Witnessed a fatal MC accident today

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by sonoran, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Been on a ride where someone died. Not a good day. At all. Sadly, been on more than 1 ride where someone simply locked up mentally, and went wide, running all the way off the road - at low speed and on a shallow curve. That’s just lack of basic skill and mindset, but seeing it happen shocks you, cuz there is absolutely no reason for someone to ride right off the road on the outside of an easy turn. Scary to watch.

    In every instance, excuses were made... problem with the forks, need to upgrade my suspension... etc. etc.

    Sad and scary.

    Barry
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  2. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll Supporter

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    I don't think our best friend understands about countersteering. I have talked to him about it on multiple occasions but when we ride he slows way down in every corner. I worry about him. I have even suggested rider training, but he'll never do it on his own. Maybe I need to get to a class and bring him with me.

    But both of our "kids" (now 29 and 31) do it. They took rider training as teens and during that time I took them to an empty parking lot and had them do it, practice it and understand it. I always told them NEVER GIVE UP IN A CORNER, but countersteer harder.
    #42
  3. Unca Fud

    Unca Fud nrpetersen

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    i think the problem teaching countersteering is that it also implies you will have to turn/torque the handlebars in a direction TOWARDS whatever it is you are trying to avoid. This is flatly counter intuitive. The existance of this paradox should be not only be taught, but emphasized.

    Otherwise, if there is enough accident avoidance stress on a moderately or less experienced driver, that just doesn't seem right and so they subconsiously (or consciously) turn away and the accident happens.

    BTW it was the Wright brothers that first described countersteering.
    #43
  4. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Long timer

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    I had a really similar thing happen over new year's week. And this is the best post I've seen describing it.

    Watching that guy crash is fucking with me. I'm talking about it and that helps me proces it out.
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  5. Unca Fud

    Unca Fud nrpetersen

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    I'm a retired controls engineer (MS UofMN MechEngr) now 80+ yrs old. Back more than a few years ago when I was considering teaching Motorcycle Safety Foundation, this paradox this was a real hot button with me. But the MSF folks said don't complicate things. I could see that we were not about to make any MSF music together so I dropped out. I think it is still valid though.
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  6. jeffcali

    jeffcali Adventurer

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    two things to do when cornering a motorcycle. one - counter steer, and two - looking through the turn. no matter what the speed, these two things should be happening in ever corner. unless of course you're riding extremely slow and balancing the bike, you don't need counter steering, but you still need to look through the turn.

    one or two things always contribute to one rider crashes. one - riding about your level, and two - riding above the level of the bike.

    taking the above two things in to consideration, one has to respect them, and not exceed one or the other, or bad things will eventually happen.

    i see this $h!t all the time on the road, especially during my daily commute. i see these guys splitting lanes at excessively high speed. the bikes weigh a lot, have shitty handling, and have even shittier brakes. not saying that rice rockets are any better, but at least they can handle better and have much better brakes.

    i've witnessed a couple of accidents before me, where these bikers go by after i move over for them, just to bomb down the middle not giving a crap about the what ifs.

    i've seen a couple of these guys a couple miles down the freeway rolling around on the shoulder or lying face down in the lane. i only stopped for the guy laying face down because he wasn't moving and needed help immediately. but when he came to, he was just pissed off and was wondering what happened. all i could tell him was hopefully next time he wouldn't ride so damn fast while splitting lanes because he couldn't avoid a vehicle changing lanes right in front of him. he was riding a big ass dual sport with luggage that handled like crap and couldn't stop fast when he needed it to because he was going way too fast. as for the guy rolling around on the shoulder, he had enough cagers around him to see if he was okay, and since he was moving and screaming, i knew he'd be okay.

    don't be a passive rider. but then again, sometimes no matter what you're doing, you cannot escape because the timing is impeccable. always look for a way out, and don't become complacent while riding.
    #46
  7. Biddles

    Biddles Suck it easy!

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    I hate group riding, because being aware of what other people are doing is a major distraction. Then you have guys that show off and it gets very silly very fast. I'm not saying this rider did that, but with that turn over that little hill, and the fact that he was doing 90mph without a helmet... It's hard to see that he was doing anything properly that day. The rider was 62 years old, maybe he had a medical issue, and grabbed the throttle hard while losing control? Sorry you had to see that one, I would be pretty shook up over it myself.
    #47
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  8. mroddis

    mroddis Been here awhile

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    Sorry you had to see that. Talking about it helps, trust me, whether here or in person. Thanks to mods for not shutting this down.

    2 1/2 years ago I was on a remote stretch of the cascade highway in WA, dropping in and off the WABDR. A Harley rider was consistently pulling away from me on the straights - then around one corner, a big plume of dust and a bike off to the side. I quickly dismounted and ran to him. (Shortly thereafter 2 other bikes stopped - the cars drove on by). I won’t get into the details but I remember every detail even today. NEVER just wear a beanie helmet - an off like he had should never kill you.

    The worst part was the 25 minute wait until help arrived. I stayed with the guy, said some prayers, and waited. It was clear there was nothing the 3 of us could do for him. Unless you witness something like this firsthand you’ll never understand the impact of seeing someone lose their life - especially in such a destructive manner.

    I got some professional help. Suggest the same if it says with you. I was on a multi-day solo ride, so had to process myself. Took a while to want to ride again. But I still ride.

    Be safe all - hug your loved ones.

    M.
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  9. JdFan

    JdFan Been here awhile

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    Thank you for sharing this, it can be cathartic to share. I've only witnessed two severe MC accidents, both in group rides. Now I'll only run sweep if riding in a group, but I try to avoid them if at all possible.
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  10. sonoran

    sonoran bigly Supporter

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    A little over a month has passed since this tragic event. For the first couple of days I had the scene of the accident replay in my head on a constant loop.

    The following Saturday I decided to redo my ride determined that the outcome would be different. And it was. What was the site of a horrible accident was once again a beautiful stretch of 2 lane highway thru the Arizona desert. I felt like passing thru there was necessary for closure. I will always remember what happened at that spot but the event has faded into the background.

    Thanks for all of the words of encouragement.

    Ride safe.
    #50
  11. mroddis

    mroddis Been here awhile

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    ^^ I too have ridden 'my' stretch a couple of times. The first one was emotional, and I still remember it as I pass, but it's once again a route that takes me to adventure. I like to think it made me more aware of how things can change so quickly as a rider and to always be alert. I'm a better rider now.
    m.
    #51
  12. DualGrampy

    DualGrampy Been here awhile

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    This is an event that will definitely give you post traumatic stress. Talking about it is the cure.

    I worked at a Harley dealership for a couple of years. Going on test rides everyday gives you great experience with all kinds of riders and their experience level. Every cornering accident or near accident has always been the rider not looking through the corner in my experience. In a group, anything can catch your attention and in a fraction of a second it is all over. I have almost done it a couple of times myself.

    When I was traveling for sales, one day I saw 3 separate fatal accidents. I finally put it straight in my head when I realized the detail that I remembered meant that I was paying great attention to my surroundings and was already adjusting to the events around me. Obviously, you were too.

    Ride Safe my friend.
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  13. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I will not participate in group rides for exactly this reason. Someone WILL, not maybe, WILL decide to act the fool. It might be a little nonchalant braaap, just get up to 90mph for a few seconds or something, but inevitably, ... someone else will join. Maybe a wheelie. And then competition/ one upmanship will ensue.

    I ride alone to keep the ride mine and mine alone. No distractions. No riding out of my comfort zone. No tomfoolery. Only myself to blame.

    -----

    One thing I learned/ realised as I left a corner i'd entered way too hot is that the bike is far more capable than you're comfortable leaning it. It was an "oh shit" near pants staining moment with the guardrail imminent and I just leaned it over more, scraped the peg and sailed through the turn as though i'd intended to go through at that speed. Africa Twin DCT, factory Dunlop Trailmax tires which most AT owners hate. (I treat my bike as an upright touring machine, and then the tires makesense.) But, buying/ having good tires is part of that equation. If i'd been on knobby tires i'm not sure i'd have had the traction to get out of that turn unscathed.
    #53
  14. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    I never took a "motorcycle training" course.
    I was already winning RR's when a guy asked me about how hard I counter-steered, I said, WTF are you talking about. (I was 19 and already Expert class) I was over at this guy's house with my street bike, BMW R100RS, so on the way home I decided to try out, very exaggeratedly, this counter-steering he spoke of. Almost threw the bike down the road, and I realized I had been doing it all along because...……………...it's the only way to get into turns fast enough to win races...……………………….or avoid running wide and slamming into oncoming pick-up trucks.

    Chris
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  15. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen Long timer

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  16. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    A lot of descriptions of trauma and subsequent PTSD on this thread. PTSD may or may not be what you think it is (see: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml#pub3)

    I'm a 30 year retired psychotherapist and 22 year retired FF/EMT and I know a few things about this topic. The fact of the matter is that talking does NOT always help, and in fact can make things worse (I have personally seen this happen after several CISD in the fire service). Further, not talking also may or may not help. Everyone responds differently to traumatic events as well as to debriefing and coping with them. And there is no way to know what any individual might or might not find to be traumatic (e.g., I held c-spine on a crash victim who, among other injuries, knocked most of his teeth out on the steering wheel and it did not bother me at all; my colleague had PTSD just from looking into the car and seeing the victim). If after witnessing or experiencing trauma the experience does not fairly quickly fade on its own (say, after a few days), one should seek professional help. The sooner the better as there is evidence that unresolved trauma can make neurological changes in the brain that make resolution more difficult. I would strongly recommend that anyone experiencing PTSD symptoms seek the help of a trained therapist. Though I did not use it in my therapy practice, I highly recommend EMDR therapy which is considered very effective at treating PTSD and is now widely available (http://www.emdr.com/).
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  17. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    See, you were doing it and not even realizing it.
    Also, you are correct. The most efficient way to turn a single track vehicle is to lean it in the direction of the desired turn. You discovered the most efficient way to initiate that lean. (By countersteering.)
    Road racers can learn to ride a circuit without realizing they're countersteering. Since the track doesn't require changing lines in turns (ideally), it can be ridden using memory. Every good racer can mentally "ride" their perfect lap on any circuit they regularly ride. Every input. Be it shift, brake technique, countersteering press/throttle/weight distribution. The street isn't quite that repetitive. The street can require changing paths with urgency, sometimes.
    Sometimes, it requires other inputs not found on a circuit. Debris avoidance being one of them.
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  18. hohohobe

    hohohobe n00b

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    In the first image, is that a car tire on the rear?
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  19. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee Supporter

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    Not understanding how a motorcycle turns at speed is misfeasance. Not wanting to learn how motorcyles handle is just ignorant, but unfortunately also a self-correcting deficiency in that lack of knowledge eventually removes the need for it.

    I decided early in my time as a 50s adult starting to ride that I would understand the principles, practices, and techniques of riding just I understand driving and flying. From that knowledge I've developed a few rules. One rule is, I will never go wide or high side, but will instead lean enough to either make the corner or lowside. I know the bike will lean more than most people think. I will also not buy or ride bikes that severely limit lean angles... no low cruisers.

    If the rider had followed this rule he'd be alive today.
    #59
  20. Wichser

    Wichser Been here awhile

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    Looks like a Dunlop D402 as does the front in pic 3
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