April and May usually signal the beginning of the riding season for the majority of motorcyclists in North America. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage health care systems and national economies, the arrival of spring doesn’t evoke as much joy in 2020. Instead, most contend with malaise, anxiety, and general boredom during mandated quarantines.
While local governments order most of us to shelter in place, we can stay busy by cleaning our steeds or addressing some much-needed maintenance. Whether you’re still braving the roadways or packing it in until the end of the global health crisis, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) believes that it’s a great time to brush up on your riding skills. The organization recently released a trove of training materials to help motorcyclists expand their knowledge-base and fend off the tedium of staying home.
Spanning motorcycles, scooters, and trikes, the MSF educational library puts core information at your fingertips. Riders can download RiderCourse handbooks, safety booklets, quick tips, tests, presentations, and other reference materials at the click of a mouse. MSF also offers materials in languages such as Korean, Spanish, Greek, and Mandarin.
“The MSF has a wide variety of digital content that can help motorcyclists while many training sites and RiderCoaches are unavailable during this pandemic,” said MSF vice president of training operations Robert Gladden. “Many riders are still on the road, getting where they need to go, and we want them, and all motorists, to be as safe as possible.”
In addition to downloadable documents, the not-for-profit organization produces YouTube videos featuring Gladden. The “Ride Along with Ray” series puts MSF instructions to work in practical situations, with Gladden leading viewers through situational riding techniques. For those staying in, the videos could provide a vicarious escape to clear Southern California roadways and scenery.
It's important to remember that the MSF library is but one tool for motorcycle-related activities during these trying times. If coloring your favorite bike, watching a funny video, or doing nothing at all is more of your speed, this is the time to embrace it. We have ways of coping with the delay in the riding season and spending it the way you want to is more important than ever.