Solo motorcycle touring takes a whole different degree of self-reliance, awareness and planning. For better or for worse, you have to deal with any situation that comes up, so it pays to be as safe as possible while taking the calculated risks that make motorcycle touring fun.

When you’re rolling solo, keep these nine essential safety tips in mind. They’ll help you prepare for the unexpected, make smart choices while on the road and get home in one piece.

  1. Share your basic trip plan with someone you trust and check in with them periodically.

At least one trusted person should know where you’re headed on your trip. While you may not have an hour-by-hour itinerary, try to develop some check-in points at which you’ll call to let somebody know you’ve arrived safely.

If you’re doing backcountry touring, especially camping, it’s smart to provide more detailed information on your chosen stops, since it will help authorities to locate you more quickly in the event of an emergency.

  1. Keep your travel plans private from strangers on the road (and on the Internet).

The flipside of the previous tip is that you also shouldn’t be too eager to share your travel plans with folks you don’t know. It can be tons of fun meeting new friends on the road, but it’s also potentially dangerous to let a stranger know too much. Keep descriptions of your route relatively vague when making small talk with others on the road.

This tip is also true for social media, where many people aren’t aware of the risks they take by sharing their locations on apps like Instagram. Rather than telling strangers your immediate whereabouts, post pictures with location tags a day or two after you leave the area.

  1. Ride during the daytime whenever possible.

Between decreased visibility, intoxicated drivers and rider fatigue, riding a motorcycle at night can present some significant hazards. Thus, it’s advisable to stick to daytime riding whenever you can.

If you care about making good time, your best bet is to start fairly early in the morning and get off the road by dusk. That requires some advance planning and a basic working knowledge of the roads and cities along your route, so familiarize yourself with travel distance between major stops and start each day by setting a loose destination goal.

  1. Never ride after you’ve been drinking.

This one should go without saying. Even a small amount of alcohol impairs your ability to operate your bike effectively—and motorcycles, as we all know, have a much smaller margin for error than most other types of vehicles. You’re putting everyone’s safety at risk when you ride after drinking, and that doesn’t even take into account the possibility of spending thousands of dollars in DUI court costs.

That doesn’t mean you can’t hit a few bars along your trip, and the many iconic biker joints along America’s great highways shouldn’t be missed (if that’s your scene). It just means that you need to think about how you’re getting back to your lodging before you have your first drink.

Source: Sergey Nemirovskiy/Shutterstock.com

  1. Carry some tools for personal protection.

While we don’t advise riding around with a personal arsenal on you, it’s good to carry something to protect yourself if worst comes to worst.

Some riders who are proficient with firearms choose to carry a compact handgun. However, unless you’re an experienced shooter and gun owner with a CCP, it’s often better to choose a lower-maintenance personal protection solution. If you do travel with a firearm, make sure that you know its safety features inside and out.

Pepper spray is a popular option for solo tourers, as are compact self-defense knives. No matter what you choose, make sure to know the laws of any state you may be in, as self-defense devices allowed in one state may not be legal in another.

  1. Have backups for your most important gear.

You should have a plan for when your most important gear fails you. This can include:

  • Backup photocopies of key documents such as your driver’s license and passport
  • A portable charger for your cell phone and other electronics
  • An extra ignition key for your bike
  • An extra set of clean clothes in a separate dry bag

When deciding which extra items you need, think about where you’re going. If you’re sticking to major cities, the basic backups above will probably be enough, but those headed into the backcountry may need to bring extras such as a spare fuel tank.

  1. Get a check-up for your bike before heading off.

You want your motorcycle to be in tip-top mechanical shape before heading out on the road. A good pre-trip inspection should include, at minimum:

  • Oil, coolant and brake fluid levels
  • Fuel lines
  • Chain and belt
  • Battery
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Tires

Take your bike to a trusted mechanic, or conduct your check-up in the garage if you’re a competent mechanic yourself.

  1. Use hands-free devices to stay in touch and manage media.

It should go without saying, but when you’re on the road, your entire attention should be focused on riding. A hands-free Bluetooth motorcycle helmet communicator is a solution that many riders use, as these devices can now accomplish everything from phone calls to controlling streaming music. Really, there was never a good reason to be fiddling with your phone while riding, but now that riders can accomplish most of the same tasks with voice commands, hands-free is a no-brainer.

  1. Go with your gut.

The senses that tell you when something’s wrong—even if you can’t quite put your finger on what—are the result of millions of years of evolution, and you should trust them more often than not. If your intuition is telling you that you’re in an unsafe situation, there’s probably a reason, even if it’s not immediately apparent to your conscious senses.

Source: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

A solo motorcycle tour is a big challenge, but it’s also an unforgettable experience that can shape your life in all kinds of positive ways. And the better-prepared any rider is at the start of their journey, the greater the chances are that they’ll end their tour on a positive and satisfying note.

 

Mobile Windshield Replacement is Becoming the Norm in Arizona During the Pandemic

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to spike worldwide, in the U.S. and Arizona. New cases in the U.S. have exceeded 200,000 per day in December. Arizona has crossed the half-million case mark, and Maricopa County leads the state with over 300,000 cases. Although bars, movie theaters, and gyms remain open, occupancy restrictions and face masks are required. The coronavirus has impacted virtually everyone’s lives everywhere throughout the state.

In this article, we review a few of the profound ways the lives of Arizonans have been disrupted and how we are adapting to this new normal, such as through mobile auto glass replacement instead of in-person service.

COVID’s Nearly Universal Impact

A recent Pew Research Center study found that nearly nine of ten adults say their lives have been changed somehow by the virus, with almost half of all respondents saying their lives have changed dramatically.

Consumer Reports conducts monthly surveys of nearly three thousand American adults regarding their level of concern with COVID. Those surveyed are a representative sample of Americans, and as seen in the chart below, their numbers are increasing.

Reprinted from Consumer Reports

Adaptations Related to the Pandemic

Not every behavioral change related to COVID-19 has been negative; some simply represent a new way of doing things; in some instances, change has been for the good. One of the most prevalent changes is people are shopping online far more. With many people staying at home more and traveling less, they find they are spending less money, and like it.

The Avoidance Adaptation

Avoidance has become a thing during the pandemic. You can almost define the coronavirus by the things we now avoid, such as:

  • Public Transportation
  • Air Travel
  • Bars & Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Gyms
  • Shopping in Brick and Mortar
  • Religious Services

We’ve been trained to avoid large gatherings, particularly indoors, resulting in the cancellation of Holiday parties, even those with friends and family.

Your Safe Haven During the Pandemic

Quarantines, lockdowns, school closures, and working remotely have turned your home into your sanctuary during the pandemic. We adapt, garages become gyms, dining rooms serve as study halls, spare bedrooms morph into offices. And guess what, people find they can be as productive, perhaps even more productive working from home in a dress shirt and pajama bottoms.

Dining-In During the Pandemic

Although many bars and restaurants in AZ are now open, with limited seating capacity, many Americans have not dined out since the early days of the pandemic. Instead, they engage in takeout, curbside pick-up, home delivery, or cook at home. Many people find they are now cooking more of their meals, avoiding processed foods, and saving money.

Telehealth and Other Adaptations in a Pandemic

Many people in Arizona still feel safe visiting their doctor in person; however, telehealthcare is expanding and may be here to stay. In addition to improved access to care, there is reduced exposure to the disease for patients and the medical staff.

As a result of the pandemic, we now know how to wash our hands properly and are encouraged to do so frequently. Words of the Year for 2020 simply must include “social distancing” and “personal protective equipment” (PPE); in other words, wear a mask.

The Pandemic and the Auto Industry

Since auto repairs are considered essential in Arizona, the service departments at most major dealerships remain open. Realizing that safety is paramount to consumers during the pandemic, most service departments follow CDC guidelines, with some offering to pick up your vehicle at your home, perform the necessary repairs at their shop, and return the car to your home.

Mobile Windshield Replacement Has Become the Norm in Mesa, AZ During COVID

Auto repair businesses like SunTec Windshield Replacement Mesa, Arizona, have seen specialized services like mobile windshield replacement become the ideal choice for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are being safer, washing their hands more often, social distancing, and staying away from others whenever possible. During COVID, SunTec can even provide same-day mobile windshield replacement at a client’s choice of the location while adhering to CDC guidelines – and with virtually no human interaction.

To Your Home

The mobile auto glass technicians come to your home in Mesa or other Arizona cities at no additional cost and usually finish a repair or replacement within one hour or less. These windshield and auto glass companies offer contact-less service and complete the repair in your garage or any shaded area. SunTec technicians can also replace broken, shattered, or cracked rear auto glass or side windows.

To Your Workplace

For essential Arizona workers currently on the job, windshield technicians can perform repairs at your workplace. When the technician arrives, you simply leave your car in the parking lot, under the shade of a tree, or in the parking garage. Leave your car unlocked, and there is no contact needed until your signature after a completed installation.

To Your Office

If it’s more convenient, a technician can perform contact-less repairs or replace any cracked or shattered auto glass, windshield, rear or side windows at your office. Professional Mesa, AZ businesses, like SunTec, will use only OEM and OEM-equivalent glass products, as well as experienced technicians who ensure fit and finish, are ideal.

Other COVID Related Trends in the Auto Industry

There are several other “megatrends” in the automotive industry related to COVID-19:

  • Consumers are shopping for their cars online
  • The increased popularity of electronic vehicles
  • A booming used car market

Arizona car buyers are avoiding the dealer’s showroom, personal contact, and the salesperson’s tactics and buying remotely. Why travel to a Mesa dealer when there is greater selection on the internet and your new vehicle can be delivered directly to your door?

EV sales and especially EV stocks have gained traction during the pandemic and are poised for a breakout year in 2021. Many electric vehicle automakers are accelerating their launch plans for new models. Bloomberg predicts that by 2022 there will be over 500 available EV models.

Used car sales and prices have increased due to limited inventories and increased demand. Typically, over time used-car values decline due to depreciation. But in this crazy year of 2020, used cars are appreciating, as evidenced by a 15.3% price increase from December 2019.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

We are optimistic that Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines mark the beginning of a return to something near normalcy. Their warp-speed development has left some consumers less than 100% confident in their efficacy. However, as first responders receive the vaccine with few reported adverse reactions, confidence and supply will grow, hopefully providing a light at the end of the COVID tunnel.

In the meantime, mobile windshield repair and replacement services will continue to dominate in Arizona; providing a safer means to get customer’s automobiles fixed and back on the road.