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Peaches update 5: Trying not to get killed :(

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Peaches, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Hello boys and girls,

    Time for another update of Peaches’ adventures on the road. Not too good so far I’m afraid. Just when I thought I was getting better, things around me start to get a bit… frightening. :?

    A quick recap on my journey to good motorcycling-dom. I’ve recently started riding on my own, without Jeff’s help. Been doing trips to Manly, Silverwater, Kensington with just the Pig for company – and it’s been fun! In addition to the last Netrider Learner’s run I’ve also done another “big†400 km ride with other Netriders through the Putty, which was a charm!

    But just as my confidence is slowly starting to build, and despite putting to practice as best I can the roadcraft tips I’ve learnt on Netrider, I seem to experience an increasing number of close calls. :?

    1) A four-wheel drive cuts me off at breakneck speed in the ED. Nearly hits me but he couldn’t have missed Peaches because he was coming in hard and fast from the left lane. I usually check my mirrors and do quick headchecks every few hundred metres or so, but I didn’t see him coming. If I had been in the centre or left in my lane I would have been hit. :shock:

    2) While following RailTracks yesterday to Cremorne Maccas, a car pulls out of a junction straight into my lane – causing me to swerve into the right lane to avoid him. Thank God there was no car there. What really annoyed me was there was a car’s length between RailTracks and myself. If the idiot saw him, why couldn’t he have seen me? :evil: Or was it somehow my fault?

    3) Riding to Palm Beach last night I was leaning into a 25 km/h turn, and I was probably doing 35 – 40. I heard the rumble of V twins coming furiously from my right and that took my attention from the road for a split second. Three bikes, two V Twins and an inline four, overtook me at breakneck speed then merged into my lane. ALL while still in the 25 km/h blind corner. :shock: If there had been a car coming in the opposite direction, they would have been hit and taken me (and possibly the bike behind me) with them.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to have a whinge but I’m genuinely puzzled at what I’m doing wrong that I attract such rude driver/ rider behaviour. :cry: I do the speed limit, try to ride to my conditions (and if that includes speeding then I do it too for my own safety). I try to be aware of what’s around me but often these incidents take me by surprise.

    So my questions are:

    1. What am I doing wrong?
    2. What can I do on my part to minimise people displaying such stupid behaviour?
    3. What can I do to protect myself better?

    Mentorship is due to start in 2 weeks so that should hopefully put some things into perspective for me. But in the meantime… help?

    Thanks for reading all.


  2. You're probably going too slow and looking indecisive. Go faster as your confidence increases, and do your best to look decisive.

    There's also a bunch of stuff you can do to make yourself more visible to drivers, like knowing which side of your lane to be on at any one time and keeping drivers' blind spots in mind, but the main thing is to own the traffic around you and make decisions before they do or can.
  3. Something that comes with time is the ability to not be stressed when something comes inside your current comfort zone. What do I mean? When you have ridden a while a car can come within a few feet and you acknowledge the car but are not as concerned as you are now. When I first rode I hated freeways etc as cars seemed to want to tailgate or swerve in on you. After a while you realise they are not it's just that they seem closer.

    Oh but some cars are trying to kill you. :twisted: :twisted:
  4. 1) You live in Sydney
    2) Louder pipes. Well perhaps you could give it a bit more time to build your skills, that way you can concentrate on roadcraft and not riding the bike (the $10 analogy).
    3) Move to a small country town that has only one sealed road running through the middle of it.
  5. Hey Peaches I know exactly what you mean. So far most people have been good, they see the L plate and give you a bit of extra space and some more patience. BUT, there have been some idiots that scream at me for no reason, try to drag me at the lights, cut me off etc. I just try to relax, stay focused, always aware of whats going on around me, and try to stay ahead of the cars. Hope things get better for you soon :)
  6. try and observe the cars wanting to swing out, and always assume they can't see you, so if you see a car wanting to pull out, then move a little in your lane (from one side to the other)

    The movement of the bike will attract there attention so perhaps they will not pull out (but this doesn't always stop them)
  7. With experience, comes confidence, and you'll find you will become more decisive and defensive. +1 Loz
    :LOL: :LOL:

    PS: I'm a little confused Ruth ..

    Peaches: your username ... and also your bike?
    If so .. WHO the fark is the 'PIG' ??
    or have you also named your tailbag? :?
  8. Love the pink pig Peaches..
    (and you are an inspiration to Mrs frodg who just got her Ls) [​IMG]

    But it could be setting you up for the macho types :

    "Ooohhh look - a cute girlie with a pink piggie and she doesn't know how to ride. I'll show her how a real bloke rides (drives, etc.)"

    Just a thought....[​IMG]
  9. Right. So the trick lies in behaving more “confident†and “decisive†– how exactly do I do that? Go faster? I don’t want to lose my license though…


    OK. Once and for all, I shall lay to rest the confusion that surrounds Peaches, Piggy and me.

    Peaches is my bike. She is also the name of my account on Netrider.

    My real name is Ruth. (you might notice I often sign off with an R at the end of my posts)

    Pig, Piggy, or The Pig, is precisely that – my pillion on Peaches.

  10. 1) Someone coming up fast from the left, so move to the right of your lane. If someone is going breakneck speed relative to you, their ability to spot you and judge your path is lower. Give them space.

    2) Someone at junction from the left, move to the right of your lane. If you leave a massive gap between yourself and the rider in front, some people may think there's room/time to slot in so you have to expect people to try fit in front. You could set up your brakes when you perceive someone is going to jump in front of you.

    3) Taking left hander with guys overtaking from right, move to the left of your lane. Also slowing down helps. If you see someone behind wants to overtake, slow down so they complete it before a corner.

    Basically always give yourself space to react before someone else does something dangerous to you. By preemptively moving to one side or the other you get closer to your escape route and you don't have to do a vicious weave to save yourself.
  11. It has a lot to do with your positioning in the lane you are in. A non confident rider will sit in the left hand wheel track in the left lane or the right hand wheel track of the right lane. If this is you try and do the opposite, you need to own your lane.

    I tend to go just slightly faster than the other cars if only to get ahead and stay ahead of all the morons on the road. Also it helps to be a little bit aggressive when riding on the road, try it even if it is not you.

    Oh and you may have tio lose the pig if you want to be taken seriously by other drivers.
  12. I WAS in the right hand side of the lane. If I hadn't been I think I would have been clipped. I guess what I was annoyed was with myself for the fact that I didn't see him coming, despite having checked my mirrors a minute or two prior to his swerve. He wasn't in my mirrors then, no excuse I know :cry:

    Once again, I was in the right of my lane. There wasn't a massive gap in front of me and the rider in front, probably a car's length - maybe a wee bit more. We were also doing about 50 km/h, not slowing down. Thing was I wasn't expecting him to swerve in front because he was stopped, wasn't rolling forward or anything. But I get your point - I need to pay more attention and try to figure out what the drivers are trying to do. I'll try!

    Yeah I had to in that case. I was happy to hold my line until they came up. Thing is, it was a one lane each way road, and they passed really close to me and I guess I'm just not used to having bikes overtake me in corners yet. Also they were going ridiculously fast, and I didn't know they were behind me until they overtook. I was also travelling in a group of 6, two in front, followed by yours truly and the rest. So technically I wasn't the only person they overtook, but they did merge in front of me. They spooked a rider on an R6 who was riding behind me too...

    Also when you say slow down do you mean gently ease the throttle? I don't brake mid-corner, unless you're talking about slowing down pre-corner to let them pass? If it's the latter, we were going through a lot of blind corners so I did'nt know they were behind me until they were coming fast next to me.

    How can I be more aware of riders behind me in that situation?

    I will try. Thank you, Edster.
  13. +1 to all this.... same reason cagers don't mess with fark off type harley riders......whether the image is true or not i don't know but i do believe certain groups, gain respect from the general public.....whether that be by attitude, style of ride or just rider presense but i do believe thats the secret. This is also the same with cars, a ex of mine was always getting pushed around in traffic in her car (even me when i drove it :oops: ), we pulled down all the girly shit from the car and she/i noticed straight away the difference.

    Actually just recently i was discussing this with a fellow rider that the hard edge is gone from riding and i believe this to be half the reason riders don't get the respect/space they desire from cagers. I remember when i was younger bikes were something not to be messed with cos of the people that own em, and what they would do to you if you messed with em

    Either you should be thinking that everyone is out to get you (kill you) and with that as you are riding along have a think about where you can go if the car ahead brakes heavily, decided to turn right at the up coming street....etc
  14. Dare I agree with Loz? Well in this case yes.

    I could just be a body langage thing, maybe to others you seem a little hesitent, and like all predetors thats like blood in the water. Seems you've got the lane position all sorted, just remember to keep an eye out.

    The only advice I can give is just relax, when you get more bum in seat time you'll get used to all the stupids on the road and you'll just shake your head and move on.

    P.S. Love the description in the photo :D
  15. I don't think you're doing anything wrong, Peaches, I think it's sadly just the way the road users are in Sydney.

    Be paranoid on the road, because everyone is trying to kill you. Watch their tyres (are they pointed out and ready to roll you over?), watch their heads (are they looking around, trying to merge into that space that you're riding in?), watch their speed (are they slowing down, looking for a side street?).

    I don't have that much experience, as I'm still on my L's too, but that's how I ride: Everyone is out to kill the little rider, and no one can see him (or if they can, they're gunning for him!)

    As for the bikes that overtook you, well, not everyone is as nice on the road as they here.

    Don't ditch the pig! :]
  16. Always expect it. Then you'll never be surprised. :)

    You'll just see him be an idiot and do what you expected and then you do your pre-planned emergency lane change. Helps if you've done a quick check of the next lane prior to that. If occupied, you'll have to plan your emergency stop instead.

    If nothing happens you just don't execute your plans and ride on. If it happens, you'll be pretty happy you thought ahead.


    Well generally the difference in speed isn't as much as you had. You would hear them coming or spot them moving up fast in the mirrors on previous bends and pick a pre-corner position to slow and let them get past rather than have them try overtake you on the right on a blind left corner.

    If someone else is using their warp drive and you don't see them coming, there's nothing you can do obviously. You can't be fixated on your mirrors. But usually you hear some guy's pipes roaring up when they're blasting that hard.
  17. I will note that to ride 'confidently' you don't have to ride like Ghostrider, ducking between cars at 160kph in rush-hour traffic. That's 'dangerous', not 'confident'.

    It's more... *gestures with his hands, trying to shape or spell out such an intangible concept* Well... to do with confidence! Body language, I guess.

    * Being decisive and smooth and 'cool' in your actions, rather than wobbling about or fumbling with controls, 'changing your mind', etc.
    * 'Owning your lane' by picking a more visible or "aggressive" or "proud" place to sit, for all to see, rather than timidly hiding at the edge of the lane so that there's almost a whole lane between you and the car in the lane beside you. (This was mentioned above)

    "Owning the lane" is one that cyclists have trouble with, actually. They're legally entitled to an entire lane, but often they'll ride right in the gutter to keep themselves away from cars... which tells the car drivers that they're fearful, and frustrates the drivers because they think, "I could almost fit my whole car through that space!" - and so they do, with bugger-all room to spare, lanesplit-style. (We'll stay away from the anti-cyclist arguments here, please. I use it as an example of Lane-positioning And How It Relates To Primal Displays Of Strength And Power In The Subconscious Instinctual Mind)

    Such intangabilities. :-k

    Regarding the 4x4 that blew past you on the ED - If you were in the left wheeltrack pr the centre of your (right) lane, more than likely they would have changed their course to get around you without colliding, or would have slowed down until a gap opened up.

    It's rare that someone totally hoofing it will willingly collide with another vehicle, even if they're going superfast for the conditions. They might be in a rush, but they don't want to cause a crash or kill someone. The only time I've personally seen it happen is on "World's Best Worst Police Extreme Car Chase Crashes 5".
  18. been reading about drivers cutting off riders when they overtake on lanes and i just saw it happen a few days ago on crystal street petersham. driver didnt even look.

  19. Ok, heres what i think peaches

    1. Your thinking to much what to do next which makes you tense and u cant relax on te bike
    2. Remember what you learnt at stay upright, 5 second rule and so on.
    3. Relax on your bike and enjoy what your doing and just follow all the rules your mentor and stay upright have tought you.

    People will probably shoot me down in flames for giving you advice but hey, thats life :)

    keep nodding peaches :)
  20. Lesson #1.

    Everyone is trying to kill you

    I think that is the single most important thing new riders (and old) should always have in their head. Expect that the car is going to pull out, know that some twat is going to cut you off if they can.

    Riding is dangerous so you have to expect the unexpected always...