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Old 08-11-2009, 03:58 PM   #31
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Wow 2 years old and still as fresh to me as the day I penned it! Keep safe girls and guys!
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:54 PM   #32
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EXCELLENT POST! great point on everything
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:40 PM   #33
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One very important thing to remember and practice: MISTAKES aren't usually what leads to an accident, YOUR REACTION TO THAT MISTAKE is.

Iow, when we lose the rear end, that is not what causes are accident, rather our reaction to that action is what puts us on the ground. It's our reaction to something that happened different from what we expected. There is a method to help with recovering from mistakes/ unknown quantities and that's not focusing on what just happened, but what you WANT to happen next.

If we blow a DY corner and end up in the other lane, it's far past the time to concentrate on why we blew the double yellow, how stupid this must look, or getting back on track as soon as possible. What should happen is a process for all mistakes/ unknown quantities (by that, I mean a car pulling out in front, etc). Once the DY is blown, it's time to evaluate the best course to safety. 99% of the time it's going to be riding back to the correct side of the road. Some situations may dictate that's not the best course of action (perhaps you're so far over the DY, you'd be best to pull off the far side of the road and stop if possible). So first, evaluate where you are and what your best course of action is. A common mistake in blowing the DY is to keep the speed up, yet try to get back to the other side of the road as fast as possible. This can exacerbate the issue of an accident as your closing distance from oncoming lane traffic is decreasing quicker not due to oncoming traffic, but due to the overexuberance to get back into the correct lane.

1. CUT YOUR SPEED IF IT'S THE SAFEST COURSE OF ACTION. Modern brakes on cars/ bikes work very well. Opposing traffic will cut their speed as well if they have good reactions. There's no need to accelerate towards opposing traffic if that can be avoided.

2. DO NOT FOCUS ON WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I can't tell you how many times I've instructed/ followed riders who ride off track and back on, shaking their heads and slowing down. The fact of the matter is, there is little danger now that they're back on track. The incident is over and there's another turn coming up. Some will crash in the very next turn due to focusing on what just happened and not what is going to happen next. Once a mistake is made, it's made. Don't rehash the mistake until you're on safe terms. We can't take back time, we can control what happens in the future.

3. FOCUS ON YOUR PLAN FOR SAFETY/ RECOVERY. Many times, depending on the situation, this will be reactionary/ instinctive. When the rear slides, we roll off a tad and try and hook the rear tire up, listening to the engine note as we do so. It's mostly instinctive it happens so fast. When we blow a corner, we have a much more complicated recovery plan, where we need to scrub speed, look for our turn in/ look for our exit, and look for other bikes (this is a track scenario).

4. SIGHT YOUR PATH TO SAFETY. Find a route to safety, by avoiding the biggest risk factor (usually this is an auto). Collisions that are multi vehicle are something I'd avoid at all costs. Spot a clean route and go for that route.

5. ACCEPT THAT YOU MAY CRASH, BUT NOT INTO THE MOST DANGEROUS OBJECT. This is likely going to be a highly controversial point, but there are times when there is just no chance you're not going to crash. Aim to put your bike/ trajectory away from the most dangerous objects. Some people speak of "having to lay it down". This is NOT that ridiculous statement. Your bike will stop far better with brakes than on the ground sliding. However, if you've blown a DY so bad that getting back to your side before hitting opposing traffic is a reality, it may be best to continue on across the stream of traffic. Horrible thought, but if there's runoff on the other side, it may be worth the chance. Yes, you will crash your bike there too, but with less variables. You can (and many many racers do...if you watch moto racing) ride out a run into the dirt. You cannot ride out a collision with an auto/ bike head on.

6. PLAY OUT SCENARIOS IN YOUR HEAD. Play out the "what would you do if..." scenario. Train your mind to respond only to the most important stimulus when in a panic situation when going about daily life. Accident recovery is about being a prepared rider and a mind that can assign critical tasks while avoiding non critical ones. If we blow the DY, let's not panic and lock up the rear brake...instead let's focus on using the front brakes (the bike's still under control) and sighting our escape route.

7. LEARN TO MOVE YOUR HEAD IN PANIC SITUATIONS. Move your head and eyes...take it all in, so you don't target fixate. Mentally assign your brain to handle the most complex task. We don't care about how our friends view us now, nor how embarrassing this is. We care about making it back to safety.

Alright...now let's ride!
Just crashed Sunday before last. No major damage. Avoided catastrophe by relaxing and looking for the safest place for the bike to be... "Find your happy place, baby".

Had less than three seconds to get her into the dried mud and dirt, while avoiding a car, a pole, several trees, traffic on my left, car on my right...and fear.

Bailey Road North EXIT. Hazy. Moderate Traffic. Cut-off by lowered Green Honda Civic.
Could not commit to beginning of turn.

Should have down shifted quicker, braked harder, hit my internal reset button, and dropped into a right turn lean. (Hindsight)
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #34
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Dave, I'm glad to hear you're alright! Gnarly shit man...sounds like you did ok considering you're still here posting with some busted equipment. We've all felt that before.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:26 PM   #35
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Dave, I'm glad to hear you're alright! Gnarly shit man...sounds like you did ok considering you're still here posting with some busted equipment. We've all felt that before.
LOL. I'm fine.
Rolled two or three times, popped up, picked up my bike and rode off.

Bike has zero structural damage. One cracked mirror. And one cracked corner of windscreen.

Items on their way. It was half dumb luck, a quarter skill, and a quarter fear.

What's really amazing is that you took the time to write something relevant, that is appreciated by so many of us.

Have you written a guide or a handbook, as of yet?
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:17 AM   #36
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Let me give you some of my own experience. Mistakes when riding a motorcycle can mean injury or death because motorcycles require alot of experience, skill, and maturity to ride safely. So if you are going to ride a motorcycle especially a sport bike. You need to learn that a common mistake is not part of riding. If you are going to ride a motorcycle, learn to make zero mistakes when you are riding one. Thats part of riding actually and comes with more experience maturity on a bike.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:44 AM   #37
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2. DO NOT FOCUS ON WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I can't tell you how many times I've instructed/ followed riders who ride off track and back on, shaking their heads and slowing down. The fact of the matter is, there is little danger now that they're back on track. The incident is over and there's another turn coming up. Some will crash in the very next turn due to focusing on what just happened and not what is going to happen next. Once a mistake is made, it's made. Don't rehash the mistake until you're on safe terms. We can't take back time, we can control what happens in the future.
This is HUGE in racing. I started racing 3/4 size Formula cars at a young age, and that was the biggest lesson taught. "for every moment you think about a turn you blew, you just lost a quarter second off your lap-time" After I got that through my thick skull, I pulled my best lap times ever.

Though this post is years old, still VERY valuable lessons here. This was my favorite one.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:58 PM   #38
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I also believe that you could make most turns in front of you. I was not paying attention riding my R1 and a 25 mph corner snuck up on me while I was doing 70. If I were to stay straight I would have driven off of a 20' cliff into a giant oak tree. I pushed on the handle bar and made it dragging my foot peg all the way around. I wouldnt want to do it again but it made me realize the bike can do more than you think.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #39
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I agree Bigorange! I am still learning to trust my bike around corners. But there have been a couple times where I got really scared and got really low in some corners because it was necessity driven, it was either push my bike to the limit or go off the road or into oncoming traffic. And by doing so I learned mor about trusting my bike. But sometimes, I still forget about how much I can trust my bike. I think though, if you don't have that trust, it can be as dangerous as lack of skill. What do you think?>
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #40
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I think that if a rider has to more than occasionally trust their bike to get them through a high stress or high risk situation while riding on the street, then they should re-examine their judgment to see where their mistake actually starts. Having to trust the bike is an indication that the riders judgment and skill are sub-par.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:29 AM   #41
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I think that if a rider has to more than occasionally trust their bike to get them through a high stress or high risk situation while riding on the street, then they should re-examine their judgment to see where their mistake actually starts. Having to trust the bike is an indication that the riders judgment and skill are sub-par.
Harsh, Enchanter, harsh. But true.

That said, a more actionable response might be along the lines of, "Sounds to me like you are ready for a track day or two. The lessons you learn there will help you get to a new level of skill and confidence, both of which will help you stay out of situations like that."
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:34 PM   #42
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Red face

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I think that if a rider has to more than occasionally trust their bike to get them through a high stress or high risk situation while riding on the street, then they should re-examine their judgment to see where their mistake actually starts. Having to trust the bike is an indication that the riders judgment and skill are sub-par.
I think you misunderstood what I meant by trusting the bike.

What i meant by trusting the bike was that when you are first learning to push and lean into a turn, you don't realize that the bike can do a lot more than you feel like it can do. And it takes a level of trust to get to the point where you can execute a skilled leaning turn. When I first started learning how to turn in curves, I didn't feel like I could push down past a certain point without dropping the bike. I felt like gravity would take over and the bike would just fall over and lowside. I did not trust that the bike was capable of staying on its wheels even being almost horizontal. I did not mean that you need to trust the bike to get out of a high risk situation, I mean that you need to trust the bike primarily in order to learn how to execute a lean into a curve. I have watched motorcycle races and seen knees drag on the ground, I know it can be done, but when I first started riding, I didn't feel like I could do it. It took me awhile to get to the point where i could trust my bike to not fall over. Once I finally learned to trust the bike and what it was capable of, I was able to execute more skilled leans. But there have been situations where I have been caught off guard by a blind corner in a technical curve and I had to do an even more skilled lean than I was used to and if I had not been able to trust my bike's capacity to corner, i would have likely crashed.

You are correct in what you are saying, that just isn't what I was saying when I was talking about learning how to trust your bike and what it can do.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #43
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I think everyone, even the most experienced riders could benifit from continuous training on their bike since they are perishable skills. The track is probably a good place to get that done. I got what you were saying lady rider.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #44
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I agree. Continuous training is beneficial to everyone. I think everyone has room for improvement Even the most experienced riders makes mistakes and have off days, and even they can stand to learn new tricks and better their old ones.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:03 PM   #45
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I think you misunderstood what I meant by trusting the bike.

What i meant by trusting the bike was that when you are first learning to push and lean into a turn, you don't realize that the bike can do a lot more than you feel like it can do. And it takes a level of trust to get to the point where you can execute a skilled leaning turn. When I first started learning how to turn in curves, I didn't feel like I could push down past a certain point without dropping the bike. I felt like gravity would take over and the bike would just fall over and lowside. I did not trust that the bike was capable of staying on its wheels even being almost horizontal. I did not mean that you need to trust the bike to get out of a high risk situation, I mean that you need to trust the bike primarily in order to learn how to execute a lean into a curve. I have watched motorcycle races and seen knees drag on the ground, I know it can be done, but when I first started riding, I didn't feel like I could do it. It took me awhile to get to the point where i could trust my bike to not fall over. Once I finally learned to trust the bike and what it was capable of, I was able to execute more skilled leans. But there have been situations where I have been caught off guard by a blind corner in a technical curve and I had to do an even more skilled lean than I was used to and if I had not been able to trust my bike's capacity to corner, i would have likely crashed.

You are correct in what you are saying, that just isn't what I was saying when I was talking about learning how to trust your bike and what it can do.
Ah. I get ya'. I agree with you.
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