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Don't look down, even for a moment!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by TarmacSamurai, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. I thought I'd share this story as a warning/reminder to others. I was in my car a few weeks ago, as I was heading to a book signing and had a bunch of gear with me (a banner and some extra books and stuff like that). On the way, I needed to drop something off in Jamberoo. I drove over the hill on Churchill Street and down the other side, then slowed to turn off the main road. The road I was turning into has a gutter across it, so you have to drive into that junction very slowly. As I was about to start the turn, a bike appeared over the hill behind me going probably more than the 50kph limit. But that wasn't the real problem. Before I could do anything about it, I realised the guy wasn't looking - I could see the top of his lid as he was looking down at his lap. I only had a moment to register this before he went straight up the back of my car.

    There was very little damage to my car, but a lot of damage to his bike. He also got some bad gravel rash on one arm (he really should have been wearing a jacket!) and I found out later he also broke a bone in his foot. Otherwise he was fine, which is good news. It could have been a lot worse.

    So what was he doing? He was riding back from the pub and suddenly thought he'd left his phone behind so he looked down as he patted his jeans pocket to see if it was there. In the few seconds when he did that, I was slowing for the turn and bang! That's all it took.

    Don't take your eyes off the road, people, not even for a moment!

    • Like Like x 8
  2. Good advice. Always look where you are going.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. This is the reason that I'm glad technology has gotten me out of the habit of sticking a map to my tank.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. True! I always used to have a clear-topped tank bag for maps and it would always bother me having to look down like that.
  5. For that very reason, in the old days my tank bag didn't have a clear pocket ( it was a cheap one ) so I got into the habit of pulling over and stopping to get my map out and look at it and work out where I was going. Also made me better at reading and interprereting a map. Now I have a Tom Tom GPS, so I listen to the instructions. But if I'm going to look at the screen (usually very hard to see during the day due to sun glare) Then I still try to pull over and stop.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. A good cautionary tale, Alan!!
  7. Yeah, I tend to stop and figure out routes now. I don't have a GPS on the bike or use maps on the tank bag any more.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. So how do I check if I am speeding?
  9. Don't think, feel!
  10. lol, yeah the signs on the road keep asking me "how fast are you going?", I assume that means it's safe for me to take my eyes of the road and email them how fast.
  11. I have found the best advice as a learner that I have ever ever been given was always look where you want to go. I was a bit sceptical at first because it sounded too simple- but I nearly came to grief on a tight right when I looked to my left (only a little bit) whilst in the corner and guess where I headed. It was a biblical moment in more ways than one trust me.
    I am a true believer now!
  12. Yep, golden rule! :)
  13. I suspect that a lot of the riders of older bikes look down, to check the fuel taps are open; or to move the fuel taps to reserve while the bike is spluttering and bucking and they are weaving and dodging through traffic. Of course, there is also the lost art of looking down to adjust the fuel flow valve screw, while avoiding SMIDSY's and not being distracted by low flying pelicans.
  14. I nearly came to grief twice this week- once when a stupid ibis flew straight across the front of my bike the second because I laughed myself stupid because a cockatoo sort of low dived me, screeched whilst half turning and took off again- I nearly browned my daks!!!! Didn't know where to look and so my poor old bike was everywhere as well....luckily only pride and a burst of adrenalin to contend with
  15. It was a beautiful morning in Sydney last week when I was easily distracted just by the joy of riding to work and my mind started to wander, and I only just avoided the rear of a van which stopped suddenly, everything happens so quickly on a bike!
  16. Sometimes we are way too distracted to drive or ride. I know for some reason, I'm usually too stubborn to pull over. Coming off the bike is a hard way to learn a lesson!

    What book did you write, btw?