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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by bluegreen, May 3, 2013.
Assuming you spin it every time, the chances are the same every time!
That said, roulette isn't like riding. You are not getting lucky riding, you are minimizing your chances of an accident the more experience you gain. Playing roulette does not offer a chance of improvement by experience.
Superstition and statistics in the same thread. Who would have thought. Please nobody bring up Monty Hall.
I hold my breath when I drive by cemeteries.
On an OCD note, I also always put my right glove on first, but I put my left boot on first. I don't know why, but it just doesn't feel right if I do the opposite.
I also put my underwear on BEFORE my pants. Because the other way not only doesn't feel right, it looks stupid.
Is there another you could win 6 times in a row?:huh
This is an interesting issue and probably worthy of its own thread.
What you say is clearly true at an individual level.
But consider yourself as part of a population - where statistic really become powerful and predictive.
We are all part of a motorcycling population which rides a certain number of miles and has a certain number or accidents per year. If you had this data you would be able to calculate the accident rate per thousand or million miles travelled.
My understanding of the population stats would say that the more miles you do per year (as a normal rider within the population - leaving aside any individual differences) the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.
The Russian Roulette analogy (although not a very good one) would be trying it once vs repeating it twenty times (with one bullet + spinning every time). Or perhaps better have 100 people playing russian roulette at the same time. What are the statistical chances then of a % of them getting the bullet?
My personal reflection of riding risks also supports what I am suggesting theoretically. While I do everything I can to reduce risk there is still an amount of randomness to accidents which is beyond my control - and the more I ride, the more likely I am to get caught out by one of these random factors.
Classic case over here is fucking kangaroos (like deer for you maybe).
They are a real hazard + I and everyone I know has had incidents or accidents with them. Everyone tries to reduce risk - don't ride at night, dawn, dusk/ slow down in high likelihood areas/ ride the centreline as much as poss etc - but non of these things eliminate the risk entirely. Roos are just too random. The only way to eliminate the risk it to not ride.
So the more I ride in the bush (ie 95% of Oz and where all the adv riding is) the more likely I am to hit a kangaroo at some stage. I know this risk and do all I can to avoid it but I am also aware that it is a numbers game to some extent.
Any statisticians on the board care to give and opinion on this?
Yes and no. Yes experience makes you less likely to get in an accident. But it does not effect random events, which we have little to no control over.
I am not saying everyone will get in an accident, but X% will, which is what the insurance company looks at.
All the skill the world will do you no good, when the car you are passing, decides to change lanes or answers their cell phone and swerves.
I disagree. You may not be able to respond to every eventuality, but it's not an unrealistic goal to be able to avoid or respond approriately to most of them. In the case of the merging/texting driver, you can: see the erratic behaviour and give them a wide berth; get past them quickly, before they have chance to do something stupid; be ready to swerve/brake/accelerate out of their way, etc.
I don't. First day right side out, second day inside out, third day turn them around, fourth day right side out, fifth day start over again...
What you say is true in the aggregate, however, as in the Russian Roulette analogy, each person does not live in the aggregate, which is the point. Sure, a median and mean may indicate a larger chance of crashing based on miles, but you are working all sides of the bell curve, not just the one that an individual lives in.
Take my brother for example. He is a great guy, and very smart, but a total space cadet. He has a severe shortage of common sense, and a very short attention span. In 6K miles of riding he dropped his bike 7 times in parking lots, and crashed 4 times, the last totaling the bike.
Then take me, same parentage, though it would be hard to tell, but totally different riding experience. I have ridden about 275K miles, dropped my bike exactly once, and been hit one time sitting at a stop light.
The more I ride, the less "oh shit" moments I encounter. I stay vigilant, pay attention, and try hard not to over ride my abilities!
Somewhere in the middle is where insurance companies must hang their hat, but it bears little resemblance to either me or my brother.
Agree on individual variance 100%. And the more difficult the riding situation, the more the variation is evident - but as you point out even in the most basic riding situations, some people screw up a lot and are accident prone.
I suppose I am disagreeing with the basic idea that we are statistically only as much at risk if we ride 100 miles a year vs 100K per year (all other things being equal) which someone argued earlier in the thread.
Also although I try to ride with the mindset that all accidents are avoidable - in reality if we ride a lot - especially adventure riding - there is just a greater probability of random misfortune coming into it somewhere.
Makes it spicy though and it's probably on of the reasons we do it
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I'm with Jim on this one. The difference between ride'in a bike, and Russian Roulette is there is more thought 'n skill involved. You've got mor control of yer destiny, where Russian Roulette iz just luck.
Miles travelled can bring mor experience, 'n knowledge ta cope with the "surprises" newer riderz face.
So you had your accident.
My long-time riding buddy jokes that I am the slowest person in the world to get my gear back on after a stop. Our system works like this: We decide it's time to go, he lights a smoke. By the time he's finished that and putting his gear on, I'm ready. Not only am I taking my time to make sure everything is in the way it's supposed to be ( vents closed/open, everything done up, etc..), I'm also getting myself completely focused on what I'm doing. An old racer taught me that one.
My safety record is considerably ( painfully so ) better than his.
When I'm on the road;
Always avoid anyone driving wearing a big hat.
Also keep clear of anyone with more than 2 antennas on their vehicle.
Stay out of residential ares during Yard Sale Season.
first, the russian roulette analogy is missing 2 things, first you have to spin every time to make it relevant (as said before), but also it includes one CERTAIN chance of a deadly accident (you always have a bullet)
Motorcycling doesn't, the chance of there actually even being a bullet in the gun is completely random.
So to make it completely relevant the gun should be loaded by a machine, controlled by a computer game of some sort, which still loads the gun using a random algorithm, but every time you win the game a couple of times your odds of not having a bullet in the gun go up but are still random; if you lose, your odds of having a bullet in the gun go up but are still random. This allows for experience (if you win more often with experience there is less chance of a bullet, but it won't go away completely). Then you go and try ONCE, then redo the whole thing with the machine. Now tell me what the odds of shooting yourself are for each individual game, and for the whole suite of games combined? they are the same, random, with a weighted average toward not being shot coming with experience)
you see it gets complicated very fast...
second, as all of this is based on random averages, historical data does not predict future behaviour (2nd law of thermodynamics applies here too), meaning that you can look at historical crash data all you want and extrapolate statistical averages and chances all day long, it simply doesn't make it a valid predictor of future chances (it's statistics after all).
this randomness is what makes it impossible to say "you have 1 in whatever number chances to go down", because actually you don't, there is no rule that says that you will go down over so many km's, so there is no cumulative chance to go down (10 km or 100000000 km will not change that, there is nothing to test the condition against)
also large scale statistics are useful for averaging over large populations and time, but they say 0, nada, zilch about individual chances (if on average 1 in 100.000 people go down once in on average 300.000 km by person, what does that say about you? nothing)
statistics are a bitch
Some very good advice, and, upon reflection, things that I also avoid. However, I think they probably belong in the "Street/Highway Strategies" thread, rather than being superstitions or even habits.
Personally I ride atgatt because I a m afraid that the one time I don't...I will have a crash that will injure the part of my body I declined to wear gear over. It is just my luck.
If riding for any other reason other than to-work commute, I will always mark a spot, mentally, as the "start" of the trip, at a location other than home. This can be a half-mile, or ten miles from my driveway. The, at the end of the ride (This can be a Sunday morning breakfast ride, or a week-long cmping trip) I will always be sure to "close the circle" at that spot, then ride home. I have done this both consciously, and unconsciously, for years. Maybe to make sure that home is not the end of the ride. Don't know why, but I always find myself doing this.
P.S. I also think Gremlin bells are stoopid. Making a bell out of an ugly mid-70's AMC 2-door is just plain dumb.
father taught me the same many years ago
and he was right