As technology continues to increase, we have watched as a number of innovative new modes of transportation have taken the world by storm. However advanced these new products may be, there’s still a certain nostalgia associated with one transportation method that was introduced in Germany in 1885. Motorcycles allow you a certain sense of freedom on the road that even the most technologically advanced cars, trucks, and SUVs cannot achieve.
Whether you’re a long-time enthusiast or a beginner just getting the taste of the open road, it’s important not to allow the intrigue of the ride override your sense of judgement and safety. Motorcycles are designed much differently than cars and trucks, and they offer much less stability when involved in a crash. As the number of motorcycle users increase, so do fatalities, and it’s estimated that the odds of getting into an accident on a motorcycle is 27 times more likely than while driving in a car.
However startling these facts may be, it doesn’t mean it’s time to put up your leather jacket for good. In fact, there are a variety of seemingly little things you can do to stay safe on the road and decrease your odds of becoming another grim statistic.
Know Your Capabilities
If it’s been awhile since you’ve ridden a motorcycle, what you may not realize is that new bikes on the market pack a lot more punch than they did just a short ten years ago. Therefore, when you pick the right bike for you, it’s important to understand your own capabilities. As you analyze a prospect, there are a few key things to keep an eye out for including:
- Making sure the bike doesn’t sit too high by testing to see if you can keep your feet on the ground when sitting on it without using tiptoes
- Checking to ensure both the handlebars and controls are easily within your reach
- Making sure you can easily manipulate the bike and that it’s not too heavy for you
If you are just starting and need to learn how to ride, a bike featuring a 300 cc engine can prove efficient. You may want to increase that a bit to around 500 cc’s if you plan on getting a lot of highway driving time in.
Select Your Helmet Carefully
Helmets save lives, and whether or not your jurisdiction requires their use, you should certainly wear one even if you’re not going far. Crashing on an open road with little to protect you from outside elements can be tragic, and you want to do everything possible to put the odds in your favor should this ever happen to you.
If you haven’t upgraded your helmet in a while or you don’t even have one, the exciting news is that we’ve come a long way. There are more exciting safety features and designs available to help you not only increase your chances of arriving at your next destination alive, but also ensure you do so in a style all your own. With so many types of helmets to choose from, modular, full face, half helmets etc. it can become difficult to narrow down your choices.
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the best ways to stay defensive on the road is to get plenty of practice, and what better way to do this than at a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course? Here, you can rest assured that the road will be prepared for bikers in mind, and you can hone your skills at a pace and level that’s right for you. Aside from gaining basic skills, you can also:
- Learn to perform emergency moves
- Practice riding in unusual circumstances
- Meet other enthusiasts from whom you can learn and develop new friendships
Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or just like to enjoy nature from time to time, you’re aware of the sense of inner peace it can give you to separate yourself from society, if only for a moment. However, when in Rome, you must do as the Romans do. Likewise, you must understand the nature of nature when you’re in the wilderness.
Animals and other creatures here have a primary goal: to stay alive. When they see potential threats, there are a number of defense mechanisms they can employ. That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of some of Canada’s most dangerous animals and understand how they behave.
Bears are not uncommon in the country, and, for the most part, they don’t attack. However, attacks on humans have been on the rise since the 1960’s. These animals are large in size and far stronger and faster than even the most notable athletes. Therefore, if you find yourself face-to-face with one, it’s important to know what to do.
If you’re unarmed and have no means of protection, the best thing to do is play dead. Bears are not known to have a taste for human meat, and attacks are usually the manifestations of territorial or fear reactions. However, if you come equipped with bear spray, you can give yourself the upper hand. These products incapacitate the animal long enough for you to seek safety, and finding the best bear spray has never been easier with the help of the Internet.
Another creature that can quickly turn a fun day outdoors into a terrifying situation is the mountain lion. They aren’t your standard cat. In fact, according to Defenders of Wildlife, they can leap as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet. While they are typically solitary in nature, they are also highly territorial.
If you find yourself in the presence of a mountain lion, there are some tips you should follow to protect you and your companions including:
- Make loud noises to frighten the animal
- Try to make yourself appear larger by doing thing such as putting your arms up over your head.
- If possible, get on the shoulders of one of your companions to present a larger appearance.
Another common and potentially dangerous animal well-known to the Canadian landscape is the wild dog. They come in many shapes and sizes. From coyotes and wolves to foxes and more, it’s not uncommon to come across one as you enjoy the outdoors.
Should you find yourself in the presence of a wild dog, understand that they interpret direct eye contact as a sign of aggression. This can trigger them to attack. Rather, you should attempt to take a subordinate approach. Tilt your head downward, and, unlike with cats, lower yourself to show your submission. This will often cause the animal to lose interest in pursuing combat. For more information on how to survive a dog attack, Secrets of Survival offers lots of valuable information.
Knowledge is Key
Ignorance can cause a number of small problems in your life. However, when you are blissfully unaware of how to react during an animal encounter in the wilderness, it could quickly turn into a matter of life and death. These tips and information can help you better understand your surroundings and make the most of a safe and exciting outdoor adventure.
Maintaining your yard might be your favorite summer activity or your most dreaded chore, but having the right tools will help make it easier and more fulfilling. The perfect weed eater, or trimmer, will give the edges of your yard a polished, clean appearance you may not be able to get with a lawn mower. Only you know which is the best string trimmer for your needs, but here are some things you should consider:
1. Corded, Gas, Battery?
A corded electric string trimmer might be just what you need if your yard is small and you have an available outlet. You don’t have to store gas or keep a battery charged. The cord can become a hazard if you’re not cautious, especially if it is accidentally cut through by the trimmer. On a larger property, the number of extension cords necessary would be unsafe and unwieldy.
Gas powered trimmers are more portable than standard electric weed eaters and don’t require a cord. They can be your best option if you have a lot of land and need to be able to work all day without having to recharge a battery. Power is the name of the game with gas trimmers, and if you deal with tough overgrowth the extra horsepower could be beneficial. You’ll need to ensure you have gas on hand, and carry it with you on larger properties.Gas powered trimmers are also known for being quite loud.
Battery powered trimmers are the updated electric trimmer. As long as you keep the battery charged, you can use it anytime, with no worries about having gas. There’s no need to hassle with extension cords, or worry about cutting them. Some of the most popular trimmers on the market are battery powered.
For this, you may want to go to the MegaMart hardware store and try a few. If you are particularly tall or a little “height-challenged”, look for a weed whacker with a telescoping handle. Yard work will be easier if you’re not stooped over or holding the trimmer at an odd angle because the length doesn’t suit you. Once you know what you like, you can look online for a larger selection. You will also find both straight and curved handles, mostly a matter of preference. Some prefer a curved handle for a more even cut without any bending, others prefer a straight handle for precision.
Unless you’re a weightlifter or have other special training, you’re probably interested in a lightweight trimmer. If a trimmer is overly light, you’ll have less control and risk breaking the trimmer. Added features can be nice, but judge whether the function is worth the extra weight. The right tools can help you avoid exhaustion and injury. A trimmer weighing between seven and ten pounds is a good starting point.
4. String Feed:
Just as the string is chewing down the weeds, the weeds take a toll on the string in your trimmer and you’ll have to replace it somehow. A trimmer with an automatic feed needs very little from you because a separate motor feeds the string while you work. A “bump” feed trimmer requires that you bump the weed whacker on the ground as necessary to lengthen the string. The bump style takes some thought on your part, but the extra motor in the automatic type means an extra part that needs maintenance if it breaks.
Any lawn implement with a motor is going to make some amount of noise. Gas motors are generally louder than electric, so if you live near neighbors or love your ears, this may be a consideration. Sound level is extra important if you deal with noise ordinances or have a schedule requiring you do some yard work in the early evenings when neighbors are picnicking or enjoying their yards.
It is important to maintain your yard, whether for your enjoyment, your property value, or because the homeowner’s association says you have to. A string trimmer doesn’t have to be expensive, and might be just what you need to create a beautiful lawn you enjoy all year long.