If you live in the Dallas/DFW area and you ride a motorcycle, this winter actually wasn’t too bad in terms of weather. Sure, we had some cold, but there were plenty of mild days mixed in. Still, there’s nothing like the very beginning of spring when everything blooms and the morning and evening sunlight has that special quality infused with equal parts adventure and hope.
We’re here to cover some of the basics when it comes to spring motorcycle riding. Let’s go over finding spring motorcycle rides near Dallas, catching scenery at its peak, avoiding spring road hazards and other tips for spring motorcycle riding.
Spring Motorcycle Riding in Texas
Spring sprung across the U.S. on March 20, 2022, and our area was among the earliest to start showing off with daffodils, azaleas, bluebonnets, redbuds, dogwoods and more. Over the next few weeks, the display will only get more intense as the trees that dropped their leaves in fall shoot forth fresh green and fields gone dormant turn into vibrant blankets of fresh growth.
The plant life is only the beginning. Catch baby ducks making their first paddle across area lakes and glimpse fawns peeking from the forest perimeters. Calves and foals take their first wobbly steps in Texas pastures, and you’ll often hear the hum of swelling bee colonies as they joyfully welcome the spring nectar flow.
Timing is everything when it comes to finding the best scenery. If you’re just riding around Dallas, you’ll be able to track vegetation progress to catch things at their peak, but that’s a little harder if you’re traveling to adjacent areas because seasonal bloom forecasts aren’t always accurate.
The National Phenology Network combines data from observers, government agencies, nonprofits and other groups to track spring’s progress across the nation, and their information is usually pretty accurate. Click here to see how spring is leafing out and blooms are unfolding, along with any anomalies.
Getting Your Motorcycle Ready for Spring Riding
Hopefully if you parked your bike over the winter, you first read and followed our advice on how (and why) to winterize your Harley®. You also might have taken advantage of our service specials (and if not, you can book your service online now)
Before you set out for your first ride, you can do these checks yourself.
- Check battery – Make sure it’s charged and inspect connections for corrosion.
- Inspect your tires – test and adjust pressure, make sure your tread and sidewalls are still in good shape.
- Brakes – check fluid levels, look for signs of leaks
- Cables – check brake cables, throttle cables, levers and grips, clutch etc.
- Safety equipment – Clean last year’s bugs and dust off your helmet visor, make sure your gloves and jacket are good to go, check your turn signals and headlights to see if they still operate correctly
- Motorcycle fluids – Did your gas get stale over the winter? Is it time for an oil change? What about coolant levels?
Spring Motorcycle Riding Safety
One of the biggest hazards for motorcyclists is other drivers. That's true year-round, but it might be even more so in spring. For months, there have been fewer bikers on the roads. People who don't ride just sort of forget about the fact they exist. They're not vigilant in the best of times, and when they haven't encountered many riders in months, they start to assume they no longer exist. The biggest spring motorcycle riding safety tip is to make yourself as visible as possible and ride defensively.
There are also road hazards in spring. Over the winter road crews salt roads or add gravel or sand to increase vehicle traction when it's icy. Then when everything thaws, the small rocks and granules remain to get in between your motorcycle tires and the pavement. Watch out when you're riding through new territory.
Even when you're on familiar roads, things may have changed since last fall. Water expands as it freezes, widening cracks and potholes in asphalt. The road that was only a little bumpy last year might have genuine hazards you don't want to encounter at high speeds.
If you're leaving Texas, there are still parts of the country that haven't thawed. Mountain passes and shady back roads in colder states might still have ice and snow. You'll want to be careful of slick spots and black ice.
Pack attire for a range of conditions. Remember that a day with temperatures that peak in the mid-70s may have mornings and evenings that are much, much colder so pack layers. Spring showers happen. You know that saying about April showers? It's April. Don't look at the weather and say, "there's not much chance of rain, maybe it won't happen." Just pack protective gear. It's better to have it and not need it than to have to ride the rest of the way soaking wet and freezing.
And remember all those animals we talked about? Some of them have a tendency to wander into roadways. Hitting a deer or escaped cow will mess you up, but so will a poorly executed swerve to miss a squirrel or rabbit.
There are multiple hazards, but the way to deal with them is common sense. Give yourself plenty of stopping distance. Make sure your brakes and tires are in good shape. Stay alert, and take a break when you feel your mental sharpness starting to wane. Know where you're going ahead of time. Ride at a speed appropriate for the road conditions.
Riding With a Group
Are you a member of the Dallas H.O.G. chapter? That's where you'll find a continually updating calendar of group rides, events and member resources. Click here to find out more or contact Dallas Harley-Davidson® in Garland, TX.