As winter fades into the distance, your thoughts may turn to the motorcycle sitting in your shed.
Before you jump back on and take to the roads, there are a few matters to take care of to ensure you can do safely as possible.
Check that everything works
Check the brakes function freely, inflate the tires, top up your fluids and check a mouse has not chewed through the light cables. It is better you discover these things in the warmth of your garage than on your first trip of the season.
Check your riding gear
Give your motorcycle clothing the once over. Your helmet, in particular, needs renewal every few years to provide optional protection.
Check your riding skills
It is unlikely you have forgotten how to ride a motorcycle after a few months, but your skills will not be as sharp as they were at the end of the riding season. Take your bike to a safe place, such as an empty parking lot and practice emergency stops.
Then take it out somewhere quiet to get the feel of riding in traffic again and leaning around bends. Allow an extra margin of safety to account for rusty skills and reactions.
Drivers will not know you have not been out of your bike for ages. They will not allow you more time or room. The more confident you feel, the more likely you can avoid a collision. If you suffer a motorcycle crash in your first days back riding, do not assume your lack of recent experience is to blame. Seek help to look at what the driver did wrong and claim compensation.