Safety Tips

 

How To Ride In One Lane  

How To Change Lanes
How To Stop As A Group     
How to ride staggered
How To Group Park 
A MUST READ FOR NEW RIDERS

 

 

Some basic maintenance tips here.

Always carry chap stick with you in case your riding in the rain. If you plugs start to foul out just fill the end of the plug wires with chap stick and re-attached the plug wires to the plugs and off you go. The wax will allow the spark to get to the plugs at the same time keeping water out of the plug cap which will prevent the caps from sparking to the heads instead of the plugs.

Next time you wash your motorbike use hair shampoo. Use a warm bucket of water and shampoo to clean your bike, leave it for a few minutes then rinse off.

Before you start working on your bike scrape your fingernails on some soap, the soap will prevent the dirt getting under your fingernails making clean up is a synch.

Always carry a thin rubber tube, about 3ft long, so if you run out of petrol and another biker stops to help you can siphon some petrol from his fuel tank.

Always check that your reserve tank is not on.

80% of bikes stolen are from the owner’s home and 85% are never recovered. 50% of owners do not lock their bikes. Tip – lock your bike.


Helmets: When trying on a motorcycle helmet wear it at least 5 minutes and then take it off. Concentrate on places which start to bother you. If possible look in a mirror after to see if you have any red marks on your face. If you can chew gum while wearing your helmet without biting your cheeks then you should be having a great fit. If you bit the sides of your cheeks then the helmet is probably to tight.

Check if your selected helmet has anti-scratch and a good anti-fog treatment. Also look to see that the visor doesn’t touch against the helmet outer shell. This will result in scratches and unclear area on your visor.

When choosing a new helmet check out if your ventilation system can be opened and closed and if there are openings in the back of the helmet (air coming in should be able to leave the helmet).

There are three types of chin strap locking systems: double D-ring (the most safe and lightest), quick release (most used and easiest to handle) and lever system (not used a lot and most prone to damage).

Try to avoid placing your helmet to high off the ground. So often have I seen a helmet go crashing to the ground because they were left hanging on the mirror, placed on the saddle or on top of a wall. A simple fall can bust your expensive motorcycle helmet.

Simple Cleaning Tips 

I was recently at a bike show. They told me their secret to keeping their bikes clean and shining … HONDA polish and cleaner spray. Two groups of guys were cleaning their rods with the spray but the can was duct-taped so you couldn’t tell what they were using! Spray cleans whitewalls, all metals, windshield. Spray on, wipe off, then wipe again with dry clean cloth. Only $6 a can. I no longer wax (old fashion way) the bike and she stays clean!

I only use a sponge once, then either discard or throw in my washing machine to insure complete cleanliness (i.e. lack of grit and soil) for the next use.

Sponges are cheap, cheap. Paint jobs aren’t and when you get a really ugly scratch from an unknown piece of grit in a sponge, you’ll want to cry.

Try a dab of dishwashing liquid on the inside surface of your helmet visor. Rub well, until clear, it reduces fogging.

Avon Skin-So-Soft, any kind, even the spray-on body lotions will take off chain overspray faster than anything. DO TAKE CARE NOT TO SPRAY ON ANY PAINT. Instead, spray a clean rag, then get to work on the spokes, chain guard and under the rear fender.

WD-40 is a true miracle spray. Spray a clean rag with it, then wipe down the front of your bike, the headlights, leading edges of the handlebars, etc. Bugs won’t stick at all. I’ve found WD-40 better than wax on headlights and metal.
DON’T USE WD-40 ON PAINT as a protectant. Remember: Wax on paint, WD-40 on metal or glass only.

Can’t find any Avon products? Try a citrus based spray cleaner to get the chain gunk off. Again, don’t spray the bike part, spray the rag instead.

Oven cleaner gets rid of boot marks on chrome exhaust pipes quite quickly. Be careful NOT to get any of the oven cleaner on any paint. You may want to mask off any painted surfaces with cardboard to ensure that the oven cleaner stays on the pipes. While wearing rubber gloves, saturate a rag with oven cleaner. Apply rag to exhaust pipe(s). Let sit for 10 minutes or so. Using a wooden spatula, gently scrape the gunk off. Repeat as necessary, finishing with a clear water rinse, and the wax of your choice.

Avon bubble bath is a good choice to use when cleaning your textile gear. Add a capful to a sinkful of hot water. To remove bug residue, saturate a rag with the solution, wring gently, then wipe the textile item. It removes bugs, grime around the wrist areas, and when used inside the textile item, it removes sweat and odors.

Have a leather jacket that’s getting funky inside? Try Fabreeze. Spray lightly, hang the item so it’s open. Let dry. Works like a charm!

Zippers being difficult? Try wiping a small dab of wax up and down the teeth.

Do your boot eyes tear up your laces? Find the culprit, and coat it with clear nail polish. Reapply as necessary.

If you have leather garments, instead of mink oil or other treatments, use lard instead. Smear the lard on with a clean rag, work it in to the seams, especially. Crank the oven up to about 300 degrees, and hang the item in front of the open oven door on a chair back or the like. A fireplace, even furnace vents work, but an open oven door is best. This works on any leather, saddlebags, chaps, jackets and gloves. The lard on leather WORKS, if done correctly. The secret is to use the lard heavily, let it melt and be absorbed into the leather and stitching, then buff off any excess. Yes, globs of lard will become rancid, but if it’s allowed to be absorbed into the leather, it’s one of the very best leather conditioners available.

Many commercial products contain alcohol, which dries the leather. Some products contain silicone, which IMHO is just as damaging. Once you use silicone on anything, you have to keep using it, or it will dry out worse than before the initial application. Many commercial products are petroleum based, which alone (like Vaseline, it’s great on leather) works fine, but many of the petroleum based products also contain alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle!

 

Cleaning wire spoke wheels is always a hassle, and pre-made kits can be purchased to assist in cleaning.

Instead of buying these kits, I buy rag bags from the second hand store. They are sorted by hand and only cotton items are included.

I cut the items into strips, maybe 12″ long, 1″ wide.

After washing the wheels, run a strip between the spokes, one at a time, starting at the hub and working toward the tire. Do it again with a bit of liquid wax on the contact area. It’s like polishing shoes, one end of the strip in either hand, pull, pull, back and forth.

Once the initial grungy cleaning is done and wax applied, it only takes a few minutes to take a swipe at the spokes and around the rim the next time.

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH A DEAD BATTERY:

There is nothing more frustrating than to be out on your motorcycle and encounter a dead battery.

You’ll need to have four essential things with you to survive a situation like this in the hot summer sun: A hat, a water bottle, a pair of jumper cables, and a cell phone.

If you can’t get the bike started, you’ll need to use the cell phone to summon help. The hat and water will be essential if you encounter a long wait.

Here are some possibilities for dealing with a dead battery. You may want to print out these steps and include in a zip lock bag also containing your motorcycle jumper cables.

Jump the Battery From Another Bike

Arrange the other bike so its good battery is close to the dead battery.

Attach one red clip of the jumper cables to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.

Attach the other red clip to the positive (+) terminal of the good battery.

Attach the black clip to the negative (-) terminal of the good battery.

Attach the other black clip to the frame of the bike with the dead battery or to the negative (-) terminal of the dead battery if a suitable frame location cannot be found.

Start the bike with the good battery and wait a minute.

Start the bike with the dead battery. As soon as it starts, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were attached.

Jump the Battery from a Car or truck:

Use the same procedure as above except DO NOT START THE CAR. The excess current from the charging circuit of the car may destroy the bike’s circuitry.

Push Start the Bike

Find a hill or a few friends.

Turn the ignition and gas on and make sure the KILL switch is in the run position.

Pull in the clutch and put the bike in second gear.

Ride the bike down the hill or have your friends push you.

When you reach a reasonable speed, release the clutch quickly. The bike should start. Apply some throttle and maintain control of the bike.

Repeat above procedure if necessary.

If all else fails –
Call for Help

If you have a roadside assistance plan for your bike, use your cell phone to call for help. You may have to wait an hour or so before help arrives. Many plans will tow you to the nearest bike dealer for your make.

If you know a family member or friend with a bike trailer, call them to come get you

Dealing with Improperly stored bikes

The biggest problem by far with improperly stored bikes is the fuel turning into a varnish inside the carburetor float bowls.

Also if the fuel tank was not completely filled it may have rust in the tank. T

he next thing is the battery, if the battery wasn’t on a battery tender type charger or some other type of trickle charger then they go south pretty quickly. But this may be a good thing in the scheme of things and let me tell you why. If the fuel in the float bowls has turned to varnish the last thing you want to do is try and start the motorcycle. What happens is the engine tries to suck all that solid varnish material into the idle and main jets and clogs the heck out of them. 

The first thing you want to do is drain the tank and make sure there is no rust and trash in them, check the condition of the fuel in the tank and see if it in fact has turned turpentine or has any solid varnish particles floating in the fuel. If it does have trash or rust in the tank then flush it out with fresh fuel.

Pull the hose of off of the petcock (fuel valve) and make sure fuel comes out (cb750’s have a filter in the petcock) and the filters not clogged. 

While you have the hose off drain each float bowl on each carburetor by opening the drain valve screw on the lower outer side of each carb’s float bowl. If the original drain hoses are still attached you will have fuel coming out of these four small hoses at their bottom of the bike, if the hoses are gone than it will drain right on top of the lower end of the motor.

Main thing here is you want to inspect this fuel very carefully, if it just smells like bad fuel but doesn’t have a bunch of trash in it is a good sign, if a lot of brown crud comes out with it then you will have to pull the carbs and have them cleaned and synchronized by someone that knows how. If the fuel looks O.K then put the fuel hose back on, turn the fuel valve on and let some fuel run through the carbs and flush out the float bowls, turn the fuel valve off, close all the drain valve screws on the floats and turn the fuel back on.

Hopefully no fuel will run out any of the hoses anymore, if it does then you have trash in the needle and seat portion of the float and you will have to pull the carbs and clean them. If all is good so far than make sure you clean up any fuel that came out from the bike and the floor (you don’t want to burn up your new investment).

Install a new battery, change the oil , pull out the choke and start that bad boy up! Let it warm up for several minutes and see how it idles, if it idles like total crap and won’t “clean out” until you twist the throttle a little than you may have clogged small (idle) jets and you need to pull the carbs and clean them.

In some severe instances the mains can be clogged and it won’t run at all but if you found no trash when you drained the floats then you shouldn’t have that problem. The main thing here is if you find trash in the fuel coming out of the floats don’t mess around just pull the carbs and clean them.

DON’T try to start it as you may be sorry later when you try to clear the idle circuit. if by some chance you luck out then make sure the tires are good, no dry rot cracks, proper air pressure. Make sure the chain and sprockets are in good shape and lubricated, no rust or kinks, no worn teeth on the sprockets. Make sure the front and back brakes work. If all is well,,,,,,,,Then go ride!

DEALING WITH FLATS

You come out to your garage to take a ride on your bike and find that you have a nail or screw sticking out of your tire. Maybe this situation happens to you on the road. What do you do?
There are many opinions on what you should do depending on the circumstances. The immediate problem is to get the bike back on the road.

You should have a tire plugging kit with you and a means to inflate the tire after the puncture has been sealed. One particularly good kit is the Stop & Go Tubeless Tire Plug Gun Kit. I do suggest you sit down with your plug kit and read the instructions carefully and even do a test run to satisfy yourself that you know how to use it.

If you happen to own a Honda Gold Wing with an onboard air compressor, you’ll have no trouble inflating the tire after it has been plugged, assuming that you have also purchased an extension air hose to reach your tires.

For non-Gold Wing riders, consider carrying CO2 cartridges.

Another possibility is to buy one of those 12 volt portable air compressors, strip it down to a more compact size and change the cigarette lighter adapter for a straight connection to your battery. The whole unit can then go into a zip lock type bag for easy storage.

One person was on the way to a major rally when his buddy got a flat on the rear tire. They didn’t have a plug kit and so made due with a piece of shoelace covered with Goop adhesive. They inserted it with one of the attachments on a Swiss army knife and it worked great all weekend and got him home. They checked the tire pressure daily and it held. You might say they fixed it on a “shoestring.” After you get a tire plugged, you have to remember that the repair must be considered temporary. It is possible to repair the tire from the inside using an umbrella patch. However, many motorcycle shops will discourage this on liability grounds and try to convince you to buy a new tire.

A new tire is cheaper than a new bike.

You only have one life and the tires on your motorcycle must be safe.

Continuing to ride on a tire plug or patch may be dangerous. You should buy a new tire and also consider whether the other tire on your bike should also be replaced if it is wearing thin.

It is always good to replace the front and back tires at the same time if financially possible.

RIDING IN HEAVY TRAFFIC

Close your eyes and recall your last ride in heavy traffic. Imagine the vehicles surrounding you, crowding you, cutting you off. Imagine yourself monitoring closing speeds, reading street signs, noticing and anticipating traffic lights. Then imagine guessing what pedestrians will do, or how slippery that painted line might be. And those drivers with cell phones, newspapers or screaming kids to deal with…imagine trying to guess what they’re going to do.

Riding in traffic can be a nightmare, especially for street-riding newcomers. Is it any wonder so many motorcyclists crash and burn while riding on congested streets? It’s amazing how many different tasks motorcyclists deal with on a normal traffic-choked commute. Doing it successfully means processing a multitude of items at once and reacting correctly to each.

Doing it wrong can mean roadkill—the human kind.

15 smart strategies for dealing with traffic-choked streets.

Watch drivers’ heads and mirrors
Watching the head movements of drivers through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate sudden moves. Most drivers won’t lunge left or right without first moving their heads one way or another (even if they don’t check their mirrors).

Trust your mirrors, but not totally
Your bike’s mirrors can be lifesavers, but they don’t always tell the entire story even if they’re adjusted properly. In traffic, always buttress your mirror-generated rear view with a glance over the appropriate shoulder. Do it quickly and you’ll add an extra measure of rear-view and blind-spot knowledge to your info-gathering tasks.

Never get between a vehicle and an offramp
This sounds almost too simple, but drivers who decide to exit at the last minute kill plenty of riders each year. The simple rule, is to never position yourself between a vehicle and an off-ramp. Passing on the right is generally a no-no, but in this day and age it’s sometimes necessary. So if you do it, do so between exits or cross-streets.

Cover your brakes
In traffic you must often react extra quickly, which means not fumbling for the brake lever or pedal. To minimize reach time, always keep a finger or two on the brake lever and your right toe close to the rear brake pedal. When that cell phone-yakking dufas cuts across your path trying to get to the 7-Eleven for a burrito supreme, you’ll be ready.

Be noticed
Make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you, even from a distance. Ride with your high beam on during the day (as a courtesy, turn it off when sitting behind someone at a light), and wear brightly colored gear, especially your helmet and jacket. Aerostich’s Hi Vis yellow suits and jackets aren’t just hugely conspicuous, they’ve also become fashionable, so now you don’t have an excuse.

Be ready with the power
In traffic, ride in a gear lower than you normally would so your bike is ready to jump forward instantly if asked. (Not everyone rides open-class twins, after all.) Doing so gives you the option of leaping ahead instead of being limited to just using the brakes when that pickup suddenly moves over. The higher revs might also alert more cagers (four wheelers) to your presence.

Traffic slowing? Stay left (or right) 
When traffic slows suddenly, stay to the left or right of the car in front of you. This will give you an escape route if needed. It will also help keep you from becoming a hood ornament if the car behind you fails to stop in time. Once you’ve stopped, be ready—clutch in, your bike in gear and your eyes on the mirrors. You never know.

Practice the scan
Constantly scanning your entire environment while riding—from instruments to mirrors to the road ahead to blind spots to your left and right rear—keeps you aware and in touch with your situation, and therefore better able to react. Dwelling on one area too long—watching only behind or in front of you, for instance—is just begging for trouble.

Left-turn treachery
When approaching an oncoming car that’s stopped and about to turn left, be ready. Your bright lightss should be on so the driver can see you (during the day), but don’t rely on this to save you. Watch the car’s wheels or the driver’s hands on the steering wheel; if you see movement, be ready to brake, swerve or accelerate, whichever seems best for the situation.

Study the surface 
Add asphalt conditions to your scan. Be on the lookout for spilled oil, antifreeze or fuel; it’ll usually show up as shiny pavement. Also keep an eye out for gravel and/or sand, which is usually more difficult to see. Use your sense of smell, too; often you can smell spilled diesel fuel before your tires discover how slippery the stuff is.

Ride in open zones
Use your bike’s power and maneuverability to ride in open zones in traffic. In any grouping of vehicles there are always some gaps; find these and ride in them. Doing so will separate you from four-wheelers, give you additional room to maneuver and allow you to keep away from dangerous blind spots. And vary your speed. Riding along with the flow can make you invisible to other drivers, especially in heavy traffic.

Use that thumb
Get into the habit of canceling your turn signals often regardless of the traffic situation. A blinking signal might tell drivers waiting to pull into the road or turning left in front of you that you’re about to turn when you aren’t. So push that switch a few times each minute. Better to wear out the switch than eat a Hummer’s hood or rear end.

It’s good to be thin
A huge advantage single-track vehicles have over four-wheelers is their ability to move left and right within a lane to enable the rider to see what’s ahead. Whether you’re looking to the side of the cars ahead or through their windshields, seeing what’s coming can give you lots of extra time to react.

More than one way out
Yeah, motorcycles fall down. But they’re also light, narrow and hugely maneuverable, so you might as well learn to exploit their strengths when things get ugly, right? So don’t just brake hard in a hairball situation. There’s almost always an escape route. Swerving into Mrs. Smith’s front yard could be a lot better than center punching the Buick that turned left in front of you. Always have an escape route planned, and update it minute by minute.

Running interference
This one’s easy, and we’ll bet most of you already do it: Let larger vehicles run interference for you when negotiating intersections. If the over anxious driver coming toward you from the left or right is going to run the light, better they hit the box van next to you, right? For the same reasons, don’t lunge through an intersection as soon as the light turns green. Be patient, and use the vehicles next to you as cover.

Always wear protective gear and we highly suggest that you wear your helmet.

e’ll bet most of you already do it: Let larger vehicles run interference for you when negotiating intersections. If the over anxious driver coming toward you from the left or right is going to run the light, better they hit the box van next to you, right? For the same reasons, don’t lunge through an intersection as soon as the light turns green. Be patient, and use the vehicles next to you as cover. 

Winterize Your Motorcycle

If you plan to store your motorcycle during the winter months, it is essential that you take a few extra precautions to ensure that your motorcycle is running the way you remember the following spring. These simple steps will keep your motorcycle running in tip-top shape and protect your investment for years to come.

Gasoline

Fill your tank with gas. During the winter months it is crucial that you keep your motorcycle’s gas tank full when parking your motorcycle for any extended length of time. Gasoline expands when it’s warm and contracts when it’s cold. When it is summer and it’s hot outside, the gas expands and excess vapors escape your tank through the vent tube. When it is winter and it’s cold outside, the gas inside the tank will contract and create a vacuum inside your tank. In order to fill this vacuum, air will rush in from the outside via the vent tube. If this air is moist, water vapor will condense on the inside of your tank. This will not only rust your tank from the inside out, but will also contaminate your fuel and make your motorcycle run roughly in the springtime.

Use a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline breaks down over time, and leaving fuel in your motorcycle can lead to gummed-up or varnished fuel lines, carburetors, injectors, etc. Harley-Davidson® offers an excellent Fuel Additive, part number 99893-91A, to help prevent this. Make sure you read the directions carefully … that little 4 ounce bottle will treat 40 gallons of fuel.

Oil

Change your engine oil, transmission fluid, and chain case fluid. As you ride throughout the year, acids, dirt, and water can accumulate inside the engine, transmission case, and chain case of your motorcycle. This is because these fluids not only lubricate your engine and other moving parts, they also serve as a “waste collector” of all the things that are created by combustion or are broken apart with high heat and friction. During storage, any un-burnt fuel, unspent exhaust gases, or water vapor is trapped inside your engine. Over a period of months, these chemicals eventually break down the viscosity of your engine oil, transmission fluid, and chain case fluid and can even begin to corrode metal surfaces.

Throttle and Clutch Cables

Lube your throttle and clutch cables. After a long riding season, the lubrication that allows your cable to move easily within the cable housing can break down, causing your cables to bind and possibly break. Ask your parts or service associate for a graphite-based cable lube such as Dri-Slide (part number 53-7001).

Battery

Remove your battery or attach a battery tending unit to it. When it is not being used on a regular basis, a battery will gradually lose its charge. Security systems and stereos are also certain to drain your battery. The easiest way to prevent this is to leave your battery in your motorcycle, attach a battery tender to your battery, and plug the battery tender into a standard power outlet.

The battery tender is a “smart” charger — it turns itself on and off as needed so that your battery never overcharges. It comes in two sizes: the Standard Battery Tender (part number 99863-01) and the Battery Tender Jr. (part number 94654-98). If you own more than one motorcycle, there’s no need to purchase multiple battery tenders … simply pick up an additional Battery Tender Harness (part number94624-97A) and plug each battery in as needed.

Tires

Inflate your tires to their proper level. Under inflated tires can hasten the appearance of flat spots in your tires, shortening their usable life. You should also readjust your bike several times a month, parking it in a different spot on its tires each time. This will also help ward off flat spots. If storing your motorcycle with all weight off its tires is possible this is the best solution of all.

Keep your tires out of direct sunlight. Rubber is sensitive to ultraviolet light, and prolonged exposure to UV light will cause your tires to crack, split, and become less pliable. This condition is known as “dry rot”, and it can cause premature tire failure.

Painted Surfaces and Chrome

Clean your motorcycle thoroughly. Start when the engine is cool, and carefully remove all road grime, grease, tar, stains, and bugs from all painted surfaces, chromed parts, fork seals, and wheels. Make sure you use good quality cleaners, like Harley-Davidson® Sunwash (part number 94659-98), Bug Remover (part number 94657-98), and Wheel & Tire Cleaner (part number 94658-98). Dry your motorcycle thoroughly, and then apply either Harley Glaze (part number 99701-84) or Harley Gloss (part number 94627-98) to all painted and exposed metal surfaces. This will protect your finish from color fade caused by UV light.

Storage

Store your motorcycle inside. After going to all this work to prepare your motorcycle for the winter months, store it inside if at all possible. Snow, ice, freezing rain, and wild temperature variances are all common winter occurrences in Colorado, and these weather conditions will wreak havoc on your motorcycle. If you can’t store your motorcycle inside, make sure you get a form-fitting, breathable, long-term cover for it like a Storm Shield (part number 98742-96 for Touring models and 98738-96 for V-Rods, Dyna Wide Glide®, and Softail® models).

Cover your motorcycle. If you can’t store your motorcycle inside, you’ll need to cover your motorcycle with a nice waterproof cover to keep your bike safe from the elements. However, even if you can store your motorcycle inside during the winter months, it is still important to cover your motorcycle. The cover will not only keep dust off of your precious scooter, it will also keep children from playing on it. Ask anyone who has ever had to replace a custom-painted fuel tank because a child dented it while playing “biker” … the price of a motorcycle cover is money well spent. If you are storing your motorcycle inside, make sure the cover is designed for indoor storage and that it is made from a breathable material, or ask your parts or service associate for the proper cover to fit your motorcycle.

Store your motorcycle in a low-traffic area. This oneshould be obvious, but for some reason it’s not. Don’t store your motorcycle in a location where anyone is likely to trip on it, tip it over, drop a tool on it, or dent it with a car door.

 

What’s the best way to treat burns?

Question

I am looking for help on treatment of burns – are there any creams that will help, is it best to apply a cold cloth etc?

Answer

Idea of a cold cloth is a very good one, as cold water is one of the best first aid remedies for superficial such as those sustained from dry heat, ie. flashback from fires. Holding a burnt finger under a running cold water tap will often prevent any blistering and will take the ‘sting’ out of the burn.

Most doctors would advise against using any creams except on a very small area, such as a finger, as these often delay healing and can hide a problem such as an infection within the skin. If you do wish to use a cream, then something fairly bland and soothing such as calamine aqueous cream or calendula cream (a herbal cream available from chemists and health food shops) could be tried.

After immediate treatment with cold water, burns should be left alone. If blisters form, they are best left to burst of their own accord, or to dry up naturally. Large blisters, especially if on the face or legs or arms, often benefit from a medical opinion, in case they get infected. Any signs such as worsening pain, reddening of the skin or swelling in the area of a burn can indicate an early infection. This can be a serious complication that would require medical advice.

Most burns will heal well with minimum treatment but sometimes leave a small area of new skin. This can be quite sensitive, especially to the sun, and it is best to protect any such scarred area with a high sun protection factor (SPF) sun cream. Scalds should be treated in the same way, although they are much more prone to blistering and may require specialist dressings such as paraffin gauze (Sofratulle). If in doubt with a burn, always seek professional advice as painless, pale burns are often deep burns (third degree burns) and these DO require further treatment, often at a specialist hospital center.

Surviving the Cold Weather

Prololonged exposure to low temperatures, wind and/or moisture can result in cold-related injury from frostbite and hypothermia. Here are some suggestions on how to keep warm and avoid frostbite and hypothermia.

Dress properly:
Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing to insulate your body by trapping warm, dry air inside. Loosely woven cotton and wool clothes best trap air and resist dampness.

The head and neck lose heat faster than any other part of the body. Your cheeks, ears and nose are the most prone to frostbite. Wear a hat, scarf and turtleneck sweater to protect these areas.

Frostbite: What to look for.
The extent of frostbite is difficult to judge until hours after thawing. There are two classifications of frostbite:

Superficial frostbite is characterized by white, waxy or grayish-yellow patches on the affected areas. The skin feels cold and numb. The skin surface feels stiff and underlying tissue feels soft when depressed.
Deep frostbite is characterized by waxy and pale skin. The affected parts feel cold, hard, and solid and cannot be depressed. Large blisters may appear after re-warming.

What to do
Get the victim out of the cold and to a warm place immediately.
Remove any constrictive clothing items that could impair circulation.
If you notice signs of frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.
Place dry, sterile gauze between toes and fingers to absorb moisture and to keep them from sticking together.
Slightly elevate the affected part to reduce pain and swelling.
If you are more than one hour from a medical facility and you have warm water, place the frostbitten part in the water (102 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit). If you do not have a thermometer, test the water first to see if it is warm, not hot. Re-warming usually takes 20 to 40 minutes or until tissues soften.

What not to do
Do not use water hotter than 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not use water colder than 100 degrees Fahrenheit since it will not thaw frostbite quickly enough.
Do not rub or massage the frostbite area.
Do not rub with ice or snow.

Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses more heat than it produces. Symptoms include change in mental status, uncontrollable shivering, cool abdomen and a low core body temperature. Severe hypothermia may cause rigid muscles, dark and puffy skin, irregular heartbeat and respiration, and unconsciousness.

Treat hypothermia by protecting the victim from further heat loss and seeking immediate medical attention. Get the victim out of the cold. Add insulation such as blankets, pillows, towels or newspapers beneath and around the victim. Be sure to cover the victim’s head. Replace wet clothing with dry clothing. Handle the victim gently because rough handling can cause cardiac arrest. Keep the victim in a horizontal (flat) position.

Finally, the best way to avoid frostbite and hypothermia is to stay out of the cold. Read a book, clean house or watch TV. Be patient and wait out the dangerous cold weather.

These tips provided courtesy the National Safety Council

 

 

Tips about HOT weather

HEAT and HUMIDITY INDEX CHART:

VERY WARM 80°-90°    
HOT 91°-105°     

VERY HOT 106°-130°

EXTREMELY HOT 130°  

DANGEROUS

heatindex


Heat and Humidity, a Deadly Combination

Texas seems to be entering a summer of record high temperatures, when in combination with Austin’s relatively high humidity can be fatal to unprepared motorcyclists. When the ambient air temperature in the shade is 100° F., it can be well over 120° two feet above the black asphalt of a Texas highway. Compounding the heat from the sun is a pair of cylinders and exhaust pipes radiating temperatures in excess of 500° F just inches from the rider’s legs. A safety conscious motorcyclist will be wearing boots, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a helmet that restricts the body’s ability to cool down through evaporation of perspiration.

Dr. Richard A. Beauchamp, a medical consultant for the Bureau of Epidemiology at the Texas Department of Health exclaimed, “High temperatures are physically tolerated by most people for short periods of time,” but some form of heat—related illness may occur when people are exposed to high temperatures and humidity that produce a heat index of 95 degrees F or higher for 30 minutes or longer. At temperatures above 90° F., a motorcycle rider traveling at 60 miles per hour can lose three quarts of water every hour. If these fluids and salts, lost through perspiration, are not rapidly and continuously replaced then dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur. Dehydration further impairs the body’s ability to maintain the proper core temperature which could lead to heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.

To prevent dehydration and hyperthermia, a motorcyclist should stop every thirty minutes to consume at least a quart of water plus prepare another quart to consume while riding between breaks. Water, milk, fruit juices, as well as many of the commercially available “sport” drinks are excellent fluid replenishes, but do not drink anything containing alcohol or caffeine as they will actually dehydrate your body. You can also reduce dehydration by wearing light colored, loose fitting clothes and drenching these clothes with cool water at each thirty-minute break. This artificial perspiration can make the body feel 20 degrees cooler and reduce the loss of body fluids. At 60 miles per hour on a 90° F day a soaked shirt and jeans will be bone dry within twenty minutes. If you own a Kool Tie or similar product, it will keep your neck and shoulders cooler and prevent sunburn on this otherwise exposed skin. If you do not own a Kool Tie, a light colored neckerchief or bandanna soaked in ice water can serve the same purpose.

If you experience nausea, dizziness, headache, fatigue, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, disorientation, cold and clammy skin or hot and dry skin, you should take immediate steps to rapidly cool down the body. The best and fastest method is to get into a tub of cool water and add ice as fast as you can stand it until you core temperature has returned to normal. If a tub is not available, a cool stream or lake will help and if that is not available simply soak your clothes with ice water from your cooler.

Refer to the official National Weather Service heat index table. To calculate heat stress, find the index number in the column under current humidity ( shown on the top line) that is directly to the right of your thermometer reading (shown in the left column)