Local expert advises caution as motorcycles hit the road

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COHOES, N.Y. – Local experts are warning drivers to look out for motorcycles as warmer weather means more bikes will be on the road.

Bill Mackey bought his first motorcycle Friday. He’s ready for the road, but also a little nervous. He said he’s focused on safety.

“Double checking the sides of me when I’m on the highway,” he said. “Using my blinker; being cautious.”

Being extra cautious has proven to be essential after two major accidents involving motorcycles occurred in the Capital Region Friday.

A man in Gloversville ran his bike into the back of a truck seriously injuring himself, and 19-year-old James Trow lost control of his bike in Glenville and ran into a telephone pole. Trow was pronounced dead at Ellis Hospital.

Paul Hmiel is a manager at Seymour’s Motorized Sports in Cohoes. He said all drivers should be looking for motorcycles three times or more.

“You can be looking, but a stop sign, a telephone pole can hide that motorcycle,” he said.

Cautious driving pertains to bike riders, too.

“It goes both ways,” Mackey said. “If you are reckless on a bike or you’re a reckless driver, either way.”

Hmiel said road conditions aren’t perfect for bikers, yet. The roads can be cold and have debris on them left over from the winter.

“You can have blind turns, and then you come out of a turn and there will be a big pot hole,” he warned.

The lack of riding during the winter can also hamper a rider’s skills on the bike.

“Even if you’ve been riding for a while, it’s new because you haven’t ridden in six months,” Hmiel said.

Hmiel said to go slow and be cautious.

“First couple times of the year, you are rusty and you need to go slow and get back into it in a safe manner,” he said.

New York law requires motorcyclists wear a helmet, but experts also recommend protective clothing like padded and reinforced coats to help protect a rider during an accident.

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