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Foolish and arrogant

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by RussellDP, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. This morning I started off writing a post which I was going to name "The romance of the ride"

    I started it as follows "This weekends weather is shaping up to be rubbish. Cold. Windy. Possible snow in spots.

    But thats not going to stop me. It might slow me down a bit. But not stop.

    And so I wonder why? I have every reason to not ride this weekend. To stay home, watch movies, play guitar and stay warm."

    After that, I was going to talk about how much I wanted to take this ride, about how I saw it as perhaps some form of a "right of passage"

    Basically I was caught up in a romantic notion that doing this particular ride at this particular time would mean something.

    What a bloody fool I was.

    Carrying a notion of "She will be right" I made several errors.

    I left too late. It was to be a 300 km trip for which I allowed 4 hours. On a decent day, thats entirely doable. On a day like yesterday I should have allowed double the time.

    I knew the weather was going to be bad, but I did not give that enough thought. I had ridden in the rain before. I had ridden in the cold. I had ridden in the wind. I had ridden in the dark. No problem hey? Idiot me!

    I was also on unfamiliar roads in amongst all of those combined awful conditions. The headlights of oncoming cars was a major issue to me last night. I ended up with water both inside and outside my visor.

    I will admit that I scared myself last night. I made it to my destination. Through no skill on my behalf. Well, i did use one skill and that was to brake, and that was to go slower than normal.

    I didnt drop the bike last night. And that was down to luck. Pure luck. And I am thankful for whatever entity you choose to invoke that I made it here.

    So. What have I learned?

    Dont make these poor decisions. I didnt have to travel this weekend. A point made very clearly to me during the week which I chose to brush aside.

    Allow more time for a ride if the conditions are not ideal and you have to ride.

    And if the conditions are not ideal leave earlier, allow yourself more daylight.

    Make sure that you have every piece of gear possible that will help with the ride. I have heated grips on order that hadnt arrived.."no worries....she'll be right". Also make sure you have every advantage going your way before the ride. Eg....treat your visor so you wont fog it.

    This ride has shaken my confidence. And i see that as a good thing. Whilst riding last night I seriously pondered giving this whole caper up as I was clearly not good enough to do it.

    Which is me talking rubbish. Once I got some slightly better conditions, and on more familiar or well lit roads, I felt my mood soar again at the fact of riding.

    As long as I learn my lessons from these mistakes.

    Oh...one good thing I learned. Maccas hand driers are a great way to warm the hands and dry the gloves and their soap dispensers make a useful visor treatment in a pinch.
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  2. We all need some wake up moments sometimes.

    Just be glad you lived through this one unscathed.
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  3. You are under estimating the fact that the experience gained from your previous riding is what got you home alive .
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  4. A lot of people have set out much like you've described and gotten to the point where they're breaking off snot-cicles before thinking, "I've made a terrible mistake!" ... myself included. Consider this one of those events that enables the acquisition of wisdom.
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  5. Sounds like you rode to the absolute limit of your abilities but never tried to push past them.

    Also a great learning experience
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  6. As uncomfortable as the ride was for you at the time, the experience gained is worth it. As others have said above, we've all done this, maybe to lesser extents, maybe to more, and it all makes us more aware pre-ride, on-ride and post-ride.
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  7. Yes, that first 'big ride' and the realisation that this is riding caper is a bit serious. I've done similar RussellDPRussellDP. Two days of "Suck it up princess" moments and learning that I chose to do this and I had no choice but to finish what I started. The same as you did.

    Next time you will plan better and be better. Saddle time in less than stellar conditions with a level head teaches you a thing or two and they come to us all, no matter how much we plan to avoid them. It's what you do when they came that's important.

    Ride on.... :happy:
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  8. Experience.

    When I first started riding I remember doing a similar thing, I had about a week of experience and committed to a 150km round trip in the cold/wet. It was awful and a totally "unnecessary" risk at the time, but I learnt a lot.

    Last week on a quiet weekday off I did a 600km round trip in similar weather. I now love it. Riding in the cold/wet can be very enjoyable if you're prepared for the challenges you'll face.
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  9. I remember doing a ride from Melbs to Warnambool. It was a Friday night the day was sunny but the fiercest storms in a decade were forecast. I still decided to ride, picked Meeks up from Pahran when she finished work. Just as we left the winds and rain picked up.
    By the time we went over the west gate bridge the bike was on a 20 degree lean yet we were riding in a straight line due to the wind.
    When we got past Weribee we would have been going 20 km/h slower than most of the other traffic as a combination of aqua planing and wind plus the lean we needed to ride at, felt like a disaster.
    We also used numerous Maccas to stop, warm and dry our gloves. One stop in particular I can remember my hand being so cold I couldn't feel the brake lever.

    Scary stuff indeed.

    Sometimes we all make silly decisions.
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  10. Here's something I learned. When the fingers got really numb, stop and stick your glove over the exhaust if there's no Maccas around.
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  11. After every reasonably long ride I write a list of things that bugged me and don't want a repeat. And I attempt to fix them before the next ride. This list NEVER ends. There is always things to fix and reasons to not ride.
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  12. You're a humble and honest man, RussellRussell. From experience, I know that cold alone has the ability to strip any original intention and or bravado away in short order. And like for me, having made it to your destination, it's a priceless lesson and memory to have in future. Thanks for sharing your experience so eloquently.
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  13. Last year I was in the middle of a similar situation, and believe me I'm old enough and experienced enough to have known better. At one point I seriously thought to myself "I'm a bit beyond this stuff at my age. I really should give it away." I survived (just). The next day was was one of the greatest days of my riding life.
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  14. Thanks for sharing. Another bit of flying wisdom passed onto me goes like: It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground. Kind of a bit like you described. I almost fell into the same trap during the week: Wanted to go check out a car an hour from home and keen to ride. Torrential rain, wind etc. Checked myself at the last minute and left it for another day. There's always other days...(until you run out of days, of course but let's not go there).
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  15. I have heqrd it said that the best thing you can do if you fall off a horse is to get straight back on again. And though I didn't fall last night, I did seriously contemplate parking the bike beside the road and walking away from it.

    So today, a half hour jaunt for coffee across some new road.

    Just what I needed I think. Thanks all for your words of encouragement
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  16. Glad you're still around mate.
    Without trying to sound like a naysayer, these are the sort of experiences that when they go wrong, everybody says "should never have done that", "bloody mad", "so sad", etc. We've all had them. And as mentioned above, when you do survive them, you learn a huge lesson. And generally don't do the same thing again. This is how we progress in life I guess...
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  17. I do think that given a bit of time to digest the events, you will come to see them as a learning experience and not a mistake. I agree that making a poor judgement is dangerous, but I don't think we should avoid everything outside our experience either.
    I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's only a mistake if you continue to make the same misjudgement over and over again.
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  18. Prep the bike as best as you can, wear correct gear for the conditions, allow extra time, ride slower where necessary and stay sharp, or take a break.
    Lots of important lessons learnt, RussellDPRussellDP

    Good on you, mate.
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  19. Thanks for posting this: it's good to be reminded that we are rarely as clever or as skilled as we think. Still, as others have noted, your experience up to this undoubtedly help you get through this, so well done!!!
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  20. Let's see if this vid works. Some guys went up the mountains on their adventure bike today. One of them took this video. In case anyone is wondering, he hit black ice.
    I. Fuggin. HATE. Black ice!

    Link if it doesn't work
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