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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Zen motorcycle riding.

I read this forum and other MC forums and have been struck by the number of people who have accidents or close calls from left turners and other dumb car stunts. It occured to me that these things almost never happen to me even though I ride in one of the more dangerous traffic areas (Washington DC).

This morning I was riding in and while doing about 50 the light changed ahead. When I put on the brakes I learned that the newly resurfaced road was to slick for normal stop. As I applied the brakes I lost traction and the back wheel started out of alignment. Eased up got it back, squeezed again and again with the squeeling and squirrelyness. And oh by the way the painted strip were coming up. Ease up cross the strip and squeeze again. As I rode away from the stoplight I realized that I had been making decisions and automatically reacting to them in the couple of seconds it took for the incident. I had even checked cross traffic to decide if I should zip across. ( I could have made it but decided I didn't have to, I would be able to stop the bike.)

It hit me as I rode off that Situational Awareness and handling the bike is so ingrained after forty years of riding that most things are done on an almost subliminal level. For example left turners don't happen because I automatically recognize the situation and take steps to ensure I am seen as well as the little cues that tell me the idiot saw me and isn't coming out or across.

Since I don't think I am particularly gifted with superhuman riding ability, in fact quite the contrary. I would be interested in hearing from other long time riders on their feeling about this developed sixth sense of avoiding trouble.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Darby View Post
...It hit me as I rode off that Situational Awareness and handling the bike is so ingrained after forty years of riding that most things are done on an almost subliminal level. For example left turners don't happen because I automatically recognize the situation and take steps to ensure I am seen as well as the little cues that tell me the idiot saw me and isn't coming out or across.
...
If while you ride you constantly ask yourself, what is the worst possible thing that vehicle ahead of me could do right now? Then you will be ready for those occasions when the actually do it.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 04:43 PM
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I live in a place where every other vehicle does the worst possible thing at any given moment, so I get lots of practice.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 04:48 PM
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I've always driven my cage that way, so after twenty-five years of practicing defensive driving and having to make split-second decisions (learned to drive in Chicago - my range days in Drivers Ed were during a snowstorm, in fact LOL) it just kind of went with me from four wheels to two. I have had the occasional close call - but I term it a close call because a rider who was not paying attention would have been at much greater risk of not escaping it than I was. (I should add that while I am an experienced driver, I've only been riding for a year and a half now.)

When life throws you curves, lean into them...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 04:52 PM
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The thing is Kat, your paying attention and constantly learning... That there will go a long ways towards keeping you alive.

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