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Dont underestimate fatigue

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by RussellDP, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. The last couple of days have seen me doing a fair bit of riding (for me at least, I know there are lots of riders who would do longer rides), and I deliberately pushed myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

    I could have freeway ridden the whole joirney, but wanted to find some twists and turns. My home town is a flat, straight road sorta place.

    So Shepp to Melbourne and ended up going through Strath Creek and Kinglake.

    Found myself in unfamiliar territory, so just cruised through all the lovely sweeping bends from Seymour to Kinglake, pretty much sat at the speed limits (or even a little less if i felt unsure) and then took the road down to Hurstbridge from Kinglake.

    I had one incident where I didnt set up properly for a corner and had to pull myself up, but stayed upright, and was also fortunate enough that I had no cars behind me, so was able to focus and ride down to the best of what I can do.
    Got passed by a couple of more experienced riders, and for a couple of corners I tried to go with them but lost confidence and backed off.

    Then the first Metro ride, straight down Burke Road to Carnegie, and parked the bike for the night. Had a ride into town during peak hour, did a little filtering, but need to work more on my spacial awareness of gap sizes.

    Biggest mistake was that I was tired by midday. Refuelled the bike and the body, rode up Sydney road (filtering all the way) and hit the Hume heading home.

    80ks in and im getting sore and thirsty, have a drink, but not much of a break, head off again.

    About 50ks later im getting tired again, decide im gonna stop at the next rest stop and run some water over my head and jacket.

    Riding up at 110 ks and feeling tored and fatigued, and all of a sudden Im noticing the throttle chopped. Im thinking wtf?

    Then I realised. Microsleep. Fortunately I got lucky this time. Pulled into the rest stop, soaked the jacket and got myself home.

    Dont underestimate fatigue. Not once. I learned, and was lucky.
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  2. Glad to see your home safe and sound thanks for the reminder
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  3. Well written and well ridden!
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  4. This also can be a recipe for disaster. NEVER try to keep up with others if it is not comfortable. ALWAYS ride your own ride.
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  5. Thanks GreyBMGreyBM. I realised that almost as soon as i started doing it
  6. Well done. And if you ever ride with people who expect that you ride outside your limits to keep up, find yourself some new riding mates.
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  7. Eek RussellDPRussellDP but glad to hear you're safe home.
  8. Glad to hear you are home OK. Don't underestimate the tiring effect of heat and dehydration as well. Sydney road is a bad choice particularly if you were in the narrow Coburg to Princes Hill section.
  9. I also think that riding in this heat today will also dehydrate you as well, adding to the fatigue.

    Taking it to the curves will test you out more than city riding in my opinion. As GreyBM stated, never try to keep up with others that are faster, recipe for disaster in the mountains.

    City riding and hill riding are completely different beasts.
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  10. Wow that's scary!!!
    Rider fatigue kicks in for me at about 250-300km. Can always tell in the last 5km home!
    Think the trick is to ride longer distances regularly and increase distance steadily and recognise that when you do more challenging roads (not a big fan of Kinglake) or unfamiliar ones, that decreases the total distance you can travel!
    Happy travels!!!
  11. Completely agree with this but the opposite for me, can ride all day on twists and turns but put me in heavy traffic and I wear out in quick time, not use to it and takes a huge amount of concentration for me, add to that heat, etc. and you can wear out alot quicker than expected
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  12. Yeah it can really creep up on you. I remember riding about 200km on one of the 40C days we had late last year, it wasn't until I stopped at a servo, got off and nearly collapsed that I realised how dehydrated I was.

    I guess it's a useful survival mechanism to keep you concentrated on the task at hand, but 'push through' too far and it becomes a risk in and of itself.
  13. 1000km days no problem for me. Best ride so far was Brissie - Malacoota - Newcastle. Was trying to make it bake to Brissie but by the time I got to newcastle I was unable to manage the fatigue side so it was time to stop. I was trying for an IronBut ride (BB2500K) and fell short by about 100KM!! Still managed to get the SS1600K done. I wanted to do one of the stupid rides across Australia, but the 1600km rides are about me personal limit. I just cant figure out how to bust through that fatigue barrier, even with planned sleep stops.

    Fatigue is way dangerous. I am good at picking up on the signs now, and I will often pull over, bike on centre stand and sleep on the tank for 15-20 mins. Makes a world of difference. I also dont use coffee or stay awake pills to pep me up. A tip I learned as a pilot is to use things like caffeine effectively to heighten awareness, but never to mask fatigue.
  14. Glad you're home safe RussellDPRussellDP. Fatigue can be so insidious -- it just creeps up on you. I've struggled with the return leg of an excursion to the twisties a few times: tired out from the ride & then doing the freeway home isn't great.

    I'd also second what PearoPearo said about caffeine: not only can it mask fatigue, it will also make you dehydrated which will compound the problem further. I try & avoid it on longer rides and make sure I eat well too -- not burger & chips halfway through a 500+ km day.
  15. I was coming back from Mt Buller over xmas break, it was 38 day but felt hotter. Even at 100kmh and my textile jacket with all vents open I felt I had no air. By the time I got to Mansfield servo I felt ill.
    Next target was Yea, seemed like it took forever. I hit that god awful 80 zone with no overtaking for about 20km and felt like I was going to die. I was feeling dizzy and my hands were going numb. I've never felt worse riding a bike.

    Got to Yea had an icecream and a bottle of cold fizzy water. Took off everything I could without flouting indecency laws and hid in the shade trying to cool down. Removed the back protector from my jacket to make it more breathable. Swapped my heavy riding boots for a pair of runners from the topbox. Decided to do up the top button on my jacket but leave the front zip open about a foot.

    After leaving Yea I could feel air through me for the first time, particularly my feet which had been absolutely cooking in the boots. Decided I needed the most constant high speed direct route to Melbourne to escape the heat which was stifliing. Rode across to the Hume and basked in its glorious 110kmh monotony all the way to outskirts of Melb and then hit Shittylink and paid their lousy toll to get me back to the city a bit faster. The mere idea of being stopped at a traffic light made me want to throw up.

    One of the least enjoyable rides I've ever done, would not be in a hurry to do a 250km ride in that kind of heat again. An hour after getting off I was sitting in a pub in shorts and tshirt, with a cold pint of cider, and life was good again.
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