By John Gard
GWRRA #117760 Huron, South Dakota
Its the weekend! So, you take a ride in the country. You ride to an area where you spent several years growing up on the farm. The old farmstead has changed. The yard, where you once played, is now overgrown with tall grass. As you enter the neglected farmyard and park the bike, you reminisce on how the property used to look.
What hazards can you expect when you ride off the beaten path, such as at this farm area? Potential hidden perils could include mud, objects that might puncture a tire, or holes in the ground. The hole in the photo is a real beauty, measuring six inches deep and nineteen inches long! Note how well the recently mowed hay camouflages it. (I placed a ruler into the hole to give an idea of the depth.) If a front tire should drop in, it would take some extra maneuvering on your part to free your bike. Also, consider the danger of stepping in this hole while straddling your Wing and ultimately losing your balance. Enough said.
The Wing, because of its length, will not turn around in as tight a space as a smaller bike such as a scooter. As a result, wide turns are often the norm even with the handlebars locked in the direction of the turn. Wide turns work well where a large area of road surface is clearly visible. However, in a situation where there is limited visibility, its wise to maneuver your bike only in an area that is clearly visible both in front and behind your Wing. In turning, you may have to inch forward then backward, repeating this process several times to get pointed in the right direction.
At times we choose to ride off the beaten path. It may be a stop to see the oil well that is pumping, snap a closeup photo of the deer by the creek, or to view the old farmstead where you once grew up. When road surface visibility is restricted, creative turning on your part should keep you clear of hidden hazards.
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