1. Thou shalt not overload the bike
This is just plain common sense. An overloaded bike is a danger to its rider and to everyone around it.
2. Thou shalt read the manual!
Learn to make adjustments and settings as the manufacturer specified. ‘Eyeing them in’ or tweaking and thinking, “She’ll be right,” can have disastrous results.
3. Thou shalt phone ahead
Whenever possible, let someone know an approximate arrival time, or that you’ll be in touch by a certain time. No arrival or no contact should start alarm bells ringing somewhere.
4. Thou shalt always treat a bike with respect
Asking a bike to do what it was designed to do is a happy situation for all involved. Carrying on like a lunatic is asking for a problem – if you’re lucky it’ll only be an expensive problem. If you’re not so lucky it’ll be a medical one.
5. Thou shalt ensure communication
Make sure someone, somewhere, knows what you’re doing and where you’re intending to go. Ensure you always have some way of getting a message to someone in an emergency.
6. Thou shalt not postpone maintenance
Common sense again. Look after your bike and equipment and it will look after you.
7. Thou shalt always help another rider in trouble
This isn’t motocross. We look after each other.
8. Thou shalt keep left
We’re on public roads and that means two-way traffic. Some of the worst injuries and fatalities in our sport are from head-on collisions. Stick to the left and drop the pace sharply for blind corners. A logging truck or four-wheel drive with the best intentions can still cover the whole road.
9. Thou shalt carry tools for basic repairs
Nobody likes to find a rider stranded when a few simple tools would’ve had him on his way. If it happens, refer to commandment 7, but give him a talking to anyway.
10. Thou shalt not make fun of thy neighbour’s choice of bike
We’re all riding. That’s all that matters.