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Old 11-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #16
RobertJ
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Freeway riding is the safest riding most will ever do. I'll take a cage merging into my path anyday over pulling out in front of me at an intersection.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:52 AM   #17
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When I hopped on the freeway for the first time some old lady merged into my lane blindly and almost took me out, forced me to swerve into the next lane luckily no car was in it. I was scared shitless to get on the freeway for a while after that haha
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:57 PM   #18
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Freeway isn't bad. Even though it's a straight line it will require just as much attention as the streets. And, during windy conditions it can get a bit freaky. . .especially on a small 250c bike.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by iloveangrybirds View Post
Freeway isn't bad. Even though it's a straight line it will require just as much attention as the streets. And, during windy conditions it can get a bit freaky. . .especially on a small 250c bike.
I remember last year when we had 80mph gusts. That freaked me out enough that I kept thinking I had a flat tire. Since then, I've learned a lot and I actually enjoy the challenge of the wind. I commute over the dumbarton every day. It's not near as windy as the other 2 bridges, but the lanes are a lot smaller.

I spent a full week on the side streets before I hit the highway during peak afternoon commute times. I did find a less traveled section of highway and I found it to be a rush. I've had some death defying moments, but none that would keep me off the highway. I ride in the rain as well. Being a noob doesn't mean you can't keep cool under pressure and stay in control. It's not for anyone to decide how long a new rider should stay away from a certain type of riding.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #20
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It's not for anyone to decide how long a new rider should stay away from a certain type of riding.
So you're saying that anyone inexperienced in any activity cannot learn from the experience of someone who's been doing that same activity, and training others to do it, for years?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
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I don't see where there is learning involved in this thread. The OP stated that anyone new shouldn't be on the freeways because he has a theory that because we drive a certain way, we'll ride the same way. I don't see how that opinion = fact based. Sure some people take more time to get used to certain conditions. Other people grasp ideas and concepts quickly. The post is a good reminder to stay aware, but other than that, I don't agree with it.

Motorcycling experience is primarily gained by action. You can read Twist of the Wrist until your eyes bleed, but until you go experience it for yourself, you'll never know how you will react in various riding situations.

Last edited by Slate; 12-11-2012 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:45 AM   #22
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Perhaps there are insights and observations in the OP that other new riders might not have considered. If that's the case, for those folks that may well be learning.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:32 AM   #23
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Motorcycling experience is primarily gained by action. You can read Twist of the Wrist until your eyes bleed, but until you go experience it for yourself, you'll never know how you will react in various riding situations.
That's an interesting insight...the question isn't how we learn but who we learn it from. Discovery learning (teaching ourselves) often comes with a certain amount of...bruising. It's often best to learn from others mistakes. Experience can be a hard teacher.

Likewise you can never know how you will react in a situation--but you can have a pretty dang good idea of what you're gonna do by living 10 to 12 seconds in the future and having a skill set that is honed and ready in case something unexpected appears inside the bubble.
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Last edited by CaptCrash; 12-12-2012 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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Right, but skills are learned by repeated action. The conundrum is pretty much like the chicken/egg question. How do you learn those skills that will allow you to be ready to face the unexpected? Sure, you can read and watch videos, but until you put it into practice, it's all just theory.

I was in an aviation program in college, the flight instructor said we were going to go do emergency maneuvers and she explained what to do and how to do it. We went and did some practice and things went pretty well. Then, we did a blindfold test. I was given a face shield that didn't allow me to see anything outside, but I could feel her twisting and turning the plane to disorient me. The test was when she said go. I flipped up the visor and had to correct the plane's flight. If I hadn't been able to practice before, I would never have been able to pass the test. Experience will always be the best teacher of all.

I guess my problem is that I've been thru MSF and I assume that new riders would go take that course as well. I forget that some people don't take the MSF. In a lot of ways, freeway driving (in a car) helps me be better at predicting driving behaviors of other drivers. It's how I've navigated through 101/880 traffic. I end up memorizing where people slow down, the little nuances that indicate a driver is looking to change lanes w/o a signal, or the person not paying attention. Knowing how I drive a car lets me better understand those situations and apply them to when I commute on my bike. I've been driving for 20 years, so that experience comes into play.

I have a far worse time when I have to commute with other riders. Some riders tend to be really timid about lane sharing and they ride their brakes while not letting anyone else pass by because they block the lane sharing portion of the road. They can be unpredictable at best.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #25
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I was in an aviation program in college, the flight instructor said we were going to go do emergency maneuvers and she explained what to do and how to do it. We went and did some practice and things went pretty well. Then, we did a blindfold test. I was given a face shield that didn't allow me to see anything outside, but I could feel her twisting and turning the plane to disorient me. The test was when she said go. I flipped up the visor and had to correct the plane's flight. If I hadn't been able to practice before, I would never have been able to pass the test. Experience will always be the best teacher of all.
For the sake of curiousity:

Have you ever blindfolded yourself, pitched the plane around, taken off the blindfold and corrected the planes flight?

Sounds like in a violently dangerous situation you learned how to handle it with someone right there to save your skin (and equally or more motivation to save their own). In the end, you didn't do it by yourself you did it under direct supervision.

Part of the original theory of the post was that judging our own skills by our own measure is a difficult issue and easy to over or under estimate.
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Last edited by CaptCrash; 12-12-2012 at 11:12 AM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:43 AM   #26
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I'm not sure how that question applies. If I pitched the plane around and knew what controls I had input already, then I would definitely be able to correct it, even with the blindfold still on.

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In the end, you didn't do it by yourself you did it under direct supervision.
I'm not sure what your point is. The fact that I had guidance or that I had someone that could get me out of the situation in case I failed? If I had failed the test, that would have been the same as me crashing the plane (or bike).

I don't think I've ever measured my own skill or even judged it while riding. I go expecting the worst and preparing for it. The first time I got on the freeway, I was super nervous, but I had mentally prepared myself as best I could. I don't think spending more time on side streets really means anything if you're not prepared for highway traffic. As a matter of fact, you could get too complacent with how traffic is on side streets and take that mindset with you on the highway. People pay less attention on side streets because speeds are lower and you think there's less danger. Getting used to that idea could be just as disastrous.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #27
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I'm not sure what your point is. The fact that I had guidance or that I had someone that could get me out of the situation in case I failed? If I had failed the test, that would have been the same as me crashing the plane (or bike).
The point is that a professional instructor sat beside you, placed the plane into a modestly dangerous situation she knew you had previously studied and from which she knew she could recover the aircraft if things went down the shitter. The test was also a simulation of an emergency that was crafted for safety and for assessment. Chief among the things the instructor was checking for was also how you managed yourself in a controlled situation where the plane was pushed far enough out of shape as to rattle the new pilot.

This was a gradual building up to a final event, there was prep and study, it was the culmination of a long learning process and you were not engaged in "discovery" learning you were being professionally evaluated on your ability to apply previously learned skills in a new environment...like waiting to go gangbusters lane splitting on 101 until you've got some skills in your back pocket...except there's no instructor to catch the plane before it becomes completely compromised...so it's almost exactly the same....sort of....
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #28
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My 3rd time on the freeway, I was lane splitting within my first month of riding. I've been doing it ever since and I haven't had an accident yet. Having an instructor wouldn't have made a difference. Anyone who is serious about safety will have read dozens of threads about riding on the freeway and what they should consider before going out. I just disagree that new riders should be told to stay off the highway because they might not be able to handle it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:27 PM   #29
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My 3rd time on the freeway, I was lane splitting within my first month of riding. I've been doing it ever since and I haven't had an accident yet.
The keyword is yet. You have yet to know that you will be getting in an accident the next time you'll be lane-splitting. You can't assume that people in cages will know you will be lane-splitting. They can be distracted doing whatever they're doing or even changing lanes without looking and BOOM, you go down.

However, how far of the freeway commute are we all talking about? If it's 2-3 exits away from your house, go for it (such as from Tully to Yerba Buena Rd). But anything longer, I think new riders definitely are not ready to ride the freeway.

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I just disagree that new riders should be told to stay off the highway because they might not be able to handle it.
I wouldn't disagree with anyone here trying to state that newer riders should stay off the freeway. They have to understand the limitations of their bike and know how to handle it properly first. But for someone who might be riding twice a week during this time of the year and barely getting used to riding their first bike, the freeway shouldn't be a priority until they've put more miles into their ride.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:31 AM   #30
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You're well within your rights to your point of view, but what makes you the judge to say what new riders should or should not do?

Also, I never assume what cagers will do. However, I can make an experienced judgement from my years of driving and make my decisions based on those. As I said before, I look ahead and prepare exit strategies. I prepare for the worst and try to keep focused. No one can say they're not going to get into an accident. I never said otherwise.

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