Throttle therapy

Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the moment last!

As the sun makes its tentative appearance, motorcycle riders are peeling back the moss and cracking open those soggy garage doors so that their two-wheelers can see the light of day.

To begin the season, here are two safety tactics you can apply to increase your safety and riding pleasure.

The single most important safety strategy is to ensure you have an expansive safety zone before you. Your most immediate danger comes from what you are riding towards, not from what you have left behind.

The standard rule of thumb once was to have a two-second buffer between you and the vehicle in front of you. In adverse riding conditions, ICBC now recommends a three-second following distance.

“Adverse” means anything less-than-ideal. Maybe the roads are wet, maybe you’re stuck behind a lumbering Winnebago, or maybe you have an obnoxious tailgater on your behind because they need to get ketchup from the store for their insufferable picky-eating child.

For the obnoxious tailgater, pull over and let them pass — when and where it is safe to do so. And until that is possible, ride strong and dominant (another column, another day), and occasionally flash your rear brakes to let them know to back off.

This brake-flashing strategy works. Except for the exception, most drivers are obtuse, not  intentionally mean.

Hand-in-hand with this tactic is the second strategy: letting go.

Motorcycling is a source of tremendous pleasure. To keep it that way, you need to assume everyone else is an idiot, and in the very same moment, you need to forgive them for their stupidity.

Hanging on to rage will ruin your ride.

Accept that you are the one responsible for your safety, and ride accordingly.

When you do that, biking will bring you tremendous joy; when you don’t, you will come home angry. And that defeats the purpose of throttle therapy.

Knowing that, it makes sense to slow down and expand the space between you and the car ahead of you to three seconds, and to make the moment last by not belabouring the idiots on the road but enjoying this moment that you are in.

Ride to stay alive. It’s funner that way.

Britt Santowski has been riding since she was 25, and served as a Chief Instructor with the Vancouver Island Safety Council, where she taught for nine years.

Just Posted

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Most Read