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Dealing with close calls

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by livingstonest, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. I'm still on my P's so got limited experience. What i would like to know is do you guys get used to having close calls?

    I was almost pushed into on-coming traffic today by some cage who didn't care/didn't look/whateva tried to merge into me going bout 60/70kmh.

    He was in the middle lane and i was in the right lane on the hume hwy in bankstown.

    I just thank god i was on the right wheel track cause it gave me enough buffer to see this moron merge into me and i had JUST enough time to react by braking quite heavily and almost losing it in the process!

    I'm very careful with buffering, not staying along side any car and other road craft techniques but this was peak hour in the afternoon which makes making space more difficult.

    I keep thinking i was this close to being pushed onto oncoming traffic and at the moment its taken alot of the pleasure of wanting to ride.

    Unfortunately the moron kept cutting in and out of other lanes and following him/her woulda been dangerous so i let it go.

    I know this stuff happens alot but how do you guys deal with it? I mean if didn't ride its pretty rare that you think to yourself "Shite that was close i coulda died today!"
  2. Keep Zen man.

    It takes a lot of stupidity on the road to get me annoyed these days... unfortunately, stupidity from other road users has become an accepted and expected part of the road landscape.

    Keep practicing your road craft, making sure you create, leave and protect as much space around you as you can.

    One tip, when beside a car in heavy traffic, try to be level with the driver's window - this will maximises your chance of being seen... hopefully, reducing merge incidents.
  3. Wel, first of all....

    Stay out of Bankstown, it's full of bogans, and most of them are on the road.

    I think the previous advice is good, especially Rob's; stay level with the driver's window if you are stuck in traffic, make sure the bloke BESIDE you knows you're there, as well as the hopefuls behind and in front! And be more prepared to accelerate out of the 'zone' than to brake.
  4. damn cagers

    I've been riding for over 20y, been around(halfway) Aust on a bike. Idiots are all over and all the time and I think it has made me ride a bit cautious, like every other road user is a potential threat. You just cant tell if they can see you and even if they can, do they care? For me, 95% of the time riding my bike is a blast, so its totally worth it!
  5. Hi Livingstonest

    Make sure you NEVER get used to it and always ride as if you are INVISIBLE!!

    It looks like even though you had a buffer, you were riding beside the car where he could not see you.

    It is very rare that a car will move to hit you on purpose.

    "I just didn't see you" is words you NEVER want to hear!!!

    Robslav has a good point. Ride up past them if you have to (so they can see you) and then back off.

    I ALWAYS EXPECT to be cut off and NEVER ride beside a car. If there is no room in the lane for me in front of the car I am passing, I just stay back a bit (in mirror view) of the car beside until space/route becomes available.

    PASS FAST!!!!!!!

    I agree with accelerating through the trouble, but If you have nowhere to go in front (usual Sydney traffic) you have to hit the anchors in a controlled SCREAM!!!!! :LOL:

    As far as dealing with it, you just chalk up a near miss as another good example of your proper positioning in the trafffic and DO NOT ENGAGE the car in war.
    In traffic, and with a potential nutter driving the car, you are better off letting it go (blast off or hang back, your choice, but keep an eye on them until it is safe) They have an armoured tank compared to our donkey :) :)

    good luck and you will become used to it and keep positioning yourself properly. Hope this helps you.


  6. A couple of things
    1 - keep your cool. If you find yourself really unnerved or rattled, take an exit, stop and have a coffee or smoke. 5 or 10 minutes to calm down is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Keep your head in the game.

    2 - Work out why you didn't anticipate this. If the guy was a chronic lane swapper the last place you want to be is beside them. Use your mirrors more to spot guys like this before they get to you. They do stand out on freeways and give them a mile of room.

    While you're at it, watch out for SMS's, drunks, makeup artists, finanacial review readers, coffee and cig smoking chicks, guys loading their glovebox cd stackers and worst of all, idiot bikers!!!
  7. I am starting to get used to it now... Nearly T-bone a taxi at a junction, turning right from opposite but didn't see me coming.. I knew it and slow down to anticipate idiots like this.. and he did... but managed to stop in time... Also, nearly got sandwiched yesterday as well.. :LOL: :LOL:
  8. Welcome to riding in competitive conditions i.e. the real world.

    Keep alert, keep focussed. I move around (safely and smoothly) a lot in my lane in busy conditions just to remind people around me that I'm there - scan all of your areas in front, side and back as things can change real quick...
  9. Sometimes you just have to stop and get off for a few minutes. If you continue riding whilst angrily ruminating over what just happened you are decreasing your concentration on the roads, and other drivers.
  10. I've been commuting daily in Sydney (to the CBD) for almost five years now and these "Oh f*ck" moments will always be present. Experience and anticipation are a big help.

    Your heart will still beat a million miles a minute when they happen, but you find that over time you will regain your composure a lot faster because you just learn to accept it as a part of being a motorcyclist in a major city.
  11. Pretty much been covered by others - i have only been riding 12 months, but if i have learnt anything it's -
    1/ don't EVER get used to it, the day you do is the day it will get you.
    2/ don't let your temper ever rule your riding.
    3/ Even with 1 and 2 in play you still need to be enjoying yourself.

    I am still taking life lessons on number 2 i have been a good boy for a while. I still love to ride.
    Stay safe
  12. Haha i hear ya loud and clear hornet! I'm with you 100% but unfortunately i live in the area! :(

    Thing is i've been riding 18 months now(1more month till off restrictions). I've done longish rides up and down the coast, lotsa freeway/peak hour traffic etc and in that time this is the first real close experience for me. Other times i anticipated it, this one i was totally caught out.

    I hear what you guys say about not being along side a car and i usually do this. Unfortunately this was peak hour, all lanes full and going at different speeds. This guy came up in the middle lane which was going faster and just came in on me HARD. So i was definitely not sitting beside him. I think this is a rare case then as when i think back about what i did i think it was the right move. Had i not hit the brakes he would of hit me with the drivers door and pushed me onto the oncoming traffic! :evil:

    Just wanna say thanks for all your excellent comments and support guys, it has helped. Much appreciated.
  13. Considering how it happened, and that you've been riding for 18 months in various conditions without a close call, and you managed to avoid this one, I think you are doing the right things.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. Welcome to riding!

    Just make sure you try and account for other people screwing up, which you did. I had a similar experience coming home from work yesterday, going along epping road underneath the pacific hwy. Someone changed lanes from the far left lane into mine because he was stuck behind a bus at the bus stop. I was in a rather low gear at about 55-60k's or so, but being a 900 i just opened the tap, weaved to the right lane (which i had done a headcheck on 2 seconds beforehand as i was going to change lanes anyway) and got the hell outta the way.

    I think he noticed afterwards he nearly hit me, but i was more concerned with getting away from him to really pay attention. Then there were the other numpties that tried to change lanes into me as i was in the bus lane heading to the cahill expressway.
  15. Just thought I'd biatch about my experience today.

    I was travelling along a familiar road to the shops, crested the hill and there's a long straight downhill run before the turnoff to the shops. I was fairly relaxed at this time, as there's no houses and only one other, virtually unused sidestreet to turn into. Hence I was not expecting any surprises.

    So I'm travelling downhill, on a very steep slope at 70km/h. Because of the slope, I can't see more than one car in front of me. The car in front of me happens to be a top end Falcon. Tootling along, fairly unfussed, suddenly the falcon in front of me brakes- hard. Obviously the guy just in front of him has suddenly decided to turn into the one side street.

    Now, a 1982 200kg bike, travelling downhill at 70km/h does not stop like a top end Falcon.

    I braked as hard as I could. The rear locked, and the back end started sliding around. The Falcon had come to a complete stop, but I was very scared.

    Luckily, my 2+ years of riding experience came in handy. I tapped off the rear, and re-applied it more gently, and applied a little more front brake to pull me up. I stopped gently and safely.

    If this situation had happened in the first 6 months to 1 year of riding, I quite possibly would have locked front, or lost the rear (it's so easy to fish-tail with too much rear downhill), and written off my bike.

    More experienced mates riding behind said they had seen how bad it could have been and were very impressed.

    So I guess you never really get used to close calls, but at least you can use improved skills to manage risky situations, and learn from your experience.
  16. Ok, i'm a lttle confused :?

    I would say i have gotten used to people being idiots on the road, but i think its a good thing, because i expect people to do something stupid and often pick up on it sooner then i think i would without my close calls.
    In the last week i've had 3 close calls. I had some b*tch change lanes into me because she didn't look as i was going past her, I had some f*ck head driving a mini bus filled with school kids turn in front of me after making eye contact with me, so he knew i was there, and then today i had a guy pull out of a parking spot in front of me without looking.
    When i started riding i would have been shocked at these things and been off my bike screaming my head off at these peoples. I think now that i have 'gotten used' to people doing these sorts of stupid things, i stay a lot calmer about it. I might say something to them if i pull up next to thm at lights but failry calmy. I generally forget about them fairly quickly because of this which i think is much better for me. I would have stewed about this sort of thing a lot before, where as now i forget about it, concentrate on my riding, and look out for the next d*ck head to do something stupid.

    Right or wrong this is my opinion. I may have only been riding for a little while, but in the time i have been riding i've been riding virtually every day in peak hour conditions and i have had quite a large number of close calls.