Stupid, stupid ,stupid near fatal mistake

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by TarTripper, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. TarTripper

    TarTripper Been here awhile

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    Day before yesterday I nearly killed myself and another rider. In the end we just avoided a head-on, each going on his way without stopping.

    I was engaged in a series of very nice twisties on a fairly deserted Scottish road. We had been riding for about an hour and I really felt 'in the groove'.

    I probably relaxed concentration for a moment because I went into the next left hand bend just a wee bit too fast.

    Almost as soon as I realised I was was too fast another bike appeared going the other way. His track through the turn was close the centreline. The danger was imminent and extreme. At this point I committed just about every newbie error including braking and looking at the oncoming bike. We missed but only by about 2 ft.

    I have done track days and I know enough to know that I should have fixed my gaze hard into the turn and leaned more. Now here's the thing. I am sure that if another bike had not been approaching, this is exactly what I would have done.

    But the bike represented a huge threat and so I target fixated on it. I hadn't thought about this before but the natural human response when detecting a threat is to fix attention on it. It is very unnatural to look away from danger.

    Of course you don't get to practice overriding this natural instinct on a track day. Unless you want to try going round the track the wrong way!
    #1
  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Those are the risks you take if you over ride your sight lines.
    Its fun, but you are risking your life and limb.
    And in this case, maybe someone else's.
    #2
  3. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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    Glad you got lucky there.

    I'm not sure I could have done any better. Its one of those panic reactions that you never notice when there is no danger.

    I'm trying to really focus on only pushing my limit on turns that I know really well and where I have a clear line of sight. My goal is to get comfortable scraping peg feelers so the extreme lean becomes second nature.
    #3
  4. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

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    I'm glad it wasn't me coming the other way. Look where you want to go. It really is that simple.
    #4
  5. R0CKETMAN

    R0CKETMAN Adventurer

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    I'll take it a step further and say over compensate looking where you want to go on occasion where appropriate.

    For instance, as soon as you saw the bike look at the painted line on the outside of the lane.

    ...but I wasn't there so who knows...you survived is all that matters.
    #5
  6. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    You can do the next best thing. Learn and practice changing line mid turn. You have to think and look where you want to go, inside or outside. Eventually you develop the habit of looking and moving where you want to be. I've done it a few times when I've been going a bit wide with on-coming traffic, moving in a bit further just to play it safe.
    #6
  7. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Maybe do some dirt riding.
    You really can not dirt ride without learning how to dodge things all the time, ruts, rocks, trees, roots, mud holes, jeeps, if you do not learn how to dodge unexpected things you will crash all the time, which makes you learn fast and well...

    Its also loads of fun.
    #7
  8. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    +1
    #8
  9. Webstermark

    Webstermark n00b

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    I agree and was just about to say the same thing. Falling in the dirt hurts, no doubt about that, but the odds of disaster are lower. You learn, (maybe it becomes more instinctive?) to react quicker to many different situations. It seems what you learn should apply to street riding as well, but I've never over-analyzed that, I just ride!
    #9
  10. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

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    Good thing is you know what you did wrong and are committed to learning from it. You'll be fine.
    #10
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Off roading is fine and dandy, but it's still about developing the skill to change directions quickly and in reaction to the situation. This can be learned by simply doing it. When riding and goofing around I will move around in a corner. It's not about having the perfect line, it's about changing up the line mid corner. Learn how to do it and it is now in your catalog of possible actions when the situation arises.

    When in familiar or open (vision) corners just dive deeper or move out wider. The actions needed to avoid road kill or a pot hole, whatever. You learn what it takes to do it.
    #11
  12. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    And maybe.... just slow down a bit on the street?

    "Good thing is you know what you did wrong and are committed to learning from it. You'll be fine. " This +1
    #12
  13. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    Driving fast is a given here.
    #13
  14. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    This. Everybody's done it. The trick is to learn from it, and I'll bet you won't let that happen again.

    You just became a better rider. :thumb
    #14
  15. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    I ride fast too, but we were (I thought) discussing overcooking a corner and nearly hitting another bike
    #15
  16. rms56

    rms56 Long timer

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    carry a higher price tag than others ... you did dodge a bullet but have the awareness to "GET" it ... a lot don't and thats just not riders. Live and learn ... and live!
    #16
  17. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

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    That's neither here nor there
    David Hough opens Proficient Motorcycling with a crash that unfolded in much this same way. It is harder to manage than the usual in-too-hot reaction because your time factor is cut seriously by your closing speed with the other rider (or car or bus or truck... er, lorry for you). I've had a couple of close calls with four-wheeler drifting over into my lane, so I do not push it on public roads. There must be enough margin to change my line any way I need to.
    #17
  18. kballowe

    kballowe Poser

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    In recent history, was in a hard right-hander, slight uphill. The turn tightened up (to my surprise) and I found myself dragging hard parts.

    This put me 1/3 into the oncoming lane, along with an oncoming automobile. Not that I committed the sin of looking where I shouldn't, or even breaking my concentration. Tried to stay with my line, but the bike just slid over.

    Please count me in. I'm also stupid.
    #18
  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Yes, but you need to play a bit to know how to change your line in a corner at any speed you might ride. It takes practice moving around at whatever speeds in various manners to any place in a corner. Practice creates the fast action memory people call muscle memory to make the evasive maneuver - be it a blind decreasing radius turn, road kill, or another vehice encroaching into your lane.
    #19
  20. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    I dunno, two feet is a lot of clearance.

    More than I have when lane spitting.
    #20