What keeps you safe?

State of Mind

I saw this little clip from Micheal Neevers and thought it was really interesting, specifically the bit about mind set. I thought I was the only weird one doing that whole state of mind thing before getting on the bike, but I have never really been able to just jump on the bike and ride in the same way that I will just jump in the car drive for an hour.

I always have to think carefully about where I am going, about the ride I want to have etc, sometimes even lay my kit out the night before especially if it is a long ride on the next day. :smiley: Admittedly I don’t always do the tyre, chain, lights check but getting better at. Also then when I am on the bike keeping myself in check, especially when you can go from 0 to asshole in seconds, gotta think about making it back home. Not saying I have never gotten carried away, but recognising it straight away and calming the £$%^ down.

I am curious what do you do, is there a routine, or do you just jump on the bloody thing and crack on?


get on & ride
I don’t check anything it was fine when I got of it the night before


I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only over-thinker on here.

I’m definitely in the crack on category, but for very good reasons.

Over sharing time: I suffer massively from anxiety, to the extent that some days I literally can’t leave the house. One of the symptoms is that I over plan things. When that involves the bike, that’ll mean being awake for hours fretting over everything from what I’m going to wear, the order that I put it all on, what I need to do and the order I need to do it to get the bike out of the garage, where my turning point on the drive needs to be to get out on to the main road… It goes on and on and it’s bloody exhausting, to the point that I’m usually such a ball of irrational anxiety that I can’t then actually get out!

To combat that, I’ve become very good at going into mind blank mode and get up and go, and try not to act like too much of a twat hooligan in the first few miles until the adrenaline and nerves have settled.

I’m not a totally useless bike owner though and check oil, tyres yaddyyah regularly, usually after a ride and when the anxiety levels are more manageable.


As someone that commuted pre covid into work every single day I was a kick tyres jump on kind of guy!
But when i’m on the bike i dont like any distractions - no music, no radio just me and 100% attention on the road.

In my first years of riding and when I feel my concentration going I start to narrate my ride :
“that car is slowing down, i bet someone will push in”
“that corner coming up is opening/closing up, time to get on the throttle/break”
“oups didnt mean to pull that wheelie!”

I have gotten carried away a number of times but lived to tell the tale, and learn from it.

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Oh I rode without music until I did, now I can’t ride without it. Also it helps set the mode of the ride. Jazz = nice and slow relaxed, dance hall = I need to get home :rofl:.

Cannot help but narrate, cuss, talk to myself everything to get me committed to the Asylum :grin:

When I commuted it was a little jump on and ride, but that was because it is the same route day in, day out, but not any more with the joy rides.

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From experience, sometimes shit happen and nothing you can do about it.

But always be extra careful if you’re tired/hungry and/or not feeling it for any reason.

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Before setting off for the first time on a day I always flip the switches to check all the lights work, kick the tyres, glance at the ground for oil, and then once I get on the bike engage each brake in turn and try to give the bike a push. It takes seconds to do. I should check the chain more, but if that starts to get too loose you can feel that when riding.

I also listen to music (or cricket commentaries!) most of the time when riding as it allows me to better concentrate on the road. When I was first learning I would overthink things and get distracted by needing to do this and then that, and each being a separate step that slows things down, rather than just doing them.

I think listening to something distracts the subconscious part of my brain, allowing the conscious part to just concentrate on the road and riding. Not just to avoid obsessing on the mechanics of riding, but also it makes it more difficult to get caught up with other thoughts that may arise, especially on boring sections of road.

But there is plenty of research proving that some people study better listening to music, and others need silence. So it is probably the same principle as that. Although in more hazardous areas, like busy urban ones, the extra noise can be a distraction so then I would turn it off. I would always turn it off if filtering. Or choose to sit in traffic so I can listen to the cricket.

I am a terrible rider though, as in lack of confidence rather than stupid, so I have plenty of anxieties. And every bad experience sticks. So I am very cautious if in a second lane when passing someone join from a slip road (or in lane three when they move from one to two) just in case they decide to move across two lanes at once. All because one time a car came within inches of merging with me by doing that.

And not something most riders need to worry about, but at the moment I am particularly paranoid about hypos on roads with no safe place to stop, such as motorways without a hard shoulder. Mainly because the other week I had to stop in a lay-by on the A14 to check my glucose levels, and then had to eat a piece of cake (it is the law!) while lorries are passing by inches away as there was no physical segregation. It did not feel safe for that length of time, let alone had I needed to wait for an hour. I do not know how I have been lucky to have never had one in seven years of riding so far, but it will surely happen at some point.

So what keeps me safe when riding is biscuits and crips and sweets!


That’s a good video. I’ve learnt something, from 6:10-6:48 was useful.

The first ride of the day, I check my lights, indicators, horn, and brake lights by using the front lever and rear brake pedal. I do this whilst my helmet camera is running, as evidence to it, in case anyone runs into the back of me, again. I have the Michelin tyre pressure monitors fitted, and they seem to be very accurate.

As some of you are aware, I’m also fastidious when cleaning my toy. That proved essential with the Terrible Triumph when finding out that bolts had fallen off from the engine. Just in case some of you aren’t aware, I had 17 warranty issues with my 2013 Daytona, purchased from a main Triumph dealer at only 6 months old. That dealership did all the servicing for it, and fixed 16 of the 17 problems. The way I was treated by that dealership, and Triumph head office, has assured me that I will never buy a Triumph again. As it’s been over a year, maybe two, that I’ve bitched about the Terrible Triumph, I thought this would be an appropriate opportunity to do so.

Ah, as for mindset, I do throw a prayer upstairs to The Boss, just as my first ride of the day starts. I can almost hear Him saying back to me, after I’ve asked Him to keep me safe and my licence clean “Well the licence is down to you, and as for safety, you know what to do and what not to do. Come on Mart, not everything is up to me.” That kind of reply does keep me smart, most of the time.

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Oh, did you previously own a Triumph @aceman? You’ve never mentioned it before… :wink:


Always good to have a bit of prep before a ride, though I don’t ride day in day out anymore so need to kick the tyres a bit harder each ride to check for air.
I can’t be listening to music while riding unless I know I’ll be smashing out motorway miles, even then I probably won’t bother. Too high a BPM and the throttle goes louder :slight_smile:

I also know not to ride angry as that’s going to get you hurt more quickly than not.
Years ago I was first on scene to a rider pushing his bike out of bushes in the Kent countryside. Stopped to help and make sure he was ok, the first thing he blurted out was “I’m twat and have just had a massive disagreement with the wife, she’ll fucking love this” LOL
Sat him down, I got the bike out and checked it was ok, apart from some scratches nothing else wrong with it or him. So, so lucky.


So I try not to ride if I am angry or got something really troubling me. Just opt out of the ride if that’s the case (as I did the iron butt the other day)

If on a tour - not really had many issues to be fair - but if I am getting would up with a rider (riding like a knob) will make an excuse and ride separately (rather than have a confrontation and then get angry)

Getting angry when riding…thought about this the other day. Since I’ve done the advanced stuff seem to get far less stressed on the road (Though that could just be cos I am not working). The other day, was on a left line for a right hander and a car came round with his tyre on my side of the road. I know had I been closer it would have scared me / wound me up about the idiot. Instead I just shrugged and said yeah, sometimes it happens. So good lines keep you calm (as well as safe :slight_smile: )

Good on Gav for stopping to see how the rider was - asked a few times if people are ok - 9 times out of 10 it’s someone waiting for a mate or having a p*ss!

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I always remember the advice given in Jupiter’s Travels that towards the end of a journey, when you’re tired and just want to get there, slow down. Get home ‘itis’ is dangerous!

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I’ve noticed this. I’ve rebuked myself before for taking unacceptable risks and sloppy riding at the end of a long day.

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I think its one of the reasons why I have not done any touring on the bike yet. neck hurts, back hurts, bum hurts, wrists hurts, its no longer enjoyable and you just want to arrive, so you go for it. I am getting more into the habit of regular stops, kit off and a few stretches and that revives me a bit.

@bluelagos that level of discipline not sure how you do it. I am not the road rage type, but my in helmet commentary is vile and hilarious :rofl:

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Pre flight checks: fewer when ridden daily but always some of the key elements of POWDDERSS, rolling brake check always.

I think everyone on here probably thinks about the way they ride just most of it is second nature so they don’t realise they do it.

Low early morning/sunset sun behind you? - filter slower
Gritter lorries out night before? easy on those roundabouts
Riding to weather and road conditions

Some days we get on the bike before/after work and we’re exceptionally tired, for those I reserve a mantra “just get it home”. I repeat that every time I go for an overtake or so much as a lane change to avoid making a tiredness induced mistake. So far it’s helped

Quite genuinely since March last year I’ve maybe ridden my motorbike 5 times. I’m actually nervous about going back to work. The longest I’d been off a bike continuously in the last 7 years or so was 3 or 4 days. Now every time I get back on the bike I pretend I’ve just passed my test and I’m trying to reign myself in. I’m mindful that I won’t necessarily make the right instinctive decision and I’m probably more liable to target fixation now than I would have been a year ago. I’m not just cautious because of me, I’ve seen some pretty inexcusable driving recently so i expect we’ll be more exposed now than before than pandemic to others’ “mistakes”

Music, it’s a personal choice for everyone but for me it’s a no because I think we rely on our hearing to keep us in touch with what’s going on around us


Similar here.

Good advice. I shall try to do the same.

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I certainly do all the mechanical checks especially tyres. I also do my version of how well I performed afterwards looking at stuff like what I did well and what needs improvement. Brutal honesty required for any of this to be useful.Ed.

Another Episode

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only 40 mph and so much damage. We are fragile little things aren’t we.