|02-17-2012, 02:19 PM||#1|
Certified Homeless Biker
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MA, US
Ever heard the saying "you go where you look?" If you ride a bike you would have heard of it at least once. Yes, it's human nature. I would like to open this thread to discuss about the most common things that most people do, things that we do unconsiously, or passively. Motorcycle related only of course.
Human vision focus on anything that moves, anything that stands out, thus we, with a quick look, won't notice that a motorcycle coming at us, until it gets closer, aka bigger (meaning the "picture" in our minds changes). That's why we need to look at least twice to be sure. I normally change sitting positions on my bike, move left and right inside my lane, change my speed regularly mostly because of this (READ: I don't have to pass them, just move around)
Bright colors are normally the choice for safety jacket because we think it's bright so it's easier to be seen. I'd say it's not true. We need to pick the color that stands out. If you're wearing your orange jacket in the fall you'd blend in just right with the leaves on the trees. Don't believe me? Just ask the hunters. So how to fix this? Wear orange in the spring and wear green in the fall (or whatever that you think make sense if you agree with my post, or heck, even if you don't)
And yes of course the "you go where you look." It's both good and bad. It's good because whichever direction you want to go just look there and your brain automatically controls your body to get there (most cases anyway). It's bad because if there are distractions on the road and you look you'd end up going there. Some riders are able to train themselves to keep on course while looking around. I myself could tell part of my brain to keep control, though not too good about it (yet)
And how to fix that sight fixation to avoid accidents? look at your escape route instead. It'd require a little training but it's possible.
When we panick we grab whatever we can grab. Long time ago a co-worker of mine, a new driver (aka CAGER), once backed up a car: he went between 2 cars, scratching those, and sandwiched another co-worker. He went probably around 20-30 yards. Weird you'd say? He panicked, so he grabbed tight, thus he forgot that his foot pushed the accelerator all the way down. Why am I telling this? so that you don't get run over by a new driver that's backing his/her car out.
Now, as for riders themselves: same principal - we hold tight to the handle, thus new riders are taught to cover the clutch lever with all 4 fingers so that whatever happens they would just squeeze it right in, thus disengage the gear. Experience riders normally covers the clutch lever with 2 or 1 finger to have better control of the bike (have to tune the adjuster for fitting positions)
Another thing we do when we panick is to put the feet down. What the heck can you do putting the feet down? You can't stop a 200-800 lbs bike even if it's going only at 30 mph (just example number, not necessary researched - do I need to?). Keep your feet on the pegs so that you can brake and down gear (engine brake helps too, you know?)
I'm sure there are things I miss, so feel free to chime in, or correct me if I'm wrong. Point of this thread is to train yourself pass your bad habits, and get yourself out of trouble from other people's bad human nature habits.
1996 Yamaha FZR600, first and current bike, and loving it. RIP Pat Taylor aka iamgumby
I'm into women in leather. No whip please. It's not my style.
|02-18-2012, 09:43 AM||#2|
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Many riders unconsciously focus on the rear of the car in front of them, or just 100 feet or so ahead. Instead, I have found one of the best things to do to avoid problems is to watch 14 seconds ahead of you. "Live in the future" is a good way to ride and may keep you out of a situation altogether that might have been a close call or worse. It gives you time to identify potential threats and react before they become imminent.
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|02-18-2012, 10:43 AM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Badlands of North Dakota
Good advice and it all goes back to that S.E.E. that we were taught in the MSF course. (at least that is how I remember it. It was a long time ago)
Search, Evaluate, Execute. Look far ahead and see all the potential problems. Decide on the best wat to have them not be a problem. Do what is required to keep safely riding through the situation.
|02-19-2012, 03:00 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jan 2012
I was just reading thru Lee Parks book again - have not been through it in a while. Man, I gotta say that guy is smart. [Total Control by Lee Parks].
I noticed some stuff on my second reading that I had not picked up on before. There's a lot involved with how we use our eyes when riding. Not only do we need to look where we want the motorcycle to go, but when we do this it tends to "slow down" the road ahead. So we get a better sense of overall speed and direction ... which is difficult if our eyes are only looking at the asphalt immediately in front of the bike.
In a typical accident scenario on corners - which is one place where target fixation is a major problem - part of the reason why the rider tends to panic is when they lose the "widefield vision" with their eyes. So not only do we stop looking where the bikes needs to go, but we start narrowly focusing our eyes on a threat dead ahead. This gives the human brain an overwhelming change in speed perception - we suddenly seem to be moving towards danger much faster. This is probably a root cause of mental panic. We lose our cool - because we stopped using our eyes in a constructive way.