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Aging & Worn
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Each and every day that I ride, I (like you) have become VERY familiar with everything about the roads I travel.

Every bump, raised surface, Manhole Cover, Tar Snakes (I love that name for them........whoever created that name should get a medal!)..........it's like I could drive those roads "in my sleep" as it were.

I'm sure for you too, the challenge is "the road less traveled" (who originally said that?). It's the trip to somewhere you've never been that takes on an air of expectancy and interest.

Then you add to that, the constant (at least around here anyway) watching of both sides of the road for deer, moose, bear, squirrels, geese, ducks, .........

I'll bet, if you HAD to, you could describe every nuance of the roads you travel every day, with incredible detail. Where to downshift so that you catch that particular turn at a reasonable speed; where to hang to the left of the lane on that one road that has that dip and cut to the pavement that you hit once, but avoid now, every time.

We develop these mental files that we run thru, each time we ride, that keep us from the "stuff" that can take the "fun" out of riding.

-Soupy
 

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Gone.
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Eventually you'll develop a way of riding, a "methodology" as it were, that you apply to all roads no matter how well known they are or not. It's not so much having an intimate knowledge of a few roads in particular, but of having a way of approaching riding that adapts itself for most all situations. It doesn't matter if you know what conditions lie ahead, but whether you have a full mental toolbox to be able to quickly deal with what you find.

If you have an intimate and well developed feel for a particular road that's a helpful thing, especially if you're performance riding, but it can also be dangerous if you assume those conditions are the same as the last time you traveled that road. Assumptions like that can be painful. I honestly couldn't tell you much about the roads I ride most often.

And Robert Frost, I think. He liked to write about walls and roads and trees and stuff. :)
 

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Soupy, I understand what you are saying, but I agree with Eye_m_no_angel that caution is a must. I am sure you agree with that, as you have been riding for a while.

Knowing the roads helps me watch for the unpredictable, like deer. The small animals in general get out of the road a lot quicker than the deer do. Although I hit a bird once when it changed directions, I have been lucky to this point.
 

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I am always on the lookout for new roads. I do not want to get comfortable with a road. That leads to complacency, and that leads to trouble.
 

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Troublemaker
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Don't forget the gravel spilled at intersections or the grain truck that didn't have the trap shut all the way leaving soybeans all over the road.
 

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It was in Nebraska a couple weeks ago that we found a cow standing in the road. Just standing there right in the middle of the lane with some other cows looking over the fence at it. Mrs. Eye spooked it when she roared by so I had to do some quick evaluating and maneuvering. Not at all what I was expecting that day.
 

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Troublemaker
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It was in Nebraska a couple weeks ago that we found a cow standing in the road. Just standing there right in the middle of the lane with some other cows looking over the fence at it. Mrs. Eye spooked it when she roared by so I had to do some quick evaluating and maneuvering. Not at all what I was expecting that day.
Happens a lot here. Cows on the road at night are nearly invisible too, they don't move and their eyes don't reflect light very well.
 

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^^^^ Pure fact there. We lost a higway patrolman a few years ago for just that reason. Cows in the middle of the road and he never saw them. I can't remember now if he was responding to a call or not but he never made it to where he was going either way.
 

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I could see that happening. Cant image hitting a cow at night.
its a potential hazard on the open roads in Nevada and Arizona. gotta ride those roads during daylight hours.

also risky ... those big chunks of rubber that come from tires of semi trucks. I see those sometimes on the LA freeways. you dont wanna hit them, and they would be very hard to see at night.

I usually follow the rule of pulling off the highway by sunset.
If I ride at night - I prefer roads/freeways that we well lit and traveled .. not too much traffic, but just enough that obstacles get cleaned up (or mushed over). Otherwise, if I wanna make good time ... I just get up ealry in the morning and hit the road after a cup of coffee. I like seeing where I'm riding :)

dT
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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Yeah, I too know most of the roads/streets around here, but like numerous others have said, I use that knowledge to help me spot what should not be there that much quicker. and it ALWAYS happens that something has changed, be it dirt in the road, places where a road crew patched a bad pothole (and did a poor job), a slick spot from fresh paint put down, ect.

As for animals and other things at night, that is when I slow down some and keep observing. Although I do have excellent night vision, I still have to be extra cautious.
 

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^^^^ Pure fact there. We lost a higway patrolman a few years ago for just that reason. Cows in the middle of the road and he never saw them. I can't remember now if he was responding to a call or not but he never made it to where he was going either way.

Just curious, because I am a city boy and I really don't know, what happens to the farmer who owns that cow?

Is he charged with anything?

After all, it is his property that caused the wreck. If I left my motorcycle, for example, in the middle of the road at night and it caused the wreck I am sure I would be liable for damages and much more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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It depends. If in "Open Range" area, nothing. But in just rural area, he will get a fine for not having cattle confined properly. But if he can prove a downed fence due to storm or a gate that was opened that had a lock cut, again nothing. However, he will most likely be in for civil suit anyway with the sue happy country we live in. This is why most farmers/ranchers are on top of fencing all the time. I check on my cows three times a day just making sure they are all where they belong and one of them hasn't pushed through a fence. Especially important when one may be coming into a heat cycle.
 

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Well, I've never had to dodge a cow. So far though I've had to swerve to miss kangaroos and wallabies, wild pigs, an emu (big bloody bird, with long legs so the body mass is just at head height), wedge tail eagles and real snakes.

I don't like running over snakes, there's nothing as mad as a cut snake and you never know where they'll wrap up under the bike. Nine of the world's ten deadliest snakes are here in Australia, and while the desert Fierce Snake (# 1 - it's particularly venomous as it has to stop it's prey immediately before they can run away) is unlikely to be found crossing the bitumen, the other eight worry me.

I think there's a danger of knowing the road you travel too well. Knowing where all the potholes, manhole covers, tar snakes, tram lines (lines where the height of the bitumen changes from it being laid in strips) and painted signs are might lull you into a sense of overconfidence and you might just miss that new broken bitumen or gravel on the road.

The price of our safety is constant awareness.
 

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"what happens to the farmer who owns that cow?"

He buries your body on the side of the road.
Then he sells the motorcycle parts on eBay to cover the cost of the cow.
And then he eats hamburgers for a month.

I think the problems ... are all on our side brother :)

dT
 

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Well there wasn't a cow on that same piece of road when we came through there the week before. :biggrin:

It's amazing how solid they look when they're scared and turning right in front of you.
Diaper moment! Came across a bear that way on Labor Day, problem with a black bear they blend in with a dark background. Have to stay wide awake out there. Great comments here.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #19
Of course there are always the unexpected changes to the routes we travel. That's a given. I NEVER let down my guard and allow myself to become complacent about my ride!

My OP was just to highlight how "familiar" we become with the roads we travel, with regard to the KNOWN conditions.

It goes without saying that we should always "expect the unexpected," because THAT is what can KILL us!!

-Soupy
 

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Around 35yrs ago I came to a bull in the road and I was on a reddish orange 2 cycle. When he started on his intercept line I hit the gas and made it by this much. That was daytime, hate to think what would happen at night.
 
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