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Heading out into the country on a 4 lane highway, traffic's doing around 60 mph, as I am & I see an elderly woman standing on the grass medium. She looks, lets a car pass & starts walking across. Crosses the first lane, looks again in my direction & starts walking across my lane. I'm wearing an orange jacket, on a red motorcycle & my lights are on. She doesn't see me. I was watching for it & eased on the brakes as she took her first step, checking my mirrors to make sure I don't get hit from behind. I stopped 10 feet from her, she turns to see me & the look on her face said "I'll need a diaper change when I get home." She hurried across & I continued on. Hopefully she doesn't still drive.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Just more proof it makes no difference what you wear or if your lights are on, motorcyclist simply blend into the background. The only way around that is to physically move around. Also known as a SMIDSY. Or big giant swerve.


I'm a firm believer it works. Others may simply think a drunk is headed toward them but so what. If it makes them see you I'm all for it.

There are times I feel like I'm drunk myself with the amount I'm moving all over the road. The more intersections the more I move depending on traffic. Anything to break out from the other traffic.

I wish sometimes that I could ride with the extra emergency flashers I use on funeral or other escorts. They certainly do see me then. But even if I did I'm sure they would get used to it and stop pulling over.:devil:

I suppose that's one reason I'm so tired after some rides. Manhandling +950 pounds of touring machine like that is work.:surprise:
 

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Not being seen is more than just a problem of not wearing brightly colored clothing or not showing enough lights. It is a matter of perceptual conditioning. Drivers and pedestrians have conditioned their senses to perceive objects as large as, or larger than, an automobile. The eyes simply fail to perceive something smaller -- they can literally look right at you and literally not see you, because a motorcyclist is not what they are looking for. The rider just does not register in their brains.

A similar problem is encountered with people who attempt to cross railroad tracks in broad daylight and get creamed by a train. In those cases, they likely see the train very well, but because of the train's size they perceive it as moving much more slowly than it is. Think of how a jet airliner coming in for a landing looks like it is barely creeping along when, in fact, it is traveling around 200 MPH. Even in formal driving instruction -- and how many people on the roads have actually had any? -- this perceptual problem is rarely addressed.
 

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People are just oblivious, and it's everyone these days. I almost hit a pedestrian about a month ago, and she was a local police officer of all things.

I was riding with my wife at 20-25 mph on a 1 way side street a couple blocks from home, noticed a police car on the left side in front of a convenience store, on my right was a row of parked cars, one of them was another police car but I didn't notice that one till later.

I'm just riding along, I see this officer walk out of the store, with her coffee and I assume a donut :), in her hands. I assumed she was headed towards the cop car she was right next to, but instead she quickly walks past it, looking down at her coffee cup and walks right out in front of me headed to the other car!

It was close.. I immediately reacted with a full on crash stop, meanwhile my wife (who was maybe 15 feet behind me but staggered to the right so she had more room) laid on the horn and swerved. Oh and her horn is a doozy, it's called a Denali Soundbomb, it sounds like a semi's air horn and can make your ears bleed. Officer donut jumped 2 feet in the air with eyes so wide all I saw was the whites, saw me, almost dropped her coffee (that would have been priceless), and was waving and apologizing as I stopped 4 feet short of her. I really thought I was going to hit her, it was close. I gave a disgusted wave and rode away...
 

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mike721 said:
I stopped 4 feet short of her.
Should have yelled at her to write herself a ticket for impeding traffic.
I know, in the moment you just don't think of little things like that.
Would have been cool though.
 

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I was watching for it & eased on the brakes as she took her first step, checking my mirrors to make sure I don't get hit from behind. I stopped 10 feet from her...
Boy THAT is the way to handle this -- I'm not convinced all our lights, bright clothing or nighttime reflectors guarantee success -- you just have to assume no one sees you and ride accordingly -- a moving minefield... The truth is, I think my driving habits improve markedly when I'm riding daily -- and my riding habits aren't quite as defensive when I've been off the bike for awhile...

-- Larry
 

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Nice to have time to do the squiggle, but you could also slow right down. Most often it happens so quickly, there is not much time to plan a squiggle.
Today I crested a small rise. On the opposite side was a vehicle pulled over, but still about two feet on the road. Cage behind pulled over to pass it, but kept coming straight into my lane. Even after I was obviously visible. They blocked half of my lane. I applied lots of brakes, stayed right, are loudly swore at the idiot cage driver. A newbie could have easily nailed the cage head on, especially if they were near the center line.

UK
 

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Swearing at them always makes me feel better. Even if deep down I know they can't hear me.
 
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Swearing at them always makes me feel better. Even if deep down I know they can't hear me.
It does help, I do that a lot. I can yell as loud as I want inside my helmet, and use as much vocabulary as it takes. It's better than trying to do something futile and risky.

I do that swerve pretty often like the Brit demonstrates in that video, if I have any doubts whether someone is seeing me. The motion makes you more visible, plus the headlight seems to flash from their perspective. I don't care if they think I'm drunk or whatever, because that means they saw me! I have extra lights all over my bike, including some Skene lighting which I highly recommend, and a bright orange piece of rope just dangling on the back of my trunk bag where it flaps around in the wind. I sincerely hope everyone for a quarter mile around thinks I look like a dork, because that's 1000 times better than them not noticing me.
 
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