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Old 03-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #46
windmill
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Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
Some of you guys appear to ride real scared. In my opinion, not a good way to ride effectively. If you are that afraid when you are out there, it seems like you would freeze up if something happens, and not be able to deal with it.
A track day can be useful to build confidence for those who have good judgment and self control. Most of the techniques don't translate well to the street, but the skills themselves are invaluable.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #47
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Some really good posts here, thanks for sharing ideas!

Here are three things that I do:

- Look for the blind spots of the vehicles around you and stay out of them.

- Don't be afraid to pull (far) off the road or into a parking lot to wait for a bit if you're not comfortable or you're having trouble keeping pace with traffic.

- If by some chance I end up stopping at a 4-way at the same time as another vehicle, I learned to say to heck with the Driver's Handbook - don't be afraid to point at the other driver and make big theatrical gestures to tell them to go. It's not worth betting that the person in the beat-up F150 who appears to be waving you on is _actually_ waving you on (or that they know who has right-of-way).
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:35 PM   #48
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I have to respectfully disagree about not using you brakes on the freeway. Situational awareness is everything. I'm watching the mirrors, I'm always (and I mean always) passing. I pay attention to the cars I pass. I'm scanning to the front, sides and rear constantly. And I cover the front brake at all times. I do check the rear before i jump on the brakes, but in no way do I avoid using it. I rode in San Francisco and Silicon valley rush hour traffic for many years, I'm real comfortable doing it.

Also, I try real hard not to hesitate , I make the call and run with it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:43 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post

Also, I try real hard not to hesitate , I make the call and run with it.





After many years on the highway, you come to realize that a lot of drivers don't have a clue.

They are usually pretty easy to spot, they stand out from the normal flow.

I consider my riding and driving to be on the fast side of normal, thus I am never going to let others do the thinking for me.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:20 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by SoSlow View Post
Some really good posts here, thanks for sharing ideas!

Here are three things that I do:

- Look for the blind spots of the vehicles around you and stay out of them.

- Don't be afraid to pull (far) off the road or into a parking lot to wait for a bit if you're not comfortable or you're having trouble keeping pace with traffic.

- If by some chance I end up stopping at a 4-way at the same time as another vehicle, I learned to say to heck with the Driver's Handbook - don't be afraid to point at the other driver and make big theatrical gestures to tell them to go. It's not worth betting that the person in the beat-up F150 who appears to be waving you on is _actually_ waving you on (or that they know who has right-of-way).
Great tips. I also will always wait for the other vehicle if it is just him and me at a stop sign. I will sit there for a good 10 seconds waiting even, in the car I am very impatient when the other driver doesn't know the rules. In the car I am far more visible and and much better protected, I use those advantages in the cage!

And I don't think myself and those like me with a lower risk threshold are riding in fear, we are just not willing to take as many risks. People who don't wear helmets would say the same about us riding atgatt
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:11 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by squonker View Post
Ideally you will be looking far enough ahead and be aware of the potential hazards, thereby avoiding the situation where you put yourself in a position where you suddenly find another car changing lanes that close in front of you.

...if I have to use my brakes to avoid a hazard on the freeway I consider myself to have not being doing my job properly.


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Old 03-08-2013, 06:21 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by windmill View Post
A track day can be useful to build confidence for those who have good judgment and self control. Most of the techniques don't translate well to the street, but the skills themselves are invaluable.
I'll always recommend a track day to anyone (foremost because they're fun!), but street riding is to track riding as swimming is to surfing. They both involve water, they both involve avoiding drowning, but other than that, they're two different animals.

Seems to me that every tips thread on ADV descends into the "You're too scared!" vs. "You're too reckless!" debates. Not very helpful, IMO.

That said, if I had to choose a side, I'd argue that most people AREN'T too scared-- meaning, you're *supposed* to be afraid of street riding! With the word "afraid" representing "respect" (a better choice of words, less loaded with negative connotations).

On the track, it's just my skills and my machine, all heading in one direction. On the street, there are countless additional variables, plenty of them not at all under my control. Acknowledging those variables-- and reasonably preparing for them-- is common sense (in a world where common sense is sadly too often uncommon!).

Now, is it possible to be *too* cautious, so cautious that riding is no longer fun? Of course, like anything in life there can be too much of a good thing.

But be honest now-- how often is that REALLY a problem? How many riders have you known get in trouble because they were paying *too much* attention versus too little?

That's the value in these tip threads: they remind all of us that riding, like all things in life, has risk, and there are prudent steps that all of us can take to successfully manage that risk while *still* enjoying what we love to do.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:56 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post
Great tips. I also will always wait for the other vehicle if it is just him and me at a stop sign. I will sit there for a good 10 seconds waiting even, in the car I am very impatient when the other driver doesn't know the rules. In the car I am far more visible and and much better protected, I use those advantages in the cage!
If I have ROW, I take it immediately (watching for bonehead moves on the other person's part). If I don't, I give the other person no more than a couple of seconds to make their move. On the bike, I'm usually across before they'd have a chance to move anyway.

Waiting is not any safer but merely timid. It delays everyone involved and makes both drivers look like they don't kow what they are doing. My wife sat at a 4-way stop waiting for the other person once, then when she finally decided to go, the other driver T-boned her when she was half way across.

My 11-year-old daughter said "I don't know why Mom didn't just drive. The accident happened because she wouldn't go." ...Just coz it's obvious to a 11 YO, doesn't mean it's obvious to anyone else of course.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:57 AM   #54
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Make a habit of using the cut-off switch to shut off the bike so you will do it instinctively in an emergency. You should then always immediately follow it up by turning the key off so that also becomes habit and you don't run the battery flat.

I know msf teaches that. but what type of emergency would you have where you need to hit the kill switch? I see only one reason for them(handy when parking in duluth on the hills)
f.w.i.w. my wife nearly had a disaster in L.A. on a 6 lane freeway when she inadvertently hit her kill switch when merging. only some alert motorists prevented it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:05 AM   #55
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Make a habit of using the cut-off switch to shut off the bike so you will do it instinctively in an emergency. You should then always immediately follow it up by turning the key off so that also becomes habit and you don't run the battery flat.

I know msf teaches that. but what type of emergency would you have where you need to hit the kill switch? I see only one reason for them(handy when parking in duluth on the hills)
f.w.i.w. my wife nearly had a disaster in L.A. on a 6 lane freeway when she inadvertently hit her kill switch when merging. only some alert motorists prevented it.
Try snapping a clutch cable while chugging along in a traffic jam and having to to take your hand away from the handebar and front brake to reach for the key - especially if you're on a cruiser and it is under your leg. Also if you're on the shoulder in the mud and struggling to hold the bike upright. I've personally experienced the former (not in traffic but the effect was the same) and heard of the latter - and can think of many more reasons.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:28 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
Seems to me that every tips thread on ADV descends into the "You're too scared!" vs. "You're too reckless!" debates. Not very helpful, IMO.

That said, if I had to choose a side, I'd argue that most people AREN'T too scared-- meaning, you're *supposed* to be afraid of street riding! With the word "afraid" representing "respect" (a better choice of words, less loaded with negative connotations).


Now, is it possible to be *too* cautious, so cautious that riding is no longer fun? Of course, like anything in life there can be too much of a good thing.

But be honest now-- how often is that REALLY a problem? How many riders have you known get in trouble because they were paying *too much* attention versus too little?

That's the value in these tip threads: they remind all of us that riding, like all things in life, has risk, and there are prudent steps that all of us can take to successfully manage that risk while *still* enjoying what we love to do.
Since I brought up the point of being "afraid" in this particular therad, I think I should further clarify.

The vast majority of the tips given here seem to me to be common sense. Maybe I'm wired differently but I don't feel like I really have to "think" about any of them or do a pre-ride "mental checklist". This stuff is all second nature and done without thought....it is both proactive and reactive and occurs almost simultaneously as I ride with little need for thought....maybe for me it's just a case of heightened situational awareness because I know the dangers of riding and have respect for them.

As I said, I drive my cars in much the same way as the bikes. When it no long feels like second nature is when for me it will cease to be fun and I will stop riding for fear that my skills or lack thereof are placing me in a position of danger that I no longer find acceptable.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:43 AM   #57
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If I have ROW, I take it immediately (watching for bonehead moves on the other person's part). If I don't, I give the other person no more than a couple of seconds to make their move. On the bike, I'm usually across before they'd have a chance to move anyway.

Waiting is not any safer but merely timid. It delays everyone involved and makes both drivers look like they don't kow what they are doing. My wife sat at a 4-way stop waiting for the other person once, then when she finally decided to go, the other driver T-boned her when she was half way across.

My 11-year-old daughter said "I don't know why Mom didn't just drive. The accident happened because she wouldn't go." ...Just coz it's obvious to a 11 YO, doesn't mean it's obvious to anyone else of course.
The accident wouldn't have happened if she had waited either haha. You have given the perfect reason to always wait while in the same breath saying you shouldn't.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
What works for me.

Ride hard. Don't just putt along, attack the road.

Haul ass. It keeps you on your toes.

Split lanes like it could save your life, because it can.

If you aren't focused, stay home or take your car.

Amen. Every close call I've had in heavy traffic was when i was just puttering along. Lack of focus played a part in those. I was content with simply meandering down the road instead of in battle mode.

I split around here, but try to keep it to a minimum since i've had so many encounters with violent cagers. I love using it to my advantage when some dumbass is parked in the fast lane and I've got an F-150 at arms length off my tail. Drop a gear, bam open road before any of the cagers even realize whats happening. I always hang out near the dotted white in the fast lane so I'm ready to split at a moments notice if i need to when shit goes south fast. It without a doubt saved my life 2 years ago when a corolla got hard on the brakes in front of me trying to make a ramp 3 lanes over. (Tanker truck in the middle lane) Without even thinking I ducked between the 2 of them, and a Blazer that was following me either hit her, or came really fucking close. I saw smoke off his front tires when i did a mirror check as I was coming past the toyota. The space i was riding in disappeared in a hurry.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:37 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Since I brought up the point of being "afraid" in this particular therad, I think I should further clarify.

The vast majority of the tips given here seem to me to be common sense. Maybe I'm wired differently but I don't feel like I really have to "think" about any of them or do a pre-ride "mental checklist". This stuff is all second nature and done without thought....it is both proactive and reactive and occurs almost simultaneously as I ride with little need for thought....maybe for me it's just a case of heightened situational awareness because I know the dangers of riding and have respect for them.

As I said, I drive my cars in much the same way as the bikes. When it no long feels like second nature is when for me it will cease to be fun and I will stop riding for fear that my skills or lack thereof are placing me in a position of danger that I no longer find acceptable.
Maybe I'm of na athletic/martial bent mentally (definitely NOT physically ), but my opinion is that the only way these sort of things become second nature is by practice. Meaning, in the beginning, nothing about riding is natural for 99.9% of folks, and street riding is even more alien. It's only through practice and repetition and education and training etc., etc. that this stuff gets internalized to the point that you *don't* think about it.

Some people are just born to the bike. God bless them, I wish I was one of them. I've had to work at being good at riding, and I continuously look for ways to sharpen my focus on the street. Continuous learning, and all that.

Oh, and lastly: strategies for street/highway success on the bike and in a car share many things in common, but they are not identical. As previously mentioned, the simple level of risk makes things different-- I *will* do things in a car that I won't do on a bike simply because I know I have a seat belt, airbags and crumple zones. Oh, and yeah, four wheels worth of AWD, traction control, and braking power in a curve. I don't drive a car like a maniac, but I don't drive like I ride, simply because the consequences of failure while riding are potentially far higher than for failure in a car, and I can manage certain situations in a car better than I can on two or three wheels. (The converse is also true: I can get away with different maneuvers on a bike or a trike than I ever could get away with in a car).

But I do know that I'm a better driver for being a better rider. And I'm a better rider for always practicing, and always learning.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #60
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If there are cars ahead of you in the lane to your right, look in the drivers window for fingers on or reaching toward the turn signal stalk.
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