Street/Highway strategies

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    I'd like to propose a thread relative to the above. Hope a lot of experienced riders, especially those who do a lot of time in busy metropolitan areas and those who ride the slab will contribute. Here are some of mine: (I ride a lot of surface streets in Phx, AZ)

    1. Always watch your mirrors and be aware (head glance) of what's behind you and how close.

    2. Always slow down a bit at major intersections and cover the brakes.

    3. If your urban environment has cross-walk timers for pedestrians, look at them, they'll give you an idea of when the light will change.

    4. We've all had the experience of getting to a light just as the yellow turns on. Check your mirrors before deciding what action to take. More than us have had the experience of being rear-ended by some asshat who "assumed" that you were going to run the yellow and he was too.

    5. Be hyper alert at any cross streets and cagers in left turn lane. Don't assume that they see you.

    6. When convenient/possible, go thru an intersection with cagers running interference for you. On one or both sides.....cagers seem to see them better than us.

    On the highway:

    1. Don't be afraid to run a bit over the average flow. Try to find a niche, in between "pods" of cagers many of whom are doing the speed limit and some are doing a bit more. Then there are those who are doing a "lot" more and seem to think the HOV lane has no limit.....why I personally avoid it.

    2. When entering a major highway: Try to look back and "judge" where there might be a convenient empty space to slip into. Also, try not to be close behind other cagers, many of who haven't a clue how to merge and are likely to jam you up big time.

    OK, those are a few of mine, hope others will add to.:D
    #1
  2. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave blame Reaver...

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    Roundabouts - assume that nobody knows how to drive in them. Nobody. This is especially true in areas that have been replacing traffic lights with them. I've only got 5000 km on my motorcycle license and have almost been hit twice in roundabouts by clueless cagers. And please signal you intention to exit! :deal
    #2
  3. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    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.
    #3
  4. Kerfuffle

    Kerfuffle Mostly Harmless

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    Assume everyone on the road will try to kill you, whether they mean to or not. Even paranoids have enemies. :rofl

    +1 If you're not moving relative to them, cars tend to "loose" you. Humans tend to notice motion, and the lack of relative motion in that situation is not good.
    #4
  5. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    Here's one I forgot: When pulling up behind cars at a light, always angle your bike at the best opening between cars in front of and next to you. That way, you'll have a safe(er) spot to squirt into should someone fail to stop behind you. Of course also watch your mirrors until at least one or two cars have stopped behind you and keep your bike in gear.
    #5
  6. HR Puffinstuff

    HR Puffinstuff aka hotrod

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    ride as if you are invisible

    AND

    ride as if you are day-glo orange, and worth 10,000 bonus points to anyone that can run you over.

    i find myself asking, "what's the stupidest thing that cage could possibly do?" i have had my bacon saved more that once when the cager did EXACTLY that, and i was ready for it.
    #6
  7. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    I do the opposite. I ride at reasonable and usually posted speeds. I give cages time to see me overtaking them. I have way less occurrences of near death experiences than the overwhelming majority of people who don't ride regularly, but when they do ride on the street it's WFO all the time because "wheee! I'm on a motorcycle!"

    In fact, here in the mountains, the people who ride like that aren't the ones who last long as street riders.

    my 2 cents anyway.
    #7
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Get in the far left lane and go at least 5 over the regular speed in the adjacent lane.

    Pass whenever you have room and sightlines - those stripes are for Buicks passing semis.

    Go ahead and filter in stopped traffic. They're Minnesotans - they'll grip the steering wheel so hard they lose feeling in their fingers before they ever say or do anything.

    Is it spring yet?

    :ricky

    Thank you for staying out of the way. :clap
    #8
  9. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    +1 (Sort of... "Haul ass" in a reasonable and prudent manner)

    Ride assertively (slightly faster than the majority flow) to keep yourself engaged in the task of riding... And use lateral motion to help others brains to take note of you.

    Anyone that rides straight down the road is asking for a collision.

    RIDE SAFE RIDE WELL RIDE OFTEN


    1. Don't run into things
    2. Don't let things run into you
    3. Have FUN!!!
    #9
  10. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    You know this how???
    #10
  11. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    A few tips of my own to add:

    1. When merging on a three-lane or more road (think highway), don't just look at the lane next to you, steal a glance at *two* lanes next to you. You don't want to merge into the next lane at the same time a driver two lanes over is trying to come on over into that adjacent lane.

    2. With extraordinarily few exceptions, cars tend NOT to move unless their wheels are moving. Thus I've trained my eyes to look at cars' front wheels when I approach intersections or turning lanes. If their wheels aren't moving, they're not moving, and I can plan & time my maneuvers accordingly. (Others recommend watching for the "hood dip" as the suspension loads before cars move but I find it's easier to spot the motion of wheels... YMMV).

    Oh, and don't even bother making eye contact with drivers. They will stare you down, smile and wave right at you as they kill you dead. Look at their vehicle and what it is doing, or NOT doing. You're not psychic, don't try to be a mind reader.

    3. Invest in a "wake up" module to automatically flash your rear brakes. Don't be afraid to "re-dab" your brakes at an intersection if you see a car coming up behind you (but always be prepared to accelerate out of the jam-- leave space between you and any vehicles ahead of you, and angle your ride accordingly... always have an exit!).

    4. The safest lane to ride in is whatever is the safest lane to ride in. Meaning, that lane is ALWAYS changing depending on traffic, road conditions, etc. I tend to prefer the passing lane in most circumstances (allows me to pass traffic, no mergers coming from my right or exiters rushing over from my left, plus usually a shoulder to escape onto), but again, the best lane to be in is always situational.

    5. If you can't make your turn or exit, don't make your turn or exit. Just go on to the next street. Never force things, particularly in traffic-- you want to be assertive, yet deliberate and predictable, you don't want to surprise other drivers, and you definitely don't want to surprise yourself (i.e a last-second panic to make an exit can be a fast way to making a goof).

    Besides, what's your rush? You're having fun! You're on a bike! :ricky
    #11
  12. duck

    duck Banned

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    Good aux lighting that stands out in traffic makes a WORLD of difference in not getting run over. See my avatar. That said, I still ride as if I'm invisible.

    #3 above. Not only re-apply flashing brake lights when cars approaching from behind at stoplights but is also good for getting tailgaters to back off. That and standing up.

    Speed up/slow down to minimize being in cagers' blind spots.
    #12
  13. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    In 35 years on the street, and 41 on the dirt, it's worked for me. And it all boils down to focus. To what I'm doing. To what that numbnuts in the next lane is doing. To that guy coming up to the stop sign on that side road I'm approaching.

    As for overtaking, I'm past them before they see me, and I want to keep it that way.

    But whatever works.
    #13
  14. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

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    Thanks for the tips. I think I read recently though that this is a bad idea, but I can't remember why. I believe it was in either proficient motorcycling or more proficient motorcycling. Though it might have been in Nick Ienatsch's sport riding techniques?

    I do this all the time regardless when possible, hopefully I will remember to look up why this book said not to when I get home.
    #14
  15. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

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    Cagers will often try and be polite to motorcycles, especially in the cities and urban situations. They'll wave you on , thinking they are doing you a good deed. Wrong !! I never go on a wave.
    #15
  16. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    True. Most times they don't see the big picture.
    I would rather to make my own decision pertaining to going or stopping.


    I trust me more that anyone else on the street.
    #16
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Just that you always want to have an "OUT" so you do not become the meat in a sammich if they fail to see the car as well...:D
    #17
  18. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    A potentially helpful tip for this (frustrating) situation: while waving *them* along, turn your head to look away from them. For some reason that almost always breaks the standoff and forces them to move first. (Also works on pedestrians, too!)
    #18
  19. Frostback

    Frostback Frostback

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    When approaching a car awaiting a lefthand turn across my lane or a sitting car waiting to pull out at an intersecrion (the two classic killer situations) I give the handlebars a little wiggle so the headlight moves laterally and helps catch their eye. An oncoming headlight can otherwise just appear stationary.

    Lee
    #19
  20. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    It was nice riding with an old laser printer strapped to the back. No tailgaters period.
    #20