Now that most of the province's snow is gone, motorcycle season has started for many people in Saskatchewan.
However, staying safe is top-of-mind for many riders in the province.
Gord Johnson said he's not quite ready to take his Harley-Davidson on the road. The lifelong rider says gravel can be a slippery nightmare, so he's going to wait a bit longer.
"I've always said, 'Give it a couple of good rains and a good street sweeping a couple of times and then you're more prepared,'" Johnson said. "Then you don't have to fight so many elements and you can start enjoying motorcycle riding."
Barry Muir, chief instructor for the Sask. Safety Council's motorcycle safety programs, said riders can be a bit rusty after a long winter and the drivers sharing the road with them can be rusty, too.
"They get complacent," Muir said. "The bikes haven't been around all winter, but now all of a sudden they're there. They're smaller. They have less lights on the front. They're not seen as easily."
SGI emphasizes sharing the road when it comes to motorcycle safety. The government insurer recommends drivers never move into the same lane as a motorcycle, and always give them just as much space as any other vehicle.
Tips for springtime riders
Paramedics are warning excess gravel can be treacherous. MD Ambulance recommends that riders should brush up on their skills, or even take a motorcycle safety course in spring. The company has also sent out the following tips for riders:
- Wear the proper gear
- Make sure your tires are road-ready
- Try to stay out of drivers' blind spots
- Keep in mind, even if other drivers are in the wrong, motorcycle riders are more vulnerable in collisions
Saskatchewan has, on average 540 motorcycle-involved collisions each year resulting in 210 injuries and six deaths.