A Perfect Line

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotoTex, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Over the weekend I find myself riding on a narrow rural road and came upon a group of four or five cruisers parked while they pick up the lead bike.

    It seems the lead cruiser crested the hill that revealed a slight right bend onto a one lane low water crossing in the Texas Hill Country. These are well known for just how slippery and slimy they can be. At a glance he either braked or tried to turn while on the slime and the front end washed out. Probably happened at 5 mph or so. No injuries or damage that I could see.

    There are cars on the other side waiting for the crossing to clear, and the downed rider's pillion is standing beside the bike in the inch or so of running water on the crossing.

    I filtered to the front of the stopped riders who were all off their bikes watching or helping, and see that once this bike is upright there should be room to safely cross beside it and leave this all behind.

    Up till now had been an exercise in track standing and slowly creeping forward towards this obviously treacherous obstacle (sarcasm). I'm on the Tiger with full luggage.

    Their bike is almost up as I approach, and the pillion just stands there beside it, blocking the line I had hoped to use. Looks like she is expecting to get back on right there and nobody has asked her to walk across and wait. I stop and put one foot down after lining up for a straight approach onto the crossing.

    Finally the downed bike is moving again, gingerly the rider gets across with both feet duckwalking, all the while the pillion is taking baby steps to avoid slipping as she follows.

    I lift my foot and begin a slow pace across the slime, following the girl, all the while never slipping or spinning a tire. It takes longer than I could have ever imagined it would to ride across, but it is a phenomenal experience in balance and traction control as I really enjoy little challenges like this.

    At the other end of the crossing the road goes steeply uphill and turns to the right. Once the way is clear between the waiting car and the edge of the road I carry just enough speed to get the bike started up the hill. Spun the back wheel just a tad as it leaves the water onto the uphill section, then get traction without any fuss and motor on.

    I'm quite proud of managing this without ever dabbing, spinning, or otherwise embarrassing myself. I smile and wave to the Lay-er-downer and roll on down the road. All I could think was how I wish there were video of this episode, and what might have crossed the minds of the cruiser-face crowd as they watched this demonstration of how to cross this creek at less than waking speed without dropping the bike.

    It might have been interesting to stop and see how well the rest of the group fared, but I preferred riding to watching that crew have a go at it.

    Hopefully they all made it across safely and had a good ride without further incident.

    Anyone else have similar experiences of personal daring-do where an opportunity to employ practiced skills presented itself?

    Where, pray-tell, have you found the perfect line? :evil
    #1
  2. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    Yeah , that's some DERRING DO alright. You must ride better than the OTHER dork on the cruiser.:rofl
    #2
  3. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    sorry in advance for the smart ass remark.

    well aren't you special.
    #3
  4. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    What fun is that? I thought you were going to say she wouldn't let you cross or something, and you had to beat her with your dick.
    #4
  5. GrouchyGeezer

    GrouchyGeezer Long timer

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    Need some Ben-Gay for your shoulder? Must be sore from pattin' yourself on the back.
    When this kind of thing happens, you smile to yourself and ride on. Otherwise, Karma will rear its head and you will fall in front of a troop of Girl Scouts while getting a soda bottle jammed up your a**.
    #5
  6. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    Ah, the predictable grumpy-asses of jm!

    Hell yes!
    Nice write up, and great thread idea.

    I ride back and forth to see my gf through hundreds and hundreds of miles of forest service roads ranging from big, graded ones you could drive a lowered civic on, to super-gnarly abandoned and un maintained mine access roads.

    I've gotten to be quite good at flat-tracking big sweeping corners. It's a bit harder with my wolfman bags on, but doable.

    One time last winter I was taking a big downhill left hander at about 45mph (I'm a little more bold when I'm wearing mx gear with an unloaded bike), and came around the end of the corner where the radius diminishes a bit and the sight line is reduced.
    What's this? Two boulders in the road about half the size of a vw bug! And a bunch of basketball sized and smaller as well.
    Had I been going slower, there would be about a hundred lines around the rocks on the 18ish foot wide road. At my speed, there was only one way through!
    Roll off the throttle the slightest amount and stand the bike up a few degrees. Everything is in slow motion. Thread right through the offset boulders through about a five foot gap. Instinctually keeping some throttle on. Now that I've straightened up and abandoned my previous line, where my front wheel was tracking just inside the apex, I'm now headed directly toward the edge of the road, where at my speed I'd probably be airborn for 10-15 feet before smacking a huge Doug Fir and falling to the ground. Very steep country.
    Somehow didn't panic too much, put all my weight back on the outside peg, crushing my kneecap into the tank, gave the inside grip a push and rolled on with authority! Sprayed some roost and started tracking right back toward the apex again.

    It was so awesome (to me) that I stopped the bike, turned it off, and walked back up to the boulders. My tracks I left in the moist sandy clay were rad. If I had thought to take a picture, it'd would have told the whole story. Made me feel pretty good about all the practice I'd put in pretending a rut or pine cone in the road was an obstacle to avoid in my previous months.

    Got scared looking at the boulders and imagining the consequences of a collision, but also gained confidence in my skills!
    #6
  7. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    TGIF. 'Hi, gorgeous. Come here often? What's your sign?' Worked almost every time. :lol3
    #7
  8. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    It was an attempt at being a little tongue in cheek. Just thought this forum could use a thread called "A Perfect Line."

    I know not everyone gets what the thrill in slow riding could possibly be, compared to more exciting adrenalin inducing feats like jumping the Snake River and such. :D

    I thought the rest of you FFs might offer up some little things from a ride that you have felt good about. :evil

    Perhaps I was mistaken. :huh (though Joexr gave me exactly what I would expect from him)

    Flames are fun too, and I have my asbestos underwear on today as I wait in anticipation. :lol3

    PsudoTsuga, that is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Great story!
    #8
  9. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I really didn't expect someone else who was there to be reading this thread.
    :rofl
    #9
  10. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    Fail. You made sure we knew the downed rider was inexperienced and lacking skills, then tried to make a big deal out of being able to complete a simple task that he had failed to do. Stick to bashing pirates, much easier.
    #10
  11. GPrairie_Rider

    GPrairie_Rider Dirt Junkie

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    Good story MotoTex. Those Hill Country roads can bite ya if you arent careful.

    Chris
    #11
  12. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I couldn't bring myself to go full Pirate-bashing on the downed bike as, amazingly, he and his pillion were wearing ATG. All his buddies were less well adorned. But alas, they weren't the one laying in the muck with a narcoleptic bike. :cry

    Maybe I should have stuck around to watch the rest of the show :evil

    FWIW, in my heart I really, really wanted to uphold the spirit of ADV Pirate ridicule. Does this sentiment count for anything with the ADV Fraternity of Fucking Fucks? :lol3
    #12
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I recently banked a steep hill on my Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 to get around an obstacle.

    I have taken the Dorsoduro (a sport bike in supermoto clothing) off road many times on forest roads and single track, but all have been relatively level (side to side). I hadn't been on this particular road in years, and was surprised to find it completely blocked when I reached the end. On one end of the K-rail is a flowing canal, and the other a steep bank. I could see that kids had been using the bank as a berm with their BMX bikes, and I have been slowly converting my Aprilia to a wanna-be adventure bike, so I decided to go for it. Falling would mean crashing the bike fuel tank first into the top of the K-rail. I built some speed, and hit the bank high enough to be nearly horizontal on the berm. The sand was a bit soft, but I held the line. It felt good to actually use the bike for what I am building it to do, and meet a challenge rather than turn around with my tail between my legs. :clap
    #13
  14. Red9

    Red9 Been here awhile

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    My question would be, if MOTO hadn't had the advance knowledge of the slime (by coming upon the fallen rider before entering the hazard), would he have then been the one to end up 'layed er down?'

    Pretty easy to look like the better rider when you have the full benefit of that particular situation.

    I'm actually surprised you could work the throttle so well while patting yourself on the back....:rofl
    #14
  15. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    No problem really, I have one of those Kaoko Throttle Locks. :D

    I've been riding these roads and crossings like this for decades. The "advanced notice" is that any concrete crossing with shallow water running over it will let the green stuff grow on the road surface.

    It is always possible to get gone quick in that "owl shit on a brass doorknob" slipperiness.
    #15
  16. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    High Country Herb, that was a fine story! :clap
    #16
  17. khager

    khager Long timer

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    Agreed. I thought everyone who rode in Texas knew this. Where were those pirates from anyway?
    #17
  18. khager

    khager Long timer

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    Just wanted to say I've witnessed a few layed over bikes at these low water crossings too. Not only cruisers but sportbikes too! They haven't gotten me yet though (knocking on wood here). Slicker than snot, takes very fucking steady throttle! I can't walk across them without bustin my ass, but I can ride em.:rayof
    #18
  19. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    You didn't wheelie on the water? WTF?
    #19
  20. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    I applaud the knee-jerk pirate ridicule implulse. I do. No joke.

    Carry on...

    Barry
    #20