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Bad mistakes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by takagawa, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Today, I was going home on the Monash when I made a very grave mistake which nearly costed me a hospital trip. I was just leaving the reduced speed burnley tunnel with three other riders on their way home. After leaving the slow traffic all of the riders started to speed up, me included until we reached around 110km/h.

    I take the right most lane, while concentrating on the positions of the other bikes. Until I realised they started slowing down. Me 'still' concentrating on these other riders I decided to overtake them still around 100~km/h. This was when I realised they slowed down due to the standstill traffic around the corner, 50-60 metres ahead.

    I quickly put myself into emergency stop mode, controlling my bike as I come careening towards the stationary traffic in front of me. My rear wheel locks; only a split second thanks to quick manipulation of rear brakes. I soon realise I won't stop in time as I close to about 10-15 metres from the stationary car in front of me. Due to training, quickly decided on an 'escape' route, through the right most, very narrow emergency lane. I enter at about 40-50km/hr.

    My bike shudders as I risk applying more brakes and around eight cars passed later, I finally stop...

    My brain takes time out to just evaluate what had happened... the other rider passes by and yells 'BE CAREFUL!!'.


    There are times when you do the most screwed up things when your ego and stupidity gets ahold of you. And this were one of those times. Although through skill and technique I managed to escape unharmed, but such was that it shouldn't have happened.

    Very dangerous indeed, and what completely shot my confidence level right down. After that, very doubting whether I should continue the rider lifestyle. I'm actually booked into my licence test next week on saturday but after that.... *shakes his head*.

    Has anyone else done rather stupid things that very much made you doubt yourself to such an extent?
  3. Paul,

    put this down as a wake-up call. Complacency hurts, plain and simple.

    Yeah, we've all been there. Just some won't admit it.

    Oh, and what Matt said, too.
  4. I'd actually take it as a really good sign that you were able to assess the situation and recover, instead of just blindly panicking and locking both the wheels.

    I remember a similar experience on the Monash, a couple of months after I started riding. I was heading to Monash Uni at about 6:00 PM, and I was slowly splitting through 30-40kph traffic on my Across. I look left to pass the car in front of me, start giving it a bit of stick and pulling left, and then the car in front begins braking heavily!

    I think I missed swiping somebody by about 3 inches. Because I was already in the lean and moving left, I couldn't brake to recover, I just had to keep moving. I think it all happened in under half a second.

    It's never happened again - these days I check the distance between me and the car in front before overtaking, just incase they stop while I'm accelerating.
  5. I know, but bloody hell sometimes your mind just won't listen. I'm wondering how long before I actually take a beating for it to sink in. It was bloody stupid, and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I think what I had better do is to offset the 'commuting-must-get-there-quicker' behaviour with real cornering technique, to really fully appreciate why you always must be careful.
  6. Oh yeah, if you give up on riding, what condition is your bike in and how much do you want for it?


    Just kidding ;)
  7. Good post.

    I've been riding around 14 years, and certainly made some bad mistakes too...

    My first was on my old GSX250 a week or so after getting my L's.

    Some friends and I had organised a weekend away camping, and of course having just got my L's I elected to ride.

    There were some twisties on the way to the camping spot - about 30k's of them as I recall...nice road - and I started to let my riding way overtake my skill level.

    I was just going too hard - way beyond my skills when I found out there was no way I was going to make a tight left hander that just kinda crept up on me.

    I ended up running off the side of the road into the steep embankment . Luckily all I did was scratch some paint, dint the tank - bend the handelbars and graze my leg.

    Not too - bad I guess, but boy...if it were a right hander, the best I could have hoped for would have been to go off the edge, and drop a near sheer 100m or so.


    Somehow I reckon I would have been lucky to have made it if that occured.

    That one shook me up plenty, and I've been much more wary of the road conditions and my skill level ever since.

  8. Bet you never do that again.
    Why waste such a valuable lesson ? If you give up it'll all be wasted.
    The thing here is to always make your own riding decisions, like how fast you enter a corner etc. and not just follow another rider.
    you've just had that imprinted onto your brain!
  9. That wasn't.. the 'first' mistake I've ever made. If you get what I mean. Certainly the worst, yes.
  10. <Snip>
    So... I assume you're on learners? Doing 110?
    I take it you don't have an L plate showing :roll:

    [Firstly, well controlled, seems you have the presence of mind to keep calm.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no angel, but do you reckon that the limited speed for learners/first year P's is exactly for this reason?
    (yeah, I know, a lot of "experienced" riders could have trashed themselves legally in the same situation.)

    Heh, you survived, learn and move on, keep riding, you seem to have some natural ability, be a shame too waste it eh

  11. I do have L plates showing (half burnt, but still showing). Don't get me wrong, I'm not some guy who thought it was cool to ride a motorcycle, and did. I thoroughly thought about it, thought about what I was getting into, planned out to get every piece of gear. Thought about why roadcraft is important. I also actively discouraged any of my friends to get a motorcycle because they 'thought it was cool' unless I got through to them that there were other important things to think about.

    Speed limit... I don't think there's a speed limit for Learners here in vic... is there? But even then that's not the point, I was still breaking the law, as any other motorist who would go over 100km/hr on a freeway. Speeding, or even reckless driving are bourne from just confidence, or over-confidence in their ability.


    Natural ability? I took it as an angel handing me back my life and saying 'hey, take better care of it okay?'
  12. Na, in Vic he's only exceeding the speed limit by 10km/h. There isn't that dangerous speed restriction on L and P platers here. I couldn't imagine how scary that would be - doing 30km/h LESS than the traffic around you on a motorbike.

    Insane! :shock:
  13. Unfortunately it won't be your last mistake.
    I know it took me a couple of scares before i slowed down... and even then i had a lowside in the hills. I think the fact that i was riding very calmly and passively when i had my off made it that bit worse for me mentally.

    2 months after that, and i was still (and still am) very hesitant to push the grip of my tyres. I've lost traction twice since; first was a double downshift resulting in a compression lockup - no biggie. Second was i felt the rear slip out whilst cornering and hadnt noticed i was running over little sand & gravel patches.

    Try and make this scare a big one; and learn from it.
  14. So.. no restricted limits for L platers in Vic, Now I know :wink:

    Scary.. dunno about that, but it's bloody frustrating when a bloody bus overtakes you :? then you get smashed all over road by the turbulence

    <Sigh> glad I'm past it.

  15. Well no SPEED restricted limits.
    We've just got the 260cc restriction; and the zero BAC restriction... ooh; and the no pillion restriction.

    But that last one seems to be optional at the moment... :wink:
  16. I think we all know that feeling mate, sometimes the madness turns out good and other times it turns into soiled underwear or worse.

    Don't beat yourself up too much, we all fcuk up from time to time. At least you stayed on it. Try and imagine how funny it will seem when you've had 15 beers and are regailing your mates with your daring feats of stupidity.

    Hell, people pay good money for that sort of heart in the mouth, adrenelin rush moment. Probably not the sort of thing to make a hobby of though.
  17. 10km over the limit but still a mistake in heavey traffic approaching a bend.

    At least you noticed. Very lucky.

    Good choices executed well. I think you'll manage to stay with us. Good to see a cool head in a tough situation.

    lesson learnt. Had some good advice shouted at you to drum it in.

    Don't let it get to you. EVERYBODY makes stupid mistakes. Smart riders learn from them. Use it as a reminder that things may not always be going as well as they seem. If you feel totally confident, then it's overconfidence because you can't control everything. Seems to me that you're using your L's for their intended purpose, and next time you can't see what's around the bend you'll approach with caution.

    As above. EVERYBODY does. Just don't let it destroy your confidence. The occasional wake up call is a good thing cause it reminds us to take care.
  18. Well I'd say that's at least one good reason why you are wearing L plates - because you're still learning... take it easy!
  19. I can't tell you how many mistakes I've made on the bike. The thing is, I learn and don't make the same mistake twice! The first day I had my learners, I learnt the hard way about wet tram tracks (kept it upright but narrowly missed oncoming car). Now I am cautious with tram tracks and don't care if I am slowish turning over them or accelerate easier when in one of those track junction messy things :p .

    All I can say is be careful and learn from your mistakes....thats what that angel is trying to tell you!

    :D :D :D
  20. They are only mistakes if you do them again.

    Each one is a lesson.

    Lesson 1: always know whats ahead of you :)

    Go easy grass hopper