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Old 12-06-2018, 03:14 PM   #1
budman
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Riding in the Mountains

I wrote this in the Old/faster thread... then thought about it today and felt it is applicable to riding skills when you ride in the Mountains so sharing it here as well. We are in the time of year where sketchy riding conditions prevail in them thar hills so extra precaution is warranted. Here is a good write up by Gary J on bad conditions. Many Mountain roads never get puuuuuurrfect and certainly there are things on them that need to be accounted for always.

Sporty riding in the Mountains has some specific applications that I feel make it safer for me. I call my sporty street bike riding calculated and the below all play into my approach.

If you have tips to add please do. This was a pretty brief write up. Perhaps one day I will expand it.

1. Steering input/moto control
• Totally in my control.
• I really use counter steering to try to be super precise.
• Braking checks to make sure I am good.
• Trail braking is my friend.
• Throttle control is smooth - I don't count on nannies, but I am glad I have them.
• Smooth is everything to me. More than anything I want to be smooth and avoid making abrupt manuvers that may upset my moto.

2. Road Conditions and Traction available
• Some of that is assumption of course and experience helps define that a lot.
• Time of year and the weather impact those decisions.
• I tend to make sure my tires are really solid and air pressures are correct.

3. Road awareness

• Narrow roads with limited sight line have me riding the outside lines of the road to give me my best visual opportunity to see oncoming traffic or other vehicles that might be entering or leaving the roadway.
• Limited sightlines means I slow down basically.. maybe not to the level for perfect safety factor, but precautions are taken. Specially on roads with driveways or tourist (see where to ride below).
• Cross streets / turn outs all slow me down a bit and demand to be respected.
• Pavement conditions are part of the awareness of course and part of traction available. If I am unsure I will slow to make sure I am good with my assumptions.
• Wildlife expectations – deer crossing signs are there for a reason and I cover the brakes at least when I see those. Often really and all of those times.
• Having a seeing eye dog leading will allow me a bit of security because I can read their body language to some degree. That actually lets me see further ahead. However I am depending on the rider and if I don’t know them, then I am not buying in completely.

A lot of this is really about visual skills too, which are super important and generally come with experience. Keeping eyes up and scanning down the road. Slowing the scans a bit can actually help keep your eyes more clued in, eliminating blank spots.

4. Where to ride
• Roads with less driveways and traffic are the best place to be sporty.
• 84 for instance keeps my jets in the bag.. pretty much period. Mt. Hamilton has great spots and Roads like HWY 4 and 108 do too among others.

5. How much have I been riding?
• If not lot of late I will keep it in check, work my steering inputs, sense of speed and visual skill set to get warmed up.
• If I just rode 300 miles the day before I am in a different space typically.

I don’t consider my street riding to be extreme what so ever. Heck, I really don't consider it fast. I was a road racer and realize that fast is not for the street.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by budman View Post
I was a road racer and realize that fast is not for the street.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:01 AM   #3
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Good post Dennis. Another thing to consider is temperature. When it's cold, we tend to ride kind of ridged. Don't turn our heads , keep arms stiffer etc. This can drastically affect how the bike handles. Use an electric vest, or warm up periodically.

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Old 12-07-2018, 09:15 AM   #4
kneedraggeroldy
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Great post budman! Good advice
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:03 AM   #5
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Great post Budman! Good advice
Great post-Dennis! I remember back when it 1st was posted....long long ago!
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:15 AM   #6
bikeama
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I have not read Gary J's post. Good information in Gary J's post I just bumped that thread.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by budman View Post
5. How much have I been riding?
• If not lot of late I will keep it in check, work my steering inputs, sense of speed and visual skill set to get warmed up.
• If I just rode 300 miles the day before I am in a different space typically.
Great point here. If you haven't been on twisties in awhile, take it easy and get reacquainted with everything.

Good post!
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