Mountain riding, blind left curves...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by IdahoRenegade, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Yeah, or a soccer mom in a clapped out minivan.

    I just watched that movie the other week!

    I grew up here in the hills of PA, so I'm used to blind corners and all the associated dangers. Stay far right in the left bends to maximize sight lines, and always leave margin for error. You WILL eventually find someone, or something, in your lane.

    I remember a turtle, one time in my line......
    #41
  2. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Wow! And I thought I was hurtin' when I was stuck behind that msnure truck in Petaluma! You win! :clap

    Was it still a live hog after it was done with that 'falling in front of me' bit?
    #42
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  3. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD! Supporter

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    Oh yes, one bounce and it ran into the ditch and hid, I stopped and it was backed into the brush and looking surly. The driver noticed his lightened load and stopped a couple hundred yards up the road. I left them to work out their situation. There's no way a man could lift even a cooperative hog into that truck. I'd guess he'd have to shoot it and winch it up.
    #43
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  4. JETalmage

    JETalmage Long timer

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    EXACTLY.

    Are the skills considered expertise in an Enduro the same as those in Moto GP? Different surfaces, you say? Okay. How 'bout Motocross versus Observed Trials versus Flat Track?

    We all need to lose this absurd idea that whatever constitutes expertise on a race track is the same as what constitutes expertise on public roads, just because they're both done on pavement. True expertise in one often contradicts expertise in the other.

    Playing wannabe 'road racer' on public roads is foolish and doesn't impress anybody except other fools. Demonstrating how 'fast' you are on public roads doesn't mean anyone but an idiot thinks you would necessarily be fast on a track. It just gives motorcycling a bad name. It's not just annoying to cage drivers. It's just as much so to sensible long-experienced (i.e.; long surviving) motorcyclists.

    If you want to 'push your expertise limits', how 'bout focusing on becoming more proficient at riding blind curves nearer the white line instead of taking stupid risks hugging the centerlines on two-way curves? In other words, if you really want to be a good rider, then work at becoming a expert rider where you're actually riding instead of where your Walter Mitty fantasy mind pretends you are.

    Afer all, It's a motorcycle. If you want to celebrate that it's inherently good at curves, then why do you need to seek to 'straighten' every curve on a public road?

    There's a gently curvey, hilly section of GA 42 around here that's one of those popular rides for bikes of all types. There's a particular curve locally renowned for its brilliant display of multi-colored plastic bits spread deeply into the adjacent trees.

    Here's the thing about that curve: First, it's on a slope. Second, it's actually a pair of joined curves of differing radii. Riding it briskly, you have to treat it as such: two curves. Lean into the first, straighten up, lean into the second. But if you're not already very familiar with it, you of course don't know that, and you also don't know that riding it in one direction is very different from riding it in the opposite direction. The problem is not just that it's blind to the other lane; it's effectively blind to the other half of the curve.

    Cars, of course, slow down for the unknown. Those decorations are not car parts. The decoration crew members are not celebrated for their astounding crotch rocket 'skill'.

    JET
    #44
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  5. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    Take a week riding on the Norwegian west coast, you'll come back a master of blind turns.
    Imagine 10' wide roads with bends like a go-cart track, immaculate asphalt and layed in the rolling terrain and this goes on for as long as you like...
    #45
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  6. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    Those are the big ones I think. You got it. Left turns are harder to commit to for most of us. For good reason.

    Looking in the direction of the oncoming and/or exit is key. You have to split your vision between that and studying the pavement and its cross slope immedately in front of you as you come into it. That split vision thing is a skill to develop. Observe the shoulder/ run off area in case you need to ditch. If its good you might need to correct hard and go into it. Beyond that, just many miles of practice. Trail braking may add to your feeling of confidence. If you suddenly find something in your path, the brake system, forks and contact patch are already compressed and ready, and if not you just ease off them into the apex . Ignore the moralizing. No one one here knows what speed and lean angle you ride at for any given radius.
    #46
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  7. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    Re-read your post. The answer(and what you're already doing) was in it.
    #47
  8. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    A lot of replies assume the OP wants to be a street Rossi. Since he just relocates for the high plaines to the land of green tunnels. I can understand his request for info.
    It’s undeniable to anyone who’s ridden out west. The Appalachians are much more claustrophobic.

    the only answer is cautious seat time.
    #48
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  9. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    I think that's part of it-just a different environment. Our mountain roads in Idaho tended to be a little more open. Flip side, "sky curves", those curves where all you see is sky, no tree tops or anything, always freaked me out a bit there-I'm not seeing many of them around this area. An awful lot of the mountain roads in Idaho were also dirt, so of course speeds were lower, and there was a lot less traffic. Honestly, I enjoy going out and practicing techniques and trying to improve, hence the question. In addition to late apexing and lane and body positioning to see further around corners, I'm also working on trail braking. In some of the slow corners I drag the rear brake a bit as well, especially on slower curves. The bike wants to drop into the corner more than I'm used to going slow. The "outside/inside/outside" positioning that works well on open curves you can see around does not work well on these tight, slow, blind ones.

    Thanks. Seat time is always a good thing! I'm sure in a few thousand miles I'll be as comfortable as I was in my old home.
    #49
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  10. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    This exact scenario happened to me yesterday, Wifey and I took a late evening ride through the apple orchards. I had my Strom, both headlights on high beam, orange reflective vest, white helmet. The turn was not really blind - a really nice fun left right switchback but with a small rise. Over the rise I saw a white pickup coming fast, then he dissappeared behind the rise. I had maybe 2-3 seconds so what happened next was just instinct and hand to eye muscle memory. I started a line that brought me over to the right wheel track of my lane. Sure as shooting we meet on the curve and this big one ton dually Dodge Ram is 3 feet over the double yellow. I saw this and counter steered even farther far right as I was anticipating asssery and ready to react.

    The fool would have killed us. Probably on the phone or texting. This time I was on my A game but no one is perfect. The mentality here I think is survival. Do what you have to do. Your first instinct in a curve if you see a vehicle approaching, especially if its oversize - is get as far away from them as you can. Its rare that they don't leave you a couple of feet of your own lane and that is where you have to head for.
    #50
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  11. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    You do what you can. The rest is accepted risk. Or catch a Simpsons marathon and clog an artery with a family size bag of Cheetos and 2 liter Coke. Your choice.
    #51
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  12. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    Yeah, we were only a couple of miles from our house - stopped at the farm outdoor bar - that's getting to be a big thing around here. Sat around a fire pit with another couple and chatted, downed a couple of drinks and watched the sun set over the apple trees and mountains. Rode home in the dark cool autumn air with great music streaming in our helmets and made a fire when we got home. So some risks are worth it. Sometimes I wish I could quit riding but how would I replace this magic in my life?
    #52
  13. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Damn good bait you’re fishing with there.
    #53
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  14. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    In a word....WHY?
    #54
  15. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    Don't want to get hurt. Most of my riding buddies have quit now. But I can't. As I said, it very often turns into something great so I can't give it up. I do stuff like the white helmet, reflective vest and ride defensively and I hope its enough.
    #55
  16. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    People leave the hospital after treatment of injuries received in auto accidents in a car without a thought. Honestly if it bothers you to the point of interfering with enjoying a ride perhaps it should be considered. I'm old (62) and cannot conceive of life without riding. So I bought a bike that's suitable for sidecar fitment. When I cannot ride in any fashion the trip is over.
    #56
  17. kneeslider

    kneeslider Insufficient privileges!

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    Here in Northeast Georgia we have a surplus of "blind" corners & on any given weekend especially blasting these corners will guarantee you will ride up a bicyclists backside!
    #57
  18. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

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    She looked pretty good to me, no complaints.
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  19. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD! Supporter

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    Remember, even the dudes shave their legs, be careful out there.
    #59
  20. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    Welcome to TN. Three weeks ago in Coker Creek, in my truck fortunately, I was hit head on by a pretend racer in a go fast car completely in my lane. Totaled the truck, left wife with bruises and pain, torn ligaments in foot and Gieco denial of claims. These are highways, not a race track-no hay bales in the run out area and two way traffic. Assume asshat is out there waiting to take you out.
    #60
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