Tag: safety

Avoiding Animals While Riding Your Motorcycle

Avoiding Animals While Riding Your Motorcycle

When I first started riding, one of the sage pieces of advice that I received regarding dealing with animals out on the road was: “if you you can eat it in one sitting, you can ride over it.” Sure appetites may vary, but there’s probably some truth to that.

Tip: Dealing with Chasing Dogs

Don’t kick or swerve towards the dog. Vary your speed by slowing down and speeding up until you can put it safely behind you. This technique keeps the dog unable to estimate where you will be in relation to them.

I’m happy to report that has worked for me when I needed it.

Avoiding Bambi – Deer

Being a NY Metro girl, the biggest animals I usually have to deal with are deer. Such a sweet looking animal can strike terror in your heart when you see them up close and personal on the roadways.

If you see deer signs posted, here’s an idea… heed their warning! Slow down and scan the shoulder as you ride. Deer often move in groups so if you see one, expect to see another.

Be extra mindful during the early morning and at dusk, this is when deer are often active. One good thing to note is that a deer’s eyes will often reflect light to give them away when they aren’t in plain sight. The Blue Ridge Parkway Journeys blog has some good tips for avoiding deer collisions.

Brake for Moose

Moose are huge. If you see moose crossing signs, slow down and keep your eyes open. They won’t necessarily be frightened by the sound of your bike so be prepared to stop.  The Heart of New England offers some advice on how to prepare yourself to ride in moose country.

Moose spotted in Maine
Moose spotted in Maine

In 2003, I took my first ride to Maine. I can still remember sitting at lunch saying “I hope we get to see a moose.” I wish I knew then that it would put a check mark in the foreshadowing column of my scorecard.

As the dark settled in, Mother Nature unleashed a storm on us as we worked our way across the unlit Kancamagus Highway. I sat tucked behind the anemic headlights of my Ducati 996 following Kenny. With no streetlights helping us along, we rode through the dark rainy night. Suddenly a hulking, dark shape stepped towards the roadway. As Kenny applied his brakes, my wet visor went red with the reflection of his taillight and I saw nothing for a moment. My only thought as I began to brake was ”Oh God, please let it keep moving.’

Luckily, the moose did just that and continued it’s walk across the road. I saw my first moose but it was nothing like I’d planned.

Kenny and the Bear in Cooke City, Montana
Kenny and the bear in Cooke City, Montana

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

On a trip through Yellowstone in 2005, Kenny and I used a minivan as cover to get around three ornery looking buffalo that were in the roadway.  We did our best to improvise by putting the van between us and them.

Though buffalo appear to be docile and minding their own business doing buffalo things, it’s important to remember they are wild animals;  2,000 pound, unpredictable wild animals.  It’s best to keep your distance.

Buffalo in the road - Yellowstone

In Sequoia National Park, I nearly peed in my pants after almost hitting a bear. I was entirely unprepared to even see a bear let alone be what felt like a few inches away from one on the bike. That also cured me of “wanting to see a bear.”

And then there was this other time I was riding with Kenny and he swears he saw a Jackalope… but that’s a story for another day.

Let’s hear from you:

  • Do devices like deer whistles work?
  • What’s the most biggest and/or most interesting animal you’ve encountered on the road?
  • Do you have any safety tips to share?
  • What’s the weirdest animal crossing sign you’ve ever seen? Turtles, Grizzly Bear, etc.
On the road of life you can never completely insulate yourself from danger but you can take steps to minimize your risk.
New York State: Watch For Motorcycles Stickers

New York State: Watch For Motorcycles Stickers

A few weeks ago after picking up a ‘Watch for Motorcycles‘ bumper sticker in a local bike shop, I faxed a letter to the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. In my fax I stated that I was a New York State motorcyclist and requested that if possible, that I’d like to be sent a few more bumper stickers to distribute to my friends and family. I got no response to my fax though I included my email address along with my name and street address. That was until yesterday… after work I received a large square box from the Traffic Safety Committee.


Inside the box was a stack of  about 40 bumper stickers, a roll of pens, 2 posters and a manila envelope full of keychains to distribute. Way to go New York State!

The pens have rotating sayings when you click the top button: “Wear Quality Riding Gear”, “Look Twice, Save a Life”, “Enroll in Rider Training”, “Wear Reflective Gear”, “Don’t Drink & Ride!” and “Learning is for Life”. The keychains are a small liquid level that reads “Ride Level Headed”. The posters contain information on why and where to take a RiderCourse to learn to ride and last but not least the bumper stickers are 2-part Watch for Motorcycles decals. I’m so surprised and really pleased!

Wear Quality Riding Gear -  Look Twice Save a Life Pen Ride Level Headed Keychain Watch for Motorcycles Materials
Watch for Motorcycles Bumper Stickers

For More Information:

Watch for Motorcycles! Bumper Stickers

Watch for Motorcycles! Bumper Stickers

Over the weekend I picked up two 2-part Watch for Motorcycles! bumper stickers at a local motorcycle shop. The two parts are a small caution diamond shaped sticker (left) and a full size rectangle sticker (right). They were free for the taking amongst other flyers and postcards of local events found on the counter. Score!

Our cars now proudly wear the yellow stickers. If you make even 1 person on the roadways think about motorcycles – you’ve been a success. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

I took a look at the safeny.com website that is printed on the sticker. I didn’t find any way to request more stickers or even a way to email them. But, I did find a fax number. So I faxed a letter requesting some stickers to distribute to friends and family. I have no idea whether or not they will send any but I have my fingers crossed.

Watch for Motorcycles Bumper Sticker

Where can you get stickers?

The National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrator website has links to several state’s websites on their  Motorcycle Awareness Stickers page. Consider contacting your state. You might find yourself with a packet of stickers to distribute to your friends and family.

If you have any links to organizations or agencies that distribute signs or stickers, let us know in the comments!



I had luck with faxing my request to Safeny.com. Take a look at what I got!