Accepting Risk – How much risk am I willing to accept? At what point do I say I won’t go on, I will turn back, or I need help. How can we as riders set those trigger points and then have the self-awareness in a high stress situation to stick to them? What external forces will change our plan? Weather, temps, wind, rain, fuel range? Do we set timelines in relation to progress? Getting caught out in the elements is not any fun. So, we should start to think about time as an asset to how we accept risk.
Mitigating Risk – This part is hard. We must look at ourselves more than we look at the ride. What I mean to say is we are the weak link and the only thing we can change. We can’t change anything else. The weather is the weather, the route is either bad or worse. The temps will be what they are.
How do we mitigate risk to make sure a ride is successful?
Setting trigger points during a ride is a good way to measure our progress. If we have not made it past this point in time then we turn around and try for the next day, or we choose to adjust the ride, less stops, maybe a bypass if it’s there? A lot of this depends on our range, if fuel allows we can make changes if not you are then committed.
We must start thinking about how to manage the time we have with the ride we want to do. Giving ourselves the highest possibility of success. How do we do that? Is it something we do internally on the fly? I know I have before, but the more I ride and the more experiences I have I realize a plan is good to have and in remote areas a must.
Plan for all outcomes – Here is where you can start to develop your trigger points. This is the business plan of the ride. With basic info we can set up a measure of success and make the best plan to reach our goals. Basic info could be A map, a forecast, and some road condition information.
With this we can say yes or no from the start. If yes, we can build our trigger points for progress and make sure we don’t put ourselves in a situation of getting caught out and spending a long night alone in the cold or in the worst case getting hurt and needing help.
I know a lot of riders like to say they don’t have a plan and go with no time schedule. That may be okay for the more conventional routes, where you’re not going out into the ultra-remote areas. For areas where help could mean waiting for hours and hours, you should have a plan and some basic info about the area.
Always remember to have fun and keep a positive attitude. Not all rides go to plan, but you can be prepared.