So I’ve not posted anything for a couple of weeks, because I came down with a nasty flu bug. Not man flu this time. Proper bed-ridden for nearly a week flu. Nothing very exciting or life-threatening, so why am I even mentioning it? Well, two weeks ago I took the bike into work on the Thursday. In the morning I felt fine, the weather was beautiful and sunny, and the forecast was perfect. Got to work in good time, with no drama. Unfortunately half way through the day I started feeling rough. Aching legs, tired, generally feeling run down. The usual pre-flu symptoms that tell you its time to cancel plans and get a good DVD box set ready because you’re going to be laid up for a few days while various bugs and germs pass through you.

Normally feeling like this at work isn’t a massive problem. See out as much of the day as possible, jump in the car and make a bee-line for home and bed. This time however, I was on my bike… I’m sure for the experienced rider, that wouldn’t be a massive problem, but I’m still relatively inexperienced, and had a 40 minute journey ahead of me. Not only that, but during my CBT I was told specifically that riding a bike while ill (among other things) was not exactly recommended. Either way, five o’clock rolled around so I got on the bike and headed home.

The ride home was again drama-free, however I did notice that my reaction-times didn’t seem as sharp, and my legs certainly didn’t like the riding position. I do remember taking it fairly slowly and safely, and thankfully even though its a good 40 minute journey, the roads that I choose to use are relatively quiet, even during rush hour.

So what can we learn from this?

  • Don’t ride when you’re ill’.
  • If you’re feeling ill and you’re out, and the bike is the only way home, learn to identify the symptoms early enough so you can get home in plenty of time.
  • Make sure to pace yourself and ride slower than usual to give yourself more space and time to react.
  • Take breaks if you need to, especially if you have aches and pains, as these will distract you
  • Be sure to carry water with you so you can refresh yourself
  • Don’t dose yourself up on medication that will make you sleepy or reduce your reaction time any further
  • Only travel if its absolutely necessary. Ideally, plan to leave the bike somewhere safe and get home using other methods. You can collect the bike later.
  • Sneezing with a closed visor will blind you, and its gross!

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Tristan Findley

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Tristan is an IT Professional, Photographer and motorcycle enthusiast. Working full-time as a Systems Administrator for Royal Holloway, but running his own photography company, and the occasional IT Contract. Tristan has been riding motorcycles since 2016, and is the original author of "My First Motorcycle", the forerunner to this site. He built it with the intention of providing a resource to those interested in riding, and to give something back to the community that had helped get him started in the world of motorcycles.

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