Watch out: Motorcycles back on the roads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Watch out: Motorcycles back on the roads


DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- This is the time of year when the bikes start hitting the roads. There are around 1,000 motorcycle crashes in the state each year. Almost all involve injuries; around 50 are fatal according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

For the around 250,000 licensed motorcycle riders in Iowa, spring is an exciting month. It means no snow-covered roads and nice riding weather.

"It's been great to see all the bikes come back again. It's been a long winter!" Paula Dixon of Dubuque Harley-Davidson said.

The West End store is ready for another bike season, but car drivers need to be ready too.

"They just need to be aware the bikes are back on the road. To look in their rearview mirror, to listen for them, and just be aware we're back on the street," Dixon said.

Riders need their own preps, like gearing up for safety and visibility.

"Wear your leather, your jackets, your helmet, boots too. Non-slip boots, so when you do pull up at a stop sign you're not slipping," Mark Duve said.

"We sell a lot of riding gear that has reflective on the articles so you can be more visible to be seen by a car driver, especially at night," Dixon said.

Another rider-preparation is just getting the riding mindset back, especially when spring brings rainy roads and other slippery conditions.

"This time of year, watching for loose gravel, this time of year, salt that hasn't washed away, corners where you've got loose gravel built up," Duve said.

What do riders say is the biggest rule to remember this season? It's a preschool lesson: Just share.

"It relies on both of us as far as the riders and the vehicles behind us, cars," Duve said.

"I think it's a mutual respect for both the car driver and the rider. If you just treat each other with respect and be aware you're both on the road together," Dixon said.

The employees we talked to say the biggest hazard is drivers not realizing bikes are stopped. They say riders need to keep an eye on their rearview mirror and be ready to move if a car comes up too fast.

Another thing that will bring more bikes to town:  Special events for bikers.  Dubuque Harley-Davidson is planning Bike Nights at Champps on Thursdays.  Bike Nights will include free entertainment starting May 6.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey


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