Target fixation is a b*tch

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by kevlar930, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. kevlar930

    kevlar930 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
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    382
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    So Cal
    Or I could call this "Kevlar930 was almost posting in the Faceplant forum." :rofl

    Was out riding the canyons today and was going from one canyon to another along a road I have ridden a handful of times. I was in my groove. The bike is running great, suspension is finally getting dialed in, and I am enjoying a beautiful day. I'm riding at about a 6 of 10 and I went into a blind right hand 2nd gear turn and was on the throttle pretty hard past the apex. As my sight line opened up for the following corner, I realized there is an immediate left hand, decreasing radius corner and the exit speed from the previous corner was too fast for the entry speed into the left hander. Instead of applying the front brake, setting up for the corner, and then trail braking into the corner, I immediately fixate on the outside of the corner and mashed on the front brake. Right before I went off the road, instinct kicked in. I switched from front to the rear brake and was able to keep the bike upright (see, going into the kitty litter on track days does have real world applications!:lol3).

    At the next pullout, I pulled over, cleaned out my underwear, and gave myself a good scolding. I have been riding for over 20 yrs and have many, many miles under my belt, yet I pulled one of the biggest noob moves there is. This just goes to show that no matter how experienced you are (or think you are), you can still make a simple mistake. Fortunately for me, it ended well. I think this was Karma's way of telling me that I probably shouldnt be such a hooligan on the bike and cut the shit (I swear, I only did one wheelie while leaving a stoplight after that!)

    Anyway, feel free to flame away for such a noob move!
    #1
  2. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Good thing it was a left hand and not a right hand turn with on coming traffic. Heed the warning and slow down.

    Glad you weren't hurt.
    #2
  3. kevlar930

    kevlar930 Been here awhile

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    We always hear about riding within our limits. 99.99% of the time, I would have made that corner in that exact same scenario. Unfortunately, today was the 0.01% when I was outside of my limits for a split second. It definitely was a wake up call and I took it pretty easy after that.
    #3
  4. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    #4
  5. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    backwoods Alabama
    You ride. Stuff happens. Events like this are a wake-up call so you don't get lulled into complacency.

    Bad fumble, good recovery... :deal

    --Bill
    #5
  6. erkmania

    erkmania Still Adventuring

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    996
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I had a similar loss in brain function a couple of weeks back. I haven't been riding very much since back surgery and thought I might hang with my usual crowd for a change one morning.

    We were going down tight and twisty Couser Canyon Rd. and I had just exited a right-hander that had a decent downhill approach to the next right. The straight was just long enough that I accelerated a little too long before the even tighter downhill right that went into a blindish quick-flick downhill left. I applied the front brake a little too aggressively and hard enough that the rear topped out and got light or airborne for a split second; I don't know which, but the rear end wiggled side-to-side a bit.

    That's when I fixated on the topped out suspension, the turn entrance and the apex all at once. I felt paralyzed. I didn't know what to do for an instant and I remember staring at the turn-in point and apex simultaneously while not knowing what the outcome would be when I arrived at the apex. I can see that mental snap-shot as I type this. :puke1

    I forced myself to ignore the fixation and then just lay off of the brakes as I turned the bike into the turn like I had done countless times when I got things completely right. I thank the years of experience street riding, dirt riding, track riding and road racing for my ability to get through that turn that day.

    No one behind me saw me struggle, but I sure did and it will stick with me as a personal blunder.

    I am here to admit that I misjudged my mood, my abilities and the bike setup that was supposed to help me cope with back problems.

    As the OP said, "target fixation is a b*tch" and I'm here to say that she's a greedy b*tch that also wants payment. :deal
    #6
  7. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Couple years ago, riding through a left hand 50mph sweeper .5 miles from my house that I ride or drive at least once per day, sometimes more.

    Small brainfart, not braking, no distraction, just glanced at the outside of the corner, and immediately went there. Didn't need to hit the brakes or check up, but the distraction and change in direction was immediate, and significant. Focused and readjusted my line and all was immediately well again.

    Tought me what target fixation is, and how easily it can occur. I was probably a wee bit more relaxed than I should have been.

    YMMV,
    Barry
    #7
  8. Megamoto

    Megamoto Yes, I do look like this.

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    You know...I think I've been here before.
    Sure is.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    My first time at the Dragon, third or fourth time through, I was heading east into a left hander that turns into a right hander. For some reason I looked at the line and thought "I'm going to crash." It took a lot of willpower to look through the turn, but when I did the bike turned and I went on without crashing.
    #9
  10. judobiker

    judobiker Been here awhile

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    NEGA
    On the last lap of a harescramble last summer, I looked through a tight right hand turn to see a tree right in the middle of the trail 30 yards up a straight away. The same tree had been there on the previous laps, but by now my arms and mind were fatigued. I jumped on the throttle coming out of the turn, thinking "I've got to pick a line left or right of the tree." Meanwhile, I stared at the tree and a couple seconds later centered it with my front wheel. As I went over the bars, I remember thinking "I should have looked past the tree." It was almost like a mysterious force sucked me right into the obstacle. I guess it was no mystery, just my brain.
    #10
  11. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    The way we learn is by making the errors... Good on you.

    Now don't do it again..:lol3
    #11
  12. Bt10

    Bt10 Adventurer

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    Thanks for taking it to the dirt, judobiker. I was on my third 3hr run on single track in 2 days, I'm outta shape, 40+, and was very tired. Ended up looking down too much and was too tired to push the bike hard over into a good bermed turn, and was riding up and off the top rim, figuring to stop easy in the weeds. Was about 8 feet from a tree at 10 mph and didn't even touch a control, drilled it square, head on. Strained both wrists, gas cap to the groin, and gashed my shin bad. Had to sit for awhile and rest before my mind was ready. Sorry, gopro was dead.
    #12
  13. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Littleton, CO
    Went skiing once, early season, lot of rocks. I brought my brand new skis, my buddy brought his old ones. We fixed all of his old nicks and dings the night before, his skis were as flat and smooth as my new ones before we started. After skiing the same runs and trails all day, he had a thousand cuts and gouges on his skis, some very deep. I had three little scratches.

    The only difference is that he looked at the rocks, I looked at the snow between the rocks.
    #13