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not a great ride to work :/

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by ruski, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. so…
    This morning was my first* wet commute and it didn't go so well.

    First up - heading down victoria street (Doncaster) and an RACV drive school learner, with instructor, was tailgating me in the wet. Then I slowed down as the road breaks into 2 lanes and they tried to undertake me as the road became narrower and we were coming up on stopped traffic. I didn't like it at all. Rough diagram for reference:
    fwiw, although the road looks wide enough for 2 lanes each way it isn't, it gets treated as single lane both ways morning and night even during heavy traffic except for the occasional asshole, almost always parked cars narrowing it down. I wouldn't have minded the car trying to pass me on the left if we had of been stationary but we weren't, and that shit is not safe. Shame on you driving instructor.

    To avoid the situation next time I could ride in the middle of the lane (I was RH wheel track) but I didn't want to do that approaching an intersection in the wet. I can't think of what I could do, suggestions welcome - I'm learning.

    Fast forward 15 minutes and I come to a sharp right hand bend at the bottom of a hill. It's signposted 30km/h and I usually take it at 50-55 comfortably in the dry. Today, being paranoid about the wet road, I took it at 25km. Front started to wash out the SRs kicked in like never before - right(inside) foot came off the peg to 'save' me if I had have gone down. Rolled off the throttle, ran real wide and almost hit the gutter then a parked car. Somehow didn't eff it up completely but had to shake my head at how stupid I had been. I should have gone slower than I did, shouldn't have leaned off the bike like I did either. Confidence shaken a little.

    This morning's commute was a learning experience for sure.

    *First wet ride in years, and on a bike that has more than 4 times the power of my last.
  2. I know what you mean by the road looks wide enough as 2 lanes, but get's treated as single but you should know that based on the dotted lines on the road there are legally 2 lanes going each way. If you were in the right side then a car can pass you on the left lane and vice versa especially when they see you on a bike which is narrow they moreso want to pass you if you are going slow too.

    That road reminds me of this road which also is similar but you should never assume and always expect the unexpected.

    Practice, practice, practice makes perfect.
  3. Rain riding takes a while to get confident at. Like you hear in all the race reports after a wet GP, you have to be smoother and cleaner the whole way, and I fully beleive that if you do it often it makes you a smoother rider overall as you just can't get away with manhandling the bike a lot.

    At first you will be shit scared of the front but I think it is a feeling thing more than anything else. But first and foremost, in the rain, don't push. Let it come and relax. Who cares what anyone else thinks, just go slow if you gotta go slow. The biggest thing with cornering smoothly is - relax - !

    I would hazard a guess that in that corner you described, you got tense.
  4. In the picture from the OP, it appears as he is staying in the left lane (not turning into the right turn lane).

    If a lane is wide enough for two cars (or car/bike, whatever), but does not have a dotted line separating it, it is a single lane regardless of how many vehicles fit next to each other (this excludes roads that have been resurfaced and are yet to be remarked, for those playing at home).

    So with the link you posted to Centre Dandy Rd - if someone passes you on the left, it is illegal. Do people still do it, yeah - but that shit ain't safe.
  5. could have flashed your left indicator, where you've drawn yourself in green
  6. and ditch the dunlops
  7. Correct it is a single lane but wide enough for two however you will find if you stick close to the centre line people will undertake and you stick close to the gutter people will overtake you. Whether illegal or not at places such as Centre Dandy rd people always pass each other on the inside and outside.

    I personally don't care whether it's one lane or one lane but wide enough for two or whatever as I keep left unless overtaking that way if people want to pass me they can pass me as much as they want but I can't expect to ride/drive in the right side of a lane wide enough for two cars and get upset if people pass me on the inside, no that is my fault as I should be on the left if I don't want people to pass me on the inside.
  8. Ah yes, totally agree with that. Stay left and let people pass you on the right.
  9. Actually Victoria Street is a single lane from King St all the way down to Doncaster Rd. Unfortunately it has had bicycle lanes added as well as allowing space for parking, so you do need to own the lane to prevent people undertaking you. Also as above at the traffic lights intersection on George St the road is divided into two lanes, but the right lane is a right hand turn only lane. (When heading North through that intersection it can be positively danagerous as lots of people try to move into the bicycle lane early and pass you on the left, but you must move to the left to get into the lane that goes straight through. When in my 4WD, I just use Might Is Right, on the bike I have to be more careful, particularly as the road is off camber and can be slippery.)

    Ruski, as noted above you should have been in the left wheel track of the lane which goes straight through, and make sure you get over there before someone gets close enough to think they can pass on the left. I do tend to move about a lot in the lane on Victoria St, to make sure people behind me know it is my lane.

    I also sometimes stick my arm out, and then wave a car back if I think they are trying to undertake me, particularly if they are an L or P plater. Then when they hesitate, I move over in front of them. You would be surprised how often that works.

    On safer roads I sometimes let people share my lane a bit, since I do it to them as well when I filter. But Victoria St is definitely not a road to filter on, or lane share, as you have to constantly move from the right side of the lane (where you have to be to avoid the bicycle lane), to the left side of the road (to get through the George St traffic lights), and then back to the right as soon as you cross the intersection. With no gutters for much of its length and a significant camber, it is a road to be careful on.
  10. thanks for the tips people, replacing the tyres is on the agenda but it has to wait until after christmas.
    Rented - I was tense as all hell, even knowing that it was the wrong thing to do. I did it worse on the way home on a different corner, actually managed to clip the gutter I was so damn focused on it. I need more wet weather practice.
    MONKEYMAN - I probably should have indicated, and will if the situation arises again - but you definitely don't expect to be undertaken on a single lane road, much less by a professionally supervised learner.

    Also, for what it's worth (I didn't want to say anything yesterday until I confirmed today), there's a bicycle lane that ends where that white car is in the screencap behind my green car drawing. The road is only wide enough for 2 cars for 2 and a half car lengths. I had it confused with a stretch of Middleborough rd which is about a km back where there's no bike lane but it's treated as one lane. Here it *IS* one lane.

    Thanks again for taking the time to offer advice, I appreciate it.

    I had a much better ride to work today thankfully :)
  11. ruski, it happens to all of us.
    i probably get undertaken at least once every couple of weeks on average; and not knowing all the variables to factor in when it happenned to you, it's dificult to say how i might have reacted. I don't know how close the car in front of you was for example.
    it can be an especially dangerous situation though when it's a single lane and a car is about to turn right up ahead, as it was in your case.. because if your focus is on the bogey about to undertake, you're moving more over to the right to buffer him, then you look up and theres a car stopped in front of you.*smack*

    the left wheel track/right wheel track riding style as taught or described in sitting for L's and fulls; and all rider handbook diagrams; is'nt always the best style to default to in real world scenarios.
    in your situation and given the poor weather riding conditions it may have been better just to ride the bike as if you were driving a car.. and just go smack down the middle of the lane, not allowing enough room for a vehicle to pass you on either side. (or rather, "own" the centre of the lane, still moving around somewhat to better position yourself for the next upcomming potential hazzards.) as GI Rod* has suggested.
    yes there is oil and diesel there, but it dose'nt matter if you just ride over it straight and upright, as long as you're being smooth on the throttle and no quick gear changes, just let the clutch out slower than you would in the dry.
    with bikes like yours there are going to be times when the rear may step out a little, because they have such immense low down torque.; much of the time it will be too subtle an effect to even notice in the wet, which is why others have emphasised smoothness.. but it's just going to pull in to line with the front again..so you just keep aiming the front where you want to go, and don't back of the throttle or pull the clutch in... just kinda flop over the tank and hang loose... the only thing that should be tight on these occassions is your anus; the rest of your body being nice and limp. (upper body)
    if the front steps out... well it's game over imho... actually, someone else can try to post on that, i'm not touching it haha

    In the wet i tend to try to ride when appropriate on the berm of the wheel track, if that makes any sense... difficult to explain, but if you were to imagine a cut out profile of the road, it having a slight radius from kerb to kerb and two distinct dips where the heavy vehicles have compressed it, being the wheel tracks... the centre of the dip being worn the smoothest, but the berms of the dips that don't get as much wear have the tackier bitumem.
    so if the road was sweeping to the left, i'll try for a right berm/ road sweeping to the right i'll try for a left berm.
    this can also help to give you the right camber, because yes vic tards and their associated contracted roadworks tards **** up cambers everywhere.
    anywhoo, in the wet the centre of the wheel track is generally a shit place to be.. it retains more water on the road surface and your tread is working hard to push it up hill... i think i moreso default to the inner berms of the tracks in the middle of the lane.

    comming to a stop in the wet at an intersection i'll want to wipe of speed earlier obviously, so i'll do my braking in stages;
    , i'll be on and off the brakes, both to test for surface grip and to reduce speed without relying as much on engine braking... and i'll be at walking pace when i roll up to the white line... but it's only in the last few meters that i'll look to avoid an oil patch, then stop dead straight... the bandit is a lovely girl, but lets face it, she's a big girl, and dose'nt slide very gracefully.

    so yeah dude, that's just how i roll... not intended as advice, but hopefully you can gleam something from it.

    *disclaimer GI Rod not to be confused with GI Joe the action figure.
    i think we've all seen what happens with adults and GI Joe's on the internet.
    GI Rod has no association with these activities.
  12. oh yeah,
    and the sportmax are'nt really that bad; it's just that i've had better.
    but they are perfectly adequete and up to the task, so you can still trust your tires
  13. At least the bandit is ok(y) oh and the rider :grin:

    I ditched the dunlops as soon as I could. I didn't like them in the wet and had more than a few slidy moments.
  14. The "L" car obviously had one two many mirrors. Your duty to rectify situation.