Stupid, stupid ,stupid near fatal mistake

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

  1. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,146
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good post TarTripper, nice little wake-up call and I'm glad I glanced at it.

    What occurs to me is that you may well have got in a wee bit hot like this on several or many or even countless previous occasions but there was no-one coming so you got on with life.

    If you enjoy that sort of riding - and I have and still do on occasion - then such moments are all but unavoidable, IMO.

    The reality is, they are also very hazardous.

    So then the question is, how to reduce their incidence.

    Only obvious answer is to slow down a bit. A secondary one for you might be to notice that after an hour or so of high-level riding you get a bit fatigued. Makes sense to me and I'm sure I'd be the same. I will take that on board.

    I am not quite sure what you are trying to say about target fixation, but it seemed to me you were proposing - from the benefit of this experience - that in some high-stress, unfamiliar moments it is quite likely a person will not be able to avoid target-fixation.

    That makes sense to me, too.
    #21
  2. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    825
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    Would you feel more comfortable with two feet of clearance splitting lanes while going with traffic or going against it?:ear
    #22
  3. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    825
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    I certainly agree with your points, and I think you could go a step further and say that every ride should be practice and that you should be wary of allowing yourself to indulge in sloppy riding. It's what you practice that you will do under stress. I'll recast my statement to say that you need to be very careful about when and where to push your limits, and on public, two-lane roads, the primary skill that needs to be kept sharp is that of reading the turn and getting some advance warning that it might tighten up before you can see your way out or might have some other surprises waiting for you. It's one thing to make the most of your opportunities to sharpen your skills but it's another to roll the dice while thinking happy thoughts.

    I have a number of corners on my commute that I would love to take faster or to use for sharpening turning technique, including several on what is supposed to be a private road, but most do not offer enough sight distance to make wicking it up any more than an act of unwarranted optimism.
    #23
  4. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    25,877
    Location:
    South (Dog help me) Bay
    Personally, I have no problem with either, it's the unwillingness to cause other drivers to flip out which keeps me splitting same direction only
    #24
  5. Toto

    Toto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    495
    Location:
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    I had an incident last year when I went into a corner a little too fast, with on coming traffic. I really had to beat down the impending panic and look where I wanted to go. It was give up and crash or commit myself to the maneuver. I think for most riders their nerve will give out before the tires will, unless you really over boil it. So, really, your only out in this is to commit to the curve and look where ya wanna go and you will probably make it...anything else and you are probably cooked.
    We all make mistakes, but hopefully we can hold it together and escape with our ass in hand.:eek1
    #25
  6. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,511
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio

    :huh You appear to not have a grasp of what I said or I am misunderstanding what you've said.

    It is not sloppy and it is not rolling the dice. It is developing skills in changing position by practicing a bit when the conditions (corners/surfaces) are known or have a good line of sight. Learn how tighten your line and you now have a tool to deal with a surprise decreasing radius turn should you suddenly realize it rounding a blind turn. It is practicing both mentally and physically how to change up a line mid-corner, not pushing the envelope. It is developing both knowledge and faith in the handling of the equipment - especially tires. It is incredible how tenacious the grip of tires can be - far beyond the skill of most riders. I have never had a tire break loose due to leaning on any pavement.

    My line changing practice is not haphazard. It is not go zig zag at random, nor is it wobble about like a clown. Fact of the matter speed has nothing to do with it. I do not see where conclusions like that were drawn.:confused
    #26
  7. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,947
    Location:
    Bisbee, AZ
    #27
  8. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,125
    That and the fact you can't split on the center line legally.

    But I have "shared the lane" with an oncoming motorcycle trying to pass an idiot. I have passed idiots when the oncoming riders intentionally move to their right to split their oncoming lane with me giving me room to pass. (The cager I was passing? Shit bricks and lit up the tires, almost taking out all of us when the SUV started fishtailing.)

    Maybe it is just years of riding/racing a bicycle, sometimes at 40mph or more, in a peloton that means I don't sweat close tolerances.

    I probably should, considering my fellow riders are generally not as skilled as I am by their own admission.
    When I lead rides I always stay off the throttle to avoid exploding the field, even though I generally have half to 2/3 the displacement of all the other bikes.
    #28
  9. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,511
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio

    First - read the line "tire break loose due to leaning on any pavement" is not "sand and gravel". That is junk on the road and part of what I've said to practice maneuvering to be able to avoid it. :deal What a shame Vermont is still stuck in the early 20th century when it comes to roads... unless one rides a dual sport, then that's great!

    I don't have much problem with that since I practice what I preach... I also ride dirt/gravel back roads and can deal with loose surfaces. I find being able to change lines mid corner and having some dual sport experience makes it so I can avoid the debris in the road.

    By the way Ohio roads have debris on them in the spring from road salt/grit, but it is either cleaned off by the cities or blows off by traffic. The back roads can have gravel/dirt/silt etc from rain wash out and construction work (fracking construction is really good at that) so it's not like I don't have a clue how to deal with those conditions. Thankfully those conditions are not extremely common as apparently they are in Vermont. They can be quite random, running along on a great road, then around the next semi-blind turn is light gravel or silt in part of the turn. That is about 90% of the reason to be able to do what I speak of. I ride in my lane, with a safety margin enabling me to use evasive maneuvers as needed.:ricky

    As for the tires sticking, probably 90% of the "ran off the road" accidents were on good corners, no debris, with riders who are, like the one rider's post here, afraid they'll lowside. When I was significantly younger I pretty much did exactly that - run wide and fall - because I didn't trust the tires. Since that time I have had a few times where the urge is to sit up and run off, but the knowledge and practice kicks in and I've leaned a bit more, maintaining my line or tightening it.

    I also have had chance to use my off road experience when the back end of the street bike broke loose on some junk in a road at an intersection. A dab of the foot and some throttle work saved it when the rear stepped out. Also done some body english and throttle when the rear has slipped other times. It's nice to have a good spectrum of skills to pull from memory as needed - and as practiced.

    If you are mainly a street rider, you have my condolences for Vermont roads sucking so bad. :dunno:p3rry:lol2

    I thought they probably had some nice riding up there...

    Oh! :hmmmmm I get it, you're just trying to chase us away, keep 'em all for yourself! :nono
    #29
  10. TarTripper

    TarTripper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Cotswolds, England
    Thanks for the wise words guys. I am indeed chastened by this experience and a wiser rider now.

    However, one of the main points I was tryingt to get across has perhaps been missed. I know how to adjust a turn, and am comfortable leaning harder when I realise I've gone in too hot (which I don't do often).

    What got me this time was target fixation, the 'target' being the other bike.
    #30
  11. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,721
    Location:
    Waynesboro, PA
    Nope, I got the point in the initial post. It is extremely difficult to look away from the object that you believe is going to kill you, it is an act of raw will power to to do so.
    #31
  12. dazeedmonds

    dazeedmonds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    142
    This happened to me the other day. Jackass made a left turn on a red in front of me, I locked the brakes (unintentionally) and could not move my eyes away from him. I missed the rear end of his truck but it was too close for comfort. That was the first time I'd ever experienced target fixation, it was a little disconcerting to say the least. In my case I.think fatigue may have played a part, I should have recognized that he was going to do something stupid, he was way out in the intersection, but off to my right so I didn't register his truck until he was in front of me. I should have seen him and backed off the throttle, but I had been helping a friend move, and was more tired than I realized.
    #32
  13. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,561
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I wonder how Darwinian target fixation is?

    As in - Are those who survived, intact, the experience of target fixation, less likely to do it again?

    Is it, in a strange and unpleasant way, a valuable experience to have?
    #33
  14. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,721
    Location:
    Waynesboro, PA
    I think it is a valuable experience to have, as long as you survive the encounter with said object. It will allow you to experience what the phenomenon is and hopefully allow you to make mental corrections to prevent it in the future.
    #34
  15. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,326
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    It probably was a good strategy when the "target" was a saber toothed tiger ready to pounce.
    Nowadays when it's a pickup truck or a guardrail, and you are moving in relation to the target, maybe not so much.
    #35
  16. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,125
    I don't think you understand how Darwin works...

    Target fixation is like a net gain if you are hunting and gathering and not in a machine.

    May take a few thousand generations to breed it out of us again.
    #36
  17. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    825
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    Actually, I was kind of thinking the same thing about your own ability to catch what I was saying. I don't know how I could have made it any plainer but I don't see any ROI on trying to figure out where the disconnect is. :dunno
    #37
  18. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    25,877
    Location:
    South (Dog help me) Bay
    The problem is that the way to desensitize yourself to opposing objects is time spent in proximity to opposing objects.

    Who is going to advocate that? :lol3
    #38