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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CCitis, Aug 26, 2019.
Couldn't agree more. Sorry I missed the original point.
In my 45+ years of riding I have parted ways with my bike four times,...in each case,...each event was 1st MY fault, all four of them. To date though, even since 1st riding back in 74, I have never had to panic/emergency react to the classic car turning left in front or into me. That's not to say I've not seen idiot cagers turning in front of me, I just saw it develop well before I HAD to panic react to the event.
One of my guiding principles of riding is to NOT ride myself into my own traffic issues. Its ALWAY my fault 1st.
I could think of some rare examples of exceptions:
- semi wheel from accross the interstate (hidden by the grassy hill in the median untill its too late)
- small bit of antifreeze in a turn on a rainy day. Pretty hard to spot a small bit of it until you walk back to find out why you wiped out, but a small bit is all it takes sometimes.
- passed out dump truck driver plows through four cars/trucks and then you while setting at a stop light if one of those other vehicles is an SUV and you couldn't see the danger coming from 5 vehicles back in line.
- Escaped lion from local exotic animal collector comes out of the bush and gets ya.
Only argument I have to those, and others, is they are VERY rare. Yes, real "accidents" happen, but they are a very low percentage of the multitudes of CRASHES. Anyone who feels that "accidents will happen, nothing you can do about it" are destined to suffer the consequences of that attitude about riding.
The facts indicate that most crashes have many causal elements the RIDER brings to the crash. Some riders have a long career of riding with minimal or no crashes. Some riders seem destined to crash every few years.
When I see a car the question isn't "will they pull in front of me?" but when. The old man told me if I want to live a long life riding I must believe they are out to kill me and ride accordingly. It has served me well for decades.
I agree. That's why it really puzzles me when any rider reports "the car suddenly turned left in front of me, there was nothing I could do". Really? THE most common crash potential that nearly anyone riding a motorcycle knows about? And yet it suddenly happens? And you the rider wasn't expecting it? Ready for it? How is the rider not at fault in this no matter if the cage driver totally failed to yield your right of way?
I don't know what world you ride in but on my planet cars do do things SUDDENLY. I almost got taken out one day by a guy who pulled a SUDDEN U-turn in front of me. He didn't slow at all, no warning whatsoever, just cranked the wheel over out of nowhere and pulled a U-turn right across my path of travel. I was doing 40 in a 35 and had I hit him I would've gone for nice superman over his car onto the pavement. I was LUCKY in that I was looking at his car right when he did it so I swerved and missed his car by about a foot. If I'd been checking my mirrors or looking ahead at traffic for situational awareness then it would not have ended well.
Why I enjoy living out here. Little traffic and open roads.
The other day I was talking to a deli clerk at the take out counter while I waited for my lunch order. During the conversation, about riding or course, she asked why some bikers randomly weave in their lane. I explained, I do the same when I worry some is going to pull out in front of me. I told her it is called the Anti-SMIDSY move, and it makes you more visible. She was surprised that it had a purpose and the riders were not screwing around.
You should have told her it was bikers texting and riding.
I wasn't there so I have to take your word that this was completely unexpected with no warning whatsoever. However, you stated "If I'd been checking my mirrors or looking ahead at traffic for situational awareness ..." I posit that if you WEREN'T looking ahead at traffic for situational awareness, then you may actually have missed some subtle clues that might have made this sudden and unexpected U-turn slightly less unexpected.
I do it occasionally to dust off gravel or mud from the outer portions of the tread, sometimes "playing" with the countersteering skill and feel of my bike at various speeds and, yes, occasionally just screwing around. However, I try not to do any of the above if there are other road users close by.
I think the other thing that people who don't ride miss is just how sensitive motorcycles can be to the road surface, and sometimes the rider may be just avoiding sketchy spots on the pavement and not really weaving. Also if you reposition for an upcoming curve that might be seen as weaving by another driver. Or as originally stated, positioning for best odds of avoiding stupid drivers.
I'll tell you another misconception: that a motorcycle is less visible on the road than any car. After driving a Miata daily for 15 years and then riding for the past three I can tell you I had a lot more frequent "they didn't seem to see me" moments in the Miata than I ever have on the bike. Maybe motorcycles are less visible than large cars, trucks and SUVs, but not necessarily a low to the ground car.
On that note, I can't for the life of me understand why so many motorcycle riders are determined to minimize their visibility by wearing matte black helmets and black jackets while riding blacked out motorcycles. Hard to complain that nobody sees you when you're doing everything in your power to make yourself invisible. I guess your feeling that you are a tough guy is more important than your safety.
You cannot depend on anyone seeing you. They'll see you as you bounce off the windshield.
I'm not sure they would even notice then.... A couple years back a woman drove home with a guy stuck in her windshield and parked the car in the garage until he died a day later.
I'm afraid I'm going to need to see a source for that one.
While it doesn't confirm anything, I also remember that story.
It's an old Urban myth. I've known a fair few people that had someone in the family allegedly linked in some way to that story.
Doesn't mean it didn't happen though, drink drivers could do that while blacked out.
You are quite correct. The misconception is: I'll never crash into something, go down, get hit by a car, hit an animal, or get injured while riding so it's not worth the time and effort to put on a helmet, wear riding boots, wear a riding jacket, don gloves, etc. while riding. It's fine to ride in shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt, because those things have never happened to me and will only happen to other riders.