Looking at you "6"

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    I'm 65 and had a lot of good advice over the years. While I did a couple of dumb things as a younger guy, nowadays, I ride as safely as I can. One of the things I was taught was, when stopping at a light, immediately survey what's happening behind you. Also, position yourself so that you can take evasive action if needed.

    I live in AZ and a year or so ago, a group of riders, including a PHX fire captain were riding. They all came to a stop at an intersection that I ride frequently. A damn big truck, dump or something, just plain didn't stop and slammed into the whole bunch of them; killing several and maiming several more. Later, it turns out, the driver was on drugs, but it sounds like he's gonna skate on the charges.

    Nowadays, whenever I come to a stop in traffic, I always look behind me to see just what the hell's going on. I always keep an eye on my rear view mirror while riding as well. My goal is to not let anyone surprise me by passing me if I don't know well in advance that they're coming.

    I hope I don't sound "old" and paranoid, but I see so many riders nowadays who just don't seem to grasp what "defensive riding" means, especially if you're on a moto.

    Ride safe everyone!
    #1
  2. folknride

    folknride Old Adventurer

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    Ain't nuthin' wrong with old and paranoid - that's the way you get to be 66!
    Watch your 6.
    #2
  3. Korben

    Korben Adventurer

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    When I can't filter to the front at junctions I tend to stop with enough room to be able to escape should I need to, then keep an eye on my mirrors... Sit far enough back from the vehicle in front so that if you need to you can power off around and away from the potential accident. I sometimes angle the bike to point at the gap if I'm feeling extra paranoid.

    As said, nothing wrong with being paranoid... Keeps you alive.
    #3
  4. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Been here awhile

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    +1 to that!

    It happened to me after 30 years of riding. Got lazy and did not leave an escape route. High curb to the right, semi on the left then BLAMO!
    Young lady in a Honda 4 door pounded me so hard it left the imprint of my plate 2 feet up the hood of her car!
    Bye bye bike, it was a total loss. Had to get another one. I am back in the groove and keeping a wary eye on that rear view mirror.
    #4
  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I suspect anyone who rides on the street a while and does NOT have any accidents does the same thing.
    What worries me is those times when you can not see past the vehicle behind you.
    Someone behind them could not be stopping...
    My right foot is on the ground, the left is ready to shift into first and bolt.


    Its amazing the things some riders do, or do not do, over riding sight lines, not scanning the road surface, assuming they have the right of way, assuming people are looking where they are going, not leaving space or an out, etc.

    37 years on the street, wild in the past, often far from sober, and I never had an issue with another vehicle because I do not trust them.
    #5
  6. Pepepower

    Pepepower Adventurer

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    #6
  7. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Adventurer

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    #7
  8. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    I stop at the side of the lane behind a car, usually right side, maybe left side if the situation calls for that. Maybe it will attract the attention of a following driver. Maybe I'm out of the oil drips. Maybe I'll have a better view down the side behind me. Maybe I'll be better set up for my escape route. Maybe I'm just deluding myself into thinking that I'm doing something smart.
    #8
  9. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Good comments. It's called situational awareness, and especially being aware of your 6 while stopped in traffic.

    Not just a good idea, it's survival.
    #9
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    After a lot of years on old bikes with no clutch throwout bearings and wimpy clutch cables, I just put the bike in neutral at a light.
    It takes very little time to put the bike in gear and bolt.
    Front brake is on to activate the light.

    Car or bike, I have a habit of not holding a clutch in for more then 3 seconds.



    #10
  11. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    i will just go to the front of the line of cars and get rady to go. as in the uk you can by law
    or have room to go round the drives side.
    #11
  12. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    It happened to my buddy as he was leaving a gas station. He had stopped and was waiting for traffic to clear before making a right turn on his brand new Harley Ultra E-glide (big dam bike with lights on the tour pack etc...) A kid in a pickup stopped behind him and then proceeded to make his own right turn. Pushed Steve across two lanes of traffic, mangled his saddlebags, fender and tour pack...:norton Always check 6... just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to kill you. :deal
    #12
  13. jacksgp

    jacksgp Been here awhile

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    Always watch my 6 at a light, bike in gear and slightly left or right of the car in front of me. Also added some blinking led lights on either side of my licence plate....helps in wakening up the "car zombies".
    #13
  14. kbuckey

    kbuckey Long timer

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    10 years, or so, ago, I was coming down US 6 towards Golden just before the last tunnel. The road turns left about 1/4 mile before the tunnel and when I made the turn traffic was stopped. I stopped and, thank god, left a little room. Next thing is I heard (almost felt) the squeal of brakes and tires behind me. I scooted up the right side of the line of cars and heard the crash as a tractor trailer loaded with gravel smashed into the last two cars in line. Killed the lady in the last car. I don't think the DR and I would have been much more than a smudge....
    #14
  15. Snowkarver

    Snowkarver Adventurer

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    I don't understand how anyone can be comfortable stopped at an intersection without being aware of what's behind them. Especially on arterial roads where traffic can come up fast.

    As a new rider, I'm pretty paranoid and plan to stay that way. I subconsciously pick an escape route as I roll up, move to that side a bit, and stop with enough room to squirt out to relative safety - next to another vehicle, corner boulevard clearance etc. MSF taught me bike in gear, left foot down, and right on the brake, which is what I do - while eyeing the mirrors to make sure there's an orderly line forming behind me.
    #15
  16. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you :dic

    If stopped in a traffic line I stop an angle aimed for the gap and watch the following traffic in my mirrors ... i leave it in gear so I'm ready to go if needed.

    ... or simply filter through.
    #16
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    #17
  18. khager

    khager Long timer

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    I have been thinking about one of those. It sure would help if somebody carried these locally and i could go try one on.
    #18
  19. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    +1 Drivers today are more distracted than ever before, between cell phone calls, texting, interacting with your gps, shuffling tunes on the ipod, reading the paper, applying mascara and eating it's no wonder we get schmucked from time to time. :eek1
    #19
  20. Griffin44

    Griffin44 Been here awhile

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    I do the same thing you do. I also catch a lot of flak from new riders that have taken the MSF course and "know" that you must sit with your clutch pulled in, in gear, with your foot on the brake.

    These people have never had a clutch cable snap (or their leg start to shake so badly from holding the clutch pedal down that it slipped off the pedal).

    I see no need to sit in gear for 2 - 3 minutes waiting for a long light to change.

    Get stopped, check your six, when things are clear get out of gear and relax a bit. I see nothing wrong with that and have never been hit from behind on a bike and have had to get the hell out of the way more than once.
    #20