What Would You Have Done?

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by BCKRider, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Been here awhile

    Jul 5, 2009
    I am hard pressed to think of an instance where initial hard controlled braking to avoid a sudden oncoming obstacle is a bad idea so I believe the OP was right on. You can let off the brakes and swerve at a slower speed if time / conditions permit. When I am closing with an opposing obstacle the potential impact energy is determined by the SUM of both our speeds. If I get rear ended the far less energy state will be determined by the DIFFERENCE between our two speeds. I will take the reduced energy of a Difference over a Sum every time.

    That said I always enter a blind curve from as far outside as possible thanks to reading Proficient Motorcycling http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Motorcycling-Ultimate-Guide-Riding/dp/1889540536 , Ride Hard Ride Smart / How to Ride a Motorcycle by Pat Hahn as well as several other safe biking books. I have not yet mastered Hough's early braking / roll on the throttle on exit strategy but I try. I also try not to over ride my sight line keeping at an absolute minimum a 4 second sight line (unlike the far majority of cyclists) and I try to stay at or below the speed limit. Finally, if someone is riding my tail I slow down and let them get by so being rear ended is far less likely for me. Perhaps these techniques are not quite as fun as riding fast into blind corners like a video game and always passing everyone. But then again, riding any motorcycle on just about any road gives so much pleasure compared to not riding that I can forgo the additional pleasure far riskier behavior brings.

    The fact that the OP got down to about 5mph is a credit to his skills. Reading and practicing the skills in Proficient Motorcycling and Ride Hard Ride Smart will help him avoid the next "impossible" situation or at least reduce the severity like he did this time.
  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Jan 9, 2005
    Über Alles,California

    It's been clear the whole time and we're all baffled.

    I ALWAYS expect sand and rocks and people turning left in front of me, plan for people to rear end me, not see me on the freeway and nearly run me over, ice is possible and my great protector the government may not have had time to sign it or to make it race track clean.

    It's my job to evaluate my riding enviroment and to keep me and my bike in my lane and off of other riders.

    You are very misguided to give this guy a free pass and that's what I've been saying the whole time and you just don't seem to get it.
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    I'm glad the outcome was so mild for a head on crash. It could have been much worse. Good on the insurance company for making everything right. It sounds like both riders reacted the best they could with the unexpected conditions. Things happen, but I would have felt horrible if I had been the at fault rider. It was kind of the OP to be nice to the guy, and that will likely come back around some day.

    Like someone else said, however, a patch of sand does not equal negligence. With the debt our government is currently building, we can't even afford to pave roads, much less sweep them. If you sue the state, you are suing all of us who pay taxes. The assurance of clean pavement can only be expected on a race track.
  4. easyrider88

    easyrider88 POsIng PrO

    Jun 14, 2010
    BCK rider,enjoyed youre accident report.and the fact that both of you were unhurt .must have been a real thrill to see the bike coming at u.well from youre report id say the only really safe way to avoid getting hit would have been to stay home and leave the bike parked in the garage.but thats not why we ride .....................is it!!!!!!!!
  5. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

    Dec 26, 2012
    Colorado Rockies
    I'm not wanting to challenge anyone on this...just to clarify something I believe is helpful. Sometimes accelerating avoids the collision all together. Would I accelerate into something I absolutely could not avoid? No. The other thing that I believe bears mention is that how a rider responds depends an awful lot on what he/she is riding. IE, I'm much more nimble and adept at evasive manuevers on my Hyper than I am on my 600lb Mean Streak.

    As far as the oncoming rider is concerned, there's been some conversation about low siding versus high siding. If the situation bears it, I'd much prefer a low side slide out than a high side body slam. Skidding is much easier on the body and bike than tumbling (as long as you don't get run over.)

    In my book, the fact that both riders walked away says they both did something right! Bikes are easily replaced.

    Ride safe my friends!
  6. Strave19

    Strave19 n00b savant

    Mar 8, 2011
    Blaming whoever sweeped the road is ridiculous IMO, hell, if you cant sue the state for dirt, sue them because the roads blend in with the dirt...

    You're riding a road at 9-11,000ft that gets snow, rockslides, god knows what else in all months of the year. They probably never actually sweep the road since it is closed through all of winter, and opens again when they get it plowed and the snow stops falling in heaps (usually late May). Probably just not enough traffic to wash the passing lane as clean as the other lanes. Probably not even sand from winter but blew in the day before... things get windy up there.

    Expect the unexpected, especially on a mountain pass. I'm not trying to be a dick here, it could happen to anyone and its not like either of you were doing something unsafe in and of itself, but there is really nobody else to blame but the guy who hit you...
  7. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

    Jun 19, 2010
    I'd say he was being a bit too aggressive if he kicked out on sand in a corner. He had been stuck behind the 'homes and wanted to get on with it. Got bitten by the sand.

    if the stuff was hard to see likely the sweeper crew didn't see it either. but the point is moot. Even with the most diligent sweeping every bit of road can't be swept instantaneously when it needs it. Road hazards exist, always will. If you didn't report the hazard I wouldn't be surprised if it persisted.

    Cops have cards, always ask for one.

    In that situation you don't have time for reflections. You use pure reflexes. I'd say the reflexes you want are to scrub speed and head for a hole. Very difficult to evaluate (in the moment) if gassing it would have put you in a better place and big touring bikes don't accelerate hard enough for it to matter. Getting rear ended is a non-issue. If you let someone get (and stay) that tight on your tail you've already screwed up.

    As a rule, stay far right in a left hand turn. All sorts of things come across that center line from out of control squids to jackknifing boat trailers. There is the fast line and the safe line, y'know?

    50 miles of clean road means nothing. Something fell off a truck just around the bend--and it might be in the oncoming lane and idiots are swerving around it. I have a nice set of rubbermaid garbage cans that fell off a truck and were rolling around on the entrance ranp to a freeway. I came across a very heavy small utility topper in the middle of the fast lane once. Saw a huge coil of steel fall off a ftat bed 100 yrds ahead on the free way. That one was on the bike. That coil looked kinda loose when the guy passed me and sure enough, there was a sudden immense cloud of dust as it fell and unwound into a gigantic tangle. I used to drive big miles on urban freeways in a work van. Scored all kinds of stuff...bales of insulation, those garbage cans, most of a wheelbarrow, etc.

    All this crap is out there. ATTGAT, insurance, training and ride heads up is the best you can do.