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Lifestyles -

September 7, 2013

Headout on the highway: Motorcylists offer tips for novices

Motorcycles and their riders are often seen and heard on Catskills roads and highways. For new people considering taking to the open road, seasoned riders offer advice about the investment required, and the risk involved. 

Several veteran motorcyclists offered their best advice to people considering becoming motorcyclists. 

Safety was at the top of Sherburne resident Jim Finch’s list. 

“Pay attention. Anything can pop out at you at any time,” he cautioned. “Make sure you’re not driving too close to anything. If you are new at it, you should be with somebody else. Don’t go out there alone.” 

He added an encouragement for riders to especially those people who wouldn’t care to be hit in the face by a swarm of insects or other airborne objects. 

Making sure you have safe equipment is also important. Beverly Kulikowski of Lake Road, Pa., said that when she and her husband got their current motorcycles, they had everything checked for safety and balance “for safety. To have fun and feel comfortable, you have to feel safe.” 

She also pointed out the importance of having the right equipment. 

Frank Parks of Stamford recommended that cyclists wear pants with protection both inside and out. “They’re made of some sort of abrasive resistant material,” said Parks. “Jackets, elbows and shoulders should be reinforced with the same materials.”

Also, Parks put in a good word for defensive driving. 

“You’re never going to win in any kind of collision with a car,” he pointed out. “As to that whole issue about texting and cell phone use, I can’t drive anywhere these days without seeing someone on a phone or tapping on something. There are a lot of distracted drivers out there.”

Harpersfield’s Keith Bell has been repairing motorcycles for several years. He stressed that the beginner motorcyclist should try riding as many bikes as he or she can before buying one. “Be patient. Sit on a lot of them until you find one that fits you right,” he advised.

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