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A question about risk and assessment

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by SevenSins, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. #1 SevenSins, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    I have a question. But first up a little info. Most days I commute, and I’m on the road between 7 and 8am, plus I commute in the ACT… so traffic isn’t really bad at all. In fact my commute is often pleasant as sometimes I have sections of the road all to myself, spoilt really. I use this time to hone my skills. I’ve had my GSR750 for 12 months and have done 18500kms on it in that time.

    My question is this.. I feel that at times I may be pushing it a little bit more and more these days. Example, sometimes there are a couple of sections where I am in the middle of the tradie ute and truck commuters… I’ll zip in and around the vehicles so I can position myself better… safer, away from the cars. Except the space in which I have been zipping in and out has gotten smaller and smaller.. My situational awareness is 100% during these manoeuvres and as soon as I’ve moved I’m out of there and away from the pack.. I on occasion filter (no issue there), I lane split two cars on the weekend, it was half a filter/half (ok really) lane split.. Car on left was giving me the shits, too inconsistent with their behaviour I had tolerated for ten minutes and car on right just happened to be there… I took this opportunity to get the fuck out of there….and away… easy. (cars had been stopped at set of lights and I was rolling up when the lights turned to green.. quiet intersection, leads onto 100km speed road.)

    Some mornings I’ll think no need to rush, chill out blah blah… but then I find myself zipping in and around in these busier sections, almost but not quite splitting… you know when you move between traffic but your margin for merge is really tight?.. I indicate my intentions, head check do all the right things.. and get out of there asap.. here is the actual question... :rolleyes: I just wonder if I’m getting too cocky and my luck will run out, or am I just getting better and more competent in my riding? Had license for almost three years now. Some riders are conservative and others are less so… I think I'm about 50/50..just throwing it out there.. I hope my description made sense..
  2. #2 BitSar, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    You are not going crazy :D

    I get it............

    The same thing happens to me when all I'm doing is the daily commute without a weekend blat.....

    This is when the weekend "hammer down" will actually fall into the self-preservation category.....

    Get out of the city - get out of the daily monotonous route and take some time on the weekend to stretch your legs and have some fun.....

    I find if I haven't had a weekend blat for 2-3 weeks I'll be doing $1.20 on the way to work in a 60 zone and watching for flashing light............not good.....

    Again - you're not crazy.............you're a motorcyclist................:D
    • Like Like x 3
  3. ^ thanks... and I do get out every weekend... minimum two hours daily blat, lately 4 or more hours easy... we have great roads here :peace:

    yeah my job is BUSY and stressful and comes with a lot of responsibility, so maybe I just have to shake loose every now and then. My bike is my stress release.. well, one of them ;)
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  4. You are getting better, however you still need to allow room for things to go wrong and consider the type of traffic around you. For example making a mistake filtering between almost stationary cars is only going to cost you a bit of cash to pay for a scrape. Making a mistake filtering near a heavy truck could see the same minor spill end up with your body under the truck wheels.
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  5. #5 twistngo, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    • Like Like x 1

  7. #7 dgmeister, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
    getting more comfortable on the bike is excellent news, because it means you are starting to get the hang of things.

    just don't f uck up...

    you are responsible for your own life mate.

    never outdo yourself on a bike, because the split second you do, you'll be chewin dust. its very easy to die (just in case you didn't notice)

    if you really want to let loose, go to the track or race offroad where there aren't any cars

    so in other words, you may ride for 50 years and never crash, but you may die tomorrow, its totally up to you.

    the very second you think you have it under your thumb, thats the second that you find out you don't.

    a rider is always an apprentice
    • Like Like x 1
  8. don't worry.
    couple more years and you will become aware that you can make the same light changes by travelling at exactly twice the posted speed limmits.
    therefore halving your commute.

    but seriously, just have to factor in what the cars ahead could or would do at the point you pass through them. what would you do if you were in that car trying to get ahead in the rat race. if one lane is moving faster than another some frustrated cager will swerve into it if he can. blow past him when he can't. when he's blocked by another vehicle.
    they don't see us, but they do see each other.
  9. ... I have the same thoughts as you (re: maybe getting a bit cocky)... When I ride the R6 as opposed to the ZZR. The R6 is a zippier bike... It's light and easy to ride... Therefore I tend to take more risks on it. Then I think.. Well, am I taking risks, or just riding that particular bike to suit?

    I believe that my road and riding skills have been enhance through riding the R6...which can't be a bad thing. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. All very excellent posts and great food for thought.
    Even Deadsy's Ghostrider one cause it made me laugh :)
    that book looks interesting, i'll see if I can have a look at it.

    I have taken all points on board and will re-evaluate my riding. For the record I was very beige on my commute this morning... but it's hump day so you can never be too careful on hump day.. cheers :D
  11. I am finding the exact same with my commute now! I presumed it was just because I was getting better rather than taking on more risk as I feel a bit safer being in front of all the cars rather than amongst them actually. I used to wonder how motorcycles could fit through the gaps they were filtering through but now I do it all the time too though I always try to leave myself with an 'out' if a car changes its mind. I kind of assume that they haven't seen me so if they move I need to have a way to get out of their path.

    The first few times I rode to work my boyfriend followed me there and back and one day was 39C, we were in peak hour and he yells across at the lights 'Are you sure you don't want to go through the cars??' but I was too scared. The first time I did filter I duck walked past three cars to the front of the queue :) And slowly got better from there!
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  12. Do an actual risk assessment of your riding. Look at the risks, the controls, the current effectiveness, what else you can do. And if you can't get controls in place, how you can treat them. I would guess some catastrophic level risks are out of your control after you do the assessment, and that they are associated with those narrowing gaps. In fact during conversation 2 weeks ago an aquaintance came unstuck on a similar move when the vehicle changed position - lost his kneecap, smashed pelvis etc. It was a life changing move for all those around him (and those to come) for a bunch of reasons I wont go into. You commute, you understand that's a possible outcome, cool. But the longer you hold yourself out there, closer to the limit without control of the other vehicles, the longer you are exposed and the likelihood of those risks eventuating is increased, IMO.
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  13. You've answered your own question. You are taking calculated risks. Are you calculating them correctly though?

    This "cockiness" is unfortunately common behaviour. In aviation it's known as the "100hourly factor" where stats show a spike in novice pilot accidents around 100 hours experience. These pilots haven't had any genuine incidents so they have had nothing to temper their untested and unconsolidated confidence in their competence. They start taking risks.

    You mention an example where you were observing a car's inconsistent driving for 10 minutes and then found yourself boxed in. If I were you, I wouldn't explore whether the splitting to get you back into clear space and reduce your risks was or wasn't a good move, but to think about the decisions you made that kept you there and allowed that second car to box you in.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. I had experience with this too. I got a little cocky for a while, then got into an incident and calmed down. Really wish I had levelled off my risk assessment at where it is now before that happened (though the incident wasn't that bad in the end). But we learn from our mistakes, take note of any near misses, if they are happening too frequently then your level of cockiness is too high.
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  15. Obviously you're getting better, so your perception of risk is changing with that. You are confident that you can make the move accurately and there's nothing wrong with that. but what none of us can be confident about is what the drivers around us will do.

    Speaking only for myself, I've consciously adopted a strategy of giving myself some time to follow and assess the vehicles in front of me, before I make a move. I doesn't make me faster but it has made me more efficient, and it's helped avoid a few sticky situations.
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  16. HMMM, yes I have heard somewhere so no idea how accurate It Isthat many have accident after two years or so into riding. PErhaps similar to the new pilot scenario. I Had a stack 3 months Iinto riding, wrote off bike broke shoulder. I don't have near misses, and ride flamboyantly so no smidsy's. I could definitely had taken action over erratic car long before I actually did ... so that's a good point. I will focus on assessing my margin for error as that is a sobering thought in regards to a worst case scenario which can change lives. VEry helpful again.
  17. To me you are simply getting more skilled and gaining more confidence. To me, given you have asked the question, you already know your personal limit, just don't exceed it. Over confidence can be an issue, but again given you already think you could be getting cocky, maybe it's time to dial it back a bit.

    At the end of the day, if you're comfortable and not having any near misses directly related to YOUR actions then keep doing it.
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  18. Its not just the hundred, statistically it gets more likely at a few landmarks (250, 500, 700, 1000 and so on I think)

    There's no point you're clear of it, so all you can do is be aware that you'll feel more "indestructible" at a few points in your riding career.
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  19. No such thing as luck mate. Just because you've done something a thousand times without any incidents, doesn't mean that the next time you'll have the same result.

    I think all you can do is evaluate the risks each and every time, have a plan for the situation and realize the consequences "if" something were to go wrong, but it definitely doesn't mean that eventually something "will" go wrong.

    However, I do think you are more competent, just don't ever get complacent and always have that 'what if" scenario escape route planned out so you're well prepared. It's what we should always be doing when riding.
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  20. think of drivers as rats in cages. the red stop light is a piece of cheese.
    they will try to get as close as they can, as fast as they can, to the red light.
    the closer they get to the red light, the more erratic their behaviour, for they are like rats, with brains the size of a pea.
    they only see the red light. nothing else, including you.
    they will take any percieved path to get just that little bit closer to the red light, with complete disregard for each other and any applicable road rules.

    -beware the asiatic rat. for he has NFI how to operate his cage.
    -beware the rat in the yellow cage, wearing his laundry on his head. it was common practice back in his rat infested country to smash into several other rats daily. if you have opportunity to engage him, strongly suggest he goes back there.
    -beware the rat ferrying baby rats in it's 4wd cage. for it has grown fat and stupid over the years.

    you are like a ferret.
    you are sleek and stealthy and cunning, with big wide eyes.
    be the ferret !
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