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First time down...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by SydneyDave, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Hi all,
    I know there's an almost continual stream of these sort of threads, but I thought that I'd add my experience - hopefully not only will I learn from it, but maybe other noobs.

    My story - been riding for about 12 months now, only a few months left on P plates. Thought I was a decent rider, typically P plate cocky, I guess. I've been riding to work every day for the last 3-4 months, so I was also a bit complacent about the same route day in day out.

    I was heading north along Elizabeth St in Sydney, in the bus lane. Taxi in front of me indicates right, moves halfway out of the lane, then slams on his brakes and dives back in towards the kerb. I grab the front brakes, way too hard, lock up and go down on my right side. D**khead taxi driver just floors it away (typical). Fortunately, a nice couple on the sidewalk helped me get my bike up to the pavement and off the road. Don't know if they're riders, but it's nice to know people care.

    Damage? I've always been an ATGATT guy, although I hate to think how much skin I would have lost, even at the roughly 30kph I hit the deck. I've got a slightly skinned knee (don't know how that happened through the Draggins...), and the bike has a few new scratches - it didn't even bend either brake lever. The only real damage is a broken indicator lens (although the globe still works). Checked it out on the pavement, everything seemed OK, so I rode home (all good).

    - Be doubly careful around taxi drivers - leave extra room, especially in the kerb-side lane, as they *will* stop or swerve if they think they see a fare...
    - Set up and squeeze. A repeated mantra all through the Ps test, but when the sh*t hits the fan, there's not enough time to conciously think about it.
    - Rider training. I have always planned to go do some advanced training, but was deferring it until I came off restrictions and got a bigger bike. Now, I don't think I'll wait - the amount of money is trivial compared to even the lowest excess from a (more serious) accident.

    Comments and thoughts from the gallery?
  2. don't know how that happened through the Draggins

    here we go again!

    Draggins have a Kevlar lining. It protects your skin from road rash

    Unfortunately it also burns your skin as it slides against it while you are sliding.....

    You need to wear something UNDER the jeans to protect your skin from the jeans

    Glad to hear you were relatively unscathed, nevertheless.
  3. Maybe a "Kevlar burn"?
  4. Well Dave, good to hear you and the bike are OK. You will have seen this so many times but .. you gotta assume everyone out there is out to kill you. Its not just Taxis .. apply the lesson learnt to every other vehicle because there are unpredictable idiots out there driving anything from trucks to Ferraris.
  5. thanks for sharing your story.
    you still cop the grazes if you wear full gear, difference being they don't have to scrape out the gravel.
    not at all uncommon for new riders to have an incident about a year or so in...i think their first summer riding brings a few undone...just a personal theory based on people i've met/known over the years... i think theres a similar learning curve for most of us when new to riding on the road where your confidence grows and grows and then you get a wake up call....thankfully yours was'nt too serious.
    so, might have put a slight dint in your confidence...but maybe not such a bad thing...

    personally i'm terrified of taxis, to the point where even if one just comes up behind me in traffic i'm all like "No NO God it's not my time, i still have too much to live for"...i've even taken stupid risks just to put another car between me and that taxi.

    your post clearly states you've evaluated what happenned well, and learnt from your error, and figured out how to avoid it happenning again
  6. you still cop the grazes if you wear full gear

    No, you don't.

    As I've already said, here and in many other similar discussions, if you wear something (preferably cotton or the like) between the outer garment and your legs, you DON'T get burns.

    Draggin themselves recognise this, hence their new range Next-Gen, which has a satin lining, like that available in leathers. Its precise function is to protect your skin from direct contact with the Kevlar in the event of an accident.
  7. Fair enough hornet, that makes sense. Never really heard it before, but I suppose we learn something new every day.
  8. Yeah I got that same burn from mine when I went down around 30km/h.. I assumed it was a burn caused from the friction between jeans and road heating up. Didn't actually register that the kevlar itself could act as sandpaper against my knee.

    Good to hear you're ok (and more importantly the bike ;) )

    Perhaps turn the jeans inside out and sew a patch of cotton over the kevlar sections.
    Would stop some people complaining about the itchyness and such too

  9. Glad to hear you're relatively OK, heal up soon.

  10. Good to know as I think I'll need new pants soon - my current Draggins are starting to look like something that the cat dragged in :) I'll have a look at Next-Gen but I think I'll have a look at other brands as well. When I was buying this pair Draggins were the only game in town but now there are a few alternatives around.

    Every now and then I think it might be a good idea to invest in some motocross-style knee/shin protectors and wear these under the regular jeans perhaps? Because protection from skin rash is all well and good, but the actual impact is not that nice or good for the knees either! Never got around to it though, mainly because I have this sneaking suspicion most of the time I could not be bothered to put them on and the best protection is pretty worthless if you leave it at home...
  11. I had a small off while doing my licence course a month back, was the only day i decided not to wear my MX pads underneath my Draggins. Had a small graze and a bruise on my left knee from the impact but if i'd had my Pads on that wouldnt have happned.

    I always put my MX pads on even for a short rideit only takes 5 mins to strap them on. As its been said, draggins are great for road rash, but they dont protect against impact.
  12. Not sure if this'll cost me a flaming but....

    I use two finger braking... I don't know if it gives me as good stopping power but I'd rather lose a bit and have to rely on the rear a bit as the rear lock-up/fishtail is significantly easier to survive than a nose dive....

    I've had a situation in sydney city with a cab that was almost exactly the same as this except I had moved to the turning lane and a cab decided to a split second later... I had already set up the brakes and gave the front a hard squeeze and put on the rear progressively harder till it broke traction slightly.

    Needless to say the cab got halfway into my lane then just stopped dead... The slowdown gave me enough time to get around the car and the front wheel didn't lock up and take me down.

    Given i've had alot of K's on the bike and have been in situations like this before so the SR's do get dealt with a bit better these days but I think that if I still did the stayupright taught "four finger set up and squeeze" I'd take the bike down in the same situation.

    Btw this post is completely IMO based on my experience so n00bs don't take it as gospel.
  13. My experience mirrors Monkeyman's. I've known an awful lot of people (myself included) who've had a significant off at about the 12 month mark, give or take a couple. Even people who haven't spent the previous year falling off on a weekly basis :grin:.

    I've always assumed it's a complacency thing.
  14. It has been said lots of times that you really have to watch out for taxis. Once I quickly drummed that into my head, I would always tell myself, "I bet this clown is going to suddenly change lanes or turn or u-turn without checking". Do you know what? I held back a little because of that and sure enough the taxi driver changed lanes. Did they check? I think not because they almost hit the back of the car that was going past with the front of theirs as they were changing lanes. I slowed because there was too little space between me and the taxi then only a few seconds later the taxi went back into the lane he was originally in and continued on his way for the next 2 km! Why did he have to change lanes when he was going straight and went straight back into his original lane again? Some of them just do stupid shit.

    I'm an advocate of knee armour. It saved me and was well worth the minimal cost of $70 considering I probably would have smashed my knee. I prefer that the knee armour cracks rather than my bones. It is like a back protector. You just put it on as part of your process of putting on the rest of your gear.
  15. stay well back from taxis, like a few car lengths, expect the unexpected from them, also with your draggins, if it has a hole in it, send an email to them with pics of jeans and grazed skin and they should replace it free of charge
  16. Regarding knee impact protection, I bought myself a pair of TPro forcefield limb tubes. They stay in place very well, is comfortable enough to walk around in, and are CE approved. I wear them all the time, under my draggins. Haven't tested them out properly, but had my knees bump into a few tables and didn't even feel it.

    I didn't go MX because I think it's just too impractical, and I wouldn't wear it, but having said that, the down side of this is that it offers limited protection around the knee, and no protection for any torsional forces, only direct impact. There are a few other options for knee armour that's not MX, but I'm not sure if they're CE rated.
  17. Riding out of the city can be a nightmare. You have packed roads with cars zooming in and out of lanes because they all want to rush home. Worse now that school's starting and parents are rushing from work to pick up their kids or start dinner.
    Taxi's are the worst because they care about the fare than the general public (though to be fair, some of em are pretty good drivers but they're few and far between).

    Good to hear you're alright and the damage is minimal. You could probably get some after market indicators for cheap and install them or buy some from wreckers or a dealer. Suppose grab a set from MCAS on your way home
  18. Some good lessons to be learnt there. Remember that, it doesn't matter how careful or skilled you are, you can still hit the deck through someone else's stoopdity (or your own lack of attention). And the more you ride, the more you load the dice.

    Primary safety says, "Do everything you can to avoid being involved in an accident."
    Secondary safety says, "If you ARE involved make sure that it is as surviveable as possible through good protection and equipment."
  19. something similar happened to me, so now i ride such that even if the car in front of my slammed on their brakes i have distance to stop
  20. also those painted bus lanes can tend to be slippery as hell