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Advanced Buffering Techniques

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by smileedude, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. We are all taught how important buffering is in rider training. I believe if done well it provides us with a safety advantage over other vehicles that can make riding safer than driving. However the techniques we are taught focus on single threats that are fairly basic. The basic examples are great but you come accross far more complex examples daily and these are the ones you where are likely to come unstuck.

    I thought I'd start a thread where people can put up examples of approaching difficult situations that involve multiple threats and everyone can discuss the best approach. I come across these most days and often find myself thinking whether I took the safest option.

    I'll start with the triple car doozy. You are going straight through a t intersection behind another car. There is a car on your road turning in front of you. There are two cars coming out of the side street, one turning right, one turning left. The car turning right is partially obscuring the left turners view. I encounter this fairly commonly. How do you approach this situation?

  2. a diagram would have helped. bonus points if you have drawn little penises in the cars.

    but i think i've got my head around your description now.

    apon approach, the instant you see the scenario unfolding as per your description. start flashing your brake light. you don't want to contend with the ******** tailgating you as well. so **** him off first. he's actually the biggest danger here. so get him out of the picture or make him take notice.

    still some distance out, weave around a bit, dance your headlight around a bit and it may well enter lines of sight that are obscured; loosen up, get animated and and most importantly get your speed down. i'd want to go through about 5 k's under because bikes generate an impression that they are moving faster than they really are. unfortunately i have to rely on the cagers perception of how close my approach is.
    so i want to make it as easy as i can for them.

    then it's straight down the center. even space between all the vehicles pointing at you.
    then you've got room to swerve left or right if you have to.

    * you have neglected to mention which way the vehicle travelling ahead of you is turning of. this is important. partly why you had to back off the ******** behind you.
    because if he's turning right, you have to go left around him and he could pull up real quick. the time it takes to headcheck and look back again he may have stopped in front of you.
    the ******** behind you is also veering left to go around him, so you need to own that space before he does or he will corral you into a stopped car.

    this is a top idea for a thread btw

  3. Good point about the diagram, and you took it a bit different to what I was intending so that can be another example. Here is what I meant. You are the yellow bike (obviously). Feel free to draw all over the picture, it will make this more fun.

    Attached Files:

  4. there is another technique which i'm a little hesistant to mention.
    as the majority of people who read my drivel are novice riders.

    so this is an option for those who have finely tuned throttle control and reflexes.

    that is, to dive close to the leading car passing through the t-intersection. making yourself a part of it's passing silhouette.
    and also opening a larger gap behind you.
  5. I would go home to my country town where seeing two cars in the same road is a traffic jam.

    But seriously... What MT1 said makes sense. My greatest concern here is the green car pulling out in front of me. The pale blue car can be encouraged to see the bike by weaving to the right hand edge of the lane as you approach, then moving to the left so the red car has a chance to see you, then back to the right hand wheel line. If you have some room between you and the car in front, there is a good chance they will try to sneak through so maybe slow down a bit and have your hands and feet ready on the brakes. If you are failr close to the car ahead, it may be worth moving a little closer to be in his 'envelope' that the other cars will avoid.
  6. ok i see the diagram now. that is a tough call (**** that i'm turning left)

    the only certainty there, is that none of the 4 cars will know who is supposed to give way to who.

    but yeah still straight down the center, slowly.

    i know many are taught to use left or right wheel tracks in order to buffer the most space between potential threats from either left or right.

    but that's definately a dead smack down the middle of the lane scenario, no pun intended

    well, for me anyway.
    because problems can occur if you leave too much open space in your lane on either side. you give cagers an inch, they take a yard.
  7. The problem with getting close to the dark blue car is it makes you invisible to all three cars. If there is a car coming behind as well the light blue may try and sneak through the "gap" and come very close to mr dark blue. I do this approach if its only one car to contend with as I can make a lot of room through buffering to avoid getting hit even if he comes an inch from mr dark blues rear bumper, but not in this situation.
  8. [​IMG]

    Damn, too slow :)

    No penis and I didn't have a bike so settled for train. Fail.[-(
  9. I'll also add the reason this situation occurs is usually because the straight road is very busy. I see it all the time on long roads on the outskirts of sydney at peak hour (Richmond rd at peak hour is a killer for this). So all 3 cars have likely been waiting for a while and are getting incredibly impatient
  10. good point smileedude.
    i think slowing and setting up is the best application here
  11. holy crap..

    where did that train come from

    **** it i'm gone. i'm taking that white dotted lane outa here
  12. View attachment 8351

    That's a spiders senses tingling on max scenario batman!

    In similar situations IWITHOUT a car behind, I have covered brakes and increased the gap to the car ahead (gives me a chance to react to a sudden stop from the car ahead and also reduces my chance of being in the car's sight shadow), moved to right wheel track to be visible to oncoming car, weaved a bit (attracts the eye of the myopic driver) and also sat up as tall as I can so that my helmet appears over the top of the roof sightline of the car ahead (increases my vision of the situation and hopefully helps other drivers see me). Then when I've been sure the oncoming car has seen me, moved to left wheel track to present headlight, helmet, bike etc to the waiting cars (if they haven't spotted me already, they might now). Then I proceed forward with all controls covered and on high alert, with a plan to ebrake if the waiting right turn car moves (look at it's wheels - they will give it away) and to do an emergency swerve to the right if the waiting left turning car goes.

    That's a doozy alright.
  13. Changing your lane position even a little bit does wonders for visibility to cagers. Even space is good too, as you want to maximise the time you have to evade any of the hazards should you need too.

    Main hazards come from you or darker blue car being cut off due to partially obscured vision of all vehicles.

    I'd approach carefully (brakes covered, set up) at a speed that would let me stop for dark blue car stopping/T-boning someone, then start moving to the right of my lane once past the front of light blue/cyan car to increase the space between green/chartreuse car.
  14. I hate these things. Why? Because unless I'm there and it's hapening in front of me there are two many options. The basic answer is to be as far away from the biggest threat as possible.

    Ok, that may not make sense. So lets say you've been scanning the road ahead for sometime. The car turning right into the side street has been inching forward - he's an impatient prick - but the two cars on the side street haven't moved. As you get closer you notice the drivers of the cars in the side street are visably 'scanning' the area, the bloke turning right is still inching forward. What am I doing, I'm backing of a bit and covering the controls ready for the impatient prick to do the inevitable and turn in front of me.

    Now lets say the guy in front of me has been tapping his brakes and been on and off the indicator - he is the biggest threat because he has no idea of where he's going. So you either drop back, or pass him as soon as you can.

    Something different, you notice the guy in the on comming car is sitting there, hasn't moved, and looks relaxed, the bloke in the car you're following hasn't sent up and warning flags either, but the bloke turning right out of the side street has be inching forward and is starting to actually enter the intersection. This prick is going to pull out at the first opportunity. Now I have two choices, I can either back off as above, or I can effectively use the car infront as a physical buffer. Which one I use depends on what else is happening around me and on how I'm feeling.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Slow down, set up and back from the darker blue car. Eye contact with both the red and light blue car. Position might depend on who you can't make eye contact with. I'd probably in RH wheel track - assuming you have seen the car making the left turn but also assuming he is the one less likely to see you and so you need to be more visible to it.
    You need to try and read them and look for signs of what they might do. If one is impatient it might show by the car creeping a bit or the wheels turned or scannng around very quickly.
  16. @ smileyd
    Your biggest danger is coming from the left.
    For mine:
    I am getting in the left wheel track and taking my buffer back to 2 - 3 seconds but no more.
    I am in the left wheel track so they can see me. The three seconds buffer hopefully will ensure that from any direction. But I don't want that buffer so far as to INVITE them to come out.
    So I slow a little. Get in the left wheel track and cover both brakes. I try and make eye contact. I am pretty sure Mr red will see me but to ASS U ME sort of thing. So If it takes wriggling the bike, or just plain pointing at the farker I will do it. Till eye get the eye contact.
    With Mr Green I am acting like he wont see me and getting ready to break right when he tries to pull out. I don't back off more because then mr red will jump. He will become a smidsy. Unwillingly and unconsciously.
    Well that's what I have to tell you as an instructor. Me on my own. The safest place is splitting the two blues :)
    • Like Like x 1
  17. =D> nicely done Bretto
    i believe you have managed to checkmate every cage.
    red and green can feel free to drive straight into dark blue. won't touch you.
    and theres no way light blue is goint to t-bone dark blue.
    all it needs now is a wheelie
  18. Good work all, a lot of good advice :D. My personal thoughts on the situation are, the red car is not much of a threat at all, as its path is blocked by the light blue. I would concentrate on the green and the light blue. Making yourself visable to the green is the hardest challenge and the biggest threat so my position on the road in the lead up will be determined by this. I would be in a position where I can either see through or around the red car. I would also be sure to make a few slight left right movements to keep my headlight dancing and increasing my chance of being seen.

    I wouldn't give the dark blue too much room in front as I don't want to leave a gap the light blue can squeeze through as that will create all sorts of problems with visibility from the other two vehicles. As long as I can see all threats around the dark blue and I have enough room to stop.

    As I arrive at the intersection I would be to the left giving me the largest buffer to the light blue and when I'm certain this is no longer a threat I will quickly move to the right, giving me more buffer from the green and an escape route up the middle.

    So anyone want to pose another one? Remember this is about teaching the newbies about the finer arts of roadcraft so if you know what the best answer is it doesn't matter.

    Attached Files:

  19. You're in the tunnel, peak hour, it's bumper to bumper. You're in the left hand lane. Solid wall to the left, solid line of cars/trucks to the right, forwards and behind, and there's not enough room to filter due to commercial vehicles. Where in the lane do your ride?


    You're now slowly inching up to the left of a semi trailer - those big wheels and multiple blind spots are weighing on your mind. Where do you ride?

  20. Centerline or RH wheel track - try to dominate the lane, do not invite the following vehicle to encroach on your space by getting out of the driver's line of sight.....keep a couple of bike lengths of buffer from the lead vehicle, try to make sure your bike, headlight, etc moves through the rear view mirror regularly

    Behind the rear of the trailer in the RH wheel track, keep the bike in the driver's wing mirror vision until the lane is clear through past the front of the semi, then move from behind the trailer to clearly in front of the prime mover - any vehicles behind you are likely to take up the space alongside the semi as you move forward, so it is unlikely to move left behind you