MABDR....close call...real close

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Motor7, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    Day one, maybe 10 miles in on gravel out of Damascus. I topped a rise and a full grown 3 axle 22ton county dump truck was barreling at me at 25 mph. I was doing about the same speed and the truck took up the entire width of the road.
    That's a closing speed of about 73' per second and we were about 150 apart. I did not think stopping was a good idea, so already being on the RH side of road I looked to bail right. Nope, it was a steep drop off on both sides...we were on a saddle.

    When I
    looked back, the driver was easing to his right and a narrow escape route began opening. I looked thru the opening and got right on the edge and some how slipped thru without hitting the truck with my left saddlebag, or dropping off into the tree filled holler.

    Scared the shit out of me...thought I was a gonner. If we had met at the top of the rise I would be a hood ornament. Seriously, wtf was that big of a truck doing on a dual track road? I am still re thinking this kind of riding. On the blind curves and hills even at 5 mph there is no escape of the potential for a head on collision.

    Maybe next time it's a Subaru, or an asshole flying in a Razor, or another bike. Am I being over dramatic, or losing my edge? I was in second gear, looking back, that was too fast for the conditions, but then again I was not expecting a vehicle that was at max legal width, and I always expect the worse.

    With about 400,000 miles behind me I have had close calls before, but I'll be honest, I'm still a bit rattled.
    #1
  2. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Try not to outride your sightlines without a spotter, even on dirt, for MANY reasons.
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  3. PineLaneRider

    PineLaneRider Been here awhile

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    How do you not outride your sightline on a twisting, hilly, gravel road in the mountain? Even if you're going slowly, full right, a truck coming the other way on a blind hill or corner is nearly unavoidable. And being in PA I know that these trucks are around. Road maintenance, pipeline construction, etc. Not being confrontational, just looking for a new strategy.
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  4. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    I think slowing down is the only way to mitigate any risk here. I'll try to look at the road surface with a forensic eye to determine what kind of traffic.... how much. I'm straining to hear anything with the visor open and the revs down.

    Despite the risk here, it's far less than what we experience on pavement. I've seen some guys beeping their horns while coming around a sharp bend, but I'm not sure how effective that is.

    While I could safely ride much faster in areas I ride, Ill usually be between 15-20mph at the most in tight curvy areas.

    Glad you're safe, and you should be proud of yourself for being able to keep your head and find a way through. Wishing you continued safe riding.
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  5. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    I ride or used to ride with a bunch of guys for years and they are wide open every dual sport ride they go on. I have or if I do I'm way behind them and they have to wait and they get pissed so I have started going off by myself or with someone who wants to ride a slower pace. They are literally racing down the forest service roads and trails. If it was one of them that met that truck there would be no missing it. It seems like every dual-sport rally I go to that's the way it is fast as they can go. I've found out that taking my time and enjoying the scenery and my ride is a lot better and safer.
    #5
  6. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

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    If it were me, my concern wouldn’t be what happened so much as the fact that its effect is lingering. Assuming that wasn’t a normal reaction, I would take it as a signal to back off for a while and re-escalate your pace or how technical the terrain is later when things feel right. As long as you’re nervous, you’re at greater risk... and besides, if you dwell too long on anxiety about losing your edge, you eventually will. Riding is supposed to be fun, not a constant reminder of your imagined inadequacies. Joy is the cure for fear.
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  7. WayneJ

    WayneJ What?

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    Yes.

    You should sell your motorcycle and stay in your momma's basement.
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  8. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    Unlike your post, the op posted something meaningful. Take your threadshitting downstairs.
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  9. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    It was a wake up call for sure. I normally am very cautious on blind curves or hills and only gas on when my line of sight is clear. Riding alone lets me pick my pace and be responsible for my actions and I did fuck up, so I will beat myself up for that.

    20-25 is not fast by any means, but it was too fast that day and I had a rabbits foot shoved up my ass. I have backed off a bit and the next day had another bike come around an inside curve on a narrow blacktop twisty. Scared him more than me because I was hugging the inside of the blind.

    I guess, at least on a narrow dual track my head is wondering if it's worth the risk. I accept a ton of risk like the rest of us, but when the width of the road and the terrain is against you, it is worthy of pausing to contemplate the value.
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  10. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    Ha...good one! That is an option, except Mom has been gone since 98 and she didn't have a basement. I have one though, so it is a viable option.
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  11. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    Impossible, even with a spotter, some of the hairy pins would require one to park and shut off the bike and listen. Kinda takes the fun out of it.
    #11
  12. WayneJ

    WayneJ What?

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    Unlike you, the OP seems to have a sense of humor.
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  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    You can reduce your risks when riding but you will never be able to eliminate them. For those saying to ride within your sightlines, that is simply not practical or possible in some cases. The Op could have been completely stopped and still been hit by the truck.

    Bottom line, accept that riding has it's risks or stop riding. Even if you stop riding you will still face risks and you will die someday.

    I can understand the OP being shaken up, it was a scary situation. All I have to say to the Op is that only you can decide whether riding is worth the risks.
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  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Another thought for those who say "don't out ride your sightlines". If the person coming the other way is outriding/outdriving their sightlines it won't matter if you are within yours. Either accept that or stay on roads with no curves.

    There are some things you just can't control. Years ago while riding on a very twisty road, a rider coming the other way lost it in a curve and slid into my lane. I did not have enough time to avoid the collision. Shit happens. I have gone back and ridden that road many times. Sight lines? Irrelevant in this case. I saw that rider several seconds before he lowsided. I had no way of knowing he was going to crash. It was an old guy on a cruiser. He wasn't even going that fast.

    I also hit a deer on a straight road. I could see well down the road but couldn't see through the brush on the side of the road. It jumped out of the brush right in front of me.

    Shit happens. Sometimes there is little or nothing you can do about it.

    .

    That's not completely true. In both of my accidents I was dressed properly and walked away.
    #14
  15. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

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    Buy the ticket, take the ride.
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  16. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

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    The OP is right to be surprised that a publicly owned vehicle that size was making time on a trail that the driver must know is frequently used by "a Subaru, or an asshole flying in a Razor, or another bike." In the end, we all know other users fail to allow for our presence but he does the rest of us a favor by describing his experience; it might save another's life. If he knows the county, it might not be a bad idea to call and give the details, time, place, etc. to the highway department. The least the county could have done is to post some warning signs in the area during the work. But I wouldn't make a federal case of it as it turned out okay.
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  17. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    I rode some more gravel on day 3 then took a break to see the Rappahannock Station Battlefield. Then off to Pa to visit and old buddy. In upstate NY now headed to Maine....I'll get back on the BDR someday and have been frustrated with my downloaded gpx tracks that I pooched on the trip conversion. Too much dicking around with the GPS and Butler map.

    Another reason to put off the BDR is although I like riding alone, it's really a good idea to ride with someone on those remote gravel/dirt tracks. ...gotta work on that....
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  18. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    As for a new strategy....I'm still pondering. If it comes down to creeping around every blind curve (like we really should be doing) because the roads is too narrow, then I might opt out.
    I
    have been to Moab twice. Ridden the WRT and a host of roads/trails and had very few blind curve concerns. Sight lines are better, the rough terrain slows most others down. Same thing in Colorado doing 5 MTN passes in one day.... And the Eastern section of the TAT....all good. Maybe this issue is unique to the MABDR?
    #18
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I have ridden around plenty of blind curves in N. GA. and WNC. It's not unique to the MABDR. If you ride late fall, winter and early spring when the leaves are down you can often see further down the trail but sometimes the blind curves are due to the mountain itself.
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  20. TBItoy

    TBItoy Adventurer

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    Ride remote 2 track/single lane at night. You can see headlights through the woods/around corners...
    #20