Motorists reminded to be mindful of bikers as weather warms up
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The deadly motorcycle crash that happened in New Hampshire on Friday brings up a discussion on safety here in the Black Hills.
With a slow start to this year’s motorcycle season and with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally about a month and a half away, experts are reminding us all to use caution.
“We have our job as motorcyclists to look out for our environment,” said Al Rieman, Black Hills Harley Davidson president. “We’re at a disadvantage, we’re a bit smaller and a lot more at risk than the four wheeled motorists.”
Rieman says that with the slow start to the season due to a wet and cold spring, bikers can be rusty on the rules of the road — and motorists aren’t always aware of bikers.
“When you see a big event like what happened in New Hampshire, that’s the Laconia Rally that’s going on right now,” said Reiman. “We’re soon to have our Sturgis Rally. It’s different when all of a sudden you have an overnight influx of motorcycles. It takes awhile to get oriented.”
During both the Laconia and Sturgis rallies, people pour in from across the world, and not everyone is familiar with the roads and the terrain of the Black Hills.
Reiman reminds us to be patient and courteous for visitors.
“They are sometimes lost as to where they’re going, when they should be careful and safe, sometimes they’re confused, and they do things that aren’t safe, trying to get to a destination, get to a direction in an unfamiliar area.”
Experts remind both bikers and motorists to watch for left hand turns. Additionally, keep an eye out for brake lights and be cognizant of oncoming bikes at night. A single headlight from a bike can look like a pair of car headlights from a distance away.