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Peaches update 2: Pig lives, help changing lanes!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Peaches, May 6, 2008.

  1. Hello fellow netriders,

    Update 2 on Peaches’ journey to correct riding-dom. :)

    Did my longest ride on Saturday – all 1 hour 30ish minutes from Silverwater, to Chatswood, back of Brookvale, Manly before puttering back to Neutral Bay. All went well, corners were good, didn’t run wide, although I did feel like a goldfish staring out at the world outside the bowl at times – eyes wide and senses on full alert. :shock:

    Not sure if that’s a good thing (or because I was wearing a helmet!), but it kept me from losing concentration. We stopped at Manly for chicken (me) while Jeff literally slaughtered a poor lamb for its ribs. :roll: Yucks. Copped a bit of a stare from a guy at Manly which really unnerved me as I was getting on the bike to ride off. Not sure if he was staring at Pink Piggy, the bike, or if he wanted to push me off as he was standing quite close to the bike! :?

    Sorry I’m digressing. On to the real issue – changing lanes. Raven has been super helpful with his tips on head checks, but I seem to have a problem with judging distance. How “MUCH†gap should I leave between the back of Peaches and the car behind before I change lanes?

    Changing lanes scares me sometimes (please don’t laugh) because when I accelerate to get in front of a vehicle, they seem to accelerate too. Either that or I slow down to slot in behind a car, and there’s not enough of a gap so I have to wait some more (pissing off the people behind me).

    I also slid in front of a car when I was on the Warringah freeway, judging from my mirrors and headcheck that I had ample space for the change. I thought I was right – I indicated, the car behind me slowed down a little bit, but no honking telling me that I had cut the driver off. Jeff however, who was behind me, told me that the gap was still quite close, and I should leave more space when I want to change lanes.

    So what is the correct “distance†/ how big should the gap be if I wanted to change lanes? Is there a correct technique as well for changing lanes?

    Ps – Pink Piggy lives another week! She didn’t fall off, nor did she suffer any brain damage from head butting the seat because there was no e-braking! Quite pleased about that. :cool:

    Thanks all, tips much appreciated! :grin:

  2. Interesting question, I can't say I've ever thought about the distance between myself and the car behind me when I'm changing lanes. I guess a safe lane change would be when theres at least 3 car lengths (or 3 seconds at your current speed, the safe distance taught in the P's course) between the car and where you want to change into?

    Put the blinker on and see what they do, If they're speeding up then it's not worth the risk, slow down and let them pass.

    It all depends on your speed / their speed / where you are.
  3. Ideally you want to leave as much space as you would if you were in a car. But at the end of the day this is one of those safety assessments that you have to decide on for yourself. How much are you willing to push, how much do you think is safe or courteous
  4. Nick, here's a question for you since you also ride a baby Cibber - do you find it hard to accelerate to try and get in front of a car to change lanes?

    I find that getting up to a "safe" speed in a few seconds for that crucial "leap in front" takes time, i'm guessing it's because it's a 125, or am I the only one having this problem? :?

    I'm worried that that's one of the reasons why I find it hard to change lanes/overtake, that it takes a bit of time getting to a faster speed. Or should I just drop it back a gear (except for 1st) and accelerate quickly?
  5. to me it depends if i am merging planning on sitting infront of said car normally about 1-2 secs in front but if i am plan to keep accelerating away, as soon as i am clear of the front of there car......though this requires you to have pretty good vision ahead.....can see footpaths are clear, lanes clear etc...
  6. now you are starting to get the idea why people suggest a 250 :wink:
  7. +1
    On a 125 you're just going to have to get used to needing a lot more time/space to pass other traffic, especially at 100kph.
  8. I did my competency with an instructor named Kevinn (with 2 n's). He's a top bloke, great guy..

    Anyway, it was the last day, the final activity, and I was in a situation where I had to merge, but there was this other rider beside me, so I accelerated like a mad man just to get in front of him...

    Kevinn pulled me aside and gave me a stern warning, he said "whenever you have to accelerate to get in front of someone, you probably shouldnt be doing it".... I dunno if that answers ur question, but I think it reinforces what Falconlord is saying, in that u have to make that safety assessment.
  9. Whoah… :shock:

    So I shouldn’t accelerate to change lanes? That’s very odd. Most people I talk to say accelerate to get in front of a car, or slow down and get behind the driver.

    Judging from the way Kevin’s taught you it’s as if you’re not supposed to accelerate at all, and should always slow down. Am I reading this wrongly, or is Kevin correct?
  10. Vanny that is an interesting perspective, but let us stick it in the real world. You can see and judge the caps ahead of you without taking your eyes off what is in front of you, checking the gaps behind you means splitting your attention. So there is sense in using gaps ahead (Ones you have to accelerate into) as a priority to those behind. Personally I think hard and fast rules like those given to you by “Kevinn (with 2 n's)†are very dangerous, assessing every situation on it’s merits is the way to keep yourself alive (And yep this includes speed limits and accelerating for gaps).
  11. and did he explain why not too? :?

    For example if you come out of slip turn on 3 lanes road and ahead it merges back into 2 lanes and the car to your side you has a ques of cars behind but quite a gap in front, why wouldn't you opt for the larger space infront, it's safer and also helps the traffic flow.
  12. Edit: People above me covered my thoughts. :)

    It really does depend on the situation.

    In general, I try to be as courteous as possible - That includes consideration of whether they're cruising at a faster speed than I plan to be. I think slipping in behind someone carefully is more polite than speeding up just to give them a faceful of your back tyre, in situations where there isn't room to make a safe gap.

    But sometimes courtesy takes odd and exciting shapes - if I'm merging onto a freeway and there's the choice of a big, comfortable and spacious gap that I'd have to accelerate for, or having to literally wedge myself between two cars, welll.... That would be a situation where I'd give the Tiger a chance to stretch its legs.
  13. Hey Peaches,

    You need to learn the art of working your little gearbox. A lot of people with bigger capacity bikes are able to twist the throttle in any gear and accelerate quite rapidly, but not these small capacity bikes. If you get the hang of keeping peaches within the sweet spot of the rev range, throughout your riding, you'll soon be able to get up to speed a lot quicker as well as other benefits (that are not worth mentioning now).

    So during your overtaking/merging maneuver, drop back one gear and see if that helps.
  14. I'm glad you and piggy are still going well :)

    3 sec gaps between you and the cars is ideal, but not realistic in heavier traffic, so you have to use body language to warn other road users, plan ahead and have escape routes. Always have space in your own lane for if you can't move across, or be ready to take the split as a backup.

    Allow the car behind room to either maintain their speed or to gently decellerate to extend the gap, rather than have to brake for you. When it's almost time to change lanes and you've used your mirrors to know what's about, have your head half turned (body language to driver warning that you want to move) so you can see the gap and lane you're currently in, assess the driver behind in next lane for whether they'll let you in safely, indicate, full head check and ideally make eye contact with driver behind, move across.

    I guess the space you allow between you and the car you push in front of can be nothing at all... if you don't mind the person behind having zero braking distance before hitting you! :wink:

    Just don't move into a gap in a way that will surprise the car behind. It's good to be accelerating in the gap to open it wider, but if you have to fly into the gap then rely on the car behind to back off, they might not coz they haven't seen you. Don't put your life in the the trust that the car behind is alert.
  15. If i am overtaking in my bike or car, I will wait until I can see both of the passed car's headlights in my mirrors before I will merge back into that lane.
  16. +1

    Heh. I totally forgot about that 'rule'. I've been doing just that since I first learned to drive, and continue to do so. Though in the car I wait until the car is visible in the rearview mirror typically.

    The only time I don't abide by that rule is when traffic is too dense to allow it.
  17. Whoa, so many replies...

    Anyway, no he didnt say why, I guess the only reason being it was a learners course where safety is the main consideration. He probably saw what I did as dangerous, whereas I felt safe doing it. Obviously in the real world he probably does it too.. anyway, would you advise a learner who sounds like she doesnt know where the power is in the bike to go faster than a car (that shes hardly going faster than in the first place) to speed up? What if she runs out of room, brakes suddenly, hits a wall or something? Maybe its better to just slow down, even if it means coming to a complete stop and waiting for traffic to clear before getting back in? I dunno... I think she'll pick it up anyway once shes more confident on the bike.
  18. OK I can work with that. Should that be a general rule to apply when I'm changing lanes? Indicate, head check, mirrors, see both headlights going steady and not accelerating, merge?
  19. Not really, but I ride like a lunatic :p I've been riding about 6 months every single day so I probably push the bike harder than you do. When I started changing lanes I just slowed down and head checked a few times and made sure there was room to fit and changed lane.

    Now that i'm splitting/filtering/dangerously confident about riding between moving cars (only slow ones..) it makes it a bit easier.

    +1 to what stealthassassin said, you may need to change down a gear to get the revs up to maintain that acceleration/speed that you need.

    We're riding around the CBD and suburbs close to it, the 125 is fine for this and my past 6 months of riding proves it. Getting tired of hearing about it. Have you seen the traffic we deal with? be lucky to get it past 80km/h if we wanted to.

    This sounds good to me :)
  20. yeah a 50cc will do the job too :roll: but i can tell from your 6 months worth of experience that there is nothing more to riding then a cheap commute to and from work...... come back to me when you have actually experienced biking in all it forms :roll: