Finally, after a long and dreary winter, April is showing its warm sunshiny face, and that can only mean one thing:
But unless you are lucky enough to live in an all-year-summer climate these last few months there has not been much motorcycling. Even for a Belgian tour guide brave enough to face a mostly wet and misty winter, two wheels have stood for not much more than a short commute from time to time.
So how do you ride yourself safely back into the joys of the motorcycling season?
Time for some top tips by Edelweiss Tour Guide Wim Doms.
Yes, we know. You have been looking forward to this moment for months. All that time, the landscapes, curvy roads and blue skies were only to be found in motorcycle magazines and souvenir pictures of your Edelweiss Tours from last year. But now, finally, the covers can come off the bike and you want to take it straight out to your favourite bit of road and enjoy the sunshine on your face within minutes.
But wait just a second...
Take it safely, and take a moment to go over the all-important technical checkpoints before hitting the road. Read all about them here.
This may sound funny (and obviously you already made your bike all spotless and clean before storing it for the winter, right ?), but a good riding season starts all clean and shiny. It won't take long, but take your time to go over your bike front to back and really make it spotless and shiny. She's been hidden in a garage for a long time, so she will want to look her very best for her first outing of the year. No better way to do a final thorough safety check-up too.
And let's face it, you'll want to attract the envious looks of those not so lucky to be out on a shiny motorcycle.
Talking about attracting envious looks: make sure you look the part yourself! Whether it is that funky leather jacket and the retro biker jeans to ride your café racer, the enduro gear and cross boots to go offroading, or a nice Held touring jacket and a bright orange Schuberth Tour Guide-helmet : make sure everything is in perfect order (and still fits nicely even after those winter new year's feasts and parties – judging by the new gear ordered at each year's Tour Guide Training in March, this is not a certainty...). But looks aren't everything: most important is that your gear is still functioning the way it should and will protect you in the worst case.
Hey, don't forget: it was not just the bike spending the winter inside. You will probably have gathered some dust and rust yourself over those dark and cold months, so don't expect to be in your very best shape straight from the word go.
Ever seen the world's top soccer players on their first training after the summer break?
Take it easy on that first ride, and enjoy your time under the sun.
It may sound strange but talk to yourself out loud in your helmet.
Of course, you know all these things, but just repeating them out loud to yourself really helps you bring back all those riding skills. Try it out. And why not sing your favourite riding song to yourself while you're at it? No one can hear you anyway. Yet another advantage of motorcycling
Bike all checked and clean. Gear all ready for the season. Nicely run in and all those biking skills rehearsed and refreshed.
That's it: you are ready for another safe motorcycling season.
Go out there, enjoy the best roads, your favourite coffee stops, the most amazing views. And why not discover some more by booking an Edelweiss tour? Summer will be over before you know it, so might as well enjoy every single minute of it. And how better to do that than by doing what makes us all smile? To go on the best ride there is! Come and join us for a long and lovely summer!