Those of us who ride motorcycles know about being hot and the affects of heat.
When we are cruising down the highway ride during those ideal days when the skies are blue and the temperature is just right we do not think much about heat and the tolls it takes on both our motorcycles and ourselves.
When we make the transition into the days of summer we begin to feel the effects of the warmer temperatures on ourselves and most likely we begin to realize the heat our motorcycle engines generate especially while riding in stop and go traffic. These are the times that I am really aware of my oil pressure and the engine temperature of my bike. I also intentionally make sure that I am hydrating myself by drinking water or beverages specifically formulated to replace the nutrients I am losing by perspiration or the wicking effect of the wind during my rides. I intentionally stop and take a break to hydrate in regular intervals during a ride. I also am aware of how often I require a bio break. Not to be crude but the color of our urine is a good indicator of how dehydrated we are. The darker the urine the more likely we are dehydrated.
When we get into the month of August the days are long, the sun is high and the roads are hot. This past week I was riding in the middle of the afternoon and I noticed my front tire making an unfamiliar sound. I made a mental note to check it out but honestly I got busy and forgot. That evening I was riding after the sun had set and I noticed the same sound coming from my front tire. I had no time schedule to meet so I pulled off to the side of the road and checked my tires. The air pressure was good and I didn’t find anything that gave me concern. I started out again and I heard the same sound so I pulled into a parking lot. I got off my bike and checked the tire again and it looked the same. I then pushed my bike forward a quarter of the tires rotation at a time so I could visually inspect the tire in more detail and there they were, cracks in the tread right where the ridges rise from the casing. Now I knew what that sound was. It was the flexing and separation of the traction ridges from the casing.
It had become more significant since I had been riding on the hot roads which was generating more heat that was being absorbed by the rubber of the tire and compromising the tires integrity. I then slowly road home the two miles and parked my bike.
This experience had taught me to thoroughly inspect my tires at the beginning of each season. I regularly check the air pressure and make sure the walls are not cracked when I do the T.C.L.O.C.K.S checklist. But this has taught me to really make sure the rubber meeting the road will go the distance.
See you on “The Open Road”,