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Left. No, the other left.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've gotten out riding most everyday since I got my bike a week ago, about 167 miles so far.
Haven't had any real problems, and a lot of the tips I've gotten on this site have been very helpful - where to look, how to approach different situations, etc.
Here's one I'm stuck on: stop and go traffic.
My brain is having issues. When I'm in stop and go, I can never decide whether to duck walk or put my feet up, so I try and do both, half a$$'d, and just end up unbalancing myself and coming to the edge of panic.
The stop and go is generally half to two car lengths.

Any suggestions? I have to settle on one or the other, or I'm going to fall over.
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
Do whatever is easiest for you. There is no set answer, if you only need to pull up 2 or 3 feet, duck walk might be best. If you're pulling up 10 feet you might lift your feet.

Personally, when I need to move forward I use that friction zone and lift my feet and roll however far I need to. If it is more stop than go I will try to find another route or just find a place to pull in and wait until traffic isn't so bad.

Find a parking lot and practice. You'll figure out which way is best for you. Good Luck!
 

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Gone
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23,907 Posts
If the car in front of me only moves half a car length, I'll usually wait until they move again.

Practice will help with your starting and stopping stability.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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15,179 Posts
Just relax and do what feels natural, duck walk or lift your feet, doesn't really matter.
 

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886 Posts
If you are totally new to riding the only thing that will teach you what to do is experience. When only moving a few feet in traffic the duck walk or feet down will probably be best. After some practice and time the balance will become second nature, after several years of riding the same bikes(I have two) I've been able to come to a stop sign and stop for a couple seconds then pull off without putting a foot down. This is not in heavy traffic or a busy intersection, just an illustration of what can be done and in no way a recommendation of what you should attempt to do. If there is an empty parking lot in your area that you can use go there and practice slow speed maneuvers to get a feel for balance, to see what is possible try finding videos of Trials competition riders on Youtube or something to see some really amazing acts of balance and control.
 

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Left. No, the other left.
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the thoughts.
I've spent some good time just in a parking lot, and am planning on spending another morning there with my 1/2 tennis ball cones.

the problem isn't so much stability, it's that just in that particular situation, my mind keeps flipping between the two choices, and I overthink it into stupidity. I think you all are right in that it's an experience thing. Back to the parking lot!
 

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Aging & Worn
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4,547 Posts
In a "stop-n-go" situation, (whether in a car or on a bike) I stay well back of the vehicle in front of me, and crawl without braking.

The obvious reason(s) are so that I don't rear end the guy in front of me; I don't like to have to pay that much attention when up close, and I can keep going, even if it IS "very slow."

It's a perfect opportunity to practice extreme slow rolling (on the bike) without putting my feet down, and I enjoy the challenge. Making it a skills test is fun, and I like "fun."

-Soupy
 

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Left. No, the other left.
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In a "stop-n-go" situation, (whether in a car or on a bike) I stay well back of the vehicle in front of me
I'm getting into the habit of always staying well back from the car in front of me. If he stops short, I want to have room to stop slower so guy behind ME doesn't hit me, and I need time to react if guy in front is hiding potholes from my view.

(We have LOTS of potholes in nyc.)
 

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American Legion Rider & sub-Administrator
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25,307 Posts
It's already been said but in stop and go, I only move a cars length if truly stop and go. No need to move 2 feet at a time. The idiot behind you can just go ahead and have a hissy fit. He/she can see. If it's real bad I'll push it to 2 car lengths. That of course depends on just how much they are being jerks. If you get the kind that absolutely must have every little space then just 1 car. It all come from experience and reading traffic. Reading traffic is key though.
 

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I usually pick my feet up and roll as slow as l can. It is good practice for slow speed riding through parking lots and whatnot. Additionally, what Dodsfall said...l don't feel the need to go 10 feet just because the guy in front of me did. I generally let the traffic inch up a bit and then do my slow roll technique.
 

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I try not to duck walk as much as possible. One time I had left the passenger pegs down on my bike and got tripped up when my shoe got stuck under the peg. And of course, the shoe was loose and came off, so now I had to look like the village idiot and have to stop and pick up my shoe...

Just use the friction zone and lift the feet. It's not going to hurt the cluctch.
 

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American Legion Rider & sub-Administrator
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25,307 Posts

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Justa anutta Human......
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728 Posts
I'll wait till they have moved up 6-8 car lengths then move up....
No reason to do it everytime they move 10 feet.
Not like anyone behind me is really going anywhere.
If they honk.....
Well they i'll get off the bike n take a walk back....
I carry a short bat.....
 

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Left. No, the other left.
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'll wait till they have moved up 6-8 car lengths then move up....
6 - 8 car lengths of space is a bit much for NYC traffic. Then I'd also have to worry about some jacka$$ trying to swerve around me.

And congrats on the new bike!!!
Thanks Hawk!

Up to you, but you look drunk dragging your feet. IMO, feet don't leave the pegs when you are moving, ever.
For a long time, "drunk" was my normal appearance. I'm more worried about being safe through the ride than how I look.
 

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Justa anutta Human......
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728 Posts
Why Johnny Tyler, you madcap! Where ya going with that short bat?
I've always carried a bat with me.....
Sometimes u come across someone that u need to use it on....
Not often....
N when u do bring it out it really changes people attitude quick...
Always have on with me....
Bike or car.....

Well there are days i have a pocket pistol, but wouldn't bring that out unless my life is depending on that.....
 

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American Legion Rider & sub-Administrator
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25,307 Posts
I'll wait till they have moved up 6-8 car lengths then move up....
No reason to do it everytime they move 10 feet.
Not like anyone behind me is really going anywhere.
If they honk.....
Well they i'll get off the bike n take a walk back....
I carry a short bat.....
That would never work in Dallas or you would be sitting there until 7:00pm when the traffic died off.
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
Heck, in St. Louis you don't leave much more than 1/2 a length or they'll put their nose in front of you and block 2 lanes. Many highways are 4 lanes wide. If I have to be in traffic and am going very far, I usually get in the 2nd lane from the left and ride it out until I have to get over to exit. I hate traffic and avoid it any time I can!
 
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