your interested in how riding a new bike might feel, swing by McGrath Dubuque Harley Davidson through the weekend to try out their demo truck to find the bike that's right for you.
2) Get road ready. Before every ride, check your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels. Check under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If carrying/pulling cargo, secure and balance the load or adjust the suspension and tire pressure to accommodate extra weight. If you're carrying a passenger, he or she should mount the motorcycle only after the engine has started; should sit as far forward as possible, directly behind you; and keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped making sure to avoid the hot muffler. Do not let your passenger dismount the motorcycle until you say it is safe.
3) Dress for the Slide; not for ride. I have no idea how many times I've heard this growing up. Motorcycle gloves and a motorcycle helmet are the only essential motorcycle specific items. And remember, places like McGrath Dubuque Harley Davidson can help you ensure that you have the right motorcycle gear. Recommended wear includes: a Long-sleeve shirt or jacket, Long pants (heavy denim or riding pants, leathers), sturdy over-the-ankle boots, Eye protection, Full-finger motorcycle gloves, and DOT-certified helmet style based on the requirements of your state.
4) Be road aware at all times! Roads were primarily designed for cars and transport. Rarely are motorcycle specifics focused on for roadway safety. The choice of roadside barriers and guardrails to prevent vehicles from crossing over a median or running off the road have proved to be dangerous for motorcyclists, as they are designed to dissipate braking energy for much heavier and sturdier cars and trucks. In addition, road surface can contribute to a crashes. A sudden change in the riding surface (say grass clippings, water pools, or ice) can be sufficient enough to cause a momentary loss of traction. The risk of skidding increases if the motorcyclist is braking or changing direction. This is due to the fact that most of the braking and steering control are through the front wheel, while power is delivered through the rear wheel.
5) Driver visibility is huge when biking. Another old saying here; keep your head on a swivel, the only one looking out for you, is you. That goes without saying, right? Your on a bike so you are harder to see and lets be honest sometimes the other road users are NOT paying very close attention to bikers. Watch blind spots and make sure to never ride in the if possible. Automobile drivers, always double check blind spots and ramps before merging; your biker friends will thank you.
Keep it safe out there in Dubuque this coming week loads of bikers means lots of fun, but it also means extra responsibility driving. Keep it safe and we'll see you out and about for the Mid-America H.O.G. Rally 2022 and our 3rd Bike Night of the year! Watch this page for more information on the big rally and bike night a McGrath Dubuque Harley Davidson.